BullGuard combines signature-based detection with behavior detection to identify and stop viruses from infecting your computer. They provide anti-spam, anti-phishing, and anti-malware along with identity theft protection. BullGuard’s identity protection monitors the web—including social networking sites and the dark web—for signs that your personal data is being traded. If identifying details are discovered, such as usernames, passwords, passport information, credit cards, and bank account numbers, you will be alerted to that information so further damage can be prevented.
The parental control features are pretty extensive. Not only can parents monitor searching and browsing activity online, but they can (discretely) keep tabs on their kids’ Facebook friends and interactions. Users can be notified when inappropriate or dangerous content is shared over Facebook. That includes behavior that might be linked to bullies or predators. Furthermore, in the mobile security parental controls, parents can locate their kids via GPS and choose key “alert” words to watch for in text messages.
Once installed, BullGuard’s default setting is set to quiet mode, which keeps pop-ups and notifications to a minimum. The interface itself is pretty minimalist and is set to auto-scan, so it’s pretty hassle-free to use these products, even for customers who aren’t particularly computer-savvy.
BullGuard’s prices seem pretty reasonable, and customers can opt for a 6-month subscription (rather than 1 year) for the basic anti-virus package. Subscribers to the standalone identity and social media protection package can pay by the month, allowing for more payment flexibility.
Besides not having a data shredder, the main beef with BullGuard is that it has minimal coverage of Apple products. The anti-virus computer products cater only to PC users, and the mobile security product doesn’t run on iOS devices. That being said, the mobile security works for Symbian, BlackBerry, and Windows Mobile devices in addition to Androids.
Price (*subject to change)
- Antivirus [sic] $29.95 (1 PC, 1 year)
- Antivirus $20.95 (1 PC, 6 months)
- Internet Security $59.95 (3 PCs, 1 year)
- Premium Protection $99.95 (3 PCs, 1 year)
- Mobile Security $29.95 (1 device, 1 year)
Online backup, identity protection, and social network protection are features that are included in the Premium Protection package, but they can also be purchased separately.
Free trial offer
- Antivirus [sic]: 15-day trial
- Internet Security: 60-day trial
- Premium Protection: 30-day trial
We’re not exactly sure why the trial time windows are different for each product, but the Internet Security trial will give you the most time to decide if you like BullGuard enough to pay for a subscription.
- Remote Access – Allows you to locate a lost or stolen device and clear sensitive data
- Parental Control – Monitor children’s text messages and photos; receive alerts when chosen keywords are used in text messaging; find your children’s whereabouts via GPS
- Firewall and Anti-spam – Protects phone from network attacks and hackers; blocks unwanted calls and messages (These features are available only on phones using Symbian and Windows Mobile)
- Anti-virus and Anti-spyware – Keeps your device safe while browsing
- Data Backup – Saves your contacts and calendar to your online account
- Identity Protection – Protects credit and debit card information and bank account numbers; searches for your private information on the web, including driver’s licenses, insurance numbers, phone numbers, usernames, and passwords
- Parental Controls – Allows parents to discretely monitor their children’s Facebook profiles; flags browsing and social activities that pose risks, including inappropriate content, links to malicious websites, and possible predators or bullies
- Vulnerability Scanner – Checks your PC for outdated software that can be exploited by hackers and viruses
- Firewall – Protects against network attacks; prevents identity and data thieves from hacking into your system
- Anti-spam – Filters out spam, phishing links, and other potentially fraudulent email
- Safe Browsing – Checks all links that appear in search results and on your Facebook page; flags threatening links
BullGuard has been awarded bronze awards from AV-Comparative for file detection and proactive protection, was a top rated product in 2013, and carries “advanced” status in real-world protection. AV-Test has given BullGuard’s Windows 8.1 anti-virus a good usability score, average performance score, and excellent protection score. In their 2013 test, the product caught all of the threats presented by the reference set and almost all threats in the real-world protection test set.
Tune-up & Speed
BullGuard’s Premium Protection package comes with a PC tune-up that cleans out unnecessary files and identifies other issues that might be slowing your computer down.
Time in Business
BullGuard was founded in 2002 (12+ years in business).
BullGuard’s headquarters is in London and the regional office for North and South America is in San Francisco, CA.
BullGuard has chat representatives available 24/7. The chat tool enables service reps to process customer questions and send guides, screenshots, and transcripts of the advice or information exchanged. The company guarantees they will respond to all emails within 24 hours. Customers with subscriptions can receive technical help with any security problem at any time of the day or night, and online remote access support is an option.
- 1 GB RAM
- 850 MB hard drive space
- Windows 8.1
- Windows 8
- Windows 7
- Windows Vista
- Windows XP (SP2 minimum)
- Android 2.2 or higher
- BlackBerry 4.2-6.0
- Symbian Series 60 9.2 or higher
- Windows Mobile 6.0, 6.1, 6.5