Help me choose between F-Secure and Bitdefender


Hi all. Newly registered and first post.


I tried Bitdefender 2014 and will now evaluate F-Secure. I've read many posts in this forum and reviewed the lastest AV comparisons and tests. From a technical perspective I consider the two packages to be neck-and-neck but I still need to drill down on some specifics. For me, Windows 7 x64 platform. I'm currently using Norton Security Suite provided by my ISP.


I'm here in an F-Secure forum to solicit objective and subjective opinions on why to select F-Secure. I don't want a flame war or mindless arguing. If that happens, I apologize for the thread and ask that the mods delete it. I'm about 51% sure this is a good idea.


Here's two of my observations:

  • F-Secure is considerably more expensive (twice the price)
  • F-Secure appears to have better tech support available to the public (I'm not a customer) and I assume that translates into better tech support after purchase (disclaimer - I purchased Bitdefender and opened a few support incidents - not a rewarding experience and unable to get past 1st level support)
  • Are there technical advantages not obvious by the close scores in independent testing?

Any thoughtful responses are appreciated.


  • Blackcat
    Blackcat Posts: 503 Influencer

    Hi PNutts,


    I ran Bitdefender IS 2013 on one of my laptops for a year prior to switching to F-Secure IS so I have also included some subjective observations of the two.


    Advantages of Bitdefender IS over F-Secure


    1. Price. Bitdefender can be obtained for relative peanuts on some sites; difference even more marked if you have several PCs to protect. 


    2. Better protection for Banking/Identity Theft. Bitdefender has SafePay which as you know is their secure browser and creates a VPN so is suitable for 'open' Wi-Fi connections. The new Wallet helps in online ID  protection. BankGuard, in contrast, is not a secure browser, and it places all network connections, apart from your Bank, on hold and stops any other new connections. hence protects against banking trojans. Recent tests suggest that BD will give better protection during online Banking; and I prefer the secure browser choice.


    3. Two-way firewall. Not sure how important you view this. A number of users here do not like the reliance on the Windows firewall; myself, I do not care as I am behind a NAT router.



    Advantages of F-Secure IS over Bitdefender; 


    1. Better overall support. On Forum/by chat/by email. They do check that your problem has been solved.


    2. Compatible with more security software. BitDefender on my machines seemed to be very sensitive to any other security software, particularly if running in real-time. F-Secure, in contrast seems to be more compatible and therefore you have more chance of running a layered defence.


    3. Slightly better performance in real-time. I found FS to be slightly lighter in real-time performance but BD is also very light and I believe that with the new Photon technology in the 2014 version it will run even lighter. Obviously this factor will also depend upon your software/hardware mix so results may vary a lot. Some indication of performance hits are here;;


    4. F-Secure more stable. You generally find that the early builds of a new release version of BitDefender can be quite buggy. In contrast even the beta/Technical Review versions of F-Secure are very stable and the full version is overall IME, rock stable.


    But overall, the final decision will come down to your own personal subjective observations, particularly how well it runs on your machine(s). Overall, both FS and BD will give great protection so either one will be a good choice. I made mine Smiley Wink

  • PNutts
    PNutts Posts: 3

    Thank you for the complete response. I don't yet have a feel for this forum and I didn't want the experience to be like asking about android in an iPhone forum :)


    Price. Yes. I don't want to base a security decision on price, but BDIS 3 PCs for 2 years US$35 is hard to ignore when the packages are both well regarded.


    Compatibility: I was running MalwareBytes Pro with BDIS and experiencing no issues. BD could not tell me why their product is "incompatible" with MWBP (other than "some beta testers reported slowness") when MWBP certified that they are compatible with BD.


    Yes, the secure browser is the way to go. I'm also not running a third party firewall and use OpenDNS.


    As you probably know BD is moving away from a rescue CD and instead boots directly into a liunx based rescue environment. Unfortunately the CD does not work on all PCs and their rescue environment did not support UEFI (and possibly GPT disks). That was supposed to have been resolved two days ago but I spent more time working on it than their developers did up until a few weeks ago. It's frustrating to feed technical support data and supporting documentation (while trying to convince Tier 1 that you have enough space on your hard drive) and get radio silence until you convince them it doesn't work. I'm not smarter than they are, I just seemed to care more about getting BD fully functional on my system.


    If the kids and server patching don't ruin my evening I'll probably install the trial version of FS IS tonight and kick the tires and read the documentation in detail. I want to know more about update frequency and FS IS Cloud based protection. I'd love to have a multi-engine AV.

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Former F-Secure Employee

    Hi PNutts,


    Thank you for your post and welcome to F-Secure Community.


    You can sign up F-Secure SAFE 30-days trial here.




    Best Regards,

  • Blackcat
    Blackcat Posts: 503 Influencer

    "I want to know more about update frequency "


    Take a look here;



  • Simon
    Simon Posts: 2,667 Superuser

    I have also run BDIS 2014 and FSIS (2014 Beta/TP), and from a 'non-techie' perspective, I found little to choose between the two, but I feel more 'at home' somehow with FSIS.  There were also one or two 'niggles' with BD, that may have been isolated to my machine, with a 6 year old Windows XP installation, but they didn't manifest with FSIS: 


    One was that BD seemed to cause a 'double cold boot' when starting my machine.  That is, when I started my machine, on probably two out of three occasions, it would get half way through the booting process, then reboot itself and start all over again.  I can only assume this was BD applying program updates, as I had set it to postpone reboots while the machine was in use, but even so, it was slightly disconcerting.  


    Secondly, I found that the alerts system with BD is something of an 'all or nothing' approach.  You can set it to Auto Pilot mode and receive virtually no notifications at all (of allowed / blocked programs, viruses found, etc), or you can turn off Auto Pilot, and receive some notifications, but these pop up from the system tray, and disappear in about 5 seconds, so if you're not sitting at your machine at the time, these can easily be missed.  It also simply tells the user what it has done, with no options or user interaction available.  I prefer to be asked which action to take, rather than simply be told that action has been taken.  You can have a 'widget' sitting on your desktop which will notify you of 'events', but personally, I found it was more clutter than use.  Obviously, this is subjective, and you may well be happy for the product to simply do it's thing, with little or no interaction from the user.  That would certainly suit some users.


    It also has to be mentioned, not that it happened to me, but on their forums, there are lots of complaints of promotional popups appearing on users machines, which can only be switched off by raising a support ticket, and waiting for it to be responded to.  To me, promotional advertising amounts to spam, and spam from a security product is unwelcome, to say the least, further to which, giving no easy option to opt out of receiving promotional material, is unacceptable.


    I don't want this to appear as a BD bashing post, as it is a good product, and, to be fair, I haven't used it on my machine since I upgraded to Windows 7, so I would still recommend a trial.  This is just a personal account of some of the reasons why I prefer FSIS, but I wouldn't hesitate to try BD again in the future.


    Oh, and just in reference to your point about not having a feel for the forums here, I don't think you will be pulled up for discussing another product (with the possible exception of blatant advertising).  On the other hand, I posted in a similar topic to this on the BD forums, asking for comparisons between BD and Kaspersky, and was swiftly taken to task with a post stating "comparisons not allowed".  dunno.gif


  • Rusli
    Rusli Posts: 1,019 Influencer



    You are right, F-Secue and Bitdefender detections are neck to neck. Sometimes F-Secure edge a little further than Bitdefender.


    What I come to find out about Bitdefender is that as what people use to say that it can detect most malware.


    I think F-Secure, Emsisoft is using Bitdefender detection signatures. I know Emsisoft is using their detection signatures.


    Last time I did try bitdefender rescue disk. It was horrible. I forward the matter to them and the support wise is very slow and does not seems to solve problem with their rescue disk.


    As for F-Secure, sometimes I come across that their heuristic tends to be buggy at times. The Heuristic sometimes cannot detect viruses that is found in my computer. Which I come to find out from Malwarebytes. Or Avira does.


    I still think that F-Secure need to fine tune their heuristic detections. While I beta testing their F-Secure for Mac Antivirus.

    I always found that their heuristic tends to be buggy in detecting viruses. I did however do a feedback on these issues to F-Secure.


    Sometimes F-Secure have difficulty in detecting suspicious PUA (potential unwanted application or programs).


    I usually use other AV or tools to detect viruses.


    If you wanted to use the free version. My option are Free version of AVIRA, Malwarebytes and SuperspyAntispyware.


    Well on the other hand you can use Bitdefender Antivirus for free.


    Which you can download here:-


    What I dislike about F-Secure is relying on default Windows or Mac integration firewall without using their own firewall.


    I found that having to rely on Windows or Mac Integration firewall seems to be lacking.


    Sometimes I bound to get people recommendation with other AV, some say Kaspersky, and some say GData, Sometimes they say Trustport.



    other links.











    But with all these comparison, I usually refer to,





    Anyway, everyone have their own preferences to choose which antivirus is better.


    So, if you want to find the pro and cons. Usually I would refer back to VirusBulletin, Av-Compartives,AVTEST,WestcoastLabs.


    Sometimes you have to see reviews with PCMAG,etc.



  • PNutts
    PNutts Posts: 3

    Thanks everyone. These are the types of responses I'm looking for. Things that may not jump out in the first 10 minutes of use while it's still shiny.

  • siramic
    siramic Posts: 131 Adventurer

    Also, most of F-Secure's information and settings are still "on-board" (i.e.Parental Controls/Subscription Keys and Versions etc.) and not on a MyBitdefender web page. Hopefully, F-Secure keeps it that way.

  • Simon
    Simon Posts: 2,667 Superuser

    @siramic wrote:

    Also, most of F-Secure's information and settings are still "on-board" (i.e.Parental Controls/Subscription Keys and Versions etc.) and not on a MyBitdefender web page. Hopefully, F-Secure keeps it that way.


    I agree with that. Also, I wasn't all that confident and trusting of BD's 'SafePay' banking protection browser.  I asked for some assurances that it was more secure than my usual browser, and found this thread on their forums quite informative:



    I still wasn't all that happy about putting my bank login details into an unknown browser, despite the assurances, so elected not to use it, but i'm sure it's fine, and it was just me being paranoid.  Smiley Wink

  • Janiashvili
    Janiashvili Posts: 454 Adventurer

    About banking - FS has nice Banking Protection applet

    " Things that may not jump out in the first 10 minutes of use while it's still shiny"
    I'm almost certainly sure things that won't jump out in first 10 hours won't jump out at all.

  • Enfcmedic384
    Enfcmedic384 Posts: 181 Enthusiast
    I have licenses for both and in all honesty if you ever need something called support you can forget that with Bitdefender. That is the major difference!
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