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Best Sophos alternatives in 2024

Sophos is an established antivirus player in the market that provides security management for companies and individual users. However, with the ever-changing online threats, exploring its alternatives might be a good idea.

This article explains why it’s useful to look at other antivirus options and covers the best Sophos alternatives for 2024, focusing on antivirus programs that excel in protection against malware, network security, and user-friendliness.

After researching 25 tools and testing the top picks, we’ve selected the best Sophos replacement based on protection against malware, network security, and other aspects. Our testing revealed TotalAV to be the best alternative.

Best Sophos alternative
TotalAV is the top Sophos alternative with a robust internet security package, intuitive apps, real-time and cloud protection, and versatile pricing plans.
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Whether you are an individual computer user, a small business owner, or an experienced IT professional, this guide will help you choose the best Sophos alternative for your specific requirements.

Best Sophos alternatives: shortlist

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Why look for an alternative to Sophos?

If we look into the pool of the best antivirus software on the market today, the most powerful programs will meet the top-class industry standards and be up-to-date with the ever-evolving threat world. Here are some reasons why you might want to switch to Sophos alternatives:

  • Unstable malware detection rate. While Sophos generally offers strong malware detection, some users have reported fluctuations in its effectiveness over time, with occasional lapses in detecting new or emerging threats. This inconsistency in malware detection can undermine confidence in the tool’s ability to provide consistent protection, thus making you look for alternatives with more reliable threat detection capabilities.
  • Lack of intuitiveness. You’ll find that Sophos management is not exactly user-friendly, at least when compared to other leading antivirus software, like TotalAV or Norton. Users have reported Sophos features to be rather complicated to use and unsteady.
  • Resource consumption. We found that Sophos antivirus consumes significant system resources, which results in slower performance, especially on older or less powerful devices.
  • Cost considerations. While Sophos provides decent security features, its pricing may not be suitable for all budgets, especially for individuals or small businesses seeking cost-effective alternatives. For instance, the cheapest Sophos plan starts at $44.99/year, while top AV leaders like TotalAV provide an excellent suite for only $19.00/year.

Best Sophos alternatives in 2024 – detailed list

We conducted in-depth tests to determine which Sophos alternatives are the best by looking at their standout features, malware detection rates, and more factors. Check out detailed reviews of the 5 best Sophos alternatives that made it to our list.

1. TotalAV – best Sophos alternative in 2024

totalav antivirus banner 1
Simultaneous connections:Up to 8 devices
Free version:Yes
Platforms:Windows, macOS, iOS, Android
Coupons:Get TotalAV, now 80% OFF!

TotalAV is the best Sophos alternative on our list. It’s easy to manage, has budget-friendly plans, and is an advanced contender in the antivirus market.

Regarding TotalAV malware protection and the effectiveness of different scanning options, we conducted in-house testing to see what results it delivers. With real-time protection tests, TotalAV worked 90% of the time. When we tested it with pre-prepared malware samples, it only caught 60% of them.

In terms of independent testing, the AV-TEST January-February 2024 summary showed great performance – TotalAV blocked 100% of zero-day attacks and prevalent malware.

As overviewed in our TotalAV analysis, this software has real-time ransomware protection, data breach monitoring, phishing protection, and a disk cleaner. Depending on the package, you also get features like a VPN, an ad blocker, and more – this is not what Sophos can offer.

TotalAV plans start at $19.00/year for 3 devices with a 30-day money refund. With the free version that TotalAV offers, you can use the free scanning feature.

2. Norton 360 – premium Sophos alternative with outstanding performance and advanced tools

Simultaneous connections:Up to 10 devices
Free version:No
Platforms:Windows, macOS, iOS, Android
Current deal:Get up to 58% OFF Norton Antivirus

Norton 360 is not only one of the best Sophos alternatives but also one of the best antivirus on the market today. This is thanks to its top-notch malware protection, a feature-rich suite, and user-friendliness.

While our in-house tests for Norton showed mixed results (the full system scan was 80% successful and the real-time protection generated a 70% success rate), the independent AV-Test January-February 2024 test reports showed near-perfect results.

Feature-wise, Norton has a lot more to offer than Sophos. Besides the basics like malware and virus scans, Norton comes with additional features like a secure VPN and PC Cloud Backup that Sophos may require separate subscriptions for. These extras can be valuable for comprehensive online security.

When it comes to pricing, Norton is more affordable than Sophos premium plans. The Norton Plus plan starts at just $29.99/year for up to 5 devices and you can test it with a 7-day free trial. There’s also an extended 60-day money refund policy.

3. Bitdefender – top-class malware protection Sophos alternative

Bitdefender interface
Simultaneous connections:
Up to 15 devices
Free version:Yes
Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux
Coupons:Get Bitdefender for up to 50% OFF!

Bitdefender is a solid and secure antivirus alternative to Sophos. Bitdefender is not only a top-rated antivirus that consistently earns high marks from independent labs but is also loaded with features that Sophos does not offer.

This provider stood out in our in-house tests – Bitdefender’s real-time protection easily dealt with all 10 malware samples we pitted against it. It caught 9 out of 10 downloaded malicious files. Besides, recognized as Advanced+ by AV-Comparatives, Bitdefender has a very high malware detection score. It also demonstrated a 100% success rate in the detection of malware discovered in January-February 2024 by AV-Test.

As noted in our Bitdefender review, this antivirus offers real-time protection, Advanced Threat Defense, a firewall, and even a VPN, which is absent from Sophos plans. There’s also multi-layered ransomware protection and parental controls included.

Bitdefender starts at $29.99/year for up to 3 Windows devices (Antivirus Plus plan). You can also do a test run with a free version or opt for a 30-day money-back guarantee.

4. Surfshark Antivirus – versatile Sophos alternative with powerful VPN

Surfshark AV banner
Simultaneous connections:Up to 5 devices
Free version:No
Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android
Coupons:Get Surfshark Antivirus - 80% OFF + 3 months FREE!

Surfshark Antivirus is an all-around and lightweight alternative for Sophos, as you get it in Surfshark One bundle together with a VPN and other security tools.

An in-depth report by AV-test (November-December 2022) showed that Surfshark Antivirus successfully blocked 91.9% of zero-day malware attacks. The tests we’ve done for our full Surfshark Antivirus review showed decent results. It did find 9 out of 10 malicious files that we tested with, meaning it has solid malware detection rates.

In terms of features, Surfshark Antivirus has various scanning options: quick, full, scheduled, and drag-and-drop item scans. Real-time protection also ensures your operating system is secured against malware 24/7 and webcam protection guarantees that unauthorized apps can't access your webcam without you knowing.

Since Surfshark Antivirus comes in a cybersecurity bundle Surfshark One, you also get a market-leading Surfshark VPN, Search (secure search engine), and Alert (data leak checker) features. That’s also something that you won’t get with Sophos.

In terms of pricing, Surfshark Antivirus comes at a slightly higher price tag than Sophos – $47.85/year for 5 devices. In addition, you can try it out risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

5. Malwarebytes – easy-to-use Sophos alternative with solid free version

Simultaneous connections:Up to 20 devices
Free version:No
Platforms:Windows, Android, macOS, ChromeOS, iOS
Coupons:Get Malwarebytes, now 25% OFF

Another Sophos alternative that has one of the best free versions of antivirus is Malwarebytes. This program is also very user-friendly and has good virus protection rates.

The independent testing done by AV-Test (September-October 2023) showed excellent results, and Malwarebytes missed only 0.5 point in the protection and performance categories. It also scored nearly 100% in protection against widespread and 0-day malware attacks.

Our in-house Malwarebytes testing showed that Malwarebytes can perform multiple types of scans very quickly with almost zero CPU usage. There are Quick scans, Threat, and Custom scans that you can choose from. This is way better than Sophos, as it has only a single device scanning option.

While Malwarebytes is not as powerful as, for instance, TotalAV, it does come with several useful features. It includes exploit protection, which is useful when preventing malware from infecting the device and spreading any further. There’s also a VPN that encrypts your internet traffic and protects personal data when online.

It’s worth mentioning that Malwarebytes offers a decent free version with a virus scanner. Premium plans start at $38.24/year for only 1 device. You can also make use of a 14-day trial free of charge.

Which Sophos alternative should I pick?

While the best Sophos alternative will depend on the functionalities you’re looking for and the budget, all the picks explored in this article offer robust security features, so you're on the right track no matter which one you choose.

If you’re still unsure, here are some of the key factors to consider when making your decision:

  • Basic needs vs advanced protection. Do you just need malware protection for everyday browsing and email, or are you concerned about advanced threats like ransomware or phishing scams? If basic needs are your focus, free options like Bitdefender Antivirus Free can be sufficient. For advanced protection, consider premium options like TotalAV or Norton 360.
  • Features. Do you need extras like a VPN or parental controls? Many Sophos alternatives offer extra features alongside core protection. If you travel often, consider antivirus with a built-in VPN like Bitdefender or Surfshark Antivirus. Parental controls might be important for users with families. In this case, Norton 360 offers these features.
  • Device compatibility. Will you be protecting just your Windows PC or do you also need coverage for a macOS, smartphone, or tablet? Choose an alternative that supports your specific devices. Popular options like TotalAV offer multi-device protection plans.

How we tested these Sophos alternatives

If you’re keen to know how we test antivirus software and how we’ve compiled and tested these Sophos alternatives, here’s an overview of the various factors we focused on:

  • Malware protection. We conducted our in-house testing (covering multiple areas, including real-time protection, scanning options, web protection, and more) on Sophos alternatives as well as relied on independent testing labs like AV-Test and AV-Comparatives.
  • Impact on system performance. Since Sophos antivirus frequently consumes a lot of CPU resources, we evaluated each alternative antivirus’ impact on system performance. We looked for antiviruses that consume as little resources as possible when scanning the device.
  • User-friendliness. Since not all Sophos functionalities are intuitive and easy to navigate, we made sure to enlist only those alternatives that are beginner-friendly, have simple apps, and would be easy to navigate.
  • Plans and pricing. We looked at the features offered by each Sophos alternative at different price points to find those that strike the right balance between affordability and functionality. We factored in the cost of subscriptions, along with any discounts or special offers available, to help you choose the most cost-effective option.

Do I really need an antivirus tool?

Yes, even if you decide to discontinue your Sophos subscription, having an antivirus tool is still crucial for your device's safety. While Sophos may have caused performance slowdowns, a well-chosen alternative like TotalAV can offer robust protection without negatively impacting system resources.

Even if you do not care about all the extras that come with modern antivirus tools, you need protection simply because new malware and online scams emerge daily. An antivirus scans for and blocks these threats in real time, protecting your device from data breaches, identity theft, system damage, and other threats.

While programs like Sophos offer good baseline protection, they might lack features like advanced phishing guards or secure browsing extensions. A powerful antivirus equips you with a full-fetched security suite. It's a worthwhile investment for the overall security of your data and system.

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