Note: This review is for Intego Antivirus for Windows.
- If you want to read about Intego’s Mac antivirus, click here.
Intego is well known for its excellent Mac antivirus, so I was really excited to try out its new dedicated antivirus for Windows. After testing over 30 Windows antiviruses, I wanted to see how the company that put Mac first would handle PC protection.
I tested Intego against the latest viruses, ransomware, trojans, spyware, and other malicious software. I also looked at how easy it was to use, how it impacted my CPU, and if there were any special features which would make it stand out in a crowded antivirus market.
Intego for Windows is just a simple virus scanner — not a full-featured antivirus suite like Intego for Mac. So, some internet security features that many antiviruses have — like a password manager, anti-phishing protection, or a VPN — just aren’t there. Even some free products include these things (like Avira and Panda). And if you invest in a paid plan from Norton or McAfee that are priced just a bit higher than Intego’s Windows antivirus, you get a complete internet security suite packed with all of these extra features (and a lot more).
Overall, Intego Antivirus for Windows has a simple and elegant interface — much like Intego for Mac. But when it comes to security, Intego’s PC antivirus was just an average performer during my testing. While Intego successfully identified some malicious files, it also missed a few threats that other antiviruses picked up.
That said, for a simple virus scanner, Intego Antivirus for Windows is not bad. While it’s not as full-featured as others on the market, it’s inexpensive, easy to use, and is strong enough to protect against the majority of viruses.
Intego Security Features
Intego Antivirus for Windows claims to protect PCs against all kinds of malware — and not just PC-based malware. Intego is a world-renowned Mac antivirus brand, and by releasing Antivirus for Windows, the company is moving toward cross-platform protection, as many families and businesses (and even many individuals) operate in a mixed PC/Mac environment. That’s why Intego’s Antivirus for Windows is designed to also detect and remove Mac and Linux malware from a PC.
Mac and Linux malware won’t damage your PC — but the Windows operating system can be exploited by cyber criminals and used as a carrier for a lot of cross-platform malware. In addition to protecting your PC from threats, Intego Antivirus for Windows works to stop other kinds of viruses that could otherwise go undetected on your PC and then infect a Mac or Linux system.
So if you use your PC to communicate and share files with Mac and Linux systems, Intego attempts to make sure that all of these cross-platform devices stay secure.
At the heart of Intego’s antivirus engine is My Dashboard, which loads every time you launch Intego and shows your PC’s protection status at a glance.
Here you can quickly see:
- When the next scheduled scan is.
- When Intego’s last virus definitions update happened.
- Whether or not real-time protection is turned on.
- How many threats Intego has blocked so far.
I think that this dashboard is one of Intego’s major selling points. Other antiviruses like BullGuard have a lot more features, but they’re all hidden behind a cluttered interface. Intego’s My Dashboard just gives you one-click access to all of its features — which I think is great.
Intego offers 4 scan options, all of which are pretty standard.
From the Scan menu, I selected to do a “Complete Virus Scan” of my PC — an option that Intego recommends for a first scan.
I could also schedule a scan or change an existing schedule (by default, Intego’s scans are done once a week) from this same dashboard.
I like the “Quick Scan” option that instructs Intego to only scan the locations where malware is most likely to be found. This scan does not just cover a pre-set list of folders. As Intego constantly auto-updates its malware definitions, it also changes the places on your PC that need to be scanned when Quick Scan is selected.
I could also perform a “Custom Scan” of any file or folder of my choice.
Overall, I found Intego’s scans easy to set up and run, and it includes all basic scans that you need to protect your PC.
Real-time protection is an optional feature that needs to be enabled to ensure that your computer is protected between scans. I like that Intego has it switched on by default.
Real-time protection means that all copied, modified, and newly created files are automatically scanned for viruses. This kind of protection is limited only to the files that are modified after Intego is installed.
When I tested Intego’s real-time protection, it successfully detected most PC viruses, but it failed against some of my simulated ransomware attacks.
Overall, Intego was better at protecting my computer from known viruses than it was at identifying unknown threats — Intego’s PC heuristic engine is not that great. For virus detection using heuristic analysis, Cylance’s AI-based antivirus performed much better in my tests. And many other top Windows antiviruses offer better real-time protection — I think Norton and Avira do it especially well.
While Intego’s real-time protection missed a few of my ransomware samples, it still provided a good level of protection against a wide range of known viruses. Again, for simple virus detection, Intego is not a bad choice.
Intego automatically quarantines all suspicious files, notifying you immediately about any threats it blocks. This is one of the messages I got during my testing.
More details about the quarantined files were available when I clicked on the Open quarantine button (or on Quarantine in My Dashboard.)
I could choose to Delete the infected files, Restore them if I was sure it’s a false positive, or Restore and Exclude to make a rule for Intego to never scan these files again. The last option should only be used if you are an expert user and are 100% sure that the files Intego listed as suspicious are, in fact, safe.
I found Intego’s way of dealing with quarantined files pretty straightforward. I think it would be even better to have Restore and Restore and Exclude action options as separate buttons (and not just all grouped under “…” next to the Delete button), but that’s a minor thing. Cylance is another antivirus that handles quarantined files in a similar way. However, you need to use Cylance’s web console to deal with your quarantined files — and Intego allows you to do it all locally on your PC.
Intego Antivirus generates 3 types of reports:
- Scan Reports
- Real-Time Report
- Exclusion Report
To switch between the reports, you need to use the menu at the top-right corner of the Security Reports screen.
Scan Reports list the essential stats for all scheduled and manual Intego virus scans — the date, number of files scanned, and issues found and fixed.
Real-Time Report contains the list of all threats detected by Intego in real-time mode. At a glance, you can see where the malicious file was found, what type of threat it presented, and what action was taken by Intego to eliminate it.
Exclusion Report lists all files that you can instruct Intego not to scan. I found it very convenient that I could also use this screen to add more exclusions or delete existing ones.
Overall, these Security Reports contain all the information you need to monitor your PC’s protection status and take action on threats and false positives.
Intego Antivirus Plans and Pricing
Intego Antivirus for Windows has just 3 easy-to-understand plans:
- Personal — covers 1 PC for 1 year.
- Family — covers up to 3 PCs for 1 year.
- Extended — covers up to 5 PCs for 1 year.
All plans include the full features of Intego Antivirus for Windows.
I was pleased to see that Intego offers a no questions asked, 30-day money-back guarantee with all plans, promising to get back to you within 24 hours about your refund. But Intego’s pricing model puzzled me a bit.
The Family plan is only slightly more expensive than the Personal plan — but, with only 3 PCs covered, it’s more likely to benefit single users who just need to cover more than 1 PC.
Realistically, Intego’s Extended plan, covering 5 PCs, is more suitable for families. Yet, it works out to be more expensive per user than the Family plan — which is surprising, as most antiviruses are usually priced on a sliding scale based on the number of users.
With the specials Intego currently has on, 2 Family plans cost about the same as 1 Extended plan — but you’d get an extra license for free, which many families may find appealing.
While Intego’s personal plan is priced competitively, other top antiviruses for Windows offer much better family deals. For example, McAfee’s Total Protection Family plan costs less than Intego Extended, and McAfee covers up to 10 users (and comes with a VPN and a password manager).
However, if you have a mix of Windows and Mac devices in your home network and want your Windows antivirus to also detect Mac malware, purchasing 2 Family plans from Intego will cover 6 PCs for a reasonable price.
Intego Ease of Use and Setup
Intego Antivirus for Windows is very easy to set up and use. The installation was straightforward and only took a couple of minutes.
Intego’s interface is uncluttered and easy to understand. I like that all essential security features — including real-time protection — are enabled by default, ensuring that your PC is as secure as it can be.
I started my testing by doing a “Complete Virus Scan” of my computer. I liked that Intego kept me updated on what was happening during the scan.
Intego was extremely light on my PC’s resources — I didn’t notice any effect of the complete scan on my computer’s speed. However, I was surprised that the first scan took nearly 2 hours! Most other antiviruses I tested took 60 to 90 minutes to fully scan my PC.
For the next scan, I chose Quick Scan (only scanning locations where potential malware is most likely to be found). That scan took just over 3 minutes — pretty good!
The results of all my scans were displayed under the Security Reports section. They contained just the essential stats and were easy to read.
Intego Antivirus for Windows is extremely intuitive and easy to use. When it comes to usability, Intego is similar to Trend Micro and TotalAV — two other antiviruses that are also very good for non-experts.
Overall, Intego requires no complicated setting adjustments, no digging through a complicated interface, and no confusion associated with any of the features. A complete beginner could comfortably use Intego straight out of the box.
Intego Customer Support
Intego offers no phone or live chat support.
Email is the only interactive support option Intego currently has, and it’s available in English and French.
I submitted an email inquiry by completing a form on Intego’s website, and I received a confirmation from them promising to get back to me within one business day.
Intego support kept their promise — I received a helpful reply on the same business day. Later on, I had to contact the support again and also received an answer in a few hours. So, the Intego email support turnaround time is both quick and consistent.
However, when looking for other help resources available on the website, I had trouble locating them. For example, the Product Support section links to user manuals for all Intego products — except Intego Antivirus for Windows! (This should hopefully be fixed soon, as Intego’s Windows antivirus is a relatively new product.)
I eventually found the user manual and install/uninstall guides for Intego Antivirus for Windows in the Knowledge Base section of the website — but that was it! There are waaaay more articles about Intego programs for Mac.
While I was happy with Intego’s fast email support, the information covering Intego Antivirus for Windows on the website is very limited. Also, I was not impressed with my choice of options for contacting Intego. Norton, Kaspersky, and Bitdefender all have 24/7 live chat and phone support available (in addition to email support).
That said, Intego’s email support was helpful and consistent in getting back to me on the same business day, as promised.
Is Intego the Windows Antivirus You Need in 2020?
Intego Antivirus for Windows is an exceptionally easy-to-use antivirus that did a decent job of detecting most malware during my testing — even though it missed some of my ransomware samples.
Importantly, Intego’s PC antivirus can detect Mac and Linux malware as well, so if you’re frequently sharing files with Mac and Linux devices, your Intego PC scans will help protect those cross-platform computers, too.
Intego’s interface is very intuitive, so beginner users should have no problem using this product straight out-of-the-box. Intego’s real-time protection works quietly in the background, regularly auto-updating over the internet with the latest malware definitions. However, my tests showed that Intego is better at detecting simple viruses than something more advanced like ransomware — this suggests that Intego relies more heavily on virus definitions rather than on behavior analysis.
Intego Antivirus for Windows doesn’t have anything other than a virus scanner — there’s no VPN, safe browser, parental controls, device optimizer, or password manager. If you need these things, there are plenty of low-cost internet security suites available at a comparable price to Intego — for example, Norton 360 Deluxe has everything listed above plus a firewall, dark web monitoring, and 50 GB of cloud storage.
Intego’s Family plan is the best value plan per user and covers up to 3 PCs. Intego doesn’t offer a free version of its Windows antivirus, but there is a 30-day money-back guarantee, so there’s plenty of time to try it out and see if it’s the perfect antivirus for you.
Intego Antivirus — Frequently Asked Questions
Does Intego Antivirus for Windows have a free version?
No. Intego doesn’t have a free version. However, there is a 30-day, no-risk money-back guarantee.
But in general, you shouldn’t rely on a free antivirus to protect a device with a lot of sensitive information. It’s always better to buy a low-cost premium antivirus that can guarantee maximum protection.
Does Intego offer a money-back guarantee?
Yes. Intego offers an unconditional 30-day money-back guarantee.
The company promises to get back to you about your refund within 24 hours — and, indeed, I received my money back into my account within 2 business days.
Does Intego also protect Macs?
Intego Antivirus for Windows is a Windows-only program. While its scanner can detect and remove Mac-based malware (on a PC), it is a Windows-only software. However, Intego also has an excellent antivirus suite created exclusively for Mac devices.
Intego’s Mac antivirus is much more full-featured than its PC software — the Mac version has a firewall, parental controls, a device optimizer, and a lot more.
Does Intego include a VPN?
Intego Antivirus for Windows does not include a VPN.
Intego Antivirus for Windows comes from a company that’s famous for its Mac security products. Intego is intuitive, extremely easy to set up, and it won’t slow down your PC. But it missed some ransomware samples during my testing, and it currently includes no extras like a VPN, a firewall, a password manager, or parental controls. Intego doesn’t offer a free version, but there is a 30-day money-back guarantee on all Intego purchases.
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