Top Commercial Antivirus Product Free For Home Use


Sophos antivirusIf you haven't heard of Sophos antivirus, it's probably because you don't work for a large company. Unlike most other security software vendors, Sophos mostly sells to the corporate market and doesn't bother trying to sell copies to individual home users.

It does, though, give copies away. For free.

Yup. If you want to use the same antivirus software at home that big companies use, you can get it for free. Just head to to create an account (you'll need to supply a valid email address), and then you can access the Sophos online portal. From there, you can keep a watch on all the machines on which you've installed the software, and also download the installer. 

The installation file runs to 192 MB, and you'll also need an internet connection so that the program can update itself once the main installation is complete. After that, you're protected from viruses and malware by a world-class software company.

Incidentally, if you're attempting to install Sophos Home on Windows 10, and you're using the Edge browser, you may run into problems. I did. If it happens to you too, just try a different browser. Internet Explorer worked fine for me.

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Being used by big companies doesn't make something good. At my work we have a Sophos Email Appliance to scan all incoming and outgoing email, a Sophos Web Appliance to scan all incoming and outgoing web traffic, and Sophos Endpoint Protection on all PCs......despite this fearsome arsenal of Sophos products, we just got hit last week with got through the email filter, then it got through the web filter when a user clicked a bad link, then got through the Endpoint protection on the desktop, where it made it's way to our servers (also protected with Sophos software).......and as if that wasn't bad enough, that was the SECOND time our Sophos defences have been easily evaded by a Cryptolocker variant

Seeing how ransomware is consistently infecting numerous corporate and hospital systems, all of whom I'd imagine would be utilizing strong commercial security solutions, it appears Sophos isn't exactly Robinson Caruso in this department.

Security software cannot always protect people/users from themselves. Perhaps your company needs to review and strengthen its staff training program.

This is a good point in this case because you can hardly blame the installed antivirus for not preventing socially engineered exploits because the payload and method of distribution for these is constantly changing. Until users become educated not to click on un-checked attachments, this type of exploit will continue to flourish. MC - Site Manager.

Sophos system requirements state Win7 and upwards.
So if you want to protect old WinXP installations you need Avast or similar.
(And extra protection software as well for WinXP). :)

I have been using Sophos for some time it has little impact on performance. Since using the program I haven't had any problems and no infections of any kind. The one thing that stands out for me is the only way you can change anything about the operation of the program is if you log in online. This means no infection can interfere with the programs operation on your computer so you are always protected.

Hi all;

I am going to "stoke the flames" so to speak, please be warned.
I do NOT run any testing lab.
I do NOT have any numbers or statistics to show off.
But over the last 10 to 12 years I have conservatively estimated about 6,000 to 7,000 home users as customers of which 99% call themselves "computer illiterate" and honestly, most are.

You are welcome to dismiss what follows and stop reading right here - but please, I don't need or read or hear your reasons, I respect them whatever they are. Here I go:

For a long time I am suspicious of AV-Comparatives [AVC] "test results". Some of the reasons are:

#1: The worst malware infested computers I encounter often, way too often, run AVG or Avast; and those two have almost perfect scores on AVC?

#2: Slightly older machines with for example Turion dual-core, Sempron, Athlon II or older Pentium cpu, many with around or less than 2Ghz cpu and 32-bit systems (vista, W7, W8) running excruciatingly sluggish:
I remove the obvious malware and the machine is still slow.

#3: THEN I remove AVG/Avast/McAfee/Trend Micro or whatever and the machine "takes a leap" into what I consider normal operation for this class of computer. That is something AVC (and others!) never talk about, AFAIK at least.

#4: The subsequent scan with Malwarebytes Free with corrected settings finds anything from half a dozen to many hundreds of leftover malware traces and sometimes even a rootkit that other "miss".
Yep, Malwarebytes Free has it's rootkit detection turned OFF in the default install; go figure.

#5: Literally ALL of my customers do very well with Microsoft Security Essentials (or Defender on W8/W10) and occasional additional manually started scans with Malwarebytes Free.

#6: Occasionally I have used the bootable Sophos Virus Removal Tool. It loads it's virus definitions much slower than others and it runs FOREVER. Admittedly very subjective but that's what I experience.

Nothing against Sophos, I believe they offer very reasonable solution(s) for businesses and companies - and now maybe for home users? More power to them.

Disclaimer: I have absolutely NO business or any other relationships with any company or product mentioned before. Only real life experiences in very typical home user environments.

I also repair computers in Montreal part time and my customers are also seniors ( like me) who will say they are not good with computers . I think the problem is we expect too much from av programs all they can do and all they claim to do is remove viruses, if the client ever runs a scan . I' ve had clients update for two years with out ever actually running a scan even once. Clients who poorly install free software , never bother to learn to update and only pay for service when its almost too late We can't expect an av program to work miracles. It only does its job I have had horror stories uninstalling avast but blame that on the customer not the product . Security begins behind two ears . Most avs do their job which is all we can reasonably ask of them

Bob part time tech Montreal

Hi, I would just like to add that recently after a lot of issues on my computer running Windows 7 I got rid of Avast which everyone says is so good but in fact creates a great many problems and I turned to Microsoft Security Essentials and it works just fine.

A few days ago, someone using my computer accidentally installed AVG.

What a mess!! It's totally a virus!!!

And I spent an afternoon getting rid of it although you should be aware that AVG Zen will not allow itself to be uninstalled even with Revo Uninstaller and then rooting out all the changes it had made on Firefox using about:config and then using Malwarebytes, Spybot and SuperAntiSpyware.

I don't know about Sophos but personally, I'll be sticking to MSE.

Hi Bob again ,

shouldn't you have been able to use system restore to bring your computer back in minutes. As this is now happening find and old hard drive buy a sata ide to usb cable about $15.00 and run this harddrive like an external, and make a system backup . Then make a windows pe disc . The above souldn't happen if your prepared.. Look at gismo's free backup software its soo easy to use.

A good reason why not to let other people have access to your machine. Even so, AVG like most other reputable products provides comprehensive removal instructions and even a dedicated tool for this should the built-in uninstaller fail.
I've never had issues with AVG software except on machines where multiple security programs have been previously installed and then improperly removed as stated in your post. MC - Site Manager.

I only use an anti virus that allows me to choose what I want done to anything it finds. I've lost data using those that misread legit software and delete it without my knowledge. How about Sophos??

thanks rob,
hmm,.... 192 mb download !

I'll stick to quio 369 TS essentials.... absolutely free, no adds and it works well as noted on this site.

...... and it's a paltry 30 mb download.

I may be getting senile but wasn't this posted not too long ago? The product seems to have some glitches of note and I'm sure some readers like myself have a preferred browser that is not Internet Explorer. I can't speak about this product specifically, but in some cases the services only remain free until the next version is developed requiring an upgrade.

Yes, it was.

What glitches of note? Please clarify. I've been using Sophos Home on 3 different machines for a little over 3 months with zero issues.

Sophos Home does NOT require Internet Explorer, and the article doesn't say it does, it just says to use something other than Edge. I use Firefox and Chrome with no problems.

Sophos AV (engine) has been around for ages (previously only available to the corporate sector). It is not 'new' as in brand new, never been seen before - it's just recently been made available for home users as well.

Sophos Home is lightweight, comes with a proven engine, and includes a very good online content filter for family situations.

(I am in no way connected or associated with Sophos - just a satisfied user).

In what independent tests there are available, it performs pretty badly. MC - Site Manager.

I guess it depends on whose lab results you are looking at:

But this test relates to Sophos Endpoint Security and Control 10.3 and not the free Home version. The free version description states: "It uses the same award-winning technology from Sophos that protects millions of business people worldwide", but I don't buy into this unless the exact specifications for things like antivirus engine number etc are listed, which I can't find anywhere, except for the commercial version. Fiat after all uses the same technology as BMW. MC - Site Manager.

Yes, exactly the same product as in the test result chart that you referenced:

As you rightly point out, Sophos claims that its Home AV utilizes the same engine as the enterprise counterpart, and I have no reason to doubt that. I guess there is always a choice - we can either choose to believe unless proven otherwise or choose to disbelieve until proven true. :)

If like me there are any users of D-Link remote monitored cameras reading this, they won't function with this AV installed. Can't answer for all of them but they will work with AVG Free, Panda Free and Forticlient. MC - Site Manager.

Question - "Site Manager" here, or somewhere else?

It relates to here. I apply the tag to all my posts at the request of the site owner. MC - Site Manager.

Cool. I sometimes see people putting all sorts of things after their names. Strictly for further curiosity - overall site manager ("webmaster", whatever) or a category?

(I'm just nosy}

It's an overall status although "overall" there are others here contributing more than me. :) MC - Site Manager.

Thanx. I like to know how things work.