Sophos is a UK tech company offering two versions of their Mac security software. Macs are already well protected, but there are some extra features in the package worth taking a look at.
An unnecessary extra step
Sophos offer their proprietary antivirus software for Mac with ransom-ware protection and cloud-based configuration. You might not need it, though.
The latest antivirus software for Mac, from Sophos, comes in two flavors. They offer Sophos Home Free and Sophos Home Premium. Both versions get you real-time antivirus, parental controls, and their remote web-based management application. The paid version also gets ransom-ware security software and basic privacy tools. As en extra bonus there’s live, daytime chat and email access to their support team. You can also protect up to ten devices with the premium edition, as opposed to three with the free version.
To configure the software you access the controls through a web-app. This cloud-based system has several advantages. You can configure your system protection remotely. Also, updates to virus libraries and ransom-ware watchlists install on the interface without the need for a download.
Apple has a solid reputation for protecting their devices, and it’s debatable whether this product is necessary. All Mac OS X versions from 10.6.7 come with built-in malware detection. They update their database daily, so it’s difficult to see what advantages Sophos provides.
Tests have shown that the virus detection is less than perfect. In one basic trial, it failed to recognise the EICAR file, an industry-standard virus test. This is worrying because the in-built Mac protection will pick this up every time on a standard directory scan.
Where can you run this program?
Sophos runs on all Mac OS X from 10.11 onwards and all Windows from Win7 up.
Is there a better alternative?
Yes. The Mac comes out of the box with most of the protection that this package offers. McAfee offers similar protection but at a higher cost per device. Whether it’s necessary is another matter altogether.
This is a well-priced product if you need to protect a large number of Macs. Apple technology is subject to viruses and malware attacks like other devices, but they are better equipped straight out of the factory, to deal with them.
Should you download it?
No. If you’re looking to expand on the protection on your Mac, you should consider looking elsewhere.