My friend recently assembled a brand new Windows system with a stellar configuration. He was strictly using it for offline gaming, playing games on ROM sites, and video editing.
He was never a fan of antiviruses and cribbed that they tend to impact his gaming performance and their sporadic notifications used to mess up his Twitch streams. He was confident that with strict discipline and keeping away from malicious sites, his system will be off-limits from such attacks.
A week was exactly how long he relished his new rig before his CPU was overclocked due to an infected file. Now after one month, with a fresh setup and a subscription to Malwarebytes, he’s not so pessimistic about an antivirus.
In this Malwarebytes review, we will walk you through its features, and talk about the various levels of security it provides. We’ll also discuss its different plans and find out whether Malwarebytes can lock horns with other leading antiviruses.
Malwarebytes is a simple minimalistic user-friendly antivirus application. You can use Malwarebytes to scan your system for malicious applications and for real-time protection against malware and ransomware.
In this Malwarebytes review, we will walk you through its different security features and the different layers of protection.
But before we jump into Malwarebytes security features let me brief you about its different plans. They provide three different plans depending on the level of security and privacy provided.
- Malwarebytes free – This is a free plan and lets you scan your system for malicious programs.
- Malwarebytes Premium – Under this plan, you can scan your system for viruses, get real-time protection from ransomware and other malware.
- Malwarebytes Premium + Privacy – This plan will get you all the features of the premium plan along with a dedicated VPN.
After launching Malwarebytes you land on a simple dashboard that shows you the results from the last scan, helps you to trigger system scan, and also sets up real-time protection from malicious web applications, malware, and ransomware.
Malwarebytes uses heuristics and a signature-based approach to detect malware. Malwarebytes have a dedicated malware database that they refer to while scanning your system.
While scanning and examining your files if Malwarebytes detect applications that are flagged on their database they will send it for quarantine. Malwarebytes provides different virus scan options, –
Threat Scan – Threat scan is Malwarebytes’s default scan. During the threat scan, your device’s system, startup programs, and memory are scanned for malicious applications.
Quick Scan – Quick scan does a memory and startup program check
Custom Scan – During a custom scan, you can scan a specific file folder or choose to scan the entire disk.
Folder/ File scan – Go for a single file or folder scan if you want to check any individual program or file for active infection.
Malwarebytes doesn’t provide a full system scan option by default. So to do a complete checkup of your system, you need to select the custom scan option and select all the drives and folders you want to check.
Even though setting up a full system scan is straightforward, you do require some technical know-how to configure it properly. So, doing a full system scan can be a hurdle for non-technical users.
If you compare Malwarebytes vs Norton 360, Norton does offer a full system scan option that can be triggered without doing any setup.
A threat scan is swift and can identify viruses, spyware, and PUPs in your system. If you are a premium user you can also schedule a scan so that your system is checked periodically.
After the scan finishes, you can view the list of malicious files and their type. You can either choose to quarantine it or remove it from your system. According to reports, Malwarebytes’s threat scan has a detection rate of 95% which is pretty good.
Malwarebytes also provides different layers of real-time protection. Such real-time protection is only available for premium users. As a part of this security layer, you will have
- Web protection
- Malware and PUP protection
- Ransomware protection
- Exploit protection
Malwarebytes provides great real-time protection and can successfully block 98% of all malware. Its web protection is as good as other premium antiviruses. It can successfully block phishing websites and pinpoint fishing sites with high accuracy.
However, Malwarebytes still needs to work on its ransomware protection. If you compare Malwarebytes vs McAfee, Malwarebytes can’t detect and block some of the ransomware files but not all, unlike McAfee, Norton, and other antivirus applications.
Malwarebytes also provides real-time exploit protection. This is an advanced security technique that protects your system against security flaws and software vulnerabilities.
Exploit attacks lookout for security gaps in operating systems and software patches. There are always software applications that require a vulnerability patch fix but aren’t shielded. For such cases, Malwarebytes provides generalized protection against exploit behavior.
To learn more about Malwarebytes exploit protection click on the security tab in the settings window and click on the advanced settings button. Now you can view the anti-exploit settings which tell you how Malwarebytes detects exploit attacks.
As per other Malwarebytes anti-exploit reviews, you should not change any anti-exploit settings without consulting with their tech experts. It might put your system at risk.
Malwarebytes browser guard is a free extension for Google Chrome, Edge, and Firefox browsers. The extension keeps malware and phishing sites at bay and blocks ads trackers and other PUPs.
You can download the extension and add it to your browser. The browser extension is free to use and doesn’t require any sign-in. You can also turn on and off the extension in case it is blocking a site that you are sure to be safe.
Malwarebytes browser guard blocks phishing sites in real time. It also blocks unwanted ads and other content allowing your browser to run faster.
From the browser extension, you can view the number of ads, and malware being injected through a website and how Malwarebytes defends against such trackers. According to your needs, you can modify the amount of protection from the Malwarebytes browser guard.
Malwarebytes also provides a VPN service with their Premium + Privacy plan. Here are some of its features –
- 30 countries with over 300 servers
With 300 servers spread across 30 countries, you can easily bounce off your network traffic from any location while maintaining your privacy. It can also help you in shopping and availing offers from different parts of the globe.
- WireGuard Protocol
WireGuard Protocol is one of the fastest and most secure protocols for setting up a VPN. It is used by prominent VPN providers like ExpressVPN and CyberGhost VPN.
- Strictly no logs
Malwarebytes doesn’t store your browsing history connection logs or other user data. This way all your online interactions are only stored on your client machine and kept private and secure.
However, Malwarebytes VPN can’t bypass geo-restrictions from streaming services like Disney +, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO, or BBC.
Another restriction related to Malwarebytes VPN is downloading torrents. As Malwarebytes is based in the US due to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, users are restricted from downloading copyrighted torrents.
If any user tries to bypass and download copyrighted material through torrent their account will be disabled or even terminated.
Malwarebytes VPN also has a list of restricted countries. For example, if you wish to use Malwarebytes VPN in China or UAE, its VPN won’t be able to bypass the government’s firewall. We would recommend you to use ExpressVPN for such occasions.
All in all Malwarebytes VPN will get the job done ensuring your privacy and keeping your connection safe. The VPN provides decent downloads and uploads speed and can be used for shopping and other purposes.
How to (Really) Use Malwarebytes
Setting up Malwarebytes is pretty simple. To install Malwarebytes go to their website and download a trial version of their application. Their application installer is a lightweight package of 2MB.
After installing the package Malwarebytes will be installed in your system and will provide you with real-time protection for 14 days. Once the trial expires you will be able to use Malwarebytes for free however you won’t be protected against any real-time threats.
One great thing about Malwarebytes is it doesn’t ask for any customer information. You need not register on their website or provide your email information to download a free copy.
During the installation, you will be prompted to install the Opera browser but you can opt-out by deselecting it.
Once Malwarebytes is successfully installed on your machine you can do a basic threat scan, do a custom scan, and depending on your plan also schedule a periodic scan. The application is simple and lightweight, doesn’t consume a lot of processing power, and won’t impact your system startup or boot time.
Malwarebytes browser guard isn’t part of their default installation package. So make sure you explicitly install their browser guard on the browser of your choice.
You can use Malwarebytes for personal use or in businesses and enterprises for your whole team. Depending on the number of users these are the different pricing slabs of Malwarebytes.
Malwarebytes Personal Pricing
Malwarebytes Premium is around $3.33 per month for a single device. If you want Malwarebytes protection on multiple devices you can go for the $6.67 per month plan which will cover up to 5 devices.
If you are looking for Malwarebytes premium protection along with its VPN service for added privacy it will cost you $8.33 per month and will cover up to 5 devices.
Malwarebytes Business Pricing
Malwarebytes business plans are suitable for small businesses and medium businesses and can be tailor-made for enterprise applications too.
Malwarebytes business pricing starts from $49.99 per year to $84.99 per year for a single device. If you are looking for Malwarebytes protection for your servers you can reach out to their marketing team for better plans and further insight.
Is Malwarebytes Good?
Malwarebytes is a user-friendly anti-virus application that provides you with good protection against malware and ransomware.
It features a system scanner that can be used to scan for threatful programs, PUPs, and a spectrum of different real-time protection tools that can protect your machine from malware, ransomware, and phishing attacks.
That’s not all. If you are looking for privacy, you can even go for their VPN to keep your browsing trail anonymous.
What Would You Prefer, Norton or Malwarebytes?
If you compare other antiviruses like Norton vs Malwarebytes, you will find Malwarebytes to be lightweight and easier to use than Norton. However, the Malwarebytes scanner isn’t as intuitive as Norton’s. You have to set up a custom scan if you want to do a full system scan.
Also, its malware and ransomware detection isn’t as precise as other antivirus biggies like McAfee, Avast, or Norton.
If data security is of paramount importance and you don’t want to compromise on your machine’s security and privacy, even at the cost of processing power, then Norton, Avast, or McAfee will be the right choice.
Why Do People Choose Malwarebytes over Other Antiviruses?
What works for Malwarebytes is its lightweight interface and free pricing option. It doesn’t burden your processor and can also be used for free to scan your system. You can go for the free version if your system is already infected and you want to scan and quarantine the infected files.
Also, its free browser guard extension stops ads, trackers, and malware.
Is Malwarebytes Premium Worth It?
Malwarebytes real-time protection is the USP of their premium plan. With it, your system will be protected against online scams, ransomware, and phishing. What the real-time protection does is add extra layers of protection on top of the browser guard and their system scanner.
With Malwarebytes Premium, you can get anti-virus protection for up to 5 devices on different platforms like Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
So is Malwarebytes Premium worth it?
Well, Malwarebytes Premium cost is similar to other top anti-virus applications like Norton and Avast. But its malware and ransomware detection isn’t as precise as that of other leading antivirus software. Also, full system and drive scanning need to be configured before you can trigger such a custom scan.
All in all, Malwarebytes Premium isn’t the best of the bunch, but it surely is fast. If you want a simple, lightweight antivirus that doesn’t demand a lot of your system memory, you can go for Malwarebytes Premium.
Malwarebytes will protect your system against ransomware. You can use Malwarebytes’s scanner to scan and quarantine any existing ransomware, while its real-time ransomware protection keeps a keen eye for any malicious attacks.
To restrict ransomware from your web browser you can install Malwarebytes browser guard.
Malwarebytes being a lightweight application is compatible with other antiviruses. That means you can use Avast and Malwarebytes combination to keep your system safe.
However, paying for two antiviruses sounds like overkill. So can Malwarebytes be used as a standalone antivirus?
Yes, you can use Malwarebytes to scan your system for harmful applications and also defend against ransomware and malware in real time. With a privacy plan, you can even use a VPN for anonymous browsing.
But if you compare Malwarebytes against other leading antiviruses like McAfee vs Malwarebytes, McAfee will be the better option as it provides better protection against malware and ransomware.
Antiviruses like Avast and Norton also come with optimization tools, password managers, and parental controls. Such features aren’t provided by Malwarebytes.
After going back and forth about the features in this Malwarebytes review, here’s how we feel about it.
- Malwarebytes is a lightweight agile antivirus capable of scanning your system and removing any infected files, malware, and ransomware from your system.
- It also provides real-time protection against phishing, ransomware, and malware and keeps malicious programs at bay
- You can also use its browser guard to speed up your browsing and remove ads, and trackers.
- If you are keen on your web privacy, Malwarebytes has a privacy plan that comes with a VPN.
- Even though Malwarebytes is faster and less complicated than other leading antiviruses, it still lacks features that are provided by its competitors.
- If you refer to other Malwarebytes reviews, many users are using Malwarebytes along with other antiviruses. Some users use the free version to scan their infected system and get rid of the infected files.
We feel Malwarebytes has a lot of potentials and is best suited for users who don’t want to lose their PC’s processing power to their antivirus. Malwarebytes is apt for your workstation, and their Premium plan can be shared across multiple devices.
Q. Is Malwarebytes safe and legit?
Malwarebytes is safe to use and a legit antivirus. It has different levels of security that defend you against malicious programs and other rogue scripts.
You can use it to scan for threats in your system and quarantine them. Its real-time protection defends you from attacks and keeps your system safe. In case you want to keep your activities anonymous, you can also go for Malwarebytes VPN. All in all, Malwarebytes is a lightweight antivirus that you can depend on.
Q. Is the free version of Malwarebytes reliable?
The free version of Malwarebytes only lets you scan your system for malicious programs. You can scan your system, identify potentially harmful files and delete or quarantine them. You can also install Malwarebytes browser guard for free on your web browser to protect your system while you surf the internet. However, the free version has a limited set of features.
You have to switch to a premium plan so that you can schedule your system scans. Also, real-time protection and VPN aren’t available in the free plan. So, the free version of Malwarebytes is meant for scanning your system for existing malicious programs.
Q. Does Malwarebytes remove viruses?
You can use Malwarebytes to scan your system and remove infected files, while its real-time protection will defend you against any malicious attacks.
Once any infected files are found, you can decide whether to quarantine them or delete them completely from your system.
Q. Is Malwarebytes enough to protect your computer?
Malwarebytes is a decent antivirus that shields you against malware, ransomware, phishing attacks, and other malicious applications. However, its ransomware detention rate is less than other leading antivirus applications like Avast and McAfee.
So, if you don’t want to leave any room for security threats, it’s better to go for another antivirus or use Malwarebytes along with them.
Q. Do you need Malwarebytes with Windows 10?
Malwarebytes works with Windows 10 and can help protect your PC from malicious programs. Without Malwarebytes or any other antivirus application, your Windows 10 system will be vulnerable and prone to attacks.
Q. What antivirus works best with Malwarebytes?
Because of its lightweight architecture, Malwarebytes plays well with other leading antiviruses. You can use Malwarebytes along with Kaspersky, Norton, or Bitdefender.
Q. Is Malwarebytes and Windows Defender good enough?
Windows Defender is the Windows in-house defense mechanism to keep malicious applications at bay. However, Windows Defender works for old-school viruses and not so much for the latest ransomware and malware. So even if you have Windows Defender at your disposal it’s wise to opt for Malwarebytes to ensure thorough security.