Scanguard Antivirus Review 2020: Not a Scam, But is it Good?

3.1
DECENT
Ranked 46th from 55 antivirus companies
Ranked 46th from 55 antivirus companies
Bjorn Johansson
Published on: 08/06/2020

Detailed Expert Review

I was doing some research online and realized that there weren’t very many trustworthy reviews of Scanguard. I decided to test Scanguard out and decide for myself if it could compete with some of the best antivirus programs on the market, like Norton and McAfee.

Scanguard scored 100% in my antivirus testing, detecting malware, ransomware, and spyware on my test PC. I also liked the virtual private network (VPN), which offered a fast and secure connection to 36 servers around the globe.

However, I had some pretty serious issues with Scanguard.

The customer support team wasn’t very helpful — especially the live chat and phone support team. Also, some of the add-on features are way too expensive, such as the password manager and ad blocker.

But after testing 49 different antiviruses, Scanguard stood out as one of the easiest and most reliable antiviruses I’ve tested, with some helpful features that many PC users could really appreciate.

Here’s what I found.

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Scanguard Security Features

Scanguard offers a lot of security features, including a really easy-to-use malware scanner with a high virus detection rate. But many of these features are only available for a separate (super expensive) cost. Competitors like Norton bundle all of their security features for one price, so it’s annoying that Scanguard does this. Also, Scanguard doesn’t have parental controls, which is an essential feature for parents like me.

Scanguard’s online marketplace is pretty overwhelming, so I’ve broken down each feature here based on what I thought was valuable and what I thought was an expensive piece of junk.

Features I Like:

Features I Don’t Like:

Malware ProtectionScanguard Security Features

Scanguard’s anti-malware engine is powered by Avira, who makes one of the best antivirus programs on the market today. Scanguard was able to detect and remove all of the test malware files on my computer — it even found a trojan that my last antivirus scanner had missed.

Scanguard offers options for several different types of scans:

  • Quick scan. Scans areas where viruses are typically found, like temporary program files, downloads, and registries.
  • Smart scan. Performs a Quick Scan, then performs system cleanup processes to erase cached browser files, speed up the boot sequence, and remove junk files.
  • Custom scan. Scans any file or folder on the system.
  • Malware scan. Scans every item on your hard drive.

When I ran the malware scan, it discovered 100% of the malware files hidden on my drive.

Scanguard Security Features

The malware scan was thorough, but it took a really long time — around 3.5 hours on my PC. Competitors like Norton and McAfee can usually perform one of these scans in an hour or two.

Scanguard was really effective at blocking ransomware on my system as well — interrupting the sophisticated “Locker ransomware” before it was able to encrypt a single file.

A lot of antivirus programs offer protections against serious threats like rootkits and ransomware but fail to accurately block spyware and adware. Scanguard detected and removed adware browser extensions and toolbars from my browser, and it eliminated the spyware that was producing pop-up ads on my desktop.

Scanguard’s real-time protections are constantly scanning online activity to stop malware before it gets to your computer. I tested the real-time scanner with a variety of test malware, including the EICAR malware test file.

Scanguard detected and blocked this malicious file almost immediately.

Scanguard Security Features

Scanguard’s malware protections blocked all malware, ransomware, trojans, and spyware from running on my system. I was surprised that Scanguard’s antivirus protections were just as strong as big-name competitors like Norton 360 or McAfee Total Protection.

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System Cleanup

Scanguard Security Features

Scanguard has a good set of system cleanup tools which cover a wide range of functions, such as:

  • Junk cleaner. Scans PCs for cached files, temporary files, and Windows error files — giving you the option to sort or erase them.
  • Duplicate file finder. Detects and removes duplicate files.
  • Application uninstaller. Removes all programs and apps from the system.
  • Startup manager. Lists all programs that boot at startup and allows you to disable them.
  • Browser cleanup. Clears out history, cookies, and cached files to speed up browsers.

The Junk Cleaner found and removed over 470 MB of junk files on my system, but my favorite tool is the Startup Manager. This feature made it super easy to identify and disable the programs that were slowing down my computer’s boot sequence.

Scanguard Security Features

After running the Startup Manager, my PC’s boot sequence was cut from a few minutes to around 30 seconds!

While Scanguard’s system cleanup tools are decent, Avira offers advanced features like a file shredder, gaming mode, and file encryption for a similar price. Still, Scanguard’s cleanup tools are effective and simple, and they’re bundled in all of Scanguard’s antivirus plans at no additional cost.

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Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Scanguard’s VPN is actually quite good. It provides encrypted access to servers in 36 different locations, so you can browse privately and unblock geo-restricted streaming content from sites like Netflix and Hulu.

I used Ookla’s Speedtest tool to analyze Scanguard VPN’s impact on my internet connection.

Here’s my ping, download speed, and upload speed while connected to my local network, without the VPN connected:

Scanguard Security Features

This is my connection speed with my VPN turned on and connected to a local server:

Scanguard Security Features

As you can see, my connection speed was barely slowed down while I was connected to a local VPN server.

Many VPN users are looking for fast connection to servers around the globe — and Scanguard really impressed me in this department. This is my connection speed when connected to a server in Spain (I’m in the USA):

Scanguard Security Features

You can see there’s a slight decrease in bandwidth, but it’s still pretty fast considering the distance between me and the Spanish server.

Using this server in Spain, I was able to log into Netflix and access content that’s usually blocked in the US, with the same HD video quality I’m used to on my local US server.

Scanguard’s VPN is about as fast as standalone products like NordVPN, and Scanguard’s costs about half as much for a year subscription. It’s not bundled in any of their antivirus packages, but you can get it from Scanguard’s online marketplace.

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Identity Protection

Scanguard offers identity theft protection as a separate purchase through their online marketplace. This powerful tool is powered by Experian, the international credit monitoring conglomerate.

They use their huge network to scan credit checks, sales receipts, consumer information, data breaches, and the dark web to make sure your private information stays private.

Scanguard’s Identity Protection Portal gives users the option to monitor passports, credit cards, passwords, and more.

Scanguard Security Features

Identity theft is a huge problem online — I was happy to see that none of my current financial information had been compromised. While other antiviruses like BullGuard offer similar identity theft tools for a better price, I still think Scanguard’s Identity Protection is a helpful feature.

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Password Manager

Scanguard Security Features

Scanguard’s Password Vault is only available as an additional purchase on the Scanguard online marketplace. This isn’t a good value, especially when competitors like Norton and Avira include a password manager in their free antivirus suite.

As for functionality, I had some issues with the Password Vault feature. There’s no option to import passwords from a previous password manager into Scanguard’s Password Vault. This is a huge inconvenience for anybody already using their browser’s password manager or a third-party password manager.

The auto-filling didn’t work very well, either. Password Vault failed to detect the login field on several saved sites, so I had to copy-paste my passwords into the login field.

Scanguard’s Password Vault costs extra, and it’s a pretty bad password manager — there are tons of standalone password managers that offer better functionality for a better price.

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Web Protection

WebShield is Scanguard’s browser security tool. This feature comes included with all Scanguard antivirus packages. It’s supposed to block suspicious websites and phishing sites from displaying in your browser and stealing your data. However, it’s not very good.

I tested WebShield against over 100 known malicious sites and phishing sites. While WebShield blocked me from accessing a few dangerous websites, it missed a lot of phishing sites that Chrome had ultimately blocked — potentially exposing me to malicious web scripts and deceptive phishing sites.

Scanguard Security Features

In my testing, web protections from competitors like Norton and Kaspersky blocked more phishing sites than Chrome’s built-in protections. So I wouldn’t consider Scanguard’s WebShield to be a reliable or an effective web security feature.

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Ad Block Pro

Scanguard Security Features

Scanguard’s ad block feature is available on their online marketplace as a separate purchase — but it’s not cheap.

Ad blocking browser extensions are pretty common these days — Norton and Avira both offer free ad blockers that filter out banner and pop-up ads, prevent trackers, and keep ads from playing on YouTube.

Scanguard’s ad blocker does everything that Norton and Avira’s free ad blockers do, but Scanguard tries to charge users an expensive annual fee for this service.

I’m pretty confused as to why Scanguard is trying to charge customers for their ad blocking feature. If you really want to spend money and you hate free browser extensions, then upgrading to Scanguard’s ad blocker is a good idea. But other than that, it’s not worth the extra money.

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Scanguard Plans and Pricing

Scanguard seemed like a competitively priced antivirus suite — until I realized that almost all of their worthwhile security features are only available as a separate purchase. Scanguard’s website is super unclear about this pay-per-feature pricing until you purchase one of their antivirus packages. After I bought my Scanguard package, I was sent to Scanguard’s online marketplace, where I was asked to spend over $100 on extra features!

Scanguard Plans and Pricing

Scanguard Plans and Pricing

This pay-per-feature setup is annoying — competitors like Norton include all of these add-ons in their antivirus packages for a much better price.

Essential Antivirus — Best for Users on a Budget

Scanguard Essential Antivirus is the cheapest plan option — it protects one device with a malware scanner, real-time antivirus protections, and some system cleanup tools. It’s a really good low-budget option for anybody that’s just looking for antivirus coverage, but it’s pretty short on additional features.

Scanguard Essential Antivirus lacks parental controls, a VPN, and protection across multiple devices. Other low-cost competitors, like Kaspersky Internet Security, include all of these features for a better price than Scanguard.

If you’re looking to give it a try, there’s a 50% off deal on the Scanguard website right now, along with a 30-day money back guarantee.

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Pro Antivirus — Best Value for Multiple Devices

Scanguard Pro Antivirus is my favorite package from Scanguard. It provides Scanguard’s powerful anti-malware scanner and system cleanup tools on 3 devices.

I added the VPN to this package and it was still slightly cheaper than Norton 360 — but Norton 360 includes parental controls, password management, identity protection, and a whole lot more.

Still, if you’re looking for a minimal antivirus program, Scanguard Pro Antivirus is worth looking into. Plus, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free.

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Ultimate Antivirus — Covers 6 Devices but Still No Parental Controls

Users that upgrade to Scanguard Ultimate Antivirus receive the same features as Pro Antivirus plus coverage for an additional 3 devices and … an e-book about malware?

This perplexing security add-on doesn’t add a lot of value to the Scanguard product. There are tons of free resources online to help users increase their cybersecurity knowledge (including some great blog posts on this website).

Upgrading to Ultimate Antivirus is a decent option for anybody looking to cover 6 devices — however, the lack of parental controls makes it a poor choice for families.

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Scanguard Ease of Use and Setup

Scanguard is a pretty simple product — if you can get it to work. After upgrading the product from Essential Antivirus to Ultimate Antivirus, I got locked out of the online dashboard for over a week. This made it impossible to access any additional features I could have needed, like the Password Vault, Ad Block Pro, and VPN.

However, once I got into my account, I had no trouble navigating Scanguard’s well-designed user interface.

All of Scanguard’s features are easily accessible from a collapsible sidebar window — malware scanning, VPN, web protections, system cleanup, password management, and additional devices all pop out with multiple options.

Scanguard Ease of Use and Setup

Clicking on the gear icon in the bottom left opens up the settings, which are clearly labeled for each feature. I used the “Antivirus Scans” settings to schedule my software for a weekly scan.

Scanguard Ease of Use and Setup

Scanguard is surprisingly pretty easy to use. I appreciate the colorful and intuitive interface, which is much easier to navigate than some competitors like McAfee and Bitdefender.

Scanguard Mobile App

Scanguard Mobile App

Scanguard doesn’t offer support for iOS users, but their antivirus for Android is pretty good. Here are the main features of Scanguard’s mobile app:

  • Malware protection. Detects and deletes Android-specific malware. It performed well in my testing, catching 100% of malware on my device.
  • VPN. Keeps browsing private and secure. Scanguard’s VPN is pretty fast, offers coverage around the world, and is a great tool for staying safe on public Wi-Fi networks.
  • Performance booster. Analyzes all processes and gives a report on which ones are using the most memory and power.
  • Storage optimization. Searches for duplicates and cached files and removes unnecessary data.
  • App locking. Allows users to lock specific apps behind a passcode.
  • Uninstaller. Lists all installed apps and makes it easy to uninstall within the Scanguard app.

Scanguard’s mobile app isn’t bad, but it lacks the parental controls and anti-theft features that make products like Norton Mobile Security for Android or McAfee Mobile Security for iPhone better mobile antivirus apps.

Scanguard Customer Support

I had a pretty hard time getting support with Scanguard.

My first inquiry was about upgrading the software — I was trying to find out if upgrading to Scanguard Ultimate Antivirus would unlock features like the VPN, ad blocker, and password manager. My customer support person assured me that these features were included in Ultimate Antivirus, and then proceeded to charge me for an upgrade.

However, I found out after paying for my upgrade that none of these items were included in Scanguard Ultimate Antivirus — they’re all separate purchases! My flustered support person was kind enough to give me the VPN for free, but then I encountered a new problem. I had been locked out of my account.

Scanguard Customer Support

Yes, I did try clearing my cookies, as well as trying to log in using different browsers, and I even tried to access my account using Safari on my iPhone. My customer support person told me that I would have to email tech support to resolve this problem.

Scanguard offers phone support for billing issues, but only covers tech support issues via email.

Their first reply to my customer support request informed me that my browser had probably been hijacked:

Scanguard Customer Support

Of course, my browser hadn’t been hijacked — so I decided to try calling the billing support team again. The first person I spoke with told me to email tech support and hung up. The second representative told me the Operations Team would take care of my issue in an hour. But it didn’t get fixed in an hour…

My issue with the website wasn’t resolved for 8 days! I called them 3 more times before I finally got ahold of somebody who would actually send my case to the tech support team, and then they finally fixed my account.

This customer service was surprisingly bad — Norton’s team usually responds within the day, and Kaspersky’s live chat support is almost always able to provide real-time assistance. I really hope Scanguard can improve their customer support experience.

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Does Scanguard Really Work?

Scanguard is a better antivirus than I expected. The malware protection, VPN, system cleanup tools, and identity protection features are all really strong. And Scanguard’s user interface is well designed and easy to use.

There was only one part of this product that really bothered me — the pricing.

Most antivirus suites make it abundantly clear which features are included in their different antivirus packages. Scanguard’s website advertises a massive list of internet security tools, but almost none of these tools are included in any of their packages.

Instead, these features are only offered in Scanguard’s online marketplace for individual purchase. Getting the VPN, cloud-based scanner, password manager, and ad blocker doubles the price of this product.

Scanguard is a powerful antivirus with a few good features, but other premium antivirus suites like Norton and McAfee offer better security features for a better price.

If you’re looking for anti-malware protection along with a few extras like identity theft protection and a VPN, Scanguard is worth a look. Plus it has a generous discount for first-time users along with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can pick it up and give it a try, risk free.

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👍 Does Scanguard’s VPN work?

Yes. Scanguard’s VPN is fast and secure — it allowed me to unblock geo-restricted streaming services, and it didn’t slow my internet speed down too much. It offers connections to 36 different server locations, mostly in Europe and North America, but also Australia, New Zealand, and Panama.

Unfortunately, this high-powered VPN isn’t included in any of Scanguard’s antivirus packages — you have to purchase it separately. It’s a pretty good value, though, coming in at around half the price of many standalone competitors.

🖥️ Does Scanguard work for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android?

Scanguard offers antivirus solutions for all major platforms, with the exception of iOS.

Scanguard’s macOS suite offers protections against Mac-specific malware. It also includes system cleanup tools and the option to purchase Scanguard’s VPN for secure browsing. It’s a decent Mac antivirus, but for the money I think there are better choices for Mac users.

Scanguard’s Android app has a ton of useful features, like real-time antivirus protection, junk file cleanup, and the Safe Browsing VPN. It’s a pretty decent antivirus for Android, but it lacks anti-theft features like McAfee’s Capture Cam, or Avira’s remote alarm feature.

Scanguard’s website indicates that they have a security product coming soon for iOS, but it’s not live at the time of this review. If you’re looking for quality security protections on your iPad or iPhone, there are several good options out there.

💪 Does Scanguard include a good amount of security features?

Scanguard offers all the same features as other comprehensive internet security suites like Avira and Norton. These features aren’t bundled with the software — instead they’re offered as add-ons in the online Scanguard marketplace. Here are some of the features for sale on Scanguard’s dashboard:

  • VPN. Keeps browsing private and unlocks geo-restricted streaming content.
  • Password manager. Stores and generates passwords for secure logins.
  • Identity theft protection. Uses Experian’s extensive credit network to alert users when personal information and credit information is being altered or exploited.  
  • Ad blocker. Blocks ads on websites and video players like YouTube.

I didn’t think that the password manager or ad blocker were worth the cost, but the VPN and identity protections are pretty useful.

🤑 Is there a free version of Scanguard?

No. Scanguard’s cheapest offering is Scanguard Essential Antivirus. It’s got real-time virus scanning, system cleanup tools, and a powerful anti-malware scanner, but it doesn’t have the same amount of features as other low-cost antiviruses like Norton or McAfee.

If you’re looking for a free antivirus software, there are only a few decent programs. Avira Free Antivirus is my favorite free antivirus — it includes all of the same features as Scanguard Essential Antivirus along with a limited free VPN and password manager.

Scanguard Products & Pricing

Bottom Line

Scanguard is a powerful antivirus program with a ton of special features. Unfortunately, most of these features are only available as additional purchases from Scanguard’s online marketplace — the cost of these add-ons makes Scanguard pretty expensive overall. While I had a frustrating time with customer support, the malware scanner, the system cleanup tools, and the VPN are all pretty good internet security tools.

About the Author

Bjorn Johansson
Bjorn Johansson
Cybersecurity researcher and digital rights advocate

About the Author

Bjorn is a cybersecurity researcher and digital rights advocate. Originally from Sweden, he now lives on the Maine coast with his wife and their two kids. When he’s not helping keep the internet safe for everyday people, he enjoys boating with his family and woodworking.

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