April 22, 2018

Malwarebytes Review: Pros and Cons

Malwarebytes has upgraded its technology. But is it enough to protect you from intelligent hackers? Read this review to find out.

Antivirus software has been a vital part in keeping computers safe for over two decades. Viruses can do a lot of damage to your computer's data.

But protection against viruses isn't all you need for your computer these days. Recently, hackers have stepped up their ability to attack your computer. They are using things like ransomware, spyware, and malware.

One of the most popular pieces of defense software is Malwarebytes. This software focuses on removing malware and spyware from your computer. However, in the past few months it has added an active monitoring system.

It's available in both a free and a premium version. In the past, you'd have to run Malwarebytes with another antivirus software. In this review of the recently updated Malwarebytes, we'll help you figure out if you can use it as your only defense option.

In this review of Malwarebytes, you'll learn:

Understanding the Threats

Malwarebytes protects against multiple different types of threats.

  • Exploit Attacks: An exploit attack is when a hacker exploits a weakness in the software on your computer. Most weaknesses are fixed with patches from the software company. However, if you haven't downloaded the latest version, you won't have received the patch.

  • Malicious Websites: A malicious website is exactly what it sounds like. A website that causes malware, spyware, or viruses to infect your computer. This often occurs when you click on a link from an unknown e-mail source. It can also happen when you mistype a URL.

  • Malware: Malware refers to a software that will harm your computer's data. Malware includes viruses, spyware, and worms. It's short for malicious software.

  • Ransomware: Ransomware is a type of malicious software that locks up your computer data. The hacker who deployed the ransomware may contact you. If they do they will request a ransom in exchange for your data.
  • Spyware: Spyware monitors and tracks your computer usage, including keystrokes. It may also be able to pull information from your hard drive. All of the collected information can be sent to the hacker.

  • Viruses: A virus is a piece of software that can infect your computer. It can destroy data and cause other types of software and hardware to fail.

Free Vs Premium

Malwarebytes is available in two versions: free and premium. The premium version will cost about $30 per year. There are discounts are available for those who need multiple licenses.

  • Free: The free version scans your hard drive for malware and spyware. It has no active protection against malicious websites or viruses.

  • Premium: Premium provides protection against ransomware and exploit attacks. It provides active protection for malicious websites. Also, it doubles the malware and spyware protection the free version provides.

One key difference between these two involves the real-time detection of malware. The free version will remove malware after it is on your computer. Premium constantly scans for malware and stops it before it can cause harm.

This constant monitoring of your system is the best feature of Premium. If you're someone who might click an unknown link - the constant monitoring feature is a smart idea.

Reasons to Pick Malwarebytes

  1. It gives automatic and active protection. Once you have Malwarebytes, it gives automatic protection against attacks. This includes against malicious websites, as you're clicking on them. Some defensive software may allow you to become infected. After it will then try to remove the infection. The active protection of Malwarebytes will not allow an infection. If a malicious link is clicked, it will stop loading the website and block it.

  2. It's available for Android mobile devices. You can use it on your Android phone by downloading it from the Google Play store. It uses the same interface and basic features.

  3. It's offered in a trial version too. You can test Malwarebytes Premium for free for 14 days. You can then decide to purchase Premium or use the free version. You also have the option of removing it entirely.
  4. It has a great interface. The user interface has been upgraded, giving it a modern look. It's easy to understand and use for people of all skill levels.

  5. It has one of the best levels of protection for malware and spyware. Whether you're using the Premium or free version, you're in great hands. Malwarebytes has collected data about malware from its users. This allows it to develop effective ways of detecting the presence of malware.

  6. It has protection for Macintosh computers. There was a time when Macintosh computers didn't need protection. That's no longer the case. Fortunately, it does have a Macintosh-compatible version.

  7. It works well with most antivirus software. You'll love how well Malwarebytes operates with other antivirus software (see point 2 below). This will give you a high level of protection without causing system slowdowns.

  8. It's easy to try. Malwarebytes is easy to install and the free version is clearly marked. Some software products try to "trick" you into clicking on a link that will go to the Premium version. Or they'll request personal information from you to get the free version. This is not the case with Malwarebytes. Which makes it easy to download the trial or to stay with the free version.

Reasons to Consider Other Protection Software

  • It tends to flag things that don't need flagging. You may notice Malwarebytes flags software that you've been using for a long time. This means, the protection software is more sensitive than other options. Some will find this level of the protection annoying, while others will appreciate the thoroughness.

  • It doesn't quite protect against everything. Malwarebytes Premium provides a high level of protection in many areas. However, it isn't perfect for virus protection. You may have to run a separate antivirus program with Malwarebytes.

  • It doesn't have a mobile iOS version. Malwarebytes provides protection to Macintosh computers and Android mobile devices. However, it does not yet have a version that will work with mobile iOS devices, like the iPhone and iPad.

  • It may not run smoothly on older computers. Because of its active monitoring system, it requires multiple system resources. You may notice that your computer runs poorly with Premium if you have an old processor or little memory. However, the free version should be able to run adequately.

Bottom Line

Most protection software started as antivirus software and added protection against other threats. Malwarebytes did the opposite. It started by protecting against non-virus threats and added other features.

However, it won't protect against specific viruses as well as most antivirus-only software.
While running Malwarebytes you may need to continue running a separate antivirus software. This will depend on your requirements. Malwarebytes excels at determining if a website or virus presents a threat. Other antivirus software relies on a database of known viruses.

Malwarebytes offers a 14-day free trial of its Premium software package. You can use the free trial to see if Malwarebytes will work for you. If not, you can keep the free trial and make use of its ability to detect and remove malware and spyware. If you do this, you would run a separate antivirus software.

Our favorite feature of Malwarebytes Premium is its active protection. With this, you'll be able to detect and stop problems before they happen. If yourself or your kids might click on an unknown link, you'll love the protection Malwarebytes Premium gives you. If you have a trusted antivirus software already on your computer, the free version will work perfectly.

Write to Kyle Schurman at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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