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Sophos antivirus review


Sophos antivirus is a security-oriented company for business and family users, and general consumers. Its product assures crucial protection against malware, phishing websites, and ransomware.

While the name of Sophos antivirus is quite familiar to security experts, the product is only good for essential virus detection. Sophos handles malware, hackers, and malicious intruders on your device rather effectively. It can especially benefit families, as it offers a good price for the Family plan and protects up to 10 devices.

In this article, you will get a detailed Sophos antivirus review. We have tested and researched it – starting with security and features and ending with customer support. So, you will receive a rich insight that might help you to choose your antimalware software. Read on and get your burning questions answered!

Rating:
4.0
Price:from $44.99 a year
Free version:Yes
Platforms:Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Current deal:Get Sophos Home, now 25% OFF!

Sophos antivirus pros & cons

Is Sophos antivirus safe?

Sophos is considerably safe. However, it can be quite inconsistent. After testing it, we were not excited about its usage of system resources as it was higher than average. This increases the risk of overlooking a virus getting into your computer. Also, the malware protection rate fluctuated between 86% to 100%. Moreover, Sophos tends to detect unmalicious files and programs which causes extra struggles to whitelist them. So, you can’t trust Sophos antivirus blindly and you should stay mindful.

AV-test Sophos antivirus testing

As we can see from the AV-test, Sophos scores considerably great in terms of protection. It slightly struggles with the performance rate, however, overall protection keeps up with the maximum. Despite the fact that Sophos tend to detect false positives, it still appears to strongly fight against malware over time.

Sophos security features

Sophos antivirus offers features that are going to be actually used and not forgotten in a dark dusty corner. For example, it includes crucial features for modern antivirus security: virus scan, parental control, MBR protection. The software will detect viruses, keep your family protected, and secure your privacy.

Let’s overview what features Sophos offers to its users and what they are for:

Remote app control and scanning

Sophos antivirus stands out from other antivirus software by having a single option for your device malware scanning. Also, the scans can’t be run automatically. So, Sophos made a smart move and implemented remote app control.

There you can configure settings for your devices, monitor them from a distance, and schedule antimalware scans. Even though you cannot manage your setting via the Sophos application, a central control panel on the website allows you to set up the settings for all of your devices in one place.

The speed of the antivirus scan is pretty decent, however, we were a bit disappointed with the result of it. Sophos appears to struggle with detecting potentially unwanted applications. We have run a test and found that Sophos recognizes random files as malware. Afterward, it was quite a hassle to whitelist those programs. So, we figured that Sophos might be inconsistent and confuse you while picking potentially unwanted applications and files.

Webcam protection

As this features’ importance is increasing, Sophos needs to put more effort into its performance.

So, the feature does inform you about your camera getting accessed from outside apps, websites, or potential danger. However, it also informs you that even from legit, your approved outside sources. Moreover, Sophos only provides you with a notification and does not block the camera.

Therefore, we feel like those alerts can be easily missed or ignored as Sophos includes even legit sources in its alerts. Thus, actual malicious intruders can easily sneak into your private life.

Sophos antivirus webcam protection

Parental control

Sophos’ parental control is here to help you to look after what your kid is browsing on the internet. It’s no surprise that most kids now are better at technology than their parents. Yet, most kids don’t realize what threatful websites look like and what are the consequences of visiting those.

With the parental control feature, you are able to filter the websites that your kids are allowed to browse. It is easily done in the Web filtering dashboard with different content-censoring options. After you decide to forbid specific websites, your child gets automatically blocked from them.

However, some browsers deal with this feature better than others as they didn’t block all chosen websites. We recommend you to use Safari, Google Chrome, or Firefox.

Ransomware protection

Getting blocked from your device is not only frustrating - it can even be dangerous. And Sophos gets that. Thus, on Sophos Home Premium you will find a feature that will restore your device if ransomware restricts your access to it.

The antivirus software constantly keeps checking the processes that interfere with your devices and files. Meaning that if any suspicious activity interferes with your device or files, the intruder gets instantly stopped from causing you damage. Ransome protection gets in the way of the intruder’s attempt to encrypt your data. Afterward, the feature restores your device to the initial state.

Honestly, we were excited to find this feature working, because some antivirus applications are unable to detect the potential threat in this case. So, at this point, Sophos antivirus gets our vote.

Sophos antivirus ransomware protection

Master Boot Record protection

The Master Boot Record section of your device’s hard drive is responsible for allowing the OS to load. The ransomware that MBR is a target for transforms the initial MBR and interrupts the device’s loading process. After your device gets infected, you are asked to pay for access to your device.

To avoid this, Sophos has implemented Master Boot Record protection. It continuously watches over your operating system’s activity and looks for suspicious actions. Once the suspiciously looking activity is spotted, it gets stopped. So, Sophos protects your device from hardly cured malware and your nerves from breaking down.

Sophos AV boot record protection

Dynamic Shellcode Protection

Dynamic Shellcode Protection is like a detective that detects hackers who are aiming to control your network.

More specifically, the feature was created to spot malicious activity. It doesn’t even trust signatures or the cloud. It stops attackers from leaving tracks in various applications on your device and does not let them take control over your device.

Dynamic Shellcode Protection is truly essential for securing you from trojans, malware, and ransomware attacks. Thus, Sophos scores again.

Machine learning scans

Sophos antivirus software is based on artificial intelligence. Its system learns and recognizes your device’s behavior. Thus, the unfamiliar activity gets soon eliminated.

The machine learning scan allows you to test several programs at once. After the test is done, you choose the best result and, with the help of it, you know how an uninfected program should behave. With that, you may recognize a malicious program on your computer.

The pattern is remembered by a learning machine and is used for future prevention. The feature itself is only a part of the full security system of Sophos for fighting against malware. It is a crucial trooper to assure your computers’ safety.

Plans and pricing

Sophos antivirus stands in terms of “expensive but can be affordable”. Its product is good value for money for business or family use as you can use up to 10 devices for their services. A single user might find Sophos services too expensive.

Let’s take a look at how much Sophos Home Premium costs:

PlanPrice
1 Year$44.99
2 Year$74.99
3 Year$104.99

Nevertheless, Sophos has both a free and a paid version. Keep in mind that the free one doesn’t offer all the features mentioned in this Sophos antivirus review. The other option, Sophos Home Premium, provides you with everything that Sophos can offer.

Even though the free version of Sophos doesn’t include certain features, it is still good enough to take care of your devices (three, to be exact). And the best thing - you don’t even need to create an account or provide your payment details.

Sophos’ free version is truly worth your trust since the features that are available are good enough to secure your device. And you do not receive annoying pop-ups that pressure you to upgrade your subscription.

You should know that Sophos offers a 30-day money-back guarantee that will give your money back with no questions asked with no need to put your credit card information in when you sign for a free plan. So, if you decide to order a Premium subscription, we definitely believe that this is a great opportunity to test the program.

It’s also worth mentioning that the paid plan of Sophos generously covers 10 devices.

Is Sophos worth the money?

The worth of Sophos depends on the user’s needs. Differences between the paid and free versions can be radical. The premium subscription offers the user more features and active sessions, so the product can be used more widely.

The paid version allows you to use the subscription on up to 10 devices and offers more features. With the free version of Sophos, you lose features like ransomware protection, malware removal possibility, banking, and webcam protection. However, you can use the free version for an unlimited amount of time or without creating an account.

To find out whether Sophos is worth the money, you should ask yourself whether the extra features are needed, how many devices will be in need of protection, and how much money can you devote to your device’s security.

Ease of use and setup

During the testing process, we have found out that installing the Sophos software and signing up for a trial account was pretty easy. A good start means a lot, right?

Moving on further, we got a bit confused because Sophos offers only one option for an antivirus scan. There were no options to choose between quick and full scans. This makes Sophos quite different from other antivirus providers, but the scan itself does not suffer from this.

Since the control panel for the software is available only via their website, everything on the application itself redirects you to the web control panel. Even though the web control panel is convenient for managing your devices from a distance, we felt like it lacked responsiveness. So, we would rather prefer a native control panel. The control panel itself allows you to enable or disable a lot of settings, thus, you can set up the program up to your comfort and needs.

Sophos antivirus desktop dashboard

Overall, Sophos is an easy-to-use program. The possibility to manage a lot of your settings even from a distance assures you more accurate protection. And signing up for Sophos is a relief compared to other providers as you are not insisted to upgrade your account or share your bank card information.

Sophos mobile app

There are two different kinds of mobile applications from Sophos. One of them is for protecting your mobile device and the other one is for accessing the control panel for the Sophos desktop application.

Unfortunately, the mobile application for protecting your mobile is quite outdated. You can see features that are dedicated to business users, yet you are unable to use them, so that might be confusing. The Android app of Sophos offers features like authenticator, Password Safe (password manager), QR code scanner, app protection, and privacy advisor. However, the iOS application is lacking app protection, privacy advisor, and malware detection.

Sophos mobile app interface

On the other hand, the application for controlling your desktop device is modern and comfortable to manage your Sophos desktop apps.

Sophos antivirus device control

In conclusion, for securing your mobile device, we would recommend choosing a different provider. You may find our top antivirus providers on our website Nevertheless, the Sophos control panel mobile application is beneficial to comfortable security over your desktop devices.

Customer support

Sophos antivirus comes with several customer support options. You can reach the support through a live chat, email, or social media platforms, like Twitter and their forums.

Unfortunately, Sophos does not have 24/7 support. That is a pity if you encounter a problem during the weekend and have to wait for Monday for your case to be solved. Sadly enough, we also have to point out that support via live chat and email is only available for Premium users. So, if you are a free user, you can receive support only via social media.

Despite their shortcomings, Sophos’ support team is good at troubleshooting your issue. It is comprehensive and quick, especially via live chat. Their team makes sure your issue is solved and questions are answered. After the conversation ends, you receive a chat transcript to your email.

Overall, Sophos' support team is ready to help you out, but they would need to improve their techniques in order to be more professional and trustworthy.

How good is Sophos antivirus?

Sophos is a decent antivirus. It has already been on the market for many years, which means we can trust their knowledge when it comes to malware and viruses. However, even though they offer all the essentials, there aren’t too many advanced features available. Thus, Sophos should be seen as a basic provider for fundamental protection.

Based on the tests we have run with Sophos, it is a good antivirus but also inconsistent. Picking up “innocent” applications or using a bigger amount of the device’s resources might be an irritating characteristic. It is also quite a hassle to whitelist accidentally detected programs.

Moreover, their services can be pretty expensive if you are not planning to use 10 licenses that are given for a Premium plan. As for a single device or just a few of them, there are better options to choose from.

All things considered, Sophos antivirus wouldn’t be our top choice. For malware protection we expect an antivirus to be stable – not to detect false positive programs, assure protection constantly on a higher level. Sophos antivirus could be improved regarding stability.

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