This year, though, the storage has been ditched. In an age when ransomware makes it more important than ever to keep safe backups of your files, that feels like a step backwards.
It’s not quite as bad as it sounds, though. While BullGuard 2018 no longer takes care of your backups itself, it’s been revamped to include native support for Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive as backup destinations, alongside local drives and folders. It’s a canny use of free resources – assuming you haven’t already filled up all those services.
Aside from that, all the familiar BullGuard features remain. Those include a standalone firewall, although we found the interface fiddly compared to Windows’ built-in firewall. There’s also a parental control module, which lets you set time limits and block websites and applications.
You can achieve similar things with Windows’ free family features, but BullGuard wins out with category-based web filtering, where Microsoft offers only a blanket block on “inappropriate websites”.
One feature that is nice to see – though not strictly security-related – is a tune-up module that actually tunes up your PC, rather than trying to sell you a separate product. You can locate and clear out large files, track down space-wasting duplicates and audit all the processes that start up with Windows. You can even track how long each one takes to launch – which can be quite an eye-opener.
So what about basic antivirus capabilities? Here, BullGuard’s results were mixed. AV-Comparatives saw it successfully block 100% of real-world malware samples, but along the way it also incorrectly raised the alarm over eight legitimate apps – which is frankly too many for comfort.
BullGuard also delivered uneven results when it came to system performance. Web-browsing speed was fast, but both copying files and launching applications for the first time were rated as mediocre. Overall, only Windows Defender had a more deleterious effect on performance.
BullGuard Internet Security 2018 for all Windows PC's - With Free Automatic Latest Updates - 3 Users - 12 Month Licence
£17.75 Buy now
BullGuard Internet Security review: Verdict
In all, BullGuard pulls together a decent range of features, and at just £18 it’s cheap too. However, for a few quid more you can get a suite that identifies malware more reliably, and doesn’t slow down your PC as much. That makes it hard to recommend BullGuard – especially now you don’t even get the 5GB of cloud storage.