If you ever took a peek at any antivirus awards or top 10 lists, then you probably noticed that Sophos scored near the top in the business category. Until the advent of Sophos Home, which is perhaps one of the most comprehensive free antivirus programs that you can find, this company sold exclusively to the business market. According to their documentation, the Home program has all the same power as the business one. While that's hard to prove independently, this is definitely a program that you should consider to keep your computer safe.
Using Sophos Home
This program takes a little getting used to at first. Unlike your normal program that is downloaded immediately to your computer, you first have to make a profile with Sophos and then download the file from there. It's a fairly big file at nearly 200MB and it takes almost 10 minutes to install, but after that everything is smooth sailing. One interesting thing to note is that this program is available for both Mac and Windows users.
The interface is easy to understand and most of the controls are color coded. For example, green is to allow something while red is to block a program or website. There are many options to allow or block, but it's best to pay attention to anything marked as a threat. This means that the file or website can potentially harm your computer, so don't play around when a threat pops up. Aside from checking for malicious files on your hard drive, Sophos Home actively checks your browser to ensure that the websites you're visiting are safe.
Speaking of pop ups, Sophos does the best job possible of keeping you safe without being obtrusive. Whenever something new happens, a small window will appear in the upper-right corner of your screen. Up to three windows will appear at once, which means that you won't be bombarded with alerts.
According to most tests, Sophos scores near the top of its class. While there haven't been as many tests with Sophos Home as with their business programs, it's safe to assume that the scores are at least similar. Perhaps the only bad thing is that this program can get a little annoying. You have to enter your email address and password whenever you access the program. It might be safer this way, but it gets annoying after the third or fourth time.
Sophos Home is a little different than most free antivirus programs, but it's got world-class technology that is typically used by big businesses. You can download this program onto 10 computers simultaneously without paying a cent, and the user interface is very simple and easy to use. Aside from being a little annoying here and there, this is a great program that blows many other free applications out of the water....