Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about Personal Firewall Software here.
BullGuard Internet Security has a Windows firewall that monitors your computer for threats attempting to break into your network through your internet connection. Third-party laboratory tests show that the program is very effective at identifying and blocking known malware, though sometimes it marks legitimate files as threats. It also includes Spamfilter, a tool that scans incoming email messages and attachments for malware.
We found BullGuard detected threats like keyloggers and adware on our test computers. The firewall also quickly notified us when it caught a malicious program trying to communicate with our network. In addition, the software’s vulnerability scan detected when a program was out of date.
However, BullGuard Internet Security created a lot of lag on our computer while it ran. This was especially noticeable when we played games or watched videos online. Unlike other firewall protection software we tested, it doesn’t have a gamer or silent mode to suspend scans and other activities while you play games and watch movies. This feature frees up computer resources and cuts down on slowdown during these activities.
The firewall automatically sets rules about what to monitor and what to block, but you can adjust its settings to include more protections. This is helpful if the public networks you connect to aren’t as secure as your home internet connection. This firewall blocks programs that stalk you online and record your activities like cookies and spyware.
We also tested BullGuard’s parental control features and found them to be helpful. You can filter online content according to four categories and 24 subcategories. When enabled, the program keeps your children from accessing sites that fall under those categories or contain content that may be harmful. Categories include illegal drugs, hate, nudity and violence. You can also block gaming, gambling, social media and shopping websites. If your child tries to access any restricted site, BullGuard shows them a warning message and encourages them to talk to you about allowing access to that website. If you decide to allow your child to visit the site, you can give them access without unblocking additional harmful content.
BullGuard Internet Security includes a protected backup profile. This lets you create a duplicate of your computer files, documents and programs in case a threat gets through and you have to scrub your computer clean. Using the backup files, you can restore your computer back to its pre-infection state.
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We found BullGuard did a good job of protecting our network with its virus scan and powerful firewall. It also has helpful parental control features that let you decide what your children view online. In addition, the vulnerability checks can strengthen your network to protect against possible hackers, bots and other snoops. It’s unfortunate that all this protection takes up a lot of your computer’s resources, creating a significant amount of slowdown.