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PC Tools Internet Security


BullGuard Internet Security

BullGuard Internet Security
Developed by: Bullguard
Ranked: 9th
Overall rating:
Best price: $59.95
Purchase:

Stephen
Qualtrough

Reviewer

Technology should make our lives easier

Review summary

Good points BullGuard Internet Security review good points

• Superb malware blocking

• Clear & easy to use

Bad points BullGuard Internet Security review bad points

• Too much user input

• Heavy on system performance

• Old fashioned firewall

Our verdict

BullGuard Internet Security offers decent protection, especially against malware, but its out-dated firewall and the strain it puts on computer performance will be enough to put off more advanced users.

Screenshot of BullGuard Internet Security 1 Screenshot of BullGuard Internet Security 2 Screenshot of BullGuard Internet Security 3



Full review

BullGuard’s last security suite was Internet Security 10, and with no Internet Security 11 released, some time has passed in which BullGuard have made several small changes to their new product, BullGuard Internet Security 12. This new suite now contains Parental Controls, a firewall, hosted online backup plus their new vulnerability scanner. Let’s take a look below to see if these new features have raised the level of their Internet Security product.

Setup

As with the majority of suites we have tested this year, installation of BullGuard Internet Security 2012 was simple and relatively hassle-free. It installed quickly, and was ready to use in a couple of minutes.

The simple interface employed by BullGuard Internet Security 12 is mercifully free of unnecessary complicated features and menus. From the home screen you receive a message to inform you of the status of your computer (for example, ‘Your computer is safe, there are currently no actions to take’), and the Run screen here is divided into four sections: PC Protection, Data Protection, Family Protection and PC Tune Up (more on this later). It is very easy to navigate, and there are more advanced options if you delve deeper into the menus (customisation, profile scanning etc.)

Protection

The anti-virus on BullGuard Internet Security 2012 is the same as on it’s standalone anti-virus software, but this suite will also detect rootkits, spyware, and has antispam and antiphishing tools. There is also what BullGuard claim to be cutting-edge technology called ‘Behavioural Detection’, which detects virus threats and spyware based on registry, file, process and network events. This works by shutting off any potential threats if any unusual or abnormal behaviour is detected.

Firewall - This program control on the BullGuard firewall is unfortunately quite old fashioned. Each time an unknown program requires access, the firewall will ask the user how they want to proceed. The list of known programs is fairly extensive, but this popup system is out-dated and can lead to errors caused by allowing malicious sites through.

Parental controls - BullGuard Internet Secuirty 12 offers the majority of essential features required for parental control (time limits, user profiles, blocking of website types and IM etc.), but unfortunately, while these are adequate for a younger child, a lot of teenagers would likely be able to disable the settings without too much trouble.

Effectiveness

AV-Comparatives are yet to rate BullGuard Internet Security 12.

AV-Test scored BullGuard Internet Security 12 a total of 13 points out of 18, with the scoring s follows: Protection 6 points, Repair 3 points & Usability 4 points.

Malware protection on BullGuard Internet Security is excellent, which is reflected by the top marks awarded by AV-Test. In their tests, BullGuard fully blocked 100% of o-day malware threats, and detected 99% of malware discovered in the last 2-3 months.

As we have found with some other suites this year, malware removal can be a different story. Percentage scores are much lower on AV-Test in this department, coming in at a below average 44%.

Performance

One of the weakest elements of BullGuard Internet Security 12 is the strain it puts on system performance. Browsing was slightly slower with BullGuard installed, but when scans were running, browsing was noticeably slowed down. The full virus scan and the quick scan can both be scheduled to run when your machine is not in use, but the full scan will take well over three hours to complete. BullGuard Internet Security 12 does feature a PC Tune Up tool, which helps clean up any unused programs or traces that can slow down your system.

Boot time for a computer running BullGuard was slowed by approximately 20 percent, which is not a huge amount but almost twice as long as some suites we have tested. Shut down time was also slowed slightly, but this was less of a concern than the boot time, at just 5% above the average of security suites.

Features

Vulnerability Scanner – This unique tool is designed to examine your system to check you have the latest applications, as older application versions won’t contain the most recent fixes.

PC Tune Up - Optimizes disk space, registry and computer start-up.

Online Backup – Offers you a 5 GB free online drive to store and secure your most important personal files.

Game Mode - Protects you while gaming without consuming resources.

Help & support

Support from BullGuard is fairly comprehensive, offering free live chat 365 days of the year, 24/7, email support with 24 hour maximum response time, plus online help guides and forum.

Overall

In summary, BullGuard Internet Security 12 is a reasonable product that will offer good protection and online storage at an attractive low cost. However, the sluggish performance, poor malware removal and weak Parental Controls, make this a product that is difficult to fully recommend.


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Ratings breakdown

Overall
 received a rating of 4 for Overall
Setup
 received a rating of 4 for Setup
Protection
 received a rating of 4 for Protection
Effectiveness
 received a rating of 3 for Effectiveness
Performance
 received a rating of 4 for Performance
Features
 received a rating of 3 for Features
Ease of use
 received a rating of 3 for Ease of use
Help & support
 received a rating of 3 for Help & support