Bitdefender GravityZone Ultra Review

The best protection against malware, ransomware, and any other forms of malicious software


What is our primary use case?

We provide this solution for anyone from a single user at home wanting to protect their PC, right up to large banking institutions with thousands of users. It's all about protecting computers from malware, ransomware, viruses, and the like. We are in partnership with Bitdefender and we're distributors of the product, functioning as a managed service provider. I'm the managing director of the company. 

What is most valuable?

The valuable features are, of course, the protection against malware, ransomware, and any other forms of malicious software, but the solution also provides application and device control which stops people copying things onto a memory stick, for example. In addition, it provides web filtering and blocking of inappropriate websites. The product covers pretty much every aspect of cyber security, but the primary function that everybody gets it for is the antimalware or antivirus protection.

The product is solid, it's why we chose to distribute it, we're very particular about the products we distribute and only take the best, so we don't distribute Symantec or any other AV solutions. It's value for money. There are some competing antiviruses out there which are at least as powerful. Products like Sophos, but they're about three times the price. The cheaper products, such as  ESET NOD32, for instance, are more suitable for individual use. Bitdefender is a user friendly and intuitive solution but we also have a team that provides support for our customers. 

What needs improvement?

The only issue an end user might have is in the case where a website has some kind of monitoring software included, where they want to track use, and it might unnecessarily block the site for the user. In that event, the user would contact us and we can 'white list' the site for them enabling them to use it. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been working with this solution for three years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable, it's not going to slow your machine down, it's not going to create instabilities, like programs not working, things like that. We very rarely have issues where a customer has a problem on a PC caused by the antivirus. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The beauty of being in the cloud is that it's completely scalable, and it's completely transparent. You can install it on one machine or on 100,000 machines. We have thousands of users with a single user or two user license, but we also have large organizations with 3,500 or 11,000 users. It's completely scalable, you don't have to change a thing, you just deploy to more machines, and it takes care of everything in the back end.

How are customer service and technical support?

We carry out all the support on behalf of the company. There are five short, simple videos that explain step by step how to deploy. If somebody wants to do everything themselves and they don't want assistance from us, we simply send them the videos, and it's quite easy. We have online documentation as well, of course. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used to use iSheriff and Panda Antivirus but things change in the market, as the threat changes. As a distributor, if we see a product is starting to change focus and move away from an antivirus focus, like Panda did, we let them go. If we are changing products we institute a migration plan for our customers and we carry out the transition for them. 

How was the initial setup?

It's extremely simple to deploy. When we receive an order from a customer, we go in and provision everything. We create the packages, we set the default settings, we do everything in the background. It takes approximately 15 minutes. Then the user gets a link where they download the installation, and they run it and click 'next' about three times and the entire installation takes care of itself. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Everything is included in the licensing, unless you want to add additional solutions such as Full Disk encryption. It's an additional plugin that can be managed from the same console. We are the only company in South Africa able to provide Bitdefender on a monthly billing basis. With any other company, you'd have to buy it annually. About 50% of our customers are annual, 50% of them are monthly. It means that as your staff increases or your staff decreases, your bill will increase or decrease on a monthly basis. 

What other advice do I have?

At the end of the day, it's important to choose a solid product and GravityZone's done that. Once you pass the hurdle of selecting the proper product, it's important to select the right partner who's going to be implementing, and can support you. You can buy a solution online but you get zero support. Buy locally, choose the right partner you know is going to look after you. Don't go to some computer shop in the mall, and go and buy the antivirus, because you're not going to get the support that you require. If it costs 5% more, it's worth it. 

I would rate this solution a 10 out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Distributor
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