BullGuard Internet Security 2015 combines adequate online protection with remarkable usability and smart features.
BullGuard Company’s origin dates back to 2002 when they came up with a simple all-in-one software solution to protect Internet users. This initial endeavor turned out a great success, listing over 3 Million customers a year after the launch. Throughout the 12 years of existence, the vendor has substantially expanded the product line, additionally covering the niches of antivirus, mobile security, anti-spam and online backup. And yet, the most popular and most widely recognized is the BullGuard Internet Security suite which we are going to review and evaluate here.
Speaking of third-party reviews of this software, it has successfully passed all recent AV-TEST and Virus Bulletin evaluations, showing decent scores across all the basic criteria and being particularly good at overall computer protection. The product integrates antivirus, built-in firewall, spamfilter, safe browsing features, recently added protection against browser hijackers, parental controls, PC tune up tool, vulnerability monitoring, data backup and a number of 24/7 support opportunities.
Although BullGuard has not yet reached the recognition which some worldwide-known competitors can boast, it’s definitely on the right track judging from the efficiency and user-friendliness that are hard-coded into the product line.
The generally appreciated option of getting a free trial is made even more luring in this case as the vendor provides 60-day duration thereof, while most competitors suggest 30. Once the tiny 318 KB stub installer gets downloaded and executed, the further setup process is a matter of several clicks, requiring little user involvement, which is a good practice. Generally, the newest version’s setup is fast and smooth, unlike its forerunner which required creating a user account prior to even getting the download and took a while to install. Another little thing to note is that the program checks for conflicting software during the setup and recommends you uninstall it if any – however, you can pick the ‘Install anyway’ option at your own discretion.
Buying the product right away means you pay $59.95 for 1-year subscription (up to 3 computers, 5GB backup as a bundle). Depending on certain preferences such as subscription length, backup size and number of PCs to secure, you can customize your order using their flexible subscription system.
The updated user interface has been significantly revamped. Apart from the elongated shape it inherited from the previous design, the new GUI has got a different functional structure under the hood. The left-hand menu pane on the preceding version’s main console has transformed into a total of 7 large buttons occupying the central part of the interface: Antivirus, Firewall, Backup, Vulnerabilities, Spamfilter, PC Tune Up, and Parental Control. Every one of these buttons has a status icon for the respective feature and a shortcut to the configuration. This is an ultimately intuitive take on GUI design.
None of the tasks, when activated, turned out to be a burden for our lab machine’s processing ability. Naturally, the scan and updates take time and some memory to complete – the full scan lasted a little less than an hour, whereas quick scan took a few minutes to run. The regular security activities can be scheduled to go off at a certain time or when the PC is not in use. Moreover, owing to the PC Tune Up feature you can get your system’s functioning optimized by deleting junk files and old software traces, and addressing errors in Windows Registry. This can slightly improve computer performance, within reason of course.
Apart from the quite lengthy first full scan, BullGuard Internet Security 2015 generally works smooth and exhibits decent usability patterns.
The current version of BullGuard Internet Security delivers a number of smart and rather handy features contributing to identity protection, guarding an entire family’s online activity, and enhancing the performance of the machine: it provides online backup storage, robustly organized parental controls, and the PC Tune Up feature. Meanwhile, the kernel of the product’s protective power is delivered by the good old antivirus and secure browsing options, so let’s get to know this software from the feature angle to see how versatile it is.
Protection scores exhibited by BullGuard Internet Security 2015 across all major platforms are high enough to inspire trust. The latest evaluation by AV-TEST IT-Security Institute states that the software does an exceptionally good job protecting against widespread and prevalent malware (effective in 100% of the cases), whereas defense from 0-day malware attacks is a little below the industry average (95% effective). According to AV-TEST, the product shows a consisent 5.5/6.0 by protection, performance, and usability. As per the recent AV-Comparatives Real-World Protection Test, though, BullGuard has blocked 90.5% of the viruses, which is not that good of a result. And yet, the overall defenses you get are decent enough to keep your personal data intact and avoid critical system infestation, so most users shouldn’t feel lack of security with this suite.
Although there is no telephone support available, BullGuard offers quite an extensive selection of options to get assistance. They provide round-the-clock live chat and email support in English, and set specified timing for live help in a number of other languages (German, French, Danish, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, and Chinese). Additionally, the self-help materials such as Frequently Asked Questions, known issues, product manuals, technical guides are there for you whenever they are needed – you can access those on the vendor’s website www.bullguard.com. Most of these options are also accessible directly from the ‘Support‘ menu in the main GUI. Yet another help source that’s at your disposal is the User Forum containing virus removal, general security and beta testing sections.