- Blocks all unknown apps and activity
- Proactive, regular PC maintenance
- Pro version available
- $50 a year with coverage for five devices
- $150 Lifetime PC Matic offer
- 30-day money-back guarantee
PC Matic Review – Antivirus Analyzed and Compared
A slightly outdated antivirus that overzealously blocks all non-whitelisted executables
Updated: July 19,2022
PC Matic is an advanced antivirus system against heavy hacking and cyberattacks. It boasts more than 3 million satisfied customers and more than 100,000 business endpoints that use the service.
PC Matic reviews and scans the files on your computer to identify digital undesirables, such as ransomware, fileless infections, zero-day exploits, keylogging, timebombs, unauthorized crypto mining activities, Trojans, viruses, worms, polymorphic viruses, and other malware.
Expert protection for all is PC Matic’s vision. Affordable and reliable antivirus software is its manifestation, developed through the years of fighting serious online threats. PC Matic’s double-action scans and thorough maintenance keep PCs well-organized and safe from intruders. Meanwhile, the proactive defense system protects all your outside activity.
These two main features make up PC Matic’s tight defense system. Most reviews on PC Matic antivirus also point out its easy-to-use interface.
- Free version: Free trial
- Available on: Mac, Windows, Android
- Number of devices: 5
- Renewal period: N/A
- Additional tools: Mobile app, SuperShield Whitelisting, identity theft protection
- Price range: $40-$132
- Best Price: $132 for a lifetime subscription
- Heavy scanning activity (slows down lower-RAM PCs)
- Doesn’t use advanced systems like AI and Cloud
- Isolated reports of crashes, freezes, minor conflicts
- Minimal live tech support
History and Development
PC Matic was founded in 1999 as PC Pitstop by CEO Rob Cheng. From its startup days, it gradually grew into a recognized name in antivirus tech. This was at the tail end of the ’90s, before the turn of the century when the influx of online activity coincided with early malware prototypes and first cyberattacks.
PC Matic was there during the early phase of online crime. By 2000, more dangerous malicious software and hacking techniques had started to spread across online America.
PC Matic reviews and consumer reports for US-based antivirus companies have shown a rapid annual increase in attacks and new strains of malware. More money and digital assets are online – perfect targets for hackers and malware creators. Substantial pay dirt can be exploited and broken into on numerous vulnerable computers and devices. Cybercriminals spare no one and target even hospitals and similar institutions.
PC Matic’s mission is to protect the general public from the cybermafia, which has grown into a serious threat to the whole online world. Reviews on PC Matic may not detail this credo, but actions (and ad campaigns) speak louder than words.
Intentionally funny, PC Matic’s video campaigns such as “Ransomware Millionaire” are intended to give a light-hearted angle on an actual serious issue. Getting robbed by sneaky little crooks is never a laughing matter when it’s at your expense – and PC Matic wants you to remember that.
Core Concepts and Functions
Most programs cannot detect ransomware and other malware due to its adaptive behavior. Antivirus companies try to keep up, but new types of attacks, exploits, and mutated malware keep popping up. It has become PC Matic’s raison d’etre to adapt as well and develop correspondingly powerful protection. The way it does this, as outlined by numerous reviews of PC Matic, is by relying on two strategies: default-deny gatekeeping and regular optimization. We’ll discuss both in our review.
PC Matic relies on the concept of default-deny gatekeeping for proactive protection. From PC Matic 3.0 and onward, this defense system works where a lot of other antivirus apps get sidetracked.
Various strains of malware behave a certain way to fool the antivirus app into thinking they are dormant and “harmless” files or apps not carrying anything. With PC Matic, any unknown element is assumed “guilty” until proven otherwise. This means it’s automatically blocked until the PC Matic team checks it and grants it access to PCs and devices. PC Matic user reviews list this approach as one of its main strengths.
SuperShield Whitelisting Method
PC Matic’s whitelisting approach is used by its defense system, SuperShield. Only whitelisted elements confirmed by PC Matic’s team are allowed access.
PC Matic doesn’t have its own firewall; instead, it combines its capabilities with the default security firewall, such as Windows Defender, to form a dual front with the native dedicated firewall structure as its base.
This trust-no-one approach to all strangers at the PC’s doors and backdoors separates its process from other companies’ methods.
Regular and Thorough PC Maintenance
Reviews of PC Matic antivirus software emphasize its thorough PC maintenance (though for Windows PCs only). A comprehensive check is also done with every scan. This keeps PCs in tip-top shape, as each scan enables PC Matic to execute thorough maintenance and basic housekeeping: It checks for errors and vulnerabilities and does some fine-tuning. Most PC owners do this separately, sometimes sparingly, which leaves errors, possible entries, and open vulnerabilities unchecked.
PC Magnum for Ultimate Privacy
PC Matic’s efforts to secure the title of the best US-based antivirus include PC Magnum. For the ultimate PC privacy, this tool cleans your PC from “embarrassing” (their terms) online searches, sites, and private information on Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox. Cookies, browsing history, cache, download history, all Facebook links, all recent documents, and the recycle bin are also reviewed, and all sensitive files are removed.
With PC Magnum, “delete” really does mean delete: It keeps your PC completely spic and span for your peace of mind for just $30 a year. This tool resembles fast “cleaner” mobile apps, such as Security Master.
PC Matic Antivirus – American-Made and Maintained
PC Matic antivirus prides itself on being a US company through and through, from the technology it employs to its support. This American antivirus developer strives to empower computer owners of today, who have to deal with innumerable threats to their online finance, accounts, digital assets, and personal information.
The level of defense and protection is well suited for an average US internet user. Most Americans rely heavily on the internet for many of their daily activities, communication, and entertainment needs, making them vulnerable to cyberattacks, both at home and at work.
PC Matic Scam?
PC Matic ratings may be good, but the internet doesn’t forget, as every piece of information is archived forever. Some of PC Matic’s past unintentional blunders may affect the company’s reputation, especially now with its higher public profile; not to mention its wider and direct advertising presence through its videos and infomercial-style advertisements.
All a potential subscriber needs to do is run a quick Google search, and they’ll be presented with documented issues, complaints, and unfavorable reviews, some of them relating to PC Matic’s past version and issues that have since been solved.
Most PC Matic reviews don’t discuss its past missteps. We think it’s important to address them, although, to be fair, it was the previous PC Pitstop app that caused issues with malware apps.
An even earlier version of PC Pitstop was called a scam for its intrusive appearance on the user’s device and demanding to clean the PC and make changes. While these scandals happened during the company’s pre-PC-Matic days, they could still affect buying decisions.
PC Matic’s Features
Types of Malware Covered
PC Matic antivirus software excels in preventing various digital intrusions:
- Fileless infections
- Zero-day exploits
- Fake virus scams
- Potentially unwanted programs
- Crypto miners
- Advanced persistent threats
- Polymorphic viruses
From PC Matic 3.0 to its current incarnation, it strengthened its defense to outsmart deceptive, behavior-adapting malware programmed to trick apps and devices into gaining access and then wreaking havoc when they get in.
PC Matic Home
Available for Windows PCs only, automated PC maintenance is done simultaneously with every scan. It includes updating your drivers, cleaning your registry, optimizing broadband, repairing software vulnerabilities, uninstalling start-up apps you don’t use, speeding up downloads in Firefox and Internet Explorer, and more.
PC Matic antivirus software reviews also note that scans are done on items left elsewhere: in the recycle bin, internet cache, and temporary files folders. These items can potentially cause damage since ransomware and other unwanted elements residing in these backdoor entries and hidden folders can still enter your device.
PC Matic Pro
PC Matic’s business version is PC Matic Pro Endpoint Suite, a more comprehensive application with government-security-grade systems that uses strong endpoint protection. It relies on whitelisting. PC Matic Pro reviews are exceptional. PC Matic is a fully accredited business registered with the Better Business Bureau, with an average rating of 4.71/5. The company’s core concept also applies to the Pro Suite: Securing digital assets while optimizing devices for reliability and peak performance for business use.
PC Matic Pro is globally recognized for excellent security strategies and high-level device maintenance. Its top ratings come from trusted names: Cyber Defense, Info Security, Astors, AV-Test, Virus Bulletin, ICSA Labs, Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization, to name a few.
PC Matic for work reviews are not usually given priority. The complaints are fewer in terms of compatibility and mostly have to do with some minor inconvenience issues. PC Matic Pro has the same malware detection rates as the regular Home version. It mainly employs a business-grade version of its Global Whitelist security technology, which blocks all incoming apps and files that are not yet 100% confirmed and tested. Remote desktop protocol (RDP) controls are also set in place for complete remote endpoint control.
As pointed out by some customer reviews of PC Matic, there are no free trials for the pro version. To test its capabilities, one can alternatively get a demo from the website.
PC Matic Pro runs optimization actions along with its scans: patching security gaps, script-blocking, and endpoint maintenance. Endpoints are run through some optimizing checks, including driver management using its extensive collection of drivers to keep endpoints in peak speed.
The protection provided by PC Matic is not limited to desktop devices. PC Matic for Android is available on Google Play, and it’s a popular choice for those active on their Android phones, offering the same dual-purpose maintenance and optimization that replicate its Home PC version for peak performance.
This, however, means that it also replicates some of the flaws of the Home and free-trial versions. Customers cite minor lags, freeze-ups, problems with uninstallation, and lack of tech support as reasons for their dissatisfaction. On Google Play, the app’s rating is 4.4/5 from more than 1,000 users. Still, even though reviews for PC Matic for Android tend to be mixed, it offers reliable and robust protection for Android phones.
Note that PC Matic is unavailable for iOS at the moment.
User Interface and Compatibility
PC Matic offers a free trial version for evaluation. You will be prompted to create an account and then download PC Matic to your device. During our tests, PC Matic loaded successfully without any issues after a fast install and setup. It ran smoothly: The test PC is a 64-bit mini-PC that runs on Windows 10, with an Intel i3 7100U processor and 8 GB of RAM.
There were no significant conflicts with standard Windows programs. As long as you don’t load too many other applications, it remains stable.
Most PC Matic customer reviews don’t mention this, but scans and regular maintenance can cause slowdowns. Lower-memory PCs may experience freeze-ups. Since scanning includes PC maintenance, it’s preferably done separately when you are not running any other programs on your computer. In comparison, other antivirus applications usually run deep scans in the background.
PC Matic Scan and Maintenance Process
PC Matic’s scan and maintenance combo are its main security feature. Upon completion of the scan, it took forever to get to the “Finalize Test” step. After this, PC Matic antivirus software activity is no longer heavy, and you can run the PC applications normally with no slowdowns.
The program thoroughly checked for high-level data-consuming threats, demanding extra time to complete. It remained this way until a close-reopen was performed. The overall test results showed all essential elements: Security, Performance, Other, and Reports.
The owner is notified where a possible weakness can be exploited, and in case such a weak spot is found, it can be tracked. At the end of the scan, PC Matic Antivirus software gives the user recommendations on how to improve security. Performance levels are also displayed.
The only minor issues we’ve experienced while running our test scans were the occasional slowdowns on lesser-RAM or lower-processor PCs. This is why we recommend you run the scan when your computer is idle and when you have enough extra time, as it took two hours to finish the initial test. As previously mentioned, the test PC is a mini-PC with not many programs and applications installed, yet it still encountered slowdowns.
Does PC Matic work on other OS platforms apart from the usual? As mentioned in most customer reviews for PC Matic, it’s limited only to PCs, Macs, and Android. PC Matic has developed from exclusive PC use and tends to focus on known territories. To date, it still doesn’t have an iOS version, and this is where it’s mainly missing out. Linux is not supported by PC Matic, either. The company concentrates on bigger platforms, which is probably the reason you can use it on Android, but not on iOS.
Most of the favorable reviews but also the most prominent complaints come from Windows OS users. There are native apps, peripheral settings, connections, even registry keys, and optimization changes affected by PC Matic’s processes. A lot of PC Matic reviews report common blockages. Anything “unknown” is blocked for overall security.
During our tests, Windows reported no errors, aside from minor freezes. This is either a conflict with Chrome or Windows Defender. We recommend performing scans with no active running apps and browsers on.
A separate version of PC Matic for Mac is available. This is important since macOS devices have native malware, errors, and other specific issues, even though they are traditionally less vulnerable to security breaches. PC Matic user reviews and ratings for Mac are somewhat scarce, but they generally agree that what the company lacks in iOS presence, it sort of makes up for by allocating a custom Mac version.
PC Matic Pricing
A one-year subscription costs $50 and covers up to five devices. Any other services, such as PC Magnum, are not included.
Even though that is a tad expensive in comparison to the competition, we still think it’s a good bargain if you consider what’s on offer.
PC Matic is eager to convince you that its antivirus is the only protection you’ll ever need. That’s why it offers a great deal: a lifetime subscription to PC Matic that will cost you just $150. With it, you’ll get all the lifetime updates and support and benefit from PC Matic’s continuous tech progression.
The standalone PC Magnum app for Windows costs $30 per year. It maintains total privacy, removing all digital trails and online activity.
PC Matic Recent Upgrades
Recent reviews on PC Matic praised its consistency in improvement, and we agree with them. Like other respectable antivirus companies, PC Matic is constantly working on upgrades, and is currently engaged in enhancing its user interface. Unfortunately, they have yet to start work on an iOS app.
This antivirus provider staffs its customers service with knowledgeable and fast agents. Once you purchase some of its antivirus packages, you will be able to contact support at any time you need them through your account.
PC Matic vs. Kaspersky
Kaspersky is undoubtedly one of the best antivirus programs on the market. After performing our comparison, we found that both programs have a minimal impact on computer performance. They are also extremely reliable and easy to use.
However, unlike Kaspersky, PC Matic is not compatible with all operating systems. To answer one of the most common questions regarding PC Matic compatibility – does PC Matic work on iPhones? – we need to disappoint you. The software can’t be installed on iOS devices; the PC Matic app works only on Windows, Android, and Mac devices, unfortunately.
On the plus side and like Kaspersky, PC Matic is equipped with tools for detecting and removing trojans and malware from your computer. Both tools are effective in finding threats on your device, but Kaspersky has additional security tools, like the anti-spam tool.
Also, PC Matic doesn’t have a firewall protection feature. Instead of it, this American-made antivirus software uses SuperShield protection that relies on the computer’s built-in firewall to protect you.
PC Matic vs. Norton
Norton is another PC Matic competitor, praised for its user-friendliness, compatibility with most devices and operating systems, and outstanding set of security tools. Add to this an affordable price of its packages, and you’ll see why Norton is a better option than PC Matic on most fronts.
With NortonVPN, you can connect up to 10 devices, while PC Matic can network only 5. Based on our tests, NortonVPN shows better performances when it comes to upload/download speed, and it is one of the best providers for torrenting. It features all important security tools, including a kill switch and split tunnelling, which you won’t get with PC Matic.
Room for Improvement
Unfortunately, minor freezes and crashes during scans are not the only issues: Blocking of other programs has also been reported. This was observed on a PC Matic free trial download. Since blocking is essentially an umbrella solution to shut off all possible harmful elements, it may block even trusted elements, external connections, peripherals, and other possible devices.
Other issues that have been reported are the changing of registry keys to optimize the system, as well as other semi-invasive changes that can happen. Some optimization steps just don’t work well on some PCs and other devices, even if the intent was just a regular, innocent “maintenance and PC optimization”.
PC Matic virus protection reviews have confirmed our observations. It’s particularly inconvenient there’s no fail-safe way to check if these issues will appear on your device. The probability they will happen increases on Windows and Android devices.
The test install, scan, and maintenance activities on the test PC done for this review have revealed some of these problems, which seem to be common for lower and mid-range PCs not suited for gaming and heavy usage.
A Solid But Not Universal Solution
Some people may be familiar with the popular and fun PC Matic commercial TV spots; One features CEO Rob Cheng rocking out on a Fender Strat with the PC Matic Band. Videos like these give PC Matic more mainstream appeal to an even broader demographic.
PC Matic’s mission is to protect its users from some of the most damaging malware and attack strategies employed by modern hackers and cybercriminals through default-deny, whitelisting, and optimization strategies.
When PC Matic works, it works thoroughly with no issues. But it’s hard to ignore many other PC Matic customer reviews that report various problems that are hard to resolve. Documented issues include slowdowns, freeze-ups, crashes, conflicts with peripherals, invasive optimization changes, and blockage of trusted apps and tools. Its blocking security feature is just so all-encompassing that it can result in otherwise trusted elements getting blocked.
In all honesty, not all PCs, Macs, and other devices are compatible with PC Matic. It has a great defense and protection system, but not all PCs can run smoothly with it. So, is a PC Matic download worth it? Yes, but if you don’t have a high-end PC, test it before committing.
PC Matic is generally a solid PC protection solution and works well for most users who install it on their PCs, Macs, or mobile devices. Not many PC Matic 3.0 reviews and PC protection reviews mention some of the issues with user experience and compatibility we have detailed in this review, though. This is especially true for the reviews that used higher-end test PCs.
One more thing to have in mind is that PC Matic currently doesn’t have any versions available for iOS and Linux OS users. How good PC Matic is for both PC and Mac will ultimately depend on finding all possible conflicts, whitelisting them if they are detectable, and checking if optimization changes did not overrun other apps or functions.
Some PC Matic antivirus reviews, ours included, have also revealed several minor issues, such as lags and even freeze-ups. These were present even on mid-range PCs and devices.
All in all, although it’s not an ideal solution for all devices and operating systems and doesn’t have a PCmag best antivirus recognition to flaunt, PC Matic rates fairly decent and does the job of protecting your computer from malware.
PC Matic costs $50 per year for the regular account with coverage for five devices. There is also a lifelong account for $150 that comes with a lifetime of updates and support. In most reviews, PC Matic pricing is consistently praised as affordable and a good deal, especially the lifelong subscription.
Overall, Norton wins due to its price and a larger number of capabilities. Some of the features that Norton has – and PC Matic lacks – are a firewall, spam filter, password manager, USB virus scanning, Cloud backup, iOS availability, and email protection. The basic account we’ve reviewed is also cheaper: Norton Antivirus Plus will set you back $34.99 per year, compared to $50 for a one-year subscription to PC Matic.
However, PC Matic, too, has some aces up its sleeve. Highlighted features from various reviews include full PC and mobile optimization and anti-adware, not present in Norton packages.
McAfee wins with a close edge. While PC Matic has the upper hand when it comes to optimization and adware, it doesn’t have a firewall, email security, browser protection, spam protection, parental filters, or iOS availability. At $39.99 per year, McAfee is also cheaper than PC Matic, althought only by a cent.
When pitting PC Matic against Avast and other antivirus software, extensive features are slightly different. Overall, PC Matic’s full-scale optimization can’t be defeated. But its lack of other convenient features, such as a firewall, spam filter, parental controls, and so on, is what sets it back in various apple-to-apple comparisons. It’s the same with the PC Matic vs. Avast Premier reviews and other comparisons we see online.
PC Matic doesn’t have a firewall. Instead, it employs the SuperShield system for outside defense. SuperShield works by making use of existing firewalls on default antivirus apps, such as those for Windows Defender, as its base. It then combines their protection and detection abilities. Most American antivirus companies have a firewall inclusion that may offer deeper security. This lack of an extra layer of outside protection is also highlighted in many PC Matic reviews.