Bullguard In­ter­net Se­cu­rity

BELOW-PAR PRO­TEC­TION PUTS THIS SOFT­WARE WELL OFF THE PACE OF ITS RI­VALS

PC & Tech Authority - - CONTENTS - $89.95 • www.bullguard.com

BullGuard hasn’t had a very good time of it in our re­cent tests, and we’re sad to say that this year hasn’t seen things im­prove at all. In fact, BullGuard In­ter­net Se­cu­rity has done ex­cep­tion­ally poorly.

With a to­tal ac­cu­racy score of 88%, BullGuard In­ter­net Se­cu­rity comes above only Win­dows De­fender in this test. Since Win­dows De­fender is some­thing that we re­fer to as base­line pro­tec­tion only, that’s not good. To put this in per­spec­tive, ev­ery other bit of free soft­ware, and ev­ery other paid-for suite did bet­ter than BullGuard in our tests.

Drilling down into the re­sults to nd out where things went wrong, it soon be­came clear. Look­ing at the pro­tec­tion ac­cu­racy rat­ing, BullGuard scored just 75%. While BullGuard In­ter­net Se­cu­rity cor­rectly de­tected 96 out of 100 threats, it blocked only 85, neu­tralised a fur­ther eight and let seven bits of mal­ware through. Again, only Win­dows De­fender’s poor pro­tec­tion let more through.

When it came to le­git­i­mate soft­ware, an ac­cu­racy rat­ing of 96% puts BullGuard near the bot­tom of the table, too. Over­all, it’s not a great re­sult from this anti-virus com­pany this year.

VALUE ADDED

We de­cided to re­view In­ter­net Se­cu­rity, as it’s the best-value pack­age, cur­rently on sale for $89.95 for three de­vices. The Pre­mium Pro­tec­tion jumps up to $149.95, which is a lot more to pay. The sub­scrip­tion cov­ers mul­ti­ple de­vices, which BullGuard says is for all of your equip­ment: PC, Mac and An­droid.

The pro­tec­tion is a shame, as the soft­ware is one of the eas­i­est-to-use ap­pli­ca­tions. The main screen is split into seven clearly la­belled sec­tions. Each sec­tion has a pri­mary ac­tion (such as Quick scan for the An­tivirus menu) and then a menu of sec­ondary op­tions (such as Full Scan and Scan Folder), mak­ing it easy to nd the tools you’ll use most of­ten.

Away from the anti-virus and re­wall, BullGuard also scans for out of-date-soft­ware and other known vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties, and cleans up what it per­ceives as junk les.

BullGuard is set to en­able back­ground PC op­ti­mi­sa­tions. These au­to­mat­i­cally clean browser caches, and delete log, mem­ory dump and crash dump les. These are fea­tures that we be­lieve should only be en­abled by a user and should not be the de­fault set­ting.

BullGuard has all the parental con­trols you’d ex­pect from a se­cu­rity pack­age. You can block broad web­site cat­e­gories, as well as speci c URLs. BullGuard has a set of pre­sets for dif­fer­ent child ages, un­block­ing more cat­e­gories for older chil­dren.

AHEAD OF SCHED­ULE

There’s an easy-to-use sched­ul­ing tool that lets you sched­ule hours dur­ing which your chil­dren are al­lowed to use the in­ter­net and the PC it­self. You can also block speci c ap­pli­ca­tions, al­though these are blan­ket blocks that are al­ways ac­tive, in­stead of timed. You can also stop the trans­mis­sion of speci c num­ber and text strings, such as credit card num­bers. All of this in­for­ma­tion has to be en­tered man­u­ally, so it’s quite a la­bo­ri­ous job to get it all done.

Game Booster works on sys­tems with four or more cores, au­to­mat­i­cally de­tect­ing when a game is play­ing, and re­duc­ing BullGuard’s re­source us­age, so you don’t get any slow­down. This could be a neat fea­ture, but it would be nice to see a tra­di­tional game mode, where pop­ups are sup­pressed, so that your gam­ing ses­sion isn’t in­ter­rupted.

There’s a built-in backup util­ity, and the des­ti­na­tion can be set as Drop­box, Google Drive, OneDrive or an ex­ter­nal HDD/NAS. How­ever, if you’re us­ing any of the for­mer cloud ser­vices, you may as well in­stall the client soft­ware and make sure that all your im­por­tant les are stored there. This is far more con­ve­nient than re­ly­ing on BullGuard.

Ul­ti­mately, de­spite the com­pet­i­tive pric­ing and sim­ple in­ter­face, BullGuard didn’t do well enough in this round of tests for us to rec­om­mend it. In­stead, we rec­om­mend us­ing Kaspersky Se­cu­rity Cloud, which topped the table and gave us the best over­all pro­tec­tion score in this year’s test.

“BullGuard In­ter­net Se­cu­rity comes above only Win­dows De­fender in this test. Since Win­dows De­fender is some­thing that we re­fer to as base­line pro­tec­tion only, that’s not good”

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