Protection for Your PC – Emsisoft Anti-Malware Review

It’s always a good idea to have anti-malware software on your computer. Developed all over the world, Emsisoft is a non-bloated anti-malware program, without all the added bloat such as password managers many anti-virus programs come with.

The interface of Emsisoft is simple and straight to the point – something I really like about it. It’s not cluttered, and it has four panels you can click on which lead you into the more detailed information. Launching it prompts it to check for the latest update, which it will install automatically the background and notify you that it has done so (all notifications can be adjusted in settings, so if you don’t like this you can switch them off).

The first panel, Protection, is the status panel, and shows you what is enabled and disabled, and the state of your protection. It changes colour depending on what’s going on with your PC – if you have malware or Emsisoft is disabled, it will show up red, and if everything’s in the clear it will be green. This lets you check with a quick glance on the status of your computer. Below the panel title, you can view what types of protection are enabled.

Emsisoft comes with surf protection to protect you on the web, and I found this worked well on Chrome – however, it did bring up some false alerts, for example the iTunes Affiliates website. It also relies on blacklisting, not real time protection, however I wouldn’t say that the surf protection is the major selling point of Emsisoft. Also, note that real time protection used in other surf protection programs can open your computer up to other dangers. Enough common sense will often keep you off dangerous sites online, and if you are worried using specialist software is probably a good idea.

Scan & Clean is the second panel, and most likely the panel you’ll be using the most. You can click link to run a quick scan on your PC, which will only scan active programs, or a malware scan, which looks in places that malware typically infects. If you want a thorough going over, custom scan allows you to select all, or certain parts, of your computer to scan.

I would certainly recommend doing a full scan after installing Emsisoft in order to root out existing malware or issues, and then the real time protection should take care of you.

Emsisoft is also rated by AV-Comparatives very highly, in fact, on their highest rating. In the latest test (at time or writing), Emsisoft scored their highest ranking award. The article also gives more detail on how many malicious programs Emsisoft blocked, and there is also more detail on Emsisoft ratings here.

If you attempt to run a program that is malicious, Emsisoft will prevent it from running, move it to the quarantine, and also alert you that it has done so.

Then, you can click on the logs panel to go to the quarantine. The quarantine is somewhere where the malicious objects cannot do any harm, and therefore you could, in theory, leave them in there. However, it’s best to delete them. Emsisoft offers you a variety of options, from the normal restore and delete, to the ability to rescan all the files in the quarantine to check if they are false positives – a feature I like a lot. You can also manually mark a file in the quarantine as a false positive. You can also manually add files into the quarantine.

The quarantine in Emsisoft. Note the file, and the various options.

Emsisoft also proactively blocks ransomware, preventing them from encrypting files, meaning that you won’t be locked out of your files again. However, if the ransomware is booted up during startup, it could start before the behavioural protection of Emsisoft. It also blocks PuPs, potentially unwanted programs such as toolbar add ons and ads.

Emsisoft is a great anti-malware program. It’s nice to have a layer of protection on your computer – whilst common sense will usually prevent you downloading malicious programs, occasionally you do from sources that you trust. Emsisoft has a simple interface, yet a lot or power.

Emsisoft is £25.15 a year for one device, and gets cheaper if you purchase multiple years in a row.