Malwarebytes Premium Features
Our main focus for this review is Malwarebytes Premium. Though users can download a free version of the software, the Premium option adds some helpful features. Below, we’ll go over the different features and explain how they work.
Real-Time Threat Detector
The threat detector is one of the high points of Malwarebytes Premium. While some of the software’s features did not perform well during tests, it is able to detect threats as they appear. That’s true even if you are in the middle of a system scan at the time. Theoretically, this should mean you’re constantly protected. However, given some issues with Malwarebyte’s performance, we recommend running it with other security software for best results.
The software also has a handy URL blocking feature that works network-wide. It detects and filters websites, blocking ones that have suspicious tendencies or that link to malware. Better yet, the URL blocking feature does not require a browser extension to run, and it protects all devices connected to your network.
Unfortunately, these are about the only additional features available with even the Premium version of Malwarebytes. There isn’t much here in the way of in-depth configurability or customization, so more hands-on users will want to look somewhere else. While the simplicity of the featurelessness is no doubt appealing to less technically minded users, there is some confusion with user intent. For example, what little configurable options exist often make use of technical jargon like “AntiHeap Spraying.” Will most users even know what that means?
Premium + Privacy
The best deal available is a combination of Malwarebytes Premium and Privacy software. The Privacy in question is Malwarebytes’ VPN (virtual private network). Hosted on several hundred servers in about 30 countries across the globe, the network is small but effective. It can be used to help shield your IP address and personal information from prying eyes while you are online, including:
- corporate entities
We were fairly impressed with this VPN, as it uses the safe WireGuard protocol that even some of the larger networks available have not yet upgraded to. However, it isn’t ideal, since it doesn’t appear to work on mobile devices. That’s a huge drawback.
The combined antivirus and VPN package comes out to about $1.67 per month, per device, for up to five devices. That’s roughly $100 per year, which isn’t a bad price. However, again, there are few features here to write home about and it’s more about the basics.
Malwarebytes Endpoint Protection
Endpoint protection (EPP) is a method of securing networks for large companies and corporations. Since most companies have networks of devices that include laptops, client devices, smartphones, and more, these networks are especially vulnerable to outside attacks. Zero-day exploits, malware, and the accidental leakage of important system information through human error are all dangers.
Endpoint protection establishes a wealth of protective software around the endpoints of a network, such as workstations and servers. Typically, EPP is a type of all-in-one package that includes antivirus software, host intrusion prevention measures, security against additional types of malware, and a firewall or kill switch for devices.
Malwarebytes Endpoint Protection routinely gets high ratings from clients online. However, we found some issues. Like Premium, the EPP product doesn’t always catch threats as they appear. In many lab tests, actually, Malwarebytes Premium has scored lower than even Microsoft Defender. In some, the Premium version only caught three-quarters of threats as they appeared. That’s not good enough.
Let’s give credit where it’s due. Though there are significant problems with some of Malwarebytes’ offerings, the Adwcleaner performs well. Its only downside is that, currently, it only works with the Windows client.
Adwcleaner, well, cleans up adware. It effectively uninstalls any pre-loaded browser toolbars, blocks additional popups and unwanted programs, allows you to restore the settings on your browser to get rid of pesky add-ons, and more. We found that this software worked well, and it also provides multilingual support for users besides just the default English.
Malwarebytes Browser Guard
The browser guard feature of Malwarebytes is essentially a browser extension that blocks harmful intrusions into your online experience. It blocks adware and is designed to detect common hacking tactics like browser locking software, hijackers, and similar issues.
Some of the big positives include:
- blocked clickbait
- blocked scam websites and ads
- reportedly allows browsers to load sites up to four times faster than normal.
Malwarebytes’ prices are consistent with industry competitors. However, given that it has scored significantly lower on some tests, this could be a red flag for some. Added to that apprehension is the fact that some companies, such as McAfee, provide less expensive prices and cover more devices.
The typical Malwarebytes subscription runs at $39.99 per year, per device. Its Premium + Privacy bundle usually costs $99.99 per year, per device. However, at the time of this writing, the company is running a sale for 2021. Under this sale, prices are:
- $23.99 per year, per device for Premium
- $59.99 per year, per device for Premium + Privacy
These are good prices compared to competitors, but it is unclear how long the sale will continue to run.
The suite of Malwarebytes Premium products are a mixed bag. While the streamlining and simplicity can be good for some users, it is a bit too on-rails for more hands-on, tech-savvy folks. More alarming, however, is the news that it seems to fail real-time threat detection at a higher rate than even Microsoft Defender. The VPN that comes with the bundle package (Premium + Privacy) is decent, but it’s hard to recommend because it doesn’t work with mobile.
We recommend using these products mainly alongside compatible malware removal and detection tools from other companies. What one misses, the other can catch. Besides, though it doesn’t always catch the threats, Malwarebytes Premium does use forms of machine learning to detect problems, and that’s a good thing.