Sophos Home Premium review: Go remote and save money

8 min read

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Sophos Home Premium review: Go remote and save money

Sophos is a well-known enterprise security company that began serving home users a little over two years ago. Leaning into the company’s strengths, Sophos introduced an “enterprise lite” service for home users. Instead of the usual desktop suite with all the nobs and buttons at the user’s fingertips, most of the controls for Sophos are in the cloud.

Note: This review is part of our best antivirus roundup. Go there for details about competing products and how we tested them.

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Access all your PCs from the cloud with Sophos Home Premium.

Sophos isn’t the only company doing this, but cloud-based antivirus controls aren’t common either. Most antivirus suites use a cloud-based approach for parental controls since this entails managing multiple devices. Occasionally we might see the ability to start a scan in the browser. Generally, however, the bulk of the controls are on the desktop.

It takes a bit of getting used to, but Sophos Home Premium has a lot to offer the designated family IT support person.

The software

There isn’t much to Sophos Home Premium on PC. The main dashboard (pictured at the top of the article) shows whether all the various protection modules are enabled. There’s also a large green checkmark at the top and the message “You are protected!” if all is well.

On the left rail, there are a number of menu options, but only the Scan button at the bottom carries out any kind of action on the desktop. The other options—including My Activity, Settings, and Add Device—all launch the web interface.

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The Sophos Home Premium device dashboard.

This is where the meat of the Sophos controls reside. The dashboard for each device starts under Status, which shows the latest activity for the device such as when a scan started or finished. It also offers configuration controls for antivirus, web, ransomware, privacy protection, and malicious traffic detection.

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An example of Sophos Home Premium’s configuration options.

Configuration mostly comes down to on/off sliders for each service such as real-time protection, exploit mitigation, and Sophos’ machine learning capabilities. When there are more advanced settings they are also binary choices between on and off. Exploit Mitigation, for example, has options for protecting browsers, Java applications, preventing privilege escalation, and so on.

There are also more expansive controls to schedule scans, set file or folder exceptions, and prevent Sophos Home from blocking a website you want to visit. It’s also possible to block or warn about whole categories of sites, but nothing granular such as blocking a child’s device from accessing a specific site.

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