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Malwarebytes Reviews – Is Malwarebytes Premium Worth it?

① What is Malwarebytes Premium?

Malwarebytes is widely known for its free offering, which is not strictly an antivirus in the traditional sense, but rather a solution designed to detect and remove existing malware from a computer. However, Malwarebytes also offers a Premium version that includes real-time protection against web threats, malware, ransomware, and exploits. This makes Malwarebytes Premium stand out in the antivirus landscape by focusing on providing precisely what it promises without additional features like password managers, firewalls, or parental control modules.

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② Is Malwarebytes Premium free?

No, Malwarebytes Premium is not free. As the name suggests, it is the premium, paid version of the free Malwarebytes software. When you download the software for the first time, a 14-day trial version of the premium offer is activated. However, to continue enjoying the additional security features offered by the antivirus software in the long term, such as real-time protection and even a VPN in the most expensive package, you need to subscribe to one of the available subscriptions.

③ Malwarebytes Premium pricing and plans

Malwarebytes Premium offers two subscription options:

  • Premium,1 device: priced at $3.75 per month (US$44.99 billed annually). This subscription allows you to use the anti-malware software on one device, be it a PC or an Android smartphone, and access all the malware protection services it offers.
  • Premium,5devices: priced at $6.67 per month (US$79.99 billed annually). With this subscription, you can install the software on up to 5 devices.
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Malwarebytes offers a 60-day “Money Back Guarantee,” allowing you to get a refund within two months of purchase if you are not satisfied with the experience.

④ How to Download Malwarebytes Premium?

To obtain Malwarebytes Premium on a computer, you can visit the publisher’s website and download the free version of the software. Once installed, you can activate the premium version by logging into your user account or entering your license key.

For mobile devices, the process is also straightforward. Since the software’s primary focus is malware protection, there is no app available for iOS, except for Malwarebytes Privacy, which is the publisher’s VPN. However, there seems to be an app for iOS that allows call filtering and other features, but it is not available on the French App Store.

Regarding the Android app, it offers similar functionality to the Windows version. You can perform system scans for malicious applications, enjoy real-time protection, and access additional tools such as a security audit and application privacy audit. These audits provide insights into app permissions and access to various features on your smartphone.

⑤ What protection does Malwarebytes Premium provide?

The performance of Malwarebytes Premium’s real-time scanner is generally good, but it falls slightly below the top security software. This observation is supported by recent tests conducted by AV-Test and AV Comparatives.

In the July and August 2021 tests by AV-Test, Malwarebytes Premium achieved satisfactory results, although slightly below the average of the tested products. For real-life conditions and zero-day threats on the web and within emails, Malwarebytes Premium detected 98.6% of 303 samples in July and 100% in August, while the average was 99.7%. In the 4-week widespread malware identification test, it detected 99.9% of 18,402 samples, matching the average. However, there was a slight underperformance on zero-day threats in September (99.5%) and October (98.5%).

AV Comparatives also identified some gaps in Malwarebytes’ Malware Protection Test. The evaluation measures offline and online sample detection as well as online protection by testing the solution’s defenses against sample execution. The good news is that the difference between online and offline detection is minimal, with rates of 95.8% and 91.6%, respectively. This indicates that the software is not heavily dependent on cloud services or internet connectivity to be effective. However, in online protection, Malwarebytes allowed 16 out of 10,029 samples to infect the PC, earning a score of 99.84. Although this number is relatively small compared to other software, such as Trend Micro with 121 infections, many solutions achieved scores between 0 and 3 compromises.

Malwarebytes Premium performed well in the lab’s Real World Protection Test, which evaluates suite performance against recent and active threats. It achieved a protection rate of 99.6%, although its score was not the highest due to the relatively high number of false positives detected (12), ranking third after Norton 360 and Trend Micro.

It is worth noting that AV Test did not observe a significant number of false alarms, with only one being detected in the July/August 2021 test and none in September and October.

Overall, Malwarebytes Premium fulfills its role as a lightweight solution, but with some concerning aspects. It has a limited impact on most tested activities, with web browsing experiencing a 21% slowdown on a standard PC, and software execution and installation being delayed by 16%. AV Comparatives rated its impact on application launch as poor (1/3) for first and subsequent launches.

⑥Malwarebytes Premium interface and usability

Malwarebytes Premium features an extremely minimalist interface. You can perform system scans, view detection history, and enable or disable four real-time protection modules (web protection, malware and PUPs, anti-ransomware, and anti-exploits). The simplicity of the software reflects in the user interface, which fits almost everything on one screen. It displays the security level and three widgets (History, Analyzer, Real-time Protection) that can be expanded to show all features or operated directly. For example, the scan button and shield switches are easily accessible.

The different modules are well-presented, with clear headings and explanations. The user interface ensures that you know exactly where you are and the functions of each button or switch. The module functionalities are organized in easily identifiable tabs, providing a clear, concise, and visually pleasing experience. The limited functionalities within the same interface allow for a clutter-free design, preventing options from being buried under multiple levels of parameters and secondary screens.

The settings menu also adopts a clear and explicit presentation, reminiscent of F-Secure TOTAL and Windows 10 settings. There is not much to configure, as the software is designed to be self-sufficient with its default settings.

However, one minor downside is the localization. Some elements, such as the system status, have remained in English, and the interface appears to be primarily designed for English users. The French translations, which tend to be more conversational, may struggle to fit within the frame without being truncated, similar to Trend Micro’s interface.

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Buy a Malwarebytes Premium subscription today for $79.99 and save $390.03!

Regular price: $470.02

⑦ The main features of Malwarebytes Premium

As mentioned earlier, Malwarebytes Premium does not offer an extensive range of core or additional defense modules or features. Its protection includes a real-time detection module for malware, including malware and potentially unwanted applications (PUPs), which utilizes artificial intelligence to identify emerging threats. While Malwarebytes has shown some room for improvement in this area, its performance remains at a good level.

The web protection module is compatible with major browsers and allows you to block online scams, fraudulent websites (phishing), and links containing threats. Although it focuses on essential functionalities, the “real-world” test results indicate that the protection provided is effective.

Malwarebytes has also enhanced its protection against customer service scams, which have become more prevalent with the rise of remote work in 2020. These scams exploit the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to gain remote access to computers. The software’s feature enables users to block access on specific ports, specify the number of attempted accesses within a given time, and block corresponding IP addresses. Combined with exploit protection, this feature provides a mini firewall of sorts.

⑧ Conclusion and opinion

Malwarebytes performs its intended function without any frills. It offers an appealing solution for users who primarily require essential malware protection without excessive resource usage or unnecessary features. However, there is room for improvement in terms of resource consumption.

Overall, Malwarebytes Premium provides good-quality protection, although it is not infallible. The user interface is simple and minimalist, serving as a model of clarity. While it may be lacking for users seeking an all-in-one solution with maximum functionality, Malwarebytes could become a favorite anti-malware software for power users if it further enhances its effectiveness.

⑨ FAQ

When downloading Malwarebytes to your PC, you have the option to either use the free version or enter a previously purchased license key to activate the premium version. If it’s your first time installing the antivirus on the device, a 14-day trial version is automatically activated, allowing you to test all the advanced security features available in the premium version, including real-time protection against malware and other malicious programs. It’s important to note that the VPN included in the more expensive package is a separate software and is not available in the trial version.

Malwarebytes Premium can be used as a standalone antivirus solution or in conjunction with other antivirus software. The program is compatible with most security software available in the market. However, it is recommended to add the folders required for Malwarebytes to function to the exclusion list of your chosen antivirus software. This is because some security software may perceive Malwarebytes’ features as a threat and interfere with its proper functioning.

Malwarebytes operates differently in its free and premium versions. In the free version, the software scans the existing content on the device, making it suitable for detecting malware after a suspected infection. On the other hand, Malwarebytes Premium, available for a fee, offers real-time protection that can proactively stop malware from infecting your computer. It automatically scans various elements that can pose a threat to the device, such as files, applications, and software, aiming to prevent the installation of malware. Additionally, the premium version includes web protection, which identifies phishing attacks, infected websites, and malicious links. It also features ransomware protection to safeguard your data from being held hostage by such malware.

Malwarebytes Premium has performed well in tests conducted by independent laboratories. It notably excelled in AV Comparatives’ “Real World Protection Test,” which evaluates a software’s effectiveness against recent and active threats. While Malwarebytes is deemed an effective anti-malware program in these tests, it may fall slightly below the capabilities of popular security software.

With Malwarebytes Premium, you have the option to manually perform a system scan or utilize the automatic scan feature. During these scans, if a virus or security threat is detected, the software alerts the user and isolates the malware in quarantine. It provides detailed information about the type of malware and its primary functionality, empowering the user to make an informed decision. From there, you can choose to either delete the infected files or restore them in case of a false positive. The free version only allows for manual scans to be conducted.

Lucian
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