BullGuard VPN is presented by the fine folks that brought you the same-named antivirus, now partnering with NordVPN. The result? A simple, solid, speedy, secure solution for suspicious situations on the Internet.
In this BullGuard VPN review, we’ll focus on how it stacks up against other products. Who is it good for and who should go towards better alternatives? On the whole, BullGuard launched a well-reputed VPN that offers a host of solutions for a price not too steep.
Security and privacy
Having teamed up with NordVPN, one can rest assured that BullGuard VPN would have some of the best security protocols around:
- Support for IKEv2/IPSec and OpenVPN (TCP/UDP) protocols
- AES-256 encryption
- No-logging policy
- Kill switch feature
All of these sound good in theory and look good on paper, so we put them to the test.
We were unable to detect any DNS leaks – since it uses its own DNS servers – but there remains the issue of NordVPN’s server having WebRTC leaks that were discovered in late 2018. NordVPN remedied this with browser plugins, but BullGuard VPN doesn’t have these, so we’d be careful proceeding further here.
Does BullGuard VPN log your data?
Almost all VPNs now market themselves as “zero logs,” so seeing this plastered all over their advertising and social media is hardly heartening, especially when investigating for a review.
This is especially good, given that there would be some natural worries over BullGuard VPN’s jurisdiction being the United Kingdom, a member of the Five Eyes data-sharing alliances. In this case, there’s no data to share, to begin with.
Speed and performance
While running speed tests for a VPN, we look at three things: connection speed, download speed, and upload speed.
BullGuard VPN surpassed our expectation in all of these regards, but we shouldn’t be too surprised, given NordVPN’s penchant for having some of the fastest servers in the business.
We registered a maximum speed loss of 20%, which is remarkably less than the average VPN, where you would be lucky to retain 40% (unless, of course, you read reviews and spring for the top ones or the dark horses).
A big part in this is, of course, played by the servers, but there’s no real way within BullGuard itself to switch servers as it’ll automatically connect you to the fastest one.
Ease of use and multiplatform support
BullGuard VPN supports all the “big four” of operating software devices:
There is, unfortunately, no way to load the VPN on to a router, or any custom apps for browsers or Kodi and Amazon Fire. The layout is simple and intuitive, however, and brings to mind the sleek design of NordVPN itself.
There are two main menus: Servers and Settings. The Servers menu allows you to pick the country of your choice (but not the server). Meanwhile, Settings leads you to things such as the kill switch and the customization for it, such as adding certain apps to it and excluding others, essentially working as a split tunneling mechanism.
Unblocking Netflix and other streaming services
You might already know of the notorious Netflix proxy ban. This is what causes the pesky error that disconnects you from whatever TV show or film you’re watching on Netflix when you use a VPN. Yes, Netflix is adept at detecting – and blocking – VPNs and proxies themselves.
Only the very best VPNs (or those specifically dedicated to this) are able to get around Netflix’s guard and remove geo-blocking limitations from their content. Luckily for us, BullGuard VPN is one of them, knocking down geo-restrictions on Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and so on.
However, since servers are selected for you and there aren’t dedicated servers for it, we found that it might sometimes happen such that you will suddenly be unable to stream, prompting you to have to reconnect. This was especially true of watching content on the BBC iPlayer.
P2P and torrenting
A good VPN must, in this day and age of rampant and widespread piracy, be able to help you out with secure torrenting through allowing P2P connections and making sure your torrent downloads don’t trace back to you through your actual IP address.
Yes, some VPNs end up still displaying your real IP address on the torrent client, from where you could be subject to anything from pressure from movie studios to legal notices.
Again, BullGuard VPN makes sure you have peace of mind and don’t have to worry about any of this, through P2P connections being allowed and military-grade protection.
Online censorship in China and elsewhere
While you might know about the Great Wall of China, you might not know of the Great Firewall – a modern-day wonder in censorship and online surveillance, wherein the Chinese population doesn’t have access to anything online that isn’t government-sanctioned, including VPNs themselves.
VPNs are blocked by something known as Deep Packet Inspection, which renders the security protocols useless. It’s reported that OpenVPN is targeted the most. VPNs that have China in the target market employ stealth mode and protocols to get around these.
However, BullGuard VPN reportedly does not consider China in its target market.
Refreshingly, BullGuard VPN is one of the few VPNs out there with stellar customer support – even live support. BullGuard VPN provides:
- 24/7 free live chat
- FAQs and Help
- Installation Guides
- Email and support tickets
- Physical addresses (regional)
Their service is fast, responsive, and courteous and the guides are pre-emptive and pro-active towards troubleshooting and helping users.
As the product itself is available in a multitude of languages, so is the support. There’s live chat in French, German, Swedish, and so on.
BullGuard VPN has three subscription models with payment every one, two, and three years:
- 1 Year: $85 (around $7.00/month)
- 2 Years: $136 (around $5.66/month)
- 3 Years: $171 (around $4.75/month)
Our regular readers might recognize these as being pretty much the industry average and, for the services offered, more than reasonable.
Users can pay via credit cards and PayPal, and it’s a bit disappointing not seeing any cryptocurrency options. However, there’s also a unique wire transfer option.
Payment is secured and the refund policy takes the shape of a whopping 30-day money back guarantee.
BullGuard VPN is a fantastic product that, unlike similar antivirus-bundled VPNs, doesn’t force you to also get the antivirus itself. Ultimately, it’ll need to do some work to set itself apart from NordVPN, but for the time being it’s a solid service that doesn’t leave much to be desired, especially when it comes to security.