Installation and slowness issues with Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2018 and 2019
Over the last two days, I probably spent at least ten hours trying to get a reasonably workable version of Bitdefender Antivirus up and running. I wouldn't say I was entirely successful -- web browsing is still on the slow side -- but I can tolerate it, for now. I thought I would pass on what I did for whatever it might be worth.
I purchased Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2018 (3 PCs / 2 years) at my local computer store in August (so a DVD, not a download). Planned to install it at the beginning of October when my Kaspersky subscription expired. Popped the DVD in the computer, was alerted there was a new version (2019), so thought I would just install that. It was a disaster. After numerous issues with an inaccessible "RarSFX0" folder, it finally installed. Frankly, I don't know why it finally did.
2019 ran extremely slow. Just loading Firefox and Vivaldi took an extra 15 seconds to get to a blank startup screen. Opening each additional tab took an extra 5-8 seconds. And that was with all of the web protection options turned off.
Other forum posts suggested that 2018 was not as problematic. So I tried just installing 2018 from the disc. I kept consistently getting the error message that Bitdefender Services were not available with a grayed-out icon. The suggestion to restart my computer did nothing to solve the problem. Uninstalling and reinstalling multiple times did nothing.
Then I noticed that there were three separate entries in my programs list: (1) Bitdefender Agent, (2) Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, and (3) Bitdefender Device Manager. I figured what the heck and deleted Device Manager. Restarted the computer and Bitdefender 2018 worked. No obvious delay in loading Firefox or Vivaldi or in loading new tabs.
I didn't limit updates to signature files, so I ended up updating to 2019 (build 126.96.36.199). I wouldn't have done so if it was clearer that it was the 2019 version. Anyway, things are working, not as fast as the 2018 install, but noticeably better than installing 2019 from scratch.
Some closing comments for any people at Bitdefender who might be reading this:
(a) It's consumer software. If you can't design and market something that works right out of the box, you're in the wrong business.
(b) You aren't the only game in town. There are other competitively priced anti-virus choices out there.
(c) Most successful business models rely on repeat customers. I was with Kaspersky for more than ten years; I'm changing due to Russian hacking not problems with its program per se. It is highly unlikely that I will renew with Bitdefender; I may not remain until my subscription ends.
(d) I will not hesitate to share with others the poor experience I have had with Bitdefender.