Part of the Sophos family, Hitman Pro has been around for some time now. In this fully independent Hitman Pro review, I’ll be taking a look at how this popular antivirus software suite measures up by today’s standards.
Our recommendation: McAfee
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During the course of this Hitman Pro review, I’ll be attempting to answer such important questions as:
- What is Hitman Pro?
- Is the Hitman Pro Free version reliable?
- How competitive is Hitman Pro pricing?
- Is Hitman Pro safe?
- How does Hitman software compare to the competition?
- Is Hitman Pro antivirus worth paying for?
- Is Hitman Pro Alert worth the extra money?
The popularity of Hitman Pro lies primarily in the fact that it is such an extremely lightweight solution, which provides decent overall coverage at an extremely low price. Though there are some who claim Hitman antivirus and anti malware protection doesn’t quite go far enough for power users. Because of this, you should maybe consider our top antivirus software lineup and also our business antivirus reviews.
Let’s take a look at what this affordable package brings to the table in a little more detail.
Is Hitman Pro Worth the Cost?
To be frank, I can’t realistically say that Hitman Pro is anything but a bargain. In terms of value for money, you get exactly what you pay for. There’s a Hitman free trial available to see how things work and you’re not even expected to enter any credit card details to give it a shot.
Considering the fact that Hitman Pro 64 costs as little as $35 per year – and that’s for the Pro version of the software – you can’t really argue with what’s on offer. Anyone looking for a lightweight solution that isn’t going to slow your system down will be right at home with this thing.
Plus, even when running Hitman Pro for PC on a relatively dated system, it only takes around 15 minutes in total to run a full scan. Just as long as you can cope without a ton of additional features, it’s a decent software package at a super-low price. Though at this point it’s worth highlighting the fact that Hitman Pro for Mac is yet to make an appearance – no Mac compatibility as of yet.
Hitman Pro Features
Actually getting up and running with the Hitman Pro download is just about as easy as it gets. When I said it’s a lightweight piece of software, I wasn’t kidding – the whole thing weighs in at just 12MB. That makes it one of the tiniest downloads of any comparable computer security suite available right now. Once it has been downloaded and installed, its primary scanning feature can conduct a complete scan in less than 5 minutes. Though of course, this depends on the system it is being run on, how many issues are detected and so on.
Powered by the latest technology from five of the biggest names in the business - Dr. Web, IKARUS, G Data, Emsisoft, Kaspersky, and Bitdefender - Hitman Pro provides a detailed overview of anything suspicious picked up during the scan. As it uses cloud-based analysis (rather than local), Hitman Pro has almost no impact whatsoever on system performance. Even if you’re using seriously outdated hardware at the time, you probably won’t even notice it is running.
The scans performed are surprisingly in-depth for such a lightweight piece of software. There’s also the option of conducting a ‘Quick Scan’ in as little as 2 minutes, but this won’t scour in particularly fine detail for all possible errors and issues. Still, it’s great when just looking to cover the basics and in a hurry.
In addition, the ‘Kickstart’ feature has the potential to be worth its weight in gold, if you fall victim to an attack. This enables the user to create a bootable Hitman Pro Kickstart USB flash drive, meaning that even if you are locked out of your system as a consequence of a ransomware attack, you’ll still be able to boot it up and access your files.
An excellent additional insurance policy, courtesy of a computer software suite that costs next to nothing.
Reliability and Security
The fact that Hitman Pro uses cloud-based analysis can be advantageous in a variety of ways. Along with putting next to no strain on finite system resources, it also enables the software to conduct analysis based on data provided from multiple servers and engines - Dr. Web, G Data, Emsisoft, and others. Again, something that enables a low-cost piece of lightweight software to perform surprisingly well.
Various independent tests carried out on Hitman Pro have demonstrated its capacity to detect and remove up to 100% of common and unusual malware and ransomware. Irrespective of how new or unusual the threat is, Hitman Pro really is surprisingly competent at detecting threats and removing them from your system. Assuming you go with the Hitman Pro Alert package, you’ll be covered in real-time with the addition of anti-ransomware protection (not included in the base version).
That said, it’s important to remember that Hitman Pro is technically quite limited in its capacity, when compared to more advanced anti-virus suites. Hitman Pro is basically designed to detect threats and remove them from your computer – that’s pretty much where it comes to an end. More than adequate coverage for the vast majority of users and an unbeatable low price, though perhaps not quite sophisticated enough for power users or business applications.
As touched upon above, the malware protection afforded by Hitman Pro is surprisingly robust for such an affordable package. Hitman Pro uses a cloud-based analysis and scanning system that’s powered by five of the biggest names in the business, which enable it to keep up to date with all the latest threats at all times. Rather than the localized software having to be updated to pick up on the newest and most pressing threats, it’s already taken care of when Hitman Pro connects to its various servers and engines.
This is precisely why when put to the test, Hitman Pro demonstrates its capacity to protect against malware on the same level as several significantly more advanced (and expensive) software suites. All with the added bonus of an extremely lightweight package that takes just minutes to perform a full scan and puts next to no drain whatsoever on system resources.
Simple and uncomplicated it may be, but Hitman Pro nonetheless performs with exceptional competency where malware protection is concerned.
Hitman Pro offers three different scanning options, which can be activated at the touch of a button:
Early Score Warning
Upon launching a scan, Hitman Pro automatically connects to its cloud verification service to ensure it recognizes all the latest threats and potential issues. This ensures a surprisingly fast and thorough scan in all instances, though at the same time means you need a reliable Internet connection for it to do its job properly.
A list of all threats identified is then presented, which can be dealt with as required or analysed in more detail by double-clicking them to reveal full information.
Is HitmanPro Enough for Protection?
The question as to whether or not Hitman Pro is sufficient as a standalone security suite depends entirely on the requirements of the user in question. Put through an extensive range of independent tests, Hitman Pro has consistently scored between 85% and 100%, in terms of its capability of detecting and removing various types of malware.
For strictly personal use in an everyday household environment, Hitman Pro most likely provides all the protection you will ever need. For power users or for use in a business environment, it may be a little too lightweight. That said, Hitman Pro comes highly recommended as something of a ‘second opinion’ malware detection and removal suite. Something to use in conjunction with a secondary antivirus package, in order to make use of its super-fast scanning and so on.
As a standalone security suite, Hitman Pro doesn’t perform on the same level as say Bitdefender or AVG. And nor is it designed to – precisely why it’s significantly less expensive, more lightweight in its design and easier to use. In any case, given the fact that Hitman Pro ships for less than $35 per year for the upper-end version, there’s no arguing with what it delivers in terms of value for money.
Ease of Use
This is another area in which Hitman Pro shines, having been specifically engineered to be as accessible and uncomplicated as possible. The Hitman Pro download is tiny and the installation process takes a few minutes max, after which the software boots up and automatically sets up a scan.
Hitman Pro’s user interface was once a little on the rudimentary and uninspiring side. Today, it’s significantly more intuitive and user-friendly, having been redesigned and optimised for the everyday user in mind. Rather than being bombarded with dozens of menus, hundreds of options and thousands of complex variables you’ll have no real use for, there are just a few simple buttons for conducting scans and dealing with threats.
There are plenty of adjustable settings in the ‘Settings’ menu, but the suite’s default configuration is just about right for most everyday users. You can also access stored reports from previous scans if you wish to do so, though again – not something the vast majority of everyday users will need to do. Top marks for simplicity therefore and an excellent choice for anyone who doesn’t have a ton of experience working with advanced anti-virus software packages.
Package Features – What Does Hitman Pro Have to Offer?
There are currently two versions of Hitman Pro available - Malware Removal and Alert. Personally, I don’t really see the point in these two separate versions existing, given how the price difference between them is only $10 per year. The lower-tier version excludes some of the most important and essential features you get with Hitman Pro Alert, so for the sake of an extra $10 really isn’t worth bothering with.
That said, irrespective of which package you go for, you’re still covered for a full year and can use the software to protect up to three computers. Which really isn’t bad, when you consider how cheap both options are.
Just for the record, Hitman Pro Malware Removal is currently available at a cost of $24.95 per year. That’s exceptionally cheap for any computer security suite, though in this instance really is too limited to be of any real value. It doesn’t offer real-time protection, nor does it protect against ransomware on any level. It’s not a bad deal for the money, but still technically leaves you wide open to plenty of threats.
In any case, the top-end alternative - Hitman Pro Alert – comes in at just $34.95 per year. That’s less than $3.00 per month for a vastly superior security suite. By stepping up to the higher-end version for just $10 extra, you benefit from a long list of additional features like real-time ransomware, PUP, online banking, exploit, keylogger and webcam protection.
The most important difference with Hitman Pro Alert being that it performs a wide variety of duties in the background, without any input required on the part of the user. Just a few examples of which include the following:
Protects vulnerable programs that are often targeted by cyber criminals, who use everyday software packages like MS Excel and Word to find something of a ‘back door’ into your system
Protects against ransomware by detecting and reacting to suspicious activity automatically and instantaneously. All significantly reducing the risk of falling victim to a ransomware attack
Protects your online privacy by encrypting data and preventing hackers from logging your keystrokes. It also ensures that if anyone attempts to activate your webcam without your authorization, it’s brought to your attention and stopped
Again, I can’t stress enough just how important it is to shell out an additional $10 per year to protect yourself with the Alert version. Seriously – it’s less than an additional $1 per month to cover yourself against a wide variety of threats. Many of which could see you massively out of pocket, should you fall victim to an attack.
Unsurprisingly, when considering how cheap the paid version is, Hitman Pro isn’t currently available as a free version. Though this doesn’t mean you cannot try it out for free and with no risk of losing your money if you’re not completely satisfied. Whichever of the two versions you go for, you can download the software from the official Hitman Pro 100% free of charge and try it out for 30 days at no cost.
Impressively, during this 30-day free trial, you gain full access to 100% of the features and functionalities available. Far from the usual stripped-back and diluted free versions software companies provide.
Better yet, there’s no requirement to enter any credit card details of payment information, in order to download and try Hitman Pro for yourself. The download measures just 4.6MB and the total unpacked software suite needs around 12MB of disk space, meaning the whole thing can be up and running in a matter of minutes. Even if you’re not completely convinced Hitman Pro is for you, it’s perfectly simple to download, install and put through its paces within the space of around half an hour.
Given all of the above, it’s perfectly understandable that Hitman Pro isn’t covered by a traditional money-back guarantee. The simple fact of the matter being that you don’t really need one, given how you get 30 days of free access to the full version, before deciding whether or not to go ahead and pay for a subscription.
On that note, Hitman Pro also scores points for excluding automatic license renewals from the equation. Unlike most similar software suites, Hitman Pro doesn’t automatically extend your licence and charge you for the privilege, when your current subscription comes to an end. It’s significantly more honest and transparent than most of its rivals, sending a friendly reminder that your subscription is coming to an end, without automatically charging you for another year’s protection.
Support and Customer Services
Let’s be honest – exactly how much dedicated customer support would you expect for this kind of cash? Hitman Pro’s top-tier version ships for less than $35 per year, so you need to be realistic with your customer support expectations. Telephone support and live chat are excluded from the equation, which means there’s technically no access whatsoever to immediate real-time support. Instead, it’s a case of contacting the Hitman Pro support team by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the plus side, these guys are known for responding to email support requests far quicker than some comparable customer support teams. You’re not usually waiting more than a few hours for a response, though this isn’t of much use where urgent questions and queries are concerned.
Still, Hitman Pro does provide users with access to plenty of helpful resources and an extremely detailed FAQ. Given the simplicity of the system as a whole, you’ll almost always be able to find the answers you need without actually reaching out to the support team. It would be nice to see at least a live chat facility added to the mix, though this would undoubtedly result in considerably higher prices.
Something that would take the shine off the whole thing, given how ultra-affordability is one of Hitman Pro’s primary selling points.
Pricing and Verdict
As is always the case, I try my best to reach a verdict on the basis of overall value for money. Comparing computer software suites like for like in terms of features and functionalities isn’t always appropriate, given the enormous differences in costs from one suite to the next. In addition, I’m also aware of the fact that not everyone needs an FBI-grade computer protection package you need a degree in computer science to operate.
In many instances, basic coverage at an affordable price will do – precisely where Hitman Pro excels.
If simply looking for a rudimentary malware detection and removal package for home or small business use, Hitman Pro is superb. It may be relatively limited in terms of scope, but is nonetheless exceptionally easy to use and just about as affordable as it gets. There are two options to choose from, but opting for anything other than the $35 per-year premium version would be a big mistake. Particularly given how you’ll only save $10 by choosing the cheaper version and could leave yourself wide open to a world of threats.
For this kind of money, you’d expect nothing more than basic coverage, limited customer support and a relatively short list of features and functionalities. And that’s exactly what you get, but Hitman Pro still adds up to extremely impressive value for money.
Also worth commending is the initial 30-day free trial, which not only provides unlimited access to all of the features available but can also be downloaded and used without providing credit card details. A clear display of confidence on the part of Hitman Pro’s development team and all the reason you need to check it out for yourself.
Our recommendation: McAfee
Although the product we talked about are notable in the market, it doesn’t come close to McAfee. McAfee is a leading antivirus company in the cybersecurity industry due to its unique line-up of programs catered to dealing with malware and antivirus attacks. No wonder over 18.9 billion devices are protected using McAfee! Check out their security programs here!
Hitman Pro has more than its fair share of points of appeal, including but not limited to the following:
On the downside, Hitman Pro could also stand to be improved in the following areas: