Computer protection is a must-have in this day and age. Two competing choices are Malwarebytes and Bitdefender. I've taken a look at what the free and paid versions from both services provide, along with performance, to help you decide which is better for you.
Overview of Malwarebytes and Bitdefender
Unique Malwarebytes Features
Unique Bitdefender Features
Malwarebytes Free is an extremely basic scanning tool. It doesn't provide real-time protection, so you won't have anything keeping your computer from getting infected. However, when you run the scan, it will quickly detect and remove any files that shouldn't be on your computer.
When you first download the software, it also gives you a 14 day trial of the other paid features. These do include a comprehensive suite of real-time internet protection. They're very convenient, especially if you don't have other malware software working.
Bitdefender's free version also comes with limited features. However, they are more extensive than those of Malwarebytes. Most importantly, they include real time scanning and protection from attacks.
Some of the free Bitdefender features include:
All of these things you have to pay to access in Malwarebytes.
Though the Malwarebytes scan is comprehensive and quick, it's better to prevent a virus from reaching your computer in the first place. That's why the internet browsing protection of the free Bitdefender software is a win.
Malwarebyt hases just one paid option: Premium. This is also compatible with the same platforms as the free version.
In addition to scanning and cleaning your computer of infected files, the Premium Malwarebytes software includes:
This is a very good set of internet security options to keep you safe as you browse, but it's also very limited. The software costs $39.99 per year annually for one device, or $59.99 per year if you want to use three devices.
Bitdefender's paid options are:
These are the added features:
- Internet Security
- Total Security
- Family Security
Though this may seem like an overwhelming number of features and programs at first, the different tiers are fairly straightforward.
For three devices, prices are as follows:
Total Security requires a minimum of five devices for purchase, and it costs $39.98 for the first year.
The Family Security Pack will protect up to fifteen devices in every household and costs $54.99 for the first year.
You also have the option to choose plans based on:
For those who want the parental controls without buying the more expensive options, Bitdefender sells the parental control system as a separate software as well.
Bitdefender is by far the best choice. Basically no matter what paid option you use, you're getting a better economic deal that's loaded with more features. The system will do everything that Malwarebytes can do, plus it'll add a ton more features to patch potential security holes and alert you if anything goes wrong.
When you install a program on your computer, you can determine how well it performs by conducting an AV test. This tests multiple different performance levels to see whether the program's installation has slowed your computer.
During an AV test, your computer will measure the time it takes to do the following:
Malwarebytes scored 5/6 on the AV test. That's not bad, but it's also not perfect.
The most egregious issues were:
Other factors were basically unaffected.
Bitdefender scored a 6/6. In the tests, the software performed with less overall slowing than the industry average. There was nearly a ten percent reduction in app installation slowing, and other categories also reported decreases.
Bitdefender has significantly less performance impact on computers than Malwarebytes, especially where app downloading and launching is concerned.
Pros and Cons of Malwarebytes
Pros and Cons of Bitdefender
Final Thoughts: Which is Better?
These are both virus protection software choices that do exactly what they set out to do. It's just that one happens to have much more comprehensive features than the other.
Malwarebytes is a good choice if you want a basic tool for malware protection that will work with the majority of your devices. The free option includes system scanning to detect and remove unwanted files, while the paid version comes with real-time protection against ransomware, malware, viruses, and scam websites.
Bitdefender is the place to turn if you want comprehensive internet security for your PC or Mac. Though the base free program isn't very extensive, there are multiple paid products that include rich security features. You'll get VPN access, security advice, financial protection, advanced defenses, home network security monitoring, webcam protection, and more.