PCProtect has good malware detection rates, tons of helpful features, and affordable subscriptions. Its antivirus scanner scored a 99% malware detection in my testing, which is really good. It uses advanced heuristics and a massive, continuously updated database to detect malware files on Windows, macOS, and Android devices. It also has an iOS app, but it’s very bare-bones.
PCProtect also includes a lot of good additional features, including:
- Web shield.
- Virtual private network (VPN).
- Data breach monitor.
- Identity theft protection.
- System optimizer.
- Password manager.
- And much more…
I think PCProtect is a really good antivirus, but it’s essentially an inferior version of the popular antivirus TotalAV. I’m not kidding! The interface, the malware scan results, the extensions, the payment menus — they are almost exactly the same as TotalAV’s. This isn’t some weird scam, either — both TotalAV and PCProtect are owned by the same company.
That said, TotalAV’s Web Shield feature is updated more frequently (and is a lot more secure), its VPN is better for streaming, and its mobile apps provide more helpful security features. TotalAV also provides comprehensive identity theft protection for US users (PCProtect doesn’t). Since PCProtect and TotalAV are the same price, I recommend that most users pick TotalAV for their internet security needs.
However, if you want to try PCProtect, it’s good to know that all of its plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so there’s no risk trying it.
|🌐 VPN||Yes (with unlimited data)|
|🎁 Free Plan||Yes|
|💵 Pricing||US$19.00 / 年|
|💰 Money-Back Guarantee||30 days|
|💻 Operating Systems||Windows, Android, macOS, iOS|
PCProtect Full Review
PCProtect is a secure and intuitive antivirus with tons of useful additional features.
This TotalAV rebrand provides all of the same features as TotalAV, including an advanced antivirus engine with a 99% malware detection rating, but its web protections, VPN, and identity theft protections for US users are worse than TotalAV’s.
You can get PCProtect for only US$19.00 / 年, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee on all PCProtect subscriptions.
PCProtect Security Features
Like TotalAV, PCProtect uses Avira’s award-winning antivirus engine for real-time malware detection and on-demand antivirus scans. Avira is one of our top antiviruses for 2022, and its scanner uses advanced heuristics as well as a massive database of known malware to detect the latest malware threats.
PCProtect provides 4 basic scan types:
- System scan — Scans your entire disk.
- Quick scan — Scans running processes, temporary files, and browser files.
- Custom scan — Scans a particular file, folder, or drive.
- Smart scan — Performs a quick scan, then looks for system tune-up and web protection issues.
For my testing, I downloaded a malware database of almost 1,000 files, including viruses, trojans, adware, rootkits, spyware, and ransomware before running a full system scan. PCProtect was able to detect almost 99% of the malware on my computer, which is a really good result. The system scan only took about 90 minutes, which is a little slower than competitors like Bitdefender, but it’s still pretty good.
PCProtect also offers real-time malware detection — in my testing, PCProtect blocked every single malware file I tried to download onto my computer, including zipped files that some antiviruses fail to block.
PCProtect’s Web Shield is a tool for blocking phishing sites, exploit attacks, and other malicious websites. Web Shield works on all browsers from your Windows desktop (no need to install an extension), but Mac users have to install Web Shield as a browser extension (macOS’s built-in protections prevent desktop apps from filtering browser activity).
Unfortunately, I can’t really recommend PCProtect’s Web Shield. In my testing, it didn’t detect nearly as many unsafe sites as TotalAV. Even though TotalAV and PCProtect use the same technology to detect unsafe sites, PCProtect’s Web Shield hasn’t been updated since 2019 — in today’s ever-shifting threat landscape, this is simply unsafe. By comparison, TotalAV’s Web Shield receives updates to its anti-phishing database and anti-exploit protections every 3-6 months.
VPN (Virtual Private Network)
PCProtect’s VPN includes strong security features and is pretty good for general web browsing and torrenting.
It uses strong 256-bit AES encryption to protect your browsing traffic, plus it includes a kill switch that will cut your connection if your VPN drops out. It also has an excellent network of servers, providing connections to almost 40 countries, including the US, many European countries, and even Ghana. However, I’d like to see PCProtect provide connections to servers in Asia like Norton does.
PCProtect’s VPN is just as fast as TotalAV’s (which is our top VPN+antivirus package for 2022), but it’s not as fast as standalone VPNs like ExpressVPN. Because VPNs encrypt all of your web traffic and bounce it from your computer to another server, any VPN will cause a small amount of slowdown.
Here are some of my speed tests without any VPN connection, then connected to PCProtect’s VPN from a local US server, and then connected to a VPN server in Zurich.
As you can see, my speeds took a hit when connected to PCProtect’s VPN, with my ping increasin, and my upload/download speeds decreasing. While ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access both have much faster speeds, I wasn’t too bothered by PCProtect’s VPN slowdowns — I was still able to stream 4K videos, access content-heavy sites like Instagram, and download large torrent files without any issues while connected to PCProtect’s local and international VPN servers.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to access most streaming services with PCProtect’s VPN — Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ all blocked my access to their sites. By comparison, most standalone VPNs (and some antivirus-bundled VPNs like TotalAV) are able to access the majority of streaming services.
Overall, PCProtect’s VPN is a good tool for fast, secure, encrypted internet access. It protects user data with 256-bit AES encryption and a kill switch, has a global network of servers, and allows torrenting. I wish PCProtect could access streaming sites, but it’s still an excellent internet security tool for most users in 2022.
PCProtect’s Password Vault feature is a basic password manager with good security — it’s basically identical to TotalAV’s password manager.
Like all password managers, PCProtect stores passwords in a securely encrypted vault. It includes a password generator to create new, complex passwords, and it offers a browser extension that can auto-fill logins when you navigate to a site that’s stored in your password vault.
In my testing, Password Vault was easy to use — I was able to import previous passwords to my vault using a .csv file, and when I navigated to a website with one of my saved passwords, I could easily click the Password Vault icon in the login field to auto-fill my logins with just one click.
However, I wish PCProtect’s password manager had a few more features. Competitors like 1Password offer password auditing tools that flag unsafe passwords, 2FA options to enhance vault security, password sharing, and live dark web monitoring tools that track every login saved to your vault.
I think PCProtect could include a few more security tools, but it’s a good, minimalistic password manager for most users in 2022.
Identity Theft Protection
PCProtect offers its identity theft protections for an additional cost — but they’re not worth the money. TotalAV’s identity theft protections are much better (for US users).
PCProtect provides dark web monitoring for PII (personally identifying information), so it can track if any of your PII shows up in a data breach or dark web forum. However, competing antiviruses like McAfee bundle dark web monitoring with their plans at no extra charge.
I was hoping to see more advanced identity theft protections from PCProtect — for example, TotalAV offers US users advanced credit monitoring and up to $1M in identity theft insurance. But instead, I was given a menu with dozens of personal questions about my life, online accounts, and internet usage. This allowed PCProtect to give me a “Risk Management Score”, which told me how safe I was online. Not very helpful.
For US users, TotalAV’s identity theft protections (powered by AURA) can notify you if any of your PII (including debit cards, bank accounts, social security number, and more) is used in a financial transaction, loan application, court proceeding, and more.
I really like a lot of PCProtect’s features, but I don’t think its dark web monitoring feature and PII questionnaire are worth the additional cost. However, the rest of the program’s extra features are pretty useful.
System Tune-Up Tools
PCProtect provides a full suite of helpful system tune-up tools to help speed up your system, including:
- Junk cleaner.
- Duplicate finder.
- Disk usage analyzer.
- Browser cleaner.
- Startup optimizer.
Unlike its Web Shield and VPN, PCProtect’s system tune-up tools work just as well as TotalAV’s.
In my testing, PCProtect was able to detect over 2 GB of junk files on my Windows PC, which is really impressive (some competitors like Trend Micro can’t detect junk files as effectively). I also found the Disk Usage tool helpful — it generates a pie chart showing which processes are taking up the most space on your system, which can be really helpful if you’re experiencing system slowdown but aren’t sure why.
PCProtect’s other optimization features are also pretty useful, but I’d like to see it offer a few more features. For example, Norton has a Game Booster that can actually allocate system resources to make your CPU run more efficiently (which is great for gamers or anyone that uses CPU-intensive programs). I’d also like to see PCProtect include a Graphs feature like Norton provides — with Norton, you can see every activity performed by your antivirus software, look at performance metrics, and put together a full picture of your system’s performance issues.
However, I really like PCProtect’s system tune-up offering. All of its tools are helpful for getting a slow computer to run more smoothly, they’re conveniently laid out and easy to use, and they actually helped me speed up my PC during my testing.
PCProtect offers a few more additional features — but most of them are only available for an additional cost, and I don’t think they’re that good. Here are PCProtect’s additional features:
- Ad blocker.
- Data breach checker.
- Antivirus eBook.
PCProtect’s ad blocker feature is great for blocking advertisements, but so is uBblock Origin, which is a free browser extension available for all browsers (top VPNs like Private Internet Access also offer built-in ad blockers).
Meanwhile, PCProtect’s data breach checker is helpful — it scans a database of data breaches to inform you if any of your information has been leaked. But it’s pretty much the same service as haveibeenpwned.com, which is completely free.
And finally, I don’t really know why PCProtect is trying to make money selling an eBook about cybersecurity. There are thousands of pages of excellent writing, forums, and YouTube videos online about cybersecurity, so it seems pretty silly to try and charge readers for an eBook on the subject.
However, while I wasn’t impressed by PCProtect’s additional features, it still provides a ton of good internet security tools for a good price in 2022.
PCProtect Plans and Pricing
PCProtect only offers 1 limited free plan and 1 paid plan — PC Security (US$19.00 / 年), which offers most of the features listed above on 2 devices. This is a really fair price for an antivirus with web protections, a secure VPN, dark web monitoring tools, and system tune-up features.
PCProtect is decently priced — but I wish it was cheaper than TotalAV, since it’s basically just a slightly inferior version of the same program. TotalAV and PCProtect both offer basic free plans, but they don’t include real-time malware protection (Avira is a decent free antivirus plan with real-time malware detection).
Another thing that PCProtect has in common with TotalAV is that they both provide really irritating payment processing menus —before you can pay for your PCProtect subscription, you’ll have to navigate through at least 3 windows trying to upsell you on features and upgrades that you may or may not want (and which may already be included in your plan).
If you click on all of these upgrades, your PCProtect plan can easily skyrocket in price. And even after you’ve bought your plan, PCProtect tries to upsell you by linking you to its online marketplace, where you can buy things like an eBook, priority customer support, and antivirus protection on unlimited devices.
Overall, I think PCProtect is a pretty affordable program, but its purchasing protocols and online marketplace are intentionally confusing, offering tons of add-ons that can really drive up the cost of your plans. I also think PCProtect should be offered for a lower price than TotalAV. If you want to get an affordable antivirus with lots of good features, just ignore all of PCProtect’s upselling and buy its premium plan.
PCProtect Ease of Use and Setup
Like TotalAV, PCProtect is a user-friendly program with an intuitive desktop app, easy-to-use browser extensions, and lots of customization options.
After buying my PCProtect plan, I was able to download and install the program on my PC and Mac in just a few minutes. PCProtect’s home screen advised me to run a smart scan, which scanned my computer for malware files and junk files.
PCProtect is laid out very simply, with a sidebar on the left side of the screen offering 6 different categories:
- Malware protection.
- Internet security.
- System tune-up.
- Password vault.
- Family sharing accounts.
The first 3 options are all accompanied by drop-down menus that contain tools like the malware scanner, VPN, identity theft protections, junk file remover, and more. I liked how easy PCProtect made it to access its features — some competitors (including Norton) have so many features that their interfaces can be a little confusing.
Navigating to the Settings menu allowed me to change dozens of security settings. I could change the interface’s language, schedule antivirus scans, whitelist safe files, adjust my real-time scanner’s intensity, and more.
I really enjoyed using PCProtect’s desktop app. It contains all of PCProtect’s features, it’s easy to use, and it gives users a good amount of customization options in an attractive interface.
PCProtect Mobile App
PCProtect provides a decent internet security app for Android and a bare-bones iOS app that basically just offers VPN protection. I was pretty surprised by PCProtect’s minimalistic mobile apps, because TotalAV offers a lot more protections for both Android and iOS devices.
Android users get protections like anti-malware scanning, real-time protection, system cleanup, and a VPN. I tested PCProtect’s Android protections against almost 100 Android malware samples (including ransomware, spyware, and rootkits) and I was really impressed by its 99% malware detection rating. Even top competitors like Bitdefender and Norton provide similar protections against Android malware.
And I wish PCProtect offered more antivirus features for both Android and iOS. TotalAV’s Android app includes an anti-phishing tool, secure browser, and app locker, and its iOS app offers device tracking, data breach monitoring, and anti-phishing protections. You can find our list of the best Android antiviruses here, or click here to view our top recommendations for iOS.
However, PCProtect provides good anti-malware protection for Android users, and its mobile app is really easy to use.
PCProtect Customer Support
PCProtect’s customer support options include a large online knowledge base, phone support, and email support. Just like TotalAV, PCProtect’s email support isn’t very good, but its phone support team makes up for it by being extremely prompt and knowledgeable.
The phone support is English-only, and it’s offered from 6am-11pm EST — my experience with PCProtect’s phone support team was really positive. I was put in touch with a representative within minutes, the support staff was very knowledgeable, and they were easily able to answer security questions and manage my billing issues.
If you have inquiries for PCProtect, I strongly recommend you use the phone support option, as my experience with its email support team was pretty disappointing. PCProtect responded within 12 hours to my support query, which is really fast (even top competitors like Avira can take as long as 24 hours to respond to email support queries). However, in response to my question about PCProtect, I received a link to purchase a plan from TotalAV.
Obviously, since I wasn’t using TotalAV or asking questions about it, this oversight was pretty frustrating. Once I pointed out the mistake, PCProtect’s support team replied 24 hours later with an answer to my question — so I strongly recommend avoiding PCProtect’s email support team, especially when its phone support is so helpful and prompt.
Is PCProtect a Good Internet Security Program for 2022?
PCProtect is a good antivirus program with a few good additional features — it’s a decent choice for 2022, but TotalAV is better.
PCProtect provides a good antivirus engine, which detected 99% of the malware in my rigorous stress-testing. It also has a pretty fast VPN, a helpful dark web monitoring tool, and lots of system tune-up options.
But its anti-phishing and web protections aren’t updated very often, its VPN wasn’t able to unblock streaming sites like Netflix in my testing, and its password manager is basic, and its iOS app is just a minimalistic VPN.
TotalAV is developed by the same team as PCProtect, its web protections are updated more frequently, its VPN is able to unblock streaming sites, and its mobile apps are much better. It’s also just about the same price as PCProtect (they’re both really affordable), so it’s hard not to recommend TotalAV over PCProtect.
However, PCProtect is still a decent option for users looking for a secure, easy-to-use antivirus program in 2022.
Frequently Asked Questions About PCProtect Antivirus
Is PCProtect the same as TotalAV?
PCProtect is developed by Protected.net Group Ltd, the same team behind TotalAV. The programs are virtually identical, although PCProtect’s Web Shield feature and VPN are not updated as often as TotalAV’s.
I’m not entirely sure why Protect.net Group Ltd sells the same antivirus software with different names, but all of its antivirus software is built on top of Avira’s award-winning anti-malware engine. In our testing, both TotalAV and Avira regularly rank among the top 10 antiviruses in 2022 for malware detection rates.
Is PCProtect secure?
PCProtect’s anti-malware scanner is extremely secure. In my testing, its on-demand disk scanner and real-time malware protection both scored a 99% detection rating. This is very good, comparable to some of the top antiviruses on the market, like Norton and Bitdefender.
How do I cancel PCProtect and get a refund?
Canceling PCProtect is really easy — I recommend using the phone support line for this process, as I was able to cancel my account and get refunded in about 5 minutes with this method. Refunds are guaranteed for users within the first 30 days after purchasing or renewing your PCProtect subscription.
PCProtect’s phone support line operates from 6am-11pm EST, 7 days a week. Once you’ve convinced their support person that you are really certain that you want to get rid of PCProtect, they will send you a link to unsubscribe. Once you click that link, simply click the appropriate dialogue boxes and you will be refunded in a few days (I received my refund within 24 hours.
Is PCProtect free?
PCProtect offers a free plan, but it doesn’t include real-time malware detection, which is an essential security feature for antivirus software in 2022. I don’t usually recommend free antivirus software, but Avira’s free antivirus program is pretty decent — it includes real-time malware protection, web protections, a good password manager, and more.
However, PCProtect does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on all of its paid plans, so you can try those risk-free and decide if they’re right for you.