6 Best Ransomware Protection & Removal Tools in 2024

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To defend against attacks, ransomware protection software and removal tools employ a variety of methods like backups, network segmentation, incident response, and endpoint security. Effective ransomware protection and removal allow organizations to resume operations without interruption, regardless of the severity of the ransomware assault. To assist you in selecting the most suitable one, I’ve examined the leading ransomware protection and removal tools.

Here are the six best ransomware protection and removal tools:

  • Malwarebytes: Best overall ransomware removal tool
  • Bitdefender: Best ransomware remediation tool
  • Trend Micro: Best for pricing and extra security capabilities
  • ESET PROTECT: Best for real-time endpoints visibility
  • Sophos: Best for customer support and cyber insurance
  • Avast: Best free ransomware scanner and prevention tool

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Top Ransomware Protection & Removal Tools Comparison

Here’s a comparison chart for the six best tools, outlining their key ransomware protection and removal capabilities and their pricing details.

Ransomware DetectionRansomware Decryptor ToolsExpert Support for Rescue & RestorationCyberthreat InsuranceLowest Tier Pricing Per Device
Trend Micro✔️✔️✔️$4/month
ESET PROTECT✔️✔️$13/month
Sophos✔️✔️✔️✔️Contact sales

✔️= Yes ➕= Limited/Add-On

While several products excelled in individual categories, Malwarebytes leads among the options due to its overall ransomware protection and removal capabilities. However, Bitdefender and Trend Micro are very close contenders. Read more below to see each tool’s performance in pricing, features, and key use cases, or head directly to my evaluation methodology.

Note: All per-endpoint prices are based on a one-year commitment unless otherwise noted.

Malwarebytes Best Overall Ransomware Removal Tool

Overall Rating: 4.4/5

  • Core features: 4.6/5
  • Extra security capabilities: 3.8/5
  • Pricing and transparency: 4.6/5
  • Ease of use and admin: 5/5
  • Customer support: 3.4/5
  • Compliance and data privacy: 4.7/5

Malwarebytes leads our list of the top anti-ransomware tools with its wide array of core features, intuitive UI, and easy deployment. Malwarebytes Premium actively prevents ransomware attacks and includes robust features including threat advisory services, multi-platform compatibility, suspicious website blocking, and detection with rollback capabilities. It also employs AI and machine learning to give more complete protection against emerging threats.

  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Real-time threat detection
  • Available for company and home-user contexts


  • Some issues with support’s responsiveness
  • Users report lags in software updates
  • Premium plan per endpoint costs high
  • Malwarebytes Free: Available for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS
  • Malwarebytes Premium: $69+ per year, per endpoint
  • Free trial: 14 days
  • Free demo: Contact to schedule
  • Threat advisory services: Offer continuous insights and assistance on emerging network threats.
  • Restoration expert support: Provides professional support and assistance during ransomware attacks to recover data.
  • Ransomware decryptors: Supply tools for the decryption of files encrypted by ransomware assaults.
  • AI and machine learning: Enhances security and efficiency by real-time threat detection and predictive maintenance of tools.
Malwarebytes dashboard.

While Malwarebytes has a user-friendly interface, buyers looking for a unified platform with ransomware remediation capabilities may find Bitdefender a better fit.

Bitdefender Best Ransomware Remediation Tool

Overall Rating: 4.3/5

  • Core features: 4.4/5
  • Extra security capabilities: 4.5/5
  • Pricing and transparency: 3.9/5
  • Ease of use and admin: 5/5
  • Customer support: 2.9/5
  • Compliance and data privacy: 4.7/5

Bitdefender’s GravityZone is a unified platform that offers a ransomware remediation tool to secure against ransomware attacks by automatically backing up items such as documents, photos, videos, and music. When Bitdefender detects a ransomware attack, it stops all relevant processes, starts the cleanup process, and alerts the user. This enables the recovery of encrypted data without the need to pay a ransom, protecting data from loss or destruction.

  • Clear and searchable documentation
  • Available on cloud and on-premises
  • Integrates with many security tools


  • Customers report slow response in support
  • Non-malicious devices can be blocked by default
  • Limited VPN usage on basic plans
  • Bitdefender Antivirus Plus: $42+ for the first subscription year
  • Contact for quote: Custom plans available
  • Free trial: 30 days
  • Free demo: Contact to schedule
  • Broad protection: Defends against multiple varieties of malware, including zero-day threats, offering comprehensive security coverage.
  • Machine learning and behavioral analytics: Use advanced algorithms to learn from data patterns and behaviors for proactive detection and mitigation of new threats.
  • Human risk analytics: Helps teams understand how specific behaviors link with business risks, which improves decision-making and risk management procedures.
  • Automatic blocking: Instantly eliminates hazardous actions discovered within the customer’s network, reducing potential damage and maintaining long-term security.
Bitdefender dashboard.

Bitdefender offers a wide range of anti-ransomware features, but Trend Micro’s plans provide more detail and transparency about their pricing structures and features, which allows users to make more informed judgments.

Trend Micro Best for Pricing & Extra Security Capabilities

Overall Rating: 4.2/5

  • Core features: 4.1/5
  • Extra security capabilities: 4.3/5
  • Pricing and transparency: 5/5
  • Ease of use and admin: 3.8/5
  • Customer support: 2.8/5
  • Compliance and data privacy: 5/5

Trend Micro Deep Security’s ransomware protection tool offers additional security features such as a data/file shredder, interaction with security tools, a vulnerability scanner, and access to cyberthreat insurance for total protection. It provides cloud and on-premises deployment options, antivirus, ransomware detection, and a list of decryptor tools you can use. They provide transparent pricing details for all their plans so you can gauge the most suitable plan for you. 

  • Detailed pricing information for all plans
  • Transparent privacy policy and compliance
  • Offers anti-hacking features


  • Hard-to-configure policy management
  • Logging and reporting needs improvement
  • Full scans take a lot of time
  • Free Trend Micro tools: Basic security features directly downloadable
  • Antivirus+ Security: $40+ per year
  • Maximum Security: $50+ per year
  • Premium Security Suit: $55+ per year
  • Free trial: 30 days
  • Free demo: Contact to schedule
  • Network blind spots elimination: Uses strong defense that covers cloud-based systems, on-premises data centers, and industrial locations.
  • Hybrid/multi-cloud protection: Implements security measures to gain the benefits of cloud computing while ensuring seamless protection across all cloud environments.
  • Threat insights: Gain useful intelligence and analysis on potential threats, allowing for proactive detection and mitigation of security risks based on complete threat intelligence.
  • Suspicious website blocking: Prevents access to potentially malicious websites by installing mechanisms that detect and block suspicious URLs.
Trend Micro Deep Security dashboard.

Trend Micro excels in providing additional security features against ransomware, but if you’re specifically looking for extensive monitoring tools, ESET PROTECT caters to users seeking complete oversight of their whole cybersecurity infrastructure.

ESET PROTECT Best Real-Time Endpoints Visibility

Overall Rating: 3.8/5

  • Core features: 4.4/5
  • Extra security capabilities: 3.2/5
  • Pricing and transparency: 3.9/5
  • Ease of use and admin: 4.4/5
  • Customer support: 2.5/5
  • Compliance and data privacy: 4/5

ESET PROTECT provides real-time visibility of all endpoints via a user-friendly online portal available on-premises or in the cloud, offering extensive monitoring and administration capabilities. The Advanced edition protects against ransomware and sophisticated threats by combining endpoint security, complete disk encryption, and cloud sandbox analysis. It uses advanced ML and behavioral inspection to accurately prevent ransomware-like processes.

  • Offers cybersecurity training add-on
  • Provides free ransomware decryptors
  • Uses advanced machine learning


  • Has false positives
  • Consumes system resources, leading to lagging
  • Encrypting needs improvement
  • ESET Protect Entry: $154+ per 5 endpoints, per year
  • ESET Protect Advanced: $200+ per 5 endpoints, per year
  • ESET Protect Entry: $246+ per 5 endpoints, per year
  • Contact for quote: Custom plans and add-on tools available
  • Free trial: 30 days
  • Free demo: Contact to schedule
  • Protection against ransomware and zero-day attacks: Prevents unauthorized encryption and data compromise.
  • Deep behavioral inspection: Examines application behavior to detect ransomware patterns, proactively preventing infestations by spotting anomalous activities.
  • Ransomware shield: Blocks ransomware-like programs to prevent file encryption, adding an extra layer of protection against data loss and financial extortion.
  • Real-time endpoint visibility: Allows administrators to monitor security status, track incidents, and respond quickly to threats.
ESET PROTECT interface.

ESET PROTECT is notable for its advanced monitoring and administrative features, but its customer support still needs improvement. If you want comprehensive assistance and financial protection against cybersecurity risks, Sophos Intercept X outperforms ESET in customer service and cyber insurance offers.

Sophos Intercept X Best Customer Support & Cyber Insurance

Overall Rating: 3.7/5

  • Core features: 4.3/5
  • Extra security capabilities: 3.7/5
  • Pricing and transparency: 2.2/5
  • Ease of use and admin: 4.8/5
  • Customer support: 3.5/5
  • Compliance and data privacy: 4/5

Sophos Intercept X offers global expert support via Sophos X-Ops to provide rapid, effective enterprise-level ransomware security. Through their latest CryptoGuard 5 technology, the tool protects endpoints and servers against ransomware by preventing illegal encryption and then restores data. Combining the tool with Sophos MDR, users can reduce their cyber risk via Cysurance’s enhanced ransomware protection and up to $3.2M insurance coverage.

  • Non-disruptive background operations
  • Console provides overall view of all solutions
  • Integrates well with other security solutions


  • Lacks pricing information
  • Hard to manage for small businesses
  • Hogs the device’s memory
  • Contact for quote: Custom plans available
  • Free trial: 30 days
  • Free demo: Contact to schedule
  • Anti-ransomware technology: Includes automatic file recovery and behavioral analytics. Uses advanced algorithms to detect and neutralize ransomware threats.
  • Zero-trust network access (ZTNA): Allows remote employees to securely access business applications by adopting rigorous access controls regardless of location.
  • A single management console: Provides centralized management of numerous Sophos security solutions, improving monitoring and maintaining security.
  • Malware detection and removal: Scans, identifies, and removes malware and other threats from a single endpoint.
Sophos interface.

While Sophos effectively protects users through their core anti-ransomware features, it can be hard to check if their pricing suits your organization’s budget. If you want to defend yourself from ransomware at a low cost, consider Avast’s widely used free antivirus product, which offers basic ransomware protection.

Avast Best Free Ransomware Scanner & Prevention Tool

Overall Rating: 3.7/5

  • Core features: 4/5
  • Extra security capabilities: 3/5
  • Pricing and transparency: 4.2/5
  • Ease of use and admin: 4.3/5
  • Customer support: 1.9/5
  • Compliance and data privacy: 3/5

Avast provides a reliable and free ransomware detection and prevention tool, supported by a large community of over 435 million members. Its free antivirus tool, Avast One, prevents viruses and malware, detects threats in real time, scans for Wi-Fi weaknesses, and protects personal files from encryption. Their paid plans offer advanced protection, including a sophisticated firewall to prevent data theft and Avast SecureLine VPN for encrypted browsing.

  • Easy user interface
  • Offers free antivirus tool
  • Easy deployment on devices


  • Sometimes recognizes normal files as threats
  • Directly deletes some quarantined files
  • Slow responses in customer support
  • Avast One: Basic ransomware scanning and protection downloadable for free
  • Essential Business Security: $149+ for five devices, per year
  • Premium Business Security: $187+ for five devices, per year
  • Ultimate Business Security: $227+ for five devices, per year
  • Free trial: 30 days
  • Free demo: Contact to schedule
  • Threat response: Allows for quick and effective responses to security issues, including the discovery, containment, and mitigation of cyberthreats.
  • Device management: Facilitates centralized control and monitoring of network devices, compliance with security standards, device health, and other security measures.
  • Anomaly detection: Uses complex algorithms to detect aberrant behavior or deviations from regular network patterns, indicating potential security vulnerabilities or breaches.
  • Application security: Protects apps from security threats such as unauthorized access, data breaches, and malicious attacks by establishing access restrictions and encryption.
Avast dashboard.

While Avast’s free and premium ransomware protection is widely recognized for its reliability and effectiveness, Malwarebytes outperforms it in core ransomware prevention and removal features.

Top 5 Features of Ransomware Protection & Removal Tools

Ransomware detection, decryptor tools for file recovery, and expert restoration assistance are all essential features of ransomware protection and removal tools. A good tool should also provide real-time antivirus protection to avoid attacks and should incorporate cyber insurance for financial protection against ransomware assaults. 

Ransomware Detection

The ransomware detection feature quickly identifies and warns users about ransomware threats before they encrypt files or affect systems. It uses complex algorithms and behavioral analysis to proactively detect ransomware-like activity, allowing users to take timely action to neutralize the danger and avoid potential data loss or extortion efforts.

Decryptor Tools

Ransomware decryptor tools are specialized software that reverses the encryption that ransomware uses on files or computers. These tools use a variety of approaches, including brute-force attacks and exploiting encryption weaknesses, to recover encrypted data without paying the ransom, allowing users to safely restore access to their files and computers.

Rescue & Restoration Expert Support

This offering delivers immediate assistance during ransomware outbreaks. Ransomware solutions often include support services from cybersecurity professionals who guide customers through recovery methods, decrypt files, and reduce damage, providing quick system restoration and little downtime, protecting data integrity and business continuity.

Real-Time Antivirus Protection

Real-time antivirus protection continually watches for harmful actions that could indicate a ransomware encryption attempt. Using an antivirus tool prevents file encryption by quickly detecting and fighting ransomware in real time, reducing the risk of data loss and financial extortion. It then ensures that users retain control of their systems. 

Cyber Insurance

Cyber insurance protects against the financial losses resulting from ransomware attacks. It includes expenses such as data recovery, legal fees, and regulatory fines. By having a cyber insurance service, you reduce the financial effect of assaults while allowing your firm to recover swiftly and continue operations with minimal disruption.

How I Evaluated the Best Ransomware Protection & Removal Tools

To conduct an extensive review, I classified six main criteria of ransomware protection and removal tools. Each category includes subcriteria — a list of specific features and functions, all weighted and scored based on their availability. Based on the overall scores, I identified the top six tools. Lastly, I determined each tool’s specific use cases by taking into account their highest scores and supplemented it with my research on user reviews and other relevant resources.

Evaluation Criteria

In this evaluation, I prioritized assessing the core features required for ransomware prevention and removal. Following that, I evaluated the extra security features to determine their added significance. Next, I considered the pricing transparency, as well as ease of use and administration. Finally, I conducted a comparison of the tools’ customer service quality, their data privacy policies transparency, and their compliance procedures.

  • Core features (25%): Identifies the available fundamental features in ransomware protection and removal tools such as detection, decryptor tools, threat insights, backup, storage, and more.
  • Extra security capabilities (20%): Checks the additional features that make a tool more robust in security, including integrations, vulnerability scanning, and cyberthreats insurance.
  • Pricing and transparency (20%): Compares the availability of free trial and demo, pricing transparency, flexibility in pricing models, and lowest to highest subscription costs.
  • Ease of use and admin (15%): Evaluates features such as intuitive user interface, centralized management console, non-disruptive operations, and user reviews from different platforms.
    • Criterion winner: Multiple winners
  • Customer support (10%): Assesses the availability of live chat, email or contact information, and 24/7 phone support, and user reviews on customer service from platforms like Capterra and Gartner.
  • Compliance and data privacy (10%): Checks the transparency of privacy policies and the adherence and certifications to major security compliance like ISO 27001/9001 and SOC2.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Do Ransomware Removal Tools Work?

Ransomware removal tools isolate the affected device from networks to prevent further spread. They then identify the ransomware type and create eradication measures. They use antivirus software to scan for and remove ransomware. Restoration entails recovering a clean backup or using a decryption tool. They also offer advice on recommended practices for preventing such attacks and ensuring system security through regular updates.

Are Ransomware Removal Tools Effective Against All Types of Ransomware?

Although ransomware removal solutions can be useful, they can’t eliminate all types of ransomware. Prevention is the key to reducing these threats. While removal techniques may be effective in some circumstances, certain ransomware strains may resist removal. Focus on strong preventative methods to reduce the possibility of malware, particularly ransomware, accessing network systems.

Do Ransomware Removal Tools Interfere with Existing Antivirus or Security Software?

Ransomware removal tools typically supplement existing antivirus or security software, working together to improve protection. However, compatibility difficulties or competing functionalities may occur, thereby affecting system performance. It’s essential to check tool compatibility and review any potential conflicts ahead of time.

Bottom Line: Protect Your Assets with Ransomware Protection & Removal Tools

If your files are encrypted with highly secure ransomware, recovery is extremely difficult. I don’t recommend paying the ransom as it has no guarantee of file recovery. While ransomware removal tools don’t always decrypt files, decryption tools can certainly help with recovery for some strains. Conduct regular backups to reduce the need for ransomware recovery and use free versions and trials to check that the solutions you choose meet your needs.

To reduce your worries about ransomware attacks, invest in a dependable endpoint detection and response (EDR) solution for proactive threat detection and rapid incident response.

Drew Robb contributed to this article.

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