Malwarebytes has become one of the top names in the world of PC and Mac security. They have crafted a powerful software program that protects computers from new and established malware infections of all types. The software comes in Malwarebytes Free and Malwarebytes Premium. We purchased and installed this software ourselves for this Malwarebytes review to see how the program works and whether or not it’s worth your time and money.
Before diving in to all the features of Malwarebytes I’d like to give you my own experience using the software, because I think that’s what most people want to know anyway.
For clarity, for this review of Malwarebytes I am using Malwarebytes Premium, which has a few features the free version does not, and I’ll get to that further down.
I am generally a smart internet user; I don’t download weird software and I steer clear of “bad” websites like adult, gambling, and hacking type sites. However while I was writing this very review I went to check out the cryptocurrency markets and I mis-typed the name of a popular cryptocurrency website. My browser (Chrome) went into a flurry of redirects and all I could think was “oh no, here we go…” and expected to get some weird virus or malware.
However, all activity was halted and a small popup from Malwarebytes appeared in the lower right corner of my screen telling me that it had stopped suspicious website activity and blocked the IP address.
I couldn’t believe it, and the timing was rather ironic. I had forgotten Malwarebytes was even on my computer for a moment. I have to say I was very relieved, since I have been trading in cryptocurrency lately and although I use two factor authentication for the exchanges I still worried in that split second that my passwords were going to get compromised.
Malwarebytes really did a good job here. It beat Norton 360 to the punch (I still had Norton running in the background) and successfully halted whatever weird stuff was getting launched at my computer from this crazy redirect.
When I ran the scan before this happened I had a clean computer, free of any threats according to Malwarebytes. It did identify a few oddball “PUP”s (Potentially Unwanted Programs) but after taking a look at them they weren’t really threats. This tends to happen with a lot of malware removal software however, so no points against Malwarebytes.
Features Of Malwarebytes
Malwarebytes operates like most typical antimalware and antivirus software programs. After download you simply install the software and are then presented with the option of scanning your system for threats.
Once the threats are detected they are listed out and you are then able to quarantine them or not. If you believe the threats to be of no danger (sometimes the program will flag innocent user settings) you can choose to ignore them once or forever.
The interface of Malwarebytes is clean and aesthetically pleasing. It’s easy enough for users of all computer skill levels to operate, and has enough settings and features to keep the real tech nerds happy.
Scheduling allows you to perform scans on a repeat basis of your choosing, and you are also able to toggle certain settings such as active protection on and off.
Support and Directions
If you’re just getting started with the software and you haven’t used something like it before, a quick tour (accessible in the lower left of the program) will walk you through all the features and options and give you a birds eye view of the software. This is a great feature for those who are not so computer savvy.
Active Internet Browsing Protection
Malwarebytes also protects you from known threats while surfing the web, and warns against bad websites and internet neighborhoods. These threats are “crowd sourced” from other users of Malwarebytes and are constantly updated as new threats are found.
Malwarebytes Review – Malwarebytes Free vs Premium
There are two versions of Malwarebytes, the free version and the Premium version. The free version does NOT actively protect against bad websites and incoming attacks. It only removes infections that are already on your system. The active protection is an essential feature of the software and one that makes it useful but not a good tool in terms of protection.
The Premium version has the active blocking technology that stopped my computer from my own stupid typo and a resulting potential virus or malware attack.
I’d say that if you really want to protect your data you should get the Premium version. It’s worth the cost.
Advanced Malware Detection Technology
One of the strengths of Malwarebytes, according to the company, is that because they are one of the largest and most popular brands in the malware space they have a ton of data to draw from. Each computer that uses Malwarebytes contributes valuable data to their overall ability to detect threats both old, new, and evolving.
The problem with malware is that it is constantly changing. Hackers are fast, and they are quick not only to exploit vulnerabilities in operating systems and software but they are able to morph their tools so they can bypass security.
Machine Learning Technology
According to Malwarebytes they are able to adequately defend against these evolutions by employing machine learning technology – actively identifying entire families of malware based on specific sets of behavioral rules and applying this to the monitoring software.
In this way they can detect anomalies and flag software behavior that is dangerous or threatening. This means that Malwarebytes can stop even the newest threats from evolved malware and spyware.
Because of this technology, Malwarebytes is often able to stop new threats such as the very dangerous and destructive ransomware type of infection, that locks up computer files in exchange for a sum of money from the infected computer’s owner.
According to Malwarebytes it was able to stop over 150,000 infections of the WannaCry ransomware the first week of its initial outbreak. This is in part due to this machine learning technology that allows the installations of Malwarebytes to talk to each other and to the company itself so that it can upgrade and improve the software.
Malwarebytes is also not just for PCs anymore. It offers software for Mac and Android devices (unfortunately not the iPhone at the time of this writing).
Mac & Apple
Although Mac computers are not typically the target of viruses and malware, due to the popularity increase of Macs over time hackers have set their sights on the platform and Mac infections are becoming more and more common.
Additionally, thanks to the proliferation and increased use of smartphones, Android malware is a very real threat thanks to the fact that many people conduct a lot of personal business and finance directly from their phones.
Malwarebytes Review – Conclusion
After my own experience running Malwarebytes Premium I am convinced this software is a keeper. It is lightweight, easy to use, and does what it says. It stopped my computer from a potentially hazardous and destructive infection, and I will keep it running from now on to add protection against attacks. There is too much important personal information on my computer to settle for bad security.
Get your versions of Malwarebytes here: