Can You Trust ScanGuard?

Category: Anti-Virus , Software

A couple of readers have recently asked me about a new program called ScanGuard. One said: “Hey, Bob. Just ran across this on the internet. Article makes it sound really good – maybe too good. Also, what other alternatives are available that do the same thing? Appreciate all the good work you do and the information you share. God bless, Elwyn.” So let's take a look at ScanGuard…

Review of ScanGuard

The item in question is ScanGuard, a PC cleanup, optimization, and protection program. It’s a very new program; according to Whois records, the site came online in June 2016. I don’t find any discussions of ScanGuard earlier than September.

As for the company behind ScanGuard, all I can find is a reference to “a highly regarded Microsoft Solution Provider.” No “about” or “contact” links on the site. That’s a huge red flag. I have no idea who I might be doing business with. Normally, I would stop right here and surf far away from ScanGuard. But Elwyn and other readers would like to know how well it works, so here goes...

My advice is to install strange, suspect software on an old PC that I would not mind re-formatting if the software turns out to be malicious. In fact, I’d re-format the drive even if I didn’t detect anything fishy; something may be lingering deep in the background. At the very least, I would create a Restore Point just before installing ScanGuard, in hope of being able to restore my PC’s settings and files to that time when I am done playing with SafeGuard.

scanguard software review

Installing ScanGuard goes a little too fast for my liking. There is no licensing agreement to read, no “I accept” button, no “cancel” button. A corporate lawyer would never allow those items to be omitted. There’s no “Advanced” page where a user can choose the installation folder, where he wants shortcuts placed, and so on. Once you click on ScanGuard.exe, installation proceeds almost without pause. I feel I’ve lost control, and I shouldn’t feel that way.

Now ScanGuard wants me to register, creating an “online account” in the process. Unlike any other site, ScanGuard does not insist that I re-enter my username or password to confirm it. Genuine sites really, really care whether users get registered. Rogue sites do not; they just want you to enter the “standard” password that you use on all or most of the sites you visit regularly. So I enter a password that I have never used and never will use. There are no rules; a password can be any weak thing.

Testing the Program

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Finally, I can clean and optimize my system. ScanGuard claims to perform four functions: Antivirus, System Boost, Disk Cleaner, and Web Security. I was not impressed by the Antivirus module; out of 27 files it flagged as “potentially dangerous,” the first five were innocuous, so I stopped there.

The only review of ScanGuard that I could find comes from a brand-new site called Top10BestAntivirus.com, which was registered in October 2016. Warning bells went off right away, when I saw that the top 2 items here are TotalAV and ScanGuard, two unknowns that have the same domain registration information. The reviews for both are glowing and vague, and the other products listed are all affiliate links.

Here's another odd thing I found while researching this software. The domain name for ScanGuard (scanguard.com) is listed as "for sale" on several domain marketplaces, with prices ranging from $10,000 to $22,800. Hedging their bets? Very odd, to say the least.

I would not use ScanGuard or recommend it to anyone. The company is sketchy, and it seems pretty obvious that the "review" site mentioned above is a thinly-veiled shill for the product. The product is crude and not user-friendly. There are much better alternatives, and they are free.

You can find my list of recommended Internet security tools in my article Free Antivirus Programs. For the past few years, I've been using the free version of Avast Antivirus, with an occasional scan using MalwareBytes AntiVirus, and this combo has served me well.

My advice on “system optimizers” is to stick with the tried and true. Advanced SystemCare cleans, optimizes, and protects very reliably. CCleaner is another tool that I've mentioned several times on this site. I also recommend Privazer, a tool packed with utilities to keep your PC in top shape.

You are unlikely to stumble across a brand-new antivirus or system optimizer tool that’s even slightly better than these established competitors. Why pay for something you can get for free? And why risk your privacy and security on an unproven entity? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

 
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Most recent comments on "Can You Trust ScanGuard?"

(See all 106 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

John kramer
07 Jan 2017

This is definitely a scam!! Try sending them a email if you don't believe me. It will become quite evident. From experience with other scams they get ahold of your credit card number and wipe you out.
PLEASE DON'T LET GET YOU. I hate this kind of thuggery.


Posted by:

Joseph M Gates
11 Jan 2017

I read your article when this first came out and I really appreciated your information in your investigation of ScanGuard.. I too downloaded the free version and almost purchased that software but then I discovered your review of the product and immediately removed it from my computer. I also went in and then deleted the entries in the registry (very carefully of course)So that there is no trace of the program on my computer.
A very interesting thing happened after I removed all the program. I was suddenly inundated with all kinds of malware and had to literally force the computer to go back to the Malwarebytes website and install the free version. There were hundreds of malware files that were literally hijacking my web browser. After removing them I was greatly relieved that I could return to controlling the web browser. Just an FYI.


Posted by:

Sally-Ann Steyn
11 Jan 2017

Very helpful :) Thanks for doing the research for us!


Posted by:

adam
13 Jan 2017

I WOULD WALK THE OTHER WAY WHEN IT COME TO USING SCAN GUARD. I HAVE NORTONS AND MALWAREBYTES ON MY COMPUTER SO I DECIDED TO DOWNLOAD SCANGUARD WHILE THESE 2 PROGRAMS WERE STILL INSTALLED AND NORTONS PICKED UP 7 VIRUSES AND EXPLOITS WITH SCANGUARD WHILE MALWAREBYTES DETECTED AND WAIT FOR IT 1,351 MALWARE IN THIS SCANGUARD PROGRAM WHICH ARE STILL IN THE LOGS OF BOTH NORTONS AND MALWAREBYTES. SIMPLE.....DONT GO ANYWHERE NEAR SCANGUARD!!!!!


Posted by:

markp
14 Jan 2017

Bob (just found your site), great review for ScanGuard!

I had similar warning bells going off for the 'new' review site, ScanGuard and TotalAV; so, good to see I'm not the only paranoid person :-)


Posted by:

Duckman
16 Jan 2017

Here's another red flag: Malwarebytes blocks Top10BestAntivirus.com


Posted by:

Art
18 Jan 2017

Thanks for investing the time and effort needed to do the run-down ScanGuard. Given your findings and the comments from those who 'bought' it IS something to be avoided like the plague, and the rats that spread it.


Posted by:

Chuck
19 Jan 2017

I noticed this program "scanguard" appeared with a rush of advertising this year. Several bogus sites give it high marks.
I go to Top10BestAntivirus.com/Scanguard and malwarebytes tells me the review site is infected. PC Magazine gave it high marks.

If I were say, the NSA, and I wanted in everyone's PC, I might make a really good virus cleaner and system optimizer that had its own back doors as well as too advantage of unpatched systems. Call me paranoid, but the 4 the amendments seems to have has eraser taken to it in the U.S. That's the conspiracy theorist in me coming out.

A friend also asked me about it because it popped up recommending he download it to erase his porn history right after he exited that type of site. I too thought that was rather odd.

I don't trust it. The web site has no contact information, publisher, hiring, etc.. None of the usual hallmarks of a reputable software publisher.

For now I am telling my clients to stay with avast premier and Malwarebytes premier in tandem. My only client who manages to get malware with that combo is my father; and we all have a dad who manages to much up his PC without "doing anything". LOL.


Posted by:

wick
24 Jan 2017

how can you people be sooo gullible....?

of COURSE its a scam!!!!

good Lord people....do your freakin' homework


Posted by:

Chas
27 Jan 2017

Firstly, absolutely nothing is for free!
I stick with Windows Defender and avoid downloading the unknown..so far so good!!
I have had Norton,Mcaphee, & AVG all of which let in a different virus.


Posted by:

Jen Wainwright
29 Jan 2017

A friend asked if I could look at their notebook computer that stopped working. After some questions, I learned that they had run a trial version of ScanGuard.
Long story short: After getting everything working and doing full clean-up, everything was ok. For my own curiosity I set up a clean machine with Windows 7, set a restore point, ran Malwarebytes. Clean bill of health. Removed malwarebytes, restored system, ran Norton. Clean bill of health. Repeated the process with a couple other well known apps, all was good. Installed and ran ScanGuard; it found a couple dozen infections, wanted me to pay to have the clean-up performed.
Conclusion: ScanGuard is a SCAM!


Posted by:

Mike
30 Jan 2017

Hi Bob,

So often we read comments like yours and then move on to other matters and fail to take
the time to THANK these people like you that offer valued advice that we can TRUST such as my check with you re:"SCANGUARD" well heres the thankyou in person; keep up the great work.

Kind regards,

Mike


Posted by:

Nigel Meek
30 Jan 2017

Unistalled ScanGuard after reading this article - and after scanning using MSE found ScanGuard had dumped a Trojan (Win32/Repext) in C:\Programme Files (x86)\ScanGuard\logs\utilizr.log.

Do not trust these people for an instant.


Posted by:

Nigel Meek
30 Jan 2017

Sorry just to add - the C:\Program Files (x86)\ScanGuard\logs\ directory does not show up in Windows Explorer even with system directories visible. Very sneaky. Wouldn't have though a .log file (which can be opened in NotePad ordinarily) could have a Trojan hidden away in it?
Is MSE misreading this, or am I being particuilarly paranoid? I have experienced a number of unexplained computer shut-downs so amgetting slightly worried!


Posted by:

job
30 Jan 2017

Hi,
I noticed the bottom of smartwebchoices website offers term, licence and contact us links. I do normally just wonder about possible hidden partitions that can be either controlled for malicious or ideologic motives. Yet there are known online scans that would mark such as server-like activity without the intention of the owner. Is this correct or does it take more shielding to prevent that others remotely make use of your hardware that way? I do not refer to scanguard here per se, since I have not installed it (sometimes I tend to go against advices, to give room to allow possible mitigation purpose, beyond assumed commercial drive.)Am I being naive?


Posted by:

Yababababab
01 Feb 2017

I never trust any cleaning software. I actually manually clean the registry and temp files myself (takes ages but worth it) but for AV I use malwarebytes and kapersky/bitdefender (whichever is better at the time).


Posted by:

Michaela
01 Feb 2017

I would strongly suspect this software as soon as you mentioned highly regarded Microsoft solution provider. I had a virus attached itself to my laptop, it simulates it about to crash and a pop up warned me that my system had been infected and I needed to call the Microsoft helpline. I dubiously did, thinking this is likely to be the virus company not Microsoft, I questioned them repeatedly, they then told me to run a test at the command prompt which then said there were loads of virus's and trogans on my system, and the supposed IT guy said they were EasyTech and were a respected provider to Microsoft and they could clean my system for £160 - I was suspicious so Googled their name in the background, and there were loads of scam comments about them, so I discontinued the conversation. MY laptop is not healthy though and I think I'm going to need to wipe it. So anyone pretending to be a Microsoft supplier or support I would be very wary of. They have crashed my laptop!


Posted by:

JohnK625
04 Feb 2017

I gave ScanGuard a try - unfortunately before consulting Bob for guidance.

The results were really bad.

I ended up having to use my computer's "go-back" feature to get things right again.

NOT RECOMMENDED!


Posted by:

Clare
05 Feb 2017

Thank you!!!
I've downloaded but not installed Scanguard because 360 Total Security quarantined it as a TROJAN so I looked for reviews and read "Top 10" Best Antivirus 2017. That was too glowing for a new product. Then I found this review. Thank you for being clear, systematic and concise.
I will now delete Scanguard.exe forever.


Posted by:

pauline
06 Feb 2017

Hi there, thanks for the informative article. Most helpful.


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