The latest release of BullGuard Internet Security offers a number of powerful features that bring it in line with developments from such security giants as Symantec.

On initial setup you'll run through a wizard that helps you configure a whitelist to improve spam filtering. Once past this stage, you'll find yourself looking at BullGuard Internet Security 8.0's main interface, which offers a clear and organised display of the software's current status and access to the individual tools in the suite.

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One helpful tool on this main tab is the ‘recommended action' button, which helps to identify potential weaknesses in your system security and offers recommendations to remedy them with a single click. Additionally BullGuard Internet Security 8.0 offers a summary of scan and update information for the automatic updates, antivirus, firewall and spamfilter activity, a handy way to view system activity at a glance.

When you work your way through the tools you'll find that this level of clarity and control continues throughout BullGuard Internet Security 8.0. The antivirus and antispyware features are combined for ease of use; from here you can quickly configure which areas of your computer to target, set up schedules and view results and quarantined files.

The Firewall configuration is particularly impressive, with two levels of control. The user has a choice of either simply allowing, requesting or denying access. In BullGuard Internet Security 8.0's advanced mode you can use a profile configuration tab to create rules for specific applications and parts of your system down to the finest detail.

You can set up multiple custom profiles for different users and, considering the often confusing and unnecessarily verbose methods for managing application firewall control in rival security software, we were particularly impressed by BullGuard Internet Security 8.0's performance here. Elsewhere the Spamfilter can be configured and a Whitelist or Blacklist populated, if you haven't done so already. You can define addresses or domains that can be considered safe or should be automatically barred.

As well as BullGuard Internet Security 8.0's automatic backup facility - outlined on the next page - you'll find integrated help and support, available via email or by starting a chat request with an online advisor, and this is available 24/7. You'll also find access to the user guides, virus information and other resources direct from the interface.

All of the features of BullGuard Internet Security 8.0 are tied together extremely well into a superbly usable interface that manages activity as well as it does threats and malicious access attempts, resulting in security piece of mind that's as unobtrusive as it is adaptable.

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Online backup

A powerful additional feature of BullGuard Internet Security 8.0, which we've already seen used successfully by Norton, is the automatic backup control. It's even more impressive in BullGuard Internet Security 8.0 though.

By following the simple prompts on screen you can choose which files to include, and opt to backup manually, on a schedule, or when your computer is idle. The possible destinations include BullGuard's online backup drive.

This comes with 5GB of space per user on the cheapest bronze account setup. Backups can also be compressed or encrypted as part of the process, and you can set files to synchronise so that you don't waste time and bandwidth uploading duplicates. Impressively, your online drive, once populated, can be accessed through Windows Explorer, where it appears as a standard hard drive for you to browse or retrieve your files.

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BullGuard Internet Security 8.0: Specs

  • Windows XP/Vista/2000
  • 300MHz Intel Pentium or AMD Athlon CPU
  • 256MB RAM
  • 200MB hard drive space
  • Windows XP/Vista/2000
  • 300MHz Intel Pentium or AMD Athlon CPU
  • 256MB RAM
  • 200MB hard drive space

OUR VERDICT

We were impressed by the range of tools, wide range of information on status and threats and the general user friendliness of BullGuard Internet Security 8.0. The online backup feature is particularly nice to use, and by offering a small system footprint that doesn't bog things down, and with very reasonable pricing, we think this would be an excellent security solution for any level of home user.

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