PC Matic antivirus review
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. Or simply for those looking for something new among casually trusted antivirus services.
That being said, 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. However, it reaches 100% of detection rates, which could justify this different type of protection.
But exhaustively blocked apps aren’t the only unseen approach we found. Compared to the current antivirus market, PC Matic is quite short in extra features, as it doesn’t have a safe search engine, parental control, VPN, and even more fairly important tools.
For instance, the market-leading program – TotalAV – is an excellent example of a provider that includes both essential and additional features to ensure an overall better online experience.
- Excellent malware detection rates
- Robust VPN and password manager
- Efficient optimization tools
Still keen to find out if PC Matic is a good choice for you in today’s market? Then, without hesitating, we’ll take a look at its performance, security features, pricing, and more in this full PC Matic review.
|🥇 Overall rank:||#21 out of #25|
|💵 Price:||From $50/year|
|✂️ Free version:||Yes|
|🖥️ Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Android|
PC Matic pros & cons
- Excellent overall protection rates
- Automatically updates apps and drivers
- Doesn’t slow down your PC
- Cheapest plan offers protection for 5 devices
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Free version available
- Doesn’t include many extra features
- Often blocks safe programs
- Outdated user interface
Is PC Matic antivirus safe?
PC Matic is a safe antivirus software with impressive results in protection and performance. 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 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 security features
While PC Matic might not have as many features as its competitors, it has all the essentials you need to keep your devices safe. Let’s see what top security features made it into our PC Matic review.
One of the most unique features of PC Matic is its whitelist. This is essentially 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.
Once a new program is flagged as suspicious, it is sent to the PC Matic malware research team located in the US. The experts check it for safety, categorizing it as good or bad within 24 hours.
PC Matic’s whitelist stops any new and unknown program, treating them as hostile until proven otherwise. This antivirus markets its approach as more proactive, since it is focused on prevention rather than reaction.
Typically, antivirus software uses a blacklist, or a list of known malware to be on the lookout for. While blacklists can be very effective, there is still the potential for brand-new malware to slip through unchecked and infect the system. In the time it takes for the malware research team to identify the new malware and add it to the blacklist, it can impact more devices.
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.
You have control over when PC Matic is scanning your devices with the Scan Scheduler. You can easily locate this feature in the settings, where you can set your preferred interval and type of scan. It will then perform your custom scans automatically.
With it, you can complete both individual and group scans as long as a device is registered under your account. However, don’t get surprised when a first scan attempt doesn’t go as planned. It might miss out on scanning for malware and the issue reveals in other PC Matic reviews as well. Yet, going for a scan again can do the trick. Overall, it works, but we expect an antivirus scan to indicate threats as efficiently as possible.
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.
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.
You can also clearly see when was the last test you performed on each device and when the next test is scheduled to run.
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.
This feature will scan for your credit/debit card numbers, social security numbers, and more. If the dark web monitoring does reveal an unauthorized use of sensitive information, PC Matic’s White Glove Restoration service can help you recover your identity and remove traces of the theft.
This feature also includes identity theft alerts, 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.
If you have any questions about the alerts you receive or the status of your private information, you can contact the US-based customer service team 24/7 to get to the bottom of the issue.
While you can manually scan your PC whenever you’d like, SuperShield is there to protect you in real time. This feature is designed to catch new threats in between scans, sending the ones that aren’t on the whitelist to the malware experts for further inspection.
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.
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.
Pop-up ads are a common way for malware to enter a computer system. Even without accidentally clicking on the ad, it’s still possible for an infection to get onto your computer. The Ad Blocker found in the app keeps you from seeing these malware-infused ads and keeps your computer safe from what they might contain.
Overall, PC Matic has a basic offering of security features to keep you protected and improve your online experience. If you’re looking for extras like a firewall, robust VPN, or password manager, taking a look at other antivirus programs is what you should do.
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.
|Free Trial||3 devices, only provides real-time protection||Free|
|PC Matic Home Security: 1 year||5 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: Lifetime||Same 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.
|PC Magnum||Automatic privacy cleaning, only available for Windows||$30 a year for 5 devices|
$60 a year for 10 devices
|Dark web monitoring, detailed credit monitoring, identity theft insurance for 2 adults and unlimited children||$100 a year|
|Support Unlimited||3 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
In this PC Matic review, we won’t be using words like “sleek” to describe the interface. For both macOS and Windows, PC Matic has a functional interface that users can navigate with ease. The look itself is quite outdated, but that doesn’t interfere with its ability to get the job done.
On Windows, you can rely on the large icons and clear top menu to get you where you need to go. You can easily click on SuperShield to activate or deactivate real-time protection. Select the Scheduler to arrange the next scan for each of your devices.
You can add or remove your 5 devices by clicking on the Devices icon. The Reports tab will show you detailed scan results. Support options and account settings can be found in the upper right-hand corner.
The layout for macOS 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 will need to proceed to the web portal to access all your settings and features.
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, but they will do their job and keep you safe from threats.
PC Matic mobile apps
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 conserve data.
That’s about all you can do with the mobile app. It might not be the most impressive app among Android antiviruses, but it serves its purpose and keeps your device protected.
PC Matic promises not to outsource any part of its research, development, or support. This means you’ll be interacting with its US-based team of product experts as problems arise.
How much access you get to this team depends on the plan you purchased. 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. If you have any more advanced or personal queries, you won’t get too far with this bot.
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.
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 a high level of protection and is determined to keep any unknown program from getting into your system with its whitelisting approach. Plus, it will 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. Other antivirus software, such as TotalAV, at even lower subscription prices, have superior user interfaces and plenty of desirable features included in the subscription price.
PC Matic delivers great protection at a reasonable price. But if you want antivirus software that includes more features for less money, there are plenty of other reliable options out there for you.
More antivirus software reviews:
Bitdefender Antivirus review: learn about the market-leading security tool
Norton vs TotalAV: find out which antivirus software is truly better
Bitdefender vs TotalAV: see two reputable antiviruses getting compared
Does PC Matic speed up the computer?
Yes, PC Matic has the potential to speed up your computer. It automatically updates your drivers, clears your junk files, cache, and cookies. This can help your computer run faster if it’s been a long time since you’ve updated it or cleared out old clutter.
Is PC Matic as good as Norton?
Norton is better than PC Matic, but they are both good choices for antivirus software. They’re similar in performance and protection. But Norton scores higher in usability and also comes with a few extra features like a password manager, cloud backup, and parental control.
Does PC Matic have a VPN?
No, PC Matic doesn’t have a VPN. No matter what plan you purchase, you won’t get a VPN with your PC Matic subscription. If you’re looking for a VPN that’s included with your antivirus software, you’re better off with a competitor like Surfshark Antivirus.
Is there a free version of PC Matic?
Yes, PC Matic does have a free version. It’s much more limited than its paid counterpart, only equipped for basic security on 3 devices. It provides real-time threat protection but doesn’t allow you to schedule scans and set your own preferences.
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