User Feedback Emsisoft Anti-Malware quick review

Software
Emsisoft Anti-Malware
Installation
4.00 star(s)
Installation Feedback
Nothing to complain, works well. Uninstaller also cleared most traces, better than average I'd say.
Interface (UI)
3.00 star(s)
Interface Feedback
Again, its straightforward and does its job. I've seen better.
Usability
2.00 star(s)
Usability Feedback
Reality is the performance impact affects usability too. There simply are better products out there for same price, in fact for free too.
Performance and System Impact
1.00 star(s)
Performance and System Impact Feedback
This thing used over 1.7GB of RAM for me. Ridiculous. My 10 core 20 thread CPU was used as much as over 40% sometimes by Emsisoft processes... That is totally unacceptable. Probably a lot to do with the infamous resource hog Bitdefender engine.
Protection
3.00 star(s)
Protection Feedback
Mixed results.
Real-time file system protection
4.00 star(s)
Internet Surf protection
3.00 star(s)
Proactive Intrusion protection
4.00 star(s)
Network protection
3.00 star(s)
Pros
  1. Ransomware protection
  2. Blocks even brand new malware
  3. Virus signatures are updated very often
  4. Effective malware removal
  5. Multiple layers of protection
Cons
  1. Basics-only feature set
  2. Advanced users may want more control
  3. Noticeable system impact
  4. Can be resource-hungry
  5. Mixed results from independent testing labs
  6. Not as many features as some competitors
  7. Browser extension extras can be unreliable
  8. Significant impact while playing games
Software installed on computer
Less than 30 days
Computer specs
CPU: Intel Core i9-10900K
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
RAM: 32GB 3200MHz CL16
Storage: Samsung 960 PRO 512GB used as OS drive
Overall Rating
3.00 star(s)
Disclaimer
  1. Any views or opinions expressed are that of the member giving the information and may be subjective.
    This software may behave differently on your device.

    We encourage you to compare these opinions with others and take informed decisions on what security products to use.
    Before buying a product you should consider factors such as price, ease of use, compatibility, and support. Installing a free trial version allows an antivirus to be tested in everyday use before purchase.

Dex4Sure

Level 3
May 14, 2019
112
System resource usage just too damn high... You won't see the CPU usage spikes from that screenshot, but I saw multiple times over 40% CPU usage from a2aservice.exe process which is really unacceptable, no matter how you look at it. That would choke lower core count CPU. I've never seen AV use over 1.7GB of RAM before. Been a while I tried Bitdefender last time, but I suspect its the Bitdefender engine just getting more and more absurdly demanding. Yes, it has good behavior blocker. It doesn't have bad protection. But there are others that use significantly less resources and provide equal or better protection... Your security software should not be using this much resources imo. Still, I'll give it 3 stars and that's me being generous. After all, there are much worse products out there too. I just would not use it personally.

Screenshot 2021-02-12 114044.png
 

SecureKongo

Level 21
Verified
Malware Tester
Feb 25, 2017
1,052
I've tried Bitdefender not so long ago but never saw it using this much ram. Maybe the issue is Emsisoft related.
It's actually the Bitdefender engine. Had the same problem (If you even want to call it a problem) with Emsisoft and GData. I was also that kind of guy who was complaining about the high RAM usage, but the RAM is there to be used.
 

SeriousHoax

Level 36
Verified
Mar 16, 2019
2,577
It's actually the Bitdefender engine. Had the same problem (If you even want to call it a problem) with Emsisoft and GData. I was also that kind of guy who was complaining about the high RAM usage, but the RAM is there to be used.
I meant, we know Bitdefender uses a lot of ram, but I never saw it using 1.7gb of ram. Even with enough ram 1.7gb is probably not needed by an AV unless it's doing some heavy task in the background.
 

blackice

Level 33
Verified
Apr 1, 2019
2,203
I meant, we know Bitdefender uses a lot of ram, but I never saw it using 1.7gb of ram. Even with enough ram 1.7gb is probably not needed by an AV unless it's doing some heavy task in the background.
I agree last summer using Bitdefender I never saw it go over 450MB. The CPU usage is also concerning, unless it is during a scan. I find the performance impact people perceive from AVs varies wildly. And different reviews testing methodologies seem confusing and not helpful. But this sounds clearly bad.
 

SeriousHoax

Level 36
Verified
Mar 16, 2019
2,577
I agree last summer using Bitdefender I never saw it go over 450MB. The CPU usage is also concerning, unless it is during a scan. I find the performance impact people perceive from AVs varies wildly. And different reviews testing methodologies seem confusing and not helpful. But this sounds clearly bad.
I also had a CPU usage issue with Emsisoft and even reported it to their forum. After that I found out that some other users also facing the issue. They pushed some updates saying they fixed it but still some users were having problem but the devs were unable to reproduce it on their end. But that's almost a year ago. I didn't follow what happened afterwards. Now looks like they haven't properly fixed it yet.
 

Evjl's Rain

Level 46
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
Malware Hunter
Apr 18, 2016
3,549
the last time I tried it (~3 years ago), it used ~1-1.2GB of RAM in total => not enough RAM to play my RAM-demanding game => crashed after 20 mins of playing
Free ram is wasted but abusing too much RAM is really bad
There was 1 more problem that when I exited Emsisoft to play game due to the above issue, I finished the gaming session and opened Emsisoft back, it generated errors (components could not be enabled) and required a reboot
I searched on emsisoft forum. Someone actually had the same issue and they said they fixed it in a previous version. Obviously, they couldn't fix it at the time I used
uninstalled immediately despite having a free 1-year license
 

rain2reign

Level 5
Jun 21, 2020
226
Looks to me that there is either a conflict somewhere or your Emsisoft client itself is bugged. Why? Emsisoft itself does not use that much RAM. Mine at most uses 200 MegaByte, and if you're using it on an older or less demanding system with more limited RAM, you can turn on 'Memory Usage Optimization' under advanced settings. The higher RAM usage (under normal conditions, not 1.7 GB RAM), is not just because there is an Bitdefender engine present alongside their own, but also by default Emsisoft offloads its definitions into the RAM for faster access and performance. 'Memory Usage Optimization' prevents that offload to the RAM from happening. The amount of RAM should normally vary between 150 to 350 MegaByte.

-Noticeable system impact
-Can be resource-hungry
-Significant impact while playing games
Most of your negative points are connected to this issue (a few copied above). Have you tried reinstalling the client and/or turning on Memory Usage Optimization to see if there was a difference in RAM usage? And how much, if there was.

(Though I must mention, I never experienced any issues with EAM while gaming.)

If you're in need of extensive features and a UI that comes with that, instead of the lovely UI Emsisoft offers (in my opinion), than this product is simply not for you. In that case the competition might be more up your alley like for example Eset, Bitdefender or Kaspersky to name a few… Competitors with more opt-in features.

Then again, I can also be one of the few thousands that every company has that never had an issue unless I am looking for it myself, which I do for fun. Since i like breaking stuff. :D
 
Last edited:

Evjl's Rain

Level 46
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
Malware Hunter
Apr 18, 2016
3,549
The last time I used Emsisoft on my main computer, it slowed it down a lot. As a result, I uninstalled it shortly after installing it. Of course many people find it to be quite light, but that was my experience.
perhaps, emsisoft is only light when users have at least 10GB of RAM. My 8GB RAM is just enough to do only light to moderate tasks
when I did memory-demanding tasks, windows started to use virtual memory -> slow
Sadly, emsisoft is the only AV which forces my windows to do so
 

Dex4Sure

Level 3
May 14, 2019
112
In my opinion your computer is infected and Emsisoft is desperate to disinfect 🤭
My computers have not been infected for at least a decade. I ran Windows 7 back in the day without any AV and actually never did get infected... It all comes down to safe computing habits, not installing unknown software or software from unknown sources and using a couple browser extensions to harden your browser.

Emsisoft behavior blocker was probably just monitoring multiple running applications at same time... Hence why I'm not really fan of behavior blockers in the first place. When you know proper browsing habits + use proper adblocker the attack surface is already considerably reduced. I also block all 3rd party cookies on all of my browsers... Only downloading and installing software from official sources as well. If someone shared me an installer of any particular software, I would not run it even if my AV or VirusTotal did not detect anything. I'd still download that particular software's installer from the official source. Most malware gets through from malicious ads, by blocking them you already blocked majority of the threats imo. Another major source for malware are e-mail attachments... So again, don't go open those attachments from unknown senders.

That performance hogging was obviously just flawed design from Emsisoft's part. Malwarebytes and HitmanPro scans come always clean. Emsisoft was just busy being resource hog and monitoring legitimate applications. This is exactly why I never liked this software. Bitdefender engine in general is a buggy performance hogging mess as well. F-Secure improved instantly their product after switching over to Avira engine...

Personally I keep basically flip flopping between Windows Defender and ESET Internet Security cause I find them to be the only non intrusive ones. I end up always concluding it isn't worth paying for ESET, yet I do prefer it over WD. Its just WD is already more than enough protection for experienced user. Who knows, maybe I'll end up wasting money for ESET license simply cause I do appreciate the efficient coding behind it. Mind you, I always disable HTTPS scanning/certificate on ESET. I think that is utterly pointless and no AV should go breaking HTTPS standard.

Contrary to popular belief here, I think ESET is taking the right route by not having a proper behavior blocker. BB is like an annoying nanny for experienced users. HIPS can be configured to be just as effective if not more so, without any added performance penalty that would come with fully fledged behavior blocker. And signatures are often overlooked - they are the surest way to catch a malware, and it just so happens ESET signatures are top notch as well. Point being, you don't have to be a resource hogging mess to provide excellent protection.
 
Top