Bitdefender Total Security 2013 BETA is an early version of the company's most powerful security suite. And we do mean "powerful", because it's absolutely packed with features and functionality.
You get everything you'd expect in a security suite, of course: on-demand and real-time antivirus protection, a spam filter, firewall, privacy tools, browsing protection, online backup, file encryption and more. But that's just the start - the suite has also been extended with plenty of new ideas.
Safepay, for instance, is an isolated browser which runs in a secure desktop, with a virtual keyboard. It automatically launches when it detects you're visiting banking, payment or other sensitive sites to help ensure your transaction details stay safe.
Anti-Theft is a new web service which allows you to find the location of a computer on a map, to lock it remotely or wipe all the data it contains.
The USB Immunizer aims to make your USB flash keys "immune to autorun malware". We've yet to test this - and most similar tools aren't quite as powerful as they claim - but it's still an interesting addition to the suite.
If you're put off by the complexity of this kind of suite, then you may appreciate Bitdefender's new Autopilot: essentially it's a "leave me alone" mode where the program doesn't hassle you with popups and alerts, instead managing your system entirely automatically. (Which sounds like a "game mode" to us, but Total Security 2013 has one of those as well: it seems the Autopilot is even more encompassing.)
And all of this is presented in a brand new interface. This seemed a little confusing at first, but once we figured out the basics then it's all fairly straightforward: launch the main console from a system tray icon, view your security status at a glance, launch a scan with a click, or browse through the various modules to tweak settings or perform some action. It's all reasonably familiar.
Unsurprisingly, Bitdefender Total Security 2013 really isn't designed to run alongside other security suites. These will generally be detected at installation, with the program refusing to proceed until your existing solution has been removed.
And while the program seemed fairly solid to us, keep in mind that it is a first public beta. And bugs in this kind of low-level application could have very serious effects on your system, so don't even think of installing it on a system unless you have a full and recent backup available.
Otherwise, though, Bitdefender Total Security 2013 BETA looks like a promising package, well worth a look. And if you're willing to take the time to report any bugs you find as well, keep in mind that Bitdefender are offering prizes to the most active beta testers, including an Asus B121 12.1 inch Tablet, an Acer Aspire S3 13.3 inch Ultrabook, a Nokia Lumia 900, and 100x Bitdefender Internet Security 2013 licenses for 6 months.
The new interface isn't entirely to our liking just yet, but it's still a beta, and otherwise this is a very powerful and complete suite with some interesting new features.