GridinSoft Review: Quick Expert Summary
GridinSoft offers 3 products, including the Windows-only Anti-Malware program, the portable Trojan Killer version, and the Android-only Trojan Scanner. The main Anti-Malware program only has malware scanning and anti-phishing protection — and both features performed poorly in my tests, detecting 60-70% of my malware samples and missing most phishing sites. Both the Trojan Killer and Trojan Scanner are just basic malware scanners, which also underperformed in my testing.
In addition to poor performance, GridinSoft lacks most of the features I want to see in a premium antivirus in 2021, including a firewall, device optimization tools, a VPN, or even a version for macOS and iOS. GridinSoft’s user interface is also very cluttered, so users may find it difficult to access all features and settings. And GridinSoft’s customer support is one of the worst I’ve ever seen.
I’d recommend most users select a better anti-malware program from our list of the top antivirus programs for 2021, but if you’re interested in GridinSoft, you can test out Anti-Malware and Trojan Killer with a 6-day and 14-day free trial, respectively. You can also download and use Trojan Scanner for Android completely free of charge. GridinSoft doesn’t have a risk-free money-back guarantee, but you may get a refund within 30 days of purchase if you can prove that the software was unable to remove malware from your PC.
|Overall Rank||#53 out of 62 antiviruses|
|Money-Back Guarantee||30 days|
|Operating Systems||Windows, Android|
GridinSoft Full Review
GridinSoft is a low-quality antivirus that can’t compete with the best antiviruses in 2021.
I really wanted to like GridinSoft, but after extensive testing I was really disappointed with its low malware detection rates, lack of additional features, unintuitive dashboard, and poor customer support.
If you want a good, low-cost antivirus for all of your devices, I recommend you take a look at Norton, Bitdefender, Avira, or TotalAV, all of which offer premium cybersecurity protection for a similar price to GridinSoft.
GridinSoft Security Features
GridinSoft’s Anti-Malware program offers 4 security tools:
- Malware scanner.
- Real-time protection.
- Anti-phishing protection.
- USB scanning (in beta).
GridinSoft’s antivirus scanner detects malware using a malware database as well as advanced heuristics to detect both known and new malware files. To test GridinSoft’s malware protection capabilities, I downloaded a collection of nearly 1,000 malware files to my PC, including trojans, ransomware, spyware, adware, cryptojackers, worms, keyloggers, and rootkits.
I then installed GridinSoft and performed a full scan — and I can’t say I was happy with the results. GridinSoft only detected about 60% of the malware threats on my system, which is a dangerously low malware detection rate. Most competitors are able to detect at least 80% of malware samples, and antiviruses like Avira, Bitdefender, and Norton picked up 100% of the malware during my testing.
I also don’t like that some of GridinSoft’s scanning options need to be adjusted manually for users to get maximum protection. For example, GridinSoft’s “Use Heuristics Rules” option is set to the “Minimal” by default — and there’s no explanation what minimal or maximum heuristics rules actually do. That said, Gridinsoft detected 70% of my malware samples when I cranked the heuristics slider to maximum, but the program also started giving me tons of annoying false positives on benign software that was running on my PC.
Overall, GridinSoft scored worse in my malware detection tests than pretty much all premium antiviruses, and its default settings for system scans and heuristics are frustratingly unsafe. However, once I adjusted GridinSoft’s settings, the program was able to detect 70% of the malware on my system — which isn’t great, but it’s not terrible, either.
Real-time protection scans every file that you try to download or open in order to block malware before it can get onto your system and start running.
The problem with GridinSoft’s real-time protection — called On-Run Protection — is that it’s disabled by default. Real-time protection is really important because some malware files, like rootkits, can embed themselves in your system and hide from even the best antivirus scanners.
Real-time protection is the only way to stay 100% safe from malware, which is why real-time protection is automatically turned on in antivirus programs like Norton, McAfee, Bitdefender, Avira, and TotalAV.
That said, the option to turn on GridinSoft’s real-time protection is quite easy to locate in the Protect tab.
However, after I enabled real-time protection, something really strange happened. Normally, Windows Defender (Microsoft’s free built-in antivirus program) will automatically turn off when you install an antivirus program. However, during my tests Defender failed to recognize GridinSoft, which prompted this notification from Gridinsoft:
I had to switch off Windows Defender manually to be able to test GridinSoft’s real-time protection — something like this never happened to me with all of the other antiviruses I tested.
GridinSoft’s real-time protection was decent in my tests, blocking around 60% of the malware files I tried to download — but the real-time protection failed almost all of my ransomware tests.
GridinSoft is developing a ransomware scanner (it’s currently in beta testing), so this tool will hopefully be more effective at blocking ransomware than GridinSoft’s real-time scanner.
Overall, GridinSoft’s real-time protection isn’t good. It was able to detect a decent amount of viruses, but when it came to ransomware, cryptojackers, rootkits, adware, and spyware, GridinSoft performed even worse than the default protections from Windows Defender.
GridinSoft offers mediocre anti-phishing protection — and this feature is also turned off by default and needs to be enabled manually.
To test GridinSoft’s internet protection, I first switched off the web protection provided by my browsers — Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Then, I attempted to access a variety of newer phishing sites from an online phishing database that I always use for testing antiviruses.
And I was disappointed once again — GridinSoft failed to block the vast majority of the malicious websites. Other antiviruses I tested offer way better web protection. For example, Avira has a dedicated Chrome browser extension that successfully detects phishing sites and other threats. Plus, even Chrome and Firefox’s built-in anti-phishing protections performed better than Gridinsoft’s anti-phishing protection!
GridinSoft’s web protection definitely needs improvement. At the moment, GridinSoft isn’t much more than a basic antivirus scanner, and the few features included in the program really aren’t great.
Portable Anti-Malware Protection — Trojan Killer
GridinSoft also offers a portable USB edition of its malware scanner. It’s called Trojan Killer and it’s designed to boot off of a USB drive in order to assist in disinfecting heavily compromised PCs.
GridinSoft’s Trojan Killer offers the same malware scanning and cleaning functionalities as Anti-Malware — but the portable edition doesn’t include real-time protection (or other functionalities, like anti-phishing protection).
I tested Trojan Killer on my PC, and it performed almost exactly the same as GridinSoft’s Anti-Malware desktop app, catching around 60% of the malware files on my system.
Having a USB-portable antivirus is a great solution for IT people, or just in case your system gets completely frozen by malware — however, Panda’s USB-portable Rescue Kit provides the same functionality with a vastly superior anti-malware engine.
Gridinsoft’s Trojan Killer is a useful security tool, and I hope that Gridinsoft can upgrade its malware engine so that Trojan Killer can be even more effective when it comes to disinfecting heavily compromised PCs.
GridinSoft Plans and Pricing
GridinSoft offers three products, including Anti-Malware, Trojan Killer, and Trojan Scanner. Anti-Malware and Trojan Killer (portable USB version) are only available for Windows devices, whereas Trojan Scanner is a completely free Android antivirus.
Unfortunately, GridinSoft doesn’t provide an antivirus for macOS or iOS, it has a really bad refund policy, and its free trial doesn’t always work.
GridinSoft Anti-Malware — Poor Malware Protection (Windows Only)
Anti-Malware offers protection for 1-2 PCs (Standard License), 3 PCs (Family License), or 5 PCs (Extended Family License). You can purchase each license for 6 months or 12 months, or you can get a lifetime subscription.
No matter which plan you opt for, you get access to the same features:
- Anti-malware scanner.
- Malware removal.
- Real-time protection.
- Anti-phishing protection
- USB scanning (in beta).
GridinSoft’s Anti-Malware comes with a 6-day free trial, but I was at first unable to activate the free trial. I kept getting messages saying that I had to be online or that the company’s server was busy.
That said, I was able to activate a demo version of the program, but the demo version is limited — it doesn’t let you clean your PC, access Advanced Mode, or choose when to update GridinSoft’s malware database.
I finally managed to activate the free trial one day after downloading GridinSoft — and I honestly have no idea how I did it.
GridinSoft doesn’t have a money-back guarantee, and users may only get a refund within 30 days of purchase if they prove the program failed to detect malware on their system. Honestly, this refund policy is very bad — most competing products come with a “no questions asked” money-back guarantee. For example, Norton offers a 60-day unconditional money-back guarantee for all of its plans.
But if you’re interested in trying out GridinSoft, you can always test its demo version — and if you’re lucky, you may also be able to activate the free trial, which will give you a couple of days to figure out if this program is right for you.
GridinSoft Trojan Killer — Portable USB Edition for Windows (Not Worth It)
Trojan Killer is a bootable version of GridinSoft’s anti-malware engine. It can run off a USB, allowing users to scan and clean any PC the USB is plugged into.
It doesn’t offer any additional protections, and it’s a pretty bad deal, especially when companies like Panda and Kaspersky bundle their USB-portable rescue engines with their desktop antivirus packages.
Trojan Killer comes with a 14-day free trial, but I was unable to activate this free trial. When I entered my email, GridinSoft informed me that the email was already in use — and the same happened when I typed in my other emails as well as my partner’s email. You can purchase Trojan Killer for 6, 12, or 24 months.
If you like GridinSoft Trojan Killer, make sure you look for promotions before you buy. I was offered a 50% discount on Trojan Killer’s 2-year plan with a purchase of Anti-Malware.
GridinSoft Trojan Scanner — 100% Free Android-Only Scanner (But It’s Not Great)
Trojan Scanner is a free program that you can use to protect your Android devices from malware.
This app offers the same features as Trojan Killer.
Even though Trojan Scanner is 100% free, keep in mind that it’s no more than a basic malware scanner — companies like McAfee and Norton offer mobile apps with better protections for both free and paid users.
I wasn’t impressed by Trojan Scanner’s antivirus scanning or additional features, but if you’re looking for an extremely simple Android scanner that’s 100% free, GridinSoft is an ok choice.
GridinSoft Ease of Use & Setup
GridinSoft’s download and installation only took a couple of minutes. However, I had trouble activating my free trial — GridinSoft falsely claimed that my internet was disconnected, and then it notified me that the server was too busy to handle my request.
After trying repeatedly, restarting my computer, and trying again, I finally took a break and successfully activated my trial the day after I installed GridinSoft.
I was then emailed an activation key for my 6-day free trial, entered the code into the program, and GridinSoft was all set to go. This is how GridinSoft looks on launch:
GridinSoft’s interface looks cluttered and uses a strange monochrome color palette. The blue-scale colors used for GridinSoft’s interface really surprised me — and so did the paragraphs of text scattered everywhere. Nothing stands out — you’re just expected to figure out what you need by carefully studying the screen. All of this gives the program a dated look and feel, like Norton’s interface from the late 90s.
Other brands recognize that users need clarity when they first load their antivirus. Bitdefender and TotalAV both provide particularly clean, easy-to-use interfaces, but even BullGuard’s clunky-looking interface at least has a simple and logical layout.
However, because GridinSoft only offers a few different features, I found it pretty easy to access all of GridinSoft’s functions. Unfortunately, I was really confused by some of GridinSoft’s default settings. For example, its real-time protection is turned off by default. By contrast, the option to anonymously share scan data with the GridinSoft team is turned on by default! In reality, I believe that more users are interested in active protection for their computer than in sharing their stats with GridinSoft.
Another thing that I don’t like about GridinSoft is that during scans the program emits a very annoying sound signal. This option is also enabled by default, and while disabling the sound signal is easy, I really don’t see why GridinSoft thought users would want to hear a beeping sound throughout the entire scanning process.
One thing I like about GridinSoft is that it supports nearly 30 languages. However, not all translations are consistent — for example, the French version still has some of the information on the screen in English. But still, GridinSoft puts a remarkable effort into making the program easier to use for non-English speakers.
Overall, GridinSoft’s interface design — all soft colors and explanatory text in small fonts — can feel confusing for beginner users. However, GridinSoft’s interface supports nearly 30 languages, so non-English speakers might be interested in checking out this program.
GridinSoft Mobile App
GridinSoft’s free mobile app, Trojan Scanner, is available only for Android. Much like the company’s Windows programs, Trojan Scanner is just a simple malware scanner, not a comprehensive internet security suite.
Many free programs for Android include significantly more features. For example, Avira Mobile Security for Android offers free features like real-time protection, identity protection, and a limited VPN.
However, one thing I like about Trojan Scanner is its minimalistic design, which makes it very easy to use. It only offers on-demand scanning, which can be initiated with a couple taps.
When I tested it on my Android, Trojan Scanner was able to detect around 70% of my test malware, but it was unable to detect any of my test ransomware — this is a huge problem, especially because ransomware is one of the biggest dangers facing Android users in 2021.
Overall, I wouldn’t use GridinSoft’s Trojan Scanner for Android as my main Android antivirus — however, as it’s free, it can be used together with another internet security app.
GridinSoft Customer Support
GridinSoft’s customer support options include:
- Email support.
- Support forum.
- Website help resources.
GridinSoft’s email support is super easy to access — just click on the “Ask for Help” button at the bottom right corner of the desktop app and fill in the form that opens.
I received an automatic acknowledgment by email immediately after submitting my question, with a link to GridinSoft’s FAQ page. But I had to wait 4 days for the email support team to reply to my support request — that’s long enough for most users to uninstall GridinSoft and get a better antivirus program with a competent customer support team. Adding insult to injury, the answer that I finally received from GridinSoft was just a copy/paste from the official web site that didn’t really answer my question.
GridinSoft also has a support forum — but it’s completely inactive at the moment.
I found that GridinSoft’s website support resources — some brief articles and FAQ — were the most helpful out of all the support options the company offers. I found some useful information on how to install and operate GridinSoft, but not nearly as much information as companies like Bitdefender include in their knowledge bases.
Overall, GridinSoft’s customer support didn’t impress me. Email support took too long to respond and wasn’t very helpful, the user forum is totally inactive, and the website’s articles and FAQ page aren’t very detailed.
Is GridinSoft a Good Antivirus?
Not really, no. GridinSoft is an overpriced and minimally useful anti-malware scanner. GridinSoft’s Windows app doesn’t provide the same level of malware detection as top competitors like Norton, Bitdefender, and McAfee — GridinSoft wasn’t able to detect more than 70% of the malware samples in all of my tests.
Plus, GridinSoft doesn’t include any of the helpful extras — like a firewall, device optimization tools, a VPN, or a password manager — that many leading antivirus brands offer today with their internet security suites.
GridinSoft’s other primary security feature, the anti-phishing shield, was also pretty bad at blocking phishing sites during my testing. Free built-in protections from Chrome and Firefox performed better than GridinSoft’s paid protections.
In terms of value, GridinSoft is priced too high. It provides fewer features than some antiviruses’ free plans, and the features it does provide perform worse than most competitors. Other brands — like Norton, Avira, TotalAV, and McAfee — offer complete internet security suites for comparable prices.
Anti-Malware and Trojan Killer both come with a free trial, so you can check them out risk-free and see if they meet your needs. And Trojan Scanner for Android is completely free.
GridinSoft – Frequently Asked Questions
- Are GridinSoft’s anti-malware programs free?
- Does GridinSoft offer a money-back guarantee?
- Is GridinSoft’s antivirus protection good?
Are GridinSoft’s anti-malware programs free?
GridinSoft’s Windows products — Anti-Malware and Trojan Killer — are not free, but both programs come with a free trial. You can try Anti-Malware for free for 6 days, and Trojan Killer has a 14-day free trial. GridinSoft’s Trojan Scanner for Android is 100% free.
Out of the 6 days of your free trial, GridinSoft’s Anti-Malware is only fully functional for the first 2 days. After that, the real-time protection and internet security features are disabled, but you can still run your scheduled scans.
After your 6-day free trial expires, you can continue using GridinSoft for manual scans of your PC. However, you cannot enable real-time protection, run scheduled scans, or auto-update your free version — which makes it effectively useless.
The free trial period for GridinSoft Anti-Malware is much shorter than what most competitors offer. For example, Norton 360 comes with a risk-free 60-day money-back guarantee, which is more than enough time to test the product and see if it fits your needs.
Does GridinSoft offer a money-back guarantee?
GridinSoft offers a conditional 30-day money-back guarantee. It means that, if the program fails to remove malware from your PC within 30 days of your purchase, you need to email your scan log files to GridinSoft’s support. They will then analyze the log files and either get back to you with a fix — or refund your money.
GridinSoft’s refund process is very complicated — especially if you compare it to how other antivirus companies handle their refunds. For example, Norton offers a 60-day unconditional money-back guarantee — and the software is backed by a “100% Virus Protection Promise”, which offers a full refund if Norton is unable to clear malware from your PC at any time during your subscription.
Is GridinSoft’s antivirus protection good?
No. GridinSoft’s virus scanner isn’t very good. Even though the full version of the program offers real-time protection, it missed around 20-40% of the malware files in my testing.
If you’re trying to save money by downloading a minimal anti-malware suite, check out Malwarebytes — it’s a simplistic, easy to use antivirus with high malware detection rates and a couple of decent extras.