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You probably haven't come across Sophos antivirus, because it's enterprise software, which means the company's target consumers are small- to large-scale organizations instead of home users.
I'm generally against 'elitist' software like these, but Sophos seems to have a loyal customer base so I thought it deserved a review. I've been using Sophos for almost six months now; I don't like it, and the only reason I still have it is because my university gives me a free copy.
Admittedly, Sophos detects viruses and malware pretty well. It scans quite fast, and is also not very RAM intensive (a combination which is becoming increasingly rare these days). Moreover, it seems to catch adware pretty well compared to other antiviruses (of course antiviruses aren't necessarily supposed to do this, but we're glad they started).
AV Comparatives claims that Sophos was one of the top performers in their tests. My experience suggests a different story.
From my many weeks of using it, I've come across situations where Sophos detects a virus but can't clean it. Of course such cases are very rare, but isn't that enough to scare people crazy, especially when they're supposedly running an antivirus which is so precious that it's not even sold to individuals? I've seen this happening to a friend of mine working on her doctoral thesis who completely freaked out; we had to delete the file.
Moreover, Sophos doesn't always provide names for the viruses/malware it's caught, and resorts to a generic label. "Mal/packer"? Come on. I'm not too name-savvy either, but since you can get into a confusing spot (such as Sophos telling you it's found this nasty piece of code but can't fix it), providing more info, at least the name, was obligatory. That way the user can look up the threat online, and download the cure/fix from whichever antivirus camp that's offering it, instead of having to delete the file.
Sophos also generates lots of false alerts (why is this getting so common in antiviruses these days?): when I scanned my computer it found 4 'viruses' (including a very innocent text file I had created myself) which I'm very sure they weren't. Last but not the least: the interface isn't the most user-friendly around, and looks pretty bland: reminds me of the days when I was trying out .Net.
Sophos does allow trial downloads, but all in all, certainly not a good antivirus for your (organization's) money.
- Good detection rate
- Scans fast
- Not too heavy on system resources
- Uninviting interface
- Often does not provide adequate information
- Lots of false alerts
Price: CAD $228 (SBE edition for 5 users)
Go to: Sophos website