I’ve been doing this independent consulting thing since 2015, and I’ve learned a lot about antivirus, anti-malware programs. Specifically, a lot of them are nasty behaviors. A lot of them will put a tremendous load on your system and slow things down. A lot of them will endlessly nag you about things. The first one I settled on was Bitdefender.

Bitdefender is a great company. They offer an antivirus boot disk. Were free, which got me hooked on them. Now, I don’t believe they offer the disc anymore. That’s a corporate decision. I don’t know anything about why they don’t. But they do make good products. A product that doesn’t bother people. A product that just quietly sits in the system tray and does its job. And for that reason I standardized them. And all of my clients. Agreed to use Bitdefender.

The reason I liked it so much was because I was using GravityZone, which gave me a central website to log into that gave me the overall health of all of my client machines. And I was happy with Bitdefender for a long time. This year, in April, I was supposed to… I paid my annual fee. My annual fee got very large over time. I’m not sure why. But basically it was just too much for me to afford.

Fortunately, in the process of picking up a new client, I discovered a product called PCmatic. PCmatic is a pretty amazing, comprehensive, affordable product. BC Medic has anti-malware and anti-virus. The most impressive thing about PCmatic is that if it does not specifically recognize a program, it will not allow it to run.

Now, think about what this means. This means that you have just eliminated ransomware. Ransomware has to run as an executable program in order to do its damage. PCmatic only recognizes executable programs in its database. These programs are of course hashed, so that if someone just renames a file to notepad.exe, it’s not going to run. Therefore, I cannot imagine better ransomware protection than what PCmatic offers.

Now this does come at a cost. It’s a bit of a pain in the tail because simple things like backup scripts will not run the first time. PCmatic does feature a main dashboard where you can create customers and list machines under each month. And when one of your customers tries to run something and PCmatic blocks it, you get an alert there. And you can very quickly go in and allow the program if it’s legitimate. However, your customer may get a very brief pop-up saying this program is not being allowed to run, contact your administrator.

With my clients, that’s a fair tradeoff. So, from the outset, PCmatic offers you a very secure environment. It also does full scans and it will locate and quarantine bad behaviors. In addition to this, it will do things like delete temp files, delete old Windows install files, delete caches. It will keep your system clean. In this sense, it replaces CCleaner Cloud for me. Now, it doesn’t have all the functionality of CCleaner Cloud, but it has enough to where I no longer have to pay license fees to CCleaner Cloud. So, it’s saving me money there.

Finally, it also gives you a remote control session ability. Now, it has to be running on Windows on your master machine. I run a Linux desktop and I don’t have any way to do it from there. So, I have to do my remote control work from a Windows 10 virtual machine. But, it is a very nice VNC-based remote control approach. And, it’s quite responsive. It’s every bit as responsive as remote PC. I have not yet decided to terminate my remote PC license. I have quite a while to think about that before it’s due. However, indications are that I just might. As long as I have… With VMatic installed on client machines, I can jump in through a VNC session and give them remote assistance. So for less than what I’m paying, Bitdefender, I’m getting a product that provides anti-malware, anti-virus protection. It also provides system cleanup protection. And it provides remote control ability. That is a pretty amazing collection of utilities. And it seems to be popular among my clients. It doesn’t bother them with anything. It just works. That’s what my clients want. They want to be able to do their jobs without dealing with nags. So this is a completely unpaid, unrequested endorsement of a product that I suggest you look into.

If you, like me, are a managed service provider, you can give them a shot for two months without getting charged anything. And that’s actually what I’m in the process of doing now.

What really impressed me was the support. I was contacted by one support person when I had a hard time figuring out how to open up a remote control session. That is, I didn’t realize I had to have the client installed on my master Windows machine before I could connect remotely to machine, period.

That being said, one particular individual took an interest in it and started sending me emails saying, How’s it going? Is there anything else I can help you with? And it turns out there were some other issues I was having, minor issues, which we very quickly got through. So, their support is top-notch. The person who turned me on to them told me that when they have to file a ticket, they typically get a response within 30 minutes. The longest they had to wait was a couple of hours. And it’s not some fellow on the other side of the world who recently learned English. Someone who understands you and is understandable.

So give PCMatic a try. You may be impressed.