Bitdefender Ultimate Small Business Security review: Versatile all-round protection for low headcounts

With a broad range of security functions, Bitdefender Ultimate Small Business Security is a strong choice for small teams

The Bitdefender Ultimate Small Business Security icon on the ITPro background
(Image: © Bitdefender website/Future)

IT Pro Verdict


  • +

    Comprehensive threat blocking

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    Easy to roll out and administer

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    Reasonably priced


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    Limited management options

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    25-user cap limits growth potential

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    Not all features are a perfect fit for business

While some security providers offer a one-size-fits-all product, Bitdefender Ultimate Small Business Security is specifically aimed at – well, the clue's in the name. The cheapest plan covers just three users, using up to six devices and email addresses, plus one Windows server, for £148 exc VAT per year. Other options allow you to protect five, ten or a maximum of 25 users, plus additional personal devices and servers, at prices ranging up to £625 exc VAT a year. 

Larger businesses should look instead at Bitdefender also offers its Gravityzone Business Security platform, which can scale to any size – but there's a definite appeal to a security system that's designed specifically for small operations, working with limited budgets and minimal in-house expertise.

Bitdefender Ultimate Small Business Security review: Setup and features

Bitdefender Ultimate Security for Small Businesses is very easy to activate and roll out. Once you've registered your license in the web-based Bitdefender Central dashboard, you can either download the software yourself or email links to your staff, who can install and use the client software just like a standalone security suite. The client software supports both Windows and macOS; iPhones and Android devices can also be protected using the Bitdefender mobile apps, available from their respective app stores.

For Windows users, the desktop app is a fully featured edition of Bitdefender Total Security, while Mac users get the slightly more lightweight Bitdefender Antivirus suite. Both include active malware scanning, protection against malicious downloads and websites, and ransomware protection that blocks unauthorized access to your personal folders. The Windows suite also features a custom firewall, a system vulnerability scanner, a secure browser, crypto mining detection, a one-click system optimizer, an anti-theft location tracker, and Bitdefender's own-brand password manager.

What it doesn't have is much in the way of remote manageability. Although you can apply a password to stop users from adjusting their own protection settings, this has to be done locally – you can't set it from the administrative dashboard. On the plus side, any devices with disabled protection features are flagged in the web dashboard as "At risk", and you can remotely re-enable those functions at the click of a button, as well as triggering scans for malware and vulnerabilities. 

If you don't want to handle that yourself, you can also nominate a single security administrator for your site, who can also review devices and customize features. It's a simple model to work with, and flexible enough for the smaller businesses the package is aimed at.

Alongside the main security app, Bitdefender automatically installs its VPN client. Using this can help reduce the risks of insecure internet gateways, but your exit point has to be one of Bitdefender's own global servers; if you want a private, encrypted connection for remote workers to connect directly to the company network, you'll need a separate solution for that.

The Bitdefender Ultimate Small Business Security dashboard

(Image credit: Future)

Another noteworthy feature is the "scam copilot", which is integrated into the Bitdefender mobile app. If users receive a suspicious-looking message, they can paste text, an image, or a link into the advisor, and get an instant AI-powered opinion as to whether or not it's legitimate. Although the process isn't wholly automatic, it's a nice element of reassurance.

The final two major features are basically two sides of the same coin. The Digital Identity Protection and Business Assets Exposure modules both monitor online data breaches and leaks and alert you if personal or company information has been compromised. 

This is a good angle for security: leaked credentials can open the door to all sorts of attacks, and it's nice that the business module monitors credit cards and social media access as well as internal assets. However, it can only monitor the email addresses of your registered users, along with one generic business address; we'd have welcomed a more wide-ranging approach that could alert you to anything related to your company domain.

Bitdefender Ultimate Small Business Security review: Virus protection

In March and April 2024, independent experts at included the Bitdefender Total Security suite and Bitdefender's high-end GravityZone Business Security Premium package in their real-world malware tests. 


In both cases, Bitdefender's software proved highly effective at blocking threats. Total Security achieved an excellent 99.92% protection score, and placed in the top group for false alarms, while Bitdefender's business offering did even better, with a perfect 100% protection rate.

Testers at reported similar findings. They awarded Bitdefender Total Security a flawless 100% protection score in AV-Test's most recent home security report – and Bitdefender Endpoint Security matched this with an impeccable performance in the lab's most recent round-up of business security products.

Bitdefender Ultimate Small Business Security review: Is it worth it? 

Bitdefender Ultimate Small Business Security provides effective protection against a wide range of threats. The Windows software is particularly well-featured, but all desktop users are well-defended against classic malware, malicious websites, phishing emails, scam chats, and more, with minimal deployment and management overheads.

We do have some caveats. The proliferation of features could distract or confuse users, and as your company expands, the basic management facilities could become a frustration. Indeed, the 25-seat limit ensures that this package won't grow with you beyond a certain point.

Still, for small offices on tight budgets, Bitdefender Ultimate Small Business Security is well worth considering. You really can set up and run the system without requiring a dedicated IT resource, and the price compares well to other SMB security solutions – especially when you remember that the license covers two devices per user, plus protection for on-site servers.

Darien Graham-Smith

Darien began his IT career in the 1990s as a systems engineer, later becoming an IT project manager. His formative experiences included upgrading a major multinational from token-ring networking to Ethernet, and migrating a travelling sales force from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95.

He subsequently spent some years acting as a one-man IT department for a small publishing company, before moving into journalism himself. He is now a regular contributor to IT Pro, specialising in networking and security, and serves as associate editor of PC Pro magazine with particular responsibility for business reviews and features.

You can email Darien at, or follow him on Twitter at @dariengs.