Bitdefender Premium VPN– A VPN protects your privacy by moving your traffic through a remote connection to a remote server, blinding your ISP to your activities and making it difficult to track online. The Bitdefender Premium VPN is a solid product of great value at a non-premium fixed price. There’s not much to separate you from the rising market, however.
How much does a Bitdefender Premium VPN cost?
Bitdefender has long offered VPN as part of its growing family of security products, making it available for private purchases earlier this year. Bitdefender Premium VPN subscriptions start at $ 6.99 per month, which is much less than the $ 9.96 per month rate we have seen on the VPNs we have reviewed. There are still a few cheap VPNs there. The Mozilla VPN comes in for just $ 4.99 a month, and the Mullvad VPN won the Editors’ Choice for € 5 ($ 6.09 at the time of writing). Alternatively, you can purchase a Premium VPN subscription at a discount when you purchase Bitdefender security suites, and the Bitdefender Premium Security package includes Bitdefender Premium VPN and Bitdefender Total Security.
As with most VPNs, Bitdefender Premium will charge you a lower price if you choose a longer subscription. Annual subscriptions cost $ 29.99 for the first year and then $ 49.99 per year after that. We are not fans of this confusing system (Surfshark VPN uses the same thing) but both figures are well below the $ 70.06 per year rate we see on the VPNs we have reviewed. That means we recommend starting with a very short registration option so you can check out the VPN in your home to see if it works for you.
Alternatively, you can choose not to pay for VPN protection and use a free VPN instead. ProtonVPN winning printer selector has the best free layout we have seen, because it does not limit data limit to free subscribers. It also has an inexpensive registration system, which allows you to get a plan that fits your budget. A Bitdefender representative tells us that users who complete a seven-day free trial period can continue to use Bitdefender VPN with free basic subscriptions installed at 200Mb per day. Unfortunately, the Bitdefender Premium VPN site does not offer a direct subscription for basic subscriptions.
You can purchase a Bitdefender Premium VPN subscription with a credit card, PayPal, or cash payment via PayNearMe, wire transfer, or electronic check. The company does not accept digital money. If anonymity is a concern, the winners of Editors’ Choice Mullvad VPN and IVPN accept postal payments.
What do you get for your money?
The Bitdefender Premium VPN subscription allows you to connect up to 10 devices at a time, double the standard limit we see between VPNs. That’s a good value, especially for large families or homes with multiple devices. A few companies are moving away from this limit, though. Avira Phantom VPN, Encrypt.me VPN, Ghostery Midnight, IPVanish VPN, Surfshark VPN, and Windscribe VPN do not limit the number of devices you can use at a time.
The Bitdefender Premium VPN application supports routing, which routes specific routes without a VPN connection. This is useful for low-risk but high-bandwidth operations. Interestingly, you can only select URLs to go outside the VPN tunnel. Most VPN applications allow you to select specific applications, too. The URL option is still very active. If you think other apps might use unfamiliar URLs to send data back, it could cause some problems, though.
Other than that, the Bitdefender Premium VPN has nothing more than basic VPN protection. It does not provide integrated ad blocking, as some VPNs do. It does not support multi-hop connections that move your traffic with two VPN servers in one place, nor does it support push-button access to the free Tor anonymization network. The company has told me that it plans to add these features over time. ProtonVPN and NordVPN only offer multi-hop, channel sharing, and Tor access.
One unique feature Bitdefender includes is the VPN option to connect automatically when you access certain types of content. Default options include finance, file sharing, and adult content, among others. This is useful for anyone who wants to use a VPN only for certain tasks. You can also set up a VPN to automatically connect to specific applications or URLs.
While VPNs are useful tools for improving your privacy, they cannot protect you from all harm. We strongly recommend using independent software, creating unique and complex passwords with the password manager, and enabling the authenticity of two items where available. You can get anonymous Tor benefits for free and without VPN, or VPN access is usually easy to use. As a separate note, we note that Bitdefender promises “Complete online and anonymous protection” on its site. That overrides any VPN, and there isn’t enough information out there other than the security companies adding to it.
Bitdefender’s VPN Agreements
Like other antivirus companies, Bitdefender licensed its VPN product from a different vendor. In this regard, Aura’s Hotspot Shield VPN provides Bitdefender with basic infrastructure and technology. As a result, Bitdefender Premium is automated in implementing the Hydra VPN protocol created by the Hotspot Shield. Although different from the Hotspot Shield, its developers assure us that they did not create their own cryptographic system – a practice that many security professionals love.
Bitdefender told us that it uses OpenVPN, an open source sector open source solution as a retrospective option. Bitdefender product currently does not support WireGuard, the latest VPN protocol that promises better speeds and new technologies all obviously open source projects. WireGuard is so new that not all VPN companies fully embrace it, though that is changing.
Bitdefender servers and server locations
Many countries where your VPN provider has servers, where you have to choose more where you can hack your location or find a nearby server while on the go. The Bitdefender Premium VPN provides servers in 48 countries, just slightly below average. Unfortunately, the list of servers is not available on the company’s website. That means a strong list of locations, including servers in Africa and South America – two continents often overlooked by VPN companies. The Bitdefender Premium VPN provides regional servers with oppressive internet policies, including Russia, Turkey and Vietnam. The company has servers in Hong Kong.
Depending on the size of the network as a whole, Bitdefender has some 1,300 servers worldwide. Keep in mind that having multiple servers doesn’t make a VPN better, but that’s a decent number. CyberGhost leads the package with more than 6,500 servers available.
Because the Bitdefender Premium VPN uses Hotspot Shield servers, Bitdefender does not own or operate any of that infrastructure. A Bitdefender representative told us they had reviewed the performance of the Hotspot Shield and were satisfied with its security. When reviewing the Hotspot Shield VPN, the company’s representative said it did not have all of its servers, which is unusual. The Hotspot Shield, however, shares server infrastructure with five other VPNs owned by the parent company, Aura. The Hotspot Shield, and thus the Bitdefender Premium VPN, not only uses RAM-resistant servers, a practice that other VPN services have adopted, and we like.
None of this is a natural problem, but it is complex. The Mullvad VPN, in contrast, has a tool that lets you see details about all of its server networks, where those devices are located, and whether they are rented or managed.
Some VPN companies use virtual servers and virtual environments. The first is where one hardware server plays host to multiple virtual servers, and the last is a VPN server configured to appear outside of the physical location. Both are useful for VPN companies, but we’d like to see more clearly about how and where users’ traffic flows. Bitdefender claims it has portable servers in many areas, and uses virtual servers to address measurement needs. We would like the company to be clear on how its network operates. Although it does not offer many countries, we like ExpressVPN’s balance of having servers in 94 countries and using very few locations in the process.
Your Privacy With Bitdefender Premium VPN
All your web traffic has been delivered through the company’s VPN infrastructure. That can give an unreliable operator a greater understanding of your health. To measure the reliability of a VPN, we ask each company about its practices and evaluate its privacy policies.
That is to say, the document is refreshingly accurate and reliable. Instead of great promises, it is possible and imagined. The company promises not to sell user data (duplicate to us directly). The company promises to extract as much information as possible, and to make all anonymous data difficult to compare with individuals.
Bitdefender Premium VPN is owned by Bitdefender SRL, which is based in Romania and operates under Romanian law. It is the company behind the choice of winning antivirus software. The company says it will comply with legal requests for legal information, but we would like to see more details in an effort to protect user information from the authorities. Unlike most VPN companies, Bitdefender includes full contact details. While many VPN companies have recently been formed, Bitdefender has been a major player in the industry for years.
Unfortunately, the company does not publish the report publicly and does not have a canary war. No third-party audits have been conducted. Although auditing is an incomplete tool, it is an important indicator of honesty and openness. Given that the product is whitelisted from another vendor, it can be difficult for a company to conduct meaningful audits. The Hotspot Shield has not yet released the results of a third-party audit, nor has it updated its transparency report since 2018.
Hands and Bitdefender Premium VPN for Windows
There are Bitdefender Premium VPN applications for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows. In our experiment, we used an Intel NUC Kit NUC8i7BEH (Bean Canyon) desktop using the latest version of Windows 10. To use the Bitdefender Premium VPN, you will need to create an account with Bitdefender Central, an online company hub. Unlike Mullvad VPN or ExpressVPN, you will use a common user combination and password to access the app. Ironically, the Bitdefender Premium VPN does not allow us to copy and paste our own complex and unique password manager.
The Bitdefender Premium VPN app brings many of the build features we integrate with mobile apps. The entire app sits within a single, vertical window, with a black button rail at the bottom left. Its gray and white interface is very clean, with bright and blue accents. It’s a good idea to start with, but without the panache and TunnelBear VPN friendliness.
We like that the app has a great connection button, which makes it very easy to get online and tell you whether you are connected to a VPN or not. Other nice touches include the optional black mode, and a dashboard section that shows cards with different connection numbers.
That seemingly simple reduces app usage. Without the visual interface of a map, such as the one found on NordVPN or ProtonVPN, you are limited in selecting a VPN server from a searchable list. By default, the app will select the server that it thinks is the best. Server locations are only visible at a country level, so you can’t pick and choose between multiple servers in the same location.
The Autoconnect location of the settings menu allows you to define the conditions in which the VPN should be connected automatically. This is much better set up than most VPN applications, which usually allow automatic communication at the beginning or when connecting to wireless networks. Bitdefender Premium does just that but will also automatically connect when you use certain applications, visit specific URLs, access certain types of content, or use P2P file sharing software. It’s a good idea if you don’t plan to leave your VPN all the time.
Some streaming services block access from VPNs, possibly forcing limited content provisioning deals. While connected to a US-based VPN server, I had no problem streaming from Netflix. Keep in mind that back and forth between Netflix and VPNs changes frequently, so your experience may vary.
Speed and performance
VPNs often slow down uploads and downloads with increasing latency. To determine the impact from the various VPN providers, we use the Ookla Speedtest tool to record the performance of the VPN performance on and off, and then compare the results to determine the percentage change. You can read How We Test VPNs to see the whole process with its glorious, boring details.
In our test, the Bitdefender Premium VPN had mixed results. Its download performance was excellent, reducing Speedtest results by 38.3%, better than the median we have seen in all the products tested this year. Its loading and delay results were less favorable, reducing download speeds of the Speedtest by 82% and increasing the delayed results by 1.623% visually.
The ongoing epidemic of COVID-19 has limited our access to PCMag Labs facilities, requiring a change in our standard VPN testing. This year, we have moved on to a progressive model and will periodically update with new testing details. You can compare Bitdefender’s performance with other VPNs in the chart below.
Simple, inexpensive VPN
The Bitdefender Premium VPN does not have the advanced features or features that the successful Choice Editors have acquired. What it offers is VPN protection in a reliable name at an affordable price, and with enough connections at the same time to cover a large house. It’s a viable option, especially if you’re already a Bitdefender customer.