Malwarebytes Review: Is the Free Version Enough in 2021?
We all need to take an extra step to keep our devices safe, and you don’t always have to purchase an antivirus to do so. There is some excellent free malware-removal software that will protect your computer, like Malwarebytes. Malwarebytes is our go-to malware-removal software with its daily updates; it’ll be tracking any malware instantly on all devices. So, is its free version enough to protect your device? Let’s find out.
Pros & Cons
Malwarebytes Plans and Pricing
Let’s start by talking about Malwarebytes free plan compared to its premium plans. The free product works as antimalware and comes with a 14-day free trial of the premium version. Maybe afterward, you’ll change your mind.
What’s the difference between the Premium and the free plan? The Premium adds a number of features to improve users’ experience. These include real-time protection for automatic malware detection 24/7, blocking ransomware, and more. Let’s take a look at the table below to see the differences between the premium plans and the free plan.
Let’s compare Malwarebytes plans in details:
|Free||Premium||Premium||Premium + Privacy|
|Windows, Mac, Android, & iOS||Windows, Mac, Android, & iOS||Windows, Mac, Android, & iOS||Windows, Mac, Android, & iOS|
|Number of Devices||1||1||5||5|
|Blocks Phishing Sites||Not Included||Included||Included||Included|
|Real-Time Protection||Not Included||Included||Included||Included|
|Blocks Ransomware||Not Included||Included||Included||Included|
|VPN||Not Included||Not Included||Not Included||Included|
|Price/Month (Billed Annually)||Free||$3.33||$6.67||$8.33|
There’s a 60-day money-back guarantee if you decide to purchase the premium version, which is quite generous compared to competitors who offer 14-30 days to get a refund.
Moreover, these are the personal premium plans, but there’s more for businesses if you’re interested, but we’re not here to talk about them.
Ease of Use
It doesn’t require a developer to download Malwarebytes on your device; it’s simple. All you have to do is download it, and they’ll guide you along the way. You don’t even have to sign up to start your free trial.
The good news is the software is light on your system; it’s under 250 MB, so it won’t impact your device.
After your done with the installation, you’ll open the program, and they’ll ask if they can scan your device. Then, it’s safe to say everything is straightforward in the dashboard. You’ll find a menu on the left side with 5 categories from which you can control everything from.
From there on, everything is a piece of cake; you’ll get the hang of it within minutes.
If you’re a beginner, you might want excellent customer support to guide you in case of any problem. Unfortunately, Malwarebytes doesn’t provide the best customer support despite being available on multiple platforms: live chat, email, or the community forum.
The live chat is available from Monday to Friday from 8 am till 11 pm UTC but is hard to get ahold of, but the agents are helpful. Unlike their email support system, not only does it take a long time to get a response, but they’re not even helpful. As for the community forum, you can ask questions or find articles and tutorials to guide you, which isn’t bad.
As seen above, we know the free version is very limited. It's okay if you're looking for malware-scan and minimal protection, but it's always better to purchase an antivirus for better protection. Malwarebytes plans features differ from one plan to the other, and that’s why we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about Malwarebytes. While some of these features are only available in the premium version, you’ll decide which ones you prefer.
- Real-Time Protection: consists of four methods of protection:
- Malware protection
- Ransomware protection
- Web protection
- Exploit protection
- Multiple Scanning Options
- Threat Scan: Checks areas that get infected in the computer like the memory
- Custom Scan: Choose the area you want to scan
- Hyper Scan: Quick scan checks device’s memory
- Automatic Virus and Program Updates: There are daily automatic updates with the premium plans. The free version requires manual updates.
- Browser Guard: A browser extension for protection against ransomware and blocks malicious and phishing sites. Note that it only works on Chrome and Firefox.
- VPN: Only with the Premium + Privacy plan to surf the internet anonymously.
All these features are excellent to keep your device safe. Still, we’d recommend going in a different direction to have other protection features like a password manager, parental controls, and more with other antivirus software.
Do We Recommend It?
The truth is Malwarebytes is one of the best malware removal software, but if you’re looking for something that will protect your device against anything, we think you can do better. There are plenty of antiviruses out there, but our personal favorite would be Norton or Bitdefender, with many advanced features.
If you see that Malwarebytes is the way to go, it’s better to purchase the premium version and get full protection for your device than only basic malware protection.