Joining the likes of BitDefender, Avira, Norton, McAfee, and many more, Bullguard is the latest anti-virus company to offer a VPN product. BullGuard VPN is a white-label version of NordVPN, one of the best VPN services around. This allows BullGuard to utilize NordVPN‘s excellent infrastructure instead of having to build its own. BullGuard VPN is a very new service that’s still undergoing development but appears to tick all the right security and privacy boxes. What does it have to offer and how does it perform? Let’s find out in this BullGuard VPN review!
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- Email address required
- Windows, Mac, iOS, Android
- Credit card, Paypal, wire transfer
- Select regional payments methods
You’ll need a valid email address to create a new account with BullGuard and it’ll serve as your username as well. You could also head directly to the BullGuard VPN payment page and go set a password after you pay for the VPN. I recommend setting up an account first though to take advantage of a 25 percent discount that’s available for an “existing” customer. As is often the case, if you’re paying full price for a VPN, you’re doing something wrong, and BullGuard VPN is no exception.
You can pay using a credit card, via Paypal, or with a wire transfer. There are also a few different options tacked on depending on where you are. For example, you can pay using iDEAL in the Netherlands, using a cheque or money order in the U.S., direct debit in Germany, and more. However, no anonymous payment methods, i.e. cryptocurrency, are available.
BullGuard VPN has easy-to-install apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. This should cover the needs of most people. However, a lot of premium services support quite a few more devices and platforms, from gaming consoles and smart TVs, to Wi-Fi routers and browser extensions. Support for your PC, smartphone, and tablet should be more than enough for most. Anyone looking for more will have to look elsewhere for now though.
In this BullGuard VPN review, we’ll be taking a closer look at the Windows and Android apps. You can get the Windows installer file from your Account page and the Android app is on the Google Play Store.
Ease of use
BullGuard built its own VPN clients, but given their connection, it’s no surprise that the Windows and Android apps will remind you of NordVPN. There are echoes of similarity throughout, from the layout of the list of countries, to the settings page. Nothing is exactly the same, but it will feel intensely familiar for anyone who’s used NordVPN before, and that’s going to be an ongoing theme as we go further in the review.
You can simply click or tap on Quick Connect to automatically connect to the server closest to you. To connect to a server in a specific country, tap on the country name. The full list is available on the left side of the Windows app and with a swipe up on Android.
You can find the Settings page by switching tabs on the Windows app or by opening the hamburger menu on Android. The Settings menu is also the same as what we have with NordVPN, with key options like choosing the protocol type, enabling an App Kill Switch or Internet Kill Switch, and setting a custom DNS all available with BullGuard VPN. All these extra features aren’t available with the Android app though.
BullGuard VPN features
- 16 global locations
- 6 concurrent connections allowed
- Torrenting allowed
- Unblocks Netflix
BullGuard VPN currently has servers in 16 locations around the world, but mostly in North America and Europe. Singapore is the only Asian location and you won’t find any servers in Africa or South America. I couldn’t pin down the exact number of servers. But in a conversation with BullGuard VPN’s excellent customer care, I found out there are at least two servers in every location, with quite a large number in the US and the UK.
The number of locations and servers doesn’t come anywhere close to any of the leading VPN providers, including NordVPN that offers an incredible 5000 servers in 62 countries. However, given their partnership, it shouldn’t be long before BullGuard bolsters its own reach globally.
BullGuard offers everything else we’ve come to expect from a premium VPN though. Up to six concurrent connections are allowed, torrenting isn’t an issue, and what particularly impressed me was Netflix access. Not every VPN can unblock Netflix, and the fact that BullGuard lets you do so from any of its locations is great.
Note: As far as torrenting is concerned, we do not condone or encourage any illegal activity. Please be mindful of your country’s copyright laws.
See also: What is a VPN and why do you need one?
Security and privacy
- Based in the UK
- Complete zero-logging policy
- OpenVPN TCP/UDP
- 256-bit AES encryption
BullGuard is based in the UK, which is going to raise red flags for anyone with privacy concerns since the country is part of an intelligence agreement that stores a large amount of data on internet users. However, BullGuard’s complete zero logging policy should help alleviate any issues.
BullGuard guarantees a strict no-logs policy for BullGuard VPN Services, meaning that your activities using BullGuard VPN Services are provided by automated technical process, are not monitored, recorded, logged, stored or passed to any third party. We do not store connection time stamps, session information, used bandwidth, traffic logs, IP addresses or other data.
You get the highest level of encryption and the most secure VPN protocol with BullGuard. Other premium features are available, like an Internet Kill Switch that blocks all network activity if the VPN connection drops. There’s also an App Kill Switch, that lets you stop network activity for specific apps like a browser.
In terms of security and privacy, BullGuard VPN covers more than the basics. However, if we compare it to NordVPN, there’s still a lot more that could be possible. The latter offers additional features like specialty anti-DDoS and P2P servers, Double VPN (data goes through two locations), and Onion over VPN (Tor).
I would also like to see BullGuard flaunt its cybersecurity pedigree by adding an anti-malware feature to the VPN. It’s a useful extra feature that only a few VPNs offer. Given the obvious expertise the company has in this area, it could be a standout feature for BullGuard VPN.
Read more: What can VPNs do with your data?
I was prepared to be underwhelmed with BullGuard VPN’s speed test results, considering the low number of servers and locations, and the fact that there aren’t any locations close to me (in India).
I had nothing to worry about though, as the VPN performed admirably. It certainly isn’t the fastest VPN I’ve tested of course, with a drop of close to 60 percent across the board. However, what was pleasantly surprising was that the speed stayed largely consistent regardless of the server location I was connected to.
The consistent speed regardless of the location I was connected to was a pleasant surprise.
A drop range of around 60 to 70 percent, even when connected to locations that are really far away like Australia and the U.S., is great. The speeds were more than enough to easily and comfortably download large files and stream Ultra HD video without any buffering.
- 1-year plan – $83.29 ($6.94/month)
- 2-year plan – $113.89 ($4.74/month)
- 3-year plan – $127.49 ($3.54/month)
- No monthly plans
A lot of faults, a lack of features, and other teething problems of a new VPN service can be excused if the pricing is right. However, BullGuard stumbles out of the gate in this regard. It’s certainly not the most expensive VPN I’ve tested. There are plenty of cheap VPNs out there though that sometimes offer more. This includes the one I’ve compared BullGuard VPN most often to – NordVPN. You get a lot of extras with NordVPN at a price point that is similar or slightly cheaper.
However, there is a simple workaround here that I mentioned earlier. If you a sign up for an account first, you can take advantage of a special existing customer discount of 25 percent. This brings the price down to a lot more reasonable $63.74 ($5.32 per month) for the annual plan. There’s a catch though. The “discounted” 2-year and 3-year plans, in this case, are more expensive than the regular pricing.
BullGuard also doesn’t offer monthly or other short-term subscription plans. If you’d like to take it for a spin though, you can take advantage of a no questions asked 30-day money back guarantee to see if it’s the right fit for you.
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BullGuard VPN review conclusion
BullGuard is off to a good start with its VPN service, but there’s still a long way to go. As a standalone VPN, it more than gets the job done. The security and privacy features are excellent, the speed is good enough and also very consistent, and the apps are really simple and easy to use. The list of locations and available servers is short right now, but that’s only going to get better with time.
However, as unfair as it may be, BullGuard VPN is going to be compared to NordVPN, especially since the pricing is quite similar. In a head to head comparison, NordVPN takes it by a significant margin, and BullGuard will need to do more to better compete against other premium VPNs as well. The good news is that it has been around for a very short time and there’s plenty of room to grow. I can’t wait to see what BullGuard VPN brings to the table a year from now.
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