Jurisdiction: Romania | Advanced Privacy Features: Kill Switch, Hydra Catapult protocol | Number of Servers and Countries: 1,300 servers in over 30 countries | Streaming and P2P: Yes, all servers
Bitdefender is a well-known and respected security suite. It’s famous for its antivirus, but they also offer a VPN service. In this Bitdefender VPN review, you will see what features the VPN has and if this VPN is a good fit to help you maintain your online privacy.
Every VPN has its pros and cons. Bitdefender VPN is no different. One of the biggest pros of the VPN is that if you have a Bitdefender Security Suite plan, you may already have access to the service. One of the biggest cons is that you can only access 25 different countries with the VPN.
The Bitdefender Premium VPN review shows it is a good option, especially if you already use the Bitdefender Security Suite or you want a high-speed VPN for streaming geo-restricted content. However, if you want your VPN to offer more privacy, this may not be the VPN for you.
Bitdefender does offer a stand-alone VPN, but because it is so often bundled with their Security Suite, the VPN is missing many of the more popular features offered by other VPNs. These features include dedicated IPs, Double VPN, and ad blockers.
The network offers a decent amount of media libraries to choose from, even if its location list is limited. You can access networks in The US, The UK, Japan, Australia, and South Korea.
Bitdefender is not the best privacy VPN option. Their logging information is unclear, and the company they use for servers and protocols, Hotspot Shield, has had trouble with selling data. Bitdefender does say they will not sell your information, which is helpful.
Overall there are better VPN options out there that offer comparable speeds and better privacy. Unless you are getting this as part of a bundle, you may want to use a different option.
About Bitdefender VPN
Bitdefender VPN comes as a stand-alone VPN option, and it also comes bundled as part of Bitdefender’s Complete Security Plan. The VPN helps you keep your privacy online, access geo-restricted material, and avoid ISP speed throttling.
The VPN uses some of the most advanced protocols so that you get incredible security and encryption while still being able to maintain breakneck speeds. These protocols include Catapult Hydra, which was developed to allow high-end video streaming while using your VPN.
Hotspot Shield’s VPN powers Bitdefender’s VPN. Hotspot Shield found itself in some trouble due to selling data to 3rd-parties. However, there has been no proof that Bitdefender does that. The company uses some of the protocols and servers of Hotspot Shield, but they still have different privacy rules.
With Bitdefender, you can gain access to online content from any country with a server. These include some of the most popular locations, like the US, the UK, Australia, and Japan. You can also use your VPN for downloading peer-to-peer (P2P) data which includes torrents.
About Bitdefender Company
SOFTWIN, the company that developed BitDefender, started in Romania in 1990. In 2001 Bitdefender was formed as a subsidiary. It would become its own independent company in 2007. The company is still headquartered in Romania but has branches all over the world.
Since its founding, Bitdefender has strived to stay on the cutting edge of Cyber Security. It created a protection service for the internet of things, and it also started a VPN to help people keep their privacy and security online.
The company now offers various personal and business security solution options that can help users stay safe online. You can bundle these products or purchase them separately depending on what you need.
The company has been known to work with 3rd-parties to help make the internet a safer place. Though these investigations have not used information gathered from the VPN directly, it may still be troublesome for individuals who use a VPN to maximize their privacy.
Bitdefender is headquartered in Romania. Romania is part of the European Union, raising some red flags with people concerned about their privacy. However, Romania is well known for being one of the most privacy-friendly countries in the EU.
Privacy Laws of Romania
Privacy Laws are exceptionally good in Romania. There are no data retention laws, and there is no law compelling a company to work with 3rd-parties. Romania deemed these laws to be unconstitutional. So far, when tested, these laws have stood up to scrutiny.
That means that, in theory, you can keep your information extremely private with a VPN centered there.
With all privacy laws, users will want to pay attention and watch out for changing laws and conditions. Nothing is set in stone, and regulations can change very rapidly. You will want to know if a significant change makes Bitdefender less private.
When it comes to VPNs, transparency is vital. One of the only ways you can trust a VPN’s claims is to see how they hold up to scrutiny. If a VPN is too private about its protocols, security reports, data retention, and other info, it may cause concern.
Unfortunately, Bitdefender’s VPN seems to be lacking in this area. Finding data on their policies, testings, and even open-source software and protocols is difficult. The company is not the most transparent, which can be a problem for privacy-minded consumers.
When you study Bitdefender’s terms of service, they state they sell no data or logs to third parties. However, these statements indicate that Bitdefender may keep logs. The site does state that the VPN keeps no traffic logs.
Their free service limits users to 200 MB per day per device. If Bitdefender knows how much data you are using, they are tracking that at a minimum.
The ambiguity about their logging policy may not make Bitdefender the best option if privacy is your biggest concern.
There are many reasons a company may choose not to have external audits. They are expensive and time-consuming.
The lack of an External Audit isn’t necessarily an indication that anything is wrong. Still, it does limit how much faith you can put into the company’s claims about privacy and logging.
Open Source Software
Some portions of Bitdefender’s software are open source, and some are not. Catapult Hydra is one of the most high-profile things that are not open source. However, anything that is open source for the entire Bitdefender cybersecurity suite is available on their website.
You can study the code yourself, or you can read reports from others who have studied it. Open-source software is an excellent way to add transparency to the VPN.
Information About the Company
Information about the company is very transparent. You can contact the company by email, chat, phone call, and mailing address. They are a well-respected company, and they offer their information freely to anyone who requests it.
Their terms of service aren’t always the clearest, but they are easily available to anyone who wants to see them. The company does a good job of answering questions promptly, and they have annual reports about what Bitdefender is doing.
In Bitdefender VPN reviews, you have to look at the many helpful and useful features the VPN offers. These features allow the VPN to keep your online information private and secure while still allowing you to use every aspect of the web that you want. Here are some of the essential features that Bitdefender offers.
Cutting Edge Protocols
To help you use your VPN for everything, you want to do Bitdefender users multiple protocols. OpenVPN and Catapult Hydra are their two main protocols. Catapult Hydra is a unique protocol that allows Bitdefender to achieve some of the fastest speeds available.
The lightning-fast speed can be beneficial when you are trying to watch videos or download data.
Military Grade Encryption
All data going to or coming from your computer is encrypted. The VPN decrypts it for you so you can read it. Bitdefender users AES-256 encryption.
It is one of the safest and most private ways to encrypt your data so that you keep all your information confidential and out of 3rd-party hands. AES is used by some of the most prominent, most powerful institutions in the world, so you know it’s safe.
Dynamic IP Addresses
Dynamic IP addresses allow users to get different IP addresses when they are needed. The changing IP can be very useful for the VPN to avoid getting blocked by various streaming services and companies.
The fact that your IP address can change also makes it harder for you to be tracked online. Dynamic IP can help make you more secure and more private during your online session. Even if someone sees your IP address once, it will change the next time you log on.
If you get Bitdefender VPN and Security Suite, you can use a stealth mode feature. When you’re set to stealth mode, you become undetectable by other devices and computers. You can change the settings in this mode to make your device work with specific computers.
Stealth Mode isn’t offered with the VPN alone, but it is a common feature with the bundle packages for Bitdefender.
Bitdefender has added a kill switch to its VPN. This switch turns off your internet connection if your VPN goes down. Kill switches are essential if you plan on torrenting, especially if you keep your computer running while you’re gone.
If you are torrenting or somehow connected to other users, even a few moments off your VPN can give out a ton of information that you would rather keep private. Your kill switch stops all that information transfer.
If you decide you want to get back on the web without your VPN, you can override the kill switch. You make the decision, which allows you to stop any activity or sharing that you may not be comfortable continuing without the VPN. The kill switch gives you all the control.
When you get the Bitdefender VPN with the Bitdefender Security Suite, you also gain access to an ad blocker. The ad blocker can help you when you are accessing certain sites. It will also stop cyber attacks that can be caused by clicking on the wrong pop-up ad.
This feature isn’t on the stand-alone VPN, but it is offered in many of the bundles.
Absent Popular Features
Bitdefender is missing a few very popular features that other VPNs offer. These features are not essential for a VPN, but they are very useful. Some can be essential for specific tasks, like journalism and research. Here are some of the features that Bitdefender doesn’t have.
Some VPNs will work with TOR (The Onion Router) and still keep you protected by your VPN. TOR opens up more of the internet and allows you to access more information all over the web. Being able to gain all that extra access but still use your VPN can be very useful.
You can not use a double VPN with Bitdefender. Using multiple VPNs is an essential feature if you are sending or receiving sensitive data. It can slow your connection down, but it also adds extra layers of security.
In an attempt to limit how much information remains available to 3rd-parties, some VPNs have instituted RAM-only Servers. No data is ever stored or used deeper than RAM. By not storing this data, the VPN and 3rd-parties can not retrieve any information on these networks.
Streaming Specific Servers
Sometimes streaming providers, like Netflix can get more aggressive about blocking VPNs. A dedicated Netflix server is set up to fight against those problems quickly. They are also optimized for streaming Video.
It is not an essential feature, but if streaming your favorite network is the top reason you are getting a VPN, you may want one that focuses on accessing that channel.
P2P Specific Servers
Some of the larger VPN companies offer specific P2P servers. These are configured to work faster when trying to torrent or download other data. It also keeps other servers free from P2P bandwidth issues.
Not having these servers isn’t a huge problem, but it can mean that at times torrents may slow down a server that you are trying to use for other functions.
Bitdefender does not offer a dedicated IP address even for extra money. The lack of a static IP means that you may at times get caught in the Bad Neighbor effect, where specific services, especially financial institutions, block shared IP addresses.
The lack of a dedicated IP can make it challenging to log into banks and other accounts.
You can use Bitdefender VPN on ten different devices at one time. You gain these connections at every tier of the VPN, including the free version. Ten is a pretty decent amount of connections at once. Some VPNs offer unlimited connections, but many offer a lot fewer devices.
Unfortunately, you can’t manually install Bitdefender VPN on your router. All devices connected to that router will gain the VPN, but the router only counts as one device being used. Not being able to use the VPN on your router directly does make the ten connections more restrictive.
Ten connections at once should still be enough for most households, but you may want to do a quick count of devices your family uses in an average evening to make sure it will work for you.
Bitdefender can work with a lot of different types of devices. The VPN has native apps for the most popular operating systems.
Bitdefender VPN has native apps for Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS. You can download these apps from your devices’ app stores. Once they are downloaded and installed, all you have to do is log in, turn on the VPN and enjoy your online experience with added safety.
Currently, there are no browser extensions for the Bitdefender VPN. However, the cybersecurity suite does offer extensions for other services. You may want to watch for the announcement of VPN browser extensions.
Even though Bitdefender uses some protocols that could work with manual systems, you can not use the VPN with any. The lack of manual settings is a huge disadvantage for anyone who wants to add the VPN to their router.
It also means that you can’t use the VPN on certain smart TVs, Fire Sticks or other smart devices.
Bitdefender Premium VPN offers users more than 1,300 servers in over 30 different countries. Their server network covers many of the most popular VPN locations, including The US, The UK, Australia, Japan, and South Korea.
The network is decent, but it is far from the most extensive network out there. You should find access to the locations that show some of the most popular geo-restricted material, which can help.
If you are looking for a particular country or location, you will want to check with Bitdefender and make sure you can connect there.
Bitdefender is optimized to let you stream all the shows and networks you want. The super-high-speed Catapult Hydra protocol allows you to watch shows in their highest quality without buffering.
You gain access to many different Netflix libraries with Bitdefender’s VPN, and you can also use it for Hulu, Disney Plus, BBC Iplayer, and many more.
Some VPN companies offer specific servers that are dedicated to streaming specific networks. Most often for Netflix. Even though Bitdefender doesn’t provide this option, they try to stay ahead of the dreaded Netflix blocks.
If accessing geo-restricted content is your top priority with a VPN, then Bitdefender can be beneficial.
Bitdefender allows you to torrent and use P2P on all servers on their network. With the Catapult Hydra protocol, you can download at incredible speeds.
The VPN also hides your IP address. Not sharing your IP with people who are seeding and leeching the same files is very important. It allows you to keep much of your privacy online, which can be very useful when you are torrenting.
If you lose connection to the VPN for any reason, Bitdefender’s built-in kill switch will turn off your internet. The kill switch can be crucial, especially if you leave your device while torrenting. At no time will your information be open to the people downloading the same item.
If you don’t like Bitdefender or have a different set of priorities for your VPN, what service might help you more? There are many alternatives out there for VPN service if Bitdefender doesn’t sound right for you. Here are two other VPN choices that may suit your needs better.
Namecheap VPN is one of the least expensive VPN options that still offers a lot of features. You gain access to over 50 different countries with Namecheap, so you will be able to access more libraries for your streaming media.
Namecheap VPN works on all the platforms that Bitdefender has but adds Linux and routers. These extra devices can allow more people to use the VPN with all their devices. You also gain unlimited simultaneous connections to this service.
If you’re looking for a less expensive option that offers many of the same features as Bitdefender, Namecheap VPN may be the right choice for you.
Surfshark is one of the biggest names in VPNs. They offer great prices and a ton of high-end features that can help almost everyone looking for a VPN. You can use over 3,000 servers in 65 different countries to access geo-restricted material.
You don’t have to be part of a security suite to gain access to all of Surfshark’s features. They come with the main VPN. These features include an ad blocker and a Whitelister that makes it easier for you to access some sites. You can use unlimited devices simultaneously with one account.
It will work on every platform Bitdefender does, and it adds Fire TV, Routers, Linux. It also has extensions for Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
If you are looking for a VPN that offers more features to keep you safe on the internet all by itself, Surfshark may be a better choice for you.
There are a few different ways to purchase and use Bitdefender VPN. The first way is to buy the VPN by itself. If you choose to do this, you can pick between two plans. If you get it alone, you can pay for the year or the month. The year gets you a 40% discount.
You can also access the VPN through one of the bundle features with Bitdefender’s Cyber Security suites. These options will each have their own offers, so you will want to read each one to know what VPN features you may be getting.
Bitdefender has a free VPN option, but it is extraordinarily limited. It will work on ten devices simultaneously. You only get 200 MBs a day. To put that into perspective, that is less than one hour of SD video streaming in a day (250 MBs).
With the free plan, you also can’t choose your network. The automatic network can limit what you can access with the data you do have.
Seven Day Free Trial
If you want to try the service before you buy it, you can get a Seven-day free trial. The free trial doesn’t require payment information. Create a login account and download the app for your device. Use it for seven days, and at the end, choose to continue or delete the app.
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
If you decide to get the service, you get a 30-day money-back guarantee. For this service, you will have to enter your payment info, and you will make your first payment. If during the 30 days you are not happy with the service you can cancel it and get all your money back.
Between the free trial and the guarantee, effectively, you can get 37 days of use from the service to decide if it will work for your needs. That is a lot of time to figure out if you like the VPN.
The Bitdefender VPN review shows that the VPN is a very useful option when it comes to speed. The Capital Hydra protocols help make it one of the faster VPNs available. It also comes bundled with a lot of Security Suits that Bitdefender offers.
If you want high speeds or get the VPN with other security features you purchased, using Bitdefender makes a lot of sense.
When you look at features, privacy, and network size, you start to see that there may be better options available for VPNs. It is not a bad option; there are just a lot of other VPNs that can offer you more benefits.
Here are some quick answers about Bitdefender VPN. Everything is covered in greater depth above.