BullGuard is a Danish IT security company established in 2002 with the purpose of developing antivirus products that are easy to use by anyone, and also include all the advanced tools an experienced user wants. Their top security product is called BullGuard Premium Protection and it includes an antivirus engine, a firewall module and other security related tools that you might be interested in. We used and tested BullGuard Premium Protection for about a week and we are now ready to share our findings with you. If you’re curious about what this security suite has to offer to its users, read our review:
The download and installation experience
Getting BullGuard Premium Protection on your computer means that you need to download a small executable file named BullGuardDownloaderBPP.exe. It’s only 332KB in size. Then, when you run this executable, it launches a wizard which will handle the download and installation. After you agree to its license terms, it downloads all the required files and installs them on your computer. You don’t have the option to choose which protection modules get installed so all you have to do is wait for a minute or two. While we were downloading its setup files, we monitored to see how much data wa s getting transferred to our computer from BullGuard’s servers. We were surprised to find that it only needs 25.5MB of data. That’s very little!
When the installation is nearly done, BullGuard Premium Protection asks you to create an account. You have to do that if you want to use this product and there’s no way of getting around it. The good thing is that you can do that straight from the installer and you only have to provide your email address and set a password for your account.
Then, BullGuard Premium Protection greets you with a short welcoming slideshow that shows you the security product’s main features. If you don’t want to watch it, you can skip it. Next, BullGuard Premium Protection automatically updates its database for virus definitions. It’s a good thing, as you get the most up to date protection that BullGuard can offer you.
Once the virus definitions are updated, BullGuard Premium Protection loads its user interface. It looks simple and neatly organized, but we’ll talk more about it later in this review.
At the same time, BullGuard Premium Protection also runs a system scan in order to optimize performance. You will know about it because the security suite displays a small notification close to your system tray.
BullGuard Premium Protection doesn’t explicitly tell you about it, but you have to reboot your Windows computer in order for the firewall module to start working. Unfortunately, unless you look carefully at the firewall module section from the suite’s user interface, you’ll have no clue about it. But when you’ll click on it, it will ask you to reboot.
Downloading and installing BullGuard Premium Protection on your computer is easy and fast. The only complaint we have is that the security suite doesn’t notify you about having to reboot your computer so that its firewall will work.
Integration with Windows, web browsers and universal Windows platform apps
During its installation, we monitored BullGuard Premium Protection to see if it disables Windows Defender and Windows Firewall. The good news is that it disables Windows Defender, so there won’t be any unexpected conflicts or unwanted performance issues because you run two antivirus apps simultaneously. However, BullGuard Premium Protection doesn’t also disable the Windows Firewall. This is a very old issue that we have seen at BullGuard. We manually disabled the Windows Firewall, to make sure that we evaluated the firewall offered by BullGuard and not the combination of two firewalls running at the same time. The firewall included by BullGuard Premium Protection automatically detects the network profile you set in Windows. Whether you set the network location to Private or Public, BullGuard’s firewall will do the same and will either trust your network or it won’t.
Going further, we had no problems whatsoever in using any of the networking features available in Windows. We could create and join Homegroups , we could share and access folders and files over our local network and we had no problem when streaming media files. We had no issues in downloading, installing or using modern Windows apps as well.
In order to protect you when you are online, BullGuard Premium Protection scans and filters all the HTTP traffic that goes on your computer. This is a good thing as it ensures you get online protection regardless of the web browser that you use. There are no web browser extensions included in this security suite and that’s a very big positive in our opinion.
The efficiency with which a security product protects its processes from termination is an important part of keeping your computer safe from malware. Luckily, the processes used by BullGuard Premium Protection are well protected. Malware won’t have an easy time killing its protection processes.
We also looked at the performance impact this security suite had on our test computer. The first thing we checked was the amount of RAM memory needed by BullGuard Premium Protection in order to run. In normal conditions, the security suite took about 120 MB of RAM memory. However, when malware was detected or when we ran antivirus scans, the security suite increased its memory consumption to 150MB or more.
Then we checked how much BullGuard Premium Protection affected the start time of our test computer. We used BootRacer to measure the boot time before and after we installed the security suite and the results were mostly the same. Apparently, BullGuard Premium Protection has no impact on how fast your computer boots and that’s a very positive sign.
Finally, to get the clearest image we could, we used PCMark 8 and we ran its Home acceleratedtests a couple of times, before installing the suite and a couple of times after we had it on our test computer. The average results were again very similar, so the sole conclusion we can draw is that BullGuard Premium Protection has little to no impact on the overall performance of your computer.
We are mostly pleased by how BullGuard Premium Protection does in terms of integration with Windows. However, there is one thing that doesn’t work as it should: the security suite doesn’t automatically disable the Windows Firewall. On the bright side, we had no problems in using any of the networking features that are available in Windows 10, the firewall detects and adjusts its protection according to the network profile you set in Windows, and BullGuard’s product didn’t deteriorate our test computer’s performance.
Ease of use and configuration
BullGuard Premium Protection offers a user interface that’s both good looking and neatly organized. Every protection module and important feature is displayed on the main console. The modules are shown as large tiles that quickly tell you the state they’re in and each of their tiles includes a menu from which you can launch various actions or change options that are related to it. For instance, the menu found on the Antivirus tile will let you launch system scans or access the Quarantine, while the Firewall will let you see the Network Activity or Manage rules.
Each of the suite’s modules from the main console lets you access its settings. However, if you want to see all of them at once, the user interface also has a dedicated Settings section. A good thing about the main sections of the user interface, the actions, options, and settings that are available is that they are all easy to use on touchscreens too, because they’re either big buttons, tiles, switches, or simple check marks.
BullGuard Premium Protection offers both detailed logs and visual statistics of the actions it took on your computer. They are all easily accessible via the Messaging Centre, and we were quite pleased to see that they are neatly organized, with different sections for each security module.
In terms of help and support, BullGuard Premium Protection offers online options. There are no offline help files and there is no phone support (at least we couldn’t find it on their website). However, they provide a live chat service, email support, aFrequently Asked Questions section, general documentation and access to their community forums.
In terms of verbosity, we found BullGuard Premium Protection to be neither silent nor verbose. We did see notifications when malware infections were detected, which is both good and necessary, but we also saw notifications for other actions the suite was taking like when it was running an antivirus scan or when an update was being installed.
BullGuard Premium Protection is a security product that offers a good user interface. It’s simple, clean and easy to use both on a desktop PC with a mouse and a keyboard as well as on a device with a touchscreen. We also liked the way its settings are organized and, overall, this security suite’s user interface left us with a good impression.
On the following page of this review you can read more about the effectiveness of the firewall and antivirus protection offered by BullGuard Premium Protection , the extra tools bundled with this suite, and our final verdict for it.