PC Matic antivirus review (2024)


PC Matic is not another regular antivirus software for your devices. It's a go-to protection service for anyone who uses a lot of unpopular applications and programs. This service embraces a zero-trust approach when it comes to malware and other threats. It uses a whitelist instead of a blacklist, where all new programs are considered hostile until the malware research team categorizes them as safe.

Compared to the current antivirus market, PC Matic falls short when it comes to extra features, as it doesn’t have a safe search engine, parental control, VPN, and even more fairly important tools. By comparison, a market-leading program like TotalAV includes both essential and additional features to ensure an overall better online experience.

Best alternative to PC Matic
TotalAV is an all-around antivirus solution with all the needed security features. With it, you also get extras like a VPN, password manager, ad blocker, and more.
cybernews® score
4.7 /5

Still want to find out if PC Matic is a good choice for you? The Cybernews expert research team tested this antivirus provider and evaluated its performance, security features, pricing, and more in this full PC Matic review.

⭐ Rating:
3.6
🥇 Overall rank:#21 out of #25
💵 Price:From $50/year
✂️ Free version:Yes
🖥️ Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android
🔥 Coupons:-
Best alternatives:

PC Matic pros & cons

Is PC Matic antivirus safe?

No, PC Matic is not a safe antivirus software. While it offers a number of security features and performed quite well both in independent tests, Cybernews in-house testing showed that PC Matic scans failed to catch and remove 8 out of 10 threats, and real-time protection blocked 0 out of 10 malware samples. These results are very poor when compared to top providers like TotalAV. PC Matic is not a good antivirus software, and we cannot recommend it.

Nevertheless, it is still worth looking into what independent antivirus testing labs have found. In its most recent AV-test, it even snagged a Top Product award from this independent testing institute, making it a reasonable candidate to be a leading antivirus on the market.

The April 2022 AV-test produced chart-topping results for PC Matic in protection and performance. It received a full score of 6.0/6.0 in both categories.

To measure protection, PC Matic was tested to see how well it could detect both zero-day threats as well as older malware. PC Matic didn’t miss a beat – it had a 100% detection rate for both forms of malware.

For performance, PC Matic was tested across several categories to see if it slowed down the computer. For both a Standard PC and a high-end PC, this antivirus software performed better than the industry average. It didn’t slow down either system and earned full points for performance.

PC Matic AV test performance and security

PC Matic had less notable results in the usability test. It earned 3.5 out of 6.0 possible points in this category. The biggest deviation it had from industry standards was in blocking legitimate software. The standard shows 1 block out of 45 samples, but PC Matic blocked 12.

These results are a bit misleading, due to the nature of PC Matic’s whitelist. Since any unknown software is blocked until it can be reviewed by the PC Matic malware professionals, it makes sense that the numbers are initially higher.

Results from the PC Matic malware team can take up to 24 hours, so it’s possible that these blocked programs would be permitted to run once added to the whitelist.

PC Matic AV test usability

PC Matic features

PC Matic does not have as many features as its competitors. It lacks such features as a firewall, a VPN, or parental controls while top providers like TotalAV and Norton antivirus have these and then some more. On the other hand, PC Matic offers an ad blocker and a unique script-blocking feature for file-less malware. Continue reading to find out more about PC Matic features.

Whitelist

One of the most unique features of PC Matic is the whitelist technology. Typically, antivirus software uses a blacklist, or a list of known malware to protect your device. Most antivirus software like TotalAV or Bitdefender use blacklists. A whitelist, on the other hand, is a list of approved programs that won’t cause a threat to your system. When a whitelisted program is detected, it’s allowed to run. Any other program is considered suspicious and temporarily blocked. PC Matic’s whitelist stops any new and unknown program, treating them as hostile until proven otherwise. While a whitelist might sound safer in theory, it means that plenty of legitimate software will be flagged as unsafe if they haven’t yet been added to the whitelist. While it is keeping your device safe from anything new, it tends to result in more false positives than its competitors.

Scanning

PC Matic offers a quick and full scan for your device's protection. Our Cybernews research team performed scanning tests on a Windows PC, with Windows Security service and PC Matic real-time protection disabled to get the most accurate results. For testing, the research team used a variety of malware samples which included trojans, adware, ransomware, and similar.

The quick scan took a little above 6 minutes, with the CPU load being exceptionally light – just 55%. However, the overall performance was poor – the quick scan detected only 2 out of 10 threats. The scan report also provided information on the overall state of the device, including driver status, whether any performance tweaking or updates were needed, and how many junk files were found.

pc matic quick scan results

The full scan took a little above 16 minutes, with the CPU load being only 45%. Unfortunately, the full scan found only 4 out of 10 malicious files. The scan additionally removed 2 temporary files.

pc matic full scan results

In conclusion, the overall PC Matic malware detection rate is 30%, which is very poor performance for antivirus software, especially when in comparison with 100% detection rate providers like TotalAV or Norton. While the overall device status reports are nice to get, they lose any meaning if the software cannot even catch and prevent malware.

Devices

With PC Matic, you can easily choose the devices you want to connect. With just a click, you can get started adding a new device and scanning it for protection. You can also clearly see when was the last test you performed on each device and when the next test is scheduled to run.

PC Matic connected devices

You can also clearly see when was the last test you performed on each device and when the next test is scheduled to run. We found this feature to be quite nice – it’s always good to have a concise summary of what is the security state on each of your devices, and get recommendations on whether any scanning should be scheduled. Nevertheless, this feature is nothing out of the ordinary – Norton also offers the same security overview.

Dark Web Monitoring

PC Matic also offers Dark Web Monitoring, although it might be limited depending on the plan you choose. With the basic plan, PC Matic will continually scan for one adult’s identity on the dark web. It will check known marketplaces to see if a third party is selling personal data. We tested this feature – adding our personal information to be checked was an easygoing process. Our account was not associated with any personal information leaks, so we did not get any alerts, but in theory, the alert dashboard looks functional and easy to understand in case anything does happen.

pc matic dark web monitoring

Dark web monitoring also includes identity theft alerts provided by IdentityForce which will send notifications to your phone or email when something suspicious is detected. If your credit card information is detected and you are notified right away, you have a chance to cancel your card before anyone else can use it. However, this feature is only available for US users

PC Matic’s dark web monitoring overall is similar to what some other providers like Norton or TotalAV offer, including identity theft protection. However, unlike PC Matic, TotalAV offers a much more comprehensive identity and personal data protection plan, which not only includes monitoring and alerts, but also full assistance in case of identity theft, as well as identity theft insurance.

SuperShield

PC Matic’s SuperShield is the real-time protection feature, and it is supposed to detect malicious files and block them in real-time. Our research team tested this PC Matic feature by downloading 10 malware samples from selected libraries. The SuperShield feature detected and blocked 0 out of 10 samples, which results in a 0% real-time malware detection rate.

pc matic supershield real-time protection

Comprehensive Updates

PC Matic will keep an eye out for any needed updates. If any new drivers or security patches become available, PC Matic will automatically update them. This includes third-party apps, ensuring you’re never accidentally left with a weak link in the system that hackers could take advantage of.

Script Blocking

To give you the best defense against tricky fileless malware, PC Matic provides a script-blocking agent. Fileless malware poses an extra threat since it doesn’t even need to be downloaded to the system to infect it. Script blocking is designed to detect unusual scripting activity and protect you from it immediately.

Ad Blocker

PC Matic, like many other antivirus providers these days, offers an ad blocker. It is a browser extension that is automatically installed together with the main software. We found the main ad blocker interface to be too small to conveniently navigate, but it was still fairly usable.

pc matic ad blocker browser extension

Our research team tested the PC Matic ad blocker capabilities with several different ad blocking tests. The results were somewhat disappointing: the PC Matic ad blocker couldn’t block a variety of ads, including flash banners, error monitoring, push notifications, video ads, banner ads, direct link ads, tracking ads, and invisible trackers. It also didn’t block YouTube ads.

Overall, the PC Matic ad blocker might be able to block some ads like pop-ups, but it is not very good, especially when compared to top ad blocker providers such as Total Adblock, or any other ad blockers that the best antivirus providers offer.

Quarantine

When the scan is complete and suspicious files are detected, PC Matic will put them in quarantine. This gives the user a chance to check the files before they are deleted forever. If a file was placed in quarantine, but the user knows it isn’t malicious, they can restore the safe files while removing the rest.

Plans and pricing

PC Matic can be affordable, depending on the plan you’re looking at. There’s always the free version, although that will only give you a very limited offering. For any paid plan, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee in place.

The way PC Matic arranges its pricing begins with choosing your Home Security plan. There’s a free option, 1-year plan, or a lifetime plan.

PlanFeaturesPrice
Free Trial 3 devices, only provides real-time protectionFree
PC Matic Home Security: 1 year5 devices, real-time protection, scheduled scans, ad blocker, script blocking, dark web monitoring, file quarantine, automatic updates$50.00 a year
PC Matic Home Security: LifetimeSame features as the 1-year plan$150 for lifetime

After choosing your plan, you have the option to add on extra features. The price for each feature will be added to the Home Security plan. You can skip this step if you aren’t interested in any of these offerings.

Add-onDescriptionPrice
PC MagnumAutomatic privacy cleaning, only available for Windows$30 a year for 5 devices
$60 a year for 10 devices
Identity Force
Family Protection
Dark web monitoring, detailed credit monitoring, identity theft insurance for 2 adults and unlimited children$100 a year
Support Unlimited3 Tiers of customer service, more information below$100 - 199 a year

If you want more than the standard customer support, you have to pay for it. Standard support includes a chatbot for basic information and an email system for personalized responses from the customer service team.

Paying more for support gives you more immediate access, including phone and chat support from the PC Matic experts.

Support Unlimited seems to be the best deal, giving you all of the features for the lowest price. You can access the US-based support team 24/7 whenever you need it and get detailed support to help you feel confident in your cybersecurity.

Is PC Matic worth the money?

If you’re looking for basic antivirus software, the PC Matic Home Security plan delivers adequate protection for a reasonable price. Protecting 5 devices for $50.00 a year is a good deal, and you can count on this antivirus to perform well and protect you from incoming threats.

Still, it can be hard to choose PC Matic over other antivirus providers. Other services on the market, like TotalAV, have lower yearly fees and will also give the user a free VPN, password manager, firewall, and other desirable features.

When you start looking at the add-ons, PC Matic starts to seem less worth the money. Paying twice the subscription fee for access to customer service isn’t a good choice for someone with basic antivirus needs.

Ease of use and setup

Getting PC Matic up and running is straightforward and doesn’t require advanced technical knowledge. For your computer, simply download the software after purchasing your plan. Once you launch it on your device, it’s pretty painless to find what you need.

Keep in mind that PC Matic is currently limited in its apps for mobile devices. It only supports Smartphones using Android Version 4.4 or higher.

For iPhone users, we have gathered a dedicated list of iOS antivirus apps that won’t leave you without protection.

PC Matic interface

Upon opening the PC Matic Windows app, you see a homepage featuring large icons for different features, as well as a button to scan your device, and some quick stats about the app’s performance and scan history. The overall interface is a little bit outdated but ultimately easy to navigate and understand, and quite similar to what you would find on TotalAV or Bitdefender’s desktop applications.

For example, to activate the real-time protection, you can click on the SuperShield icon. Subsequently, the scheduler will allow you to schedule scans for your devices. In the Devices tab, you will find the option to link more devices to the antivirus software. If you want to see the scan results, you can click on the reports tab. In the accounts and support tab, you will be able to manage your account and subscriptions and contact the support team, respectively.

PC Matic Windows home page

In the options tab, you can find the same features as on the home page, plus the quarantine section, whitelist management, and language settings.

pc matic whitelist options

Other features, such as the ad blocker and the identity theft protection feature come either as a browser extension or a separate application, respectively.

The layout for the macOS app is a bit different but is consistent in clarity and design style. One major difference is the portal that is required for Mac users. When you open your PC Matic on Mac, you need to proceed to the web portal to access all your settings and features.

PC Matic macOS application

The menu on the left side of the portal will give you access to scans, SuperShield, file manager, and more. Once you select what you want, it’s easy to take action with the clearly labeled icons on the main screen.

Overall, the Windows and macOS versions have decent functionality. They can’t quite keep up with the sleek design and enhanced customization of their competitors such as Norton or TotalAV, but they offer a comprehensive overview of the software.

PC Matic mobile apps

The PC Matic mobile apps don’t have the most impressive design, but they are user-friendly and serve their purpose of protecting your mobile devices pretty well. In comparison to desktop apps, mobile apps lack a few features and the interface may appear outdated, but they are good for some basic device scanning and light performance optimization.

We only could test the Android app in this PC Matic review since there isn’t technically one for iOS. The iOS version is a content blocker rather than a malware scanner since Apple has restrictions when it comes to these types of apps.

The Android app is a malware scanner but is rather limited in features and has an outdated interface. Although it doesn’t compete with the design and functionality of some of its competitors, it’s still easy to use.

To use the Android app, simply download and install the app on your mobile device. It will need permission to manage phone calls, even though it’s unclear why.

Once you grant that permission, you can scan your files and applications for threats. When the scan is complete, it will display a report with the total number of scanned items and how many threats were located. It will also clear your cache while conducting the scan.

From the app, you can schedule your next scan. You can also set it to only update over Wifi if you’re looking to save mobile data.

PC Matic Android app

Customer support

24/7 live chat
Email
Phone support✅ only for refund-related questions
Guides or articles
FAQs

When it comes to customer support, your access to help depends on the plan that you have. Users with the basic Home Security plan are limited to problem-solving with the chatbot or email system. The chatbot is available on any page of the website and displays common questions for you to choose from. While its answers are helpful, the chatbot is only really useful for basic product information.

On the website, you can fill out a form that will be sent to the tech support team. They will respond to you via email. Responses from the tech support team are usually prompt and detailed. Depending on the problem, the response might include step-by-step instructions, comprehensive explanations, and links to additional video tutorials.

How we test antivirus software

The Cybernews research team tests antivirus software with 10 malware samples, for which a local host is created on the testing device. We then test the real-time protection features and scanning features to see how effective is the antivirus software at detecting, blocking, and removing these malicious samples.

For real-time protection, the research team enables this feature and tries to download malicious files while monitoring the feature performance. For scan testing, the real-time protection feature is disabled, malicious files are downloaded, and then we run the scans. Most often, we test two scan options – the quick and the full scans.

To monitor the overall performance of the software, the research team also takes note of CPU, memory, and disk load, how long the scans took, and any other notable aspects. The security measures of the antivirus software shouldn’t compromise device performance.

Is PC Matic any good?

If you were to look at PC Matic in a vacuum, it would be a pretty good product. It provides low level of protection despite being determined to keep any unknown program from getting into your system with its whitelisting approach. Plus, it offers to keep you and 5 of your devices safe for $50 a year.

Where the PC Matic cracks start to show is when you look at it side by side with its competitors, especially when it comes to protection rates. Other antivirus software, such as TotalAV, offer 100% protection rate, have superior user interfaces and plenty of desirable features included in the subscription price.

PC Matic delivers subpar protection at a medium price. But if you want antivirus software that includes more features and better protection rates, there are plenty of other reliable options out there for you.


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