A type of security software that guards PC/laptop/mobile device against malicious software, a.k.a. malware. It has two major tasks: to detect and prevent malware from infecting computers, and to find and remove malware if its already in the system. Often, anti-malware comes as a part of Internet security suites, along with anti-spam, safe browsing, parental control etc. In recent years there has been a significant rise in types of malware (ransomware, spyware, adware, crypto-jacking, rootkits, email phishing, viruses, etc.) as well as unlawful cyber-crime attacks. According to Statista, each year literally millions of malware attacks take place worldwide. Consequently, anti-malware tools are in high demand.
Unbeatable real-time antimalware protection, various scan types (thread, custom, hyper) and overwhelming focus on fighting malicious software make it #1 product among users. Working with Malwarebytes means the ability to pause and resume scans at any time, remove or ignore threats to PC, utilize local and web attack efforts. Primarily, it guards against illegal hacker actions, data leaks, harmful websites, but it also monitors the system (memory, startup, registry, file system, archives, rootkits). Good usability where everything is segmented in left-menu tabs, and compatibility with numerous operating systems, though overall functionality is restricted in free edition as expected. For every scan, detection and removal there are saved logs with full data. In settings a user may easily tune everything to his/her liking, set the date and time for next check (besides active protection), set exclusions for file or websites that are trusted.
Malware Fighter is exactly what one expects from the name - it safeguards your PC, laptop, mobile device from modern-day web threats. With extended scan settings and options, including selecting file types and priority to check, setting default action for certain scenarios, etc., scanning isn’t ideal, as only deep scans prove to be of use, but they take a lot of time. During our own testing, the program missed about 55% malware samples in real-time mode. Quarantine is located in settings tab, whereas other similar apps have it in the main window for quick access, and it proposes 2 actions: delete or restore. The strong sides of Malware Fighter by IObit are: a) logs - as a separate tab, that even has sorting option; b) quiet mode - with ability of auto launch on startup or used-defined programs; c) ignore list - for exclusions while scanning; d) database renewal - one-click action lasting few moments and providing enough details.
Behavior analysis, active web protection, custom and quick scan, malware removal and other tools one does anticipate in an anti-malware software, Emsisoft brings to the table. While at task, it does neither impact nor interfere with PC’s performance, and overall is very easy to use. The whole scanning process is transparent, displaying progress in percentage, file names and number of files already checked, setting potential threats aside. Users can specify which files to prioritize, set date and time of periodical inspection. The differentiating factor for Emsisoft is double-effort to detect malware - via the main Emsisoft scanner paired with Bitdefender, which enhances safety against ransomware, banking trojans, phishing, keyboard spy loggers, bots, malicious websites, viruses, rootkits, PUPs, etc.
It has both free and Premium version, the difference being that most of anti-malware features are available in the latter, e.g. real-time protection, set of anti-adware/anti-spyware/anti-rootkit utilities. Actually free version is a 14-day free trial with a forced watermark. 43 menu languages, well-designed and intuitive UI, but questionable color solutions and visible borders between screens. In terms of functionality, MalwareFox offers scanning, quarantine, removal and event logs/history. There is no ability to adjust scanning or select scan type, as it basically works in 1 mode which is a “quick scan”, which performs mediocre (5 out of 18 threats during testing). On the other hand, there’s a handy drag-n-drop area to check files/folders individually if needed, plus program status tab - with license, system health, date of last scanning, date of last updates, etc.
One of two anti-malware services from Emsisoft vendor, which is a stripped-down version of Emsisoft Anti-Malware. As name suggests, it will be especially useful to those who got a PC infected and need urgent remediation. Thus, it is geared towards on-demand scanning and detection rather than active protection, with full/quick/custom scans at hand, typical for today’s security suites. Threats end up in the quarantine to neutralize potential malicious files. Whitelist comes handy when you want to skip certain files and/or folders while scanning. Designed compactly and neatly, with nothing excessive or buggy. Updates are quick and accessible in one click. Question mark icon “?” sends you off to support section, to send emails, read forum and FAQ, to send suspicious files for check-up, but no direct live chat.
Have doubts about the effectiveness of your antivirus? 1. Download Dr.Web CureIt! and save the utility on your hard drive. 2. Double-click the saved file to launch it. 3. Wait until scanning is complete and then examine the scan report. CureIt features the latest virus definitions, but database is not updated automatically. Virus databases are kept up-to-date on hourly basis.
Although Xvirus is totally free with no ads or functionality restrictions, and the interface is straightforward, some might find it unattractive to use a black-and-green design and no ability to change it. Otherwise, it has everything one needs in an anti-malware tool: scanning (3 modes are quick, full, manual), database updates, whitelist, logs, and settings. There are lots of settings for various scenarios, yet additional brief pop-up guides would be helpful. Several scanning modes and real-time monitoring are decent, though Xvirus lacks tools like browser scan, RAM scan, log search. Scheduler offers 3 basic options: daily, weekly and monthly.
Utilizing Avira engine, it is a fine program to detect malware through 3 types of scans and to optimize a PC afterwards. Extensive database that is also being regularly updated. By and large, Malware Hunter suits best for personal use, with free and Pro versions, for those who want to insure against modern web threats and data leaks. Scanning does not slow down the machine, displays stages, progress, files found, and can be stopped, paused or resumed. Reports section provides threat analysis after detection, with risk level, type, as well as search or export options. Neat and compact interface is easy to operate, with features located on the left - scan, speed up, settings, clean up, etc. Extra tools available: CleanUp - to wipe the registry, plugins, random memory; SpeedUp - to analyze and improve startup files, running apps, system files, network, etc.
The core principle of Zemana protection is detecting fingerprints of files and comparing it with cloud database. While installing it, a user may choose the option to automatically send any unknown files/objects for cloud analysis, yet confidentiality policy on this is a bit unclear. The interface may benefit from re-design, as with such large window space the elements are huge in size, as well as distances between them. This is a free anti-malware product, that lacks in functionality too. There are no active protection components, no scan settings, no whitelist, no self-defense mechanisms, therefore it is advised to use it as an extra tool, not the main one to rely on. Also, it didn’t detect any of the test files we ran through. In terms of adjustments, one can set a default action for threats - put into quarantine or remove, and as it appears there is no remediation.
Two-way firewall: stops Internet attacks at the front door and even catches thieves on their way out. Our two-way firewall proactively protects against inbound and outbound attacks while making you invisible to hackers. Advanced firewall: monitors behaviors within your computer to spot and stop incoming threats. Stops malware, ransomware, spyware, etc.
A basic-level malware protection product that executes its prime task: detects over 80% of online threats instantly, as testing proved. Full scanning has even better rate, close to 100% efficiency, though it might last quite some time (2 hours in our case). While many anti-malware products lack a decent scheduler, STOPzilla offers extensive and flexible time settings in combination with scan types, quick or full, and works without glitches. Infected files end up in quarantine section, as usual, until an action is taken - to destroy safely or to restore and allow the file in. Logs are not displayed after the scan, but they are in place and can be saved on PC. Reaching the support is easy via a tab inside the program, that will bring a user into live chat to communicate with managers directly. The same for updates - just click the button, get it without delays, view data about last updates and the current version.
CryptoPrevent is a robust anti-virus/anti-malware software supplement, filling a huge gap that exists with traditional security solutions to provide protection against a growing multitude of new and emerging ransomware and other malicious software threats.
Norton Power Eraser is a free virus removal tool that can be downloaded and run to remove malware and threats from your computer. You can run this tool to scan for threats even if you have a Symantec product, or any other security product. If you cannot start the computer in Normal mode, you can run this tool in Safe mode.
Quick scanning and browser inspection are the highlights of ByteFence, which is a typical malware removal niche product. As proved by testing, it can find threats that other programs couldn’t and general detection rate is above 90%. Otherwise, there’s a lot of room for improvements. Scheduler only has 2 modes: daily or weekly, which isn’t great. Gaming mode that turns off any external alerts provides very little information to a user. Browser control identifies suspicious homepages, analyzes plugins and add-ons, but does not clean and optimize to the full effect.
Key features: malware detection and removal, whitelist, game mode, statistics.
No-nonsense straightforward software product similar to Windows removal tool - good for those who only require to find malware, ransomware or spyware on a PC and get rid of it. Scanning is rated average as full check is lengthy but detects everything, while quick scan isn’t efficient enough. Logs, available after an action is taken towards corrupt files, are opened as .txt files and can also be exported to external drives. The only extra feature presented in exclusions list to specify files to skip, so if malware is whitelisted it won’t be removed. This free malware remover tool is good as an entry-level, basic task app.
Light blue color interface and buttons with static or pop-up tips greet users in GridinSoft app against malicious software. Free version is available but it does not grant real-time defense, and basically it is more of a demo-version with limited set of features. Trial can be received for 6 days if you register via email personally. Yet even in passive mode, detection is strong, catching up to 80% of threats. There’s quick and standard scan, full and custom scan. In regards to usability GridinSoft offers plenty of choices: Internet security on/off (anti-phishing, only in Pro version), On-Run protection on/off (controls programs launch, yet no details offered and available in Pro only), Removable device on/off (to inspect USB drives, camera, etc.), logs (only in Pro), Ignore list (separated in 2 lists: files/folders and websites), Auto-delete quarantined files on/off (although it might be rather damaging than useful, as certain files could be critical and still falsely marked).
Installing from a .zip file, and then works by analyzing incoming files and running them by antivirus database. Overall, Secure Hunter is good for home or personal use, with both free and paid editions presented. It defends against spying programs, adware, trojans, rootkits, worms, keyboard spies, etc. by inspecting files, services, drivers, startup, MBR and archives on PC. The interface is somewhat overloaded and unorganized. Scanning offers three modes: “custom hunter”, “full system hunter”, “computer scan” aka quick scan. In process it only shows the number of processed files, detections and type, there’s no ability to pause it. Threats can be deleted or ignored, but not restored after deletion. For guidance and work issues, there’s a tab to send feedback to vendor.
A product with several atypical features and lots of settings to set up user protection against malware and malvertising. In case a browser gets heavy with ads, popups and suspicious activity, there’s “Browser settings reset” for example, which is somewhat extreme, as it resets all the browsers on a given PC at once. For a lighter action, use “Toolbar removal” feature, that eliminates history, extensions, bookmarks for a selected browser. Active monitor feature is great if you want to exclude certain apps from active scanning. To decrease processor load, there’s “Hybrid cloud” option - to utilize cloud storage while scanning instead of PC resources. On the other hand, anti-malware performance and efficiency is mediocre, as the program does not detect all threats, and in trial there’s no possibility to delete infections.
Malware Killer by a US-based vendor does not make friends with an antivirus, so to install and run it properly, one would have to turn it off beforehand. Also, note that this antimalware only works as a scanner, and there’s no active protection in real-time. Yet overall, is easy to use, does not consume lots of PC resources. Free version detects threat but does not remove malware - only paid subscription. However, there are a bunch of useful features, e.g. drag-n-drop scan - check any file anytime simply by dragging it into Malware Killer window; context menu integration - similarly, right-click any file and select scanning; scan scheduler - to set checks periodically; cloud-based scans - only automatic sending of unknown objects as a whole, not separately.