Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware is one of the leading anti-malware programs today, well-liked by reviewers and users. It is widely used by PC supports due to its pricing: the removal of parasites is free and it works pretty well against most of malware parasites. First version of Malwarebytes did not expire. Thus it was quite cheap solution as secondary real-time protection program. However, since March 2014, it switched to a yearly payment schedule for version 2 of the program with price 25 USD. Since that, it went through regular price increases and now it costs around 40 USD or Eur. Thus it is comparable to other anti-malware programs now. The current stable version of Malwarebytes is 4.
Malwarebytes comes as small install file, that can be downloaded free of charge. After installation, you are asked to download malware database updates. In dire cases, you can get Malwarebytes database updates separately and update them manually (which might be useful on infected PC). The program will notify when it should be updated, however, I recommend updating it before each scan. On install, it enables its free protection trial (for 14 days).
Malwarebytes anti-malware design and usability
In this reviewer’s opinion, Malwarebytes’ design improved greatly since version 2 of the program. The interface is minimalistic and clean and looks quite similar in both Windows And macOS versions. Sadly, even if MacOS version costs the same, that app has far fewer features and is pretty much a limited version.
Currently, the main screen of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is split into 3 easy to understand parts: Detection history, Scanner, and advertisement for the paid version with various features. You can always opt-in and try full version yourself using trial. The settings tab is hidden behind the menu icon. Full version includes web firewall, and other kinds of real-time protection plus scheduled scans. Both the free and paid versions are reviewed here. The free version of Malwarebytes can be treated as second opinion scanner/remover and is not a prevention program.
Even with the new design, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 4 usability is a bit lacking for me. Although Malwarebytes claims that the speed of the scan has increased, personally I was not impressed with the speed, as it waited for nearly a minute for updates without displaying any message if it connected successfully. It hides what items it scans too, so it is hard to review its performance objectively.
Malwarebytes detection and ratings
First, there is one important fact: since version 3, Malwarebytes Anti-malware started trying to replace antivirus programs and participating in Antivirus software tests. The difference between antivirus and anti-malware software is getting blurry. Additionally, no one expects from antivirus software to be compatible with other antiviruses. While the advertisements about being able to replace antivirus stopped with version 3, full version 4 of Malwarebytes anti-malware disables Windows Defender protection. Thus we would expect antivirus-grade protection from it that would be better than Defenders one. There are option to re-enable Windows Defender and make them both compatible with each other, however, it is not the default setting.
And here lies the problem: at least version 3 (there were no version 4 tests yet) is one of the worst-performing antiviruses according to independent tests (October 2019 ), while Windows Defender scores quite well. I strongly hope the detection ratio of Malwarebytes Version 4 detection rate would go up. This might be due to fact, that Malwarebytes still focuses on Malware/PUP threats and is very aggressive against low danger level threats compared to other antiviruses (which might have better high danger level threat databases). That’s why some reviews recommend using Malwarebytes together with other antivirus programs.
Overall Malwarebytes scan quality is reviewed very well. Since Malwarebytes bought AdwCleaner, its hijacker detection ratios are quite good too, what was a problem with early version 3. Personally, I find its web shield quite aggressive and it might block websites without good enough explanation.
When I would install and use Malwarebytes on Windows
Malwarebytes short description:
|Malwarebytes’ most useful aspects
Personally, Malwarebytes paid version is too aggressive for my taste against their small competitors. Thus I would not use it on my own computer, but it would be quite good choice for family computers where more restrictive settings might be desirable. Additionaly, Malwarebytes free remains one of decent choices for cleaning infected computers and might offer comparable results with Spyhunter (which offers free delayed removal or paid option vs Malwarebytes free) or Hitman Pro (Free removal first time) which is my tool of choice for trojan infections. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware v4 is not a bad program on Windows, it’s recommended in this review, and it is a personal choice.
I recommend downloading and testing Malwarebytes anti-malware free version. If your antivirus misses Trojans and similar programs, you should consider purchasing Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for protecting your PC.
Positive Sides of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
Good against the majority of pups and similar parasites
Free malware removal
Negative Sides of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
Not very good detection ratio compared to antivirus
Unfair payment terms for different versions
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