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Emsisoft Antivirus Review (2024 Update): The Pros & Cons

By Tibor Moes / Updated: November 2023 / Rating: 3 of 5

Emsisoft Antivirus Review 2024

Emsisoft Antivirus 2024: Review Summary

Emsisoft is ranked #24 of the 28 best antivirus of 2024.

Emsisoft’s straightforward interface, capable anti-malware, and uncommon security features make it a noteworthy product.

A great feature is the remote management capability, which permits scanning, adjusting settings, viewing data, and managing quarantined files from any location with internet access. Other unique elements like the Behavior Blocker and Emergency Kit set Emsisoft apart.

That said, it could benefit from the addition of parental controls, identity protection, a password manager, and a VPN, features that competitors like Norton and McAfee have.

On top of that, Emsisoft does not participate in the independent tests by AV-Test, which is not a good sign. Without these tests, we have no benchmark to compare it against. We would stick to one of the proven winners, like Norton 360 Deluxe.

If you want the best protection, we recommend Norton.

Ranking  #24 of 28
Password Manager
Unlimited VPN
Operating systems Windows, macOS, iOS, Android

Click the links to read the reviews of the best antivirus of 2024:

🥇 Norton 360 Deluxe – The #1 in 2024
🥈 Bitdefender Total Security
🥉 TotalAV Antivirus

Or read our complete comparison of the best antivirus for Windows 11.

Emsisoft Antivirus 2024: Full Review

We put Emsisoft through rigorous testing, and it came out with flying colors. This antivirus tool uses dual engines: one is its own predictive scanner and the other is Bitdefender’s renowned engine. Together, they make a powerful combo, catching 100% of all kinds of nasty malware. It even outperformed McAfee with fewer false alarms.

Emsisoft offers three scan modes:

  • Quick Scan: Super fast, took about 4 minutes to scan 82,000 objects on our PC.
  • Malware Scan: Scans risky areas on your PC, taking around 80 minutes. It was more efficient than Avast in our tests.
  • Custom Scan: Lets you pick folders and scan intensity. Some settings were overly cautious but might suit users needing extra-high security.

By default, Emsisoft runs a weekly Malware Scan. It also has a Quiet Mode that reduces disruptions during heavy computer use.

In short, Emsisoft is quick, thorough, and reliable, holding its own against top competitors like Kaspersky and Bitdefender.

Security features

We tested several other features of Emsisoft, and here’s what we found:

Behavior Blocker

This feature scans active programs for odd behavior, stopping threats like ransomware before they wreak havoc. During our tests, it instantly flagged suspicious activities and halted them. Tech-savvy folks will love the diagnostic alerts, but novices can safely stick to the auto-resolve option.

Emergency Kit

Perfect for cleaning infected PCs, the Emergency Kit is a portable version of Emsisoft’s antivirus engine. Just load it onto a USB, and you’re good to go. There’s a user-friendly GUI and a command-line version, making it a versatile tool for emergencies.

Cloud Console

The Cloud Console offers full remote management from any browser, setting Emsisoft apart from competitors. We found it handy for managing multiple devices and even giving different permission levels to different users.

Browser Security

This extension is available for popular browsers but could use some improvement. It’s not as efficient at catching phishing sites as Chrome’s built-in tools. Still, it’s a decent addition for Edge or Internet Explorer users.

In summary, Emsisoft packs a strong set of features that are both advanced and user-friendly. Whether you’re tech-savvy or a novice, this antivirus tool has got you covered.

Mobile App

We tested Emsisoft’s Android app and found it to be a solid performer. The anti-malware scanner was flawless, catching 100% of malware in our tests. Web protection and app auditing features also worked well. However, its anti-theft tools could be better, lacking advanced features like remote camera access found in competitors like McAfee.

Customer Support

While the customer support is strong for English-speaking users, it falls short on a global scale. We connected via live chat within 30 seconds and received helpful assistance. However, availability is inconsistent. Email responses came in about 8 hours, which is reasonable but not excellent.

For self-help, there’s a rich knowledge base and active forums, but these are mainly in English. Non-English speakers might find support less accommodating.

In summary, Emsisoft excels in performance but has room to improve in customer support and some mobile features. Overall, we’d still recommend giving it a try, especially since there’s a 30-day free trial for Android users.

Plans and Pricing

We appreciate Emsisoft’s straightforward pricing model. The 30-day free trial lets you explore all premium features without commitment. While the pricing for a single device is more affordable compared to big names like Norton or McAfee, the cost goes up as you add more devices.

Anti-Malware Free

Choosing not to buy after the trial leaves you with a basic virus scanner. While competent, it lacks features like anti-phishing or anti-ransomware. The good news? Free users still get access to customer support, including live chat and email, which is rare in the antivirus world.

Anti-Malware Home

If you’re an individual user looking for comprehensive protection for one device, this plan has it all: anti-ransomware, Behavior Blocker, File Guard, Web Protection, Emergency Kit, and Cloud Console. At about half the price of many competitors for single-device coverage, it’s a solid deal.

Business Plans

For businesses, Emsisoft offers both Business Security and Enterprise Security plans. Both cover three endpoints initially, with added costs for extra devices. Business Security is best for small companies, allowing only two administrators. Enterprise Security, on the other hand, has unlimited admin access and priority customer support.

In summary, Emsisoft offers cost-effective solutions for individuals and businesses, but may not be the best for multi-device households. However, the 30-day trial and money-back guarantee make it worth considering.

Click the links to read the reviews of the best antivirus of 2024:

🥇 Norton 360 Standard – The #1 in 2024
🥈 Bitdefender Internet Security
🥉 TotalAV Antivirus

Or read our complete comparison of the best antivirus for Mac.

Test score comparison

Next to our own anti-malware tests, we analyze those by AV-Test. We’ve compared the results of the 10 most recent tests for Windows 10. The tests were performed by AV-Test, the German anti-malware test lab. They use three factors:

  • Protection (1-6): Antivirus protection against malware attacks.
  • Performance (1-6): System slowdown caused by the antivirus.
  • Usability (1-6): Frequency of false alarms and disruptions.

We used their results, and this formula, to calculate the final score:

Final Score = 60% Protection + 20% Performance + 20% Usability.

Brands not listed in the table haven’t participated in the analysis by AV-Test. This is usually not a good sign. Because most reputable brands, except Panda, ESET, and Sophos, partake in the test.

Source: AV-Test.

Final Score

Click the links to read the reviews of the best antivirus of 2024:

🥇 Norton Antivirus Plus – The #1 in 2024
🥈 Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
🥉 TotalAV Antivirus

Or read our complete comparison of the best antivirus for Android.

Price comparison

We’ve compared the prices of the top antivirus products for Windows. To make it a fair comparison, we looked at what it would cost us, to protect a  single Windows PC with the most essential features:

  • Anti-malware
  • Anti-phishing (web protection)
  • Firewall
  • Password manager
  • Unlimited VPN (no data limit)

A few notes:

  • Some brands are missing features, lowering their value for money.
  • Prices are second-year prices in the USA, without first-year discounts.
  • Prices are rounded up for readability (e.g., $99.99 becomes $100).

Brands have different prices outside the USA. See those on their website.

Total price
Missing features
$ 50
No firewall, password manager, and VPN
$ 80
No firewall and password manager
$ 90
No firewall
$ 130
No password manager
$ 180
No firewall

Click the links to read the reviews of the best antivirus of 2024:

🥇 Norton 360 Advanced – The #1 in 2024
🥈 Bitdefender Premium Security
🥉 TotalAV Antivirus

Or read our complete comparison of the best antivirus for iOS.

User reviews

We’ve compared the user reviews of all antivirus brands. We’ve used the scores and review count of TrustPilot, a leading user review platform. However, take these results with a grain of salt, as some brands actively attempt to increase their ratings.

Personally, we are wary of exceptionally high scores. Especially those by brands such as TotalAV, known for aggressive marketing and sales tactics.

We consider scores between 4.0 and 4.5 good and realistic. Higher scores are dubious, and lower scores indicate that the brand might have a poor product or customer service. McAfee’s scores, for instance, are worrying.

Source: TrustPilot.

Review score
Review count

Click the links to read the reviews of the best antivirus of 2024:

🥇 Norton 360 for Gamers – The #1 in 2024
🥈 Bitdefender Total Security
🥉 TotalAV Antivirus

Or read our complete comparison of the best VPN of 2024.

How we test antivirus software

Below we describe how we run our tests. For even more details, visit our blog posts on how we test antivirus software.

Anti-malware protection test

We analyze antivirus software’s capability to detect and eliminate known and unknown malware, using heuristic analysis for behavior monitoring.

We conduct in-house tests and analyze those from labs like AV-Test, SE Labs, and AV-Comparatives to determine the best malware protection.

Malware includes adware, keyloggers, ransomware, rootkits, spyware, trojans, viruses, worms, and more. Other cyber threats, usually not classified as malware, are (zero-day) exploits, hacks, identity theft, phishing attacks, scams, and social engineering.

False positives test

False positives occur when antivirus software misidentifies legitimate software, files, or websites as malicious. We rely on AV-Test’s large-scale analysis of false positives in its usability test to guide our evaluations.

System performance test

We measure the CPU load during antivirus software system scans and consider AV-Test’s performance results on the slowdown caused by antivirus software when opening websites and handling software.

Firewall test

We evaluate two-way firewalls that filter incoming and outgoing data and allow users to set rules to regulate data streams. We use the ShieldsUP! test to determine if the antivirus software blocks all ports.

Password manager test

We assess password managers’ ability to create, store, and autofill secure passwords, as well as additional features like two-factor authentication and biometric login.

Virtual Private Network (VPN) test

We evaluate built-in VPNs on their security, privacy, speed, compatibility with streaming services, unlimited data access, and support for peer-to-peer networks and torrent clients.

Parental control test

We examine parental control features, such as screen time rules, website/app blocking, and real-world location tracking. We test these features on a device and attempt to circumvent them, checking if the activity is accurately reported in the parental control admin.

Anti-phishing protection test

We evaluate antivirus browser extensions that block phishing sites by installing them and attempting to visit dangerous URLs.

Ransomware protection test

We assess security suites’ ability to prevent data encryption through exploit prevention and behavioral detection during ransomware attacks.

Bonus features test

We test any additional cybersecurity tools such as:

  • Ad Blocker
  • Anti-theft
  • Dark web monitoring (identity protection)
  • Email protection
  • File encryption
  • File shredder
  • Gaming mode
  • Microphone protection
  • PC maintenance features
  • Secure browser (hardened browser to protect your online banking)
  • Secure cloud storage (cloud backup)
  • Spam filter
  • Startup optimizer
  • Tune up tools
  • Virtual keyboard
  • Webcam protection

Ownership and reputation test

We analyze the trustworthiness of antivirus companies, especially concerning customer data. We read press releases, news articles, and privacy policies to determine their reputation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the most frequently asked questions.

Is Emsisoft a good antivirus program?

Emsisoft is ranked #24 of 28 antivirus programs. The ranking is based on its protection, performance, price, and features. Find the best protection in our comparison of the best antivirus of 2024.

How do we test antivirus software?

We analyze the protection from malware, the performance impact on a PC, and the number of false positives. On top of that, we test various security features such as the firewall, password manager, VPN, and more.

Author: Tibor Moes

Author: Tibor Moes

Founder & Chief Editor at SoftwareLab

Tibor has tested 39 antivirus programs and 30 VPN services, and holds a Cybersecurity Graduate Certificate from Stanford University.

He uses Norton to protect his devices, CyberGhost for his privacy, and Dashlane for his passwords.

You can find him on LinkedIn or contact him here.

Emsisoft Antivirus Review 2024

Emsisoft Antivirus

In-depth review

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