- Strong viruses and malware protection
- Nice minimalistic design
- Safe browsing feature
- Antiphishing and a spam filter
- E-mail scanning
- A good built-in firewall
- Parental control
- PC optimization
- Vulnerability scanner
The company was established in 2002 by Danish entrepreneurs. For over 15 years of its existence, it has turned into a recognizable brand. As of today, BullGuard provides full-featured cross-platform anti-malware products, as well as mobile security software and IOT (Internet of Things) solutions. In most BullGuard reviews it is described as a robust and reliable tool for basic protection. What are the strong and weak points of BullGuard antivirus? Keep on reading to learn the details.
Thanks to their policy of affordable price-tags, lightning-speed customer support, and discounts, they’re created a product that is popular all over the globe. This antivirus is lightweight and has little to no impact on the system. It features a user-friendly design. With well-above-average independent test results, a list of simple yet useful features, and constant updates, it turns into a must-have.
Compared to the previous versions, the 2020 BullGuard packages are quite impressive. You’ll find antivirus solutions for all major platforms. Our team of experts has done a thorough research of every single aspect and feature of BullGuard. In this BullGuard antivirus review, we’ll tell you all there is to know about this product’s strong and weak sides.
- Users in search for ease of use and minimal impact on the system
- Regular users looking for above-average protection
- All major platforms, including mobile phones
The List Of Pros & Cons
- Lightweight and fast
- Compatible with earlier Windows versions, including Windows Vista (both 32 and 64)
- Antivirus protection is above average
- Most of the extra features come in handy
- Almost no impact on system performance
- Design and usability are excellent
- Anti-malware protection could be better
- The number of extras is limited
- For Android and Mac, a premium version needs to be acquired
As mentioned, BullGuard has been on the market for well over 15 years. That kind of experience allows the company to find the right pricing for its products and offer potential clients attractive deals. Let us take a quick look at the current price-tags for one year of protection:
- BullGuard Antivirus – $29.99/year ($20.99 with discount)
- BullGuard Internet Security – $59.99/year ($24 with 45% discount)
- BullGuard Premium Protection – $99.95/year ($40 with 60% discount)
- BullGuard Mobile Security – $19.95/year
Please note that the antivirus solution for mobile devices is also available for free. It comes with most of the essential features and offers protection for one device.
As for the rest of the products, every single package, including Premium Protection, offers free trials. The most basic plan – BullGuard Antivirus – is available with a 15-day trial, while the other two can be tested for free for 30 days. Moreover, you won’t even have to share your credit card information to get the trial version (you will have to create an account later, though).
Reliability and Security
When it comes to protection from viruses and malware, BullGuard antivirus does its job well, though there are some weak points and omissions. While most providers use a standard model, consisting of 3 components (a signature matching, a heuristic analysis, and samples collection) for detecting possible threats, it applies only two elements. Those include a signature matching and a heuristic analysis.
In practice, it means that it is not as good at detecting new threats as its counterparts. But still, it copes pretty well with the majority of viruses and some types of malware. As for the results of lab tests, they can be described as inconsistent. Both AV-TEST and AV-Comparatives confirm that the software performs very well in widespread threats detection. But when it comes to detecting zero-day threats, it lags behind most rivals.
While BullGuard is not the most potent antivirus in terms of security algorithms and real-world tests, it does come through with above-average results. BullGuard is very well capable of blocking 100% of known malware and 99% of the so-called zero-day threats. It proved its worth in our team’s hands-on tests.
Anti-phishing protection is also quite impressive. While it lags behind Norton (only by 3%), BullGuard did manage to block the vast majority of threats. In URL blocking, it performed rather well and earned a rating of 89%, which puts it into the list of the top-10 antivirus solutions on the market.
The biggest concern with this antivirus is its inconsistency. In recent tests, it managed to get into the top-8, while only a couple of months ago, it was lagging well behind the leaders.
The list of available scans includes quick, full and vulnerability tests. You can launch them right from the dashboard, which adds to the software’s ease of use. As with most rivals, with BullGuard, you can start scheduled scans, manually scan files/folders on your device, and even check a USB device to see whether it’s contaminated or not.
All scan types are available even with the most basic tier. The vulnerability scan locates unsigned drivers which could, potentially, be dangerous. Wi-Fi security, Windows Updates, and auto-run settings are other areas that it scans. The customizable scans give a lot of room for fine-tuning the process. You can choose which hard drives, folders, and files to check, what to do once the antivirus finds threats and more.
The scans take less time to complete than the industry average. And, you can keep on using the device with a scan running in the background. Even the full scan didn’t get in our way and allowed us to keep on working.
Ease of Use
Regarding usability, BullGuard antivirus easily makes it into the top-3. It is genuinely simple in everything – from signing up to set up. The app itself has a sleek modern design with some vintage vibes. The main window displays several square panels (tiles) that allow accessing all essential features in a single click. If you want to upgrade to the premium version, you can do it right from the same window by clicking the “Upgrade now” button.
Download and Installation
Before you download and install BullGuard, you’ll need to choose a plan that suits you best. Once you hit “download,” a tiny installer will appear on your device. The installation procedure is simple and user-friendly. After its completion, the antivirus will ask you to create an account.
You will need to restart the computer or device, and after that, BullGuard will download all the latest updates from the official website. It is recommended that you run a full scan the first time you launch the antivirus.
The team behind the new interface made sure to create one of the most intuitive and good-looking designs on the market. Everything is right there in front of you, but for some users, it may be rather a con than a pro. The thing is – you’ll find vulnerability scans and even the company’s logo Game Booster mode on the main screen, while antivirus-specific options are not present. That’s a questionable design decision.
It will take some getting used to, that’s true, but most users seem to like this approach. The drop-down list is a great feature, and it allows you to access pretty much every single menu/option within 1-2 clicks. The design is a bit retro and looks very familiar to what we’ve seen 10-12 years ago.
BullGuard adds as much as eight processes to the system (you can check them in the Task Manager). However, they do not overload the OS, the RAM, and the CPU. The average RAM consumption is 200MB. It is a lot less than Bitdefender with its 600-700MB. The CPU impact is also very light even though it used to be high in the previous versions of the antivirus.
As we have already mentioned in our BullGuard review, you can choose between several packages and plans with this antivirus. The company offers a desktop, mobile, and two multi-device solutions. Here they are:
BullGuard Antivirus. It is an entry-level desktop antivirus that will cover your basic needs. Sadly, the pack only includes one license for one device (a PC) running a Windows OS (no, it’s not compatible with Mac OS). The following list represents the features that this package comes with:
- Safe browsing
- Behavioral engine
- Vulnerability Scanner
- Game Booster
BullGuard Internet Security. This is a multi-device pack, meaning it’s also compatible with Mac and Android devices. Furthermore, it can simultaneously protect up to 3 devices (both desktop and mobile). The additional features include:
- Vulnerability Scanner
- Parental Control
- Cloud Integrated Backup
- PC Tune-Up
BullGuard Premium Protection is the same as BullGuard Internet Security, but with an upgraded network scanner, 25 GB of storage space, and protection for up to 10 devices.
BullGuard Mobile Security. This package is intended for mobile devices running on Android. Currently, it’s not available for iOS, which is somewhat disappointing. The good news is – the free version is fully-packed and will do a great job of protecting your mobile device. The Premium version features Parental Control, Application Monitoring, GPS Tracking, and protection for five simultaneous connections.
No matter which package you choose, the primary antivirus engine is the same. That means that with a more expensive package, you get more extra features and not additional protection algorithms. It’s for you to decide whether you need these extras or not.
Support and Customer Service
BullGuard offers professional 24/7 support in 12 languages. The consultations are provided via three channels – a live chat, e-mail, and an on-site ticket system. On the downside, they don’t have voice support by phone. However, chances are you will never need it.
The product is very easy to use, and on their official site, you’ll find links to the Blog and the Forum where you can contact the community. On the Blog, you’ll find answers to most of your questions without having to contact support directly.
The speedy responses are the support’s most significant selling point as you can expect to get an answer within 2 to 3 minutes. That is an industry-leading result that puts BullGuard on the pedestal. Furthermore, the help is highly professional and support is excellent at explaining complicated things in a plain and simple manner.
If you read various reviews, you’ll find controversial opinions about this product. On the one hand, reviewers usually are positive about its overall performance and features. On the other side, the quality of protection is inconsistent. While it demonstrates perfect results in detecting and eliminating known viruses and malware, there can be difficulties with identifying zero-day threats and sophisticated ransomware.
Though the basic antivirus version is quite affordable, the same can’t be said about the premium options, especially if you are buying three licenses. The most important thing is – the level of protection doesn’t change as you go premium. All in all, the software can be recommended as an entry-level solution for those who don’t expect too much from an antivirus. Otherwise, you may consider alternative options.