Let’s cut to the chase: having antivirus software is non-negotiable. We’re firm believers in safeguarding our personal information, which is why we prioritize top-notch protection for our own devices. That’s precisely why we decided to dive into the world of Malwarebytes Premium antivirus software to see what it brings to the table. With nearly fifteen years of experience in the antivirus industry, this company knows their stuff. So, if you’re curious about our firsthand experience and want to get the full scoop, keep reading below. We’ve got you covered.
Malware detected by Malwarebytes
|Type of Malware||Does Malwarebytes detect it?|
Table of Contents
What Malwarebytes Detects
We’ve never been the type to wait patiently for surprises, and we know you’re just as curious as we are. So let’s dive right in and uncover what Malwarebytes has in store for us. The app boasts a robust set of protections that cover a wide range of threats we encounter in the digital realm. Here’s what it promises to shield our devices from:
- Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) – cute name, but not so cute intentions!
- Online scams
- Phishing sites
- Sites with ransomware
But that’s not all. Malwarebytes also offers a no-nonsense antivirus scanner that impressed us with its speed. In just over a minute, it completed a comprehensive scan of our system, examining running programs, critical systems, and new files. However, it’s important to note that the software lacks a deep scanning option. While a quick scan can detect most malware, there’s always a chance that something may be lurking in the less-frequented corners of our devices. Additionally, while Malwarebytes provides on-demand and scheduled scans, it does not include on-access scans. This means that the software won’t automatically scan files as soon as you open them; you have to initiate the scan manually.
By the way, let’s quickly clarify the distinction between a smart scan and a deep scan. A smart scan scrutinizes everything loaded when your computer starts up and checks critical areas for any signs of trouble. On the other hand, a deep scan goes even further, thoroughly examining every nook and cranny of your device to ensure no stone is left unturned.
Now that we have a clearer understanding of Malwarebytes’ protective features and scanning capabilities, we can make informed decisions about our digital security. No need to wait for the surprise, let’s take control of our protection right away.
Malwarebytes Price Structure
Malwarebytes takes a refreshingly straightforward approach, setting itself apart in the industry. While they do offer a free program, it’s important to note that it only includes the file scanner feature. For those seeking additional protection such as a firewall, Malwarebytes presents two primary options: the Premium plan, which provides coverage for either one or five devices, and the Premium + Privacy plan, which includes a VPN.
If you’re curious to compare Malwarebytes’ VPN to the best offerings in the market, you can easily do so by referring to our comprehensive best VPN page. However, let’s take a moment to step back and explore all of their subscription options available for their antivirus software. By considering the various choices, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your specific needs and preferences.
|Malwarebytes Plans||Free||Premium||Premium + Privacy|
|Price||$0.00||$44.99 – $79.99 per year||$99.99 per year|
|Number of devices||1||1-5||5|
|Malware and virus blocking||❌||✔️||✔️|
|Protection from fake websites||❌||✔️||✔️|
One of the pricing options offered by Malwarebytes includes a noteworthy feature—an entirely free 14-day trial of its Premium service, allowing users to experience the full functionality of the program. We took this opportunity to give it a test drive while we deliberated on our decision. Furthermore, to further instill confidence in their product, the company provides a generous 60-day money-back guarantee. This means we had a full two months to assess whether we were truly satisfied with the software or not, offering ample time to make an informed choice.
Putting Malwarebytes to the Test
Let’s get straight to the point: when it comes to antivirus software, its effectiveness in stopping viruses is paramount. To put Malwarebytes to the test, we intentionally downloaded five files known to contain various forms of malware, without opening them. Among these files were a .Doc file, an .Exe file, and an .Xlsx file. Regrettably, Malwarebytes only detected one out of the five, resulting in a 20 percent success rate.
Now, it’s worth noting that we conducted similar tests on over 40 different antivirus software packages, and only two managed to catch 100 percent of the malware we threw at them. However, even within this context, a one out of five detection rate does little to instill confidence. To provide you with a comparative perspective, below you’ll find how Malwarebytes’ detection performance stacked up against its competition.
|Virus File Type||Percent of Antivirus Software That Detected It||Did Malwarebytes Detect It?|
In our quest for reliable information, we turned to AV Test, a reputable independent antivirus testing lab, in addition to conducting our own evaluations. AV Test’s findings regarding Malwarebytes’ performance in detecting recent malware discovered within the last month were impressive, with the software successfully identifying 100 percent of the samples.
Undeniably, achieving perfection in malware detection is commendable. However, it’s essential to acknowledge that this accomplishment doesn’t overshadow the software’s limitations in detecting viruses. The concern arises from the fact that without adequate protection against viruses, our vulnerability remains exposed, and that’s an issue that cannot be overlooked.
The More You Know: While antivirus software primarily focuses on safeguarding against malware that can potentially compromise your identity, it’s important to note that identity theft protection serves a distinct purpose. Identity theft protection continually scans the Internet to ensure your privacy remains intact and that no violations have occurred. Think of it as an insurance policy that complements antivirus programs, working together to provide comprehensive protection for your digital security.
Downloading & Installing Malwarebytes
We had a seamless experience when downloading and installing the Malwarebytes antivirus software package. Although the homepage appeared somewhat simplistic, it didn’t hinder our ability to navigate through the options. Right from the start, we were presented with the choice of exploring personal or business options. However, our attention was immediately drawn to the large yellow button below the “Personal” option, enticingly labeled “Free Download.” We couldn’t resist the allure of something bright and cost-free. After all, why bother delving into pricing structures when there are free alternatives available to explore, right?
Fortunately, our decision turned out well. Upon clicking “Free,” we were provided with transparent information about what we would receive: a 14-day trial of the Premium package without any hidden gimmicks. Furthermore, if we opted not to purchase the full package after the trial period, the app would simply revert to Malwarebytes’ scan-only free version, ensuring there were no surprises in the form of hidden charges. It’s refreshing when a company displays honesty, upfront communication, and avoids playing games with its users.
The download itself was a breeze, taking only a matter of seconds. The installation process took a bit longer but was completed in under five minutes, giving us barely enough time to cook a Pop-Tart. Most importantly, Malwarebytes didn’t attempt to coerce us into upgrading to a supposedly “better” version or falsely claim that our computer remained unprotected.
We’ve had unfortunate encounters with other companies that run an initial scan, only to reveal a startling revelation that our computer is plagued with malware—malware that can only be eliminated by purchasing yet another product. None of that trickery occurred here. With Malwarebytes, what you see is genuinely what you get.
The Malwarebytes Experience
Upon opening the Premium version of the Malwarebytes app, we were greeted with a compact and unobtrusive window. Despite the option to maximize it, the efficient layout contained all the necessary elements within this small space. Positioned on the top right corner was a basic toolbar granting access to our account, settings, and help. Below this, a concise message reassured us that we were “fully protected.” The majority of the screen was dedicated to our primary security options: “Detection History” on the left, “Scanner” in the middle, and “Real-Time Protection” tools on the right.
- Detection History: This feature provided a comprehensive record of our scans and firewall activities over time. Clicking on this box opened a new window with three additional choices:
- Quarantined Items: Displayed a list of files that had been quarantined for safety reasons (although our system was unusually clean).
- Allow List: Allowed us to create exceptions for files that we knew were safe, addressing instances where over-caution led to unnecessary quarantine.
- History: Provided a complete history of all the detected malware since the installation of the app..
- Scanner: The scanner box featured a blue “Scan” button, enabling us to initiate a scan directly from the main page. However, accessing the scanner window revealed more tools::
- Threat Scan Summary: A basic report detailing the results of the app’s most recent system scan, including scan duration, number of detected threats, and response to those threats. We also had access to a more advanced report with specific details about the identified malware.
- Scheduler: This option allowed us to schedule future scans. The default setting was a daily scan at 2:00 A.M., which we adjusted to a more suitable time in the early evening..
- Reports: This tab provided access to all the generated reports from the past 30 days…
- Real-Time Protection: Similar to the Scanner tab, the Real-Time Protection tab allowed us to make basic changes without leaving the homepage. It included on/off buttons for Web Protection, Malware Protection, Ransomware Protection, and Exploit Protection. Clicking on the tab revealed additional tools:
- Items Stopped in the Last 30 Days: A list on the left side displayed the malware instances Malwarebytes successfully prevented in the past month. Categorized into malicious sites, malware and PUPs, ransomware, and exploits, a pie chart offered a visual representation of the sources of the greatest threats. Additionally, a “global” tab showcased the worldwide count of malicious attacks blocked by Malwarebytes over the same period..
- Protection Layers: Adjacent to the Items Stopped information, another set of buttons allowed toggling the four protection layers on and off. Although redundant with the homepage toggles, clicking the information button next to each category provided a brief overview of the included protections. For example, Web Protection encompassed defense against online scams, phishing sites, and ransomware-infected sites.
- Security News: Tucked away in the bottom right corner of the window, a summary and link to recent news stories related to digital security were provided. This feature, in particular, empowered us to take charge of our own safety.
Tip: A useful tip is that an exploit functions as a form of malicious software that infiltrates your computer through the identification and exploitation of a vulnerability within one of your installed programs.
As we mentioned earlier, Malwarebytes stands out as one of the most user-friendly antivirus packages we’ve come across. Its interface presents information and choices in a straightforward manner, with a simple format that typically requires only one layer of navigation beyond the homepage. However, this simplicity comes at the cost of limited functionality.
While using the software, we noticed that it lacked advanced features. For example, there was no option to perform a deep scan, which would have been beneficial for a more thorough analysis. Our control over the app was confined to basic functions such as enabling or disabling detectors and running a quick scan of specific limited areas on the device, such as startup files and boot sectors. Regrettably, Malwarebytes lacked webcam protection, the ability to update virus definitions on demand, and the capability to monitor Wi-Fi.
While simplicity has its merits, we also appreciate having a range of options and a sense of being in control of our antivirus experience.
Malwarebytes’ Available Apps
|App name and operating system||Rating|
|Malwarebytes Mobile Security, iOS||4.6|
|Malwarebytes Security, Android||4.6|
While our own computer operates on Windows, it’s worth noting that Malwarebytes also provides versions of its antivirus software tailored for Mac users.
During the installation process, we were prompted to add a Chrome browser extension, and there was an option for Firefox as well, although nothing specific to Edge at the moment. Furthermore, Malwarebytes offers mobile apps to cater to smartphone users. We discovered Malwarebytes Security: Virus Cleaner, Antimalware in the Google Play store, which has garnered a respectable rating of 4.6 out of five. Similarly, the Apple Store offers Malwarebytes Mobile Security, also with a 4.6 rating.
Generally, we are fans of the mobile version, finding it just as user-friendly and effective as its PC counterpart. However, we did encounter some difficulties when attempting to upgrade the software. Unfortunately, as previously mentioned, the availability of customer support to address this issue was limited.
Malwarebytes’ Customer Support
When it comes to customer support, Malwarebytes offers a rather basic experience. Upon clicking the help button within the app, we were presented with three options. One of these choices led us to the “official” instruction guide, which disappointingly contained minimal information not readily available within the app itself. Another option allowed us to download a support tool featuring additional troubleshooting options.
However, we discovered that the same material was accessible through the third option, Malwarebytes Support, which directed us to a webpage with searchable topics. While an instant messenger was available on this page, it appeared to be a bot that simply conducted searches—nothing beyond what we could do ourselves. For any inquiries or issues that extended beyond these limited help options, we had to submit a “Support Ticket,” as there was no straightforward way to contact the company via phone or email.
Despite these limitations, one positive aspect we appreciated—although it doesn’t quite qualify as direct support—was the availability of Malwarebytes Labs. This section served as a blog and information repository covering various security-related topics.
We came across valuable tips for enhancing computer safety, such as maximizing security during the pandemic. Furthermore, we had the opportunity to stay updated on the latest news regarding global attacks, although if we wanted to delve into horror, we certainly prefer the works of Stephen King.
Importantly, this opt-in approach wasn’t the default setting, which means we didn’t have to navigate through hidden menus or obscure settings to disable it. The polite manner in which Malwarebytes handled this process made a positive impression on us. When we did choose to opt in, we granted the company permission to collect the following data from us:
- Phone number
- User name
- Mailing address
- Machine identification number
- Billing information
- IP address
- Browser type
- Operating system
- Highest AV Test score for virus identification.
- Real-time antivirus protection included.
- Default setting: Opt-out of data collection.
- Doesn’t include on-access scanning
- No live customer support available
- Low scores on our virus detection tests
It’s true that other companies offer free packages that provide comparable features to Malwarebytes, along with superior virus protection and dedicated customer service. Although Malwarebytes is user-friendly, it lacks the level of customization we desired, and its virus detection capabilities are notably inadequate. Given these factors, one might question the rationale behind paying for Malwarebytes when there are superior free alternatives available. To discover more comprehensive options, we recommend consulting our list of the best antivirus software.
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