The Bitdefender suite of antivirus and computer security programs recently received the rating of best product in class for Consumer Reports as well as a number one rating from other software reviewers such as articles in PC Magazine and PC World. Those using the product will enjoy its speed and simplicity. However, there are some errors and problems you’ll likely encounter when using their product and website.
Update: 7 October 2015
We received a nice response from a representative at Bitdefender regarding the concerns we’ve identified below. Hopefully we’ll see some fixes soon. Here’s their response:
7 October 2015
We apologize for any negative experience you have encountered with our products or our support. Your feedback is appreciated, and will be directed to the appropriate team for review, to enable us to improve our support and services.
If you wish to give us another chance, we would be more than happy to assist you and we will strive to provide you with the best support possible. We value all our customers thus you have all our attention if you have any other questions or need additional help.
Thank you for taking the time Greg, and please do not hesitate to contact us if you need further details from us.
Have a nice day!
Bitdefender Support Team
Update: 25 September 2015
We finally received a reply from Bitdefender regarding some of our questions. Apparently the Bitdefender Central and MyBitdefender are two separate portals that do similar things. It’s possible to register with both portals. The other questions on this page remain unanswered. One of our questions was with regard to earning commissions on referrals. We did get an answer to that. So, we’re now an official Bitdefender partner and reseller, which provides some additional motivation to see that the company gets these issues resolved. However, after signing up as an affiliate, the submission confirmation page indicated that we’d receive an email with login information. That never arrived. We’re still waiting for answers to the other questions below.
Your Account Needs to be Activated Error
When you login to the My Bitdefender portal, you’ll likely see a notification stating, “Your account needs to be activated. Click here to receive an email with the activation link.” Most of the time, clicking where indicated doesn’t generate an email. If you ever get an email with an activation link, clicking the activation link never works to activate your account so the notification never goes away. Below is an example of the notification.
License Transfer Issues
Within the 2015 version of Bitdefender, when you click on the ‘days left’ link, you’d have an option to deactivate a license on a computer that you planned to discard, sell, or give away. However, as of the 2016 version, this is no longer an option. So, a crashed computer or system that you otherwise don’t have access to any longer will result in you losing one of the license installs that you paid for.
The screen shots below show how you can unregister with the 2015 version.
Click on the ‘days left’ link in the lower left shown here.
Then click on the Unregister button shown below.
The Unregister option has been removed from Bitdefender Total Security 2016. Whenever companies remove useful features, consumers generally complain and are frustrated.
Problems Installing Legitimate Programs
As of 11 October 2015, when on an Apple computer with Bitdefender 2016, an attempt to install Skype would not work. When copying the Skype program to Applications as instructed by the Skype installation, the progress bar would remain stuck at 0% complete. No indication was provided to suggest that Bitdefender was blocking the copy/install process. However, when Bitdefender Autopilot was turned off, Skype instantly copied to the Applications folder successfully.
Subscription Days Remaining Error
The screenshot below is from a Bitdefender installation on an Apple computer that has 266 days remaining in the subscription. However, in the lower right corner it’s reported that there are zero days left in the subscription. Some people might think they need to purchase a new subscription, so they will click on the Buy button and mistakenly purchase another subscription.
Bitdefender Central, as shown below, confirms that there are 266 days remaining for the above installation. Bitdefender Central maintains a real-time connection with the Bitdefender client software installed on the computer, so if there were any issues, they should showup in the Bitdefender Central display.
Support Request Page Failure
If you attempt to submit a support request ticket on the Bitdefender contact page you’ll likely be frustrated by the fact that their submit button doesn’t work. The Java code fails. This can be a problem for those wanting support. We’ve tested this on Windows and Apple computers running multiple operating system variations and using different browsers. With some browsers the CAPTCHA authentication works, and a photo-based quiz shows up to confirm you’re not a robot, but on others the CAPTCHA doesn’t work. Even when the CAPTCHA works, the Submit button still doesn’t work. This may happen after you’ve submitted one request successfully and a second request isn’t permitted. However, no message indicates why the submit isn’t working.
Affiliate, Reseller, Partner Program
Bitdefender has an affiliate / reseller / partner program. When you’re approved, you have access to a partner portal. However, the software available through the portal is last year’s software, and there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to generate simple advertisements and links (as with other affiliate programs). On October 5, an email sent to email@example.com received an out-of-office auto reply stating, “Thank you for your message, please note that I will be out of office until 12th October. I will have limited access to my emails and they will not be forwarded.” So, apparently the one person in charge of the partner program is on vacation.
Update: It seems that Bitdefender has a partner program for support and separate affiliate programs for those wanting commissions on sales. At least of the affiliate networks is OneNetworkDirect.com where you can signup and then get advertising links to Bitdefender and other programs.
Password Reset Emails Never Received
If you attempt to login to one of the portals such as central.bitdefender.com and click the reset password link, you’ll be told that an email is going to be sent, but it never gets sent. This was documented on 22 September 2015.
Missing Operating Systems
Some of the glaring errors and oversights with the Bitdefender website make one a bit concerned about whether or not they have sufficient staffing. For example, on the contact page, the dropdown lists of operating systems are about a year old with Apple at 10.9 and Windows at version 8.1 the latest operating systems are missing. This is something that most companies would update as soon as they become available. Below is a screenshot of the operating system dropdown menu.
404 Error – Page Not Found
After uninstalling Bitdefender Total Security 2016 in Windows, your browser will launch attempting to take you to a landing page with an uninstall survey for those who’ve uninstalled. However, the landing page isn’t there, so you’ll get an error similar to the one below. Click the image for a larger view.
My Bitdefender or Bitdefender Central Confusion
It’s not clear whether or not a person should be using the My Bitdefender web portal or the Bitdefender Central web portal to manage their account. The Login button on the Bitdefedner.com website currently takes users to Bitdefender Central. However, if you had previously paid for a subscription, it won’t automatically show up there. You’ll be asked to provide a previously purchased license number, but you won’t find any in order confirmation emails or invoices from Bitdefender. The only way to activate the Bitdefender Central portal is to install a copy of Bitdefender on a computer and use your account email and password already on file for the My Bitdefender account.
Bitdefender Central is very simplistic compared to the My Bitdefender dashboard. While the My Bitdefender dashboard gives you the option to remove a licensed computer, the Bitdefender Central portal does not have such a feature. So, old computers you’re disposing of will count against your license and (until they get this fixed) you’ll never get those licenses back. They become non-transferable.
Below are some screen shots for comparison. Click any image for a larger view.