Detailed Expert Review
I’ve tested some of the most popular antiviruses out there, so I was surprised to find PC Protect making so many bold claims about its high malware detection rate and large variety of easy-to-use, extra security features.
PC Protect comes at a pretty expensive price, even for the most basic antivirus package. So I wanted to know whether or not PC Protect is actually worth the money.
I tested its malware protection, internet security systems, and customer support, and I used all of its features to see if it would fully protect all of my devices from the latest cybersecurity threats.
Here’s what I found out.
PC Protect Security Features:
PC Protect is compact and easy to use. I personally love the interface and how it combines malware protection, internet security, and device optimization tools into one easy-to-navigate display.
But how did all of the security features perform?
The antivirus scanner is pretty decent. It’s powered by the same lightweight scanning engine as Avira, but PC Protect does not use cloud-based scanning as part of its malware detection protocol like Avira does.
That said, PC Protect was really easy for me to use, with immediate options for a Quick Scan or System Scan. Both scans were relatively fast, with the full system scan taking just under 90 minutes — similar to most other antiviruses I’ve tested, like Norton and McAfee.
I put the scanning engine to the test against some of the latest malware samples, and I was very surprised by the results. It actually managed to detect 99 of the 105 malware samples on my PC — a 95% detection rate. To be honest, as PC Protect isn’t one of the most well-known antiviruses, I wasn’t expecting it to score so highly on my malware test.
Here’s my full list of test results:
- Malware detection: 95%
- Ransomware protection: 100%
- Keylogger detection: 0%
- Trojan detection: 94%
- Antivirus full scan speed: 86 minutes
- CPU usage: 30%
I took my testing to the next level and launched 8 ransomware files, including the infamous WannaCry virus — which encrypts all of your data and forces you to pay a huge ransom. It managed to detect, block, and remove all 8 ransomware files — which I was really happy with. But it missed the active keylogger emulator, meaning hackers might still be able to trace my keystrokes if I ever had actual keylogger malware on my PC.
I found the custom scan option a bit clunky when compared to other antiviruses’ custom scans. I would much prefer PC Protect’s custom scan option if I could drag-and-drop files and folders to be scanned, like I can with Comodo. I also couldn’t right-click on a file and select to scan the file — which most other antiviruses enabled me to do when testing them.
While the scans were fairly quick, I’m a bit disappointed that PC Protect doesn’t include file caching — this marks previously scanned files as safe and makes subsequent scans much faster. Both Norton and Intego (for Mac) include file caching, and this really helps speed things up to create an efficient scanning engine
Overall, I’m happy with PC Protect’s malware protection. It scored well in my tests against the latest malware samples. However, I’m a bit disappointed that they don’t use file caching and they don’t have a right-click to scan option — something that should be included in the software, especially for the high price tag.
WebShield is PC Protect’s phishing and malicious website protection. It’s turned on automatically when the software is installed.
But it didn’t really work as I expected it to. It did manage to block some phishing links and malicious websites on both Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome. However, it missed most of the active phishing links that I accessed.
However, PC Protect does offer a separate browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. This browser extension did a much better job of blocking phishing sites. But it didn’t seem to function as it should either — it’s meant to highlight safe or malicious sites in search results, but it rarely did so. The green tick that should appear next to safe websites did not appear.
Based on my mixed results, I wouldn’t 100% trust PC Protect to safeguard me from malicious sites. I’d much rather rely on Norton’s internet security tools.
I was generally impressed with PC Protect’s system optimization tools. They were all really easy to set up and use.
There are 5 device optimization tools, including:
- Junk file cleaner.
- Duplicate file remover.
- Software uninstaller.
- Startup program manager.
- Web browser cleaner.
All features performed a fast scan of my system to detect either junk files, startup programs, or browser data that might be slowing down my PC. The junk file scan found around 3 GB of files clogging up my hard drive, and it was really easy for me to remove them from my computer.
I thought that the software uninstaller was a bit useless. It scanned my system and showed me a list of programs, including Chrome and essential Microsoft components — which I could then remove. I’d much rather just use the Windows Control Panel app to uninstall software, but I could see how PC Protect might be useful here if I had a lot of unnecessary software clogging up my computer (which I don’t).
In general, I like PC Protect’s device optimization tools. They’re easy to use and can save a lot of hard drive space. But for the price PC Protect charges for its software, I was expecting a lot more from these tools. PC Protect wouldn’t be my first choice when looking for an antivirus, as I know I can get a much better range of advanced device optimization tools with Norton or Avira. But PC Protect might be a good choice for you if you want an easy-to-use but reliable antivirus and don’t need a huge range of advanced additional features.
VPN (Virtual Private Network)
I tested PC Protect’s VPN — which can be purchased separately from the PC Protect online marketplace — for things like speed, security, privacy, and server locations.
It was actually pretty fast, but it was by no means the best VPN I’ve tested in terms of speed — reaching speeds of between 10-15 Mbps on average. It’s definitely good enough for basic browsing, online shopping, and maybe for watching a couple of YouTube videos. However, when I tested it using Hulu and Netflix, it wasn’t reliable enough to watch an entire HD movie without freezing.
There are 36 server locations in total. This isn’t a huge number compared to the server locations on other VPNs that come with antiviruses, such as Norton’s Secure VPN — which has nearly 50 locations.
PC Protect has a few extra features, including:
- Password manager.
- Identity theft checker.
- Ad blocker.
The password manager really isn’t anything special. It stores passwords locally instead of using a cloud-based system — good for people who don’t want their data stored online, but not good for users who want to sync their passwords across devices. I could also import passwords from browsers such as Chrome and Firefox.
PC Protect does offer a password manager browser extension, which autofills login details, but it’s nowhere near as good as Avira’s password manager or standalone apps like Dashlane, which enables you to sync all logins and passwords across multiple devices.
The Ad Block Pro ad blocker is decent. But the fact it comes at an additional cost is ridiculous. You can download free ad blockers that do way more than just ad blocking, like Avira’s Safe Shopping — which blocks ads, tracking links, and finds the best deals for products online.
The identity theft tool, Data Breach Check, did find one of my online accounts had been leaked. But it was weird how I was instantly redirected to the PC Protect website to find out the results — it didn’t show the result within the app. Again, this feature is nothing special. Norton 360 Deluxe includes much more advanced identity protection tools which constantly monitor your online accounts and credit score to check for signs of identity theft.
Overall, PC Protect’s security features are okay. The malware protection is pretty good and the device optimization tools are easy to use. However, I expected a lot more from an antivirus with a huge price tag. I know I can get so much more for a lot less when choosing alternatives, like Avira or Norton, but it might be good for you if you need a simple antivirus with easy-to-use device optimization tools.
PC Protect Plans and Pricing:
PC Protect is expensive when compared to other brands like Avira and Norton — both of whom offer much more for a better price. PC Protect even charges for add-on extras on top of all plans. For example, the Ad Block Pro costs extra, even though you can get decent ad blockers for free.
PC Protect doesn’t offer a free trial either — which is a bit disappointing. But, to be fair to them, PC Protect does offer sizable first-year discounts and a 30-day “no questions asked” money-back guarantee — so you can try it risk-free. But the standard price (that you’ll pay when renewing your subscription) is high, and it’s not the best value for the money — even for the cheapest plan.
PC Protect’s free version includes the malware scanner and web protection tools, but it doesn’t include real-time protection. And while its device optimization tools will scan your device for junk files and other issues, you’ll have to pay for the premium version to fully use them.
Basic Plan: Essential Antivirus
PC Protect’s Essential Antivirus plan includes the antivirus scanner and real-time malware protection, along with:
- Device optimization tools.
- Web protection.
- Identity theft tool.
As with all PC Protect packages, the Essential Antivirus package is priced very high — especially as it can only be used on one device. They do offer a good first-year discount, but the renewal price is not really worth the money.
You’d get much more for much less by choosing either a Norton or McAfee plan, both of which include advanced security features, a VPN, and coverage for multiple devices for the same price as PC Protect’s 1-device-only plan.
Mid-Tier Plan: Pro Antivirus
PC Protect’s website states that the Pro Antivirus package includes the password vault — but it doesn’t. You have to purchase the password vault separately from the PC Protect online marketplace.
So, this package is exactly the same as the Essential plan, but covers 3 devices.
Again, the regular price of this package is high, especially as their website completely misleads you as to what features are included. Norton 360 Deluxe covers 5 devices for a lot less and also has a huge range of features (including a password manager).
Most Advanced Plan: Ultimate Antivirus
Again, this package is exactly the same as all of the others, but it includes 24/7 “super fast” customer support — which would be useful if you’re a beginner user needing help with specific features.
The Ultimate Antivirus package covers 5 devices, but again, I think the regular price is too high. I would much rather choose pretty much any other decent antivirus, including Norton, Avira, or McAfee — all of which offer many more features for a lot less.
Overall, I think PC Protect is too expensive. The fact that you have to pay for add-ons like Ad Block Pro is silly — PC Protect should include things like this in all packages. But it does have a good antivirus and some nice optimization tools. If you’re a beginner looking for reliable and easy-to-use malware protection, you can take advantage of the first-year discounts and 30-day money-back guarantee to see if it’ll be good for you.
PC Protect Ease of Use and Setup:
PC Protect is pretty easy to download and install, only taking around 5 minutes in total. The same goes for their browser extension, which was super easy for me to install on my Chrome browser.
Using the malware scanner was pretty easy, too, and there are three options — Quick Scan, Custom Scan, and System Scan. The custom scan was a bit clunky and not super easy to function, but the Quick Scan and System Scan were really easy to use. The malware scanner took just under 90 minutes to perform an entire system scan, which is a typical speed among the best antiviruses.
All of the device optimization tools were easy to access and use, including the junk file cleaner and startup program manager.
I also thought that the VPN was pretty straightforward to use for beginner users. While I would not recommend it for streaming HD content, it’s decent for browsing and online shopping.
My real issues happened when I tried to access PC Protect’s online marketplace, where you can purchase add-ons, like the VPN and Ad Block Pro. For some reason, after I purchased the Ad Block Pro, I could not access the online marketplace to view and download other products. I contacted customer support about this issue, but as you’ll read later, my experience with them was not good. So my issue still hasn’t been resolved.
The malware scanner and device optimization tools are simple and easy to use. The VPN was also easy to set up and provided good enough speeds for basic browsing and online shopping. However, PC Protect’s integrated online marketplace was very buggy, and the customer support team doesn’t seem to have any solution.
But in terms of the software itself, PC Protect is easy to install, set up, and use.
PC Protect Mobile App:
PC Protect has both an Android and an iOS app. My girlfriend tested the Android version on her Galaxy 10, and I tested the iOS version on my iPhone X.
My girlfriend said she liked how easy it was to use PC Protect’s Android app, which includes:
- Antivirus scanner.
- Real-time virus protection.
- Device optimization tools.
The malware scanner and device optimization tools were easy to function. She did say that it wasn’t obvious where the VPN was, but she found it eventually after contacting customer support.
I tested PC Protect’s iOS app, which is basically a VPN with 3 features thrown in — a battery monitor, incognito browser, and a photo manager.
To their credit, the iOS app is well designed. I like the display and how easy it is to navigate. But it’s missing features like Wi-Fi protection, password management, anti-theft tools, and all the other things I typically find in iOS antivirus apps.
Overall, I would say both apps are okay. The Android version offers a lot more features than the iOS version. But while they can both be useful, I’d much rather use Norton for Android or McAfee for iOS.
PC Protect Customer Support:
PC Protect has got to have the worst customer support of any antivirus suite that I’ve ever tested. Aside from their decent FAQ page, my overall customer service experience was pretty bad. The support representatives are not only clueless, they’re extremely rude. The only saving grace is one live chat representative being punctual and helpful — but this was not my experience with 99% of PC Protect’s support agents.
Their support options include:
- Live chat.
- Email support.
- Phone support (billing support only).
- Knowledge base (FAQ).
When I first tried to ask a question via live chat, I thought the attitude of the support representative was poor, but I thought it was just a one-time bad experience. But no, there’s obviously been a virus outbreak within their customer support offices, symptoms of which include total delusion and a disgusting attitude toward customers.
Using the live chat function, I was cut off about 30 times in total because they said I wasn’t a premium user, even though most of my questions would be relevant to people who were about to buy the product. But after explaining that I was about to purchase a package, the staff simply refused to answer my questions and completely closed the live chat — with one representative closing the chat on me 5 times in a row when I tried to ask a simple question.
They also force you to give out all of your personal details, such as address, ZIP code, phone number, full name, and email address before you start the chat. There is no reason for PC Protect to have this information in order to answer basic questions about their product.
The few times I did get a response, they were completely useless, as the representatives seem to love using pre-written responses — all of which left me entirely dissatisfied.
I also tried the email support and the phone support, both of which had agents who were just as unhelpful and clueless as the live chat agents.
I’ve put it down to PC Protect’s support staff not being trained well enough and not caring about their customers at all — which PC Protect needs to address as they could lose a huge number of customers with such a poor attitude.
The knowledge base (FAQ) was decent, but it lacked essential information which meant I had to contact customer support for all of the information I needed.
My bad experience with PC Protect’s customer support team would be enough for me to stop using their products and consider choosing alternative antiviruses instead. However, customer support may not be a priority for you like it is for me, so you could still consider PC Protect for its malware protection and easy-to-use software.
Is PC Protect Worth the Price?
In my opinion, PC Protect’s packages aren’t worth the regular price for most people. While they do offer a decent first-year discount, the renewal cost is very expensive — mostly because it lacks so many features and charges extra for basic add-ons, like the password vault and ad blocker.
If you don’t mind paying a premium for malware protection and want an easy-to-use interface with device optimization tools, then PC Protect may be a good choice — especially if you take advantage of their first-year discounts.
The virus scanning engine has a high detection rate, meaning you can rely on it to protect your PC from malware and ransomware. And most of the additional features are easy to use.
But based on my extensive experience with their customer support team and the high price of their packages, I personally wouldn’t choose PC Protect — having access to a responsive customer support option is pretty essential for me.
You can get more value — and better malware protection — when choosing another antivirus package, like Norton 360 Deluxe or Avira Prime. But you can try PC Protect 100% risk-free by using their 30-day money-back guarantee and requesting a refund if it’s not the right antivirus for you.
PC Protect — Frequently Asked Questions
Is PC Protect a good antivirus?
PC Protect’s antivirus scanner is decent — it’s powered by Avira’s malware scanning engine, and it has a very high detection rate.
The PC Protect software also has some other easy-to-use features, including:
- Junk file cleaner.
- Startup program optimizer.
The problem with PC Protect is that their packages are extremely overpriced. The features offered are not good enough for the current price. You can get so much more for a lot less by choosing one of Norton’s or Avira’s premium packages.
Does PC Protect have a free version?
Yes, PC Protect does have a free version of their software. It includes basic features like the malware scanner, but it does not allow full access to any other features.
If you’re looking for a free antivirus, you should see our list of the best free antiviruses in 2020.
Does PC Protect include a VPN?
PC Protect does offer an integrated VPN, but it’s not included in any package — you have to purchase it separately. The VPN add-on isn’t too expensive, but considering the super high price of PC Protect’s packages, the VPN should be already included — like how Norton’s Secure VPN is included in their Norton 360 packages.
The VPN does work well — it’s okay for basic browsing and online shopping, but it’s not fast enough for HD streaming.
Does PC Protect cover smartphones?
Yes, PC Protect offers mobile protection for both Androids and iOS devices.
Both versions of the app are simple to use and have a well-designed, intuitive display.
The Android version includes:
- Malware scanning.
- Real-time protection.
- Device optimization tools.
- Integrated VPN.
The iOS version includes:
- Photo management.
- Integrated VPN.
- Battery usage monitor.
- Incognito browser.
While the Android app is more useful than the iOS app, both versions are easy to use and function well.
However, neither were good enough to make it on our list of best mobile antiviruses. If you’re looking for a more reliable, feature-rich mobile antivirus, you should try Norton for Android or McAfee for iOS.