Malwarebytes wasn’t designed to be an antivirus program. Instead, meant to work with existing AV software to provide quick and efficient removal of the most dangerous malware.
We are not living in that time when viruses were simple and used to infect executable files predictably, that easily be detected using the simple antivirus tools without difficulty.
Fast forward to today’s environment, where treacherous ransomware, polymorphic malware, and other forms of malicious software, are everywhere; recognizing malware by looking at files is an old story to tell. The behavior-based analysis is must to deal with increasing cyber scams, and Malwarebytes offers what exactly needed, along with other layers of protection.
Some companies come up with a new product every year, while others eschew version numbers. Malwarebytes works on versions and updates only when needed. We are reviewing the current Windows version of Malwarebytes which is 4.5.34
If you do not know about Malwarebytes, don’t feel bad. Feel lucky you’ve never needed it or anything similar to fight a virus infecting your computer.
Anti-Malware Solution for Unmatched Protection
As a matter of fact, Malwarebytes is an application developed by Malwarebytes Corporation back in 2008 designed to hunt down and eliminate malware and viruses. This Californian company is best for developing Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, a free tool for removing adware, spyware and similar pests.
Malwarebytes is a cloud-based yet on-premise anti-Malware solution that provides malware detection and remediation tools, helping in blocking ransomware and malicious website, while exploiting protection and incident response.
This multi-vector protection provides dynamic and static detection methods across the attack, by providing remediation module that includes immediate response to infections and returns the endpoint to normalcy. The management console provides a dashboard displaying endpoint status, recent activity, threats, and reports. Other than this, MalwareBytes also offers application behavior, web protection, application hardening, payload analysis, exploit mitigation, ransomware mitigation, and policy management features in a suite.
Malwarebytes neither started as a traditional antivirus program nor for competing with regular antivirus software. Instead of targeting the general malware on the Internet, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware focuses more on catching the newest and the most cutting-edge threats that other antiviruses fail to catch.
Upon installing Malwarebytes, you will be granted a 14-day trial of the Premium version that encompasses real-time protection. After that, it gets back to a free edition that includes on-demand malware, spyware, and rootkit detection.
Malwarebytes Premium is priced at 1 device US$3.75 per month US$44.99 billed annually for a single system (Windows, Mac, Android Chrome OS), one-year license; isn’t reasonable, though at the high end of what would expect for a quality antivirus.
- Premium + Privacy VPN 5 devices US$8.33 per month US$99.99 billed annually
- Premium + Privacy VPN 3 devices US$6.67 per month US$79.99 billed annually
- Premium 3 devices US$5.00 per month US$59.99 billed annually
Malwarebytes comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
At first glance, the Malwarebytes interface seems complex with a host of status details, different buttons, multiple tiny icons, and five tabs: Dashboard, Scan, Quarantine, Reports, and Settings.
In reality, the program is straightforward. Most of the time you’ll do a little more than hit the Scan button. Most of the sections are simple yet intuitive; like, the Quarantine panel lists quarantined files and buttons to restore or delete them.
The Scan panel offers three scan types:
- Threat Scan: This scan checks the most common infection hotspots (startup programs, Registry, memory, key files). It’s the equivalent of a Quick Scan elsewhere, scanning the system in two minutes.
- Hyper Scan: It is a minimalist check to check the memory and startup objects only. It’s relatively faster, taking only ten seconds (plus the time to check for updates), but isn’t likely to detect much.
- Custom Scan: It scan specific drives or folders, allowing some basic control over scan operation (whether to scan archives or not, for instance.) This can’t match the power and configurability offered by Avast, Avira or BitDefender Internet Security.
A user can toggle various features on and off using the Settings dialog (web filtering, malware protection, updates, notifications, etc.), but Malwarebytes’ exploit protection can be controlled, as the packages use techniques to protect against zero-day attacks for a variety of common applications and types.
Even experts may have trouble understanding these options, since they are quite technical. Other options are easier to understand, like – ‘disable Internet Explorer VB Scripting’ – having this level of control is useful if the exploit protection breaks an application, and you’re looking for a quick fix.
By filtering URLs, Malwarebytes detects malicious links and blocks them. This creates a marginal difference, but useful enough and worthwhile addition to the package.
If you’re looking for additional features, you are out of luck; neither a password manager nor banking protection are included. With its simplicity and lack of clutter, Malwarebytes is easy to use if you don’t seek extra features.
There are two versions – free and paid – both offer a varying degree of features and added security tools. Free version eliminates malware, but need to be started manually to scan, while the MBAM version that you pay for scans automatically on a scheduled basis, offering concurrent protection with an optional flash-memory scan option.
After a scan, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware lists the suspicious items and ask if you’d like to either ignore them for now, quarantine them (place them in a Malwarebytes’ protected region), or exclude them from future scans.
You’ll likely choose quarantine. If you decide that certain items are not malicious, restore them from the History tab by selecting the respective items. You can also permanently delete those items from quarantine from the same tab.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware lists some features and settings under the Settings tab presented on the Dashboard. However, not all of them are in the free edition, and even general users don’t need other tools. Malwarebytes offers a few great free tools that can be used in conjunction with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
Our favorite free tool is Chameleon, a countermeasure tool for all forms of malware that try to disable anti-malware programs on the computers. Chameleon disguises Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to remain hidden from malicious programs. When Malwarebytes Anti-Malware isn’t available, you can still run Chameleon, which will launch Anti-Malware for you.
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There’s also Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit, a tool to monitor for attacks that infect your computer via software flaws rather than malware. If you’re thinking that having Malwarebytes means slowing down the system, then don’t worry! Malwarebytes StartUpLite speeds up your computer by disabling any extra programs while Malwarebytes FileASSASSIN lets you delete files that you otherwise wouldn’t have permission to do so, such as locked files or files using by other programs.
Malwarebytes also offers RegASSASSIN that remove registry keys (used by advanced malware) from your computer.
Malwarebytes also includes a ‘self-protection’ to stop malware trying to disable, but we’re not sure about its effectiveness. We managed to close the main Malwarebytes without difficulty, and were able to prevent it from restarting. We didn’t cause any serious damage, for example by deleting files;the package seemed a little more vulnerable to attack by malware than the competition.
The latest incarnation of Malwarebytes claims to use behavior monitoring, AI-powered anomaly detection, and application hardening to protect your system from threats that are known as traditional antiviruses.
How Easy Malwarebytes’ Setup is?
Malwarebytes has years of experience in developing a software for novice users; you will see this in their simple and straightforward installation process. Trial downloads are highlighted without asking your email to proceed, and the setup performs its task in seconds without unusual or complicated options.
Malwarebytes opening screen looks slightly cluttered, at least initially, but larger enough to clarify every aspect; ‘let’s get started by cleaning machine’ prompt, with the Scan Now button.
The initial scan ran quickly in our test; it was a little aggressive than we hoped, flagging a legitimate software as unwanted programs, it also spotted test malware without difficulty.
Checking the Malwarebytes installation showed a relatively lightweight package at 210MB of files. Some antivirus tools require five times as much space, once factor in virus definitions.
Is Malwarebytes’ Interface convincing?
The top bar is the list of tabs indicating – Dashboard, Scan, Settings, and History. At the end of this bar, you’ll find two links urging to create Malwarebytes user accounts and upgrade to the Premium.
Below the tab bar is thickest and most eye-catching: It’s colored bright green – indicating you’re secure, yellow – you haven’t run a scan – and red – any malware or potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) has identified.
The status of Anti-Malware’s license, scan progress, database version, and real-time protection can be viewed through the four white bars displayed below. The first and last items aren’t for the free edition, that detects malware but doesn’t stop malware from infecting in the first place.
The left-hand side of the bottom bar advertises Malwarebytes products; on the lower right there is a Scan Now button that begins a full system scan.
When we clicked the Scan Now button, Malwarebytes ask the malware-definition database to be updated.
Overall, the interface is colorful and straightforward. You will like the horizontal layout and simple explanations to understand what’s happening without getting overwhelming.
Before proceeding, it’s important to note that turning off Malwarebytes will temporarily disable its real-time protection, leaving your device more vulnerable to malware. Only turn off Malwarebytes if necessary, and remember to reactivate it later for ongoing protection.
This will close the Malwarebytes application and turn off its real-time protection features. Keep in mind that it’s generally recommended to keep your antivirus software running to ensure ongoing protection against malware and other threats.
Malwarebytes may occasionally block access to certain websites, including Google, due to its real-time web protection feature. This feature is designed to detect and block potentially malicious websites that may pose a threat to your device’s security.
There could be several reasons why Malwarebytes is blocking Google specifically:
If you encounter a situation where Malwarebytes is blocking Google, it’s recommended to follow these steps:
Remember, Malwarebytes’ primary goal is to protect your device and data from potential threats. If it’s blocking Google, it’s likely doing so to ensure your safety online.
To stop Malwarebytes popups, you can follow these steps:
By following these steps, you can stop the pop-up notifications from Malwarebytes. Keep in mind that disabling pop-ups may reduce your visibility into potential threats or important updates. It’s recommended to periodically check the Malwarebytes application manually for any important alerts or updates to ensure your device’s security.
Malwarebytes wasn’t designed to be an antivirus program. Instead, meant to work with existing AV software to provide quick and efficient removal of the most dangerous malware. We like the software’s Chameleon feature that helps users to regain control of a compromised machine. Despite the fact that Malwarebytes is a security app, it does not replace your antivirus program.