What’s New in PC Matic 4.0?

Category: Security , Software

PC Matic 4.0 was just released, and is a major update that improves the usability, stability, and appearance of the program, read on for my review of the computer security tool that I use and recommend...

PC Matic 4.0 – My Review

I’ve been a happy user of PC Matic since September 2018, after having finally given in to the many reader suggestions that I try it and post a review for AskBobRankin readers. Long story short, I was pleasantly surprised -- enough so to ditch the antivirus program I was then using, and give my enthusiastic recommendation to PC Matic.

Over the years, PC Matic has continued to improve, offering advanced protection from evolving online threats, and upping their game when it comes to optimizing PC performance. The latest version 4.0 addresses some of the minor gripes I had with the program, and significantly improves the user experience.

Let’s talk about protection first. PC Matic’s SuperShield uses a whitelist approach that allows only known, trusted programs to run on your computer. Anything that is not on the whitelist is sent to the PC Matic malware research team to be tested. Within 24 hours it is categorized as either trusted or malicious. If you have an app that you know to be trustworthy, but PC Matic has not yet classified it, you can add it to your own personal whitelist.

PC Matic 4.0 Review

PC Matic prevents attacks from zero-day exploits, rootkits, cryptominers, keyloggers, and ransomware by blocking it before it can begin to execute. Ransomware is an insidious form of malware that can infect a user’s computer and encrypt the hard drive until a ransom is paid. It’s become so common that we read about new ransomware attacks on home users, schools, and businesses almost every day. It should be obvious that in all of these attacks, the installed antivirus software FAILED to protect the computer that was infected.

When first installing PC Matic, I worried that the whitelist feature might cause me many false positives and unnecessary interruptions, but PC Matic knew that LibreOffice and other programs I use were legitimate. There was only one instance where PC Matic questioned a 30-year-old DOS program that I occasionally need. But I was able to allow it to run with just one click.

The whitelist approach also protects users from “time bomb” attacks, in which a downloaded program waits a predetermined amount of time before it activates. This idea was based on the concept that legitimate software uses to create a free trial period, but is used today by malware authors to evade detection from traditional antivirus solutions.

Additional Protection Features

Fileless Script Blocking is another component of SuperShield protection. It stops hackers from using scripting tools such as Windows PowerShell to execute super-sneaky “fileless” malware, that can slip in without the installation of an executable program. PC Matic’s SuperShield is able to identify and block this malicious scripting activity.

PC Matic also offers protection to identify and defeat the fake virus scam. You’ve probably seen websites that display a dire warning that your computer is infected, and pop up a phone number for you to call. The scammer posing as a tech support rep will instruct you to download a fake virus scanner, and try to persuade you to pay for a solution to the non-existent problem. PC Matic blocks any website that shows a phone number inside a pop-up window, unless it’s a whitelisted phone number from a legitimate company. In addition to blocking the malicious page, the user is provided with information about the scam.

In addition to keeping your computer safe from online attacks, PC Matic does automatic patch management and driver updates to ensure that all software on your computers are kept up to date. Cyber criminals exploit known vulnerabilities in popular software to load viruses.

The PC Matic Ad Blocker works with the Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Edge and Firefox browsers to protect your computer from malvertising -- malicious ads that can infect PCs without the user even clicking on the ad.

The PC Matic User Interface

The Dashboard button on the Home Screen gives “under the hood” details of your PC, including CPU, RAM, disk, performance trends, and PC history.

PC Matic 4.0 Home Screen

The SuperShield button lets you install or turn on the SuperShield protection for your computer. SuperShield is an optional component of PC Matic that runs continuously to protect you from viruses and other malware. SuperShield uses a “whitelist” approach that stops all known and unknown apps from running on your computer. The automated and customizable whitelist, along with fileless script blocking and brute force attack mitigation, stops what other computer security tools can’t.

If SuperShield is installed, you’ll see “Protected” with a checkmark in green under the computer name on the Home Screen. If you see “Not Protected” in red under the computer name, click to turn it on. If you already have a real-time virus protection program such as Norton, McAfee, Avast, AVG, Bitdefender, etc., you will need to uninstall or disable it before activating SuperShield. I recommend doing this, as it will provide superior protection against online threats.

The Scheduler lets you schedule a scan for one or all computers on your account. You can schedule a PC Matic scan to run Daily, Weekly or Monthly, at a specific time of day. A “Quick scan” is the default option, which I recommend for your Daily scan. I also advise that you schedule a “Full scan” with the Weekly option. Run your Full scan during night-time hours, and select the “Email results” button to send the scan results to your inbox.

There are options on the Scan settings screen to “Fix Malware”, “Update Vulnerable Apps”, “Update Drivers”, and “Clean Registry”. Leave each of these sliders in the On position.

The Scan button will run a scan with the current settings. After the scan, you’ll see a report showing the amount of junk files removed, any PC or Internet performance settings that were tweaked, malware that was identified and quarantined, software updates, driver updates, and registry fixes performed, and any harmful browser extensions and “craplets” that were removed.

Click the “Add New PC” button to download and install PC Matic on another PC or Android device. You can have up to 5 computers or Android devices on your account. If you need help with PC Matic, click the Support icon at the top of the screen.

PC Matic 4.0 Stats

At the bottom of the screen, you can click the Maintenance statistics link to see what PC Matic has done to improve security, stability and performance. You’ll see the number of viruses removed, patched vulnerabilities, registry corrections, the number of unnecessary services and startup items disabled, how many megabytes of junk/temp files have been cleaned, and any drivers that have been updated.

I just checked my stats, and found that since I started using PC Matic, it has blocked 25 viruses, patched 9 vulnerabilities, and stopped 3 system services, and disabled 11 startups. (Those 25 viruses were all allowed to sneak in while I was using my previous antivirus software!)

The Bottom Line

PC Matic Version 4.0 seems to be a clear improvement over the previous version. The interface is cleaner and more intuitive. Scanning is faster also. The minor glitches I encountered with the older version seem to be gone. (See my review of PC Matic 3.0 in my article PC Matic Gets a Zero!)

PC Matic is developed entirely in the United States. As far as I know, PC Matic is the only internet security product that's entirely US-based, including research, development and support. The PC Matic Data Integrity Pledge outlines how the company collects and protect your personal information. In summary, they promise not to sell or distribute your personal information, web browsing history, or data about the performance of your computer.

So is PC Matic worth $50 a year, to protect up to five computers? That compares favorably with most PC optimizer and security suites. They do offer an "Evergreen" option, which costs $150 and never expires. Versions are available for PC, Mac and Android devices.

I've been running PC Matic with Super Shield for a little over two years, and so far I'm pleased and impressed. Over the 2+ years, it has done a great job of protecting several computers in my home and office from ransomware and other threats. The regularly scheduled scans and optimizations keep them running smoothly.

If you are looking for an all-in-one PC optimizer/cleaner/security tool, PC Matic is an excellent choice, and remains my current recommendation. Have you tried PC Matic? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "What’s New in PC Matic 4.0?"

(See all 26 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

11 Jan 2021

Been running PC-matic since it first came out as PC Pitstop. Great program never had a problem. I think it has went through at least 7 computers for me.

Posted by:

Brian B
11 Jan 2021

Down loaded this morning and first scan ok except for a vulnerability flag on Google Chrome. Scan showed version 87.0.4280.88 whereas version I have is up to date version 87.0.4280.141
Teething problems? Anyone else having an issue with Chrome?

Posted by:

11 Jan 2021

Bob, I have heard it is difficult to remove Norton, which you say to do before installing the SuperShield. May involve going into registry. Is this true?

Posted by:

Brian B
11 Jan 2021

Re my problem. A second scan showed no issue with Chrome. Glitch of some sort.

Posted by:

Brian B
11 Jan 2021

@ Marj
Try this

Posted by:

11 Jan 2021

Fred G
I have run PC Matic Evergreen for many years and have found that if you remove the computer that is being replaced and then add the new one, the coverage continues without a problem, as long as no more than 5 computers are using the service.

Posted by:

Bob K
11 Jan 2021

I have been very happy with Malwarebytes, as I have been using it for several years now. There is no need to try anything else.

Posted by:

11 Jan 2021

I don't know where Neil got a phone number to call but last time I checked you could only access support by e-mailing them. I had an old anti-virus program still on my computer, not completely cleaned off, and through mailing back and forth they discovered the problem and took care of it.

Posted by:

12 Jan 2021

Is PC-Matic a Windows only solution? Mac? (Frank McCarthy asked, but nobody has answered) Linux? I'd really like an answer from somebody who knows, please? Thanks!

Posted by:

Tom Kamrath
12 Jan 2021

I run Kaspersky Total Security. Do you recommend uninstalling that program and using PCMatic 4 instead?

Thank you.

Posted by:

Brian B
12 Jan 2021

@ Bob K
If you are happy with Malwarebytes, then stick with it. A quick look at both Privacy Policies was enough for me.

Posted by:

Donna Crane
12 Jan 2021

I have PC Matic and it works fine for my windows computer, but for the other things I have on it 2 android phones and an android tablet it doesn't seem to do anything. It runs and says it cleans my cache on them, but when I check my cache nothing has changed. It may work well on the other parts of android, but it sure doesn't clean the cache which I have to do by hand...tedious job.

Posted by:

12 Jan 2021

To those who asked about Mac, Bob writes in third to last paragraph:

" Versions are available for PC, Mac and Android devices."

Posted by:

Paul McDermott
12 Jan 2021

Answer to Fred G 11 Jan 2021 - If you have less than 5 computer on PC Maric, just add your new one then delete your old one. If you have 5 or more, just delete old one and add new one.

Posted by:

13 Jan 2021

Thanks Lucy, but does "PC" just mean Windows, or will it work with Linux? Anybody?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Versions are available for Windows, Mac and Android. No Linux.

Posted by:

13 Jan 2021

Nobody has mentioned the biggest plus for me.

I started using PC Matic a good few years ago and had used many different anti-virus and performance programs. For me PC Matic now does the lot without any time being spent tearing my hair out.

BUT wait it doesn't stop there. Being in my late 60s I had many friends who relied on 'good old Jon' to support their idiotic exploits in computer use..... I am sure many recognise the questions based on putting right things that they had been told not to do many times before..... 'But all I did' is one warning sign followed by the denials of ever having been so daft as to click on the link from the 'young lady wanting XXXXX' locally.

Now my answer is I have no idea I use PC Matic it ONLY costs £40 for 5 computers. Unfortunatelly one friend has started demanding one of my licences so he can use it as he's on a fixed income and can't afford £40 - the answer is no! - I helped work out his finances and his income is at least four times mine.

PC Matic will save time sanity and friendships and all for only £40 ($50) a year. One of the best investments you will ever make.

Posted by:

Terry Valenti
13 Jan 2021

I have nothing but praise for PC Matic 4.0, the only thing I miss is the green progress bar that went back and forth as it was scanning my computers.

Posted by:

13 Jan 2021

Had Norton included with internet service.infected twice'99'&'20'. was offered PC Pitstop for free from an electronics supply. haven't had an episode since! Should have bought Evergreen when it came out, would have saved a lot over the years.

Posted by:

Gary southeast Wisconsin
16 Jan 2021

I've had pc matic evergreen since day one and have NEVER had a single issue!

Posted by:

22 Jan 2021

Question to those who use PC Matic: How is it on System Resources?

The product I currently use ranges between 440K and 1064K when checking in Windows Task Manager.

There's more reader feedback... See all 26 comments for this article.

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