Question Do antivirus apps that don't push VPNs exist anymore?

Aug 12, 2019
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Hi,

I've been using paid versions of BitDefender for about 4 years now on my macOS and Windows 10 computers. Within the last 12-18 months, the software is force-installing VPN software. You may not have to use it, but if you uninstall it, you can be darn sure it will reappear very shortly. I want the software to allow for five devices, including macOS and Windows, which at least isn't too difficult.

I have also been using Private Internet Access (VPN service) for about 5 years now, and I have ZERO desire to change services.

I started looking into the BitDefender issue. Online, I found that you simply can't purchase a standard antivirus application by itself - or so it appears - from ANYONE. (Side note - if you can unclick a checkbox during installation so that you are never prompted about the VPN again, that is fine.) Whether you activate the VPN or not is immaterial. I don't want paid software on my computer that refuses to allow itself to stay uninstalled, ever.

BitDefender support offered no solution, and essentially said that I was out of luck with their software.

This almost reminds me of the days when my ISP started trying to give me Cable Modems with built-in WiFi. I started using cable when I was just out of middle school in '99, and WiFi in '03 - and I've absolutely never thought that the two devices should be combined into one.

Back to the point - I absolutely cannot be the only person wondering this...but it sure seems like it from searching the web. Any options for a 5-user macOS/Windows 10 compatible package without VPN or with VPN that is easy to (fully) disable?

Thanks everyone!
 
Welcome to the forums my friend!

You may not have to use it, but if you uninstall it, you can be darn sure it will reappear very shortly.
I run Bitdefender and have done for the last several years. I was prompted for the VPN once, I since uninstalled it and configured my Bitdefender settings to not notify, and since then have not been reminded about it, and I have since renewed on a different package and was not forced to install the VPN.
 
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Aug 12, 2019
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Thanks for your response. That’s interesting. I’m actually well aware of the limited settings switches you can access to lessen its impact a bit. Regardless, for me, a new start menu folder appears again after my next reboot or 2 in Win10 Pro.

In macOS, I even learned how to remove Launchpad icons (which you can’t delete under normal circumstances) using a SQLite editor and some guidance to where all of the icon references are kept deep within the heart of the OS. Still comes back!

Craziness.
 
Reactions: PC Tailor
Aug 12, 2019
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I have since renewed on a different package and was not forced to install the VPN.
@PC Tailor If you don't mind me asking, what is the different package that you changed to?

I downloaded a trial of Kaspersky about a year ago and I remember it pushing a VPN hard. There are of course other reasons (in theory) to steer clear of Kaspersky at this time anyway.

I just bought a new MSI laptop yesterday, and it came with a 60-day trial of Norton Security Deluxe. It isn't the lowest in the ratings, and I have discovered that it isn't pushing a VPN on me, but it is amazing how WILDLY different the reviews are across tech sites. The only consistency I've found is that everyone seems to rank Bitdefender at the top for its minimal use of system resources, which is a very important metric. The thing is, it sounds like my Bitdefender VPN issue didn't end as easily as yours - and Bitdefender's support, while not terrible, is not great. Part of that has to do with the combination of the communication barriers that arise naturally from text as well as the fact that the company is Romania.

Including the other merits and demerits of the million applications out there, perhaps another important question here is: Who is the industry authority on anti-virus software?

There are so many tech sites with so many opinions (Tom's Hardware included). Perhaps one simply rolls the dice or sticks with Defender.
 
The thing is, it sounds like my Bitdefender VPN issue didn't end as easily as yours - and Bitdefender's support, while not terrible, is not great.
Oddly enough, I've had the opposite support experience too. They've helped every step of the way for me and never really had an issue. Part of the reason why I've stayed with them (that and their excellent performance).

Including the other merits and demerits of the million applications out there, perhaps another important question here is: Who is the industry authority on anti-virus software?
I use AV-test for all of my recommendations as they're a neutral third party authority. https://www.av-test.org/en/ that and I'm always preaching that an AV on W7 will perform differently to one on W10 for example, and they take this into account and test it on every AV and also show you the exact results behind their scoring like this:
View: https://imgur.com/a/JBD6I73


@PC Tailor If you don't mind me asking, what is the different package that you changed to?
One thing to keep in mind with this is I am the "IT" person of my family, so I control the AV on several devices across the country remotely for my family, and because I've been with BD for years, I get quite a lot of devices for not much. So I have BD Total Security (always latest year) for currently 15 devices.
 

britechguy

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Jul 2, 2019
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I'm including the material by Quietman7 in this context mostly because of the antivirus related material, but the others bear reading anyway.

Quietman7, a security expert who is an active contributor on Bleeping Computer, has written extensively on what you (any you) need to do to develop safe interaction habits with cyberspace. The following four are, in my opinion, must-reads:

With regard to antivirus/security suite evaluations,
See the most recent plus the last several years of historical test results from:

AV Test

AV Comparatives

SE Labs (Reports Page)

MRG Effitas (360 Protection Testing Category)
 

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