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Protection from malware with Malwarebytes

by James 13 June 2012 No Comment

Introduction to Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes is one of the world’s most popular and trusted anti-malware solutions. It protects your computer from harmful malware including spyware, dialers, root-kits, Trojans, worms, and viruses. Once installed, it sits quietly in the background, checking for threats on your PC. You will only hear from this software if it identifies a problem – and by default it takes action to negate the threat immediately. With a global team of researchers working 24/7 to constantly improve and update the database it uses to identify threats – it is has one of the best track records for identifying threats and keeping your PC clean. Some interesting statistics about this product:

  • It has been downloaded over 100m times globally
  • It is reported to correctly respond and remove 97% of malware threats
  • It has removed over 5 billion instances of malware

What makes Malwarebytes different?

Although there are a number of anti-malware packages available online, what sets Malwarebytes apart from them is its reputation for being one of the most effective and finding (and quarantining) threats. It does not use a lot of resources and can scan all drives connected to your PC (including network drives). The paid version (about $25) also allows you to scan memory. The Malwarebytes database is updated every two days, and sometimes more often than that. This is important. The frequency with which the database is updated with the details on how to detect new threats – the more protected you are.

Additionally, it is a “good citizen” on your PC as it does not clash with other pieces of software, which has historically been a problem with anti-malware and anti-virus products. It works smoothly with other anti-spyware and anti-virus software if you choose to run multiple program for protection (a very common practice). Another good thing about Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware is its customizable features. For the advanced user, it also has extra utilities included that allow you to remove malwares manually.

Key Features

  • Very effective protection against malware
  • Support for Windows 7 (32 bit and 64-bit), XP, Vista, and Professional
  • Context menu integration that allows users to scan files on demand
  • Quarantine to lock up potential threats and restore them at your ease
  • Supports many different languages
  • Settings to improve Malwarebytes’ Anti-malware performance

Screenshots


MalwareBytes
This is the main window you will see with this product – very simple.


MalwareBytes
This is what you will see if it has found threats on your PC (highlighted in red). Note the simplicity of selecting them and then clicking the “remove selected” button.

Reliability and Performance

Unlike some other anti-malware software, Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware has a very quick performance. It will consume very little in the way of memory or CPU cycles, and it can scan a complete 1TB drive in 20 minutes.

Authority and Credibility

Malwarebytes is considered a leading authority on the internet when it comes to protection from malware. Some important statistics are shown below. The ticker below shows their current authority as determined by Google’s Page Rank algorithm. A value of 5 or above indicates a site of significant authority. The number of domains and link pointing to the MalwareBytes website is a proxy for how relavent and useful the rest of the web regard MalwareBytes.

Google Page Rank Page Rank Check
Number of domains linking to MalwareBytes.org 1,293
Number of individual links to MalwareBytes.org 24,660

Pros

  • It has a great track record for identifying and removing threats
  • Consumes very few system resources – it wont slow your machine down
  • Database of malware signatures is being updated regularly
  • It has comparably fast performance
  • It has a command line interface – particularly useful for webmasters, gamers and developers
  • It is supported many operating system variants – Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7 – both 32bit and 64bit.

Cons

This is one of those products that are genuinely difficult to find ‘cons’ for. Given that we have to be harsh to provide a good review…

  • Slows down your computer’s performance during active scans – however this is true of most anti-malware
  • Only the registered version provides a live protection
  • Less effective at detecting rootkit-based threats

Conclusion

Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware is a great product and you should probably be running it. It is effective. It is responsive and hassle-free. It has also an unmatched scanning utility that provides proper documentation. Because of its low resource usage and speed, Malwarebytes is very popular in the technical and developer community.

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