The Internet is abundant with anti-virus and security software solutions, so identifying the right choice for you can be quite challenging these days. If you’re looking for something on the affordable side of things, which doesn’t compromise on features, Emsisoft Anti-Malware may be worth considering. In the following review, we take a more in-depth look at what Emsisoft Anti-Malware can do for you.
This is a sponsored article and was made possible by Emsisoft. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence even when a post is sponsored.
Why Anti-Malware and Not Anti-Virus?
Emsisoft is a New Zealand-based company making the case for referring to computer security programs like the one it offers as “anti-malware” and not “anti-virus.” The reason for this? The firm argues that most of the threats that affect our computer systems nowadays are malware. And so they upgraded the terminology and started advertising the product as anti-malware.
Emsisoft’s lightweight solution was specifically created to monitor for malicious things like ransomware, bots/backdoors, banking Trojans and PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) and other suspicious activity in order to keep your device protected and secured.
Main Security Features
Once you’ve installed the program, you’ll be able to access Emsisoft’s dashboard, which is quite easy to navigate with a clear interface. It’s divided into four sections:
Clicking on Protection will take you to the “Behavior Blocker” feature, which analyzes active programs for suspicious activity and blocks them before they get the chance to make changes to your computer. This tool helps protect you against things like ransomware, rootkits and spyware. It does its work behind the scenes blocking these threats automatically.
However, if you wish to stay informed, you can instruct the program to send alerts before resolving issues or asking for permission to proceed. Make sure you have the “Behavior Blocker” option toggled on so as to allow Emsisoft to keep watch for any suspicious activity.
Scan & Clean
Emsisoft makes use of two anti-virus engines to identify threats. The first one is a proprietary scanner that employs predictive algorithms to flag PUPs and other suspicious files. The second one it taps into is Bitdefender’s award-winning anti-malware engine. Emsisoft offers a range of scan options to choose from.
- The Quick Scan is the fastest one and takes about two to three minutes to complete. The scan analyzes files that are actively running on your PC and can be performed daily without issue.
- The Malware Scan goes in deeper and scans the files where malware usually likes to hide. For example, it will look in system registries or downloads. This type of scan takes longer to perform (usually more than an hour).
- The Custom Scan can be set to scan specific locations on your PC. Users can also add files manually. The scan can also be configured to look for active rootkits or malware traces.
During our testing, scanning worked seamlessly and identified a number of potential issues.
From the Scan & Clean section, users can also schedule scans. Moreover, they can create an Emergency Kit Maker that can be used to scan infected third-party computers that are so far gone that new software cannot be installed.
Users need to download the Emergency Kit to a USB drive, which can then run on the infected PC without having to actually install it.
Logs keeps track of all your activities with Emsisoft. You can view details about each event and, when required, export all the data to a text file with just a click of a mouse.
The Settings section provides users with more options to customize the anti-malware. You can add exceptions from scanning or monitoring, tailor your notification experience and even set a password for Emsisoft.
The Advanced Settings also includes a comprehensive list of features. For example, there’s Windows Explorer Integration, Memory Usage Optimization and Automatically Quarantine Programs with Bad Reputation.
Emsisoft’s Remote Management Feature
Perhaps the most compelling feature you can use if you decide to try Emsisoft is the remote management feature, though you’ll need to sign up with an account to start using it. The dashboard is accessible through a browser, and from there you can easily manage the devices around your home or office.
The first step is to create a new Workspace by clicking on “Workspaces” in the “Management Console” menu block. Select a name for your space.
Next, add all the devices you want to monitor to your newly created workspace. Log in to your MyEmsisoft dashboard on the other device, then click on the “Add device” button from the main panel. Click on “Install protection for this device.”
Alternatively, click on “Send download instructions by email” to send an invitation containing a personalized download link to the person you want to add.
Monitor All Your Devices from One Place
Once the protection is installed, you should be able to see the devices appear in the Dashboard.
Once they show up, click on a particular device to get an overview of what’s happening on that PC. It’s basically a mirror of your anti-malware dashboard, which can be accessed from a web browser. All the features we’ve detailed above are here, including the ability to run scans, adjust settings and more.
Another super useful option is the ability to create specific protection policies for select groups of devices. Through “Permission Policies” users can create new groups for specific devices that will share a set of settings. Depending on their specific needs, the admin will be able to restrict certain users from changing the software’s settings.
A Network lockdown option is also part of the Emsisoft package. This gets activated in the case of a malware outbreak to help stop the spread of the virus to all the devices on your network. It can be activated from the “Protection Policies” panel where you have to enable the Lockdown feature.
In addition, Emsisoft has recently added a neat browser extension for Chrome, Firefox and Edge that quickly blocks bad websites without compromising on privacy. Once installed, the lightweight add-on does a great job at preventing you from accessing suspicious websites.
Emsisoft’s Availability Options
Users can sign up for a free 30-day trial, which lets them try out Emsisoft Anti-Malware and provides access to basic remote management via MyEmsisoft. To keep getting the full experience, however, you will have to unlock one of the three paid plans.
If you decide not to go with any of these plans at the end of the free trial, you’ll still be left with Emsisoft’s free malware scanner. More advanced features like protection against phishing or ransomware aren’t included in this package.
Nevertheless, Emsisoft Anti-Malware is a lot more affordable than the competition, and its feature package is comprehensive enough. The cherry on top is, of course, the remote management feature, which is super practical. You don’t have to be a business or enterprise user to appreciate the appeal of Emsisoft’s cloud console.
Most households today incorporate various devices, each with its own security needs, so Emsisoft’s Anti-Malware Home package can be a great choice for people who don’t want to take any risks when it comes to the safety of their gadgets, especially since you can manage everything from one place. The high-level of configurability and remote control options provide even more incentive for giving Emsisoft’s solution a try.