All-in-one PC security suite BitDefender Internet Security 2008 puts in a distinctly mixed performance.

BitDefender Internet Security 2008 surpassed every other suite in the crucial malware-detection tests, picking up 98 percent of them. It unmasked every rootkit sample and was a good performer in separate spyware and adware tests.

But this stellar work was seriously marred by an unpleasant user experience. From aggravations with the initial installation to difficulties with warning pop-ups, BitDefender Internet Security 2008's flaws are hard to brush off.

BitDefender Internet Security 2008's heuristics detection figures are unmatched in our experience at a 29 percent catch rate and, along with Kaspersky Internet Security 7.0, it was the joint-fastest at responding to malware outbreaks (taking anything up to two hours).

Although superb at finding rootkits and other nasties, BitDefender Internet Security 2008 flagged several false positives, while its disinfectant wasn't as effective as some.

BitDefender Internet Security 2008 completely failed to remove changes to the Windows Registry. This is no minor concern – these can meddle with the smooth running of your PC.

BitDefender's firewall successfully masked a protected PC against outside scans, but displayed needless warnings when Firefox tried to access the internet.

There's a good array of secondary features, including antiphishing, parental controls, antispam and data privacy, but these extras could do with a bit of polish. BitDefender Internet Security 2008's browser-based antiphishing tool blocked no sites until we enabled the feature's heuristic detection, which is set to ‘off' by default.

Parental controls are similarly half-hearted, with no prompt to set a program password.

BitDefender Internet Security 2008's antispam features are limited to Outlook and Outlook Express, while Identity Control pushes you to create definitions for items such as credit-card information that you want to protect.

The BitDefender Internet Security 2008 suite was less than helpful when it found an email worm – it should have prompted us to delete the file but instead wrapped it in a ZIP file and ignored it.

NEXT PAGE: Test results, and our expert verdict > >

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