BullGuard Antivirus Review 2020: Internet Security For Home, Mobile, and Gaming

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PC Gaming Best for
4 /5
Rating
$ 29.99 /mo
Starting Price
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Table of Contents

    Our Verdict

    With almost 19 years of experience, Bullguard has a massive customer base of over 53 million users worldwide. It has performed consistently well in performance and protection evaluations organized by third-party labs, including AV-Test and AV-Comparatives.

    Overall, it’s an affordable antivirus solution packed with an array of essential add-ons for enhanced security. Besides its extremely lightweight and limited impact on your devices, the solution is compatible across all major platforms, including mobile phones. Best of all, Bullguard antivirus is widely considered to be the best antivirus for gaming PCs.

    If you’re trying to determine whether it’s a robust and reliable tool worth investing in, learn everything about the offering’s strengths and drawbacks in our comprehensive Bullguard review.

    Best For

    • Affordable multi-device protection 
    • Regular users who need moderate protection from online threats
    • Users who demand additional features like Identity Protection and Home Network Scanner
    • Gaming PCs

    Lowest Price: $29.99

    MSRP Price: $99.99

    Bullguard Overview

    Established in 2002, Bullguard is an award-winning Danish IT security company focused on making the internet a safer place for consumers and small businesses. The company builds antivirus solutions, IoT (Internet Of Things) offerings, and mobile security software compatible with PCs, macOS, tablets, and smartphones. 

    Although there are many products to choose from, the company has maintained a low price tag for its services to sustain its widespread appeal among consumers from across the globe. AV-Test certified Bullguard Internet Security as the Top Product in their July-August 2020 Product Review and Certification Report alongside brands like Avast ($79.99 at Avast) and Bitdefender ($24.99 at Bitdefender). 

    There are many additional value-added features available, but you need to subscribe to the top-tier plan to take advantage of them. At its core, this robust antivirus relies on dynamic machine learning to provide multi-layered security from threats, both online and offline.

    Pros And Cons

    Pros

    • Extremely lightweight
    • Compatible across PC, Mac, Android as well as earlier versions of Windows OS
    • Easy to use
    • Affordable pricing tiers
    • Strong multi-layered protection against malware and other threat

    Cons

    • Add-ons are limited compared to other brands
    • Most of the features are only available with the top-tier package
    • Doesn’t include a VPN

    How To Set It Up And Uninstall

    To set it up on your computer, you’ll need to download a small .exe file named BullguardDownloaderBPP.exe. Once you run this file, the installation wizard will guide you through the rest of the installation processes. 

    Follow the steps prompted on your screen and click on Finish. You’ll create an account before finalizing the installation, and there’s no way of getting around it. Once complete, open the program and enter the 16-digit license key to get started. If you haven’t purchased the product, you may continue using the trial version for up to 30 days.

    If you wish to uninstall the antivirus from your Windows device, you can directly remove it from the Control Panel. Alternatively, you can use the uninstaller provided directly within the installation folder.

    Features

    Bullguard Premium Protection has all the features you need, followed by Internet Security and Antivirus plans. Like some of its competitors, it doesn't contain a free VPN but balances this shortcoming by offering various other essential features. These include multi-layered protection from malware, ransomware and phishing attacks, macOS and Android security, behavioral engines, dynamic machine learning, game boosters, vulnerability scanners, parental controls, cloud-integrated backups, home network scanners, firewall, free browser updates, and Ultimate Identity Protection.

    Want to secure your mobile phone? Learn how to protect your Android phones from viruses.

    General

    • Money-Back Guarantee: Yes, up to 30 days from the date of purchase
    • Free Version: Yes
    • Platform: Windows, macOS, Android
    • Parental Controls: Yes 
    • Email Protection: Yes
    • Chat: No
    • VPN Service: No
    • Smartphone Optimizer: No
    • USB Virus Scans: Yes
    • Automated Virus Scans: Yes
    • Game Mode: Yes
    • Safe Browser: Yes
    • Passive Mode: Yes

    Threat Protection

    • Anti-Spyware: Yes
    • Anti-Worm: Yes
    • Anti-Trojan: Yes 
    • Anti-Rootkit: Yes 
    • Anti-Phishing: Yes
    • Anti-Spam: Yes
    • Adware Prevention: No

    Scanning

    When opting for this provider, you’ll receive quick scans, scheduled scans, full scans, and vulnerability tests included. It’s easy to execute these scans right from the dashboard. Like most other brands, you can manage scheduled scans and run detailed USB virus scans with Bullguard.

    The Vulnerability Scanner is a great tool that prevents malware-infected applications from automatically downloading. Additionally, it validates the authenticity of device drivers and installed apps by matching digital signatures. The system alerts you of missing security updates and notifies you if your device is connected to unsecured Wi-Fi networks. These features run seamlessly and don’t hinder the device’s performance, which is another significant benefit of this product. 

    Pricing

    Bullguard pricing plans are straightforward and affordable compared to other brands. Here’s the current pricing for their packages:

    Plan

    Price

    No. of Devices

    Top Features

    Antivirus

    $29.99/year

    1 PC

    Antivirus, Game Booster, Free Automatic Updates

    Internet Security

    $59.99/year

    3

    Parental Control, Cloud Integrated Backup, Android and macOS Protection

    Premium Protection

    $99.99/year

    10

    PC Tune Up, Home Network Scanner, Ultimate Identity Protection

    Discount

    While the company doesn’t offer discounts if you opt for a one-year plan, you can save at least 33% of the total cost if you choose a three-year subscription.

    Privacy And Security

    Privacy - The antivirus suite’s spam filter is more robust than most products. Bullguard is excellent at blocking malicious websites in real-time by scanning and filtering all network traffic that goes in and out of your device. It also includes a custom built-in browser designed to help you surf the web and process payments with utmost security. The browser is capable of defending your device from all types of browser-based attacks and prevents cookies, extensions, or plugins from loading without your permission. For enhanced privacy, you can upgrade to the top-tier plan to unlock the Ultimate Identity Protection feature.

    Security - The antivirus engine has scored a consistent 6/6 score in the recent AV-Test Product Review and Certification Report from July to August 2020. Other third-party tests also confirm that the product performs very well in widespread and prevalent threat detection and detecting zero-day threats. The Dynamic Machine Learning and Behavioral Engine work in unison to provide multi-layered security against all threats, both online and offline. You’ll also receive a heavy-duty layered firewall that integrates seamlessly with your device’s existing firewall to provide an extra layer of security. 

    Performance And Protection

    Bullguard is considered to be one of the most lightweight antiviruses. With the 2021 update, the company claims to have substantially reduced the signature file size to minimize device resource consumption, thus improving overall performance. The newly updated Game Booster feature now includes added compatibility for anti-cheat engines, blocking unwanted pop-ups, and preventing system updates mid-game. Best of all, it ensures zero interruption for gamers, especially those who like recording or streaming their games. 

    It scored a perfect 6/6 for its outstanding speed in the tests organized by AV-Test, leaving behind industry leaders like Avast, AVG, and ESET.

    • Malware Protection - While it isn’t the most powerful security solution, the solution does an above-average job of detecting malware and threats in real-time, thanks to the dynamic machine learning and behavioral monitoring algorithms. The anti-phishing engine is equally powerful and can block browser-based threats while you’re browsing

    • Ransomware Detection - An included antivirus engine and firewall keep your device safe from ransomware attacks. Bullguard also allows you to set up cloud backups so you can keep your most important files secure. You can also use the secure browser to avoid any suspicious URL or ransomware attacks while browsing online

    • Phishing Detection - The software is good at blocking malicious websites by scanning and filtering all network traffic connected to your device while it’s online. This inclusion means you’ll be protected irrespective of the browser you’re using. For additional security, you can always depend on the built-in secure browser that doesn’t even load cookies, plugins, and extensions without your permission

    • Firewall Protection  -  One of the firewall features’ best characteristics is that it doesn’t automatically turn off your device’s pre-installed firewall. It relies on the Windows firewall to deliver enhanced protection. It blocks unauthorized attempts to connect to the internet while providing end-to-end security before, during, and after you download new applications and programs

    Lab Test Results

    The company has been a part of AV-Tests since June 2010. Owing to its outstanding performance in detecting common malware, identifying zero-day threats, overall performance, and usability tests, Bullguard has been certified as the Top Product in five consecutive tests held between December 2019 and August 2020.

    The August 2020 test saw the solution detected 100% of 370 zero-day malware threats, whereas the industry average for the same was 97%. It also scored a solid 5/6 in the usability test by keeping the false alarms limited to just one while the industry average was around 15.

    Ease Of Use And Interface

    Bullguard made it to the top three products in our list alongside Bitdefender and ESET regarding ease of use. The user interface is genuinely straightforward, thanks to a dashboard that features a mixture of modern design and vintage vibes from installation to customization. The display contains several square panels that allow you to access every required function in a single click. 

    The design looks a bit clogged at first glance but is exceptionally intuitive due to a shallow learning curve. We appreciated the dashboard given the dropdown design reduces the number of clicks needed to access specific functionalities.

    Customer Support

    Premium users, irrespective of the plan, will gain access to 24/7 live chat, ticket system, and email support. However, there is no phone support, which might be a downside for specific users. The product is easy to use, and you’ll find detailed user guides and tutorials on the official website, support knowledgebase, the official blog, and the community forum. 

    The company is known for its speedy responses to customer’s concerns with an average response time of two to three minutes. Furthermore, the support team is incredibly well-equipped to provide professional assistance and is exceptionally adept at providing accessible explanations for complicated issues that arise.

    How Do You Stop A Bullguard Quarantine?

    At times, the antivirus may show false positives and move incorrect files to quarantine. This can be frustrating when it arises, but there’s a simple way to stop this. Just follow the steps listed below:

    1. Open your user dashboard and click on Settings
    2. From the Settings screen, click on Advanced in the top-right corner
    3. Now click on Antivirus on the left-hand menu and turn off the antivirus protection
    4. Browse back to the Quarantine folder and restore the file
    5. Next, go back to the Settings screen and select Antivirus > Tuning
    6. On this screen, check the box next to “Skip Files/Folders”
    7. Click on the Files/Folders, then click on the “+” icon, select the file(s) and add it to the skipping list
    8. Finally, turn on the antivirus again to see that selected files aren’t quarantined

    How To Add Exceptions To Bullguard

    The firewall component may restrict access to specific websites. Although it does so for security reasons, this may prove troublesome at times. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to whitelist websites or add certain exceptions for programs and apps on your firewall. Follow these steps to add exceptions:

    1. Open the Settings menu
    2. On the next screen, you’ll see the “Enter File Path” message
    3. You can either type in or paste the file path(s) that you wish to whitelist
    4. Click the “Add” button, then click “Continue”
    5. Click Finish once you’re done adding all the paths

    Alternatives

    In summing up our Bullguard antivirus review, we can readily certify that it’s one of the most-lightweight antiviruses out in today’s market. It contains many essential security features and covers devices across operating platforms within a minimal price tag. However, if you need additional features like a VPN, file shredder, or password manager, be sure to check out these alternatives:

     

    FAQ

    1. Is BullGuard antivirus free?

    No, but it offers a 30-day free trial period.

      2. Where to buy BullGuard antivirus?

      Please click on the “Visit Site” link at the top of this review to buy it directly from the official website.

        3. Does BullGuard remove malware?

        Yes, it does an above-average job of detecting and removing malware in real-time, both online and offline.

          4. How do I temporarily disable BullGuard antivirus?

          You can temporarily disable the program from the Settings menu. However, it isn’t recommended unless you have a different security solution in place or are attempting to halt its operation to remove a file from quarantine.

            5. How do I get rid of BullGuard software?

            You can either uninstall it from your device’s Control Panel or use the built-in uninstaller available within your device’s installation folder.