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Bitdefender VPN Review

 Rated 1 out of 5 
1 reviews
Screenshot of Bitdefender's desktop app on Windows

Callum Tennent oversees how we test and review VPN services. He's a member of the IAPP, and his VPN advice has featured in Forbes and the Internet Society.

Fact-checked by Simon MiglianoAdditional Testing by Luke Williams

Our Verdict

5.595.6/10
How is this calculated?

We calculate the VPN service’s Overall Rating by combining the ratings of several testing categories. Each category is weighted as follows:

  • Privacy & Logging Policy: 20%
  • Speed: 20%
  • Security & Technical Features: 15%
  • Streaming: 15%
  • Ease of Use: 10%
  • Torrenting: 5%
  • Server Locations: 5%
  • Bypassing Web Censorship: 5%
  • Customer Support: 5%

Learn more by reading our VPN testing and review methodology.

Bitdefender Premium VPN is not a good service. While it's fast, it temporarily logs your IP address and it leaks DNS credentials. The VPN doesn't unblock US Netflix, and due to its privacy flaws we don't recommend it for torrenting, either.

Ranked #34 out of 65 VPNs

Bitdefender VPN Category Ratings

  • 2.52.5/10
  • 4.54.5/10
  • 6.76.7/10
  • 9.49.4/10
  • 7.37.3/10
  • 3.83.8/10
  • 2.12.1/10
  • 5.95.9/10
  • 6.16.1/10
  • 5.55.5/10

Bitdefender VPN Pros & Cons

  • Very fast speeds
  • Unblocks BBC iPlayer
  • Allows torrenting
  • Simple app design

  • Small server network
  • No city-level server selection
  • DNS leaks across network
  • No Firestick app and no Smart DNS
  • No advanced settings

Why Trust Us?

We’re fully independent and have been reviewing VPNs since 2016. Our ratings are based on our own testing results and are unaffected by financial incentives. Learn who we are and how we test VPNs.

Bitdefender Premium VPN is not a good VPN. While it’s fast and supports P2P traffic, it logs your IP address, and it your leaks DNS credentials.

Overall, Bitdefender VPN is not private, to the extent that it’s one of the worst VPNs we’ve tested.

If you’ve heard of Bitdefender it probably isn’t because of the VPN. The company is in fact most famous for its antivirus software.

In this Bitdefender VPN review, we put its virtual private network software under the microscope to assess whether it’s worth recommending.

Sadly, Bitdefender Premium VPN really disappointed us in our tests. Despite delivering fast connection speeds, the VPN temporarily logs your IP address and leaks DNS credentials.

As you’ll discover diving into our latest review, Bitdefender is not a good VPN and significantly inferior to our highest-rated VPNs.

EXPERT ADVICE: ExpressVPN is the best VPN we’ve reviewed.

It’s fast, private and it unblocks most streaming platforms including Netflix USA. Use its 100% refund guarantee and try ExpressVPN for free.

Bitdefender VPN Key Data

Data CapUnlimited
Download Speed92Mbps
Logging PolicySome User Logs
Data LeaksNo
JurisdictionRomania (EU member)
Servers1,300+
IP Addresses1,300+
Countries with Servers53
US NetflixNo
TorrentingUnlimited
Simultaneous Connections10
Works In ChinaNo
SupportLive Chat, Email & Online Resources
Cheapest Price$4.16/mo over 12 Months
Free Trial7 Days (No Payment Info Required)
Money-Back Guarantee30-day Money-Back Guarantee
Official WebsiteBitdefender.com

Privacy & Logging Policy

Bitdefender VPN temporarily logs your IP address

6.76.7/10
How is this calculated?

We analyze and dissect the VPN service’s logging and privacy policy. A VPN should never log and store:

  • Your real IP address
  • Connection timestamps
  • DNS requests

Headquarters outside of 14 Eyes or EU jurisdictions are also preferable.

Bitdefender VPN is based in an EU member state and outsources its VPN service to Aura, who log far more than is necessary. This is far from ideal from a privacy standpoint.

Ranked #28 out of 65 VPNs for Privacy & Logging Policy

The Bitdefender suite of security software (mainly its antivirus) was developed in Romania in 2001, but its predecessor – a program called Antivirus Expert – was developed under the company name Softwin in 1996.

The company continues to be based in Romania, which isn’t a member of the Five, Nine or 14 Eyes data sharing agreements.

But, Romania is an EU member state, which is subject to data retention laws. Bitdefender’s jurisdiction does make the quality of its logging policy all the more important.

If Bitdefender VPN was no-logs then there wouldn’t any internet data to hand over. Sadly, Bitdefender VPN’s privacy policy confirms the service collects personally-identifiable information.

Logging Policy

Bitdefender’s privacy policy covers all home solution products, and includes just two short paragraphs about the VPN service:
The Bitdefender VPN privacy policy

Aura (formerly Pango, and before that AnchorFree) acts as a data processor for Bitdefender. This means that while Bitdefender collects and has authority over your information, Aura processes some of it on Bitdefender’s behalf.

Aura's privacy policy describing their role as a data processor

Aura has been the subject of some controversy in the past, which you can read about in our Hotspot Shield VPN review. The complaints centered around the company’s use of data from the free version of the Hotspot Shield app.

While these issues have been resolved, we think it’s important that users know about this before they commit to a VPN product managed in some capacity by Aura.

Because Bitdefender has a very vague privacy policy, Aura’s can give some idea of how your data will be handled.

Fortunately, the company does not log any user activity:

Aura's privacy policy stating it does not keep user logs

But this does not make it truly no logs.

Aura keeps much more than we consider necessary to maintain a VPN service. It tracks:

  • Your IP address – although encrypted, and only stored for the duration of your connection
  • Connection timestamps – which are stored for up to three years
  • Bandwidth used in each session – again, stored for up to three years
  • Device information – including unique device identifiers, browser type, operating system and wireless network information
  • Aggregated website logs – at the domain level (i.e. not full URLs) and not associated with the individual
  • Approximate geographic location – derived from IP information (not GPS), and used to find the nearest VPN server

The only thing Aura guarantees is that it does not collect any data which connects you to your VPN browsing activity.

Since Aura is a data processor, not a data controller, it should only be storing information Bitdefender requests. In the absence of a fleshed out logging policy from Bitdefender, though, it is difficult to say for certain what it does or doesn’t log.

Your data should be handled by as few people as possible – having a second company involved is a needless extra step (not to mention confusing).

Speed

Very fast local and global speeds

9.49.4/10
How is this calculated?

We calculate the VPN’s speed rating using our download speeds, upload speeds, and ping (latency) measurements.

We regularly test the VPN’s local and international speeds using a dedicated 100Mbps internet connection in New York, USA.

Bitdefender is extremely fast, recording the third-fastest average international speeds of any VPN. Using it on our 100Mbps connection, we measured speeds of over 96Mbps while connected to the UK, Japan, and Brazil.

Ranked #14 out of 65 VPNs for Speed

Here are the speeds we recorded while using Bitdefender VPN:

As the data shows, Bitdefender is fast in every location. We were particularly impressed with its international speeds of 97Mbps, beating top VPNs like ExpressVPN and NordVPN.

Bitdefender can achieve these speeds because it is one of a few VPNs to run on Hotspot Shield’s proprietary Hydra VPN protocol.

Bitdefender isn’t the only antivirus company to do this. In our McAfee VPN review we explain how its service also uses a Hotspot Shield white-label.

Server Locations

Limited server coverage and no city-level locations

7.37.3/10
How is this calculated?

The key factor for calculating this rating is the global spread and coverage of the VPN’s server network.

We also consider the total number of servers, the number of city-level servers, and the number of IP addresses available.

Bitdefender operates a small network 1,300+ VPN servers in 53 countries. Its servers are located in Europe, North America, Asia, and South America. There are no city level locations, though.

Ranked #31 out of 65 VPNs for Server Locations

Globe with a blue flag
53 Countries
Image of a city landscape
25 Cities
Image of a pink marker
1,300+ IP Addresses

The Bitdefender server list is limited to 53 countries, with 15 of them based in Europe.

Server coverage in North America is good, with servers in Mexico, the US, and Canada. But, there isn’t any city-level choices, which can lead to speed issues and problems bypassing US sports blackouts.

Additionally, there are four server locations in Asia: Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, and Singapore.

Disappointingly, there are only two South American server locations available (Argentina and Brazil), and no VPN servers in Africa, the Caribbean, or the Middle East.

Overall, Bitdefender VPN’s server location coverage is poor. In comparison, our CyberGhost review details how the VPN covers 91 countries, with city-level choice in the US, UK and eight other nations.

Streaming

Streams BBC iPlayer but doesn't work with US Netflix

2.52.5/10
How is this calculated?

This rating is calculated by how many different streaming services and regional content libraries the VPN can unblock, and how consistently it can access them.

We test access to Netflix, Disney+, Max, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and many more platforms on a weekly basis.

Bitdefender is fast enough for HD streaming and works with BBC iPlayer, which is a difficult service to unblock. However, the VPN can't stream Netflix and other premium streaming platforms.

Ranked #40 out of 65 VPNs for Streaming

Bitdefender is quick to claim that its VPN can “unlock media from all over the world.” That’s not true, though. Bitdefender is in fact a poor VPN for streaming.

In our streaming tests, Bitdefender VPN didn’t work with Netflix on any server, including the UK and US servers. It also failed to unblock HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video.

Based on our regular tests, Bitdefender simply cannot compare to the best Netflix VPNs and HBO Max VPNs we’ve found.

Surprisingly, we unblocked BBC iPlayer through the UK server, which a lot of VPNs struggle to unblock.

Like most VPNs, Bitdefender VPN also works to unblock geo-restricted content on YouTube, which is useful if the website is blocked at your school or workplace.

Torrenting

Bitdefender VPN is not safe for torrenting

4.54.5/10
How is this calculated?

This rating is determined by the VPN’s torrenting speeds, the percentage of servers that allow P2P file sharing, the service’s privacy and trustworthiness, and useful settings like port forwarding.

For speed specifically, we calculate the VPN’s average download bitrate using our bespoke torrenting setup.

Bitdefender VPN's torrent speeds are fast, but the VPN leaks DNS information. The VPN service isn't private and because of this we strongly suggest not using it for torrenting.

Ranked #44 out of 65 VPNs for Torrenting

Torrenting is allowed on Bitdefender’s VPN network, and we registered quick file-sharing speeds in our P2P tests.

But, we don’t recommend torrenting using Bitdefender VPN.

During our tests Bitdefender VPN suffered from DNS leaks. While DNS leaks don’t reveal your download activity on its own, DNS information can used to identify you.

Your ISP won’t know what you’re torrenting, but it will know when and where you’re torrenting.

In short, it’s not worth running risks using Bitdefender VPN. Instead, our recent IPVanish P2P tests confirm the VPN service is still one of the safest torrent VPNs to use.

Bypassing Web Censorship

Bitdefender VPN doesn't evade web censorship filters

3.83.8/10
How is this calculated?

We routinely test if the VPN can bypass strict internet restrictions in China using our remote-access server in Shanghai.

Other important factors we consider include obfuscation technologies and the availability of servers in neighboring countries (for faster connections).

Bitdefender VPN doesn’t operate any kind of obfuscation technology, so it won't break through China’s Great Firewall. We've seen no evidence it will work in any other censored country either.

Ranked #42 out of 65 VPNs for Bypassing Web Censorship

Bitdefender VPN won’t bypass internet censors in countries like China, the UAE, and Turkey.

It’s not a surprise, though, considering Bitdefender even states on its website that it restricts use of the VPN in the below countries:

  • Belarus
  • China
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Oman
  • Russia
  • Turkey
  • UAE

We don’t recommend using Bitdefender VPN if you intend to travel to a highly-censored nation, because it just won’t work.

To beat aggressive web censorship, use our best China VPNs, Russia VPNs, Turkey VPNs or UAE VPNs, instead.

Security & Technical Features

DNS leaks and very few extra security settings

2.12.1/10
How is this calculated?

A secure VPN must offer OpenVPN or WireGuard protocols, AES-256 encryption, and a working kill switch.

To calculate this rating, we also factor in additional security settings and features.

While Bitdefender VPN has a kill switch, we've also seen it leaking DNS information. This is not a secure VPN, and should only be used with caution.

Ranked #56 out of 65 VPNs for Security & Technical Features

ProtocolsAvailable in Bitdefender VPN
HydraYes
IKEv2/IPSecNo
OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)No
WireGuardNo
EncryptionAvailable in Bitdefender VPN
AES-128No
AES-192No
AES-256Yes
BlowfishNo
ChaCha20No
SecurityAvailable in Bitdefender VPN
Diskless ServersNo
DNS Leak BlockingNo
First-party DNSNo
IPv6 Leak BlockingYes
Supports TCP Port 443No
VPN Kill SwitchYes
WebRTC Leak BlockingNo
Advanced FeaturesAvailable in Bitdefender VPN
Ad BlockerNo
Dedicated IPNo
Double VPNNo
SOCKSNo
Split TunnelingYes
Static IPNo
Tor over VPN ServerNo
Tracker BlockerNo

In its FAQ section, Bitdefender describes its VPN as a service which “secures your online activity”:

But is this VPN software really secure? Not as far as we’re concerned.

Bitdefender suffers from DNS leaks

When we tested Bitdefender VPN we didn’t find any IPv4 or IPv6 leaks, or any WebRTC leaks. But, we did detect DNS leaks on every single server we connected to.

Here is what our VPN leak test looked like:

Our Bitdefender leak tests revealed DNS leaks

From the screenshot above, you can see we were correctly assigned a Danish IP address, but our UK DNS servers were also visible.

This means that while your ISP won’t see what you’re doing online, it can see and record every website you visit while Bitdefender VPN is active, and potentially prevent you from accessing any censored sites.

DNS leaks also increase your risk of falling victim to man-in-the-middle attacks.

DNS leaks are a fatal flaw for a modern VPN – particularly since the mainstream adoption of HTTPS means that your non-DNS is already end-to-end encrypted between you and the site you are visiting.

AES-256 encryption and a kill switch

On a positive note, the VPN uses AES-256 encryption, and every application comes with the recently-added kill switch.

VPN split tunneling is also available, in case you want certain apps to use your real Internet address.

VPN protocol selection

The VPN protocol behind Bitdefender VPN is Hotspot Shield’s proprietary Catapult Hydra.

The Hydra protocol is very fast, but its make up is less clear than other more mainstream protocols, like OpenVPN and WireGuard.

Sadly, neither WireGuard nor OpenVPN are protocol options within the Bitdefender VPN applications.

Device & OS Compatibility

Basic applications with very few settings

How is this rated?

A high-quality VPN should maintain functional, fully-featured applications and browser extensions for as many platforms and devices as possible.

Our ‘Device & OS Compatibility’ assessment contributes to the Ease of Use rating.

Bitdefender is available on the four most popular platforms: PC, macOS, iOS and Android. Unfortunately it isn’t available on router and doesn’t have any browser extensions.

Apps

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. iOS
  4. Android

Bitdefender has dedicated VPN apps for Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS. They’re all basic and lack many advanced settings.

Bitdefender VPN's home screen on Windows

The Bitdefender VPN home screen on Windows

Beyond these major platforms, the VPN offers very little additional device compatibility, sadly.

There is no Smart DNS and no router support, meaning you can’t use Bitdefender VPN on Apple TV or games consoles. Moreover, there is no Android TV or Fire TV Stick app, either.

To make matters worse, there are no web browser extensions, which are very popular among VPN users.

Ease of Use

Easy enough to use but not a standalone app

5.95.9/10
How is this calculated?

This rating mainly consists of the user-friendliness and intuitiveness of setting up and regularly using the VPN.

We also factor in customization settings, as well as device and OS compatibility (see section above).

Bitdefender's apps are all pretty easy to use, if only because they're so simple. You have to log into a wider suite in order to open the VPN, though, which is confusing and unnecessary.

Ranked #55 out of 65 VPNs for Ease of Use

How to Install & Set Up Bitdefender VPN

Some VPN apps are easy to use because of great design and others are easy to use because they have almost no features, and it would be difficult to make them hard to use.

Bitdefender VPN fits squarely in the second category.

This doesn’t mean the app design is bad – on the contrary it is very easy to use – but its limited functionality won’t be getting too much praise from us.

The mobile apps both have a simple layout. The VPN is easy to find, located within one of five tabs at the bottom of the screen.

Screenshot of the Bitdefender VPN mobile app

There is a central “connect” button, and an easy to find server select button, too.

The servers are arranged alphabetically by country. Since there aren’t too many locations it’s easy to find the location you want.

A screenshot of the Bitdefender Mobile app country select screen

There is also a connection timer, and a meter to track how much data you have left if you’re using the free version of the app.

This is the full extent of the VPN’s functionality. If you want, you can use the anti-virus and security features in the other tabs, but you won’t find any additional VPN settings.

The Mac and PC versions of the VPN require you to have Bitdefender Total Security installed. You can launch the VPN on its own, so unless you plan to use Bitdefender’s other features the Total Security app is little more than bloatware.A screenshot of Bitdefender Total Security

The VPN app itself is even more simple than the mobile version.A screenshot of the Bitdefender VPN PC app

It has an easy to navigate server list, which we like.

A screenshot of the Bitdefender country select on PC

The settings menu is easy to find, but there isn’t much there. The feature to automatically launch the VPN when connecting to unsecure WiFi is nice.

Many of the key features we would expect of a top level VPN just aren’t here, though. We would really like to see a kill switch option, for instance.

Customer Support

Fast and helpful customer support

6.16.1/10
How is this calculated?

This rating is based on our assessment of the VPN’s:

  • Live chat support
  • Email support
  • Online resources

Not every VPN offers all these support options, and they often vary in quality and response times.

Bitdefender offers 24/7 live chat, email support and forums. We've found all three of these to be fast and useful. The service also offers some online support guides.

Ranked #42 out of 65 VPNs for Customer Support

Customer SupportAvailable in Bitdefender VPN
24/7 Email SupportNo
24/7 Live Chat SupportYes
ChatbotNo
EmailYes
Email Support via Online FormNo
Online ResourcesYes
Tutorial VideosNo

When we first reviewed Bitdefender VPN we found its customer support frustrating, but it’s made some definite improvements since then.

Livechat is quick and helpful (although not quite available 24/7 in our experience): perfect for customers all around the globe.

Bitdefender also provides setup guides and troubleshooting instructions for most common problems, which are well set out and should solve most issues you may encounter.

The forums are pretty helpful too, although these are mostly user-operated so aren’t the most reliable source out there.

Price & Value

Bitdefender VPN is not good value for your money

5.55.5/10
How is this calculated?

While we do assign a ‘Price & Value’ rating, it doesn’t contribute to the Overall Rating. We believe the reader should decide what is or isn’t a reasonable price.

A good rating isn’t just based on how cheap the VPN is, but for the overall value it offers.

Bitdefender VPN is expensive for what it offers. The cheapest monthly price you can get it for is $4.16. That's pricier than VPNs that are more private, secure and unblock more streaming services.

Ranked #31 out of 65 VPNs for Price & Value

Like the VPN itself, Bitdefender keeps its payment plans as simple as possible. You have two choices: monthly or yearly.

Paying for a single month of Bitdefender VPN is the more expensive option, coming in at $4.99. However, signing up for a 12-month plan brings the price down to a slightly lower $4.16 per month.

  1. Monthly

    $6.99/mo

    Billed $4.99 every month
  2. 12 Month(s)

    $4.16/mo

    Billed $49.99 every 12 months
    Save 17%

Payment & Refund Options

  1. Mastercard
  2. PayPal
  3. Visa

You can purchase Bitdefender using major credit cards like Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. You can also pay by PayPal or direct bank transfer.

You won’t be able to find more private or anonymous payment methods, though. We’d like to see the option to pay with cryptocurrency or a prepaid credit card, or even cash.

Bitdefender VPN’s money-back guarantee

Bitdefender VPN offers a 30 day money back guarantee, which is the standard across VPN services.

To get a full refund, the process is easy: fill out an email ticket stating you want a refund.

Bitdefender’s free VPN service

There is a free VPN service which comes bundled with any purchase of a Bitdefender product.

Bitdefender’s fee VPN is very limited, though. You have a 200MB daily data cap, and you can’t select server locations.

Moreover, the free VPN won’t unblock any geo-restricted websites and applications.

All in all, Bitdefender VPN’s free service is very disappointing and can’t match the best free VPNs we’ve reviewed.

The Bottom Line

Bitdefender is a mediocre VPN service

Unfortunately, Bitdefender VPN is not a service we recommend our readers use.

It’s not good for streaming or torrenting, it lacks many advanced settings, and it even suffers from DNS leaks.

Furthermore, you can’t even use the VPN on many devices including Firestick, Apple TV, PlayStation or Xbox.

In summary, Bitdefender is a poor VPN and there are better and more affordable VPNs on the market.

EXPERT ADVICE: ExpressVPN is the best VPN there is. It’s perfect for overseas streaming and secure torrenting.

Take advantage of its money-back guarantee and try ExpressVPN for free.

Alternatives to Bitdefender VPN

Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield

7.727.7/10

Hotspot Shield’s proprietary protocol - Catapult Hydra - is what helps Bitdefender run so fast. This VPN includes everything in Bitdefender VPN plus far more server options and features. Most importantly it doesn’t leak. Read Hotspot Shield review

Surfshark VPN logo

Surfshark

9.249.2/10

A great value VPN, Surfshark offers a consistently secure connection which doesn’t leak any identifiable information. It also includes a range of advanced security features, such as a kill-switch to keep you safe if your connection fails. Read Surfshark review


User Reviews for Bitdefender VPN