Keep Your 'Guard' Up!
Bullguard Internet Security + Game Boost!
Review by: Jennifer Griffiths
Video & Testing by: Philip Griffiths
If you are connected to the internet, you are susceptible to malicious attacks from cyber-criminals. Each day we hear of new scams, viruses, and people being defrauded. Still, many people can not see why they should pay for an Internet Security. They will say, "I've had this free one for years and I have never had a problem". They seem amazed when I diagnose the issue and come to find out it is laden with viruses and malware. Most think they get this from going on adult sights and are quick to tell me they do not visit those. "I watch my football, place bets, and download music and movies, that's it". They, have just told me how they got those viruses in one sentence. It all boils down to dodgy websites and downloads. By now you may have deduced that I am going to talk about an Internet Security in this edition of TFT. You would be correct. We will be looking at Bullguard Internet Security 3 Devices 1 Year. I want to see exactly what I get for my year's subscription. Read on and find out more.
Consumers deserve more when it comes to security. At BullGuard, we make it simple to protect everything in your digital life—from your data, to your identity, to your Smart Home. BullGuard combines technical expertise with a genuine understanding of your needs to deliver complete protection across all your connected devices. We’re your own private bodyguard—tracking and tackling security threats so you can connect confidently, control easily, and travel freely throughout your digital world.
BullGuard Internet Security provides leading malware protection alongside other components such as a layered firewall, parental controls, PC Tune Up, cloud integrated backup and BullGuard’s new patent-pending, super charged Game Booster which optimizes CPU performance for noticeably smoother gaming with a faster frame rate and no game lag.
About Bullguard :
Our core offerings are BullGuard Premium Protection, BullGuard Internet Security and BullGuard Antivirus. Premium Protection provides next-gen malware protection with identity protection as a central component. This protects customers’ personal data such as bank account numbers, card details and so on. For instance, when a user provides the information they want to protect, Premium Protection then scans the Internet, including the dark web, for this data. If it is hacked from somewhere and hackers either attempt to sell it or, for instance, try to use stolen card details to make online purchases this is immediately detected. The user receives an instant alert via SMS or email and also advice on what steps to take to safeguard themselves.
Our products are always evolving, and we add in new features as the threat landscape develops. For instance, we recently added a Home Network Scanner into Premium Protection which scans a home Wi-Fi network and highlights vulnerabilities and potential points of entry for hackers. All of these are also included in Premium Protection too.
BullGuard Antivirus delivers next-gen anti-malware protection to safeguard against all types of malware including ransomware and phishing campaigns.
Bullguard products are very attractively designed and take up very little space. The boxes have been replaced with packaging the size of a standard greeting card and they have hangers! This is great in that we often run out of places to put products on the shelf. The packaging, what there is of it is very attractive, similar to what you know from past designs with Internet Security in a red sleeve with a bulldog down at the bottom. Other products my vary in colour.
I took a box cutter and slit the seal and simply opened it like a birthday card. Inside is another flap at the bottom. Pull the flap down and you have your licence key. On the inner cover you will have instructions on how to install on PC, Mac, and Android. Above the key there is information on Registration, and After Installation information that you need to know. *This product is registered 3 devices in the same household.
Download Address is Also if downloading from the correct address it prompts for the licence key after you put in user name and password for a new account.
*In settings there is an Advanced Area for those who like to tweak around or if the need to change something like the email address is needed.
Once it is downloaded, and set up for the first time it does a Tune Up/Optimization. Once this is done you are greeted with the Bullguard screen. It has seven main features: Antivirus, Firewall, Vulnerabilities, Back Up , Game Booster, PC Tune Up and Parental Control. Each of the features has its own drop down so you can do tasks like scans, go into the settings etc. At the bottom left, you will see the email address that it is registered to. This is handy when your customers who have multiple email accounts can't remember which one they registered the product to.
One of the things we would have liked to have seen on the main page would have been a Quiet Mode option which would allow the user to not have notifications and pop ups. Many people do not understand them anyway and are either frightened or confused by them. For instance, if your antivirus has not had updates in a few days, it will pop up and say you need to update. Many customers see this and think their subscription has run out and it is time to renew. (there is an option in the setting to minimize notifications)
Another nice feature would have been an Opt Out. This is where you could opt out of emails, promotions, and renewal offer pop ups.
When you run the antivirus, and other features, they run within the program. So, you do not get a lot of windows all over the place. It is very nice and tidy that way.
The Back Up section will allow you to schedule backups and will allow you to back up to an external/network drive or Drop Box, Google Drive, or One Drive. Bullguard no longer has its own online backup.
Game booster will run in most games that runs in Full Screen mode (not windowed), The computer will need 4 logical processors, so a i3 CPU that is Dual core but has 4 logical processors/threads will work fine.
In 6 of the 7 tests we did we found that game booster boosted performance by around 5% on average, with just one game showing worse scores when game booster was on compared, but that advantage of game booster is if you do find a game that it negatively affects you can turn game booster off for that one game, we also noticed a less drops in performance when a CPU heavy action was performed making it seem like a smother experience.
To tell if game booster is running you will get a popup on your desktop showing it running with an option to disable it, you also get a little joy pad icon appear over the Bullguard logo near your clock (if not set as hidden).
We found similar % results on both our test PC’s one been a very high end modern PC, and the other been a high end PC around 4 Years ago.
One thing we did notice is when game mode was turned off that the games would score about the same as if there was no security on the PC (windows defender disabled), meaning that Bullguard does not negatively affect the games anyway, so when game booster is turned on you get bonus “magic” performance.
Compared to other security programs we found Bullguard outperformed them by in some cases 7-8% when playing games. (see chart's below for full results)
Game Booster Info from Bullguard
Does Game booster work on all game or a selected number? If only a selected do you have a list?
Game booster works on all games that run on full screen and are GPU (graphical card) intensive. So, something like Solitaire in full screen wouldn't necessarily trigger the Game booster, because it doesn't need it. But more resource hungry games (majority of games) will trigger the activation of the Game Booster feature.
Does Game booster turns of services and stops interruptions when playing games, can you go more into depth about what it turns off, and if that would affect the rest of the security?
While you are playing we are pausing as mentioned before non-core security tasks such as:
PC Tune up scans
Uploading telemetry reports
Would game booster effect or work if you have lots of other programs open at the same time, like Word, Outlook, A Game, Discord, Steam and Chrome?
The environment you described is where Game Booster does most of the heavy lifting. Game booster realizes you have an active game while also other running apps, so it automatically isolates all your other apps (which are not games) on 1 or 2 CPU cores, to leave the rest of the CPU cores available for the game to run on. By isolating the apps on other cores, we can remove random spikes these apps would cause during your game session. When a user selects alt+tab from their game to the other apps, the other apps are automatically restored on the initial CPU cores so that they can use their apps just like before (it all happens under 1 second). Additionally, if the user has music running on their browser on another app, they can still listen to it without interruption.
(see chart's below for full results)
Bullguard Internet Security, multi platform (Windows, Android, Mac OS), 3 devices, 1 year subscription £49.95 RRP
Re-sellers can sign up to to Bullguard Advantage to get a 25% revenue share every time your customers renew!
Bullguard is a very good security program; I have used it for years. Most of the time it runs so quietly that I have to check that it is active. It is not a resource hog like some others on the market that I have seen. When I have not understood something that was going on, I found the live chat to be useful and usually within seconds I am with a rep who can sort out my querie. 24/7 - 365 days a year. It's worth every penny and if you are a reseller you will get those pennies back in no time with the Reseller Lounge. - Jenni
Bullguard has been a good security products, that is easy to use and has plenty of extras you dont have to pay for, the reintroduction of the game mode/booster is a nice feature, as it can help you get a little more performance into a game, games will seem a little smother and have less dramatic FPS drops, would i go out and buy a game booster product that would do this? maybe, but the bonus here is that its it free in the security product, so you are really getting more for no extra cost.
Stand out point: Customer Service
Does not slow the computer to a crawl
I miss Bullguard having its own online backup
I would like an opt out from news letters and promotions
They got a GAMERS CHOICE Award for this product.