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Malwarebytes Review (2021)

Malwarebytes is a simple, easy-to-use antivirus application that offers adequate malware protection. Malwarebytes discovered 88 per cent of the malware files I had previously downloaded to my device during my testing – this isn’t amazing, but it’s also not horrible. Malwarebytes effectively prevented 98 per cent of malware files in real-time, which is a fantastic result. Malwarebytes’ real-time protection, on the other hand, was unable to stop most of my ransomware simulations.

Apart from the virus scanner, Malwarebytes includes a decent online protection tool (it had near-perfect detection rates during my phishing tests). Users can also acquire a VPN by upgrading to the Premium + Privacy package, which is adequate for basic online browsing (although slower than many VPN competitors).

While Malwarebytes lacks many of the features I’m used to seeing in top antivirus software (such as device optimization tools, parental controls, and a password manager), I believe it’s a good option for users looking for a simple, install-and-forget antivirus that can detect and block the majority of malware.

Malwarebytes is overpriced for the capabilities it provides; competitors like Norton and Bitdefender give far more for a similar price. Malwarebytes, on the other hand, offers a 14-day free trial and a 60-day money-back guarantee on all premium subscriptions, so there’s no reason not to try it out.

Malwarebytes includes all of the essential security features I look for in an antivirus tool, such as real-time malware protection, ransomware prevention, and browser protection.

However, unlike many of its competitors, Malwarebytes does not include a firewall, system optimization tools, a password manager, or parental controls.

Although Malwarebytes’ premium plan includes a VPN, competitors such as McAfee, Bitdefender, Avira, and Kaspersky all provide superior VPNs as well as a broader range of other features.

Malwarebytes, on the other hand, maybe an excellent alternative if you’re searching for a basic, no-frills antivirus with good malware protection.

Malwarebytes Security Features

Virus Scanner

Malwarebytes detects malware using a signature-based technique as well as heuristics. This means Malwarebytes has a malware database that it uses to detect malware on your system, and it also looks for unusual activity in files to find new malware that hasn’t yet been uploaded to the database.

You may choose from four different virus scans in Malwarebytes:

  • Scan for threats. Scans the system, memory, and starting programmes of your device.
  • Scan. Active viruses are detected by scanning your memory and starting programmes.
  • Scan any file or folder you desire using Custom Scan.
  • Scan a single file or folder. Examines a single file.

It’s worth noting that Malwarebytes doesn’t have a built-in full system scan option, so if you want to scan your entire system for malware, you’ll have to use the Custom Scan option and check all of the boxes.

Malwarebytes may miss malware files hidden in parts of your device that you haven’t told it to check if you don’t run a comprehensive scan. Full system scans are available in most other antivirus products, including Norton, McAfee, Bitdefender, Avira, BullGuard, TotalAV, and Kaspersky, thus Malwarebytes should surely include one in its antivirus.

During my tests, the Threat Scan scanned over 300,000 files on my device in about 1 minute and 26 seconds. This is equivalent to the rapid scan alternatives offered by competitors, which typically take 1 to 5 minutes.

I downloaded my regular batch of malware samples to my test device before installing Malwarebytes on my Windows device, which includes roughly 1,000 harmful files (viruses, trojans, spyware, etc.). Malwarebytes discovered 76 per cent of the files after completing the Threat Scan. However, Malwarebytes’ detection rate climbed to 88 per cent when I ran a Custom Scan that scanned my complete device (and took roughly 3 hours). While this is a respectable number, the greatest antivirus solutions, such as Norton or Bitdefender, have a 100% malware detection rate.

Overall, Malwarebytes has a detection rate of roughly 90%, which is acceptable – but there are better choices available. Instead of forcing customers to run Custom Scans to examine their entire system, I’d like to see Malwarebytes include a full system scan to its scan options. However, I appreciate how rapid the Threat Scan is, taking only about 2 minutes to investigate system regions where malware is frequently found.

Does Malware Bytes Scan Email

Real-Time Protection

  • Malwarebytes’ real-time protection (available only on subscription plans) consists of four layers of defence:
  • Web security.
  • Protection against malware and potentially unwanted programmes (PUPs).
  • Protection from ransomware.
  • Protection against exploits.

In my experiments, Malwarebytes’ real-time malware prevention performed admirably, stopping 98 per cent of the malware that I attempted to download to my device. This is an excellent result, equivalent to most premium antivirus products. Malwarebytes’ web defence was also quite effective at blocking phishing websites, detecting roughly 90% of the known phishing sites I attempted to access.

However, Malwarebytes’ ransomware defence disappointed me greatly. To investigate if Malwarebytes could detect and block ransomware, I utilised a ransomware simulator, and Malwarebytes let most of the malware run freely on my PC. All ransomware simulations were quickly prevented when I tried the identical simulator on Norton, McAfee, and Bitdefender.

Overall, Malwarebytes’ ransomware protection should be improved, but its real-time virus and web safeguards are on pace with the finest antiviruses on the market.

Browser Guard

Browser Guard is a free browser plugin for Google Chrome, Edge, and Firefox from Malwarebytes. Malware, advertisements and trackers, frauds, and PUPs are all protected by the plugin.

Browser Guard is simple to use because all of the precautions are enabled by default, and you don’t have to do anything extra. You may quickly toggle each tier of security on or off if you want to turn off particular layers of protection — for example, if you know a website is safe but the extension is blocking you from entering the site.

During my testing, I visited 40 known phishing sites, and Browser Guard stopped 36 of them, giving it a success rate of 90%.

Because Malwarebytes promises that Browser Guard helps speed up your browser by blocking advertising and other undesirable information, I put the extension to the test on ad-heavy websites. Browser Guard, on the other hand, didn’t block all of the ads on these sites – on most of the sites I visited, it only blocked about a third of the ads, whereas competitor brands like Avira blocked practically all of the ads.

Browser Guard isn’t a great ad blocker, but it does a good job at detecting phishing sites.

VPN (Virtual Private Network)

The VPN from Malwarebytes does not have a kill switch. If your VPN connection fails, a kill switch will turn off your internet access. This is a critical VPN function, and antivirus competitors like Bitdefender and Kaspersky also include one in their VPNs, so it’s something I’d want to see Malwarebytes incorporate in its VPN as well.

Malwarebytes’ VPN isn’t particularly fast, though. I did a speed test without the VPN initially, and then a second test while connecting to a nearby US server (I’m in Canada).

As you can see, my download and ping speeds both dropped dramatically, which was visible when I was surfing the web. Websites took a few seconds longer to load, and I experienced some lag when streaming material.

I also tried accessing geo-blocked streaming services using Malwarebytes’ VPN. Malwarebytes, on the other hand, couldn’t get around geo-restrictions on streaming sites, so I couldn’t watch Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Go, or BBC iPlayer. However, several of my colleagues were able to access BBC iPlayer and HBO Go; they are based in the United States, so their location may have played a role.

Malwarebytes’ VPN, unfortunately, does not allow torrenting of copyrighted content. Because Malwarebytes is based in the United States, it is governed by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Users who download copyrighted torrents risk having their accounts suspended or cancelled.

Malwarebytes Plans & Pricing

Malwarebytes Premium + Privacy is a combination of Malwarebytes Premium and Malwarebyte

Malwarebytes offers a risk-free 60-day money-back guarantee on all premium programmes (the same as Norton). When compared to other competitors, who normally only provide a 30-day money-back guarantee, this is quite generous.

Malwarebytes also has a lock-in rate, which means that if you want to auto-renew your membership, the price of your next renewal will be the same as the first (even if the prices have increased). This is something that few other antivirus companies offer, therefore it’s a great feature from Malwarebytes.

Malwarebytes Free

Only the malware scanner and the Browser Guard extension are included in Malwarebytes Free. I only recommend this plan to users who want to add another high-powered scanner to their existing antivirus software.

Malwarebytes Free, on the other hand, is insufficient for standalone security because it lacks real-time protection. While most free antiviruses aren’t very good, some, like Avira Free, offer real-time malware protection as well as additional features like system tuneup tools and a VPN. There are better options if you want a free antivirus.

Malwarebytes Premium, on the other hand, may not be a bad choice for those searching for basic antivirus capability if you’re willing to pay some money on an antivirus suite. Furthermore, Malwarebytes Free includes a 14-day free trial of Malwarebytes Premium, allowing you to try out all of the premium features without risk.

Malwarebytes Premium

Malwarebytes Premium comes with malware detection, real-time protection, and the Browser Guard plugin. You may cover up to 5 devices with this subscription, including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.

The real-time protection alone is worth upgrading from the free plan to the premium. You get layers of enhanced protection against online scams, phishing, ransomware, PUPs, and attacks that take advantage of defects and holes in your device’s security with real-time protection.

Malwarebytes Premium, on the other hand, is comparable in pricing to leading competitors such as Norton or Bitdefender, both of which offer greater malware detection rates, phishing protection, and a slew of other features.

While Malwarebytes Premium isn’t as good as the best antivirus software in 2021, it could be a nice choice for new users or those searching for a simple solution. A 60-day money-back guarantee is offered by Malwarebytes.

Malwarebytes Premium + Privacy

The most expensive Malwarebytes subscription includes all of the Premium package’s features plus a VPN. Because Malwarebytes’ VPN is so terrible, I wouldn’t recommend upgrading to this subscription, especially since several major competitors’ cheaper plans include a VPN. If you want an excellent antivirus with a VPN, look into Bitdefender or Avira, and if you just want a solo VPN, ExpressVPN and ProtonVPN are two of my favourites.

Overall, Malwarebytes Premium + Privacy is comparable in price to the top competitors while providing only a fraction of the functionality. Norton 360 Standard, for example, is less expensive than Malwarebytes and includes real-time malware protection, browser protection, a firewall, a VPN, a password manager, identity theft protection, 10 GB of cloud storage, and more. Bitdefender Total Security is also less expensive than Malwarebytes, and it comes with more features than most other security software.

If you’re interested in Malwarebytes, you can try the antivirus and VPN for 60 days with a money-back guarantee to determine if it’s the best fit for you.

Malwarebytes Ease of Use & Setup

Malwarebytes is really easy to instal, set up, and use – it only took me a few minutes to download and set up the software, and I had no trouble using all of the functions.

One thing I particularly like about Malwarebytes is that you don’t have to give any personal information to start the free trial. Most competitors require your email address or even credit card number, so I appreciate the fact that Malwarebytes truly offers a risk-free trial.

Malwarebytes has a clean, basic, and easy-to-use interface. Choosing which scan to run, creating a Custom Scan, and scheduling scans are all simple tasks.

All of the real-time protections are also enabled by default, so most users won’t need to do anything to ensure that they are fully protected.

Malwarebytes did not significantly slow down the performance of my machine during my tests. In fact, I didn’t even notice it was there. Some antivirus software can slow down a computer’s performance, particularly during full system scans, however, Malwarebytes ran silently in the background throughout my tests.


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