Launched in 2016, ScanGuard is the brainchild of British antivirus specialists SS Protect — the people behind PCProtect and TotalAV. It boasts an impressively smooth antivirus engine and excellent additional features even on its entry level package.
What We Liked
- Smooth, silent and fast scanning
- Free VPN
- 24/7 customer support on all packages
- 30-day money-back guarantee
What We Weren’t So Sure About
- Relatively pricey
- Notifications can be slightly obtrusive
Being a relatively new kid on the block, ScanGuard is yet to be tested by independent testing labs such as AV Test, Virus Bulletin and AV Comparatives. This means it’s hard to be certain how well it performs compared to its better-known competitors.
That said, the company that makes ScanGuard — SS Protect — is the same company that makes PCProtect and Total AV. Total AV in particular has quickly become one of the most popular antivirus software programs around. And it has aced its latest round of independent testing on Virus Bulletin with a 100% catch rate and zero false positives.
ScanGuard’s pedigree aside, the software is packed with security features. You’ll get a two-way firewall, malicious website blocking and identity protection alongside robust antivirus, anti-ransomware, anti-malware and anti-spyware protection.
More importantly, the scanning experience was impressively smooth, silent and, at about 20 minutes to complete a scan, reasonably quick.
As you’d expect, ScanGuard has a clean, simple design. We loved the rounded icons and colour scheme. And all the main features are easily located from the menu on the left side of the screen.
To be fair, the interface could do with some improvement. For starters, you can only find some features by clicking on the icon in the status bar. This might not be immediately obvious to some users. We also found the notification popups to be somewhat obtrusive.
That said, these are minor quibbles. Overall, installing, launching and getting to grips with ScanGuard is as easy as it gets. It’ll even scan your device automatically on startup, so you can set your mind at rest that you’re protected right from the get go.
Features and Add-ons
Alongside antivirus, anti-ransomware, anti-malware and anti-spyware protection, ScanGuard includes identity protection, an individual file scanner that checks and automatically quarantines suspicious downloads and an ad blocker.
You’ll also get a whole load of other addons, including a secure password manager, several tools that’ll help you keep your device performing optimally and a free VPN.
This latter feature is undoubtedly the star of the show. Not only will it give your online security and privacy a boost, but seeing as the typical annual fee for a third-party VPN can be quite steep, it’s also a money saver.
One of the best things about ScanGuard is that you can benefit from most of these addons even on the entry-level Essential Antivirus package. In fact, the Pro Antivirus package only adds a browser extension that blocks malicious websites, while the Ultimate Antivirus package adds an antivirus ebook.
On the one hand, this means you don’t have much incentive to upgrade unless you need protection for multiple devices (the main difference between plans is the number of devices you can use the software on). But the upside is that you pay exactly for what you need. You don’t have to pony up for an expensive package just to get more features.
ScanGuard offers round-the-clock priority support on all packages — a refreshing change from companies who only have it on their most expensive tiers. Whichever plan you pick, you’ll benefit from the same level of service.
Support is available three ways: by email, over the phone and via live chat.
Live chat is an option not many antivirus software companies offer, which is a shame seeing as it’s increasingly becoming customers’ preferred method of contacting tech support. By contrast, ScanGuard makes using live chat quick and painless: click on the widget at the bottom right, key in some details about your query and you’ll be connected in seconds.
If you’d rather do the troubleshooting yourself, it’s hard to go wrong with ScanGuard’s on-site FAQ. There’s a bevy of well-written articles sorted by category. Or, you can key in what you’re looking for in the search widget to home right in on what you want.
And if reading isn’t your thing, there are several tutorial videos you can follow along to.
ScanGuard has three broadly similar plans, with the main difference being the number of licences: Essential Antivirus covers one device, Pro Antivirus covers three devices and Ultimate Antivirus covers five devices.
All packages come with 24/7 priority support and a 30-day money back guarantee. You can also run a limited version free of charge — great if you’d rather give it a spin before you commit to paying up for a subscription.
ScanGuard’s packages are relatively pricey. That said, they do have some of the steepest first-year discounts we’ve seen — a whopping $75 / £75 / €75 off the Essential Antivirus, $80 / £80 / €80 off the Pro Antivirus packages and $90 / £90 / €90 off the Ultimate Antivirus package.
Here’s a rundown of ScanGuard’s three plans, the cost of a one-year subscription and an overview of what you get for the price:
|Essential Antivirus||Pro Antivirus||Ultimate Antivirus|
|$99.95 / £99.95 / €99.95 (First year: $24.95 / £24.95 / €24.95)||$119.95 / £119.95 / €119.95 (First year: $39.95 / £39.95 / €39.95)||$149.95 / £149.95 / €149.95 (First year: $59.95 / £59.95 / €59.95)|
|Antivirus protection for 1 device (Windows, OSX, Android or iOS), plus:||Antivirus protection for up to 3 devices (Windows, OSX, Android or iOS), plus:||Antivirus protection for up to 5 devices (Windows, OSX, Android or iOS), plus:|
|Ransomware, spyware, malware, adware and phishing protection||Everything on the Essential Antivirus package||Everything on the Pro Antivirus package|
|Disk cleaner||Web shield extension||Antivirus ebook|
|Performance and optimisation tools|
|Browser cleaner and manager|
While ScanGuard is relatively new on the market and hasn’t yet been independently tested, you shouldn’t let this put you off.
The developers’ pedigree means ScanGuard is built on a rock solid foundation. But, more to the point, its quality speaks for itself. The scanning experience is smooth as silk, the array of features is impressive and customer support is always a click away. Add in the substantial discount on your first year’s subscription and ScanGuard is a surefire winner.