BullGuard Internet Security 10 review

£45
Price when reviewed

BullGuard has updated its front-end this year with a bold red and white colour scheme, but the most interesting addition for 2011 is a vulnerability scanner, which checks the applications installed on your system for known security holes. It’s a neat feature, and though not unique to BullGuard (Kaspersky has had a similar system for over a year), it’s still unusual enough to be distinctive.

In our conventional malware detection tests, though, BullGuard didn’t stand out from the crowd. A disk scan picked up only 88% of our malware samples, while A List champion Norton 2011 recognised 96%.

Bullguard Internet Security 10

Thankfully, BullGuard isn’t restricted to disk scanning. Version 10 also brings a new behavioural monitoring system, and several of the dodgy executables that were missed in its scan were intercepted once they started trying to do malware-like things.

In the end, BullGuard protected us against a respectable 93% of our samples, though it still turned a blind eye to several keyloggers and remote spying tools that were intercepted by Norton.

On the plus side, BullGuard version 10 had a fairly low impact on our test system, adding only 133MB to our overall RAM footprint and just two seconds to boot time. We did see eight seconds of additional CPU usage while the software initialised, but none of it pushed our Core i7-920 above 15% load.

The price isn’t bad either: a three-PC licence is £45 inc VAT. That’s very reasonable for an internet security suite like this, with a highly configurable firewall, activity monitor and spam filter, and that’s before you factor in the integrated backup client with an upgradeable 5GB of online storage, shared between all clients, that can be browsed and accessed directly in Windows Explorer.

If you don’t already have a backup system in place, that’s tempting. Another bonus is Live Chat support, offering immediate help with any problems or questions.

Bullguard Internet Security 10

It’s just a shame that BullGuard isn’t nicer to use. The interface is not only stark and ugly, it completely ignores Windows interface standards, using instead a cryptic and illogical system of buttons and panels. We were left with a sense of confusion and lingering uncertainty over what we could do with the package, and how.

So in all, BullGuard 10 is a mixed package. If you can live with the clumsy front-end and silver-medal threat detection, there’s a good deal to be had. But there are slicker and more watertight options, especially if you don’t need backup.

Details

Software subcategory Internet security

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes
Operating system Linux supported? no
Operating system Mac OS X supported? no
Other operating system support none

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