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Toya Marie
Toya Marie

Bitdefender Wants To Protect Your Device For Just Over 7 Dollars, But There’s A Catch

In addition to providing an on-demand malware scanner that detects and removes malware that has already infected your system, antivirus software also includes real-time protection that actively scans the programs that are running in real-time. Real-time protection is therefore able to block malware BEFORE it can infect your device.

Bitdefender wants to protect your device for just over 7 dollars, but there’s a catch

The best paid antiviruses, on the other hand, include all of these features, plus many other extras (like password managers, parental controls, and system optimization tools). Premium antiviruses like Norton also include multi-device coverage across all major operating systems so you can protect all of the devices in your household.

For example, Norton our top-rated antivirus, starts at just 4,260.00 / year. You can also pay a little extra to upgrade your plan to cover all of your devices and to access more features, such as dark web monitoring, a VPN, and identity theft protection.

A commercial virtual private network is technology that allows you to create a private connection over a less private network by creating an encrypted tunnel between your computer and the internet. You can install a VPN just like you would any other app or program on your smartphone or computer. A VPN can let you get around censorship in your country or access georestricted media content from another country -- and prevents your internet service provider from being able to intrude on your privacy by snooping on your web browsing. VPNs do this by allowing you to appear as though you're connecting from a different location or country. A VPN is great for anyone using public, unprotected Wi-Fi, such as what's offered in airports, bars or coffee shops. Your VPN protects your sensitive information -- from your work projects to bank account login information -- from being seen by malicious actors who trawl public Wi-Fi networks. When you browse the internet while on a VPN, your computer will contact the website through your VPN's encrypted connection. The VPN will then forward the request for you and forward the response from the website back through its secure connection.For more beginner-focused VPN help, we've demystified some of the jargon in our guide to all the VPN terms you need to know."}},"@type":"Question","name":"How do I choose the right VPN for me?","acceptedAnswer":"@type":"Answer","text":"Picking a VPN requires knowing two basic things to start with: What you want to use it for, and what you're willing to pay. The range of VPN offerings is vast, but those two things will help you find a VPN that has the right blend of speed, security and cost. Below, you'll find specific FAQ sections on picking a VPN based on the most common needs: gaming, streaming media, working from home and privacy-critical professions. But in general, you'll want a VPN that provides sufficient encryption, doesn't log your activity, offers essential security features like DNS leak protection and a kill switch, has server locations where you need them and can give you fast connection speeds. Our top five VPNs have all these features, although connection speeds will vary based on your internet provider and the server you connect to.For a deeper dive, check our detailed walk-through of how we evaluate and review VPNs. If you're looking for some quick pointers, here are universally applicable advice guides for beginners:VPN Red Flags to Watch Out ForHow to Identify a Good VPN","@type":"Question","name":"Should I be worried about consolidation in the VPN industry?","acceptedAnswer":"@type":"Answer","text":"The recent trend of consolidation in the VPN industry isn't showing signs of slowing down. We saw the latest example of this trend in February when NordVPN and Surfsharkannounced they were merging. As of right now, just three companies control many of the biggest VPN providers, including some of CNET's top picks listed in this guide. There are several legitimate concerns about VPN consolidation. First, the general lack of transparency in VPN ownership structures is typically bad for users. In the VPN industry, where privacy and security are so critical, ownership transparency is equally imperative. When you sign on with a VPN and trust it with protecting your privacy online, you'll want to know exactly what corporate entity is in control of the service, if and how your data is shared and secured within the larger organization and in what jurisdiction your data is stored. Too often, the picture isn't as clear as it should be. Consolidation also dilutes competition in an industry, ultimately leading to higher costs for the customer and less incentive for companies to improve services.The VPN services involved in these mergers and acquisitions insist they will all operate independently and will not share user data between entities. However, Surfshark's communications head told CNET the company has no plans of sharing information \"without notifying our customers in advance,\" suggesting the door may indeed still be open for future data sharing. It's too early to tell yet what the long-term implications will be here, but we're keeping a close eye on the developing situation in the industry and will update our reviews accordingly. Our top picks remain safe to use in the meantime, but it's still a good idea to do research on what other products or other services are under the same parent company umbrella. The more you know, the more you stay in control of your digital privacy.","@type":"Question","name":"Do I need a VPN?","acceptedAnswer":"@type":"Answer","text":"Anyone who accesses the internet from a computer, tablet or smartphone can benefit from using a VPN. You don't have to be an activist, government dissident or journalist to need a VPN; the rise of third-party data brokers, cross-site advertising trackers, IP address collection and mobile geo-targeting have all combined to create an online browsing environment that poses significant threats to everyday users' basic privacy. Because a VPN encrypts your connection, your browsing data is protected from your internet service provider (and any government entities who request your ISP data), and your network administrator in most cases. A VPN can also shield your private information -- like passwords, usernames and bank or shopping details -- from anyone snooping on your network.","@type":"Question","name":"What's the best free VPN?","acceptedAnswer":"@type":"Answer","text":"None of them. Seriously. While there are plenty of excellent free security and privacy apps online -- and while CNET is always hunting for the best freebies -- VPNs sadly aren't among them. Because they require major physical infrastructure and hardware, safe and reliable VPNs cost companies a lot of money to operate and secure. As a result, free VPNs are almost always malware-laden data snoops. The exceptions are those VPNs, like ProtonVPN, which offer free (often speed-limited) service tiers beside their premium tiers. The other option we recommend for people who can't afford a VPN but need online privacy is to temporarily test-drive our secure recommendations and take advantage of their cancellation periods and money-back guarantees. But there's good news: The burgeoning VPN market is hypercompetitive right now, so prices for even the best VPNs regularly drop to less than $15 a month, with some offering annual deals around $40. Check out our quick list of budget-savvy VPNs to find one in your price range.","@type":"Question","name":"Does everything I use need a VPN?","acceptedAnswer":"@type":"Answer","text":"If your goal is to protect your personal data from prying eyes, you want a VPN on whatever you are using. That means having a VPN to protect your laptop, your MacBook, your phone, your Xbox and your smart TV. If your goal is to use a VPN to gain access to streaming services which have been made unavailable in your country for whatever reason, you want a VPN on whatever device you are using to access those streaming services. This could be as simple as a VPN for your Chrome browser or setting up a VPN for your Amazon Fire TV Stick. Whatever your reason for wanting a VPN, it's usually a good idea to have it set up and ready to go on as many of your web-connected devices as possible.","@type":"Question","name":"What is a mobile VPN?","acceptedAnswer":"@type":"Answer","text":"A mobile VPN is simply a VPN you can use on your mobile device like your iPhone or Android phone. All of the providers we recommend have mobile versions of their desktop clients. You can use a mobile-focused VPN app to ensure greater data privacy designed for your whole device. Mobile VPNs also generally have a smaller memory footprint, and require less processing power than desktop VPNs, so they tend to yield faster connection speeds and don't eat up your battery as quickly. Keep in mind, however, that most mobile VPN clients will use a lighter form of encryption than a desktop client to achieve those smartphone speeds. So be sure to check your VPN apps' settings to ensure you're using the apps' strongest encryption if your privacy needs are heightened. Our top three VPN picks all have excellent, easy-to-use mobile VPN app options for their services. Some VPNs will only work with one type of mobile platform -- like iOS or Android -- and some are universally compatible. To find the right mobile VPN for you, check out our mobile-specific VPN guides below. We routinely update them with our retesting information, so check back often. How to Set Up a VPN on Your SmartphoneBest Android VPNs for 2023Best iPhone VPNs of 2023","@type":"Question","name":"Are VPNs legal?","acceptedAnswer":"@type":"Answer","text":"VPNs are perfectly legal to use in most countries. There's nothing wrong with taking steps to protect your privacy online, and you shouldn't have to worry that using a VPN as part of that process will get you in any kind of legal trouble. However, there are countries where VPNs are either banned or outright illegal. If you're using a VPN in a country like China, Iran, Oman, Russia, Turkmenistan, UAE or Belarus, you may find yourself in legal trouble. The irony here is that these are the countries where internet censorship and surveillance are most common. In those countries, you'll need to make sure you use a VPN that provides strong obfuscation so your VPN traffic is disguised as ordinary HTTPS traffic, meaning government entities won't even know you're using a VPN in the first place. But you won't run into any trouble with the law for using a VPN across most of the world. One important reminder, though: VPNs are legal in most places, but engaging in illegal activity online is still illegal regardless of whether you're using a VPN.","@type":"Question","name":"What's the best VPN for working from home?","acceptedAnswer":"@type":"Answer","text":"If you're working from home, you may be sharing your internet connection with multiple devices and family members or roommates. That's a lot of simultaneous connections to a VPN and a lot of drag on a network. Pick a VPN that lets you use one subscription on as many devices as possible and has excellent speeds so your Wi-Fi isn't bogged down. If your job involves handling sensitive information like financial or medical records, however, your priority VPN criteria is security. Our top three VPN picks are the most secure we've found, and each has a different number of connections they'll allow for a base-level subscription. There are a few other factors worth considering for a home office VPN, though, so check out our guide to picking the right VPN for working at home.","@type":"Question","name":"What's the best VPN for gaming?","acceptedAnswer":"@type":"Answer","text":"Most VPNs are chosen based on having a good balance of speed, security and cost. But if you want a VPN specifically to connect to game servers in another country, speed is everything. Free VPNs won't be fast enough, but, fortunately, high-end security won't be a cost driver, which gives you more options at modest prices. Since all VPNs reduce speed -- most by half or more -- that means picking one from the set that performed best in our speed tests. In tests, Surfshark managed to win our speed race while still being one of the least expensive VPNs we've seen. If you're focused on VPNs for game consoles, have a look at our best VPNs for Xbox and our primer on installing them. Before choosing the one right for your needs, visit the VPN's official website to see whether they offer servers specifically aimed at gaming in the countries where you most want to connect to other players. ","@type":"Question","name":"What's the most secure VPN for privacy?","acceptedAnswer":"@type":"Answer","text":"If you're a journalist, a lawyer or a professional in any other privacy-sensitive field, forget about speed and price when choosing a VPN. Focus, instead, entirely on security. Your VPN may be somewhat slower but, for both VPNs and presidential motorcades, speed is always the trade-off for privacy. Avoid free VPNs and browser-based VPNs. If you're concerned with government monitoring in your current country, choose a VPN headquartered outside of the country you're currently in, and avoid choosing a VPN with a jurisdiction in an allied country. For example, US journalists should avoid VPNs with a jurisdiction in the US or other Five Eyes countries. Keep an eye on encryption: Your VPN should offer a protocol called OpenVPN TCP (for its mobile apps, IKEv2 is fine). You may find our primer on VPN evaluations useful. Although speed does play a factor in our rankings, our top three VPNs were all selected by veteran journalists, scrutinized and reviewed with complete editorial independence, with the most privacy-sensitive professions in mind.","@type":"Question","name":"How do I use a VPN for Netflix?","acceptedAnswer":"@type":"Answer","text":"If you live in a country that censors its media or are traveling to one, georestricted content is a pain. You can use a VPN to circumvent censorship or access your home country's normal media content for an online streaming service like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video or Disney Plus. Pick a VPN that lets you manually select which country you want to connect through and has something called obfuscation. (Our top three picks offer this.) You don't always need to use the obfuscation feature to unblock Netflix, but since streaming services actively try to block VPN connections, obfuscation can help because it disguises your VPN traffic as regular internet traffic. If you're looking to try out other VPNs, choose one with a large number of IP addresses, preferably 10,000 or more. This is because one of the ways Netflix and others block VPNs is by blacklisting known VPN IPs -- and if your VPN has tens of thousands of IPs, there's a better chance that you'll be able to connect to an IP address that Netflix hasn't flagged. Once you have your VPN installed, connect to the country whose content you wish to view, restart your browser and go to the streaming site. If your VPN is working, the site should treat you as a resident of your selected country and serve you content assigned to that audience. If you're still having trouble, you can try using incognito mode on your browser or try clearing your cookies and cache.","@type":"Question","name":"How do I know if my VPN is working?","acceptedAnswer":"@type":"Answer","text":"Your first and most apparent indication that your VPN is working is that your IP address will change and your location will be registered as that of the VPN server you're connecting through. You can check this on a site like'll also want to make sure your VPN is protecting your privacy and not leaking any of your data outside of the VPN tunnel, thus exposing it to your ISP and other entities that may be monitoring your online activity. You can check for leaks by going to a site like or If your location is being registered as the VPN server location, and your leak tests turn up negative, then you know your VPN is working to protect your privacy.","@type":"Question","name":"What is a remote-access VPN?","acceptedAnswer":"@type":"Answer","text":"A remote-access VPN uses public infrastructure like the internet to provide remote users secure access to their network. This is particularly important for organizations and their corporate networks. It's crucial when employees connect to a public hotspot and use the internet for sending work-related emails. A VPN client on the user's computer or mobile device connects to a VPN gateway on the company's network. This gateway will typically require the device to authenticate its identity. It will then create a network link back to the device that allows it to reach internal network resources such as file servers, printers and intranets, as if it were on the same local network.","@type":"Question","name":"What is a site-to-site VPN?","acceptedAnswer":"@type":"Answer","text":"This is when the VPN technology uses a gateway device to connect the entire network in one location to a network in another location. The majority of site-to-site VPNs that connect over the internet use IPsec. IPsec-based encryption protocols are often considered by VPN specialists to be less secure against modern surveillance. Rather than using the public internet, it is also normal to use multiprotocol label switching clouds as the main transport for site-to-site VPNs.VPNs are often defined between specific computers, and in most cases, they are servers in separate data centers. However, new hybrid-access situations have now transformed the VPN gateway in the cloud, typically with a secure link from the cloud service provider into the internal network."]}"@context":"https:\/\/","@type":"BreadcrumbList","itemListElement":["@type":"ListItem","position":1,"item":"@id":"https:\/\/\/","name":"CNET","@type":"ListItem","position":2,"item":"@id":"https:\/\/\/tech\/","name":"Tech","@type":"ListItem","position":3,"item":"@id":"https:\/\/\/tech\/services-and-software\/","name":"Services & Software","@type":"ListItem","position":4,"item":"@id":"https:\/\/\/tech\/services-and-software\/best-vpn\/","name":"Best VPN 2023: VPNs Tested and Rated by Our Experts"] (function(a) var w=window,b='cbsoptanon',q='cmd',r='config'; w[b] = w[b] ? w[b] : ; w[b][q] = w[b][q] ? w[b][q] : []; w[b][r] = w[b][r] ? w[b][r] : []; a.forEach(function(z) w[b][z] = w[b][z] ); )(["onIframesReady","onFormsReady","onScriptsReady","onAdsReady"]); //Add configs window.cbsoptanon.config.push( enableServices: false, setNpaOnConsentChange: true, euMaxAttempts: 25, countryCodeMaxAttempts: 25, oneTrustTimeout: 2500 // increasing onetrust timeout to what ZDNet did (they had issues with the consent banner not appearing sometimes - making sure this is covered also) ); //Load iframes as soon as ready window.cbsoptanon.cmd.push(function(_cbsoptanon) console.log('Loading iframes'); _cbsoptanon.tags.load('IFRAME'); ); //grab push notification payload stored from ua-push-worker in indexedDB if ("indexedDB" in window) var inDb; var inDbRequest ="notifications", 1); inDbRequest.onupgradeneeded = function() let db = inDbRequest.result; if (!db.objectStoreNames.contains('items')) let notificationItems = db.createObjectStore('items', autoIncrement:true); ; inDbRequest.onsuccess = function(event) inDb =; if (inDb.objectStoreNames.contains('items')) //get the payload and save it in sessionstorage inDb.transaction(["items"], 'readwrite').objectStore("items").getAll().onsuccess = function(event) if ( var notifIds =; try var lastNotifId = notifIds[notifIds.length - 1]; var decodedLastNotifId = atob(lastNotifId); var notIdObj = JSON.parse(decodedLastNotifId); window.CnetPageVars.notificatio


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