BullGuard is a software company that makes antivirus and internet security software. Find out if this software really makes the cut today in our BullGuard review.
What is BullGuard?
BullGuard is a software developer that offers multi-device protection, including PC and mobile device security.
The company claims that its BullGuard Internet Security software is “the #1 rated product in Europe”. They also mention that the software has been featured in The Huffington Post, Forbes, VentureBeat, VICE, BBC, and Newsweek, among others.
So what’s the big deal behind BullGuard?
Well, BullGuard’s Antivirus and Internet Security software are straightforward products that work in a similar way to most other software on the market: they protect your device from online threats.
However, BullGuard has recently made a name for its IoT Scanner, which claims to be “the world’s first security scanner for the Internet of Things.”
BullGuard was founded in 2002. The company is based in the United Kingdom.
Let’s take a closer look at the BullGuard software products and features.
At the time of writing, BullGuard has three core products available, including:
The software is available for between $18 and $30 per year on discount. The “regular” retail prices are between $30 and $100 per year.
BullGuard Antivirus ($17.97 Discount / $29.95 Regular Price)
BullGuard Antivirus is your typical PC antivirus software. It comes with a spam filter, safe browsing support, and antivirus protection. It does not come with things like a vulnerability scanner, firewall, or identity protection features. Your purchase gives you access to the Antivirus for one PC for one entire year.
BullGuard Internet Security ($17.99 Discount / $59.95 Regular Price)
BullGuard Internet Security features antivirus protection, safe browsing support, a spam filter, and vulnerability scanner. It also comes with a firewall, parental control, and encrypted cloud backup. This program comes with multi-platform support. The software is available on Windows, Android, and Apple devices.
BullGuard Premium Protection ($29.99 Discount / $99.95 Regular Price)
BullGuard Premium Protection comes with all of the features in the two software programs combined – along with some bonus features. There’s antivirus, safe browsing, a spam filter, 24/7 tech support, PC Tune Up, firewall, parental control, encrypted cloud backup, identity protection, and social media protection. It’s available for about the same price as the two other BullGuard programs combined. Just like with the Internet Security, this comes with multi-platform support, including support for Windows, Apple, and Android devices.
BullGuard software all has some common features. If you buy the BullGuard Premium Protection, then you get access to all of the features listed below. If you just buy Antivirus, you get access to the antivirus, safe browsing, spamfilter (yes, it’s written as all one word), and 24/7 support features. Internet Security, on the other hand, comes with all of the same features on Premium Protection except for identity protection and social media protection.
-Total Protection: BullGuard software claims to stop all malware and other online threats from reaching your device.
-Cross-Platform Security: Works on desktops, laptops (both Mac and PC), as well as Android tablets and smartphones.
-Simple and Secure Installation: BullGuard inspects your system prior to installing, removing any malware, then installs the latest virus definitions when the installation is complete.
-Encrypted Cloud Backup: You can back up directly from BullGuard to your Dropbox, Google Drive, or One Drive accounts. There’s also local backup, if you don’t want to mess with the cloud.
-Parental Control: Block access to suspicious websites, put search filters in place, limit your kids’ online time, monitor their activity, and block certain applications. These filters are also available on Android devices, with the additional benefit of call and application monitoring, location tracking, and antitheft.
-Mobile Device Protection: BullGuard has mobile cloud-based antivirus software to prevent malware and spyware.
-Vulnerability Scanner: Checks for missing security updates, connections to unsecured Wi-Fi networks or applications that execute automatically.
-Spamfilter: This built-in spam filter keeps out junk mail and email scams, including automatic phishing filtering and foreign language spam.
-24/7 Support: BullGuard comes with free 24/7 support for all active subscribers. You can access support over chat or email.
BullGuard is multi-platform software available on all of the following platforms:
-Windows 10, 8, 7, and Vista
-Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0 or later
-Mac OS X 10.11 or later
-Android tablets and phones, Android 4.0 and higher
The software is also available in English, French, Danish, Swedish, Dutch, Germany, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Norwegian, Italian, and Chinese.
Does BullGuard Actually Work?
BullGuard makes a big deal out of its AV-Test testing, claiming that it earned 16.5/18, a significantly better score than other leading antivirus software.
If you look on the official AV-Test.org website, you’ll find that this is mostly true. BullGuard Internet Security has been consistently well-rated by AV-Test, with 4.5 stars out of 5 in all three categories (Protection, Performance, and Usability).
However, many other software programs had perfect 5 star scores (Trend Micro and Bitdefender had 5 star scores in each category). Because of this, BullGuard tied for 6th in protection, tied for 4th in performance, and tied for 8th in usability (all of the programs in front of BullGuard achieved a perfect 5 star score).
You can view AV-Test’s August 2016 test results here.
On the BullGuard official website, they post the scores of other antivirus software that they beat, including Avast (15/18), Microsoft Defender (14/18), Panda (14/18), and Comodo (12/18). They conveniently don’t mention that a number of software programs scored higher.
Ultimately, AV-test is a strict testing standard recognized as a mainstay in the industry. BullGuard didn’t quite achieve perfect marks on the test, but it came close. Its ratings have also been steadily approving over the years.
What Do Customers Have to Say About BullGuard?
BullGuard products have medium to strong reviews online, typically scoring between 3-4 stars out of 5 on tech blogs and review websites. The company’s Android antivirus has an average rating of 4 on the Google Play Store with a total of nearly 3,000 votes so far.
Some of the pros and cons of the software we learned from these reviews include:
-Good antivirus lab scores
-Good scores in independent malware-blocking tests (like PCMag’s test here)
-Excellent score in malicious URL blocking test
-Strong antiphishing score
-Firewall resisted attack in testing
-Features vulnerability scan
-Performs multi-faceted PC tune-up
-Local and online backup
-Excellent customer support
-Easy to use
-Flexibility to create profiles
-Spam filter missed a lot of spam
-More impact on system performance than other software
-Realtime protection tried to block the same malware thousands of times
-“Smart kids could get around some parental control limits”
-Hard to schedule scans
-Too many false positives
-No password manager
The BullGuard Internet of Things Scanner
BullGuard recently released a unique new product called the Internet of Things (IoT) Scanner. The IoT Scanner lets you check if your internet-connected devices at home are public on Shodan, which is a search engine for the Internet of Things. Shodan allows users to find devices that are publicly accessible on the internet and may be vulnerable to hackers.
The Internet of Things, for those out of the loop, is a term for all your home’s “smart” devices that aren’t computers, tablets, smartphones, and other conventional electronics. It includes security cameras, smart TVs, smart fridges, and more.
The IoT Scanner is a free online tool. You can use it here: http://ift.tt/1U66yJ5
Should You Use BullGuard?
BullGuard’s pricing is a bit misleading: the software always seems to be available at the discounted rate for some reason or another. Sometimes, it’s a Cyber Monday sale, while in other cases, it’s a spring sale. The discount rate is a nice price, although please note that we rarely see the software sold for anywhere close to its $100 year “regular price”.
Overall, BullGuard is a popular antivirus and PC security suite that can protect your PC in multiple ways using multiple tools. It’s not quite as well ranked as its similarly-priced competitors, but it has gradually improved its scores in independent testing over the years. It doesn’t quite compete with the “big boys”, but it’s getting close.
If you’re in the market for new antivirus/PC security/Android security software, and you can find BullGuard available at a reasonable price, then it may be worth a buy.