The Best Antivirus Programs For 2011 – Bullguard Antivirus

Its been a little while since I’ve written a 2011 antivirus review (having to work a real job sucks at times!) so, without further ado, here is the next in my series.

Today I’m looking at Bullguard Antivirus.

Bullguard Antivirus installation

Bullguard Antivirus installation

As you can see in the image above, the installation program weighs in at a little over 120 MB in size and it auto-detected the operating system on my laptop.

Installation was both quick and easy and and this is something a few other security vendors could probably learn from.

At the beginning of the installation process you have the option of choosing your notification level as you can see in the screenshot below –

Bullguard Antivirus setup

Bullguard Antivirus setup

If you are a non-expert then I would recommend going with the first option, having Bullguard remain as quiet as possible, or else you may receive messages that might not mean very much to you.

Interface

A very important aspect to any antivirus program that most vendors get right, but some seriously fail with, is the interface.

Fortunately, Bullguard are in the former camp with an interface that is uncluttered and easy to navigate.

Bullguard Antivirus interface

Bullguard Antivirus interface

As you can see, the red and white colour scheme makes it very easy to find what you need and the screen is not at all cluttered like some other antivirus programs that I’ve used recently.

Scanning

With Bullguard Antivirus it is very easy to initiate a scan of your computer on demand or to schedule one for a time that suits.

Whilst scanning my own computer the program did find a few ‘Suspected files’ so I’m quite happy with the detection side of things.

However, on my laptop at least, the scanning process took much longer than I’m used to – some 3 hours or so.

If the program was slowing my laptop down at the time then this would be a huge issue but, fortunately, my laptop’s performance didn’t seem to suffer whilst I got on with other things during that time.

Bullguard Antivirus scanning

Bullguard Antivirus scanning

Updates

With Bullguard antivirus you have two options where updates are concerned.

You can either let the program automatically update itself which it does every couple of hours or you can click the ‘Check for updates’ button to manually update at any time.

Support

In my opinion the help and support on offer from Bullguard is where this product really excels.

Through the program you have the ability to email support with your non-urgent questions and, when you do, you could probably expect an answer in as little as 20 minutes if your experience is the same as mine.

If you have an issue that requires a quicker response then you can start a live chart with a Bullguard representative.

This I found to be very quick, professional and, most importantly, knowledgeable.

With live chat like that the lack of telephone support is entirely forgiveable.

Features

Bullguard Antivirus incorporates something known as it’s Behavioural Detection feature.

This allows the program to identify new viruses before they get added to the virus signature database and so protects users from zero day attacks which tend to be one of the biggest security threats around these days.

There is also a Safe Browsing feature which means that any dubious or infected web sites that you encounter will be flagged so that you won’t mistakenly give your personal information to phishing sites or download infected programs.

The Safe Browsing feature highlights such sites in the major search engines – Google, Yahoo! and Bing.

Pricing

You can protect your computer with Bullguard Antivirus for the following prices –

1 year protection : £24.95

2 year protection : £39.95

3 year protection : £59.5

Compatibility

The required system specs to run Bullguard Antivirus are not too demanding –

OS : Windows XP (SP2), Windows Vista, Windows 7

RAM : 512 MB or more

Hard Drive : 200 MB of space free

Internet Connection : dial-up or better

Conclusion

On the whole I quite liked Bullguard Antivirus but wasn’t blown away by it.

The interface is clean and easy to use and the program does what it says on the tin.

The scanning time was slightly off putting but it did the job effectively.

However, where this antivirus program comes to the fore, is in terms of the support that Bullguard offer.

With the above in mind I probably wouldn’t recommend this for seasoned computer users who feel comfortable installing and using a new antivirus program but, for those who are new to computer protection software, or who are a little nervous about configuring such a program, Bullguard Antivirus is the best option I’ve seen so far this year and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

(Such novice users may also want to check out Bullguard Internet security)

Whilst your here, check out my other 2011 antivirus reviews.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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