Sophos Antivirus Review: Sophisticated Security
Based in Oxford, U.k. Sophos is a worldwide leader in cybersecurity. Sophos products protect nearly 400,000 organizations in more than 150 countries from some of the most advanced cyberthreats.
SophosLabs utilizes Sophos' cloud-native and AI-enhanced solutions to secure endpoints (laptops, servers, and mobile devices) and networks against evolving cybercriminal tactics and techniques. These threats include breaches, ransomware, malware, exploits, data exfiltration, phishing, and more.
The award-winning Sophos Central cloud-based platform integrates Sophos' entire portfolio synchronizing the best-of-breed products, from the Intercept X endpoint solution to the XG Firewall, into a single system called Synchronized Security.
If you're interested in Sophos products and wish to learn more, keep reading...
Security and Protection
An antivirus first and foremost functions as a protective means against malicious ware. Other extra are nice luxury items. However, protection stays the top priority. Here we will discuss Sophos protection in the following areas:
1. Third-party lab tests
In regards to antivirus security, how should an antivirus protection assessment be measured? Do we take the words of the AV creators for their own devices?
The best way to assess an antivirus on its functionality is by using a third-party antivirus testing lab.
Third-party testing Labs are experts with well-constructed criteria and testing methods on testing AV products, providing an unbiased opinion on product security.
AV-Test lab reports for the home product for individuals were dated back to 2011, which is very outdated; as for reports on the endpoint product for companies, they are more up to date, recent reports with high scores were found.
Sophos reports using the same technology used in their endpoint product and home product. While they are no recent reports on their home product, the endpoint product reports by AV-Test are up to date.
The endpoint product scores, according to AV-Test, were as follows:
- Sophos scores a 6/6 score on its ability to detect malicious ware.
- Sophos antivirus scores 5.5/6 in the impact on device performance department is minimal. This means it won't take up your device's resources.
- Sophos antivirus has a low false-positive rate with a 6/6 usability score. This means it's unlikely to mistake regular files for harmful ones.
Sophos antivirus test by AV-Comparatives was dated back to 2016 and hasn't been updated since. The results were the following:
- Sophos scored 1/3 stars (Standard) in the device performance impact department. This means it affects system performance relative to other antiviruses.
- Sophos had a Real-World Protection Test with a 1/3 stars (Standard) real-world protection score. According to a test conducted with 1619 domains/files, this score checks the rate of detection of malicious files and domains.
- Sophos had a 10 false-positive rate (False alarms), with the industry average in the test being 26. While successfully blocking 96.2% of threats.
Proper Real-World Protection takes into account how well an antivirus blocks threats and can differentiate between threats and none threats.
- Malware removal test: Sophos antivirus has a 2/3 (Advanced) score regarding Malware removal. This test checks the ability of antivirus to remove malware that has already infected a PC. Out of 45 Test cases, it scored 82 out of 100.
SE Labs rank products from AAA being the highest score, AA (Intermediate), and B (Lowest score).
According to SE Labs:
- Sophos antivirus home product scored (AA) overall with a total accuracy rating of 94%.
- Sophos antivirus home product had a 738/750 with 98% legitimate accuracy, meaning it was able to differentiate the products accurately and classify legitimate applications and URLs.
- In terms of protection, Sophos antivirus home product detected 99 out of 100, blocked 87, and neutralized 5. Earning a protection score of 92/100.
- Sophos antivirus home product had a protection accuracy rating of 342/399 (86%).
2. Firewall and IDS protection
While Sophos' home product doesn't provide firewall protection on its own, they have a separate firewall product named XG Firewall Home product for free users. They can be downloaded as a free tool, thus providing users with a safe network.
3. USB rescue toolkit
A USB rescue toolkit functions as a backup anti malicious ware, which can be used when booting your device, as in some cases, a malicious ware would hinder your device's ability to boot up.
Sophos Products, Plans, and Features
Sophos has multiple products for users to enjoy based on their needs. These include Antivirus for Windows, Antivirus for Mac, Hitman Pro, and Sophos Home Premium products.
1. Sophos Antivirus for Windows
Sophos Antivirus for Windows products provides multiple security features that can be very useful for users concerned with the security of their devices. The real-time antivirus protection is powered by AI machine learning with heuristic analysis to detect never seen before zero-day threats regardless of whether it's the free or the premium product.
Although the Free plan isn't as advanced as the Premium, however, they still provide a few extra features beyond simple protection, including parental control to blacklist unwanted sites from the reach of your children.
|Plans||Sophos Windows Free||Sophos Home Premium|
|AI-Powered Threat Detection||Included||Included|
|Advanced Web protection and Anti-Phishing||N/A||Included|
|Privacy Protection (Webcam and Mic)||N/A||Included|
It is important to note that Sophos provides a 30-day trial on the Premium plan so you can try out the full product in its glory and decide if it's worth the price.
2. Sophos Antivirus for Mac
Similar to the free Windows product, a free Mac product is also available. While some may think that a Mac doesn't require an antivirus because it's safe, the fact is that isn't completely true. It is true that Mac has better security than Windows. However, a Mac can get infected with different types of malware.
Sophos Antivirus for Mac provides users with real-time antivirus protection against malware, viruses, trojans, worms, and more. Another feature is parental control for worried parents that want to keep their children safe online by restricting access to unwanted sites.
In addition, users get web protection in the form of anti-phishing protection against malicious links that might steal away your credentials and important information.
|Plans||Sofos Mac Free||Sophos Home Premium|
|Web Protection and Anti-Phishing||Included||Included|
|Dedicated Ransomware Protection||N/A||Included|
|Privacy Protection (Webcam and Mic)||N/A||Included|
Sophos provides a 30-day trial on the Premium plan so you can try out the full product in its glory and decide if the complete product worth the price.
The HitmanPro product is subdivided into two main products, which are the Malware Removal and the Alert products.
- The HitmanPro Malware Removal is a specialized antimalware removal tool; it doesn't protect your device but rather removes existing malware after they infect your device. Although it isn't the best standalone product, however, it can be a nice addition to your defenses.
- The HitmanPro Alert product, on the other hand, does both attack and defense efficiently by scanning your device in real-time and providing protection against malware and potentially unwanted programs before they even infect your device.
In addition, HitmanPro Alert can provide safe online banking and can protect your privacy from hackers trying to hijack your webcam and mic. The best thing is that HitmanPro Alert can work in conjunction with other security products, i.e., you won't have to uninstall another antivirus product to use it.
HitmanPro is compatible with Windows only at the time of writing this article.
HitmainPro doesn't provide a money-back guarantee. However, it has a 30-day free trial period to try out the product before deciding whether you want to buy it or not.
4. Sophos Home Premium
The Premium plan, on the other hand, has more to offer, including an arsenal of defense against multiple forms of security and privacy breaches.
Safe online banking by Sophos Antivirus for Windows Premium ensures your credit card details won't be intercepted by third parties and keylogging malware, while the ID protection keeps your usernames and passwords safe.
Sophos Home Premium features include:
- Dedicated ransomware protection: Ransomware is such an example of a threat that took the world by storm, which is provided by Sophos Premium product but not the Free product.
- Threat protection keeps your valued, private information safe by blocking viruses and other malware from stealing or destroying files, documents, and photos.
- Anti-Phishing and hacking allow you to surf the web with confidence, knowing Sophos Home protects your online shopping and banking from phishing and hacking.
- Private browsing for anti-tracking prevents individuals and companies from tracking your data online. Tracking is often used to tracks your data from websites you visit, allowing for identity theft profiling. While big companies like Google and Facebook have trackers implemented in many websites online, used for targeted advertisement.
Google tracker can be found lurking in approximately 75% of web pages online! Facebook is found in 24%. Trackers are used for targeted advertisements.
- Privacy protection stops hackers from accessing your webcam or microphone – a feature found in various malware types – to block spying and predatory acts.
- Protect all your devices by providing licenses for up to 10 PCs or Macs from virtually anywhere. As for Androids and iOS devices, it provides an unlimited amount.
While a desktop app provides you with a user interface, clicking on the dashboard automatically takes you to a web page displaying the dashboard using the cloud.
Sophos antivirus provides its users with various forms of customer support so, they may never be lost in times of need; these include:
- Email and ticketing
Pricing and Payments
Sophos home product is very straightforward in terms of plans, with just a premium plan available for use. The only difference is dependent on how long you buy the subscription for, with the longer period providing a lower per month price.
A summary table for Sophos home product prices:
|Plans||Sophos Home Product Premium||HitmanPro Malware Remover||HitmanPro Alert|
|One year||$44.99/10 devices||$24.95/1PC
|Two years||$74.99/10 devices||N/A||N/A|
|Three years||$104.99/10 devices||$49.95/1PC
Sophos provides users with the possibility to pay for the premium home product using the following methods:
- Major credit cards
On the other hand, the HitmanPro offers a higher level of diversity when it comes to payment methods including:
- Major credit cards
- Wire transfer
- Check/Money order
Sophos provides a 30-day money-back guarantee for users to experience their Home Premium product before deciding. As for the HitmanPro, there is a 30-day free trial period but no money-back guarantee.
Sophos antivirus is for both enterprises and individuals; their endpoint product for companies seems very good and secure, and their products, including the free ones, provide more than your typical everyday free antivirus does.
Sophos mentions that the technology used in their home product is the same used in their endpoint security product. This gives an idea concerning the security they provide from the point of view of a third-party testing lab looking at how the home product hasn't been updated regularly.
The Sophos Home Premium product doesn't provide as many extra features as some of the other antiviruses. There haven't been any updates on their home product on third-party testing labs, while the endpoint product has been getting regular updates.
Whether you're looking for an endpoint product for a company or a home product for personal use, Sophos can provide you with the protection you need.