With more and more users joining different online platforms every day, the number of cyberattacks and virus and malware infections is on the rise.
Cybercriminals and hackers get more creative with how they steal your personal information and/or damage your devices.
That’s why everyone needs modern security software that can keep up with the criminals and provide safety.
Is the famous Malwarebytes platform a reliable and safe application? Read on to find out.
Is Malwarebytes Safe?
Malwarebytes is a safe and reliable anti-malware that protects you against various online threats.
Although many users are happy with it, some people claim it doesn’t work or that it has caused their computer to crash.
Some people even believe that Malwarebytes is a virus itself!
Firstly, you need to know that many of these reviews are from many years ago.
Malwarebytes has fixed the majority of its performance issues and upgraded its features since—so no more crashes!
Second, some users download copycat versions from untrusted sources.
Only download Malwarebytes for free from its official website, which is entirely safe.
Lastly, you can be absolutely sure that Malwarebytes won’t infect your computer with viruses.
If a problem comes up after you run the free version of Malwarebytes on your device, it’s because the software has removed a virus or malware, revealing the damage they’ve caused and concealed.
The free version of Malwarebytes can’t remove the threats before they attack your PC.
You should either upgrade to the premium version or use the free version along with a powerful antivirus program.
An Overview of Malwarebytes
1. Security Features
Malwarebytes comes with an assortment of great features, but it’s not a full-blown security suite.
Therefore, you can’t expect it to function as a VPN, password manager, firewall, network scanner, anti-theft tool, or parental controls app.
What can you expect from Malwarebytes? Read on to find out.
A. Real-Time Protection
Malwarebytes Premium has four layers of protection that work simultaneously on your device:
- Malware Protection.
- Ransomware protection.
- Exploit protection.
- Web protection.
Real-time protection is when an application looks for and eliminates threats as soon as they arise.
It also finds potential vulnerabilities in a code or program that cybercriminals could target.
Real-time protection is available in Malwarebytes Premium, not the free version.
That’s why you need to run the free edition with another traditional antivirus to achieve complete security.
Malwarebytes Premium also has a feature called advanced behavior analysis or heuristic analysis.
This feature uses unique bits of code and data to identify and neutralize unknown malware by analyzing a program’s structure and behavior and to use this information to target them on other devices.
This sets Malwarebytes apart from many of its competitors.
B. Scanning Options
Malwarebytes offers three scanning options for different purposes:
- Threat Scan: A Threat Scan is the most comprehensive of the three choices, and it takes the longest at an average of about 10 minutes.
It checks all the hotspots of your system for threats, including the memory, registry, critical operating system files, startup programs, and so on.
It also includes a heuristic analysis.
- Custom Scan: Malwarebytes also allows you to check any single area you want.
That could be helpful on many occasions, like when you’ve downloaded a new file and want Malwarebytes to check it out.
- Hyper Scan: Unlike the other two scan types, Hyper Scan option is only activated for Malwarebytes Premium.
It does a fast scan of the most critical areas of your system, including the memory and startup objects.
It takes about 10 seconds to complete.
It’s advisable to run the Threat Scan if the Hyper Scan alarms you about something.
C. Exploit Protection
Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit or MBAE is a valuable feature that effectively shields popular applications and browsers against exploit attacks.
When the program detects that a shielded application is under attack, it prevents the malicious code from executing and automatically closes the application to protect it.
D. Automatic Updates
When Malwarebytes detects an unknown malware on one system, it analyzes it and saves its signature in a large database.
Malwarebytes then updates its information on all other systems, protecting them against the new potential threat.
In the free version of Malwarebytes, you should check for these updates manually.
However, the premium edition automatically updates every hour and lets you customize the frequency of updates, from 15 minutes to 14 days.
E. Browser Guard
Malwarebytes has an additional browser guard extension that you can download separately for Chrome or Firefox, both of which are free.
It protects you against malware-hosting URLs, third-party trackers, PUPs, browser hijackers, scammers, phishing, and similar threats.
If Malwarebytes has blocked a tracker site even though you trust it, you can change the settings and get it unblocked.
The browser guard also includes an adware blocking feature named Adwcleaner.
It eliminates annoying ads and reportedly makes your browsing experience four times faster.
It also removes unnecessary browser toolbars that you may have installed inadvertently.
The Statistics menu shows you how many Ads, trackers, malware, scams, and PUPs it has blocked and gives you helpful diagrams.
F. Quarantined Files
Malwarebytes confines the infected files in the quarantine area after neutralizing them.
If you get a false alarm and you’re sure the file is safe, you can restore it.
You can also form an “Allow List” for safe files to prevent Malwarebytes from targeting them in the future.
2. Simple Installation
The application is very light, and the download and installation process will take only a few minutes.
It won’t require you to log into any accounts or give your email.
You can jump right into your first scan.
The first page may seem a bit overwhelming with the cluttered dashboard, but it has a pretty user-friendly interface.
Start going through the menus and customize the app to your liking.
On the left-hand sidebar, there are the following menus to choose from:
Go through each one to discover the app’s potential.
Under Settings, you’ll see:
- Scan Schedule
- Account Details
Each one of these fields gives you lots of customization options.
The macOS version of Malwarebytes is visually similar to Windows, but the qualities aren’t as developed.
Its unique feature is a toggle switch that can block untrusted applications if turned on.
As mentioned, Malwarebytes is one of the most lightweight anti-malware programs available.
It takes up only 200 MB on your hard drive.
Malwarebytes only has a 10% negative influence on your system, making this software more efficient than most other apps with similar features.
When running a scan, it uses most of the CPU power, but you won’t feel your PC slowing down, and you can carry on working without a problem.
You can also add the Browser Guard and Adwcleaner extension to Chrome and Firefox on any device.
5. Plans and Pricing
Malwarebytes offers different plans for individuals, homes, small businesses, and large corporations to suit their needs.
It also gives you a 60-day money-back guarantee if you’re a new user.
This feature is available for everyone except those who have renewed their subscriptions and also business plan owners.
A. Malwarebytes Free
If you download and install the free version of Malwarebytes from their website, it’ll automatically activate a free 14-day trial of the Premium version.
This way, you can experience all of the app’s features without making a financial commitment.
You can deactivate this feature in the settings and keep using the free version.
Once the 14 days are over, Malwarebytes automatically takes away the Premium features and leaves you with the free version.
As mentioned before, you shouldn’t rely on the free version for fully protecting your device.
It lacks real-time protection, and it’s only suitable for cleaning up an already infected computer.
You can also use it as a backup plan in conjunction with another reliable antivirus as your primary security wall.
B. Malwarebytes Premium
The Premium or paid version of Malwarebytes is a powerful and fully equipped software.
The Premium app has three variations.
The first one is for an individual device, and it costs $3.33 per month.
The second option covers five devices, which is excellent for families and costs $6.67 per month.
Since you can use Malwarebytes on multiple operating systems, this is an excellent way of securing all the computers and phones in your house.
The third version is called “Premium + Privacy.”
It covers five devices, but it has an additional VPN feature that can improve your online privacy and encrypt your WiFi connection.
This plan costs $8.33 per month.
It’s possible to add up to 10 devices to your plan, and the more the devices, the bigger your discount.
All the expenses are billed annually.
If you decide to get the offers for a two-year duration, Malwarebytes will give you a 25% discount on the second year at the time of this writing.
C. Malwarebytes Business
The business plan also has three types:
- Malwarebytes for Teams: This plan can cover up to 20 devices and is suitable for small businesses.
It supports Windows, Mac, Chrome OS, and Android operating systems.
The price is $49.99 per device per year.
However, if you add more devices, you’ll get a discount accordingly.
You can choose a one-, two-, or three-year plan.
Where this plan differs from the personal plans is in priority support features and additional Android protection.
- Malwarebytes Endpoint Protection: The Endpoint Protection plan only works on Windows and Mac devices and can support 10 to 90 devices, making it great for businesses.
If you want Malwarebytes on more than 100 devices, you would need to contact the company.
This plan costs $69.99 per device per year, but the cost comes down as you add more devices.
- Malwarebytes Endpoint Detection and Response: Everything we said about the previous plan is also true for the Endpoint Detection and Response, except for the price.
This plan costs $84.99 per device per year.
The prices are different because the plans offer different features.
You can learn more about each one on the Malwarebytes website.
6. Support and Customer Service
Malwarebytes has a customer support team you can contact from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. UTC from Monday to Friday.
Their primary support service is through a live chat feature on their site.
However, this feature isn’t consistent, and you may have to wait to connect to a live representative.
Once you do, you can be sure they’re knowledgeable and helpful.
You can also submit a ticket describing your question on their website, but you may not get a response soon.
To do so, click on the “Contact us” button at the bottom of their website.
You’ll get to the support page with a little blue Help icon at the bottom right corner of the screen.
Once you click on it, you’ll get in touch with the Malwarebytes support bot.
Type in the topic of your question, and it’ll provide you with some articles on the subject, and then ask you if you want to get in touch.
If you don’t find what you’re looking for, click on the Get in touch button and then submit a ticket.
Malwarebytes has a community forum where people ask and answer questions.
That could also be an excellent place for you to find the answers to your questions.
Finally, there are lots of articles and videos on the support page, categorized by topic.
Searching through them and finding what you’re looking for is relatively easy, especially because you won’t have to wait for an answer.
Virus vs. Malware vs. Ransomware
Before we can describe what Malwarebytes does, you need to know what these terms mean.
For a virus to get into your device, you need to open and run a virus-infected program or file.
If you don’t run the infected software or file, the virus won’t damage your computer.
On the other hand, malware replicates itself across a network without any action required on your part.
It aims to use up your computer’s resources to steal critical personal information, launch attacks, mine cryptocurrencies, and so on.
Most importantly, the malware tries to work quietly and avoid being noticed.
That means malware isn’t programmed to do any visible harm to your system.
Therefore, your antivirus can only detect and get rid of the malware after it’s landed on your computer.
Ransomware is a sub-category of malware.
The main difference is that ransomware only stays quiet until it’s done working.
When your system gets infected with ransomware, it starts to lock away your files with a secret encryption key.
Once you’ve lost access to all your data, the ransomware pops up and displays the ransom terms.
In other words, ransomware locks your files and forces you to pay to get them back.
At this stage, removing the ransomware using any application won’t help you.
It may even prevent you from ever getting your files decrypted.
In most cases, the criminals behind the ransomware ask to be paid in cryptocurrencies, which are untraceable.
Even if you pay them, you’re unlikely to get your files back!
Therefore, the best way to defeat ransomware is to eliminate it before it attacks.
What Is Malwarebytes?
Malwarebytes Inc. is an American security company that launched its anti-malware app back in 2006.
It’s come a long way in terms of features since then, and it’s now one of the most popular options for protecting your devices against various online threats.
It performs more than 187 million malware scans every month and detects and blocks more than eight million threats every day.
Malwarebytes has both a free version and a paid version.