Product Promotion Network


Bitdefender clears up at 'security Oscars' AV-Comparatives 2017

This article is brought to you by Bitdefender. Last month we had the BAFTAs, this week we’re warming up for the Oscars in which the best of the British and American film and TV industries scrub up, put on a posh frock and mostly get disappointed because only a minority of them can possibly win. It’s the same in the data security industry (and by all means we all look like George Clooney and Rachel Weisz).

Bitdefender has a history of taking part in the awards and we’re pleased to say that this year, in AV-Comparatives’ Summary Report of 2017, we’ve carried off a few gongs once again. We enter all of the relevant awards and have been part of this since it started. Bogdan Botezatu, senior e-threat analyst for Bitdefender[1], explains why taking part matters – they are real tests based on actual scenarios rather than lab simulations and users trust them, but there’s more. “It’s not only our users that get a solid understanding of where each vendor stands in terms of performance, but we ourselves understand what aspects of our technologies need reworking or improving to live up to the testing organization’s expectations,” Botezatu said.

Improving products is always beneficial, and the standard for winning in the categories in which we succeeded were stringent. Bitdefender came first in Product of the Year, Advanced+; Botezatu elaborates: “In order to qualify for Advanced+, security products need to detect more than 97 per cent of the samples used in the test while keeping false positives at an absolute minimum. In order to get here we had to bring our technologies as close to perfection as possible,” he says. “Innovations such as advanced behavioural protection and machine learning technologies have demonstrated their prowess against all sorts of malware, including never-seen-before samples.”

Second, Bitdefender was joint top for real-world testing. “The real-world test is the best and most realistic examination of security solutions,” says Botezatu. “Testing happens simultaneously with all competing vendors on the same threats that show up in the real world, i.e. phishing links and fresh samples. “Real world details are extremely difficult to stage by testing organizations and are equally difficult to protect by security vendors because the usage does not follow a script; we have to defend the computer in unpredictable usage scenarios without hindering or otherwise interfering with the user’s activity.”

The company also earned a commendation for the built-in tour of the program – usability is key to fighting any security incursion. There is an element of winning an award that’s as much to do with fun as accreditation. The great thing about IT security is that there are no terrible products out there; the whole industry wants everyone to be safer and if one of us detects a problem, we’re all onto it.

But we’re proud of the fact that an independent body has recognised that in many respects we do it just that bit better than the others.

AV-Comparatives, thank you!


  1. ^ Bitdefender (

The Best Smart Bathroom Scales of 2018

Weighing Your Options

The bathroom is probably the first room you think of when it comes to health, and the last room you think of when it comes to technology. But as health and fitness become increasingly connected, it makes sense that more and more smart home devices[1] are popping up in the bathroom, starting with the humble scale. Yes, some smart bathroom scales can tweet your weight (with your permission, of course), but that isn’t really what makes them smart.

The main reason to pick up a smart scale is because it can give you a clear picture of your health and fitness without making you do a lot of work.

Track Stats Automatically

Unsurprisingly, the best smart bathroom scales are compatible with the best fitness trackers[2]. When you pair a Wi-Fi- or Bluetooth-connected scale with a fitness tracker, you typically use just one app to see data from both devices. Add in a heart rate monitor[3] or at-home blood pressure cuff, and you have even more information being collected and correlated, no spreadsheet and daily note-taking required.

Maybe you don’t want to track your weight over time, but chances are, your doctors and health care team do. Or maybe it’s not you, but someone in your family who needs to keep an eye on their body weight. Smart scales are smart enough to know the difference between a few different users and can track their weights separately and privately.

Sharing data among family members and doctors is usually an option, too. When you start using a smart bathroom scale, your weight is automatically logged every time you step on. Many of the best scales also measure body fat, and some track bone density and water percentage.

Some can even read your resting heart rate through your feet.

Scales for Training

While many people want to track their weight and the number of steps they take in a day to get a better sense of their health, some people are a little more, shall we say, excited, to get on the scale every morning. Athletes and people who train regularly will want a scale that has not only great features, but a lot of other companion apps and tools that can help them on their journey. Physically fit people who like the Polar brand of runner’s watches and fitness trackers will find the Polar Balance ideal.

The scale itself doesn’t have any wow factor, but the Flow companion app is superb. It makes specific suggestions each day for what you can do to attain your weight goal, such as eating four ounces less pizza or running an additional 29 minutes. Flow is one of the most intense fitness and health tracking apps[4], calculating your training intensity day by day, charting your VO2Max and lactic acid threshold, and more.

It’s not for the casual couch potato. If you’re already a Polar user, the scale is a great addition. But if all this talk of VO2Max makes your head spin, you’re much better off with a smart Wi-Fi scale that has a simpler user experience.

Bluetooth vs.


Smart scales are either Bluetooth-enabled, or both Bluetooth- and Wi-Fi-enabled. Wi-Fi scales generally cost more because they require more components to work. They are also much more convenient.

To get your daily weigh-ins off of a Bluetooth scale and into the app where they’ll be tracked, you need a Bluetooth device by your side. If you leave your companion smartphone, fitness tracker, or running watch in the other room, you’re out of luck until it’s within Bluetooth range. (Some scales can save a recorded weight until the next sync, but the cheaper ones do not.) A Wi-Fi-enabled scale doesn’t have this problem. It syncs your data as long as it has a decent signal from your Wi-Fi router.

In our testing experience, Wi-Fi syncing is also more reliable, whereas Bluetooth syncing fails from time to time.

Pregnancy Mode

Women who are pregnant or who might become pregnant have unique needs when it comes to tracking their weight. Plus many pregnant women do not want impedance measurements, which are taken by way of mild electrical impulses sent through the feet to estimate body composition (i.e. body fat, bone density, and water percentage). People who have an implanted health device, such as a pacemaker, are often warned not to use impedance scales either.

While a few scales that support impedance measurements have an option to turn them off, only one scale, the QardioBase 2, has a full pregnancy-tracking mode. When enabled, impedance is shut off, and the scale flashes a happy face every time you step on it, rather than showing your weight in numbers. The companion Qardio mobile app helps new moms slowly work back to their pre-pregnancy weight, if that’s their goal.


Having personally tested and rated a number of smart scales, I’m not at all surprised to see the direct correlation between price and rating.

The best smart scales cost more. What makes them more expensive is support for Wi-Fi syncing and a lot of time and energy invested in creating a great app experience. The least expensive scale to make this list, the Health o Meter Nuyu, costs under £50; it has the fewest features and the most limitations, but it’s still a good place to start.

Some of our top-rated picks cost close to £150. Before you invest in any smart scale, it’s good to know the sweet spot of the price range is between £99 and £129.

Fitness Underfoot

If you’re looking for a new bathroom scale, we highly recommend buying one that’s smart. There’s real value for individuals, families, and health care providers to be able to track weight accurately and effortlessly over long periods of time.

No matter your needs, you’re sure to find a scale that suits them on this list.

For more, see 5 Ways Smart Scales Can Help You Stay Healthy[5].

And make sure to check back soon, as we regularly review new models.

Featured Smart Bathroom Scale Reviews:


  1. ^ smart home devices (
  2. ^ best fitness trackers (
  3. ^ heart rate monitor (
  4. ^ fitness and health tracking apps (
  5. ^ 5 Ways Smart Scales Can Help You Stay Healthy (

Government backs stronger rules for pensions dashboard

Government plans to allow people to track their pensions in one place online – called the pensions dashboard – need to be underpinned by robust legislation and cooperation from the industry for it to be a success, according to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Joining a panel of industry experts at the launch of the Which? Pensions Dashboard Report today, DWP director Julie Gillis said there is a ‘very strong case for legislation and compulsion’ to deliver the new pensions dashboard.

Which? explains the latest developments on the pensions dashboard, and how the tool could help you track your pension pot.

What is the pensions dashboard?

The pensions dashboard will be an online tool to help you keep track of how much you have saved in private pensions and workplace pensions[1] as well your state pension[2] entitlement. Plans to introduce the dashboard were announced in 2016 following a huge lobbying effort from Which? and other organisations.

The first version will be available for consumers to use next year. The DWP has taken over leading the pensions dashboard project from the Treasury and aims to present a ‘feasibility study’ – essentially an update on how well the project is progressing – on the delivery of the dashboard by the end of March. A preview of the dashboard was unveiled to the public for the first time in April 2017.

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Experts debate pensions dashboard

At a panel discussion today to mark the launch of the Which?

Pensions Dashboard Report[3], Mrs Gillis emphasised the need for industry and government to cooperate to deliver the tool. The report, authored by independent consultant Dominic Lindley, makes 12 recommendations to ensure that the pensions dashboard is made available to the public by the government’s target date of 2019. Recommendations include:

  • The government legislating to allow users to access all of their pensions data in one place online
  • Establishing an independent body to govern the pensions dashboard
  • Making information available on the pensions dashboard relevant and comprehensive

Overall, panelists at the launch were unanimous in their support of the pensions industry working alongside the government to develop an intuitive tool that makes accessing information about pensions simple.

How to track your pensions?

Keeping track of your pensions can be tricky.

The average person will have 11 employers in their life – which could mean 11 different pension pots to monitor. In the UK alone GBP5bn has been lost to unclaimed pensions. Tracking down your pension pots, however, may be simpler than you think.

The free government-backed Pension Tracing Service[4] can help you find pensions that you are entitled to claim. A new online tool[5] recently launched by the Pensions Advisory Service can also help you that can help you trace lost pensions. You can get an idea of your workplace pension entitlement from your annual pension statement.

This should tell you how much you have saved and what you’re likely to receive when you retire. If you can’t find your pensions statement, your employer’s pension department should be able to help. You can also use our pensions calculator[6] to estimate how much of your pension fund could be at retirement and what age you might expect to to start taking an annuity[7] or drawdown[8].

To monitor your state pension entitlement you will need to get a state pension forecast from GOV.UK[9].

Which? calls for better pensions

Which? believes that pensions should work for both those saving for retirement and those making decisions at retirement. Pensions schemes should work in your best interests and we believe that you should have more control over your financial future. Which? is calling on:

  • The government to publish a plan for delivery of a fully functioning pensions dashboard
  • The Financial Conduct Authority to introduce better safeguards and protections for pension savers when they reach retirement

Visit our campaigns page for more information and to sign the petition.[10]

Check out our guide on planning your retirement at different ages[11] for useful tips on how to save and take control of your future income.


  1. ^ workplace pensions (
  2. ^ state pension (
  3. ^ Which?

    Pensions Dashboard Report (

  4. ^ Pension Tracing Service (
  5. ^ online tool (
  6. ^ pensions calculator (
  7. ^ annuity (
  8. ^ drawdown (
  9. ^ GOV.UK (
  10. ^ sign the petition. (
  11. ^ planning your retirement at different ages (

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