PC Matic Home – Review 2021

by tobiniumu
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Would you buy an antivirus utility that’s absolutely guaranteed to block execution of every single piece of malware, be it a virus, Trojan, ransomware, spyware, or any other nefarious ilk? Would you still buy it after learning that it blocks every good program as well? Sounds crazy, but there’s a path to sanity. The app would simply need a comprehensive whitelist of known good programs that it should leave alone. That’s what PC Matic Home aims to do. Any program it doesn’t recognize gets put on ice, until the analysis system at the company’s HQ determines if it’s good or bad. That analysis is meant to happen within 24 hours, but in testing, after three days most unknowns remained unknown. And those who choose PC Matic’s protection must prepare for the possibility it will block valid programs.

How Much Does PC Matic Home Cost?

A $50-per-year PC Matic Home subscription gets you five licenses; you can also pay $150 to keep those five licenses for a lifetime. About a third of the premium antivirus products I track cost roughly $40 per year for a single license. That group includes Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, Trend Micro, and Webroot.

There’s another common price point that’s $20 higher, but what you get with your $60 subscription varies wildly. A Norton subscription for that same amount protects just one computer, while Kaspersky protects three for the same price. Sophos goes all out, with 10 remotely manageable licenses. And with McAfee AntiVirus Plus you get unlimited licenses. You can install McAfee protection on every single Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows device you own.

PC Matic’s main window is busier than many, divided into three main horizontal bands. At the bottom you see a collection of maintenance statistics, such things as viruses removed, vulnerabilities patched, and drivers updated. Above that, you see three colorful dials representing CPU usage, available RAM, and disk activity, along with buttons to review activity history and performance trends. The next panel up offers details about the current device along with a toolbar to select a view from Dashboard, SuperShield, Scheduler, Reports, and Options.

Website and Promotion

PC Matic is one of the few antivirus companies that regularly advertises on television. Fortunately, the ads have grown more sophisticated over time. For example, they no longer claim that computer viruses are written by “Boris RipYouOff.”

Both the ads and the company’s website celebrate the fact that the company is entirely based in the US. The website also states that PC Matic is “The only antivirus company that conducts our research 100% in the United States.” I’m not sure if that’s a plus, given that there are smart people all over the world. But some consumers will appreciate the “made in the USA” sentiment.

The site also promotes whitelisting as the best solution to blocking malware, suggesting that other antivirus products work by attempting to blacklist every malicious program. It also uses words like “patented” and “exclusive” to suggest that PC Matic is the only whitelist-based protection system. As I’ll discuss later, it’s not.

In any case, competing products don’t rely solely on simple blacklisting. They use heuristic scans, behavioral analysis, reputation scoring, and other advanced techniques. Blacklisting alone would be like barring only known criminals from entry to a building. Antivirus products do bar known troublemakers, but they focus more on detecting criminal behavior. That guy lurking in the bushes? The one with a ski mask on, and hands in his pockets? I’ve never seen him before, but don’t let him in unless you can verify he’s legit.

Whitelisting has undeniable value, but it also tends to block access for perfectly legitimate programs (or people). When your long-lost cousin suddenly appears on your doorstep, will you turn her away because she’s not on the list?

Consulting with my PC Matic contact, I got a little surprise. Despite all the emphasis on whitelisting, PC Matic does not simply block every unknown. A known, safe program like Chrome still comes under scrutiny when, say, it invokes a script processing tool. And according to the program’s own messaging, SuperShield has multiple layers of protection, including (but not limited to) whitelisting.

PC Matic Home SuperShield Notification

One more thing. You have the option to change the way PC Matic handles unknown files. Specifically, you can have it notify you when it detects an unknown, and ask what to do, rather than always suppressing unknowns. This proved important for my testing, as it was the only way I could get PC Matic to let my unique-to-me testing programs to run.

Little Help From the Labs

I look to four independent antivirus testing labs around the world for reports on their extensive testing of security products. If all four labs include a product in their testing, and all four give it top scores, you can be sure the product is worthwhile. Kaspersky Anti-Virus stand out in exactly that way, currently holding perfect scores from all four labs.

PC Matic Home Lab Results Chart

As for PC Matic, it only shows up in current reports from AV-Test Institute, and its scores are nothing to celebrate. This lab rates antivirus products on three criteria, Protection, Performance, and Usability, assigning up to six points for each. That last category refers to avoiding false positives, which are instances of identifying valid programs and websites as malicious. Given PC Matic’s default-deny mode, I expected it would get a perfect score for Protection and fall way behind in Usability.

In fact, PC Matic scored just four points for Protection, down from five in the previous test report. That’s the lowest protection score of all the products tested. Two thirds of the products tested reached a perfect six points for protection. My PC Matic contact explained that the product doesn’t entirely fit this testing regimen. When it detects an unknown and prevents it from launching, the malware is completely neutralized. But because it didn’t identify the sample as malicious, PC Matic doesn’t get credit for detection.

As for usability, PC Matic did indeed stumble, with lots of false positives. Its score, 3.5 of six possible points, is the lowest among tested products. The product’s total score, 13.5 of 18 possible points, is also the lowest.

I’ve devised an algorithm for aggregating multiple lab scores, mapping them onto a scale from 0 to 10. However, this algorithm requires at least two results to generate a score. As noted, Kaspersky took perfect scores across the board, for an aggregate score of 10 points. Also tested by four labs, Avast Free Antivirus, Norton, and Avira earned scores of 9.7, 9.6, and 9.5, respectively.

Blocking Malware (and Everything Else)

When I tried launching my collection of malware samples, PC Matic blocked almost all from running. I was surprised that it didn’t block them all. One Trojan, recognized as malware by more than 40 of the antivirus engines on the VirusTotal website, sailed right past PC Matic. Another launched without interference and ran in the background until PC Matic claimed to have blocked it. I say claimed because it didn’t; the blocking message came up again and again.

PC Matic Home Execution Blocked

Of the rest, PC Matic deleted 23%, identifying them as known malware. It simply prevented the rest from running, on the basis that it couldn’t identify them as good or bad. According to the PC Pitstop website, when PC Matic encounters an unknown program, it submits that program for analysis. Results should be available within 24 hours.

Naturally, I tried this test again after 24 hours, launching those samples that had been detected as merely unknown. PC Matic deleted just over a fifth of those, meaning nearly four-fifths remained unknown. Alarmingly, one sample went from unknown status to good.

My contact at the company noted that while most unknowns are resolved within 24 hours, or even much less time, it can sometimes take longer. After a weekend, I went through the surviving unknowns yet again. Of that group, more than 60% remained unknown more than three days after their initial discovery. Based on my experience, PC Matic does not actually classify each unknown within 24 hours, or even within three days.

If I scored PC Matic’s behavior as if every blocked program represented a true detection of malware, it would have 99% detection and an overall score of 9.8 points. But it didn’t—it flagged most of them as simply unknown. Hence the asterisks by its scores in the chart below.

This is the first review to be scored using my newest collection of malware samples. To make sure I have data for direct comparisons, after curating a new set of samples I run my usual hands-on tests on all Editors’ Choice product in the antivirus and free antivirus realms. With 99% detection and a score of 9.8, PC Matic matches Webroot’s scores. McAfee edged just a bit higher, with 100% detection and 9.9 points. But again, this isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison given PC Matic’s default-deny system.

PC Matic HomeMalware Blocking Chart

PC Matic does install an ad blocker in your browsers, but there’s no component to detect and avert malware-hosting URLs or phishing URLs. My malicious URL blocking test gives products equal credit for diverting the browser away from malware-hosting URLs and for wiping out the malware payload during or immediately after download. In past reviews I’ve been able to complete this test by configuring SuperShield to scan files on access, giving it a chance at the downloads. This time around, I couldn’t find that option anywhere. Don’t count on PC Matic to take its protection upstream, preventing malware downloads.

See How We Test Security SoftwareSee How We Test Security Software

Full Scan Confusion

With many antivirus products, you get a page of scan choices, typically Quick, Full, and Custom. PC Matic just has the Scan button on the main page, and by default, clicking that button performs a quick scan. I had to dig into the Options to change the default to Full.

PC Matic Home Scan Results

A full scan with PC Matic took 85 minutes, more than the current average of 68 minutes. It found exactly one threat, a low-risk item from my parallel collection of hand-modified malware samples. That means it left behind dozens of other hand-modified samples, including a dozen examples of ransomware. And this almost makes perfect sense. The full scan strictly and only removes known malware. It does not get involved with unknowns the way SuperShield does. The one oddity is that hand-modified never-seen-elsewhere file that it identified as bad—I can’t explain that one.

Note, though, that malware detection is just one part of this scan. It also checks for unpatched security holes in apps and dangerous browser add-ons. In the performance realm, it flags and removes junk files and defective Registry entries, and also checks memory and startup items. Other tasks report on your system specs and installed apps, and check for problems with drivers, services, and scheduled tasks.

PC Matic Home Registry Fixes

PC Matic didn’t find a lot to do on my minimally provisioned virtual machine testbed. Its summary of changes and advice contained just a few items. As noted, it removed one malware sample. It advised enabling System Restore and disabling Firefox password security, without any indication of how to go about these changes. And found a CPU load of 36%, advising me to somehow get it below 25%.

Don’t get me wrong. The many tests and reports that make up a full scan by PC Matic are quite useful. But I didn’t get a lot from the advice items.

Other Avenues

Despite what the ads may say, PC Matic doesn’t have the lock on whitelisting technology. Quite a few antivirus utilities maintain their own huge whitelists of programs that are known and safe, but most use it in conjunction with other technologies. For example, Norton AntiVirus Plus quarantines any programs known to be malicious and leave programs on its whitelist alone. When a program falls in neither category—a true unknown—Norton ramps up its behavior monitoring on that program. At the first hint of malicious activity, the antivirus steps in, halts the program, and puts it in quarantine.

VoodooSoft VoodooShield handles whitelisting a bit differently. It assumes you have a clean PC to start, and it whitelists your existing programs. When a never-seen program appears, it asks you what to do. If you were actively installing something new, you just let it continue. But if the message is unexpected, you block the activity. VoodooShield’s ability to actively identify malware is growing, but for now it’s meant as a supplement to your existing antivirus.

The Kure effectively whitelists your entire PC’s current status. On every reboot, it returns to that clean starting point. Any malware that weasels onto the system gets eliminated as soon as you reboot. It’s a rather extreme solution, and not one that I’d choose for myself. However, it can be perfect for situations like a public computer; just reboot between users.

Does What It Says, Mostly

PC Matic promises that it won’t let any program run if it’s not on the whitelist, and it mostly delivers on that promise, though it missed a couple of samples in testing. It doesn’t promise to identify bad programs, only programs that it can’t swear are good. As a result, you’re almost certain to find that it suppresses some legitimate programs. Its lab tests bear out this tendency toward false positives, and one recent test also found it less effective at malware protection.

If you’re not bothered by the idea of dealing with false positives, you could give PC Matic a try. It costs less than most competitors, and besides its unusual style of antivirus protection, it keeps your PC tuned up. But most users will be better off with mainstream antivirus tools that use blacklisting, whitelisting, website reputation, behavior-based analysis, and all other available tools to eradicate malware without interfering with valid programs.

Of the many, many antivirus utilities available, we’ve identified four as Editors’ Choice winners. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus and Kaspersky Anti-Virus consistently earn great scores from the independent labs. McAfee AntiVirus Plus doesn’t score as consistently high, but one subscription protects all your devices. And Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, with its focus on detecting malware by its behavior, is the smallest and lightest antivirus you’ll find.



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仮想通貨おすすめ/穴場取引所BEST2

仮想通貨のおすすめ・穴場取引所をご紹介。当方のリンクを用いれば、ライフタイム割引が適用されます。
また、マイニングの裏技についても紹介していますので、ぜひご参考にしてください。

おすすめ:Binance

客観指標ランキングでも、取引量世界最高にして最高の信頼を誇るBinance。その流通量から取引手数料も格安。基本的にスナップショットやオプトイン(通貨が分裂などをする際に、配布すること)が確実に行われる取引所である。1日2BTC以上の出金を行わない限りは本人確認不要であり、ある程度の匿名性も担保されているという点で、仮想通貨の機能として本来的である。

送金も日本の多くの取引所と違い、営業日ベース(日本の取引所が入出金を手動承認する)ではなく、トランザクションベース(実行したらすぐに仮想通貨ネットワークにつながる)ため、迅速な対応が可能。

また、スマホでの操作性が高く、PC取引よりもスマホの方があらゆる取引で楽であり、高度な処理が迅速に行える。

通常紹介だと手数料割引はありませんが、当サイトの下記リンクから入ると永久に10%オフになります。ぜひご検討ください。

割引適用リンク:Binance

穴場:Bitrue

 

客観指標ランキングでは60位台だが、こちらは次世代の仮想通貨が早期採用・取引されている点などが特徴的。

最近ではネムの系統を継ぐシンボル(XYM)や、次世代リップルと言われているXDCなどが初期から取引されている。

通貨ボリュームは大手と比べると低いが、大手の上場により上記通貨などは化ける可能性があり、次世代を担いうる存在となっている。

スマホの操作性も(Binanceの亜流ながら)抜群であり、こちらも日本ユーザーに親しまれるインターフェースとなっている。

通常紹介だと手数料割引はありませんが、当サイトの下記リンクから入ると永久に25%オフ(1時間以内にキャッシュバック)になります。残高10,000 USDTがあるパートナー様の口座には50%の手数料を払い戻しとなります。(画像は公式HPより)

一軍、Binanceでの飛翔を夢見るファーム勢がひしめくこの取引所には夢があります。ぜひご検討ください。

割引適用リンク:Bitrue

おまけ:マイニングの誤解と今後の可能性

マイニングとは、仮想通貨の取引承認のためにもらう報酬を、探鉱(mining)にたとえたものである。

多くの自作ユーザーは、グラボが多ければマイニング報酬がもらえる、といった誤解をしているが、それはPoW(Proof of Work)方式の仮想通貨にしか当てはまらない。PoWは地球環境問題へと発展しているなか、別の方式を採用している通貨であれば、グラボの力を借りる必要がない。例えばPoS(Proof of Stake)といった方式では、”仮想通貨を持っているだけで報酬が入る”。つまり、グラボなど不要なのだ。

つまり仮想通貨を買った方がまし、ということなのだ。

Binanceで取り扱っている中に、とある通貨がある。BNBである。これはバイナンスが発行した通貨であるが、最近価値が大きく上がり、年初来からは10倍近くとなった。
Binanceは取引量世界一に成り上がったが、BitcoinはPoWという欠点を抱えながら世界一の通貨として存在している理由は、デファクトスタンダードにある。つまり「世界一ゆえ世界一である」ということだ。
この理屈になぞらえれば、BNBはもっと飛躍しても全くおかしくはない。

そして、BNBはPoSを利用している。つまり、BNBを持っていれば、持っているほどその報酬が得られるということだ。
BinanceのアプリからBNBをPoSマイニングさせる(これを単に”Staking”という)ことができ、年利はなんと20%近くにのぼる。

上の画像…90日ロックで19.79%は売り切れているが、30日ロックで年率換算14.79%のプランは現在も用意されている。

例えば、である。10BNBを約30万円で買ったとする。年率換算で15%運用するとしたら、BNBは1年後に11.5BNBとなる。

この時、1BNBの価値がすでに10万円になっていたら、保有BNBの価値は115万円となり、マイニング報酬は15万円にものぼるということになる。

これを聞くと、マイニングは仮想通貨の時価に影響を受けすぎるのではないか、という指摘があるが、そもそもグラフィックボードマイニングであっても、採掘する対象はBTCやETHなどの仮想通貨そのものであることから、変動リスクから脱却することはできない。

そのうえでおすすめ通貨と兼ねて紹介しているのが、BNBステーキングである。
BNBは上述の通り、仮想通貨取引所の覇権を得つつあるBinanceの通貨であり、価格についてもまだ可能性を秘めている。
そしてそんなBNBのステーキングの収穫高は、かなり大きい。したがって、マイニングをするのであれば、電気代0のステーキングをおすすめするところである。

割引適用リンク:Binance

追記:BNB4万円超えに(4/7)

BNBの価格は上昇中です。マイニングはBinanceでのステーキングが一番、ということが証明されつつあります。

このチャンスを逃さないようにしましょう。

Caution about investing
Investing is done at your own risk. This site only presents case studies and frames of thought, and does not constitute a recommendation for specific transactions.

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