Malwarebytes Vs Avast – Which Is Better?
When it comes to computer security these days, it is incredibly important to ensure that you are running reputable software to ensure your data is protected at all times. I get a lot of people emailing me and asking about Malwarebytes vs Avast, and which one is better for them.
While both programs are really good, they are not completely direct competitors. Instead, they offer protections against different types of threats. Let’s take a look at each program and their pros and cons so you can decide for yourself if you want one or the other, or even both.
Malwarebytes Corporation is an American-based international computer security software firm that started in 2006. Their initial offering of Malwarebytes started out as a pure malware removal software tool, but over the years it has evolved into a fully featured security solution for PCs, Macs, and Androids. As far as complete protection, Malwarebytes Premium is all you really need for your computer, eliminating the need for additional antivirus software. According to the Malwarebytes website, with the release of Malwarebytes Premium 3, it’s now a complete solution:
“Malwarebytes 3 Premium is our best security offering to date and can serve as the computer’s primary source of software-based protection.” –Malwarebytes.com
This is especially true with the introduction of the free Windows Defender that is extremely good at antivirus tasks.
We recently wrote up a Malwarebytes Review and we actually gave it a perfect score because we feel it is an excellent piece of software and we use it on our own computers.
Malwarebyte Pros And Cons
- Active browsing protection – will protect your computer from threats while you browse. These protections are crowd sourced so they are updated all the time as new threats are discovered.
- Machine learning technology – thanks to the ability pool resources from users of the software, the program is able to “learn” how to stop zero day threats before they strike. This means the software will stop a malware or infection because of its behavior – so you can be protected from brand new threats even before they are put on definition lists.
- Multi Platform – you can use this software on a PC, Mac, or Android device.
- Extensive support and community knowledgebase – Malwarebytes has an extensive support system as well as extremely active forums where you can post questions and answers. Probably one of the most active malware communities on the web.
- Scan Scheduling – schedule scans to run daily or on whatever time frame you want.
- Clean Interface – an easy to use and read interface is perfect for any level of computer user.
- Free version isn’t fully stocked – the free version only removes malware that is already causing issues. We highly recommend Malwarebytes Premium
- Sometimes overzealous in active protection – we ran into a few times where the active internet protection was blocking competitor antivirus software sites.
Avast is a Czech company that has been around since 1988 and currently has over 1000 employees nationwide. They are a big player in the computer security field. They have come out with a suite of different computer protection programs over the years, however the most important of the bunch is Avast Internet Security as well as Premier and Ultimate which are upgrades with more features.
Avast Antivirus got a facelift for 2018 and features a dark skinned theme that is clear and easy to read. This new update features a multitude of updates and is capable of being a fully featured internet security tool for your PC, Mac, or phone. Depending on which version you get you will get various tiers of features. We always recommend getting the best you can afford, however we think that the Internet Security and Premier versions are adequate protections unless you want the VPN and password storage feature that the Ultimate version provides.
As far as how Avast fares, it does extremely well in vigorous malware, virus, and phishing site tests. PC Mag gave it an extremely good writeup as well as our experience with the software. If you are comparing the paid versions it seems Avast is neck and neck with Malwarebytes.
Avast Internet Security Pros And Cons
- Wi-Fi security scan – ensures your wifi connections are up to snuff, and detects any intruders
- Password storage – stores passwords safely behind encryption so you can use very strong passwords and not have to remember them all yourself. Great for ensuring you don’t use the same password multiple times.
- Phishing site detection – sources phishing sites and alerts you before you get tricked
- Sandbox apps – you can run suspicious apps in a “sandbox” so that your computer is not affected should things go south.
- Actively block malware and other viruses intelligently – stops these threats before they get onto your machine using threat behavior protocols to stop zero day threats.
- A bit more resource heavy than Malwarebytes
- System cleanup in free download requires a purchase
- More bells and whistles but many are behind a paywall
Overall Recommendation – Malwarebytes Vs Avast
This was a tough call. For now I recommend Malwarebytes Premium as a front line defense. It’s a bit more lightweight and the protection is just as good, and it’s cheaper.
However, Avast is also very good and they offer a couple more features including a sandbox for suspect software, a password vault, and a few bells and whistles such as game mode to block pop ups and browser cleanup tools.
Depending on your budget and your need for more security and tools, Avast could be right for you as it’s got more for a higher price. But for just the basics we recommend Malwarebytes Premium.
What about using Avast Free for daily use, and use Malwarebytes (more powerful cleaning tool) for concrete scans of your computer time to time when necessary?? I think it would be a perfect combo. More taking into account you are using both strengths. Don’t you think? – And well… is all FREE 🙂
Sounds like a good strategy to me! Of course, some people like the paid features too.
Thank you so much for your review, Bill. I have been close to purchasing Malawarebytes several times. I’ve been using the free version, but since the really good one can be applied to several computers, I am going to get the Premium.
Here is my question: When you get the Premium Version installed online to your 1st computer, how do you install in on your other home computers? Thanks for your help.
I believe you just install and apply the activation license key to the software
I have used Avast for several years on several PCs and been very happy. I have used Avast Premium since it arrived but I am downgrading to the free version because when I asked it to clean my PC it wiped out all the files in my download folder. There was no obvious warning that this would happen and I couldn’t see a way to stop it nor could I recover the files. Happily I had a full back up!
Yes – you have to be careful with any cleaning utilities and make sure that you know exactly which files it’s getting rid of. That’s why I generally don’t use cleaning utilities unless I really have to.
Can you run both on your computer? Or should you just use one?
You can run both but it’s not recommended. In fact, Avast will turn itself off if it sees Malwarebytes running. I recommend picking one – you don’t need both.
do i need both avast and Malwarebytes
Hello Dan, no you don’t need both. One of them is sufficient – simply choose the one that fits your needs and aesthetics the best. Avast has more bells and whistles available, Malwarebytes is a bit more focused on preventing and removing malware.