The digital world provides numerous threats for computer users. For Internet surfers, shoppers, gamers, parents or children, security can be crucial. It raises the question of what antivirus one should choose. The Bullguard Antivirus is one of the excellent options. In the following BullGuard Review, we will put some light on the prices, protection, and installation of the antivirus.
Is BullGuard Any Good? Our Short Overview
BullGuard, a London-based company, is a reliable security company that has produced antivirus software for consumers since 2002. The modern range begins with BullGuard Antivirus, a Windows-based product contemplating real-time antivirus protection, malicious URL filtering. Moreover, it offers improved performance for activities requiring full-screen usage, being a nice feature for gamers.
BullGuard Internet Security 2020 features the following basic options: firewall, parental control, cloud-integrated backup (compatible with the most used cloud services), and basic PC optimization. It has versions that are available for Windows, Android, and Mac. BullGuard Premium’s superior protection includes a home network scanner. In contrast, a thorough identity protection service monitors the unapproved use of your personal data and bank accounts.
BullGuard protects your computer better than the basic security features included in the OS but causes a noticeable slowdown as it starts. It lacks some security features, such as a password manager and virtual keyboard, but tools like parental control, vulnerability scanner, and a personal firewall are very effective. Vulnerability Scanner searches for weaknesses in the system through which malware and other threats can penetrate. In the Premium version, it scans all devices connected to your hotspot for viruses and other threats. Also, it has a gamer mode. Overall, it is a great option due to its affordability and richness of features.
BullGuard Plans And Prices
There are three possibilities for desktop antivirus and two mobile applications. The options in for a desktop you can take are Antivirus, Internet Security, and Premium Protection, each with a different set of features and price.
All the plans offer to charge a client once a year. The basic antivirus will cost you $29.95 per year, and it is available for a single user or device. The next plan is Internet Security, which requires a $59.95 fee every year. It is applicable for multiple devices, so you can use this plan together with your family. The most expensive plan, Premium Protection, will cost you $99.95. It contains all the features introduced in the antivirus. Besides, you can take a trial version of the program and figure out whether it is suitable for you.
BullGuard Antivirus Pros
There are quite a lot of things we liked about the BullGuard Antivirus. Most of them are to do with the number of features antivirus includes and the overall security approach that the developers took. Among the key advantages are:
- Security (malware protection and scanning)
- Different tools (spam filters and phishing detectors)
- Browser protection (secure surfing)
- Gamer mode (pauses the virus during gaming)
- Ease of use
- Support Service (24/7 availability)
- Parental control
- Home network scanner (monitors devices connected to network)
Bullguard Malware Protection is one of the best in the industry and is highly praised by leading independent testing laboratories. The system tagged all test viruses and malware samples in seconds.
There are options for quick and full scanning, as well as scanning with customizable parameters. There is also a quarantine zone in which users can free or delete suspicious files. One of the excellent features of fast scanning refers to a one-click launch; it can be started directly from the dashboard — the second window does not even open, and the progress bar under the antivirus icon shows the scan’s progress.
Our test scan took only 90 seconds, and in the detailed report, you could see the scanning speed, the number of skipped files, and the exact completion time. It was impressive how few resources the system utilized in this process. During scanning in sleep mode and full scanning mode, no more than 2% of the processor resources were used.
Premium Protection also includes a vulnerability scanner. It scans for potentially dangerous processes, such as running outdated programs, connecting to an unsecured Wi-Fi network, and using drivers that are not digitally signed.
One area in which Premium Protect cannot succeed is its protection from ransomware. The program does not have a special ransomware scanner and quarantine area. Although we didn’t have a test sample, other users reported that this aspect was less effective than its malware detection.
Variety of tools
The BullGuard Internet Security and Premium Protection programs have all the malware protection tools we were looking for. Both include spam filters and phishing detection. There are as well a personal firewall and vulnerability scanner. We believe these are two of the most important anti-malware features. This is because these tools track weaknesses in your system, and they can be used to enter your system.
BullGuard Internet Security now involves Secure Browser, an improved form of Chromium, which, according to the company, “provides a more secure way to surf the Internet and a much more secure platform for making online payments.” In particular, the Secure Browser does not “download” cookies or extensions, possibly reducing the chance of privacy leakage. Using Chromium as a basis also means losing several layers of Google Chrome telemetry (additional features, such as crash reports that send data back to Google).
A secure browser makes DNS queries using Cloudflare DNS through HTTPS. The added encryption makes browsing your browsing more difficult and limits MITM attacks when, for example, a fraudulent Wi-Fi hotspot can redirect you to a malicious website.
The browser forces HTTPS connections and alerts users to mixed content (HTTP content on the HTTPS page.)
BullGuard underlined that they “use the same mechanism in a secure browser as for safe browsing to help users avoid malicious websites.”
Elsewhere, cache encryption aims to prevent malware from approaching your browsing information. The BullGuard Review showed the issue with the browsing history, as the log file had domains that we approached. However, it did not contain full URLs, thus, it worked fine.
A secure browser is not as complex as it might be. For example, there are no attempts to prevent malware from creating screenshots. It does not include a password manager or a virtual keyboard. There is still some value here, and this is only the first version – we expect more features to come over time.
This software has a gamer mode, but you need to enable it manually. This feature pauses antivirus scans and pop-up notifications while playing games or watching videos on the Internet. When the software is in gamer mode, it protects your computer from Internet threats, but it does not tax your system resources to a large extent, so there is less lag. This is a useful tool because, without it, BullGuard tends to use many of your computer’s resources, especially during virus scans, which can lead to some misses.
Ease of use
This is not a complicated program to use. Most functions and tools are clearly marked and arranged so that they are easy to find. The installation process is similar to other Internet security programs. There is a small problem when your child needs access to a site that blocks parental control. We needed to provide permissions from the child’s device, and we had no opportunity to save these exceptions. This means that every time a child wants to play a specific online game that they have to find, parents need to enter their credentials. It became a hassle to repeat it every day.
Premium Protection has the usual backup utility that integrates well with popular cloud storage systems, as well as physical media such as external USB drives; network-attached storage devices, and additional internal hard drives. Users can create profiles in which they can specify which files they want to copy to the cloud. Then, they are to assign each backup to a specific destination. It provides the ability to manage the scheduler fully. You can also configure the backup to start only in manual mode.
Bullguard Antivirus provides email support in eight languages, online chat support, and an online help center. Although the company guarantees a response within 24 hours, a response we received to a request took about two days. Online chat is a bit slow — we had to join a queue of 10 users who also asked for help, and it took us about four minutes to get a response from a support representative. Online documentation is adequate and for a one-time fee, the company offers remote installation and configuration assistance.
Parental control and web filtering are important for many users, so it is useful to have the parental protection features in the product. The tool easily imports all user accounts from the operating system, so you can immediately apply for protection at the user level. The program includes templates based on the user’s age, as well as the ability to customize white and blacklists, and there is a very detailed schedule of access control.
In addition to restricting Internet access during certain hours of the day, administrators can configure maximum usage periods. This ensures that children will not have access to inappropriate websites and will be able to use the Internet within a reasonable time frame. Finally, the parental control tool automatically marks all chat programs for blocking. Users can also manually add programs that were not automatically detected, which we had to do for Rambox, a popular program for managing multiple messaging accounts, during testing.
Home network scanner
Premium protection includes a home network scanner, which monitors all devices connected to the network and displays real-time notifications. As soon as the text printer connected to Wi-Fi went online, we received a pop-up notification that the new device was connected to the network. It was possible to assign a custom name to any connected device, see its MAC and IP address, and even add it to a category (for example, “tablets”). This is a great feature for anyone concerned about unauthorized network access.
BullGuard Antivirus Cons
There are many strong points that the antivirus has. However, some aspects of its work turned out to be not as impressive during the testing. Here are the things to keep in mind if you decide to use BullGuard:
- Significant vulnerabilities
- Performance limits
- Protection weaknesses
- Scanning precision
BullGuard Internet Security allows users to determine what they want to check exactly with a quick and complete scan of the system, and we noticed that these settings were stored in text files without any special protection. An attacker can replace the default settings with his own, disabling almost all scanning options, which greatly reduces the likelihood that they will detect anything at all.
For example, it took about 7 minutes to start the initial quick scan in our scan system with the default settings. After the quick scan file was replaced with our own, where all possible scanning options had an “off” status, the scan took only 5 seconds as if almost nothing was checked.
Another severe issue occurred when we managed to disable the BullGuard file system filter driver using an ordinary Windows command (requiring administrator rights). As a result, the package failed to identify malware because it was hidden due to untracked processes of downloading and saving.
There are several tools that BullGuard programs do not have. The password manager also does not have protection to protect your identity and personal information on the Internet. Webcam monitoring and VPN are also missing. They are included in our top selection if you need them.
BullGuard Internet Security and BullGuard Premium Protection had little difficulty stopping malware during our internal tests, gaining 85 percent. It does a great job of flagging search results that are dangerous and has great parental control. The biggest difference we have seen between the Internet security suite and the premium security software is the number of licenses available. BullGuard Premium also includes network protection that monitors all devices connected to your internet for threats, including smart devices, baby monitors, thermostats, and devices like Echo Amazon or Google Home.
During our internal tests of BullGuard, several threats were missed – especially websites that are known to contain malicious downloads, phishing schemes, and virus links. However, we found that these threats were blocked when we activated BullGuard’s aggressive parental controls. This is because these sites were tagged for adults or a mature audience, and not for young children. But BullGuard also blocked news sites, religious pages, and several online gaming sites that are not necessarily dangerous for children, but that still falls under mature content filters.
How to Install And Setup BullGuard
BullGuard is compatible with Windows, macOS, and Android. Whatever your platform is, you can easily install and set up the antivirus on it by yourself.
BullGuard for Windows 10
To install it on Windows, you need to visit the official website of the antivirus and download installation. Then, run the file and follow the installation instruction. Usually, it takes several minutes for the program to run all that is necessary. After the installation is complete, the program may suggest restarting the computer. Do it, and then open BullGuard. The interface of the antivirus is quite simplistic, so you can set it the way like, run a scan on-demand or schedule the next scan.
BullGuard for macOS
If you have an Apple computer or laptop, the installation of BullGuard will be easy as well. All you need to do is download the file from the official website, open it, and drag it to the Applications folder. The installation itself takes a few minutes. To make sure it is complete, run the program and follow the onboarding guide. Then, set it up the way you like, run a scan, or just let it work in the background mode.
BullGuard for Android
If you want to ensure the security of your data on a mobile device, namely and Android one, you can install it on your phone. You can find it in Google Play t or get a link to in on the official website. There is nothing special about installing it on the phone: run the download, and the device will install it automatically. Afterward, you can try cleaning junk files on your phone or tablet to see if it works. Then, adjust the settings that are convenient for you.
Overall, BullGuard Review shows that the antivirus is simple, feature-rich, and affordable. However, during the tests, we found several weak spots. So, it makes sense to take a trial period before paying for a whole year of use.