PROS / Sophos Home comes with internet filters that block potentially harmful or inappropriate online content.
CONS / Rescue CDs are not available.
VERDICT / In addition to great virus protection, Sophos Home includes features, such as internet filters, you don't typically find with Mac antivirus software.
Editor’s Note: Top Ten Reviews uses test results from the independent laboratory AV-Test as part of our review process for the best antivirus software. AV-Test looks specifically at malware detection and loss of performance on Mac operating systems, and it performs these evaluations several times throughout the year. We use the most current AV-Test scores available at the time of our review. It is possible that new AV-Test scores will be released after our review goes live on our site. We will consider those scores during our next review of the best Mac antivirus software.
Sophos Home for Mac, though a basic antivirus protection program, offers powerful features not typically included with Mac antivirus programs. The most notable are internet filters that, when enabled, block certain online content from being seen or accessed. This is helpful not only for protecting children when they're online but also for blocking websites that look innocent but may have malware links connected to them.
In tests conducted by AV-Test, an independent organization that tests and rates antivirus and security software, Sophos detected 100 percent of known viruses. In fact, it was one of only two Mac antivirus software applications on our list to receive a perfect score.
A second test that AV-Test conducts as part of its evaluation of Mac antivirus software is the potential effect the application has on the computer system's speed and load once it's installed. In this test, Sophos didn't create too much lag. According to AV-Test, there was a total delay of 284 seconds. This is only 40 seconds slower than the best Mac antivirus application in our review.
Sophos Home for Mac comes with a single license. You can download additional licenses for other Mac computers or laptops you wish to protect, but, unfortunately, it does not offer virus protection for iPads or iPhones. One other issue we noted in our tests of Sophos Home is that its computer scans take longer to complete compared with scans from other Mac antivirus software.
Two features we looked for with Mac virus scanning applications that aren't included with Sophos Home are gamer mode and a rescue CD. Gamer mode automatically suspends scans and pop-up reminders when you are playing games online or watching videos. A rescue CD is an option offered by some applications that you use to restore your computer in the event of a malware attack.
Sophos has some great customer support options. Both telephone and live chat are available 24/7. This is important because malware threats and technical issues happen at all hours.
Sophos Home is a basic antivirus program that includes extra security features, such as internet filters. You can download it to any of your Mac computers and laptops, though it doesn't protect iPhones or iPads. It performed well in independent tests at detecting malware threats while having a negligible effect on computer speed. Finally, Sophos' technical support is available anytime you need it.