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Sophos introduces free antivirus for Mac

by Philip Sellers

Today, Sophos introduced a free, home-use antivirus product for Mac.  It is billed at 100%, absolutely, completely free — no strings attached.  It is also billed as an easy install and painless maintenance.  From the testing I’ve done so far, it lives up to all its billing.

I have several Macs and I run Symantec Antivirus on my primary MacBook Pro, where I email and exchange files with others most often.  My iMac and MacMini at home have gone without antivirus for a long time — I just don’t want to pony up the $60 a year for every Mac to have Symantec Antivirus — so this is a great alternative for me.  (Side note, why does Symantec charge so much for its Mac Antivirus program when it gives away 3-pack copies of the Windows version for the same price??)

Impressions of Sophos Antivirus for Mac
I have to say – I am actually very impressed with Sophos Antivirus for Mac.  First – its price is absolutely right.  I would expect to find ads and other money-making tactics embedded into the product, but these are never seen.  The interface is very Mac-like and clean.  It is minimal and easy to understand.

Second – the application is lightweight.  It does not take a lot of resources to run this application, which is exactly what you want Antivirus to be.  You don’t want feature bloat and lots of bells and whistles that are thrown in, even though you don’t want them (like Symantec’s product).

The installation was painless and the maintenance (virus definition downloads) is also.  By default, the software checks for updates every hour from Sophos.  And for those who may not be familiar with the company, they are widely respected and large antivirus vendor with a lot of installations.  As a customer, you will certainly benefit from all of the paying customers who are submitting viruses into their labs to be identified and classified.

The software does what it says it does – realtime virus scanning, scheduled and on-demand full system scans.  It includes a Quarantine area for anything that it may find.  I can’t seem to find a downside to anything.

For more information or to download, go to: http://www.sophos.com/products/free-tools/free-mac-anti-virus/

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