With global connectivity and increased security, the importance of daily Internet access cannot be overstated. There is a growing need to secure one’s internet access, which is why so many people are turning to the best VPNs, which protect your identity from online threats and hide your IP address from intruders and hackers.
It’s here where Bitdefender Premium VPN sits. You may have heard of Bitdefender, one of the world’s largest cybersecurity technology companies, and its VPN offering is a product powered by the impressive standalone VPN service Hotspot Shield.
As such, Bitdefender employs Hotspot Shield’s Catapult Hydra protocol, which is one of the fastest VPN tunneling protocols available on the market. Available through Bitdefender’s official app, it includes core essentials, with P2P support and a VPN kill switch to protect you if the VPN connection drops. There’s also AES 256-bit key encryption to ensure complete online anonymity. Bitdefender VPN boasts 4,000 servers in 49 countries.
- You can try Bitdefender Premium VPN by clicking here (opens in new tab)
Bitdefender Premium VPN: Pricing & plans
Bitdefender Premium price starts at $6.99 per month. To save up to 40%, consider using the discounted annual subscription for the first year for $29.99, which works out at around $2.50 a month. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee if the service doesn’t work out for you. Payments can be made by MasterCard, PayPal, or bank transfer.
Alternatively, you can try the Bitdefender free VPN. However, this is only accessible if you have an active security package with the provider. On the free plan, daily traffic is capped at 200MB, with no ability to select a location, so it won’t be of much use if you’re looking to access geo-restricted content online. Additionally, you can connect up to ten devices, including those running Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.
Bitdefender Premium VPN: Privacy & encryption
Bitdefender Premium VPN does not have complete control over its service logging policies because its software works by connecting to Hotspot Shield servers via the Hotspot Shield network. The company’s basic privacy statement explains what information is collected and how it is used:
“We collect for this service only randomly generated or hashed user and device IDs, IP addresses, and randomly generated tokens to establish a VPN connection for the sole purpose of providing the VPN service. For this service, we use AnchorFree as a data processor who processes data on behalf of Bitdefender in accordance with Bitdefender’s instructions and for the sole purpose of providing VPN services to users.”
With support for the Advanced Encryption Standard, employing a 256-bit version of it, the privacy tool is impenetrable even to the most powerful modern computers and ensures complete online anonymity. The VPN also uses the superfast catapult hydra protocol so when you browse the internet your IP address is rerouted. Also, you won’t find any Domain Name System (DNS), Web Real-time Communication, or other leaks when using Bitdefender Premium VPN.
Bitdefender Premium VPN: Streaming
Bitdefender Premium VPN is sold mostly for the sake of encrypting your data and allowing you to anonymously browse the internet. But the website does claim that you can unlock media, videos, and messages from all over the world – it’s just a shame it doesn’t.
In our tests, we found this is certainly no streaming VPN. In fact, it’s terrible for at it. It doesn’t work with top sites like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime. On the other hand, we were able to access BBC iPlayer when we connected to the UK server. If you’re looking for the best VPNs for Netflix and the like, we recommend ExpressVPN, as connections are great, it features lightning-fast speeds, and it’s simple to use across all apps.
We noticed that popular torrent applications like BitTorrent and Vuze are compatible with all of its servers and the VPN allows P2P transmission, so you may have better luck using it as a VPN for torrenting.
Bitdefender Premium VPN: Speed & experience
In our testing, we discovered that the download speed peaked at 54.65Mbps when Bitfinder’s VPN was turned off.
When we turned it on, we found speeds decreased to 18.68mpbs, well below average. To be honest, since the release of WireGuard, Bitdefender VPN isn’t as fast as providers like NordVPN, CyberGhost, and IPVanish that reach about 880Mbps.
Bitdefender Premium VPN: Customer support
The Bitdefender support staff can be contacted via phone, live chat, email, and phone. It should be noted that this is the general support team for all of Bitdefender’s products and services, not just Premium VPN.
And that’s a concern. Getting support from the support team may be simple, but we’re not sure a company that sells antivirus software with a VPN on the side can provide the kind of support offered by specialist providers.
Bitdefender Premium VPN: Apps
If you’ve ever used Bitdefender antivirus software, you’re probably already aware of Linux’s absence from it. Its VPN is the same – there is no Linux application. But there are programs for Windows and Mac, with mobile VPN apps for Android and iOS.
The Windows interface for Bitdefender Premium VPN is clear and easy to use with useful settings such as the kill switch, which blocks internet traffic if the VPN connection drops. Although the location list lacks favorites or previously used servers for easier reconnection, it allows switching locations without disconnecting the current connection. Desktop notifications also let you know when you’re protected and when you’re not.
The UI is recognizable with its sizable blue Connect button, the name of the location you are currently selecting, and, if you click it, a list of more locations to choose from.There is a search box, but no cities are provided (just countries), and there are no server load figures or ping times to help you in choosing.
The UI of the macOS version remains the same, but features have been drastically reduced, and split tunneling and the most advanced auto-connect options are no longer available. It leaves you with a stripped-down version, but it still has the kill switch and it is still usable.
We were surprised to find a kill switch here – historically iOS apps have lacked the most features due to strict Apple policies that make make adding features a challenge. Bitdefender’s iOS VPN app looks and feels very similar to its desktop counterpart, so it’s just as simple to use, but suffers from the same flaws: a basic location list, no cities, limited server information, and no favorites system to help reduce scrolling.
Although essentially identical to the iOS version, the Android version includes additional features that are unique to it. The mobile app can block local network traffic, by doing this, your phone becomes invisible to other Wi-Fi-connected devices, this might deter some attackers who are waiting in public hotspots.
The fact that mobile apps work well for simple tasks may explain why users give them such high ratings. We believe, however, that they have a long way to go before they can compete with the best in the field.
Bitdefender Premium VPN: Alternatives
Although Bitdefender is an excellent VPN service, it lacks some features provided by the market’s leading VPN providers, such as ExpressVPN, NordVPN, CyberGhost, and Surfshark. They do cost more, but provide plenty of tools, features, thousands of servers, and ultimately more bang for your buck. .
If you want something cheap, fast, and with a familiar name the Bitdefender Premium VPN is for you. But it’s worth noting that the extent of their logging is unclear, no VPN audit reports are published, and streaming isn’t one of their strengths.
While Bitdefender is an excellent antivirus provider, its VPN isn’t the same, falling short of the advanced features and smart design found in the market leaders.