BullGuard VPN Review 2020 - DON'T BUY IT BEFORE YOU READ THIS

What do we look at?

BullGuard VPN Overview October 2020

When I sat down to review BullGuard VPN, I wasn’t expecting much. This vendor is not only new to the VPN competition, but it’s way more expensive than other providers. However, I was surprised to find out that BullGuard VPN is basically NordVPN in disguise!

To test whether it’s worth the price tag, I performed extensive tests from my location in Canada. In the end, I was surprised by my findings. Not only can this VPN unblock a huge number of streaming websites, but it also offers pretty good speeds. Regardless, BullGuard VPN has some massive flaws that I couldn’t overlook, particularly regarding privacy and customer support.

After my tests, I had to conclude that although BullGuard the security firm collaborated with NordVPN to create BullGuard VPN, it’s really not worth the price. There’s no point in paying more to get less when you could just get NordVPN instead.

Try NordVPN for free for 30 days instead!

Don’t Have Time? Here’s a Short Summary (1-Minute Read)

Try BullGuard VPN today!

BullGuard VPN Unblocks 50+ Streaming Platforms (Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, BBC iPlayer and More (But Not Amazon Prime Video)

BullGuard VPN successfully unblocks multiple streaming platforms worldwide. During my tests, I could access Netflix (US, UK, Canada, and more), Disney Plus (all countries), Hulu, BBC iPlayer, HBO, UKTV, Showtime, and ESPN+.

Unfortunately, BullGuard VPN could not unblock Amazon Prime Video US. When you attempt to access Prime Video, an error message appears indicating that a VPN is in use. If this is a deal-breaker for you, you can easily unblock Amazon Prime (and all other streaming services) with NordVPN.

Regardless, BullGuard VPN can unblock more than 50 other streaming platforms. I was impressed that not only could I access US specific streaming sites, but I could stream in HD with minimal buffering.

Unblock Netflix and more with BullGuard VPN!

Netflix: Unblocked

I tested BullGuard VPN’s ability to bypass Netflix’s geo-restrictions in the US, UK, Germany, and Canada. I was happy to find that I can access the entire Netflix library in these countries.

I spent hours streaming my favorite show (The Office (U.S.)) and didn’t have to wait once for buffering. On every server, I could stream in HD and only waited less than 5 seconds for each stream to buffer. I was particularly happy with the servers in these countries, where my speeds remained almost as fast as with no VPN connected: the US, Canada, the UK, and Germany.

Screenshot of The Office on Netflix with BullGuard connected
I streamed The Office US on Netflix US from Canada

I was surprised that at one point the frustrating Netflix proxy error appeared while using the US server. I could login, but couldn’t watch any shows. After I logged out, closed the browser, and then reopened Netflix, it worked perfectly — I didn’t even have to change the server I was connected to.

However, I was disappointed that BullGuard VPN doesn’t have servers in most of Asia (except for Singapore), so you won’t be able to watch Asian Netflix series, like Japan’s 7 Seeds.

Stream Netflix with BullGuard VPN

Hulu: Unblocked

Hulu is blocked in all countries except the US — so I was pleased that I could connect to BullGuard VPN’s US server and watch The Great right away! My tests didn’t show any significant speed drop, which meant I could watch all the drama unfold with almost zero buffering.

Screenshot of The Great on Hulu with BullGuard connected
I enjoyed streaming Hulu in HD while connected to BullGuard VPN’s US servers

Stream Hulu with BullGuard VPN

Disney Plus: Unblocked

I wanted to test if BullGuard VPN could unblock Disney Plus, so I connected to servers in the US, UK, and Australia. The movie The Princess and the Frog loaded within seconds on all 7 servers I tested. When I jumped ahead by 10 minutes, it didn’t even need to buffer!

Screenshot of The Princess and the Frog on Disney Plus with BullGuard connected
BullGuard VPN unblocked Disney Plus while connected to US, UK, and Australian servers

I found that the US had the fastest speeds when connecting from my location in Canada, but the UK servers were a close second. Australian servers lagged slightly at a 60% drop in speed (compared to with no VPN running), while Canada stayed slow in comparison. Even with these speed differences, all servers easily streamed in HD quality with minimum buffering.

Stream Disney Plus with BullGuard VPN

BBC iPlayer: Unblocked

I thought that because BBC iPlayer recently upgraded its location blocking, BullGuard VPN wouldn’t be able to access it — however, its UK servers bypassed it with no problems. Within seconds I was watching shows like Canada’s Drag Race and Killing Eye. I even watched for 2 straight hours and didn’t notice any drop in speeds!

Screenshot of BBC iPlayer's accessibility in the UK but not in Canada
I could watch BBC iPlayer when connected to a BullGuard VPN server in the UK

Stream BBC iPlayer with BullGuard VPN

Amazon Prime Video: Blocked

After the results above, I thought my luck unblocking content would continue — but I was wrong. When I tried to watch Fleabag on Amazon Prime, my VPN was immediately detected and I was stopped from loading the stream. Unfortunately, BullGuard VPN can’t get around Amazon Prime Video’s location blocks at all.

Screenshot of Amazon Prime Video's unavalibility with BullGuard connected
You’ll be blocked from watching Amazon Prime Video if you use BullGuard VPN

I was surprised to see the error message because I’ve tested NordVPN myself and never had issues unblocking Amazon Prime Video. I can only assume that NordVPN doesn’t share these servers with BullGuard VPN.

If you want to stream Amazon Prime Video shows like Jack Ryan, use NordVPN to unblock the entire library. Not only will you get access to the US catalogue, but to the UK and Canadian ones as well.

Unblock Amazon Prime Video with NordVPN

Important to know

No
6
30 days guaranteed

Contact Details

www.bullguard.com

Speed3.0

BullGuard VPN Isn’t the Fastest (But Is Consistent!)

BullGuard VPN doesn’t have the fastest speeds, especially when you compare it to more premium VPNs. But, I was impressed with how consistent its speeds are across the globe. My connections were fast enough to torrent, stream, and play online multiplayer games like Counter-Strike.

Speed Test Results

I tested each country’s servers multiple times, and the results remained consistent. Although my regular download speed did drop slightly, I could still browse the internet, download files, and stream in HD from all server locations.

A detailed chart showing the difference between download speeds and server locations for BullGuard VPN.
Speeds of 10 to 15 Mbps are fast enough for smooth streaming and downloading

When I ran multiple tests, I found that speeds in Texas, the Netherlands, and Paris were among the highest performing countries. These servers actually performed better than Canadian servers without a VPN (which is likely due to my internet provider throttling my speeds).

A screenshot of US, UK, Singapore and Australia server locations and its speeds.
BullGuard VPN offered consistently fast speeds on its global servers

Try BullGuard VPN free for 30 days!

Why Most Speed Tests are Pointless & How We Correctly Test VPN Speeds

Speed determines how fast content uploads, so if you're torrenting or streaming, you want the speed to be somewhat identical to your regular internet speed. Since a VPN encrypts your data, it usually takes a bit longer to send your data back and forth, which can slow down your connection. However, if your ISP deliberately slows down your connection (also known as throttling) a VPN might increase your internet speed. Testing a VPN is somewhat pointless because new servers pop up and affect speed. Your speed can also differ according to your location, so your speed test might not match ours. Having said that, we tested the speed in numerous locations to provide you with the average.

Servers3.0

Server Network — Underwhelming Compared to Other Providers

BullGuard VPN has a relatively small server offering with 2000+ locations and just 16 countries total. While this may sound like a lot, NordVPN offers 5,700+ servers in 60 countries — so in comparison, I feel let down by BullGuard VPN selection. I was also frustrated that BullGuard VPN only allows you to connect to the fastest server in a country. That’s annoying because if you find a particular server works well for you, you won’t be able to connect to that specific server in the future.

Most of BullGuard VPN’s coverage is in Europe, with servers in 9 countries. However, I was disappointed that only Singapore has a server in all of Asia. Even worse, Africa, South America, and the Middle East have no BullGuard VPN servers at all! If you want to connect to places all over the world, I recommend you take advantage of NordVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee instead.

Security — Questionable Encryption and Only Basic Features

When I started my BullGuard VPN tests, I was surprised to find that their website doesn’t mention what encryption they use — they just advertise “military-grade.” This is concerning because encryption is what scrambles your data and makes it unreadable to hackers. Multiple third-party websites mention that BullGuard VPN uses industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption, but I needed to know it for sure. I asked BullGuard VPN’s live chat staff what encryption was used — and was shocked to find that they didn’t know!

Screenshot of customer service interaction with BullGuard where the representative is avoiding the question
I got the feeling that customer support didn’t want to answer my question about encryption

I had doubts that BullGuard VPN uses AES 256-bit encryption. However, after escalating the question to BullGuard VPN management, their staff finally confirmed that BullGuard VPN uses AES 256-bit encryption. While I’m glad they use military-strength encryption, I find it strange that this isn’t widely-accessible knowledge (even for their own customer service staff!).

Leak Protection

After the strange interaction I had with BullGuard VPN’s customer service, I wanted to test their security for myself. I needed to see if a DNS leak could occur. If it did, it would mean that my connection isn’t secure and that hackers could access my data. I was happy to see that my DNS request and IP address did not leak. I was comforted to know that their security is still good enough to avoid leaking my true location despite BullGuard VPN being vague about their encryption level.

Screenshot of a US server on BullGuard to remain leak-free after tests
A DNS leak test proved that my BullGuard VPN connection was secure

Automatic Kill Switch

It’s important to me to stay protected at all times, so I was pleased to see that BullGuard VPN has an automatic kill switch built-in. However, I was disappointed that you have to activate it before you use it. A kill-switch can detect if your VPN connection drops and immediately shut off your internet connection, so your data isn’t vulnerable. While I’m happy that BullGuard VPN includes this, you need to remember to turn on the kill switch to avoid a data leak.

Screenshot of BullGuard VPNs settings menu enabling the Kill Switch for Google Chrome
I used the Kill Switch to stop my Google Chrome if my VPN connection dropped out

Invisibility on LAN

Whenever you connect to a public WiFi network, you’re putting your security at risk — hackers and malicious users can easily see your IP address and other information! That’s why I was comforted to read that BullGuard VPN includes an Invisibility on LAN feature. However, I was confused when testing that I couldn’t find the feature — after checking with customer support I found out this feature is only available on Windows! That’s disappointing, because it’s not clear on BullGuard VPN’s website that MacOS users miss out.

Screenshot of BullGuard VPN's customer service confirming Invisibility on LAN is only available on Windows

If you are on Windows, you can take advantage of Invisibility on LAN. Just turn it on in the settings, and you’ll be invisible on public WiFi. Keep in mind that if you have this feature enabled, you won’t be able to connect LAN devices to your computer — like a network printer. You need to connect either with a cable or turn off the Invisibility on LAN setting.

Custom DNS

BullGuard VPN allows you to customize up to 2 DNS servers, to optimize for things like streaming or playing games online. Adding a custom DNS server can also help protect your IP address and email from phishing scams, malware, and fraudulent websites or links.

Screenshot how to access and create custom DNS servers on BullGuard
Set up a custom DNS server to hide your IP address by going into settings

Minor Flaw — No Split Tunneling

I was disappointed to discover that BullGuard VPN doesn’t offer a split tunneling feature to connect you to two different countries at once. For example, you could watch South Korean Netflix while still doing your internet banking in your home country. However, this isn’t possible with BullGuard VPN at all.

Minor Flaw — No Ad Blocker

BullGuard VPN is missing a built-in ad-blocker, which is frustrating (especially if you watch YouTube!) To get around this, I tested BullGuard VPN with a third-party adblocker: AdBlock. I’m pleased to report that BullGuard VPN didn’t interfere with AdBlock, so I could remove ads (and the sneaky trackers inside that transmit personal information) easily.

Protect your privacy with BullGuard VPN!

Privacy — Lack of Transparency Makes Privacy Doubtful

All companies should be transparent with what they’re offering you and how your information is used to aid its business’s operation. Unfortunately, BullGuard VPN is exceptionally vague about how they use your data within the privacy policy. I had to contact customer support for clarification — my findings are below.

Location — Inside 5 Eyes Alliance Jurisdiction

There is a lot of confusion surrounding the base of operations for BullGuard VPN, but it’s important to know because it can impact how the company shares your data, and with whom. Many sources claim that they reside in the Philippines, while others state it’s within the UK — but I have the real answer.

BullGuard VPN’s operational base is in the UK, making them a part of the 5 Eyes Alliance. The 5 Eyes Alliance shares information between 5 countries and accounts for the vast majority of government surveillance. It’s guaranteed that any company that operates in these countries must hand over data on request from the government.

Screenshot of customer support chat clarifying their base operations are in London
BullGuard VPN could share your data with the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand

However, if a VPN company has a no-log policy, authorities won’t find any identifying information. Since BullGuard VPN does have a no-log policy, it’s unlikely that your information is shared with the government or other third parties — but it is still a possibility.

No-Log Policy — Tested and Passed

A no-logging policy ensures that what you do online is not tracked, collected, or shared. When you’re using BullGuard VPN, the only personal information that’s ever stored is:

  • Payment information
  • Your account password
  • The email address used to sign up

I spoke to BullGuard VPN’s live chat about the no-logs policy, and I was told that the above information is removed after an undisclosed amount of time. That’s comforting, but I have to question why they’re so vague on when it is deleted.

Screenshot of customer support chat clarifying they store payment information and remove it after "some time"
Customer support confirmed that they store payment information for an undisclosed period

After scrutinizing the privacy policy, I can say that BullGuard VPN claims not to store the following information for any time:

  • Bandwidth amount used
  • Network traffic
  • Browsing history
  • Session information
  • Timestamps
  • IP address

Torrenting — Unlimited Bandwidth and Supports P2P

BullGuard VPN has no bandwidth limits so that you can download endlessly. You can even download video games with large GB capacities without the torrent stopping or disconnecting halfway through a download.

Every BullGuard VPN server also supports P2P file sharing, which protects your IP address and location when using websites like Transmission, qBittorrent, Vuze, and uTorrent, among others.

Unfortunately, if you use the Onion network (Tor) to browse with extra anonymity, you may be disappointed that BullGuard VPN doesn’t offer an Onion over VPN feature (like NordVPN does). This means that your internet provider or snoopers may see if you use Tor for your browsing. If you only casually browse the web, this probably isn’t a feature you need to worry about missing.

Torrent safely with BullGuard VPN

Does BullGuard VPN Work in China? No, But I Have a Solution

BullGuard VPN isn’t able to access China, thanks to China’s notoriously difficult location blocking. China is continually getting better at detecting VPN traffic, and BullGuard VPN hasn’t reached the encryption level necessary to get around the blocks.

If you’re looking for a VPN that can bypass the Great Firewall of China, you should know that only a few actually manage to do this successfully — but you can connect to and from China with ExpressVPN.

Server Locations

Australia
Austria
Belgium
Canada
Denmark
France
Germany
Ireland
Netherlands
Norway
Singapore
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
United Kingdom
See all supported locations...

User Experience8.6

Simultaneous Device Connections — 6 Connections at Once

You can connect up to 6 devices to 1 BullGuard VPN account simultaneously. That means you can make sure your phone, tablet, and laptop are all protected. You can also share a subscription with your family and friends to offset the cost! Even better, my tests didn’t show any drops in speed between the phone, tablet, or laptops during my tests (which often happens when using multiple connections with other VPNs.)

Device Compatibility — Basic Apps Included but Very Limited

When I use a VPN, I want to make sure all my devices can be protected. I was disappointed to find that BullGuard VPN can only be downloaded on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. While this is a good starting point, if you want to run your VPN from Google Chrome or Firefox, or install it on a router to get even more connections, you’ll need a different VPN.

Screenshot of the limited amount of devices BullGuard can connect to
BullGuard VPN is limited in what kind of devices it can protect

BullGuard VPN works well on Windows — but some VPNs that work even better. Find the best VPNs for Windows in my full guide.

Minor Con: No Router Connection

Many VPNs today also come with an option to install protection directly on your router. I love this because it means that any device connected to the router is protected no matter the device limit set by the VPN company. Frustratingly, BullGuard VPN isn’t compatible with routers, so you are restricted to the 6 device limit.

User-Friendly App

BullGuard VPN’s Android and iOS app offers the same clean and simple interface as the desktop version. This makes it easy to switch between devices and learn the program.

Screenshot of BullGuard's interface across mobile and desktop
BullGuard VPN’s interface is very user-friendly and hasn’t crashed since I’ve used the product

I really appreciated that the BullGuard VPN app offers all the same features as the desktop. It’s also effortless to navigate, which makes it the perfect VPN for beginners — you can automatically connect to the fastest server with the touch of one button!

Ease of Set-Up & Installation — Browse Safely in Less Than 3 Minutes

After paying for BullGuard VPN, installation starts immediately. The native app for desktop only takes 3 minutes to download and install.

Screenshot of BullGuard's homepage to allude to the ease of setup
The BullGuard VPN homepage makes it easy to set up and install its products

One annoying thing I noticed is how difficult it was to set up a password after paying with PayPal. I was only asked for an email when I signed up — but when I tried to log in, I was asked for my password. Frustratingly, I had to go through the whole “Forgot Password” process just to set one up. Fortunately, you can get around this issue if you pay with a credit card instead.

Support8.6

BullGuard VPN offers two options for contacting customer service: live chat and email. Unfortunately, I found neither of them worked well. I often experienced long delays waiting for answers in their 24/7 live chat, and had to wait up to 2 weeks for a response from email support!

You can also find help on the website itself, with product guides, a forum, a blog, and a troubleshooting section. I find this section really helpful and easy to navigate, especially if you won’t want to have to deal with customer support — in my experience, the BullGuard VPN staff can be frustrating (more on that below.)

Screenshot of BullGuard's FAQ page
BullGuard VPN’s FAQ page has easy to navigate menus to find the answer to your question

Email Support is Disappointing

Despite BullGuard VPN’s promise on their website to respond to email requests within 24-hours, I still haven’t received a response to multiple requests — 2 weeks after submitting them! I haven’t had this experience with bigger VPN companies (you can find far better support with NordVPN), so I was frustrated and felt undervalued as a customer.

Screenshot of BullGuard's support schedule and 24-hour email promise that wasn't fulfilled
You may find a lack of support when emailing BullGuard VPN

Live Chat Doesn’t Have Basic Product Knowledge

In my research, I realized that customer support staff at BullGuard VPN don’t know much about the company and don’t have access to essential information. For example, the live chat representative avoided answering my question until I asked multiple times — then he admitted he couldn’t give me an answer.

Screenshot of BullGuard's support not answering my question about payment information, then giving me the wrong answer
This frustrating interaction disappointed me and shows a lack of professionalism

Not only was it challenging to get a clear answer on live chat, but I was also stuck waiting around 5 minutes for an answer to every question. When I asked a question about encryption, it took almost 10 minutes for the representative to reply — which nearly caused the live chat to time out. If you’re looking for quick answers and good help, BullGuard VPN’s live chat will just leave you feeling frustrated.

Try BullGuard VPN Today!

How We Test Customer Support and Why Should You Care

We personally test the customer support team of every VPN we review. This means asking technical question through the live chat feature (where applicable) and measuring the response time for email questions. Whether you need to connect to a specific server, change your security protocol, or configure a VPN on your router, finding a VPN with quality customer support should be important to you.

Pricing8.0

BullGuard VPN is moderately priced compared to other premium VPNs — and that’s a problem. It makes more sense to pay less and get access to premium features with NordVPN.

Although BullGuard VPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, you will need to pay the yearly payment upfront to qualify for this option, which means more money. Furthermore, BullGuard VPN doesn’t offer a monthly payment option at all — you have to commit to a costly 1, 2, or 3-year subscription upfront. The longer the plan, the higher the discount: a 3-year plan is 50% cheaper than the shorter subscriptions.

When it comes to payment, BullGuard VPN accepts most major payment types, including:

  • Credit cards: Visa, Mastercard, American Express
  • Paypal
  • Wire Transfer
  • Other regional payment options depending on your location (like JCB)

Unfortunately, BullGuard VPN doesn’t have payment options like Bitcoin (which can further protect your anonymity).

BullGuard VPN offers the following plans

Final Verdict

I was overall surprised by BullGuard VPN’s performance — but still wouldn’t recommend this VPN. BullGuard VPN’s ability to unblock streaming providers is impressive and the service offers speeds fast enough to stream or play games. However, I can’t overlook its lack of features, inadequate server coverage, unhelpful customer support, and questionable privacy policy.

For me, the choice is clear. I wouldn’t go with the passion project when you pay less and get more coverage by choosing the original, NordVPN. Luckily, you can try NordVPN for free for 30 days and compare it to BullGuard VPN for yourself before making your decision.

Common FAQs About BullGuard VPN

🤑 Can I use BullGuard VPN for free?

You can use BullGuard VPN for free for 30 days with their money-back guarantee. There is no monthly payment option, so you need to commit to at least a 1-year subscription after the guarantee period.

While I’ve had multiple negative experiences with the service on live chat, BullGuard VPN quickly delivered a refund and didn’t attempt to keep me as a customer. Within 5 business days, the money was back in my account.

🙃 Is BullGuard VPN a good choice?

After completing extensive tests, I’ve found that BullGuard VPN doesn’t offer good value for the money. BullGuard VPN can unblock many streaming services and has speeds fast enough to stream without buffering. But I was disappointed by its poor server coverage, frustrating customer support, and a lack of features. Many other VPNs will give you far better value for a similar price.

😅 Is BullGuard VPN safe to use?

During my tests of BullGuard VPN, there were no DNS leaks. That means your true location is safe. However, I had difficulty confirming what kind of encryption BullGuard VPN uses. While I was eventually able to verify that BullGuard VPN has AES 256-bit encryption, this wasn’t publicly available, which tells me that BullGuard VPN is not transparent about their security.

Meanwhile, BullGuard VPN does claim to have a no-log policy for most of your information — but they do record your payment information, account password, and email address. I prefer a VPN that has a guaranteed no-logs policy and advanced security features, like NordVPN.

Try NordVPN instead!

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