Pros / BullGuard scans your computer for weak points where malware, hackers and other threats can sneak in.
Cons / Neither version of the program includes a password manager.
Verdict / BullGuard protects your computer better than the basic security features included with your operating system, but it causes noticeable slowdown as it runs.
BullGuard Internet Security and BullGuard Premium Protection protect your computer better than basic antivirus software because they have more security tools, including parental controls, a personal firewall, a decent gamer mode and online file backup. There isn’t a big difference between BullGuard’s internet security suite and premium security software – both are good enough to be counted among the best internet protection solutions for Windows operating systems.
Independent antivirus software test labs evaluated BullGuard products over several months to see how well they detect known and unknown malware threats, and the results were mixed. In general, BullGuard Internet Security and BullGuard Premium Protection do a good job of blocking known malware, but they slip a bit in detecting new, evolving threats that haven’t been identified yet.
During our in-house performance testing, we browsed the web, sent emails, played online games, watched online videos, and downloaded and uploaded files while the software performed full virus scans and ran in the background. BullGuard’s security suites significantly slowed down our test computers during virus scans as well as when they ran in the background. Independent lab tests showed similar results, especially while launching popular and frequently used programs.
Scanning & Detection
BullGuard has a gamer mode, but you need to enable it manually. This feature suspends virus scans and pop-up notifications while you play games or watch videos online. When the software is in gamer mode, it protects your computer against internet threats, but it doesn’t tax your system’s resources as heavily, so there is less lag.
Both BullGuard Internet Security and BullGuard Premium Protection have a vulnerability scanner that looks for weak spots in your system where malware and other threats try to sneak in. This includes unprotected passwords, out-of-date software and even programs no longer in use. The software gives you suggestions on how to strengthen these vulnerabilities and keep your computer safe.
Both programs have the exact same security coverage and safety tools. The biggest difference between the two is that the premium internet security suite includes network protection. This means BullGuard Premium Protection scans every device that connects to your internet for viruses and other threats. This includes smart appliances, baby monitors, thermostats and devices such as Amazon’s Echo Dot or Google Home.
Privacy & Protection
BullGuard includes useful security tools that work well. We were especially impressed with the suites’ parental controls when we tested them on our own home computers. Very few unsavory sites sneaked through as we chose various filter categories. However, sometimes good sites were tagged as dangerous, particularly when we blocked gaming sites. But it was easy to unblock individual sites when our kids asked for permission to access them, and we could set whether they could only access them for a certain time frame or indefinitely.
There are a couple of tools BullGuard’s programs don’t have. Neither the Internet Security nor the Premium Protection software has a password manager or a virtual keyboard to help protect your identity and personal information online. Also, neither program works on mobile devices, though you can purchase a separate mobile antivirus program from BullGuard that is compatible with Android cell phones and tablets.
If you have any questions or need help with your BullGuard internet security program, the company’s free live support is available 24/7. This includes both telephone and online chat support, so you can talk with someone in real time right when you need them.
BullGuard does a good job protecting your computer from known malware threats but has a little trouble blocking new viruses. It’s missing a few security features, such as a password manager and a virtual keyboard, but the tools it does have, including parental controls, a vulnerability scanner and a personal firewall, all are very effective. We noticed some lag on our computer while BullGuard ran in the background, with even more slowdown during full virus scans; however, enabling the gamer mode helps this a bit.