Malwarebytes Premium Review 2023: Is This Antivirus Worth It?

Are you considering Malwarebytes Premium as your antivirus solution? In this comprehensive review, we will delve into the features of Malwarebytes Premium and discuss whether it’s a worthwhile choice for your device security. As the digital landscape evolves, having robust antivirus protection is essential, and Malwarebytes aims to deliver just that for various operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, Android, and iOS.

Malwarebytes Free vs. Malwarebytes Premium

Before we get into the details, it’s important to note that Malwarebytes offers both a free and a premium version of their software. The free version provides manual malware scans, allowing you to scan individual files for viruses and malware. However, if you’re looking for real-time protection and advanced features, you’ll need to opt for Malwarebytes Premium, which is available for a reasonable subscription fee.

Is Malwarebytes Premium Worth It?

Let’s address the burning question: Is Malwarebytes Premium worth the investment? The primary reason to consider Malwarebytes Premium is its real-time protection capabilities. It acts as a shield against infected websites, computer viruses, ransomware, and advanced exploit attacks. Moreover, with a single Malwarebytes Premium subscription, you can secure up to five devices, making it a cost-effective choice for families or individuals with multiple devices.


Malwarebytes VPN: A Closer Look

Malwarebytes Premium also offers access to the Malwarebytes VPN. However, it’s important to note that, based on our Malwarebytes VPN review, there are better VPN options available on the market. While Malwarebytes VPN allows you to hide or change your IP address, it has limitations. Additionally, Malwarebytes is headquartered in the United States, a member of the 5 Eyes alliance, which increases the potential for data sharing with other countries’ authorities.

Despite this concern, Malwarebytes remains a reputable antivirus software with high-grade protection, user-friendly features, and a strong track record. Our comprehensive Malwarebytes review demonstrates its effectiveness in safeguarding your devices.

Malwarebytes: Specifications and Subscriptions

To help you make an informed decision, here’s a breakdown of the features offered by various Malwarebytes subscription packages:

  • Malwarebytes Free: This version is light on features, offering only ad-hoc scanning with no additional virus protection. It’s suitable for occasional use but not as a long-term solution.
  • Malwarebytes Premium: This subscription tier offers a more comprehensive set of features, including phishing and spyware protection, real-time scanning, and an ad blocker. However, advanced features like URL filtering, Wi-Fi security, and a VPN are available in higher-priced subscription packages.

Security: Can Malwarebytes Premium Be Trusted?

Malwarebytes Premium is a highly-rated antivirus program known for effectively protecting devices against a wide range of threats. While it’s not without its drawbacks, it remains a trusted provider in the antivirus industry. In our assessment, we give Malwarebytes Premium a rating of 7.5/10 for overall security.

Here’s a summary of our findings from the Malwarebytes review:

  • Malwarebytes excels in malware protection but may produce some false positives.
  • The extra security features are somewhat limited in comparison to other antivirus solutions.
  • Malwarebytes’ behavior-based detection is effective against zero-day attacks.
  • Real-time protection is exclusive to premium subscribers.
  • Malwarebytes lacks a built-in firewall for online threat protection.

If you prefer a straightforward antivirus solution without an abundance of extra features, Malwarebytes is a solid choice.


Security Testing: How Does Malwarebytes Premium Perform?

In recent independent testing conducted by AV-Comparatives in July-October 2022, Malwarebytes demonstrated a strong performance with a 97.8% protection rate on Windows. It successfully detected 620 out of 626 malware-infected files, showcasing its effectiveness in combating threats.

However, it’s worth noting that Malwarebytes had a notable number of false positives during the testing, flagging legitimate software as malicious. This impacted its accuracy score. Additionally, AV-Comparatives ceased testing Malwarebytes for Windows in November 2022, and testing for mobile or macOS devices was also discontinued.

While Malwarebytes performs decently in various independent tests, it may not offer the highest level of security compared to some other premium antivirus solutions such as Norton and Kaspersky.

Malwarebytes Scanning: Speed and Efficiency

Malwarebytes offers three types of scans: Quick Scan, Threat Scan, and Custom Scan. Quick Scan is swift and checks startup programs and memory for potential threats. Threat Scan is more comprehensive, examining files, registry programs, and memory on a daily basis. Custom Scan allows you to scan specific files and folders for online threats.

Malwarebytes Free users can only perform manual scans, while Malwarebytes Premium subscribers can schedule automatic scans. The scanning process is generally quick and straightforward, with the option to customize your scan preferences. After each scan, a detailed report is generated, providing information on detected threats.

Malwarebytes also includes a quarantine feature where infected files are isolated. Users can choose to delete these files or, if certain of their safety, restore them to their original location. False positives can be added to the “Allow” list to prevent quarantine in future scans.

Real-Time Threat Protection

One of the key benefits of Malwarebytes Premium is its real-time malware protection. This feature includes multiple layers of protection, including:

  • Web Protection: Blocks various online threats, including scams, spam messages, ransomware, and phishing attempts.
  • Malware and PUP (Potentially Unwanted Programs) Protection: Guards against viruses, adware, and potentially unwanted programs.
  • Ransomware Protection: Prevents ransomware attacks that can lock and encrypt your files.
  • Exploit Protection: Defends against malware that exploits system vulnerabilities. Note that this may apply mainly to potentially malicious email attachments in Outlook desktop applications.

Additionally, Malwarebytes offers the option to enable malware protection against brute force attacks, enhancing your online security.

Malwarebytes Browser Guard

During our review of Malwarebytes Browser Guard, we found it to be a useful free browser extension available for Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Firefox. Browser Guard aims to protect users from various online threats, including ads and trackers, phishing attempts, malware-hosting URLs, tech support scams, and more.

Notably, Browser Guard enhances web browsing by blocking unwanted content and trackers, resulting in cleaner and faster-loading webpages. It also identifies and prevents browser hijackers, further enhancing your online privacy and security.


Privacy: How Does Malwarebytes Premium Handle Your Data?

While Malwarebytes Premium excels in security, its approach to privacy raises some concerns. After conducting extensive testing and research, our privacy rating for Malwarebytes is 5/10, indicating room for improvement.

Here are our key findings regarding Malwarebytes Premium’s privacy practices:

  • VPN Logging: Malwarebytes’ VPN service raises questions about its logging practices, as it collects various user data, including device ID, browser type, internet service provider, and geographic location. This data collection contradicts its claim of being a “no-log” VPN. Additionally, Malwarebytes’ location in the United States makes this data easily accessible to American intelligence services.
  • Malwarebytes Data Collection: Malwarebytes itself gathers a significant amount of personal data that may not be essential for the functioning of its antivirus software. This data includes information about the software you use, your geographical location based on your IP address, network connection details, system processes on your device, information from Windows Security and Action Center, and more. While Malwarebytes states that this data collection serves specific purposes, it may not be necessary for individual users seeking basic device protection.

  • Third-Party Sharing: Malwarebytes generally does not share user information with third parties indiscriminately. However, it does share data with its service providers, such as Amazon Web Services and Google Analytics. Additionally, Malwarebytes may share your data with government authorities and private parties under certain circumstances, without being obligated to inform you. Justifications for data sharing include judicial procedures, legal requests (including warrants and subpoenas), intellectual property protection, and prevention of illegal or unethical activities.
  • Usability: How User-Friendly is Malwarebytes Premium?

Usability is a crucial aspect of any antivirus software, and Malwarebytes Premium scores well in this regard. Here’s a closer look at the usability aspects:

  • Installation: Installing Malwarebytes Premium is straightforward and user-friendly. The installation wizard guides you through the process, and it’s relatively hassle-free.
  • User Interface: Malwarebytes features a well-organized and intuitive user interface. Both beginners and advanced users will find it easy to navigate. The settings are comprehensive, allowing you to fine-tune your preferences.
  • Trial Period and Money-Back Guarantee: Malwarebytes offers a free 14-day trial of its Premium version, allowing you to explore its features before committing to a subscription. Additionally, there’s a 60-day money-back guarantee for Premium subscribers, providing peace of mind.
  • Customer Support: While Malwarebytes offers customer support, it lacks a live chat function. Users can submit support tickets for more personalized assistance, and the response time may vary.
  • Speed and Performance: Will Malwarebytes Premium Slow Down My System?

Performance is a critical consideration when evaluating antivirus software. During our testing, we observed the following regarding Malwarebytes Premium’s speed and performance:

  • Scan Times: Malwarebytes offers quick and thorough scanning options. Quick scans are typically completed within a minute, focusing on startup programs and memory. Threat scans, which delve deeper, occur daily and encompass files, registry programs, and memory. Custom scans allow you to scan specific files and folders. While quick scans are swift, custom scans may take longer depending on the number of files and your device’s specifications.
  • Impact on CPU: Malwarebytes‘ impact on CPU usage varies depending on the type of scan. During a scan, CPU usage can increase significantly. On Windows devices, a full scan can consume a substantial portion of CPU resources, potentially affecting system performance. However, macOS users have the option to adjust CPU usage during scans.
  • In conclusion, Malwarebytes Premium is a solid antivirus solution with a user-friendly interface, real-time protection, and efficient scanning capabilities. It offers a free trial period and a money-back guarantee, making it accessible for users to test its features. While it excels in security, some privacy concerns and performance considerations may influence your choice of antivirus software. Keep in mind that there are alternative antivirus solutions like Norton and Kaspersky that offer higher levels of security, privacy, and system performance.
  • If you’re seeking robust protection against online threats and are willing to make some compromises in privacy and performance, Malwarebytes Premium can be a suitable choice. However, for those who prioritize privacy and minimal system impact, exploring other antivirus options may be advisable.

Malwarebytes for Businesses

  • For corporate customers, Malwarebytes offers a business-oriented solution called Nebula. This cloud-based security platform ensures comprehensive protection for various use cases, including Windows and Android devices. It guarantees top-notch security for businesses looking to safeguard their assets. Moreover, Malwarebytes has expanded its mobile device protection capabilities, enhancing security for Android, iOS, iPad, and Chromebook devices.

Canceling Malwarebytes Premium

  • Canceling your Malwarebytes Premium subscription is a straightforward process. Here’s a quick guide:
  • Log into your Malwarebytes account.
  • Open the Settings menu, typically accessed through the corkscrew icon in the top-right corner of the screen.
  • Navigate to “Account.”
  • Click on “Deactivate.”
  • Additionally, Malwarebytes Premium offers a 60-day money-back guarantee. If you’ve purchased a subscription and wish to request a refund, you can create a support ticket on the website within 60 days of your initial purchase.

Malwarebytes Premium Customer Support

  • Malwarebytes provides customer support through a support ticket system. When you encounter an issue or require assistance, you can submit a support ticket. While this method offers personalized assistance, it’s important to note that response times may vary, and urgent issues may require patience.
  • In summary, Malwarebytes Premium is a viable antivirus solution with its strengths and weaknesses. Understanding your specific priorities in terms of security, privacy, and system performance will help you determine whether Malwarebytes Premium aligns with your needs.

Speed and Performance: Will Malwarebytes Premium Slow Down My System?

Assessing the impact of an antivirus software on system speed and performance is crucial, and Malwarebytes Premium exhibits both strengths and weaknesses in this aspect:

  • Scan Times: Malwarebytes provides users with various scanning options, including quick scans, threat scans, and custom scans. Quick scans are typically swift and take only a minute to complete, focusing on startup programs and memory. Threat scans, which are more comprehensive, occur daily and inspect files, registry programs, and memory. Custom scans allow users to target specific files and folders. While quick scans are generally fast, custom scans may take longer, depending on the number of files being scanned and your device’s specifications.
  • CPU Impact: Malwarebytes’ effect on CPU usage can vary depending on the type of scan being performed. During a scan, CPU usage can increase significantly. On Windows devices, a full scan may consume a substantial portion of CPU resources, potentially impacting overall system performance. In contrast, macOS users have the option to adjust CPU usage during scans, allowing for more control over system resources.

In conclusion, Malwarebytes Premium offers efficient scanning options, with quick scans being particularly swift. However, users should be mindful of the potential impact on CPU resources during full scans, especially on Windows devices. The level of system impact may vary based on the number of files being scanned and the device’s specifications.

Final Verdict: Is Malwarebytes Premium a Good Virus Scanner?

Based on our comprehensive review of Malwarebytes Premium, we can draw the following conclusions:

  • Security: Malwarebytes Premium is a reliable antivirus solution with a range of security features, including real-time protection, efficient scanning, and a user-friendly interface. It offers essential protection against online threats.
  • Privacy: Users should be aware of potential privacy concerns, as Malwarebytes collects a significant amount of personal data for purposes that may not be directly related to antivirus functionality. Data sharing with third parties is limited but not entirely absent.
  • Usability: Malwarebytes Premium excels in usability, offering a straightforward installation process, an intuitive user interface, a free trial period, and a money-back guarantee. However, live chat support is not available.
  • Speed and Performance: While Malwarebytes provides efficient scanning options, users should be cautious about the potential impact on CPU resources, particularly during full scans on Windows devices. macOS users have greater control over CPU usage during scans.

Ultimately, whether Malwarebytes Premium is the right antivirus solution for you depends on your specific priorities. If you value essential protection against online threats and a user-friendly interface, Malwarebytes Premium is a solid choice. However, if you prioritize privacy and minimal system impact, you may want to explore alternative antivirus options.

It’s worth noting that there are other antivirus solutions, such as Norton and Kaspersky, that offer higher levels of security, privacy, and system performance. Assessing your unique requirements and preferences will help you make an informed decision when selecting antivirus software.

Please keep in mind that the antivirus landscape is continually evolving, and it’s essential to stay updated on the latest offerings and reviews to make an informed choice for your digital security needs.

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