Free Anti-virus Programs

BitDefender Free Edition 2012

The latest BitDefender Free Edition for 2012 is a free anti-virus program developed by the Bucharest-based company, SOFTWIN and can protect PCs, MACs and UNIX machines. It is currently available for the following operating systems: Windows 95, 98, NT - SP6, Me, 2000, and XP. Using the same ICSA-certified scanning and detection algorithms found in BitDefender’s other commercial products, this freeware can be downloaded from the vendor's website and from various download mirrors.


BitDefender Free Edition 2012 retains the same winning features of its predecessor which includes the major protection modules:

* Virus Scanning and Removal for on-demand scanning using is powerful algorithms for detection and removal of all know viruses in the wild;

* Virus Scan immediate scanning that allows instant scanning of files and folders with a right mouse click:

* Live! Update of new virus signatures;

* Scheduled Scanning for full system drive scans during times when you don’t use the PC;

* Report generation for optional creation of scan results and statistics; and

* Quarantine for isolating suspected and infected files with the option of sending these files for further analysis in BitDefender’s labs.

The Live! Update module ensures that the program is constantly upgraded to stay up-to-date on the constantly evolving threats and virus definitions. This module can also repair your BitDefender Free Edition program by automatically downloading and replacing the damaged program files and components.

Like with most anti-virus programs, BitDefender Free Edition 2012 allows users to set scanning schedules for their system. The Scheduler module can execute scans in different system locations and folder, making it easier for you to keep your computer safe from viruses and malware.

BitDefender Free Edition 2012 also has the Quarantine folder, a security area where infected or suspicious files are moved to prevent potential viruses from spreading into your system. This feature optionally moves suspect files to the "BitDefender Lab" for analysis, healing, or removal.

Installation and Setup

BitDefender Free Edition can be installed via the installation CD or by downloading the program from SOFTWIN's website or from any download mirror. You will be asked to choose among three installation options: Typical, Custom, and Complete.

Just be sure that there are no concurrent antivirus programs still active or any file remnant thereof after deletion as the installation can stall. BitDefender Free Edition 2012 is quite aggressive in detecting other similar programs when installing. But the new version is more efficient as it install sin about 2 minutes, about half the time of its previous version.

Typical installation is recommended for most users, while Custom installation is recommended only for advanced users who know which specific components they want to install. Complete installation entails full product installation with all BitDefender modules. You can also opt to have BitDefender run automatically upon system startup.

User Interface

For the second years, the new software’s user interface gets redesigned sporting a darker theme that looks more Norton-ish while preserving the same modular management console used last year. No more Intermediate and Advanced options which have been quite chaotic and is replaced with a simpler look. A simple ring at the top of the interface show green for a fully protected PC, yellow for needing addition and red of immediate concern.

Apart from the status colors, the interface has links to configuration, events, and autopilot. The events record recent security actions, configuration for setting changes and autopilot for automatic background operations like downloading virus signature updates.

The program's update variables, such as Last Update, Automatic Update, Virus Definitions, and Scan Plug-ins, can be found on the left column, while the right column contains each variable's values.

See Anti-virus Programs