While Bitdefender probably sounds familiar to you, there’re odds that you came across the name in your search for an antivirus. The company is one of the world’s most popular cybersecurity companies, but it’s known mostly for its antivirus. However, the company also offers a VPN, which you’ll learn everything about in this Bitdefender VPN review and test.
Having said that, it’s important to note that the VPN is an add-on. This means you can’t use it without having one of the company’s other products like Bitdefender Antivirus or Total Security.
Although the service is easy to use, its ease of use is at the expense of nice features. That’s not to say it doesn’t get anything right at all, but there’re many things that could be better.
Without revealing too much from the beginning, we will take a dive into the comprehensive 2019 review now. Like every other provider you will come across, this one also has big claims. We didn’t want to take their words for it, so we had to put the service to an extensive test.
- VPN-friendly location
- Free version available
- Poor streaming performance
- Doesn’t support torrenting
- Can’t bypass censorship
- Limited server network
- Terrible client support
- No Kill Switch
Bitdefender VPN ranks #28 out of 45 VPNs tested. Here are the best alternatives :
Is it a paid or a free VPN?
Bitdefender VPN can be either a paid or a free service, depending on your readiness to deal with limitations. Without trying to complicate this answer for you, the company offers a premium version. However, you can’t buy it as a standalone service. In other words, you need to have one of the other products of the company before buying the service.
Meanwhile, the free version comes with every product you buy from the company on MacOS, Windows, Android, or iOS. So, if you can’t deal with the hugely limited free version, you’d just need to upgrade to a paid plan.
Performance is the core factor we always look for when assessing any Virtual Private Network. When it comes to performance, the two primary elements that aid evaluation and review are speed and stability.
Since Bitdefender VPN is a new service, it’s quite limited when it comes to the number of servers. The consequence of this is that you may experience a slow connection speed when you connect to a certain server. Of course, it depends on where you’re based.
Apart from that, you may also experience speed drops due to the fact that a lot of people are connected to the same server simultaneously. During our test for this review, we connected to many servers and we’ve got average result each time.
In terms of speed, this provider is nothing but average and clearly can’t break any record. If you prefer a super-fast connection, it’s better to opt for a better alternative like ExpressVPN.
Without VPN (we were located in London) :
EU Server (France) :
US Server :
Asia Server :
Stability is a major part of any Virtual Private Network. Thus, it’s important for you to ensure that the provider you want to choose is very stable. Fortunately, Bitdefender VPN is a stable service, which isn’t surprising since Bitdefender itself is a company with a good reputation.
With an uptime of 99.9%, the service is certain to always come to your rescue when you’re in dire needs. We didn’t experience any downtime during our test and we’re confident that you’re not likely to experience any downtime also.
If you are looking to buy a good Virtual Private Network, there is a good chance that you are interested in streaming and unblocking geo-restricted content on various streaming services.
With that in said, we’ve taken the streaming capabilities of this provider in our test and below is our review.
There are lots of people living in countries where their access to streaming sites like Netflix is limited. Therefore, it has become more and more common for people to use a VPN to unblock geo-restricted content.
Unfortunately, not all providers are capable of getting around the geo-blocking systems of Netflix. In our test and review, there is no exception with Bitdefender VPN. All our attempts to unblock the blocks were unsuccessful, much to our frustration. If streaming or unblocking geo-restricted content on Netflix is your top priority, we don’t recommend this service at all.
Just like Netflix, the VPN-blocking systems of BBC iPlayers also proved to be too strong for Bitdefender VPN. We connected to multiple servers, including one in London and one in Manchester, but we were unsuccessful each time.
Even though this service is incapable of unblocking Netflix and BBC iPlayer, it works with other big streaming sites. We’re talking about big sites like Hulu, HBO, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video.
In fact, it’s also possible to watch Sky Atlantic abroad with this VPN. You just have to keep in mind that streaming is not one of the core strengths of this service.
Where is it based ?
Bitdefender VPN was founded in Romania in 2001, and it is still headquartered in Bucharest. This means that the provider is beyond the reach of any compulsory data retention laws. Besides, you can rest assured that your personal information won’t be shared with third parties. Well, except there is a valid request from a government agency.
Furthermore, Romania isn’t a member of the 14 Eyes, making it a great location to base a Virtual Private Network. For starters, the 14 Eyes is a group of powerful countries that have agreed to share intelligence.
As for this provider, there is no obligation to divulge any kind of information. Their data protection system is secured tightly. However, know that even the company may one day be forced to hand over some information for an investigation. This kind of thing can happen to any provider no matter where it is based.
Nevertheless, only those providers that keep personal data of users will have something to give in such a situation. You will find out later in this Bitdefender VPN review and test if it keeps users personal data or not.
Although it is one of the biggest companies in the world for online security, its privacy policies and license agreements are unnecessarily complicated and hard to navigate. The website has different privacy policies, terms and conditions, and subscription agreements. It is very easy to a visitor to get confused in the river of useless information.
Sadly, the client support directed us to a FAQ page when we directly asked during our test for this review. On the FAQ page, it’s stated that nobody will have access to your online logs.
That may sound like a good piece of news at first. On second thought, however, it means that they actually keep logs but won’t share them with third-parties, which spells danger.
Note that its also the company that owns Hotspot Shield.
It looks like the data being kept in regards to the service is mostly anonymized and isn’t identifying. However, some information that the website collects is identifying, which includes the home address of the users. If you are in the search for a provider that provides top-notch no-logging policy, you could turn to ExpressVPN.
Unfortunately, Bitdefender VPN is limited when it comes to protocols and encryptions, as we found in our test and review. Simply put, you don’t have plenty options to choose from in terms of protocols and encryption, which can be scary. Having said that, the default protocol and encryption are the best in the market, anyway.
The service utilizes the OpenVPN protocol, which is a powerful and secure open source protocol. This is also the protocol used by a top provider like Shurfshark, but this Bitdefender VPN is nothing compared to Surfshark as you can see in our review. Apart from that, the protocol is extremely reliable and reasonably fast. While there are other good protocols in the market, this one tops all of them.
To bolster the security further, the provider encrypts your data using AES 256-bit encryption, which is military grade. In fact, it is the encryption of choice for anyone that’s looking for a fast and secure connection. It is virtually impossible to crack AES 256-bit encryption, no matter where you got your hacking skills from.
Protection against leaks
While Bitdefender VPN does not allow you to turn on or off DNS leak protection like a lot of VPN providers, it passed our test against leaks. Obviously, the provider has implemented effective systems against any kind of leak. This was one of the few things that impressed us while writing this review.
Torrenting is an activity that cannot go away. Several government authorities and copyright owners have taken many measures against it, but their efforts have been mostly futile.
In that case, it is important for any service that wants to be taken seriously to support torrenting. Does Bitdefender VPN support it? Let’s find out below.
Is torrenting allowed?
As a family-friendly company that manufactures anti-virus solutions primarily, Bitdefender VPN doesn’t support torrenting over their service. While the provider piggybacks on the engine of Hotspot Shield, the two providers have many dissimilarities.
Apparently, their stance on P2P activity is one of those dissimilarities. Its suffice to say, you need to review your options if torrenting is your top priority.
Is there a Kill switch?
Sadly, Bitdefender VPN does not come with a Kill Switch. It’s often said that non-dedicated VPN providers rarely provide a full product, and this may be a proof. Since a Kill Switch is a feature that automatically kills your internet connection when you lose your VPN connection, this means there is nothing to carry out such vital function here.
If you find yourself in this situation, it would expose your data and IP address. It was really disappointing to be missing this feature during our test for this review.
If a VPN doesn’t take users past censorship policies, most people won’t take it seriously. This is even truer for those living in countries like China, Iran, and UAE.
In censored countries
The company says that you can have access to any content without restrictions even if you are in a region that has a stern censorship policy. However, they have chosen to make the service unavailable in some countries.
Because of regional restrictions, this provider has blocked their service in the follow countries:
- United Arab Emirates (UAE)
In restricted networks
While Bitdefender VPN isn’t really capable against solid firewalls like the one used in China, Iran, Russia, and other high-censorship countries, it does unblock restricted networks. In a way to maximize productivity, most schools and organizations often place restrictions on their networks.
In that case, you can turn to a service like this to get you around those restrictions. Your organization or school may decide to judge you, but the VPN provider won’t.
Countries and servers
Any provider that wants to be rated alongside top-tier providers has to offer a high number of servers. Not only that, but the servers also have to be dispersed excellently across the world.
The idea of an all-inclusive security suite surely sounds good. However, you can surely tell that most of the developers focus wasn’t on the VPN part of the product.
With their servers dispersed across 27 countries only, the provider’s server network is very small compared to other providers. European customers enjoy the most focus, with European countries taking 16 of the total servers of the company.
Speaking of the total number of servers the company has, there is no way to tell. We couldn’t find the information on their website or anywhere else we checked in our test for this review. That makes it very difficult to tell how reliable and redundant the servers are. Besides, based on what we saw during our speed test, there are indications that the servers are heavily loaded.
Bitdefender VPN has a handful of server options in Asia and South America… but there’s currently none in Africa. Also, there is no way to connect to a server in a particular city. Bear in mind that this could be a big issue when you’re in larger countries.
Moreover, there is no sign of the number of IP addresses and individual servers the provider provides either, which shows that the number is probably on the low side. Of course, this could cause server congestion at peak times, like weekends and evenings.
Bitdefender VPN doesn’t have specialized servers, which shouldn’t be surprising if you’ve been following this review since the beginning. Obviously, the company doesn’t place much focus on their VPN. Thus, it didn’t even surprise us at all to find out they offer no specialized servers in our test.
The service doesn’t support torrenting, doesn’t work in China, and has poor streaming performance, so now we know why.
Compatible devices and simultaneous connections
What will happen if you end up buying this VPN and it fails to work with your phone? You definitely don’t even want to imagine that scenario. To help you prevent such an unfortunate situation, we have included this part in this review to discuss the types of devices that this service supports.
What device can I use with bitdefender VPN?
In terms of compatible devices, Bitdefender VPN offers compatible clients for a wide range of platforms, which include:
While Bitdefender VPN supports the major platforms, you can’t install it on secondary platforms like a router. This is despite the fact that it uses OpenVPN. The consequence of this is that you’ll need to separately install it on all of your devices. Apart from being stressful, it may not even be suitable for some.
However, once you’re able to install it, every client is easy to navigate and read, thanks to their modern theme. You can also easily install it either separately or added automatically with your package. Thus, if you buy the Total Security suite, you’ll get the free version of the Bitdefender VPN as an add-on.
As an alternative, there is an option to upgrade to the paid version which you can also access through your security package.
How many simultaneous connections?
Depending on your subscription, you can get up to 10 simultaneous connections. Obviously, the Bitdefender Total Security package is the one with the highest number of simultaneous connections, and that’s understandable. It is the most expensive, so we can’t really fault the company here.
With 10 simultaneous connections, you can have your entire family and friends on a single subscription, which is super-impressive.
Choosing a VPN that has poor client support is a decision that is most likely to backfire. What can a provider probably offer if it’s client support is poor? We don’t really know.
Thus, we’d lay bare the client support of Bitdefender VPN in this segment of the review, based on our test.
How to contact it?
For starters, there is a long list of telephone lines via which you can contact them in different countries. While the hours of the lines vary, some of them are always open.
Also, there is a live chat support on the site, and email support. Unfortunately, we tried to contact them through the live chat support, but we got a message that their agents were unavailable. This is against their claim about boasting a 24/7 support.
Is it good?
The provider has a very poor client support, which we quickly found out in our test. Being only one of the company’s many products, we also saw this coming before even writing the review. You can’t just expect them to provide quality client support for all of the products.
In fact, it was difficult to find the “contact us” section on the site, which shouldn’t be so. The less we talk about the quality of support we got while writing this Bitdefender VPN review and test, the better we feel about it.
FAQ / tutorials
Apart from the previous channels we already mentioned, there is also a massive knowledge base and a user forum. However, searching through the knowledgebase is like an extreme sport – very difficult. This is because the company offers many products apart from the VPN. But it will still offer you helpful information if you can look very well.
Value for money
The value a good VPN offers has to be equal or more than the money it costs. Since this VPN comes with another product, don’t be surprised if it’s priced differently from what you’re used to.
As we mentioned previously in this review, you’re required to install a Bitdefender security product to use Bitdefender VPN. Therefore, the VPN’s cost depends on which of their security packages you choose, and also the number of devices you want to protect.
- Yearly: $39.99, or $3.33 a month
- Monthly: $6.99 a month.
The service isn’t expensive, but the fact that you need to buy a security product can be a drawback. This is extremely disappointing considering that there are many better alternatives you can choose from.
For basic customers, you’ll find that there’s a free version, which comes as standard with the main package. However, there are limitations designed to prompt you to upgrade to the premium version, as with most other free services. The limitations include a 200MB daily cap and the inability to choose a variety of servers.
Means of payment
Again, Bitdefender VPN is limited in terms of payment methods. It offers different payment methods, which include:
- Credit Card
- Wire Transfer
There are no alternative payment means, which again shows why we think this service is not a priority of the company.
Besides, Bitdefender VPN is not privacy-friendly when it comes to payment, lacking an option to pay via cryptocurrency. Users who are keen on full anonymity often prefer to pay via Bitcoin to remain under the radar, but there is no such option here.
Money back guarantee
The company provides both a free service and a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee to test the service out. The money-back guarantee is no questions asked. Just contact the company within the first 30 days of your purchase and they will start processing your refund immediately.
The free service usually comes along with any product on MacOS, Windows, Android, or iOS. However, there are some limitations, as we previously mentioned up there in the review and test – there is a 200MB daily data limit and you will be connected automatically to the “optimal” server for your region without giving you an option.
To be honest, we’d be shocked to see anyone that knows anything about VPNs intentionally choose Bitdefender VPN. While it’s already almost a crime for a VPN to have poor streaming performance, then it becomes almost a sin when that’s accompanied by a lack of support for torrenting.
Unfortunately, Bitdefender VPN combines both, topping it with poor client support and terrible server distribution. Of course, it does come with some upsides, some of which include VPN-friendly jurisdiction, good encryption, and the fact that it will keep you anonymous online.
Nonetheless, we don’t recommend this service in 2019, based on its general performance in our test. Even though it is one of the largest providers of antivirus solutions in the world, they aren’t as half as good when it comes to VPNs.
Michael is a talented writer who has dedicated a lot of time into making sure that everyone around the world can use the internet securely. Being an avid traveler, he has acquired a lot of experience while using different VPNs on his travels. When it comes to doing comprehensive “how to tutorials” or testing some VPN functionalities, he’s always the best pick ! He’s here to help you solve your VPN-related issues.