what is Emsisoft Anti Malware

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Published date: 19 December 2022
8 January 2023 on 8:47 am

It’s not difficult to determine the country of origin of the majority of antivirus programs. By origin, at least, Webroot is entirely American. Bitdefender is a Romanian company. Despite being a multinational company, Kaspersky was founded in Russia. Emsisoft, in contrast, is a global citizen. Emsisoft Anti-development Malware’s and support team is dispersed across the globe, from the US to Canada’s wilderness to New Zealand and beyond.
Regardless of where it is from, Emsisoft performed well in our testing for ransomware and malware protection, although it struggled protecting against malicious and fraudulent websites. It is now much simpler to set up the management console, which provides extensive remote management. Although Emsisoft falls short of the criteria of our Editors’ Choice antivirus software, it is still a good option for the right consumer.

What is the price of Emsisoft Anti-Malware?
The average annual cost of standalone antivirus protection is less than $40. In that pricing range are more than 25% of the products I keep track of, including Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus, Malwarebytes, and Bitdefender. Emsisoft now only costs $29.99 instead of the same price it did in previous years. Three Emsisoft licenses cost $49.99 per year, while five licenses cost $69.99.
Norton AntiVirus Plus is quite a little more expensive at $59.99 a year for a single license, but it also comes with extra features like spam filtering, password management, online backup, and more. With the same $59.99 yearly membership, McAfee appears pricey, but with just one subscription, you can install it on every Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS device in your home.

How to Start Using Emsisoft
You start your Emsisoft adventure by creating an online profile, just like with many contemporary security solutions. You can enter your license code or begin a 30-day free trial from the profile. The most recent version of the software is downloaded when you run the Emsisoft installer.
You have an intriguing choice for security management during installation. You can choose between completely local, completely remote, or a hybrid of the two. A relative who struggles with leaving things alone can benefit from all-remote management, which is generally used in corporate settings. The most secure option is all local, of course, as there is no possibility of a cyber-ninja hacking into your control interface. The default, which enables both local and remote setting, will be used by the majority of users.
The installer directs you to set up an online workspace in the event that you do include remote configuration. For security purposes, workspace names must be distinct across the entire system. If the name you entered is already in use, the system will alert you. I gave my office the name Braavos out of affection for Game of Thrones. I discovered that the workspace names “B,” “Br,” and “Bra” are already in use while filling in the name.
You’ll see that the Protection panel temporarily shows a No Protection warning once the main window has loaded. Just wait a few seconds for it to complete setting up, updating, and installing all of its components.
The main window’s light background is dominated by four large panels: Protection, Scan & Clean, Logs, and Settings. The Overview icon, which returns you to the home screen, is the one you’ll use the most from the left-rail menu, which successfully replicates the impact of clicking the panels. Emsisoft has a pleasing aesthetic made up of greens, blues, and whites as opposed to some of its rivals’ more ominous slate-gray color schemes.

Search Options
You can choose to run a quick scan, a virus scan, or a custom scan by clicking links directly in the Scan & Clean panel without ever leaving the Overview page. When the panel is clicked, a website with detailed details of each scan appears. Only active apps are scanned during the fast scan to hunt for malware traces. The malware scan searches “all locations where malware commonly infects.”
What about the common whole machine scan that you find in the majority of other antivirus utilities? You select a custom scan to acquire that. It searches the entire C: disk by default, which is likely what you want. The custom scan page has a number of parameters that can be customized to control how the scan works, but they are already set up to provide the optimum security. Don’t alter them unless you are certain of your actions.
It took 69 minutes to complete a full custom scan on a typical clean test system, which is only little longer than the industry benchmark of 64 minutes. In 24 minutes, a second full scan was completed. It is possible that the original scan conducted some optimization procedures, perhaps noting known safe applications so they wouldn’t need to be examined again. This improvement on the subsequent scan supports that. Other items go even further with optimization. For instance, Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition’s second scan took just one minute as opposed to the initial scan’s 58 minutes. Fair enough, Emsisoft stresses both the rapid scan, which was completed in under a minute, and the malware scan, which took four minutes.
I do advise doing a complete scan right after after installing a new antivirus program to get rid of any viruses that might have settled in while you were without protection. Emsisoft does arrange a thorough scan for every week, but it isn’t active until you access the schedule and turn on the anticipated scan. Other scans can also be planned at daily, weekly, or monthly intervals.
There is one more scan you ought to think about. On the scan screen, you have the option to make your own self-contained Emsisoft Emergency Kit by selecting Emergency Kit Maker. This standalone program can be saved on a portable device and used to scan other machines, possibly ones that are so heavily compromised by malware that you are unable to install the full antivirus. Despite not being a bootable rescue system like those provided by Kaspersky or Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, this can still be a helpful tool.

No Assistance from the Labs
Independent antivirus testing labs all over the world evaluate security solutions with the aim of reporting on how well they carry out their fundamental duties. I keep track of four such labs, and any product that appears in the findings from all four of them makes me happy. Kaspersky, McAfee, and Norton are a few of these. Emsisoft, regrettably, is on the opposite extreme of the spectrum. It formerly had a foothold in the world of lab results, turning up in a single report. However, it doesn’t appear in any of the four most recent findings.
I utilize an algorithm that converts lab results to a 10-point scale and generates an overall score for those goods that have been evaluated by at least two labs. With scores from all four laboratories totaling 9.9, Kaspersky Anti-Virus is unquestionably the favorite among them. AVG and Bitdefender are extremely close behind with 9.8 points each, although in both cases, only three labs contributed to the final score.

Various Malware Protection Ratings
My own hands-on malware protection testing becomes very critical when I receive no assistance from the laboratories. I just open a folder containing a collection of malware that I myself acquired, curated, and analyzed to begin the basic protection test. Many solutions can perform an on-access scan using just the minimal access that takes place when Windows Explorer examines the file’s name, size, and creation date for display. Others experience the trigger when they copy samples to a different location.
Emsisoft waits till a process starts before scanning it for malware, just like Cylance, McAfee AntiVirus Plus, and a few other programs. That implies I’ll have to launch each and every sample, which will add to my workload. Thankfully, Emsisoft discovered all but a few of the samples right away at launch. Each such finding was followed by a Windows error message informing the user that the file was infected with a virus and a slide-in notification from the antivirus. A few things launched successfully, but they were later caught.
Emsisoft recognized every single sample, same like Malwarebytes and McAfee. Malwarebytes successfully prevented every piece of malware from installing anything substantial, earning the maximum 10 points. Emsisoft occasionally stopped malware installation in the middle of it and left some executable files on the test system, which reduced its total rating to 9.7. That’s still superior to the majority of recently evaluated items.
I can’t update the collection frequently because it takes a lot of time to gather and analyze a fresh batch of malware. I utilize a feed of recent malware-hosting URLs graciously provided by MRG-Effitas, a London-based security testing company, to examine how each antivirus handles current malware.
Even when they are only a few days old, I frequently discover many that have already expired as I launch each URL on the list. For those that are still alive, I record whether the antivirus prevents users from accessing the URL, deletes the malware payload, or does nothing at all. I run the numbers once I have a sufficient amount of data points.
In this area, Emsisoft claims two unique protections. The browser-independent Web Protection blocks all access from any browser or other software and slides in a message so you’ll know what happened. It does this by checking URLs against a local blacklist that is updated every 15 minutes. The Browser Security plugin (for Chrome, Edge, and other Chromium-based browsers) verifies unfamiliar URLs online using Emsisoft and redirects risky access attempts to a helpful website.
According to blog articles by Emsisoft, Browser Security never uploads the URLs you visit for cloud-based verification. Instead, a hash of the domain is sent, which can then be compared against hashes of known problematic domains. There is no chance that Emsisoft or any of its employees will compile a record of your web usage.
As I navigated the URLs, it took me a while before Emsisoft handled a virus download because the majority of its detections took place earlier in the procedure. When it successfully stopped a malware download, it alerted users to the situation using the now-familiar slide-in notification, and the browser showed a message stating that the download was stopped due to a virus detection.

77% of the malware-hosting URLs were banned by Emsisoft, while an additional 7% were removed during the download process. That represents a significant decrease from its previous review, when it blocked 33% at the URL level and an additional 60% during download for a total of 93%. Few contemporary goods have had a rating of less than 77%.
It is true that because they are constantly the newest, the list of URLs included varies every time. You might believe that Emsisoft was dealt a particularly difficult group by fate. But when I tested this software alongside Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition at the same time, Bitdefender completely blocked all of these URLs. McAfee also achieved a perfect score of 100% when tested against its own set of fresh risky URLs, while Bitdefender, G Data, and Sophos only got a 99%.
In my in-depth examination of malware prevention, I can only describe Emsisoft’s results as inconsistent. It placed in the top five in the test for fundamental malware protection. But in the test to prevent dangerous URLs, it came in last out of five.

Ineffective Phishing Defense
Phishing website operators don’t require any expertise in malware coding. They do not attempt to steal login information. Instead, they rely on careless internet users to just divulge their passwords. Phishing websites present a genuine login page while impersonating banking sites, commerce sites, and even dating sites. The fraudster will have access to your account after you input your login and password. These websites are swiftly taken down, but the thieves simply launch another.
I begin by compiling hundreds of reported fake URLs in order to test phishing protection, making sure to include both confirmed frauds and those that are too fresh to have been examined. I concurrently start each in a browser with the antivirus being tested, as well as Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge instances with simply the built-in antiphishing filters enabled. The totals only include certified phishing sites that function properly in all four browsers.
Emsisoft again employs two levels of security here. All access to phishing websites that are on its blacklist is blocked by the browser-independent Web Protection component. Additionally, the browser add-on sends careless users to a warning page.
85% of the confirmed phishing frauds were caught by Emsisoft the last time I ran this test. That’s not good—nearly 50% of the existing products received higher ratings. Emsisoft’s score this time is a dismal 55%, which is a very low number.
I started formulating a theory after talking to my Emsisoft contact. Emsisoft does not attempt to inspect the content of HTTPS pages, despite the fact that the Browser Security plugin can block a known phishing site whether it is encrypted with HTTPS or not. My contact quoted a study that said that doing so would actually make things less secure. Since phishing pages are so transient, real-time content analysis is necessary for an effective defense. In addition, the proportion of HTTPS URLs in my collection of test URLs for phishing and malware hosting has been rising. About one in eight of the phishing URLs I collect are harmful, but more over half of them use HTTPS. This pattern might have led to Emsisoft’s poor rating.
In their most recent tests, F-Secure and McAfee both found 100% of the verified scams. With scores of 99% apiece, Bitdefender, Norton, and Webroot nearly reach the top. These tools indeed scan unfamiliar URLs for phishing indicators, and the findings imply that they also scan secure HTTPS pages.
If the HTTPS lock is missing, the website is definitely a phony, I always emphasize when I write about how you can learn to recognize phishing scams. To me, it makes total sense that scammers would go to great lengths to secure their websites in order to make them appear legitimate. I will keep advising users to stay away from any bogus websites, even these particularly complex ones.

Protection against Ransomware Based on Behavior
Malware programmers are always developing novel strategies for attack, concealment, and evading antivirus defense. It’s not ideal if they manage to bypass a Trojan or a botnet that your antivirus software misses, but it’s extremely probable that an update will fix the issue within a few days. However, if the zero-day attack uses ransomware, you’re in big trouble. Since the ransomware has already encrypted your files, uninstalling it won’t restore them. Because of this, several antivirus programs now offer an additional level of ransomware defense.
Ransomware defense from Emsisoft is integrated into its general-purpose Behavior Blocker. Fortunately, unlike Trend Micro, Avira Antivirus Pro, and a few other antivirus products, Emsisoft does not combine behavioral protection with the standard real-time protection of the File Guard component. It was simple for me to disable File Guard while keeping ransomware protection on. Real-time protection can be disabled to simulate a zero-day assault that circumvents standard real-time defenses.
The ransomware defense of this tool focuses on the pervasive issue of file-encrypting malware. After disconnecting my test virtual PC from the network, I started roughly a dozen actual ransomware samples that encrypt data. Emsisoft recognized all of them as suspicious or harmful based on behavior and blocked them all.
Less frequently encountered is the ransomware variant that encrypts your entire disk. In fact, the test machine was bricked by my single disk-encrypting ransomware sample despite Emsisoft’s efforts. Since it was a virtual machine, restoring to a previous snapshot allowed for complete functionality to be restored.
I rebooted the test system and set up a few of the encrypting ransomware samples to run at system startup as an additional test. Some ransomware detection systems take some time to start up, which allows ransomware assaults to happen before they are fully protected. Emsisoft is not. It clearly outran the dangers, eliminating them just as it had done when I had fired them personally. Additionally, Emsisoft found and stopped my incredibly basic, hand-coded ransomware emulator.
I use KnowBe4’s RanSim ransomware simulator, which mimics 10 typical ransomware behaviors along with two secure encryption behaviors, to provide another perspective on ransomware defense. Since its simulations are not actual ransomware, I don’t dislike products that fail the test, but passing is a positive thing. I had to save the installer and the simulation launcher module since Emsisoft wanted to quarantine them. The simulator was good after that.
All 10 of the simulated ransomware attacks were stopped by Emsisoft. Innocent encryption-related circumstances were also disallowed, but that’s not too severe. You could just release the file from quarantine if it actually prevented your encryption program from operating.

Overall, Emsisoft behavioral detection demonstrated excellent effectiveness against ransomware that encrypts files. A disk-encrypting sample wasn’t stopped, but keep in mind that the real-time File Guard component has already quarantined it along with all the others. In order to do this test, File Guard had to be disabled.

Management Dashboard Remote management
The Management Console from Emsisoft provides very thorough remote management. Although it is entirely accessible to residential users, this function is particularly helpful for those using Emsisoft protection throughout a business.
Do you still have in mind the workspace you set up during installation? You go there to start using remote management. You begin by logging into the My Emsisoft web page, the same one where you registered your license. Keep in mind that each time you log in, a security code will be emailed to the email address connected to your account. You have complete access to your workspace after you log in. The complex license-transfer stuff that I mentioned in my previous assessment of the Management Console when it was brand-new is not present.
A lot of antivirus programs provide some form of remote access. Both Webroot and Sophos Home Premium give you a lot of viewing and control options. You have complete control over the application’s settings using Emsisoft. If anything can be done locally, it can be done remotely. Everything you learnt about the local user interface transfers over because you can even access it remotely. start a scan? view the quarantined files? alter the settings? No issue!
This entire remote management may be a major selling feature for a home user. Now you may install antivirus for your elderly family members and handle their security issues without having to travel across town. You can even block annoying notifications, prevent local access to settings, and hide buttons for things like purchases and subscription renewals. This is great for the appropriate user.

For the Right User, Good
Although Emsisoft Anti-Malware has previously performed well in lab tests, none of the most recent test results list it. In our hands-on malware protection test, it received a very high score, and its behavior-based defense stopped all of our ransomware samples that were encrypting files. However, it didn’t fare well at all when pushed to guard against harmful or fake websites. If you’re in charge of the family’s security, the management console’s comprehensive control over distant installations is a terrific feature. But there are better options for basic antivirus defense.
Some products do stand out in the crowded antivirus protection market. According to test findings from independent labs, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus and Kaspersky Anti-Virus are at the top of the sector. Each device in your home is secured with McAfee AntiVirus Plus. Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus even has the ability to roll back ransomware activities thanks to its journal-and-rollback handling of unfamiliar files. These four have all been recognized as the best commercial antivirus products by Editors’ Choice. They are all more expensive than Emsisoft, but they are all worthwhile.

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