BullGuard Internet Security review: Cheap, but not necessarily good value
Good protection at a low price – but the impact on system performance is a lot to swallow
BullGuard is one of the cheapest internet security suites around, and for the money, it delivers a good degree of malware protection. It’s not the leader, but it’s on par with Kaspersky, and it only slipped up once in AV-Test’s false-positives test – although it’s important to note that AV-Comparatives didn’t test it.
The package also brings together a fair set of features, including both a safe browser and an integrated backup client. BullGuard doesn’t provide online storage for your files, but it works with Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive, which may suffice to protect your precious files against ransomware. That’s just as well, since BullGuard doesn’t offer any sort of ransomware-specific protection.
There’s a set of bespoke parental controls, which can selectively block 24 different categories of websites, restrict PC and internet usage, ban specific applications and protocols and – unusually – prevent predefined strings from being transmitted online, so your child can’t broadcast their address or other information. The catch is that it only works for local Windows accounts: if your kids have their own phone or tablet, you’ll need to find another solution.
The Firewall module is similarly a little less than it seems. It provides a complicated Network Activity view, and a bespoke window for managing firewall rules, but behind it all, it’s the regular Windows Firewall that’s actually handling business. There’s no VPN module included in the suite either: clicking the “Try VPN” button takes you to a 30-day trial of the separate BullGuard VPN product, which is operated by NordVPN.
Two final features are the Game Booster and Boot Manager. The first doesn’t just silence notifications when you’re playing a game but also constrains resource usage by other tasks. The latter generates a detailed report of which processes are active during the startup process, so you can see if anything’s causing delays.
Sadly, the biggest cause of system slowdown turns out to be BullGuard itself. AV-Test found that it nearly doubled the time taken to install an application, delayed file copies by 19% and even bogged down web browsing by around 10%. This won’t make your PC unusable, but it’s a noticeable drag – and while BullGuard is quite effective and affordable, it’s not fantastic enough to make up for that.
In This Article
- 1Keep yourself protected with our list of the best security suites
- 2Bitdefender Internet Security 2020 review: One of the most effective security suites around
- 3Avast Free Antivirus review: Pushy but protective
- 4Kaspersky Internet Security 2020 review: Fast, cheap and accurate
- 5Norton 360 Deluxe review: Stands out from the crowd
- 6Windows Defender review: An average default option
- 7AVG Antivirus Free review: Oddly familiar
- 8BullGuard Internet Security review: Cheap, but not necessarily good value - currently reading
- 9Avira Antivirus Pro review: Too costly to justify
- 10Eset Internet Security review: Hard to recommend
- 11F-Secure SAFE review: A mediocre suite with no killer features
- 12McAfee Total Protection review: Improved, but not outstanding
- 13G Data Internet Security review: In case of emergency, avoid
- 14Panda Free Antivirus review: A very tempting AV option
- 15Trend Micro Internet Security review: An unexpected stumble
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