Sophos Antivirus Review 2024: Premium Price for Premium Security

Sophos antivirus’ coverage of 10 devices and excellent test ratings might make it worth the high price. Here's what to know before you buy.
4.3
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Sophos's website

Antivirus Software
Sophos
  • Antivirus with webcam and mic protection included
  • Parental and website controls
  • Scanning options can be confusing
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Sophos antivirus offers a lot of value with its subscription plans. You get plenty of security features to help keep your device free of malware.

You also get different pricing options depending on how long you sign up for Sophos Home Premium. You can opt for one year, two years, or three years. Right now, the lowest price comes in at Home Premium 1-Year.

For the features such as ransomware protection and automatic threat clean-up, we think Sophos is solid antivirus software — but you should be prepared to pay more for it. There are more budget-friendly options on the market, such as TotalAV and AVG.

That said, there are some antivirus protection features that stand out with Sophos, but you may not think those extras justify the cost. Keep reading to learn whether Sophos is the best antivirus software for you.

In this article
Sophos antivirus overview
Who is Sophos antivirus best for?
Sophos antivirus features
Sophos antivirus test results
Our Sophos antivirus experience
Sophos antivirus compatibility
Sophos antivirus customer support
Sophos antivirus cost
Sophos antivirus FAQs
Bottom line: Is Sophos worth the money?

Sophos antivirus overview

Price $34.99–$44.99/yr
Free plan No
# of devices protected 10
Malware scans Manual and scheduled
Firewall Yes, but requires a dedicated device
Phishing protection Yes
Details Get Sophos Antivirus
Prices as of 5/23/2023.

All About Cookies Rating
4.3
Editorial Rating
“Sophos offers extra features, like webcam and mic protection plus parental controls, that can make it worth its premium price. It also comes with high protection ratings and coverage for 10 devices, which is excellent for large households. 

The biggest drawbacks to Sophos are the lack of a native control panel and confusing scan options. If those are dealbreakers for you, you might prefer a more budget-friendly and easy-to-use alternative.”

Who is Sophos antivirus best for?

  • Sophos security software works best for anyone who likes multiple options and doesn’t mind paying a bit more out-of-pocket expense.

We recommend Sophos Home Premium antivirus for someone who doesn’t mind spending a little more to get a good value for the money. It’s great for when you have multiple devices you need to protect from hackers and malware, as one license covers up to 10 devices.

All your Sophos settings are online, so if you travel or move, you can still update your antivirus wherever you go. You can even use the website control panel to run a scan on your device as long as it’s turned on. That may not be for everyone, though. If you like the ease of use that comes with having a control panel on your machine and not online, Sophos might not be for you.

When you want to change your Sophos settings or review your malware protection preferences, you have to do it online. In fact, these cloud-based settings are one of the features that sets Sophos apart from other cybersecurity software. But in our testing, we found opening up the site to be a bit laggy. Those 10 to 15 seconds can feel longer if you’re in a hurry.

There is no free version of Sophos. But if you want to try Sophos out, you can use a free trial with three devices for 30 days, so there’s no risk to you if you decide the antivirus isn’t what you want.

Sophos antivirus pros and cons

Pros
  • Webcam and mic protection included
  • Parental controls for children
  • Ransomware protection instantly blocks intruders
Cons
  • Anti-malware settings only available on Sophos website
  • Scanning options can be confusing

Sophos antivirus features

Sophos offers crucial features such as ransomware protection, mic protection, webcam protection, and web filtering. With web filtering, you can tailor your browser settings to block or allow specific categories on the internet. That can help keep inappropriate sites from appearing in searches.

We did feel the scanning functionality was a bit lacking. There is no obvious quick scan, instead, the Sophos version of a quick scan requires you to click the Start Scan button and not check the box for the Full Scan.

The settings for this antivirus are all found on the Sophos website. That could be good for people who travel or move, but not everyone will like not having a native control panel built into the antivirus software.

Malware and antivirus scan

Sophos comes with a system scanner that checks for malware, spyware, Trojans, and viruses. But, as we mentioned, Sophos doesn’t have a quick scan button like other antivirus software, but it does still offer that feature.

When you click to start a scan from the taskbar, you must remember not to check the box for the full scan. We didn’t see this option when starting a scan from the online user interface, however.

Not checking the box for a full scan makes it run much faster and use less CPU power. Sophos recommends not using the full scan option unless you get an alert that an infection is present. According to the support site, Sophos offers real-time protection, so there’s no need to run a full scan in most cases.

Sophos antivirus offers real-time protection that's baked in, so there's no need to toggle it on or off.

You can start the Sophos scan on the web control panel or by clicking the Sophos logo in your taskbar.

Sophos lets you start a scan from its web interface or from the taskbar menu on your computer.

Phishing protection

Sophos offers phishing protection with the Home Premium edition. You get real-time threat prevention that uses a proactive approach from SophosLabs. It helps guard against malicious websites and pop-ups using real-time threat detection. Rather than notifying you about a threat, the software takes action to neutralize it. Sophos uses a multi-layered method that includes artificial intelligence to stop attacks.

You can also block websites by category. That helps prevent vulnerable users from getting hit by a phishing attack if they’re more susceptible to clicking on a malicious link. We think this could be especially valuable for homes with multiple users or those with children.

Sophos lets you block certain types of websites, which can be beneficial to parents or anyone who prefers to avoid sensitive topics.

Sophos also comes with a website blocker that keeps you from getting hit by websites known for phishing attacks. To be safe, we turned on everything under Web Protection. SophosLabs maintains a database of known malicious websites that have been tracked and uses that system to block dangerous attacks.

With Sophos, you can also set up website exceptions and toggle its web protection to block websites that are known for malware.

Firewall

Sophos does include a free home firewall, but it requires a dedicated device to run. The firewall offers complete home protection for your network and includes features such as traffic shaping that prioritizes internet traffic to give you better bandwidth. You can also monitor family internet browsing and set up an ad blocker within the firewall.

The downside to the firewall is it has a separate operating system. If you download it, the firewall software overwrites all data on the device where it’s installed. For this reason, Sophos recommends a dedicated computer for the firewall. If you don’t have a machine to spare, you’re out of luck and won’t have use of an included firewall.

This doesn’t necessarily put Sophos at a disadvantage, as most other antivirus programs don’t come with this feature built-in. However, if having a firewall is important to you, you could check out Bitdefender.

Real-time protection

You get real-time antivirus protection with Sophos antivirus, which we think is needed for any decent antivirus product. It works in the background and looks for suspicious activities on your device.

When you access a file, the real-time protection feature automatically scans it. It was easy to turn on this option by going to the settings dashboard and accessing the Protection tab. Real-Time Protection is the first option underneath.

The real-time protection feature built into Sophos antivirus automatically scans files when you access them.

Ransomware protection

Sophos antivirus includes ransomware protection. The Anti-Ransomware Security feature scans any processes that interact with your data while you’re online. It blocks ransomware attacks and reverses data tampering by rolling back all the changes made. That’s one of the features that stands out because not all antivirus products do this.

It’s easy to use ransomware protection, as it's underneath the Protection tab and there’s only one option. Once it’s toggled on, you’re protected.

The Sophos anti-ransomware security feature automatically scans any processes that use your data. It also includes data tampering reversal.

Bonus features

Unlike some antivirus products, Sophos offers website exceptions. If there are websites you don’t want your antivirus to block, you can list them to be excluded. That may save you some time in the future.

Sophos allows you to set exceptions for certain websites so they aren't blocked while you browse.

You also get other features that don’t always come with antivirus software:

  • Privacy protection that includes mic and webcam coverage
  • Categorized website blocking
  • Parental controls
  • Banking protection
  • Identity protection that alerts you if your passwords are compromised
  • Live email and chat help

Sophos antivirus test results

SE Labs tests computer security products to let you know how effective they are. It’s independently run, so you know you’re getting objective scores for these products.

The tests use real-life threats and include realistic simulations to give you an accurate and thorough depiction of your chosen antivirus software. The latest scores from the tests SE Labs ran on Sophos show it offers premium malware protection and no false positives.[1]

Sophos SE Labs results April 2023

Test type Score
Protection accuracy 100%
Legitimate accuracy 100%
Total accuracy 100%
False positives 0
Overall score 100%

Our Sophos antivirus experience

Overall, we think our experience with Sophos is a positive one. We tested the software on our Macbook Air using Big Sur 11.3.1.

Sophos is reliable software with lots of features that help you manage computer virus and malware removal. It offers protection for both Mac and Windows devices, as well as mobile apps. When it comes to devices, you can cover up to 10 with one license and that offers more value for the money because you’re paying a higher amount than with other software.

The scan function was a bit confusing at first. There is no quick scan button even though Sophos does have a fast system scan.

The quick scan took less than five minutes to run, and the full scan took about 30 minutes to run. Neither scan found any threats on our device, and the report we received looked the same for both scans.

Our Sophos quick scan took less than five minutes to run and didn't find any threats on our device.

We did feel the interface was a little lackluster, as we needed to access the Sophos website each time we wanted to make a change or check the settings. It isn’t overly complicated, but some of us like the efficiency of a native control panel that doesn’t rely on cloud services.

Still, with all the features you get and the high scores in the SE Lab tests, we don’t think you’ll regret investing in Sophos for your antivirus needs. There are lots of features that help keep your device secure, and with a 30-day free trial, you have plenty of time to test out the software before you make a final decision. (With no risk because you don’t need to add your credit card info to sign up, we might add.)

Sophos antivirus compatibility

Sophos antivirus is compatible with macOS and Windows machines. You cannot install Sophos on Linux. There is a limited list of browsers that are supported as well. These include:

  • Microsoft Edge
  • Chromium Edge
  • Apple Safari
  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox

You can get the free Sophos Intercept X mobile app for mobile devices, which is comparable to Sophos Home but compatible with your iOS or Android phone.

Sophos antivirus customer support

We didn’t need to access Sophos customer support while testing the antivirus, but if you need help, there are options. You can email Sophos support and get a response within 24 hours — or 72 hours if you’ve asked for remote assistance.

You also have knowledge base articles that may be of some help during weekends and after regular weekday hours or the Sophos Twitter account. Additionally, the Sophos Community forums allow you to post questions or search for answers.

Sophos doesn’t offer phone support. If you want to talk to a live person, you won’t get that option with this antivirus. That can be a deal breaker for some if you feel more comfortable speaking to someone.

Sophos antivirus cost

If you don’t want to commit to several years using Sophos, you can opt for the one-year plan for $44.99/yr. If you love the software and want to get more of a long-term bargain, you can get a two- or three-year subscription. You’ll save a little money by getting an extended plan.

Sophos is a little pricier than McAfee, which offers a premium protection plan that includes unlimited devices and a VPN along with a file shredder and performance optimization tools. But keep in mind that McAfee doesn’t offer the banking and payment protection that Sophos includes.

On the other hand, Sophos is less expensive than Norton 360 Select, though Norton does offer a VPN and dark web monitoring in its Select package.

Given all the features, we don’t think Sophos breaks the bank in all cases. You’ll be getting what you pay for with this software. Still, you may feel it’s not enough value to pay the extra cost if you want a simple antivirus without the added features we’ve mentioned.

Sophos antivirus plans and prices

Home Premium 1-Year Home Premium 2-Year Home Premium 3-Year
Price per year $44.99/yr $74.99/2 yrs ($37.50/yr) $104.99/3 yrs ($34.99/yr)
# devices supported 10 10 10
Manual and auto scan
Phishing protection
Firewall*
Ad blocker*
Real-time protection
Ransomware protection
VPN
Password manager
Performance optimization tools
File shredder
Details Learn More Learn More Learn More
Prices as of 5/23/2023.
*Sophos firewall requires a dedicated device. The firewall includes an explicit content blocker and an ad blocker.

You can try Sophos before you buy. You get 30 days to see if you like the software without entering in any credit card information. If you do purchase Sophos Home Premium, you can request a refund with their 30-day money-back guarantee.

Sophos antivirus FAQs


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Is Sophos antivirus safe?

Sophos antivirus is safe and considered a good antivirus. It scored 100% in protection accuracy in the SE Labs testing data.


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Is Sophos a Chinese company?

Sophos is not a Chinese company. It is based in Abingdon in Oxford in the U.K. and owned by Thoma Bravo, a private equity firm based in the U.S.


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Is Sophos better than Kaspersky?

Sophos is better than Kaspersky if you don’t want a system that collects tons of your data. But if you’re looking for options such as a password manager, Kaspersky wins the round, as Sophos doesn’t have that feature.

You might want to consider getting a password manager to help keep your data safe, even if you don’t want your information collected. There are password managers you can add without having to buy an entire antivirus suite. 

If you want to try a password manager, some of the popular choices are LastPass, Keeper, and Dashlane.


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Is Sophos better than Windows Defender?

Sophos is not better than Windows Defender if you want only a built-in antivirus that comes with a firewall. But if you're looking for easy navigation, Sophos is the clear winner as it allows remote management.

Bottom line: Is Sophos worth the money?

After our testing with Sophos antivirus, we decided it’s worth the money for the features you get. Anything that helps protect webcams and mics and gives you real-time protection is worth your consideration. If you want plenty of options with high protection ratings, we think you’ll enjoy using Sophos antivirus.

If you’re wanting software that gives you a native control panel, that’s something you won’t get with Sophos. That may be a big drawback for people who don’t want to rely on cloud services. If you’re still on the fence, you can check out our review on AVG antivirus to see whether it has more of the options and value you want.

4.3
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Sophos's website
Antivirus Software
Sophos
  • Antivirus with webcam and mic protection included
  • Parental and website controls
  • Scanning options can be confusing
Author Details
Patti Croft is a seasoned writer specializing in technology, with three years of experience. With a B.S. in Computer Science and a background as a technical analyst and security specialist, she covers a range of topics like data security and parental control software.

Citations
[1] SE Labs Endpoint Security Home Protection: Sophos Home Premium