Before downloading Shield Antivirus, I tried to do some basic research on the company and the product.
But Shield Antivirus is a mystery. Most antivirus brands have some unique way of fighting viruses and they love explaining how they do this, feature-wise, to potential customers. I struggled to find any information about ShieldApps’s virus-detection methods. Eventually I did — see details of what I found below.
Nonetheless, I installed Shield Antivirus and tested it — thoroughly. It’s now a week later, and I can’t wait to get it off my computer.
I really wanted to like this product. I’ve reviewed many internet security products before, and I love discovering new and exciting brands. But in a lot of instances, Shield Antivirus simply doesn’t work. And in the places it does work, it doesn’t work well.
On top of that, I felt very uneasy about using it.
Shield Antivirus Features Overview
|Remote Firewall Access||N|
|Protection against Phishing Scams||N|
|Real-Time and Automatic Virus Scans||Real Time: Y, Automatic: Y|
|Automatic Virus and Program Updates||Virus Update: Y, Program Update: Y|
|Money Back Guarantee||Y: 30-day money-back guarantee|
Shield Antivirus Security Features
Shield Antivirus offers the following security features:
- Protection against malware — including viruses, Trojans, ransomware, and spyware.
- Scheduled Scan — carries out regular scans according to your instructions.
- Active Protection — scans and monitors your computer in real-time.
- History Cleaner — cleans up unnecessary temporary files to keep your computer running smoothly.
- Secure File Eraser — deletes files securely and permanently.
Most paid antivirus products have more features. For comparison, Norton Antivirus Plus has all these features and more — such as 2 GB secure storage and a password manager to keep your login details safe. Norton is also much cheaper (we found a 55% off promo code).
But the small variety of features isn’t the main problem. The main problem is the features themselves.
Shield Antivirus offers three types of virus scans:
I ran the “Deep” scan on a Windows laptop with a relatively small (300 GB) hard drive.
The scan took an extremely long time. The software also wrongly displayed the duration of the scan. Approximately 48 hours after I started the scan, the “time elapsed” showed as 16 hours. Later on, during the same scan, it showed 1 hour 27 minutes.
The scan didn’t noticeably slow down my computer. However, it also never stopped. The “files scanned” counter kept rising, but after three days, I had to cancel the scan.
The scan results suggested that my computer was infected with a virus, some other sort of malware, and two backdoor Trojans.
Shield Antivirus also identified the password manager Dashlane as a “PUA” (Potentially Unwanted Application). A PUA is an intrusive or unsafe application that you come pre-installed on your computer or bundled with other software that you do want.
But Dashlane is definitely not a PUA, and Shield Antivirus should have known that.
I was skeptical about these scan results, so I tested these files using VirusTotal — a site which will check any file against 71 antivirus products (including AVG, Comodo, and McAfee) — to see which brands recognize it as a threat.
Here’s what I found. Of the 71 brands that VirusTotal tested the file against:
- One other brand (ClamAV) identified the “Trojan-infected” file.
- One other brand (ClamAV) identified the “malware-infected” file.
- Two other brands (ClamAV and Jiangmin) identified the “virus-infected” file.
These results mean that 71 antivirus brands disagreed with ShieldApps Shield Antivirus, except ClamAV (and Jiangmin in once instance). ClamAV is a free, open-source antivirus project that is notorious for finding false positives.
I don’t believe for a second that Shield Antivirus has better malware-detection abilities than all of these other brands. Not only did Shield Antivirus suggest that these files were malware, they also managed to miss some of the malware files I had purposely put on my computer to test the product.
At first, I thought Shield Antivirus was trying to “trick” me into upgrading by falsely identifying threats. However, it seems that Shield Antivirus simply uses a similar list of virus definitions to ClamAV, which isn’t good. This could lead you to delete harmless files and miss genuine threats to your security.
Almost every antivirus product is a better alternative in terms of malware detection.
Regularly scanning your devices for viruses and other malware is important. But it’s also crucial to have antivirus software running in the background. Real-time malware detection scans new files as you download or run them, and it also monitors your existing files for suspicious behavior.
Shield Antivirus’s Active Protection feature offers real-time virus detection. If you try to run a malicious file, a window pops up to warn you about it:
The Active Protection feature didn’t notice when I downloaded four fake virus files. However, it noticed quickly when I tried to run them.
That said, Shield Antivirus didn’t stop me from running a file it had already identified as “virus-infected” during the antivirus scan.
Based on my testing, Shield Antivirus’s Active Protection also seems to be unreliable. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any independent test results to confirm this.
Shield Antivirus’s History Cleaner helps you delete unnecessary files on your computer.
Your computer records information about your usage: The apps you’ve recently opened, the websites you’ve visited, the files you’ve deleted, etc. This data can sometimes reveal private information.
Windows lets you delete this information, but it’s still stored several places on your PC. Shield Antivirus’s History Cleaner provides a convenient way to remove the unnecessary private information stored on your computer with one click.
Among other things, the History Cleaner suggested I delete my cookies — the things advertisers can use to log your internet activity. However, the History Cleaner can apparently only clear cookies from Internet Explorer — a browser that I don’t use. It didn’t list the ability to delete cookies on any of the other browsers installed on my computer.
Tools like Shield Antivirus’s History Cleaner are common features of any antivirus software. And many other brands do this way better. For example, TotalAV’s Browser Manager will scan every browser installed on your computer for cookies, not just Internet Explorer.
Secure File Eraser
Shield Antivirus’s Secure File Eraser will permanently remove unwanted files.
When you “delete” a file from your computer, it doesn’t really go anywhere. Your computer simply stops recognizing it. But it’s still there, meaning that hackers could still gain access to it.
When you first use Shield Antivirus’s Secure File Eraser feature, it invites you to add a new option to the Windows “right-click” menu:
When you want to delete a file, right-click it and you’ll see this new option in the menu.
When you click “Secure delete files with Shield Antivirus”, the app asks for confirmation:
Because I was only deleting one file, I hesitated when Shield Antivirus asked me to confirm that I wanted to delete the “selected files and folders”.
However, I went ahead and deleted my test file. Thankfully, it only deleted that file and nothing else. Recuva, my favorite data recovery application, couldn’t find the deleted file. Therefore, I’m confident that the Secure File Eraser works.
But again, there are better options. For example, AVG Antivirus has a similar feature called “File Shredder”, which also allows you to drag and drop the files you want to delete onto the app’s window. This is a small improvement, but it can make a lot of difference.
Shield Antivirus Plans and Pricing
There’s only one “plan” available with Shield Antivirus — an annual subscription for one license, which covers one computer and one phone. There’s a 14-day free trial, during which you can use all of Shield Antivirus’s features.
To upgrade during the free trial, simply press the big, red “Register” button on your dashboard:
Unfortunately (not unfortunate for me but unfortunate for ShieldApps), the “Register” button doesn’t work. I pushed the button many times and absolutely nothing happened.
ShieldApps offers many different products. Shield Antivirus is only one of them. The others are:
- Cyber Privacy Suite
- Webcam Blocker
- Ransomware Defender
- PC Privacy Shield
- Identity Theft Preventer
- PC Cleaning Utility
- Anti Malware
- Hard Disk Shield
- Password Shield
ShieldApps takes a different approach to pricing than most antivirus brands. Each ShieldApps application does a specific job and has a separate subscription cost. ShieldApps’s pricing model might suit you if you’re missing one crucial feature from your existing internet security setup.
An all-in-one antivirus package, such as Avast Ultimate, provides more features than these ten ShieldApps products combined. And you only pay one subscription fee — at a much lower price.
If you decide that you do want to try one of the ShieldApps products, all of them have a 14-day free trial period and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Shield Antivirus Ease of Use and Setup
Installing Shield Antivirus is very easy. Because there are relatively few features, the setup process is quick and simple, taking less than ten minutes in total.
The Overview screen lets you turn “Active Protection” on or off, start a scan, and update your catalog of known threats (i.e. threat definitions).
You can click on the Manage tab to view your scan history, update the software, and check which files have been “quarantined”.
Finally, the Tools screen provides access to the History Cleaner, Secure File Eraser, and Start-Up Manager.
The Shield Antivirus interface is simple to use and navigate, but it looks and feels amateur.
The application also has several bugs and flaws. For example, when running a virus scan, Shield Antivirus states that “Other features may be used during scanning.”
But I was unable to use any other Shield Antivirus features during the scan. I was stuck on the Scan in Progress page. The “Settings” button didn’t work, and the “Help” button only offered two drop-down options: About and Uninstall Instructions.
Another example of a poor user-interface is the “Custom Scan” option. Users can customize their virus scans in many ways:
At first, this level of control might seem impressive. But none of these options are explained. How should the average user know whether to enable “algorithmic detection” or “VBA macro detection”? What’s a “smart algorithm”, and why is it disabled by default?
Shield Antivirus isn’t difficult to use, but it isn’t enjoyable to use either. TotalAV uses a similar dark colored and minimalist user-interface, but it looks much better and it doesn’t have as many bugs.
Try Shield Antivirus risk-free today
Shield Antivirus Mobile App
ShieldApps Mobile Shield Antivirus is only available for Android. It’s free to download from the Google Play Store. A subscription to Shield Antivirus includes a license for the mobile app.
All features are available with the free version of Mobile Shield Antivirus. When you first run the app, you’re invited to upgrade to remove ads:
However, the app didn’t display any ads while I was using it.
Mobile Shield Antivirus has three main features:
- A virus scan
- Active Protection
- Privacy Adviser
The virus scan was quick and easy, and it didn’t noticeably slow down my device.
Mobile Shield Antivirus also lets you schedule scans:
The “Active Protection” feature constantly scans your device for new threats, and it can easily be toggled on and off. It displays a permanent notification in your notifications drawer when it’s enabled. Active Protection also didn’t noticeably slow down my device.
The “Privacy Adviser” feature ranks all of the apps on your device according to the number of potential privacy issues there are.
Privacy Advisor decided that 16 of the apps on my device were “high risk”.
These apps are not risky at all. However, they do have access to several sensitive areas of my device — that’s why they were flagged.
Here’s the list of permissions accessed by the most “high risk” app on my device:
There’s no threat with this particular app. However, people might be alarmed by the suggestion that their favorite apps are “high risk”. It would be better if Mobile Shield Antivirus put these warnings in context. But they don’t do that.
This sort of feature is common with mobile antivirus apps. For example, the McAfee mobile app offers a feature called “Privacy Check” which tells you how each one of your apps might share your personal information with third-party advertisers. McAfee’s Privacy Check brings up some surprising results, but it isn’t going to call Skype a “high risk” application.
Overall, Mobile Shield Antivirus looks and feels a lot more professional than the desktop version. It doesn’t offer a lot, but at least it doesn’t do anything obviously suspicious.
Shield Antivirus Customer Support
Shield Antivirus offers two routes for customer support — a set of FAQs and a contact form on the ShieldApps website.
To read the FAQs, visit the ShieldApps website and choose the Support tab. Each ShieldApps product has its own set of FAQs, including Shield Antivirus:
These FAQs explain how to install, remove, and upgrade the software, and they offer very little of anything else.
Notably, the ShieldApps FAQ doesn’t provide any advice for users who are experiencing technical issues with their software. This compares poorly to some other brands, such as Norton, who present extensive articles about potential issues with their software.
If the FAQs can’t answer your question, you can fill out a form to send a message to ShieldApps customer support:
I filled in the form five days ago, and I still haven’t received a response or even a confirmation that I submitted a query.
It’s unfortunate that there’s no other way of contacting ShieldApps. Many antivirus companies provide live chat and phone options. For example, McAfee, AVG, and TotalAV all offer 24/7, toll-free phone support.
The Shield Antivirus software is relatively simple to use, but it is frequently unreliable. It would be better to have access to an expert in case things go wrong.
The Bottom Line on ShieldApps Shield Antivirus
An antivirus application must feel stable, trustworthy, and reassuring. Unfortunately, Shield Antivirus doesn’t have any of these qualities.
Shield Antivirus has a very basic set of features. It scanned my computer for more than three days, and it produced some pretty suspicious results. I also found several bugs and flaws that impacted my ability to use the program. And to top it off, customer support didn’t respond to me.
ShieldApps Mobile Shield Antivirus is the best thing about this product. It’s well-made and moderately useful. But there’s no reason to choose it over superior mobile apps, such as Kaspersky, McAfee, or AVG. These other apps all offer more features.
And Shield Antivirus isn’t cheap. For a similar price, you can get a comprehensive internet security package from a trusted brand such as Avast or Norton. These brands offer more privacy, security, and optimization tools in one app than ShieldApps offers over its entire product range. And — most importantly — these other brands work.
Overall, there’s no reason to choose Shield Antivirus over any other antivirus product.
What We Like:
- Mobile app is well-made.
- “File Shredder” feature works properly.
- Quite easy to use.
What We Don’t Like:
- Virus scan took three days before I gave up.
- Scan results do not appear to be reliable.
- Unresponsive customer support.