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

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

Sophos Antivirus Review 2024

Sophos Antivirus 2024: Review Summary

Sophos is ranked #18 of the 28 best antivirus of 2024.

Sophos is a cybersecurity firm renowned for business software but also provides consumer-grade antivirus solutions. Testing revealed the robust capabilities of Sophos Home Premium, with its ability to successfully block and remove all malware types.

The software’s notable features include web protection, parental controls, and remote device management, supporting up to 10 devices. However, users must open Sophos’s online dashboard to access all features and settings, as the desktop app is somewhat limited.

Compared to competitors, Sophos lacks some features like PC optimization and VPN. More importantly, however, Sophos 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  #18 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.

Sophos Antivirus 2024: Full Review

Sophos Home Premium is a user-friendly antivirus that safeguards up to 10 Macs or PCs, plus unlimited mobile devices. We found it to be great for both beginners and tech enthusiasts, thanks to its simple interface and advanced settings. Most of the action takes place on an online dashboard, which is accessible via a browser. The desktop app mainly serves as a quick link to this dashboard.

This antivirus offers core features like malware and ransomware protection, AI-based real-time defense, and webcam and web safeguards. Setting up these features is a breeze with intuitive on/off buttons. We also appreciated the remote management feature, especially useful for handling multiple devices.

However, we noted some limitations on the Mac version, such as missing advanced web protection. So, if you’re a Mac user, you might want to consider other options. Also, unlike competitors like Norton 360, Sophos Home Premium doesn’t offer extras like a VPN or password manager.

Overall, Sophos offers solid basic protection at an affordable price, making it a good pick for those who don’t require additional bells and whistles.


We tested Sophos’s malware scanner extensively, using a variety of malware types like spyware, ransomware, and trojans. It identified an impressive 96% of our test samples, even catching some of the newest threats. Although it fell slightly short of Bitdefender and Norton, which both had a 100% detection rate, the results were still commendable.

The real-time protection also performed well, blocking every piece of malware we attempted to launch. Sophos’s AI-driven engine even halted advanced ransomware threats, which are often tough to catch.

However, Sophos lacks some scanning options. Unlike McAfee or Avira, it doesn’t provide quick or custom scan choices. But it does allow selective scanning of folders and files, and it can fend off malicious USB devices.

In summary, Sophos Home Premium offers robust malware detection and real-time protection, making it a reliable choice for safeguarding your computer against a wide range of threats.


We put Sophos’s anti-phishing and web protection to the test by attempting to access dangerous sites listed on PhishTank. The software successfully blocked all malicious URLs we tried, demonstrating its effectiveness. Unlike competitors such as Bitdefender, Sophos doesn’t offer a one-click override for blocked sites, so whitelisting can be time-consuming.

One unique advantage is Sophos’s focus on online banking security, which adds an extra layer of protection against hackers. Another handy feature is the Download Reputation setting that gives a trustworthiness score to your downloads.

We especially liked that Sophos doesn’t require a separate browser extension for web protection, making the setup simpler. However, keep in mind that it’s only compatible with mainstream browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you use a less common browser, you may need to look for another solution.

Overall, Sophos’s web protection is solid and user-friendly, with a couple of convenient extras, making it a reliable choice for safe browsing.

Parental controls

We tested Sophos Home Premium’s parental controls and found them to be quite basic but functional. The software allows you to block or unblock broad categories of websites, such as social networking or adult content, with a single click. When we tried to access blocked sites, Sophos promptly alerted us through both desktop and browser notifications.

However, the controls lack the ability to blacklist specific websites, and there are no options for setting usage limitations or tracking location—features often found in competing antiviruses like Norton and McAfee. Whitelisting is possible but limited to the categories already in place. Another limitation is that the filter only works with popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge, so savvy teens could bypass the controls using lesser-known browsers.

In summary, Sophos offers basic parental controls that could be suitable for families with younger children who require minimal supervision online.

Remote management

We were quite impressed with Sophos Home Premium’s remote management feature. Accessible via the online dashboard, this feature allows for easy control over multiple devices—up to 10 PCs or Macs—from a single interface. In our tests, adding a new device was as simple as sharing a generated URL through email.

Once our coworkers installed Sophos using the link, we could view their devices on the dashboard and adjust settings or initiate scans with ease. This makes Sophos’s remote management an excellent tool for both novice and tech-savvy users who need to oversee multiple devices.

Unlike many competitors, including some top names like Avira, Sophos offers this handy capability. It’s a standout feature that adds significant value to the overall package.

Other security features

Sophos Home Premium doesn’t boast a wide array of additional features compared to comprehensive suites like Norton 360, but it does offer a couple of noteworthy extras. We tested the privacy protection, which alerts you if an app tries to access your webcam or microphone. While effective, it could be more robust—compared to Kaspersky and Bitdefender, the alert is rather fleeting.

We were particularly impressed with the keystroke encryption under the Safe Online Banking feature. In our tests involving keylogging malware, Sophos successfully encrypted our keystrokes, rendering the logged data useless.

Although Sophos lacks a range of bonus features like VPN or dark web monitoring, its focus on essentials like webcam and microphone protection (on Macs) and keystroke encryption make it a decent option for users seeking straightforward protection with a couple of useful extras.

Mobile app

Sophos offers two mobile apps: Sophos Home for remote management and Intercept X for robust mobile security. We tested both on Android and iOS.

Sophos Home is more of a controller app; it doesn’t protect your mobile device but lets you manage other Sophos-protected systems. For actual mobile protection, Intercept X is the go-to app. It impressed us with its excellent detection rates and a variety of features without draining the battery.

On Android, Intercept X offers features like malware scanning, web filtering, and even a password vault. The user interface took a bit to get used to, but it was easy enough once we found our way around. On iOS, the features are more limited due to the secure nature of the platform, but it still includes essentials like a Wi-Fi scanner and web filtering.

In our testing, Intercept X performed well without affecting battery life. While it isn’t our top pick (that goes to Norton), it’s a solid, free option for anyone looking to secure their Android or iOS device.

Customer support

Sophos provides a good range of customer support options, but there’s room for improvement. We explored the knowledge base and found it well-stocked with helpful articles. The community forum is also active and offers quick responses.

We tested their live chat, which is available weekdays from 8am to 8pm EST. Our wait time was just two minutes, and the agent was knowledgeable and quick to help. Email support also impressed us; we received a detailed and courteous response within six hours.

However, Sophos lacks 24/7 live chat and phone support, features offered by competitors like McAfee. Overall, we found Sophos’ customer support to be responsive and helpful but feel the addition of round-the-clock live chat and phone support would make it even better.

Plans and pricing

Sophos Home Premium offers a simple, one-plan pricing model at $44.99/year. We think it offers good value by covering up to 10 computers and unlimited mobile devices. Key features include malware and keylogger protection, basic parental controls, and remote device management.

However, if you’re looking for extras like a VPN, secure cloud storage, and device cleanup tools, Norton 360 might be a better fit for you.

Sophos also provides a 30-day free trial, and it doesn’t require a credit card. Plus, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee, letting you test the service for up to 60 days risk-free.

In summary, Sophos Home Premium is a solid, affordable choice if you want basic but effective protection, particularly if you need to manage multiple devices remotely.

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 Sophos a good antivirus program?

Sophos is ranked #18 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.

Sophos Antivirus Review 2024

Sophos Antivirus

In-depth review

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