Bitdefender vs. ESET: Which One Is Better in 2023?

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Bitdefender vs. ESET: Which Is Right for You?

Katarina Glamoslija
Katarina Glamoslija
Head Content Manager

Bitdefender vs. ESET: Which Is Right for You?

Bitdefender and ESET both have powerful anti-malware engines. However, there are a lot of differences to take into account.

Bitdefender has perfect malware detection rates, a wide range of useful extra features, affordable prices, and is very easy to use. ESET has near-perfect malware detection rates and a lot of useful advanced tools for the more-advanced user, but its extra features are disappointing.

Bitdefender vs. ESET: Final Verdict:

  • 1st place: Bitdefender vs. ESET: Final Verdict:
  • 2nd place: Bitdefender vs. ESET: Final Verdict:

Bitdefender is better for overall security, extra features, and price. If you want one of the most secure, feature-rich antiviruses in 2023, go with Bitdefender.

ESET is better for advanced users. If you want a powerful antivirus with some useful advanced tools, go with ESET.

Bitdefender vs. ESET: Malware Protection

Bitdefender’s malware engine is excellent, and it’s one of the best on the market in 2023. It works by using a combination of machine learning and a huge malware directory, and it’s successful at detecting both known and emerging threats. And because the scanning all happens in the cloud, it’s extremely lightweight and causes no system slowdown.

Bitdefender found every single piece of malware in my tests. I downloaded an archive full of malware samples onto my PC, including viruses, trojans, ransomware, and spyware. Bitdefender’s full scan took just under an hour to finish, and it detected everything. The scanner is also highly customizable, making it a great option for more advanced users.

The real-time protection had a perfect score as well — it successfully blocked every malware file I tried to download onto my device.

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ESET’s malware scanner and real-time protection are very good. Its powerful malware engine offers a variety of different scanning options, and it also scans areas that many antiviruses skip, such as the operating memory, system registry, and other back-end areas of your device and its firmware.

ESET detected almost every one of the 1,000 malware samples on my PC — but it didn’t quite hit the 100% mark. ESET’s scanner is also very lightweight, causing no noticeable slowdown during scanning. The full system scan took about 40 minutes, which is pretty fast.

ESET doesn’t have a quick scan option, which is unusual, but its scanner is very advanced and offers a far deeper system scan than many antiviruses. There is also a premium feature called LiveGuard that is designed to pick up previously unknown (zero-day) threats.

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Bitdefender vs. ESET: Web Security

Bitdefender’s anti-phishing protection is excellent. It compares every website you visit against a huge database of known dangerous sites and immediately blocks access to any matches. In my tests, it successfully blocked every dangerous site I tried to access.

Bitdefender’s web protection also stops you accessing any web pages that contain malware downloads, and it checks for encrypted websites, fraudulent content, and other dangerous sites.

It’s super easy to whitelist any false positives (when you’re 100% sure), as a handy pop-up is issued every time a site is blocked, showing you the site and reason for blocking it and allowing you to whitelist it in just one click, if needed.

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ESET’s phishing protection is good but a little over vigilant. I tested its anti-phishing capabilities by trying to access a large number of known phishing sites, and ESET stopped me from accessing every one — including some sites that Chrome’s built-in protections failed to detect.

However, ESET also blocked a number of safe websites that I knew I could trust. While this is better than missing dangerous sites, it does get pretty annoying, especially as whitelisting safe sites is a manual and relatively laborious process with ESET, compared to the one-click process many competitors (including Bitdefender) provide.

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Bitdefender vs. ESET: Features

Bitdefender offers a variety of plans that cover up to 10 devices across all main operating systems. Features include:

  • Advanced malware detection.
  • Real-time protection.
  • Web protection.
  • VPN (limited to 200 MB/day/device on most plans).
  • Parental controls.
  • Wi-Fi network protection.
  • Firewall.
  • Secure browser.
  • Anti-theft protections.
  • System optimization tools.
  • File shredder.
  • Password manager.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • And much more…

Bitdefender has a wide range of features that work brilliantly. Its anti-malware protection is some of the best on the market, the system optimization tools are easy to use and very effective, the parental controls are excellent and highly customizable, and the anti-theft protections, web protections, file shredder, and other extras are all great additions.

The password manager is a little basic — it doesn’t include two-factor authentication, for example. And the VPN has a 200 MB/day/device limit on all but the top-tier plan. However, Bitdefender’s prices are so good that the top plan Premium Security, which comes with all features, unlimited VPN data, and coverage for 10 devices, is still one of the most affordable plans on the market in 2023.

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ESET has a range of plans that cover all operating systems except iOS, but the majority of its features are for Windows only. All plans are for 1 device, with a small extra fee per additional device. Features include:

  • Anti-malware scanner with real-time protection.
  • Anti-phishing protection.
  • Firewall.
  • Secure browser.
  • Parental controls.
  • Webcam protection.
  • Advanced diagnostic tools.
  • Anti-theft protection.
  • Password manager.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • And more…

ESET has a decent range of features, but unfortunately, a lot of them aren’t great. The parental controls, secure browser, and password manager are all very basic and nowhere near as good as others available on the market. ESET is also missing other features such as a VPN, which many other antivirus suites include.

However, the anti-malware engine and web protections are good, and the network security tools and advanced diagnostic tools make ESET a decent option for more advanced users in particular.

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Bitdefender vs. ESET: Ease of Use

Bitdefender’s user interface is well designed and easy to use. The desktop dashboard has large, intuitive buttons, and all features are well organized into 3 clear categories: Protection, Privacy, and Utilities. You can also customize your dashboard easily, adding more buttons via the Quick Action option.

All of Bitdefender’s features are easy to set up and learn how to use. Most features are also customizable within just a few short steps.

Bitdefender’s Android app is excellent — feature-rich, nicely designed, and easy to use. The iOS app is far more limited in terms of features though, with just web protections, breach monitoring, and the VPN.

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ESET’s interface is very simple to navigate, but some of its features are quite difficult to use or understand. The user interface is laid out well, with features clearly listed in a left-hand menu, and each selected feature then filling the main dashboard.

However, a lot of the features were tedious to set up — for example, a 15-step process just to schedule scans! And the more-advanced features are quite complicated to use, which less tech-savvy users are likely to struggle with.

ESET’s mobile app for Android is also pretty good. It’s well designed and intuitive to use, but it’s lacking several features that other antiviruses offer.

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Bitdefender vs. ESET: Customer Support

Bitdefender has a great customer support center. It offers email support, live chat, phone support, a knowledge base, and community forums. And all of it is good.

The live chat was excellent — every time I used it I was connected to an agent within minutes and my questions were answered helpfully and thoroughly. The phone support was equally impressive, and Bitdefender has local numbers available in 18 countries, as well as international and worldwide lines.

Bitdefender’s community forum is pretty active — I was able to get my questions answered within a few hours when I posted there. And the knowledge base is excellent, with a huge array of articles and video tutorials.

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ESET has a decent range of customer support options. It offers phone support, email support, live chat, a knowledge base, and community forums — and it’s all available in English, French, and Spanish.

The live chat support was quick and helpful during my tests, but this isn’t available in all markets. The email support wasn’t as impressive, with an overnight response time and an obviously copy-and-pasted reply that didn’t really answer my question.

However, the online knowledge base is good, with FAQs, product guides, and troubleshooting guides that cover a wide range of issues.

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Latest Positive Review*User reviews are not verified
Feb. 27, 2021
Bit Defender Free Edition
My Laptop Specs are Intel (R) Core (TM) i7-2620M CPU @2.70GHz RAM...
Dec. 6, 2020
Excellent Antivirus
This antivirus is very helpful and quickly blocks unsafe websites and...
Mar. 23, 2021
It brings all the features I need
- Great Product, easy to use - Excellent Password Manager - many features...
Jun. 10, 2020
Izuzetan proivod!
Lagan i efektivan antivirus.Mnogo značajki koje mogu biti podešene upravo...
Latest Negative Review*User reviews are not verified
David Alden
Sep. 2, 2022
Having tried various platforms
Having tried various platforms all starting up with amounts to start up...
Aug. 24, 2022
Pop-up Ads even when Paid for Subscription
Total Security comes with 'Wallet' for passwords but rather than improve...
Nov. 19, 2020
Worst business practice ever
Two years ago, I lost all my information on the hard drive. After checking...
Dave Gann
Apr. 30, 2020
ESET Customer Service - Linux AV NOD32
I had a trial version of Eset AV for Linux. I purchased the product but...
Our Verdict
Katarina Glamoslija
Katarina Glamoslija
Head Content Manager
Bitdefender is one of the best internet security suites available in 2023. It has perfect malware detection rates, a ton of useful extra features, and some of the cheapest plans on the market. It’s also easy to use and has excellent customer support. ESET has a good advanced malware scanner, although it didn’t catch 100% of the malware samples in my tests. ESET’s advanced diagnostic tools are fairly unique and make it a good option for more advanced users, but most of ESET's other features are disappointing, and it’s more expensive than many other antiviruses on the market.
Time To Decide Which One Is Best For You

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find the best antivirus for me?

The first thing to do is to understand what you need — all antiviruses come with different internet security tools to help you stay protected, so identifying what level of protection you want will help you figure out which product is right for you.

Some antiviruses have a virtual private network (VPN), some have safe browsing extensions, and some have a password manager. Some only work on certain operating systems, while others cover all operating systems across multiple devices.

It’s important to compare the best antiviruses on the market to find the perfect one with the functionality you need.

What makes an antivirus secure?

A high-quality antivirus suite will detect, flag, and remove viruses and various types of malware. It will also offer real-time protection against all threats, regardless of whether you are browsing the internet, downloading software, shopping online, or opening email. For additional security, many antivirus suites offer a VPN, secure storage, and a password manager — these things all add several layers of protection against various cyber threats.

For more information on how antiviruses work, read this.

What do I need to look for when searching for an antivirus?

An antivirus needs to protect against all types of malware — trojans, rootkits, worms, spyware, viruses, ransomware, and anything else that might cause damage to your devices. This is done in a variety of ways, but the most essential feature of an antivirus is real-time protection — this makes sure that an active threat is effectively stopped before anything serious can happen.

Other things to look for include — excellent detection rates, fast system performance, included extra features (like a VPN, password manager, etc.), easy-to-use interface, good customer support, and overall value.

Go here for a list of the best antivirus software of 2023.

How do I know if one antivirus is better than another?

When researching antiviruses, it’s a good idea to visit a few well-known antivirus software websites such as Norton, McAfee, and Bitdefender to directly compare each antivirus’s features.

You can also look at the expert opinions of our reviewers at to find the most up-to-date and unbiased information about the best cybersecurity products on the market today.