I hadn’t tried BullGuard’s security software before now, usually I flip between Kaspersky and MacAfee, so when my old laptop needed a new security subscription I decided to give them a try. This pack just consists of a card with a licence key code and you have to download the actual installer direct from BullGuard and run that. I had already uninstalled the previous security package so everything went smoothly and BullGuard installed without any problems and in a reasonably short time. The installer will ask for your code and for an email address (to setup an online BullGuard user account) during the process but mostly you can just let it get on with it. After the install the laptop started up quite quickly with no obvious slowdown and BullGuard seems to startup in the background quicker than some security packages do so you’re ready to work that little bit quicker. I can’t detect any unusual slowdown in normal use either, no more than any other package anyway, and app’s launch in good time.
The package includes the basic security options, anti-virus scanning and firewall, together with a bunch of other features designed to secure or optimise your PC, whether these extras are worthwhile is always debatable and some of them may duplicate features you already have. The default settings for the BullGuard package seem pretty good for most users but there is access to the more advanced settings if you’re someone who needs to tweak. The default setup does enable a couple of the extras that you may or may not want - for example the 5GB of cloud backup storage seems to be activated even if you didn’t ask for it, although the automated backup routines are not. The Vulnerability Scanner and/or PC Tune-Up options seem to run automatically too - these alert you to out-of-date or problematic app’s you may have installed
There are some other options that can be really useful or really intrusive, depending on your point of view - like Safe Browsing which flags each result on search pages, like on Google, to indicate that it’s a ‘safe’ link, but of course to do that BullGuard have to see what you’re searching for and that might be considered an invasion of your privacy in itself and there’s no (obvious) mention of what they do with this information. One feature where a slight privacy invasion might be more acceptable is the Social Media Protection which monitors your children’s Facebook stream (by becoming an invisible subscriber) and alerts you to any material that might be questionable. Perhaps the biggest privacy feature is the Identity Protection option where BullGuard trawl the internet looking for your personal details - of course for that to work you have to give BullGuard all your personal information in the first place.
As a comprehensive security package BullGuard seems to measure up nicely and I like the user interface which gives you a good overview of the features and quick access into the different sections and settings. I’m not noticing any negative effects on my ageing laptop (which is old enough to start creaking under any undue strain) so I’m happy to have it on board looking after things, even though some of the features are surplus to my requirements.
You can view BullGuard Premium Protection here