When it comes to protecting your devices from viruses, malware, ransomware, and other cyberthreats, using a reliable antivirus is essential. Two of the top options on the market are Bitdefender and ESET. But which one provides better security at a more affordable price?
After extensive research comparing Bitdefender vs. ESET across pricing, features, malware protection, compatibility, ease of use, and support, we found Bitdefender to be both more budget-friendly and feature-rich overall.
How Bitdefender and ESET Compare on Pricing
The first major difference between Bitdefender and ESET is upfront cost. Here‘s a breakdown of their pricing options:
|1 Year Price Range||$24.99 – $79.99||$39.99 – $104.99|
|3 Year Price Range||$104.99 – $279.99||$137.99 – $349.99|
|Best Value Plan||Total Security – $34.99/year||Premium Security – $59.99/year|
|Money-Back Guarantee||30 days||30 days|
Over both 1 year and 3 year terms, Bitdefender consistently costs less. Their entry level plan starts at just $24.99 for the first year, compared to ESET‘s cheapest $39.99 option.
The best value plan from Bitdefender is Total Security at $34.99/year covering 5 devices. For unlimited device coverage, you‘d pay $104.99 for 3 years.
Meanwhile, ESET Premium Security runs $59.99/year for 5 devices or $349.99 for a 3 year unlimited device subscription.
Both do come with 30 day money back guarantees for risk-free trials. But dollar-for-dollar, Bitdefender offers better pricing, especially for multi-device households.
Security Features Comparison
Along with more affordable pricing, Bitdefender also provides more extensive security features and additional tools. Let‘s look at some key capabilities:
|Malware Protection Score (AV-Test)||6.0/6.0||5.5/6.0|
|Webcam Protection||Yes||Windows only|
|Password Manager||Yes||Windows only|
|Available Browser Extensions||Chrome, Firefox, Edge, IE||Chrome only|
Both Bitdefender and ESET offer excellent core protections against malware, viruses, trojans, ransomware and phishing scams. But in AV-Test‘s most recent evaluations, Bitdefender received a perfect 6 out of 6 in malware protection across all platforms compared to ESET‘s 5.5 out of 6 on Windows.
Beyond essential security, Bitdefender also provides a full suite of extra features like a VPN for secure browsing, multi-platform webcam blocking, parental controls, password manager, and more. ESET‘s extras like password manager and webcam blocking are exclusively for Windows.
So Bitdefender pulls ahead for its expansive cross-platform feature set.
Malware Detection Comparison
To further evaluate how well each antivirus protects your devices, we looked at recent test results from AV-Test and AV-Comparatives:
|Testing Lab||Platform||Bitdefender Score||ESET Score|
|Performance Impact||Slowdown of 18%||Slowdown of 21%|
|False Positives||9 false alarms||7 false alarms|
Across both third-party labs, Bitdefender matched or outperformed ESET in nearly every category. This includes:
- Slightly higher ratings from AV-Test on Windows and Android
- Better protection rate from AV-Comparatives (99.7% vs 99.4%)
- Lower system slowdown compared to ESET (18% vs 21%)
- Fewer false positives flagged
While both are excellent at stopping malware, Bitdefender appears to have a slight testing edge in detection rates and performance impact.
Ease of Use and Compatibility
For maximum convenience, you need an antivirus that‘s universally compatible and easy to use across platforms. Here‘s how Bitdefender and ESET stack up:
|Platforms||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS||Windows, Mac, Android|
|Customer Satisfaction Rating||4.7/5 stars||4.5/5 stars|
|Browser Extensions||Chrome, Firefox, Edge, IE||Chrome only|
|Avg. Support Response Time||Under 5 minutes||6 hours|
A key advantage for Bitdefender is that it protects iOS devices in addition to Windows, Mac, and Android. It also earned a higher 4.7 out of 5 star customer satisfaction rating versus 4.5 stars for ESET.
Bitdefender offers browser extensions on Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Internet Explorer for extra security during online shopping and banking. ESET only has a Chrome extension.
For customer support response times, Bitdefender clocks in under 5 minutes on average based on submitted tickets. ESET‘s average is within 6 hours according to customers, which could be frustrating if you need urgent help.
So Bitdefender is more universally compatible and provides speedier support.
Final Verdict: Bitdefender is the Clear Winner
When comparing Bitdefender to ESET, Bitdefender consistently comes out on top:
Price – Bitdefender offers better rates for both single year and long term subscriptions.
Features – Bitdefender includes a VPN, webcam blocking, password manager, and other extras that ESET lacks.
Malware Protection – In independent testing, Bitdefender received near perfect malware detection scores.
Compatibility – Bitdefender supports more platforms like iOS and has 4+ browser extensions.
Customer Satisfaction – Bitdefender earns higher ratings for ease of use and fast support response times.
While ESET is still a solid antivirus choice, Bitdefender simply gives you superior security at a more affordable cost. Unless you only need basic protection for 1 or 2 Windows devices, we recommend Bitdefender as the stronger pick.
However, there are other good options beyond these two brands that may better suit your specific needs. Be sure to read our full antivirus reviews for expert insight and guidance you can trust.