Available for both Windows and Mac free of charge, and offering commercial level protection in an easy-to-use package, Sophos Home almost sounds too good to be true. Thankfully, it's not just hype. Independent tests show that the protection on offer here is high, against known and unknown threats.
Sophos Home has three main components. The virus protection does what you would expect it to do, offering real-time and on-demand scanning. The lengthily-name Potentially Unwanted App Detection works away in the background looking out for malware and other unwanted software. There's also a web filter which will not only block access to sites that are known to be dangerous, but can be tailored to block access to different types of sites as a precautionary measure – great if you have children and want to keep them safer online.
As well as enabling you to run scan whenever you want, and offering real-time protection, Sophos Home also includes an interesting cloud-based option.
The program is free and can be installed on up to 10 computers via a single account. Once you're signed in, you can use the online Home Dashboard to monitor your computers for alerts, and even instigate scans remotely. This might not be something everyone will use, but it's a nice touch nonetheless.
Something that puts people off installing security software is the fear that it will be complicated and packed with far too many options. This is certainly not the case with Sophos Home. This is the perfect example of set-it-and-forget-it software; once it's installed, you may well not have to do anything with it ever again.
You can start manual scans to supplement on-going protection, and you can create exceptions for the virus, website and application scanners, but this has to be done online.
Until a security concern arises, you may well not even be aware of Sophos Home's presence – and that's precisely how things should be with security software that's to have mass appeal.
The latest version of Sophos Home features a more responsive interface for mobile devices, a password strength evaluation tool, the ability to delete your account, and several other minor updates and bug fixes. For full details, see the software's official release notes (available as a PDF).