Malwarebytes review: So how good is it, really?

Ali Qamar Last updated: September 20, 2022 Read time: 18 minutes Disclosure

Easy-to-use and minimalistic antivirus software that offers good malware protection, but it doesn't provide much else.

Malwarebytes is antivirus software that reminds me of Google’s early days in several ways. Back in the late ’90s, when the search engine war was unresolved, a brand new entity — Google — came online to conquer the rest. It stood out with a decidedly minimalistic appearance (nothing but a logo and a search box) and impressive performance by delivering relevant search results for almost every user query.

Likewise, Malwarebytes antivirus is also quite minimalistic, user-friendly, and quite effective against malware (as it claims). But does it have all the potential to rule the world of antimalware services? This detailed Malwarebytes antivirus review aims at answering this question for you.

Malwarebytes antivirus: The overview

Malwarebytes is one of the oldest antimalware programs, which started in 2006. The service was initiated as typical antivirus software, ultimately emerging as a dedicated antimalware solution for different devices and operating systems. Today, you can easily opt for Malwarebytes antivirus download on any device you own, including computers and smartphones alike.

Malwarebytes may not seem as feature-rich as its main competitors, but that’s not the case. Instead, this antivirus suite includes every core feature you could want or expect from an antivirus program —web protection, ransomware protection, malware protection, it’s all there. The difference is that additional features that have little or nothing to do with antivirus protection, such as firewalls, tuneups, password managers, or parental controls, are nowhere to be found here.

The top plan for Malwarebytes users includes a VPN service. But is it worth it? For a higher fee, almost every other top-notch antivirus option offers VPN services (Kaspersky, Avira, McAfee, Bitdefender, TotalAV, and others). But the value in that higher fee is hardly in the VPN itself because they offer many additional features –and some of them can be pretty helpful, depending on your digital lifestyle and the product you choose. In this regard, the marketing strategy seems misguided, but that’s what’s available.

So when you look at Malwarebytes as a whole, it’s a pretty basic but effective and austere antivirus. As such, it’s one of the best low-cost options in the market today.

Summary of Malwarebytes antivirus review

Malwarebytes is a pretty good antivirus that can surely protect your system at best. During this review, I loaded many malware files to my laboratory computer to test Malwarebytes. It detected 96% of them, which is pretty good. Then I tried the real-time protection, and it blocked about 99% of all the threats it found, which is beyond good. But, of course, this suite is quite specialized, typically focusing on malware protection only.

A web protection feature in Malwarebytes comes alongside the malware scanner. This feature also works very well, with an almost perfect score at detecting phishing threats.

While using the integrated VPN service to unblock geo-locked websites, this VPN appeared rather basic compared to premium vendors like NordVPN. Yes, it works for sure, but if you need a service that unleashes the power of VPNs, consider spending on a VPN subscription from a top-notch vendor instead.

Of course, the minimalistic streak with Malwarebytes misses out on additional features, but it has its advantages. To ensure everything runs smoothly, you don’t need to keep fiddling with your antivirus. Hence, it is perfect for users who want a cost-effective, low-maintenance antivirus option.

Similarly, the fee, fortunately, is commensurate with the minimalist features, so it’s pretty reasonable. In addition, there is a 14-day free trial available and an unusual 60-day money-back guarantee on every premium plan.

Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • User-friendly interface
  • Dedicated apps for various devices
  • Smooth security while running in the background
  • Cheap subscription cost

Cons:

  • Lacks many additive features such as password manager
  • VPN offers elementary functionality only
  • Lacks default full system scan

Malwarebytes security features

Virus Scanner

The suite’s detection strategy relies on both heuristics and signature-based identification. So, the software has a malware database to detect harmful files in your system. Still, it also pays attention to suspicious behavior in otherwise harmless files so that your system also remains protected from malware that is not yet in the database.