BullGuard VPN Review

BullGuard VPN is a new service that uses NordVPN's infrastructure. As such, it shares a lot of features with NordVPN, but it's more expensive. So what exactly do you get for the extra money?

Verdict

BullGuard VPN's performance and security features are excellent, and it's even a little faster than NordVPN. But it isn't cheap, and nor has its no-logging policy been proven in court. If speed and performance is a priority, then this is a good, if pricey, NordVPN alternative.

Pros

  • Rebranded version of NordVPN
  • Fast performance in transfer speed tests
  • Outstanding streaming media handling

Cons

  • Limited device support
  • More expensive than many rivals

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: ££64.99
  • £64.99 per year
  • Connect up to 5 paid, unlimited free devices
  • £129.98 per two years
  • Supports OpenVPN
  • £194.97 per three years
  • Clients for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS

What is BullGuard VPN?

BullGuard VPN is a relatively recent offering from a firm best known for its antivirus software, in partnership with NordVPN – one of our long-standing recommended VPN providers. As such, it benefits from NordVPN’s audited, no-logging infrastructure and security features.

BullGuard VPN has a simpler interface that might be more friendly to less technical users and a smaller, select pool of endpoint locations that proved to be very quick in testing. However, it’s a little more expensive than NordVPN’s own offering.

BullGuard VPN – Features and usability

The Windows client interface is conspicuously simple, with a range of 16 endpoint server locations listed in a pane on the left. A single click on any of them will connect you. You can also search by country name or hit the Quick Connect button to connect to the optimal endpoint for your location – usually the nearest.

A top bar allows you to switch between this default Status view and a Settings page. Critically, BullGuard VPN’s settings include an internet kill switch option, which will block all internet traffic if the VPN disconnects. Alternatively, you can just use its App Kill Switch setting to cut off traffic to specific applications if the VPN goes down.

Other security features include Invisibility on LAN, to hide you from other people on your local network; automatic connection on startup to the endpoint of your choice; and custom DNS if, for example, you’d rather use Google, Cloudflare or OpenDNS instead of BullGuard’s.

Related: Best VPN

BullGuard VPN desktop client

BullGuard VPN – Performance

BullGuard offers endpoints in just 16 countries, as opposed to NordVPN’s 29. In our tests, the endpoints that BullGuard connected to performed faster than the same locations on NordVPN, potentially indicating that it’s working with a subset that’s optimised for performance.

Its European speed test results were among the fastest we’ve seen. From UK endpoints, we got speeds of 9.96MB/sec (79.68Mbit/s) over HTTP and 10.54MB/sec (84.32Mbps) via FTP. Performance in the Netherlands was similar, at 9.34MB/sec (74.72Mbps) over HTTP and 10.37MB/sec (82.96Mbps) over FTP.

US speeds weren’t quite as fast, but were good nonetheless at 6.37 MB/sec (50.96Mbps) for HTTP and 8.92MB/sec (71.36Mbps) for FTP.

In our streaming media test, we were able to watch US content from Netflix, Crunchyroll and Shudder, and UK shows on iPlayer and – most impressively – All 4, which has the most stringent VPN detection we’ve ever encountered.

Why buy BullGuard VPN?

BullGuard shares many of the advantages of NordVPN, albeit with fewer endpoint locations, and may provide a welcome speed boost if your geographic requirements won’t be affected by the absence of countries such as Poland, Romania, South Africa, Turkey and Ukraine.

It’s a little more expensive, priced at £64.99 per year, £103.99 for two years, and £130.64 for three years. Those discounted prices see you saving £25.99 and £64.33 each, so if you have the money and you want to save, you should dig deep.

Unlike NordVPN, BullGuard only support Windows, macOS, Android and iOS, with no client or connection instructions for other operating systems or devices. Anyone using Linux or embedded systems such as routers should look to the original.

NordVPN, headquartered in Panama, provides an independently audited guarantee that it doesn’t log any information that could be used to identify users, but the addition of UK-based BullGuard’s corporate infrastructure adds some ambiguity to that.

Verdict

BullGuard VPN’s performance and security features are excellent, as you’d expect from something based on NordVPN; sometimes, it was even faster. Alongside NordVPN, it was the only service able to connect to all our tested streaming media services.

Its speed test results were a little faster than its sibling, but it’s more expensive, with fewer supported platforms and geographic endpoints. If you can get a good deal on it – perhaps as part of a BullGuard security suite bundle – it’s definitely worth having. Otherwise, we recommend NordVPN as an obvious alternative.

Alternatively, if you want a privacy-focused service that’s had to demonstrate its no-logging policy in court, rather than via an independent audit, Private Internet Access is a good option.

Score


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