My Experience with BitDefender Free Edition

First, let me explain what BitDefender Free Edition does. Simply put, it’s a free anti-virus solution that I’ve heard great things about. I know of a couple of computer geek friends of mine that swear by it. It’s a straight-forward, easy to navigate program that detects and removes viruses and other malware.

I decided to install BitDefender Free Edition on my laptop, which is running Windows 7 RC1. The version of Windows is irrelevant, since it runs fine on it. My issue is with the program itself and the unforgivable headaches involved in downloading and installing it.

Downloading BitDefender Free Edition

When you first go to the BitDefender website. Go to Downloads –> Home/Home Office –> and click the small ‘Free Edition’ link.

Click the big ‘Download’ button, and on the next page, enter the email address you want the link to the program sent to.

Sounds easy so far, doesn’t it? The headaches are next. They make it very easy to find it on their website, but not easy at all to download or install.

In your e-mail account, you’ll find the link to download BitDefender Free Edition. What you’ll find out is that it’s simply a mini-version of the program that will proceed to attempt to download the full program once you try and install it. However, when it tried to download the full program, it couldn’t.

I found myself having to do a Google search for ‘BitDefender Free Edition’, and downloading the full program from Softpedia.com.

Installing BitDefender Free Edition

After downloading it from Softpedia, it installed just fine, no hiccups or anything. However, the program proceeds to force the user to register an account with BitDefender, at which point they will send an activation e-mail to the e-mail account you registered with.

Ok, at this point the program is installed, registered, and activated. Finally. The next annoyance is that from now on, whenever I reboot the computer, I get nagged with a screen compelling me to buy the paid version of the software.

I guarantee that an average user will not go through all of these steps to use the product, free or not. It’s too much hassle and too time consuming. I doubt even a power user would go through all of this. The only reason I did was because I wanted the experience.

Get your act together, BitDefender. If you’re going to offer a product, free or not, at least make it so your users actually want to use it. Make the process simple.

I will say it’s a fantastic product, and I mean that, but it’s not worth all that trouble.

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