BullGuard Internet Security 9.0 is a subtle update to Bullguard Internet Security 8.5, available for free for existing subscribers

Most security programs are updated every year, almost like clockwork, but it's well over a year since BullGuard Internet Security 8.5 was released and it has to be said that this latest version doesn't exactly boast a long list of new features.

The existing anti-virus, anti-spam and anti-phishing features of BullGuard Internet Security 8.5 are left relatively untouched, with the main new addition of BullGuard Internet Security 9.0 being the gaming mode that is designed to minimize the impact on games performance.

Read our review of BullGuard Internet Security 8.5 here

The real emphasis with BullGuard Internet Security 9.0 is on ease of use, with a redesigned interface that keeps things as simple as possible for less-technically inclined home users.

BullGuard Internet Security 9.0's new interface is certainly more straightforward than the occasionally crowded and confusing barrage of features that some security programs throw at you.

The main screen of BullGuard Internet Security 9.0 simply displays a small set of icons representing basic security functions such as ‘Scan for viruses' or ‘Allow/block programs'.

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More advanced users can click on these icons to adjust settings in greater detail, but most users of BullGuard Internet Security 9.0 will be happy to just leave the program running automatically in the background.

There's no performance penalty for doing that either, as BullGuard didn't seem to have any significant effect on our PC's start time, or on tasks such as copying and scanning files that were transferred onto the hard disk from a memory stick. There was also little effect on the frame rates we got when running 3D games such as Far Cry 2.

Other features of BullGuard Internet Security 9.0 include 5GB of online storage, which can be used in conjunction with the program's built-in backup features, and a useful 24-hour chat facility for online help.

Even so, we can't help thinking that this upgrade to BullGuard Internet Security 9.0 was rather unambitious, especially since there are still some gaps in BullGuard's armoury of security features.

There's little in the way of parental controls or protection for young children surfing the net, or identity protection for credit card numbers and other personal information.

Existing BullGuard users will be pleased to hear that they get a free upgrade to BullGuard Internet Security 9.0, but that in itself is almost an admission that they'd be hard pushed to charge for the upgrade.

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BullGuard Internet Security 9.0: Specs

  • Microsoft Windows XP or later
  • 200MB hard disk space
  • Microsoft Windows XP or later
  • 200MB hard disk space

OUR VERDICT

BullGuard Internet Security 9.0 isn’t as fully featured as some of its rival security products, but its simple interface and 24-hour online help may appeal to home users who want a basic, easy-to-use security suite. It’s reasonably priced at £45 for a three-user license, but the next upgrade will need to be a bit more ambitious if BullGuard is to keep pace with its many rivals.

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