Bitdefender Premium VPN Review: Quick Expert Summary
Bitdefender Premium VPN has really good security features, lightning-fast speeds for browsing and torrenting, and easy-to-use apps for all of the major platforms.
It’s powered by Hotspot Shield, which is a very good standalone VPN, and it uses Hotspot Shield’s Catapult Hydra protocol, which is one of the fastest protocols out there (in my speed tests, my speeds only decreased by an average of 18%, which is in the same neighborhood as many of the top VPNs in 2022.
Bitdefender Premium VPN protects user data with industry-standard VPN security features like 256-bit AES encryption, a no-logs policy, and a kill switch. It also includes extras like split-tunneling and perfect forward secrecy.
However, Bitdefender Premium VPN has some flaws — it doesn’t work with top streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and Hulu (but it does work with BBC iPlayer), it lacks advanced features like RAM-only servers, it has WebRTC and IPv6 leak protections on Windows only, and there are no troubleshooting guides.
Bitdefender Premium VPN allows up to 10 connections with a single account, offers competitive payment plans, and covers each purchase with a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can get Bitdefender Premium VPN as a standalone purchase or as part of Bitdefender’s top-tier Premium Security plan, which also includes advanced antivirus protection, web protection, and parental controls.
Overall, Bitdefender Premium VPN is not as good as top standalone VPNs like ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access, but it’s still a very fast and secure VPN for surfing the web and sharing files. And it’s a particularly good value if you get it with Bitdefender’s premium internet security suite.
|Overall Rank||#15 out of 64 VPNs|
|🌍 Number of Servers||1,300+|
|📱 Number of Devices||10|
|🎁 Free Plan||No|
|💸 Starting Price||$2.50 / month|
|💰 Money-Back Guarantee||30 Days|
Bitdefender Premium VPN Full Review
I spent the last couple of weeks researching and testing Bitdefender Premium VPN and I can say that it’s a decent VPN for general online activities like web browsing and torrenting.
Bitdefender Premium VPN has good security, very fast speeds, and easy-to-use apps for all of the major platforms. It’s simple to install and comes with a user-friendly interface that makes it quick to connect to a server and simple to navigate and find all of its features.
However, Bitdefender doesn’t work with many of the top streaming apps and lacks some features that I expect from a top-tier VPN. That said, it’s a pretty good value, especially if you get it as part of Bitdefender’s Premium Security bundle, which also includes top-quality antivirus protection and is ranked as one of the best internet security packages on the market.
Bitdefender Premium VPN Features
Bitdefender Premium VPN has the following industry-standard VPN security features:
- 256-bit AES encryption. Bitdefender Premium VPN uses bank-grade encryption to make your internet traffic unreadable.
- Kill switch. This feature automatically shuts down your internet access if you’re disconnected from the VPN server to protect your data from leaking onto the internet.
- No-logs policy. Bitdefender Premium VPN doesn’t store any logs of the websites you visit or the files you download.
Bitdefender Premium VPN also comes with DNS leak protection on all platforms, but WebRTC and IPv6 leak protection are only available on Windows. That said, I ran multiple leak tests, and I didn’t have any leaks. Still, I prefer VPNs with full leak protection on all devices like ExpressVPN and ProtonVPN.
Bitdefender Premium VPN only uses the Hydra protocol, but Hydra is one of the fastest and most secure protocols out there. Hydra includes obfuscation tools that help you hide your VPN traffic from your internet service provider (ISP), and you also get perfect forward secrecy, which changes your encryption key after each VPN session to prevent hackers from compromising past or future keys.
Bitdefender Premium VPN also includes extra features like:
- Split tunneling. This feature allows you to exclude websites from the VPN. In my tests, Bitdefender’s split tunneling feature worked perfectly and was easy to use. I excluded Netflix from the VPN (since the streaming site doesn’t work with Bitdefender Premium VPN) and downloaded a file while connected to the VPN. While I like Bitdefender Premium VPN’s split-tunneling tool, I prefer Private Internet Access, which lets you select both apps and website IP addresses to bypass the VPN tunnel.
- Public Wi-Fi Protection. This feature automatically connects your device to the VPN if it detects an unsecured Wi-Fi network, like at a cafe or bookstore. Also, you can set Bitdefender’s auto-on feature to connect to the VPN the moment you start your device, so you never go online unprotected.
Overall, Bitdefender Premium VPN lacks some advanced security features like RAM-only servers and extra features like an ad blocker, but it includes essential VPN security features, has good leak protection, and comes with extras like split-tunneling and Wi-Fi protection tools.
Bitdefender Premium VPN Privacy & Security
My only complaint is that Bitdefender Premium VPN hasn’t conducted an independent audit to confirm its no-logs policy. I hope Bitdefender Premium VPN takes this action so it’s more aligned with top VPNs like ExpressVPN and TunnelBear, which have each conducted multiple audits.
Bitdefender Premium VPN is based in Romania, which isn’t part of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance (a group of countries that share surveillance data with each other).
Overall, Bitdefender Premium VPN doesn’t keep records of your personal data and is headquartered in a privacy-friendly nation.
Bitdefender Premium VPN Speed & Performance
I conducted speed tests on servers in all 45+ countries where Bitdefender Premium VPN has a server to determine its average speeds. I had extremely fast speeds on both local and distant servers — overall, my average speed loss was approximately 18%, which is really impressive.
First, I ran a speed test without being connected to a VPN server to get a baseline for my internet connection speeds.
Then, I used Bitdefender’s Automatic Location feature, which connects you to the fastest server based on your location — I was connected to a local server in the US. Here are my speeds.
Now, here are my speeds when connected to a distant server in the UK.
When connected to a local server in the US, my speeds decreased by only 14%. Websites instantly loaded, HD videos on YouTube started right away and there was no buffering, and I downloaded a 20 GB file in about 25 minutes.
When connected to distant servers in Europe, I only had an average slowdown of 8% — my speeds were actually faster overseas in some countries than they were while I was connected to a local VPN server! Websites and HD videos instantly loaded and I experienced zero lag or buffering while browsing and torrenting. Also, I had low ping (the amount of time it takes for a signal to travel from your device to the VPN server) across all servers so I was able to play video games without any lag or interruptions.
Overall, Bitdefender Premium VPN maintains super-fast speeds across both local and distant servers.
Bitdefender Premium VPN Servers & IP Addresses
Bitdefender Premium VPN has 1,300+ servers in 45+ locations. Other top VPN providers have larger server networks — CyberGhost VPN has 7,600+ servers in 90+ countries and ExpressVPN has 3,000+ servers in 90+ countries, but Bitdefender Premium VPN has servers evenly spread out across the world so most users can find a nearby server.
However, Bitdefender Premium VPN doesn’t display the server load percentage (the amount of active users that are connected to a server at one time) or the ping. Each of these metrics makes it quick and easy to connect to the fastest servers. ProtonVPN and CyberGhost VPN both display the server load percentage, while Private Internet Access displays the ping.
Overall, Bitdefender Premium VPN has a decent server network that allows most people to find a local server, and it supports torrenting on all servers.
Bitdefender Premium VPN Streaming & Torrenting
Bitdefender Premium VPN is terrible for streaming — it doesn’t work with top sites like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime. However, my colleague in the UK was able to access BBC iPlayer.
If you’re looking for the best streaming VPN, I recommend ExpressVPN — it’s ranked #1 on our list of the best VPNs for watching Netflix, it has blazing-fast speeds, and it’s easy to use across all apps.
Bitdefender Premium VPN is pretty good for torrenting. In addition to supporting P2P traffic on all of its servers, it works with all of the top torrenting clients like BitTorrent and Vuze.
Overall, Bitdefender Premium VPN isn’t a good option for accessing streaming content on Netflix, Disney+, and other top services, but it supports P2P traffic on all of its servers and works with all of the popular torrent clients.
Bitdefender PremiumVPN Plans & Pricing
Bitdefender offers a free and a premium VPN — the free VPN with limited daily data (200 MB/day) is only available within Bitdefender’s antivirus packages, including Antivirus Plus, Internet Security, and Total Security, whereas the premium VPN is available as a standalone purchase, with pricing starting at $2.50 / month, or as part of Bitdefender’s top-tier internet security package, Premium Security ($74.99 / year).
Bitdefender accepts credit cards and PayPal (but not cryptocurrencies) and backs each plan with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Bitdefender Premium VPN Ease of Use: Mobile & Desktop Apps
Bitdefender Premium VPN has intuitive apps for iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS.
I installed Bitdefender Premium VPN’s app on my Android smartphone and iPhone in just 1 minute, and the process took 2 minutes on my Windows 10 laptop and MacBook Pro.
Bitdefender Premium VPN’s mobile apps are very intuitive and easy to use (the interface on all of the apps looks very similar to Hotspot Shield’s apps). I really like the Automatic connection feature and how Bitdefender Premium VPN makes it very simple to manually connect to a server — countries are listed in alphabetical order and there’s a search bar. I was also impressed with how easily I was able to enable the kill switch (it’s one of the few VPNs that has one for iOS), split tunneling (Android only), public wi-fi protection, and dark and light mode features.
Bitdefender Premium VPN’s desktop apps are very similar to the mobile apps, so they’re also easy to use. The Windows and Mac apps have most of the same features as the Android and iOS apps.
Overall, Bitdefender Premium VPN’s mobile and desktop app interfaces are straightforward, user-friendly, and very easy to set up and use.
Bitdefender Premium VPN Customer Support
Bitdefender Premium VPN has good customer support — it offers helpful and responsive email, phone, community, and live chat support, along with frequently asked questions (FAQs).
I was especially impressed with Bitdefender’s live chat support. I was able to connect to a support agent in less than a minute, and the agent always answered my questions in just a few minutes. And when I emailed Bitdefender, I received a reply within 3 hours, which is really good.
Bitdefender’s phone support is impressive as well, and it’s one of the few VPNs that offer this support platform (IPVanish also has phone support). Bitdefender has 25+ different phone numbers across 15+ countries, including a worldwide phone number with 24-hour service. I called the United States number and was instantly connected to a Bitdefender customer support agent, who was very friendly, knowledgeable, and quickly helped me resolve my issue.
Bitdefender also has a support section with tutorials and FAQs. However, I don’t like how Bitdefender’s support section lacks troubleshooting guides and there are only a handful of FAQs for its VPN service. I hope Bitdefender adds an extensive library of helpful articles in the future like ExpressVPN and CyberGhost VPN.
Overall, I was impressed with Bitdefender Premium VPN’s customer support. While it’s missing troubleshooting guides, Bitdefender has really good live chat, email, and phone support.
Is Bitdefender Premium VPN a Good VPN in 2022?
Bitdefender Premium VPN is secure, very fast, comes with user-friendly apps for Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS, and is an overall good choice for web browsing and torrenting. It’s powered by standalone VPN Hotspot Shield, which uses the Hydra protocol — this protocol provides some of the fastest speeds in the industry (I experienced an average speed loss of only 18%).
Bitdefender Premium VPN protects your data with industry-standard VPN security features like 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and a strict no-logs policy. Also, you get extra features like split-tunneling, perfect forward secrecy, and DNS leak protection.
However, Bitdefender Premium VPN has some drawbacks that prevent it from being one of the top VPNs. For example, Bitdefender Premium VPN doesn’t work with popular streaming services (including Netflix), it doesn’t come with RAM-only servers, it only offers WebRTC and IPv6 leak protection on Windows, and it’s missing troubleshooting guides.
Bitdefender Premium VPN allows up to 10 simultaneous connections, offers affordable payment plans, and has a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can get it as a standalone purchase or as a part of Bitdefender Premium Security, one of the best internet security suites on the market.
Bitdefender Premium VPN — Frequently Asked Questions
Is Bitdefender Premium VPN safe?
Yes, Bitdefender Premium VPN is safe. It has industry-standard VPN security features like 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, a strict no-logs policy, and leak protection, as well as perfect forward secrecy, obfuscation that hides your VPN traffic from your ISP, and Wi-Fi protection.
But Bitdefender Premium VPN is missing other advanced security features like RAM-only servers and disk encryption, it lacks extra features like an ad blocker, and its no-logs policy hasn’t been independently audited and verified. If you’re looking for a VPN with the best security features, I recommend ExpressVPN or Private Internet Access.
Does Bitdefender offer a free VPN?
Yes, Bitdefender offers a free VPN that is bundled with some of its antivirus packages, including Antivirus Plus, Internet Security, and Total Security. However, the bundled VPN only allows a lousy 200 MB of data per day, which isn’t even enough to watch a 30-minute YouTube video in HD. The free VPN also limits you to 1 VPN connection.
I don’t recommend using free VPNs anyway — they usually lack essential security features, are slow, limit how much data you can use, log user traffic, and have glitchy apps (although there are some good free VPNs out there, like ProtonVPN).
Bitdefender Premium VPN is available as a separate purchase or as part of Premium Security, Bitdefender’s comprehensive internet security package that also includes antivirus protection, web protection, and parental controls. Bitdefender backs all plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Does Bitdefender Premium VPN work with Netflix?
No, Bitdefender Premium VPN can’t access Netflix. Each time I tried to watch Netflix while connected to a Bitdefender Premium VPN server, I received an error message.
Also, Bitdefender Premium VPN doesn’t work with other top streaming sites like Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ (but it does work with BBC iPlayer).
Is Bitdefender Premium VPN good for torrenting?
Yes, Bitdefender Premium VPN allows P2P traffic on all 1,300+ servers, works with the top torrent clients, and has very fast download speeds. Bitdefender Premium VPN also comes with split tunneling, a kill switch, and a strict no-logs policy.
That being said, there are better torrenting options out there — I recommend ExpressVPN or Private Internet Access, as they both allow torrenting on servers in more countries, have faster speeds, and come with full leak protection on all devices.