Malwarebytes review: does the free version offer enough protection?

Malwarebytes Antivirus, a powerful tool for advanced malware protection, was developed in Santa Clara.  It is compatible with Windows, macOS, and Android devices. Although this antivirus offers additional features, its main focus is on removing malware, ransomware and other viruses.

Its developers recently released Malwarebytes version 4.0 for Windows. This new version uses smarter technology to detect cyber threats. It also scans faster and consumes up to half the CPU power.

You can still get all these features and a VPN when you purchase the Malwarebytes Premium + Privacy Plan.

This is the perfect antivirus program for anyone looking for a light and fast program. This Malwarebytes review will cover the features, performance, and test scores of this product.

Malwarebytes Review: Pros and Cons


  • Version free

  • Good virus detection rates

  • Intuitive user interface

  • Low CPU usage


  •  The free version is not capable of providing any real-time protection

  • There is no live chat support

  • No firewall feature

Malwarebytes has more information about these features.

Is Malwarebytes secure?

Malwarebytes offers a safe antivirus service. It can prevent viruses from infecting your computer in real time, stop ransomware infecting it, and protect you against accidentally visiting malicious websites. It will also delete any existing malware on your smartphone or computer.

They have a variety of security features and advanced virus detection methods that protect against online threats. Malwarebytes does not have an integrated firewall. The free version does not include malware scans and all other features are behind paywalls.

Malwarebytes was the victim of a cyberattack in 2021. The same hackers who attacked SolarWinds also breached some of their email addresses. Part of their internal email was thus leaked. Despite this, there is no evidence to suggest that any user data was compromised.

Malwarebytes is the best alternative

Bitdefender is a highly-secure, high-quality antivirus that offers a wide range of features. It’s almost unbeatable for its low price.

Score at cybernews(r).

4.9 /5

  • Best in class malware detection

  • VPN for all plans

  • Great security features

Visit Bitdefender

Independent Malwarebytes testing

It is a good idea not only to read the reviews but also to check independent testing results before you download any antivirus software. You don’t want your computer being tested. That’s why testing labs exist. They participated in AV Testing in 2018, and have seen great results.

The experts selected Malwarebytes 4.3.0 as the best product in April 2021. It received a maximum score of 6 points for Performance, Protection, Usability.

It is nice to see an improvement, especially considering that Malwarebytes has outperformed the industry in virus detection. Malwarebytes detected zero-day threats at 99.4% and 100% for 4-week-old malware at 100%. These results will ensure that your device is safe.

Malwarebytes joined the Comparatives testing program in 2021. It was tested for real-world protection and malware protection as well as performance.

All security-related features available on the internet are tested in real-world protection tests. Malwarebytes Premium version proved to be able to block threats from 99.4% up to 99.6%.

Malwarebytes malware protection tests run malicious files on the system, not the web. Malwarebytes results are not as impressive here, experts classify it as standard.


Its performance has shown a promising improvement, however. Malwarebytes’ performance capabilities have improved from basic to advanced in 6 months (April 2021 – Oct 2021).

Security features by Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes has a lot of useful features but it’s not as feature-rich as McAfee, Avast or other top antivirus software. Malwarebytes’ antivirus package doesn’t include Parental Controls or a firewall. Malwarebytes antivirus will still provide you with the essential features such as file quarantine and virus protection.

In this Malwarebytes review, there’s one thing I want you to know. The program will ask you whether it wants to be installed on your computer at home or at work during installation. Both versions have identical features so don’t be alarmed about it. Only the priority customer support is available for business users. This isn’t a major difference for most people.

Protection in real-time

This feature is only available to Premium Malwarebytes users – it is very important.


Real-time protection, as the name suggests, is a background process that stops various online threats (such as malware, viruses, and ransomware), from getting into your device. It is very efficient and virtually does not impact CPU usage.

Malwarebytes antivirus offers Real-Time Protection. This option includes Web Protection that blocks infected sites, Malware Protection and Ransomware Protection.

Exploit protection

Although it is included in the Real-Time Protection List, the Exploit Protection feature merits its own paragraph. This advanced security technique protects against exploit attacks on security flaws and software vulnerabilities in applications.

These types of attacks are more sneaky than regular viruses because they don’t require you to open infected pages or files. Malwarebytes Premium is your protection. It “shields”vulnerable applications, so malicious code can’t exploit their security problems.

There are three system scan modes

Malwarebytes antivirus software was installed on your computer several years ago. If you reinstalled it, don’t be shocked by the changes in scan modes. Malwarebytes Version 3 offered four types of scans: Threat, Full, Hyper and Path.

Version 4 made things a lot easier. We now have only the Quick scan and Custom scans, as well as the Threat scan. Malwarebytes seems to have simply adjusted their scanning titles to better suit the market.

Malwarebytes is limited to running one type of scan at once. You cannot, for example, run a system scan while checking a file for viruses. Schedule your on-demand scans according.


  • Quick scan. Malwarebytes quick scan takes less than a minute, and uses between 0,0 and 0,2% CPU. It scans your device’s startup objects and memory for active threats.

  • Threat scan. Malwarebytes Premium will perform this scan every day. It will scan your memory, startup, registry, and file system objects. Additionally, it will do a heuristic analysis to ensure that you are protected in the future. This is not a complete scan. It doesn’t go to every corner of your system.

  • Custom scan. The custom scan can be used to check your entire system if you wish. It may take a little longer because the size and number of files on your computer will influence the scan’s length. It takes longer to scan everything if there are more files. Even rootkits are possible to scan, which is among the most difficult types of malware to detect.


Malwarebytes is fast and uses almost no CPU resources, which I love. This is what makes Malwarebytes stand out from slower antivirus programs such as McAfee.

However, I am disappointed that there isn’t a dedicated Full scan. Those who prefer to do it themselves can still set it up. You can change the frequency at which the app updates its malware list, the default scan that should be performed, and whether the app is to be used as a primary or second antivirus. You can also change what actions will take place if PUP or PUM are detected. It can be customised to suit your individual preferences.

Browser Guard

 Malwarebytes browser Guard is a free extension that works with Google Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. It blocks advertisements and protects against third-party trackers and malware.


It is included with Malwarebytes anti-virus software. You have the choice to install this extension or not. I love that Browser Guard isn’t installed on your system without you consenting and that the options are clear.

Malicious Website Protection

Malwarebytes provides Malicious Website Protection to protect you from phishing and scam sites. It also prevents you from installing malware or other potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), on your computer.

This handy feature, also known as URL filtering, works in a very simple way: it intercepts relevant DNS queries and automatically checks for malicious domains and addresses.

Remember that Malicious Website Protection is only available to Premium Malwarebytes subscribers.


The antivirus settings allow you to easily enable or disable this feature. Go to Settings on Malwarebytes App and locate the Protection and Detection tab on the left-side panel. The radio buttons should be located under the section Malicious Website Security.

Files that are Quarantined

Malwarebytes antivirus instantly removes infected files from your computer by placing them in the quarantine section. If you’re certain that the file is not infected and it’s not a false alarm you can restore it.

You can also add the file to the Allow list. Malwarebytes will not target the file during future scans.

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN

Malwarebytes Premium + Privacy plans include a VPN. This package includes an antivirus and is one of the best VPN packages. It covers more than 30 countries and has over 450 servers. This is somewhat less than the dedicated VPN providers. It should still be a good choice for connecting to.

WireGuard is a popular VPN protocol that includes the VPN. Malwarebytes is proud to have this feature included in their VPN services, even though not all providers do.

Their connection will also be protected with 256-bit encryption. It means that hackers will not be able to brute-force their way through it. Malwarebytes has a strict no logs policy that ensures there are no backdoors to your data.

Pricing and plans

There are three plans available for Malwarebytes antivirus. They are the Premium, Premium + Privacy versions, and the Free version. Let’s see how they differ. Malwarebytes Free

After your 14-day Premium trial expires, you will be left with Malwarebytes antivirus for free. It’s not worth it. It scans your device and removes threats.

It lacks real-time protection, which is one of the most crucial features of antivirus software. This means you will need another antivirus software to protect you while browsing the internet or doing everyday tasks.

Malwarebytes Free can be a great solution if your computer has already been infected. Malwarebytes Free is not a free antivirus program that offers real-time protection.

But, I would like to see more features for free in the future. Malwarebytes may not be able to compete with the rest of the market.

Malwarebytes Premium

Malwarebytes Premium includes all the features of the full version. Your 14-day free trial gives you a taste. If you wish to keep the program running in real-time, you will need to purchase a yearly subscription.

This edition contains everything we have covered in our Malwarebytes Review: all the Real-Time Protection features (Web and Malware), the various types of scans (including the daily Threat scanner), all the Real – Time Protection features (Ransomware, Exploit), and the possibility to receive Device Alerts which alert you about security problems with your devices.

Malwarebytes Premium is currently on sale for $33.74 per year. This covers one device, and it is available for Windows and iOS devices as well as Android, macOS and Chrome devices.

Malwarebytes Premium + Privacy

Malwarebytes Premium + Privacy is finally available. This version includes a VPN that will protect your privacy when browsing.


The VPN offers over 30 countries and 450+ servers.

The package includes antivirus software and a VPN. It costs $99.99 per year. This is a lot more expensive than other antivirus programs. This edition should only be purchased if you will use the VPN and program.

The VPN is currently available for Windows, macOS and Android. Chrome will soon be available. Are Malwarebytes’ prices fair?


Are Malwarebytes’ prices fair?

Yes, Malwarebytes offers great value for money. The subscription prices are comparable to what other service providers offer. It doesn’t slow down – you get great real-time protection and protection against phishing websites, as well as a fast VPN.

Malwarebytes offers a variety of options, including a free version and a paid subscription plan. You can also start the necessary clean-up with the free version without spending any money.

Easy setup and use

A quick and easy setup can make a huge difference in your experience with the product. Malwarebytes made it easy to set up and use the product with a pleasant user experience.

You can also jump right into a free trial without entering any payment information or email address. It’s safe and simple to do.

Check out what you will experience with different operating systems.


Malwarebytes, like most antivirus programs, is very easy to install. You can install Malwarebytes in just a few minutes and clicks. Malwarebytes will ask if you want the Browser Guard extension during the installation process.


At first glance, Malwarebytes looks quite simplistic. The dashboard shows the Virus Detection History and the Scanner section. It also displays the Real-Time Protection features. You will need to dig deeper to find out more. To access various virus scans, for example, you will need to open the scanner window and click on “advanced scanning”.

You can have greater control over Malwarebytes’ behaviour by going to Settings. To do this, click on the gear icon at the top-right of the screen. You’ll find seven tabs under which you can modify your program.


You can also disable notifications and turn on device alerts. Additionally, you can choose from more than 20 languages and set the program’s visual theme (light or dark, default, or default). This last option is very rare in the world of antivirus software.

Overall, the Malwarebytes review has shown me that the user interface is intuitive and simple to use – something I would expect from a well-known brand like Malwarebytes.


Their macOS apps look very similar visually. Malware scans run about the same speed, so there aren’t any unexpected performance drops because the platform is different.


However, there are no similarities. Apple users get the same basic version as Windows users, but this time it is stripped down. The Quick Scan and other methods of malware protection are included, but that’s it.

Only one toggle is available in the Mac version: the App block. This prevents untrusted apps running in the background. Gatekeeper is standard, but I didn’t notice any difference in its functionality.

Malwarebytes mobile apps

Both iOS and Android have mobile apps. Although they may look identical, you will get different features.


Android comes with a full-featured Malwarebytes scanning. It will even inform you that Android Beam, NFC and Developer Mode are enabled. The app is generally not intrusive and won’t limit your use if you don’t grant it all of the permissions requested.

They do however give you the details of how permissions will be used, and why. This is something I would like to see more developers do.

iOS does not offer protection against malicious URLs, unwanted callers, or text message filtering. It pales in comparison to iOS antivirus counterparts.

Customer support

Click the Help icon in the top-right corner to report any issues with Malwarebytes installation or use. This will open a window that contains links to frequently asked questions and program guides, as well as a link to the support tool. It will automatically fix some of your problems. Live chat is also available.


You can also click on “Malwarebytes support”, press “Help”, and then type your question. You will then be presented with a variety of FAQ links as well as an option to “Get in touch”. Finally, you can fill out a form and provide your email address to start waiting for an answer. This might take some time.

Video review


Are Malwarebytes worth the investment?

Malwarebytes is an excellent antivirus tool. It has a significantly improved performance and detection rate compared to previous versions. This version will protect your device from all zero-day threats.


There are also some drawbacks. Malwarebytes is safe enough to use for an experienced user. However, users who aren’t tech-savvy may have trouble locating a solution. Malwarebytes’ customer support is limited. They offer only FAQ and email support.

The program is also quite expensive, especially if you take into account the Premium + Privacy edition. Malwarebytes Premium would be my choice if I had the option. It’s safer than Malwarebytes Free (because it provides real-time protection) and is less expensive than the Privacy suite.

Check out these antivirus software reviews

Review of Avira antivirus: Great anti-malware software for everyone

AVG antivirus Review: Can this free antivirus protect me?

Malwarebytes or Norton? Which antivirus is better?

How do they compare: Malwarebytes and Avast


You can find quick answers in our FAQ section if you don’t see everything in this Malwarebytes review.

Is Malwarebytes still available as a free download?

Yes. Yes. Malwarebytes will return to its free version after your 14-day Premium trial. It offers virus scans, but no real-time protection.

Malwarebytes can slow down your computer.

No. Malwarebytes is actually one of the best traditional antivirus solutions available.

What is the Malwarebytes Free version?

Yes. Yes. It can scan your device for viruses and remove them. Malwarebytes Premium is more secure because it has all safety features. You can read the complete Malwarebytes review to find out if this program is right for you.

Are Malwarebytes and McAfee better?

Both Malwarebytes as well as McAfee performed similarly in virus detection tests. It all comes down to features, speed, and how fast you can use them. McAfee is recommended if you need features such as a firewall and file shredder. Malwarebytes is recommended if your device has a high CPU usage.

What antivirus is compatible with Malwarebytes Antivirus?

Malwarebytes is the best Malwarebytes partner for Bitdefender antivirus. It will block most threats.

However, there are still some high-level malware infections. Malwarebytes is an excellent security option.

Is Malwarebytes more secure than Norton Security?

Malwarebytes isn’t better than Norton Security, which provides a 100% protection rate and a comprehensive suite of security features. Malwarebytes is more affordable, but its malware protection rate is only 90%.

Both services offer strong protection and are simple to use.


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