Avast being one of the largest antivirus companies in the world, it’s hard to be unaware of the brand. But MalwareBytes has grown to become a major contender for being one of the best antivirus programs out there. Being a fan of both, I decided to pit both MalwareBytes vs Avast to see which one was the better option.
I knew this would be a tough battle, but battles are not for the faint of heart and even many BGT readers were curious about the comparison of both and wrote in as a challenge of sorts to test these two against each other.
Well, challenge accepted!
There are many features and categories that determine if an antivirus program is a great one - we judged both MalwareBytes vs Avast in their malware detection skills, their impact on our system’s performance as well as how budget friendly they are for the range of features the offer.
We knew from the start that this was going to be a tough one.
Which one was the winner between MalwareBytes vs Avast?
Even though it was a close race, the BGT team picked Avast as the winner of this guide. From being a vastly preferred antivirus program, to having a solid set of security features, to being very well designed – Avast takes the cake and the trophy home.
MalwareBytes vs Avast: Test Results
Avast (Editor's Choice)
- Automatic software updates
- Easy installation process
- Great scores in malware detection tests
- Advanced security features
- Comprehensive secure deletion utility
- Ransomware Protection
- Bonus features have an additional price tag, not included in Avast Premier package
- Simple and easy to use
- Is compatible with other antivirus tools
- Quick and speedy installation and scan
- Strong anti-exploit module
- Low impact on systems
- Chameleon feature that identifies and deals with malware that attacks antivirus software
- Removes annoying adware that is ignored by other products
- Is Compatible with Windows, Mac and Android devices
MalwareBytes: Knowing More
The antimalware software was first released in early 2006 and is available in both a free and premium version. Acting primarily as a scanner that detects and removes malicious software, it operates by scanning file sin batches instead of all – reducing the interference on your computer’s performance.
Avast: Knowing More
Avast is a computer and cyber security behemoth that owns a majority of the world’s market share of antivirus users. Having been initially released in 1988, it has come a long way, recently acquiring the online security giant AVG. Many of its products are compatible with Windows, Mac and Android devices, making it a favourite for many.
Which independent Antivirus Testing Labs Does BlueGadgetTooth Refer to?
AV-TEST.org from Germany and Av-Comparatives.org, a lab based in Austria have built reputations in being the most accurate independent testing labs, which is why BlueGadgetTooth relies on their expertise for our comparison guides.
These labs use the latest tests and bombard systems with thousands of malware to figure out which antivirus programs stand the test to be ranked as the top of the antivirus charts. These tests are conducted on a regular basis, and this results in over 250,000 new malware being registered with them on a daily basis.
These tests are done on computers running with various Windows versions to get a real world results which would be useful for people looking to buy an antivirus program. Even though BGT runs its own sets of tests, the results from both independent testing labs reveal the performance of various antivirus programs in various testing fields like malware detection, performance and much more.
However, for this guide we had ample info on Avast, but not enough data was available from these independent labs to generate an unbiased decision on which was the winner between MalwareBytes vs Avast – apart from the few tests the BGT team carried out – which may not be as real world accurate as results revealed by the two testing labs mentioned here.
Round One: Malware Detection
Any antivirus program you choose should be great at detecting malware, and not only that, but it should be able to resolve all issues or deal with found threats competently. This is one test that BGT does not take lightly, and this test carries a lot of weight in the battle between MalwareBytes vs Avast.
In this test, MalwareBytes performed very well – however, Avast too received excellent scores. We set up a series of computers with various Windows versions in 32 and 64 bit versions and threw the latest malware tests as well as old favourites at the systems. In this case, we used an EICAR test file, as well as certain files we created that would fool any AV program into thinking it was malware.
MalwareBytes had excellent malware detection skills, but Avast performed a little better. Both security suites did not allow any malware to get through their defences, and the whole process was less painful than we thought.
Winner of round One: In this test, we would have to declare a tie between MalwareBytes vs Avast as both are extremely competent antivirus programs that do their job very well.
***However, after more research, many other tests have revealed that while Avast is a great standalone antivirus program that can affectively detect malware and protect your system, MalwareBytes sometimes needs to be used in conjunction with another antivirus program, which would defeat the purpose of choosing just one.
Also, interestingly, the reason why MalwareBytes’ scan is so quick is because they cut down on the clutter – so basically, if a malware hasn’t showed up in over 6 months, the program doesn’t scan for those threats. This behaviour based detection, we feel, misses out on certain malware that don’t display the searched for malware type behaviour which may show up only after a good while after installation. Whereas Avast checks for simply everything.
So in hindsight, the BGT team chooses Avast as the winner of this round.
Round Two: Installation & User Interface
Of all the antivirus programs we’ve tested, MalwareBytes was by far the quickest. Barely waiting a few minutes for the download and installation process to get over, the scan itself took less than 15 minutes to thoroughly browse through my files to identify 29 potential threats which were then dealt with.
There was no timer to show how much time had passed nor an indication of how many mbs of the file was left for downloading, but BGT doesn’t hold this against MalwareBytes because the process itself was so quick.
We were quite impressed with the efficiency of the program, and the speed by which the scanning process was completed. There were no unnecessary steps for the installation process, and everything happened like clockwork.
It detected files that apparently other antivirus files had missed, showing me the location as well as indicating the action that should follow next.
The threats were dealt with promptly. Oh, and did we mention we like the batman styled desktop shortcut for MalwareBytes? Yes, we’re geeks.
The whole process barely took 15 minutes. We really, really liked the small notification windows for the installation process, because it didn’t take up a lot of screen space, allowing you to work with no glaring notice that something is downloading.
When the installation process is complete, a small desktop icon is created for quick access. Once you click on the scan button, the scan will continue uninterrupted in the background, letting you know discreetly if there are any threats found. It also gives you the option to handle these threats in different ways – by either ignoring them (if they were a fake virus testing file created by us for example), or by taking definitive action against them.
Avast was definitely very user friendly from start to finish.
Winner of Round Two: Even though MalwareBytes is an extremely good tool, the BGT team leans towards Avast as the simplicity of the steps involved, clean design, and sheer user friendliness makes this a top favorite. In this test of MalwareBytes vs Avast, the latter was the winner by just a small margin.
Round Three: System Performance Impact
Running the scans on both programs didn’t take much time. MalwareBytes was admittedly much faster, taking the bare minimum we expected an antivirus program to take. Not only was the scan speedy, but we could barely detect any lags in our running applications as the scan was underway.
Even when we ran Avast, we could barely detect any lags or adverse impact on our system’s performance. The Avast scan was slower, but it seemed to be extremely thorough, and when it comes down to the protection of your systems, you don’t want just about any antivirus program doing a hash job in searching and destroying malware.
We appreciated the through process which scanned each and every file.
Whilst running the scan on both security suites, we ran both basic applications and power hungry applications which should have been affected by the antivirus programs, whilst browsing the internet on multiple windows at the same time. Could barely detect any ripples of negative impact.
Winner of Round Three: This would be a tie as both performed very well, with minimal impact on our system’s performance.
Round Four: Security Features
- Data Shredder – to permanently make short work of any files you want deleted – forever.
- Spam filter
- Password Manager
- All software are updated automatically
- Superb Firewall
- Cyber Capture for protection of your computer by identifying suspicious files
- Excellent Parental controls
- Browser Cleanup – Removes annoying ads and pop-ups
- Webcam Shield – Ensuring your camera is not used by malicious users
- Ransomware Shield
- Signature based malware detection layer
- Web Protection – Blocking suspicious traffic
- Ransomware Protection
- Anti-Exploit Settings
- DFP enforced
- Blocks ROP attacks
- Prevents attacks on system memory
Winner of Round Four: MalwareBytes has some extra layers of security, but due to the creators’ concept of eliminating code simply to pass what they call ‘outdated’ tests means that certain malware which haven’t popped up in over 6 months are simply not tested for. This means that even though MalwareBytes has an excellent array of security features, a simple old malware could perhaps be your downfall.
Only time will tell, however, MalwareBytes has created quite the reputation for being a trusted antivirus program, so in this test between MalwareBytes vs Avast, we feel it is a tie.
Round Five: Price
You have the option to use the free trial which is recommended to be used in conjunction with another antivirus program, or you can choose to purchase MalwareBytes Premium Home Protection for 3 devices, priced at $77.99 annually. This calculates to $26 per device, which is not a bad price at all.
Avast Premier, on the other hand, is billed at $79.99/ year for only one device. This means that if you have multiple devices, you could possibly break your bank in the attempt of keeping your home well protected from cyber crime.
There are also additional bonus features which will bring your final costs even higher – such as the Avast Password feature, the Avast SecureLineVPN Multi Device and Avast Cleanup Premium which boost your total by an extra $79.97, which is almost like buying another annual protection subscription plan.
Winner of Round Five: MalwareBytes is the winner of this round. The sheer savings in multi device protection will have you breathing easier.
Why is Choosing The Right Antivirus Software So Important
Cyber attacks can happen at any time, and there is no way to predict when you may become a victim of cyber crime. Cyber threats can lead to malicious users gaining access to sensitive information like your banking details, email address passwords, and access to all online accounts which could lead to you losing all you have via banking frauds or even identity threat.
Nobody wants or likes to be a victim of any crime, yet we tend to focus more on the physical protection of our homes and person. We look to how good our neighborhood is, and set up steps to ensure that our family is absolutely protected.
Yet, when it comes to our computer’s protection, we often don’t realise the importance of having an effective antivirus program. A reliable security suite can detect malicious activities and behaviours of various programs, websites and even downloaded files, and then proceed to take action against them to prevent your computer from being affected.
This means that every minute you are offline or online, your data is safe and secure – so you can breathe a sigh of relief every time you or your loved ones are connected to the online world. And with everyone spending more time being connected online than ever before – taking steps to keep your network, data and family safe is vital.
Final Verdict: MalwareBytes vs Avast
Both MalwareBytes vs Avast were extremely good antivirus programs that detected malware effectively and efficiently, dealing with the threats promptly.
Even though MalwareBytes has many good things going for it, the BGT team picks Avast to be the winner of this comparison guide for many reasons – that too many reputable websites state that MalwareBytes works best when used with another antivirus program, which defeats the purpose of choosing between MalwareBytes vs Avast.
If you have to take two security suites to protect your home network and computers, why not just pick the one which will do the job from the get go.
This is why Avast is the winner – for its stellar reputation and reliability in malware detection skills resulting in majority of antivirus users choosing this brand to protect their homes from cyber threats.