Last Updated: September 9, 2021
- VPN included: No
- Parental control: No
- Scanning speed: Decent
- Malware detection rate: 95%
- Malware removal rate: 100%
- Ransomware protection: Yes
- Impact on system performance: Low
- Customer Service: Average
- High malware detection and removal rate
- Predictive protection
- Lacks firewall, spam blocker, and VPN
- No customer support live chat
- No offline dashboard
Cylance is a California-based subsidiary of BlackBerry Limited. It’s mainly known for its innovative endpoint cybersecurity solutions that use AI to detect malware.
Cylance has two main products. While CylancePROTECT is a more advanced version for enterprises, our review focuses on the home-use Cylance Smart Antivirus. It uses the same AI-based technology as the enterprise version but doesn’t have certain advanced features, such as script management and application control.
Many Cylance security features ensure strong anti-malware protection without using too much of your system’s resources. In our Cylance review, we’ll look at the most important ones:
AI-Driven Malware Prevention
Most antivirus software programs use signature-based detection, in which the signature of a malicious object is in a database of known malware for future reference. Cylance, on the other hand, uses AI and machine learning to look for threats.
The AI antivirus learns how malicious software performs and stops all files and processes that look suspicious based on experience. It quarantines the dangerous files automatically and deletes them after a month.
Since the software uses an AI model for threat detection instead of a database, it can even block zero-day malware. This AI-based solution has little or no impact on system performance, but it continuously performs scans to detect threats in real-time.
Cloud File Scanner
Cylance can send suspicious files to the cloud for further analysis. That way it checks against the cloud’s information on recently discovered threats.
Cylance’s online dashboard ensures protection without using a lot of your device’s RAM. While you have to download a light client, all manual functions are performed on the web-based dashboard.
The feature-rich Cylance dashboard is easy to navigate. It provides information on which files it blocked, ignored, added to the exclusions list, restored, or marked as safe. Additionally, it checks any launched, terminated, or paused sessions.
The only negative is that you can’t do any of this offline. Your scans do continue to run in the background, irrespective of internet connectivity.
We looked at two industry-recognized tests to see how well Cylance compares with competitors.
AV-TEST GmbH periodically subjects leading antivirus products to carefully designed tests. On the protection criterion, where the antivirus is faced with zero-day malware, drive-by attacks, website downloads, and email attacks, Cylance was rated 2.5 out of 6 points in the latest tests (October 2020). This score is the lowest in the class.
Cylance scores better on performance (6 / 6) and usability (4 / 6). Its protection rating has fallen substantially since the last series of tests in June 2020. In the past, AV-TEST rated Cylance’s advanced threat prevention capabilities very high.
Please note that both tests used CylancePROTECT. But because the AI-based malware-protection technology is similar across the Cylance home and enterprise versions, we believe the results are still relevant.
Ease of Use
The software is ideal for new users. While it allows you to change settings and run regular scans, you don’t need to spend time managing or process files. The program is easy to install, requires minimal configuration, and updates itself automatically.
The online dashboard’s interface lines up with the software’s simplicity. Despite offering a lot of information and functionality, it never feels cluttered or difficult to understand. Our experience, alongside other Cylance reviews, confirms that there are no usability issues even with ten connected devices.
The absence of a desktop app interface is countered by a pop-up client that gives the breakdown of all malware-related activity. The client is useful for monitoring Cylance’s performance quickly.
The client’s smartphone version has some additional features for mobile security, including real-time device scanning and individual app scanning.
Cylance offers customer support only through email, but it’s unclear whether this is available 24/7. The absence of phone support or live chat is one reason for the low customer support ratings in other Cylance reviews.
Luckily, Cylance’s website has an extensive knowledge base with how-to manuals and an extensive FAQ.
We submitted two support-related queries and received the reply in about six hours for both — not particularly prompt, but not bad either. One of the reps explained the matter in detail, but the other didn’t seem to answer our main query. Still, both provided links to relevant sections in the knowledge base.
We would rate Cylance’s customer support average due to the lack of some desirable features.
Cylance does not offer a free trial, but its subscriptions come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. The three annual plans are based on the number of devices you intend to use it on:
- One device: $24.50/year
- Five devices: $34.50/year
- Ten devices: $49.50/year
There are corresponding two-year subscriptions, that offer slightly lower prices per year.
Cylance is cheaper than most well-known antivirus programs, especially if you have several devices. But this isn’t surprising, given that the Cylance home version lacks many additional features, like VPN service, privacy firewall, and parental controls.
Cylance Review – Verdict
Our Cylance review confirms that this is a powerful malware scanner at a competitive price point. However, the recent low scores on protection from AV-TEST raise some concerns.
The software is simple to use, requires minimal engagement from users, and puts little strain on processors, making it among the best antivirus that won’t slow down your PC. These features make it ideal for users who only need an antivirus program to run in the background.
However, Cylance does lack some additional features other antivirus programs offer these days. If you are looking for essential add-ons like spam filtering and a firewall, this one may not be for you.
Our Cylance review shows that it also misses an offline desktop app. The customer support could also improve with more touchpoints, especially live chat, and shorter response times.
Yes, BlackBerry Limited has owned Cylance Inc. since February 2019.
It does an excellent job of protecting against various forms of malware. Our Cylance review also shows that it doesn’t provide many extra features like other antivirus programs.
CylancePROTECT pricing starts at $5.99 per month, per user, but it’s best to consult with the Cylance sales team for a quote based on your requirements. Pricing for Cylance Smart Antivirus is different.
Cylance antivirus uses an AI-based engine that analyzes past trends to detect known and emerging malware, isolate it, and prevent infection.