Best 19 Antimalware - Dec, 2020

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.

Best 19 Antimalware - Dec, 2020

  • MalwareBytes image

    Pricing

    • Free Free
    • $39.99 Premium
    • $119.97 Business

    Available on

    Key features

    • Real-time protection
    • URL blocking
    • PC cleaner

    Key features

    • Real-time protection
    • URL blocking
    • PC cleaner

    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.

    MalwareBytes Pros

    • Effectively detects and removes spyware
    • User guidelines
    • Enhances real-time protection

    MalwareBytes Cons

    • Needs reinforcement by an antivirus
    • No scheduler for periodical scans
    • Most features require subscription
  • IObit Malware Fighter image

    Pricing

    • Free Free
    • $25.99 Pro

    Available on

    Key features

    • Anti-ransomware
    • Ad block
    • USB guard

    Key features

    • Anti-ransomware
    • Ad block
    • USB guard

    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.

    IObit Malware Fighter Pros

    • Free version download available
    • All the basics of anti-malware
    • Additional browser tools and plugins

    IObit Malware Fighter Cons

    • Questionable real-time detection
    • Full scanning is quite lengthy
    • Static-size interface
  • Emsisoft Anti-Malware image

    Pricing

    • Free Free
    • $19.99 Home
    • $26.66 Home & Mobile

    Available on

    Key features

    • 2-mode scanning
    • Malware removal
    • Anti-ransomware

    Key features

    • 2-mode scanning
    • Malware removal
    • Anti-ransomware

    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.

    Emsisoft Anti-Malware Pros

    • 90% efficiency in destroying malware
    • Monthly Emsisoft updates
    • Compatible with all Windows versions

    Emsisoft Anti-Malware Cons

    • Less useful against infections
    • Not actually free (only trial)
    • No log auto cleaning options
  • Malwarefox image

    Pricing

    • $24.95 For You
    • $5.99 For Your Phone
    • $24.95 For ​Home / Business

    Available on

    Key features

    • Hijacker removal
    • Cloud scan
    • Browser cleanup

    Key features

    • Hijacker removal
    • Cloud scan
    • Browser cleanup

    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.

    Malwarefox Pros

    • Anti-adware
    • 24/7 support
    • Cloud analysis

    Malwarefox Cons

    • No ability to select a scanning mode
    • Only 14 days trial
    • Difficult menu
  • Emsisoft Emergency Kit image

    Pricing

    • Free Emsisoft Emergency Kit

    Available on

    Key features

    • Auto updates
    • Command-line support
    • Whitelist

    Key features

    • Auto updates
    • Command-line support
    • Whitelist

    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.

    Emsisoft Emergency Kit Pros

    • Different scan types
    • Alternative version in command line mode (for advanced users)
    • Easy to use

    Emsisoft Emergency Kit Cons

    • Quick scan type ineffective
    • No real-time protection
    • No scan scheduler
  • Dr.Web CureIt! image

    Pricing

    • Free Free
    • $19.35 1 year
    • $38.7 2 Years

    Available on

    Key features

    • Portable
    • Sound notifications
    • Reports

    Key features

    • Portable
    • Sound notifications
    • Reports

    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.

    Dr.Web CureIt! Pros

    • Free trial
    • Home and Business versions
    • 23 interface languages

    Dr.Web CureIt! Cons

    • No auto-update of databases
    • Questionable vendor reputation
  • Xvirus Anti-Malware image

    Pricing

    • Free Free
    • $19.99 Pro

    Available on

    Key features

    • Real-time mode
    • Cloud scanning
    • Self-defense

    Key features

    • Real-time mode
    • Cloud scanning
    • Self-defense

    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.

    Xvirus Anti-Malware Pros

    • Free of charge
    • Effective real-time protection
    • Auto Mode to save time

    Xvirus Anti-Malware Cons

    • Only few menu languages
    • No popup tips in settings
    • No advanced mode
  • Malware Hunter image

    Pricing

    • $24.97 1 Year

    Available on

    Key features

    • 3 Scan modes
    • Avira engine
    • Malware removal

    Key features

    • 3 Scan modes
    • Avira engine
    • Malware removal

    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.

    Malware Hunter Pros

    • Interactive scanning process
    • with many details
    • Avira engine with high rate of signature detection
    • Extra tools for PC optimization

    Malware Hunter Cons

    • No ability to inspect individual files and folders
    • Scanning reports can’t be exported
    • only to view
    • No proper technical support and manuals
  • Zemana AntiMalware image

    Pricing

    • Free FREE
    • $24.95 1 PC
    • $58.95 3 PCs

    Available on

    Key features

    • File fingerprint analysis
    • Quarantine
    • Regular updates

    Key features

    • File fingerprint analysis
    • Quarantine
    • Regular updates

    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.

    Zemana AntiMalware Pros

    • Free
    • Optimized and lightweight
    • Works without leaving traces on PC
    • Quick and easy to install/use

    Zemana AntiMalware Cons

    • Poor malware detection results
    • Inconvenient interface
    • Quite lengthy scanning process
  • ZoneAlarm Pro Firewall image

    Pricing

    • $19.95 1 PC
    • $29.95 5 PCs

    Available on

    Key features

    • Malware detection
    • Antivirus
    • Firewall

    Key features

    • Malware detection
    • Antivirus
    • Firewall

    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.


    ZoneAlarm Pro Firewall Pros

    • All versions
    • Mobile security
    • Anti-phishing

    ZoneAlarm Pro Firewall Cons

    • No macOS version
    • Each tool - separate license
  • STOPzilla AntiMalware

    STOPzilla AntiMalware

    Visit website
    Trial 15days
    STOPzilla AntiMalware image

    Pricing

    • $19.95 1 PC
    • $29.95 3 PCs
    • $39.95 5 PCs

    Available on

    Key features

    • Quarantine
    • Scheduler
    • Events log

    Key features

    • Quarantine
    • Scheduler
    • Events log

    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.

    STOPzilla AntiMalware Pros

    • Effective real-time protection
    • Quick and helpful technical support
    • Tips about processor loads

    STOPzilla AntiMalware Cons

    • Quite lengthy full scan
    • Low choice of menu languages
    • Outdated design
  • CryptoPrevent Anti-Malware

    CryptoPrevent Anti-Malware

    CryptoPrevent Anti-Malware image

    Pricing

    • $20 1 Year
    • $51 3 Years
    • $75 5 Years

    Available on

    Key features

    • Security presets
    • SR Policies
    • KillEmAll Silent

    Key features

    • Security presets
    • SR Policies
    • KillEmAll Silent

    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 image

    Pricing

    • Free Norton Power Eraser

    Available on

    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.

  • ByteFence image

    Pricing

    • Free ByteFence FREE
    • $59.95 ByteFence PRO 3
    • $29.95 ByteFence PRO 12

    Available on

    Key features

    • Do not disturb mode
    • Whitelist
    • Antivirus

    Key features

    • Do not disturb mode
    • Whitelist
    • Antivirus

    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.

    ByteFence Pros

    • Quick scan with high detection rate
    • Nice design
    • easy to use
    • Both free edition and trial for Pro available

    ByteFence Cons

    • Only the basics
    • No scan logs
    • Browser cleaning incomplete
  • NoVirusThanks Malware Remover

    NoVirusThanks Malware Remover

    NoVirusThanks Malware Remover image

    Pricing

    • Free Free

    Available on

    Key features

    • Detection & removal
    • Exclusion list
    • Logs & backups

    Key features

    • Detection & removal
    • Exclusion list
    • Logs & backups

    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.

    NoVirusThanks Malware Remover Pros

    • Free edition available
    • Proper settings for scanning and whitelist
    • Tab with Windows utilities inside

    NoVirusThanks Malware Remover Cons

    • No quarantine
    • no real-time
    • Only English language menu
    • Scheduler only in Pro
  • GridinSoft Anti-Malware

    GridinSoft Anti-Malware

    Visit website
    Trial 6days
    GridinSoft Anti-Malware image

    Pricing

    • $29.95 6 Months
    • $39.95 1 Year
    • $89.95 VIP Lifetime

    Available on

    Key features

    • Real-time defense
    • Manual updates
    • Autostart control

    Key features

    • Real-time defense
    • Manual updates
    • Autostart control

    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).

    GridinSoft Anti-Malware Pros

    • Webcam protection
    • Scans external drives and memory sticks
    • Detailed logs

    GridinSoft Anti-Malware Cons

    • Time-consuming scanning types
    • No real free version
    • Signatures and software updates together
  • Secure Hunter image

    Pricing

    • Free Free
    • $20 Pro

    Available on

    Key features

    • 3 Scan modes
    • Malware Removal
    • Ignore list

    Key features

    • 3 Scan modes
    • Malware Removal
    • Ignore list

    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.

    Secure Hunter Pros

    • Free version without limitations
    • All actions accessible in the main windows
    • Automatic database updates

    Secure Hunter Cons

    • Uninformative scanning
    • no pause option
    • Clumsy and disorganized interface
    • Many issues in performance
  • Stronghold AntiMalware

    Stronghold AntiMalware

    Visit website
    Trial 14days
    Stronghold AntiMalware image

    Pricing

    • $29.95 License

    Available on

    Key features

    • Toolbar removal
    • Scheduler
    • Activity monitor

    Key features

    • Toolbar removal
    • Scheduler
    • Activity monitor

    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.

    Stronghold AntiMalware Pros

    • Plenty of extra features
    • Great technical support
    • Free trial version for lifetime

    Stronghold AntiMalware Cons

    • Unable to remove malware in trial
    • Average detection rate
    • Frequent crashes
  • Malware Killer image

    Pricing

    • Free Free
    • $19.96 Full

    Available on

    Key features

    • Drag-and-drop scan
    • Exclude list
    • Restore point

    Key features

    • Drag-and-drop scan
    • Exclude list
    • Restore point

    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.

    Malware Killer Pros

    • Сloud-based scanning
    • Drag-n-drop files/folders for deep scan
    • Low requirements

    Malware Killer Cons

    • No automatic updates
    • No permanent protection in real-time
    • Installation issues related to antivirus

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Recent discussions

Malware attacks and tricks are evolving all the time, and top security software applies various methods of detection and database of malicious signatures to identify threats in real-time. On enterprise level, with computer networks and valuable data, anti malware may be set to provide such protection, as well as track metrics and analytic tools for insights. On personal level, you might become a victim of hacked Facebook / Instagram account any given moment, potentially causing harm to reputation.

How is it different from antivirus?

One of the leading vendors of anti-malware gave a clear explanation, and if paraphrasing, a virus is a specific threat, and malware is a term encompassing a multitude of threats, therefore any virus is malware, but malware isn’t only viruses. In contrast to antivirus programs, anti-malware focuses on the newest threats on the web and is updating much more regularly. Antimalware programs help fight the following online threats:

  1. Malware – malicious programs or codes that aim to invade and damage computers/devices, i.e. viruses, worms, trojans, cryptomining, keyloggers, rootkits, explouts, etc.
  2. Ransomware – a type of malware that blocks users from system or personal files, demanding payment to regain access.
  3. Spyware – malicious programs that infect a PC/phone to collect user information, browsing habits, etc., i.e. password stealers, banking trojans, keyloggers.
  4. Adware – programs that aim to display ads on a screen or in a browser, a.k.a. PUPs – potentially unwanted programs.
  5. Cryptojacking – a newly emerging threat, programs that hide on devices and use it to mine cryptocurrencies.
  6. Phishing – the most direct and blatant form of hacking in form of deceiving users into sharing sensitive data, like passwords or credit card numbers. Malwarebytes Premium detects such suspicious sites and warns you from going there. 
  7. Botnets - intended to corrupt a network of machines globally or in an intended target organisation to perform a number of functions such as steal data or block certain keywords/articles/content from being visible on search engines.
  8. Wiper malware - intended to delete or completely wipe out the intended target’s sensitive data so that the user cannot gain access.
  9. Other malware/scripts include computer worms, scareware, cryptocurrency mining malware and computer viruses.


It’s a ‘David and Goliath’ type situation with software against malware, where Malwarebytes stands tallest and glorious, foreshadowing any other contenders. You can find our own in-depth Malwarebytes review to learn more. Though, it does not mean other contenders are worthless. Malwarebytes, of course, gained firm ground with its usability, powerful scanning, stability, real-time detection. It offers a 14-day free trial, and the basic one-year plan costs $40, and let’s leave it at that. 

Overall, a reputable and effective anti-malware program should offer tools such as scan scheduler, quarantine and removal, exclusions, PUP detection, anti-adware, anti-spyware, program cleaner, etc. Exact techniques may differ from software to software: signature-based detection (databases of known malware to check suspicious files), behavior-based detection (detecting yet unknown malware through characteristics, intentions, machine learning), and sandboxing (using isolated virtual environment to test suspicious files before allowing them in).

If a user has a preference of certain antimalware method, he can research security programs on the market and select his best. Strong Malwarebytes alternatives could easily be IObit Malware Fighter, Emsisoft, AVG, Spybot, HitmanPro, Avast. In fact, we'd also point towards WMSRT - Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool - an easy option to scan for issues, that can not be discarded too.

Actually, to compare real performance we selected the top 15 antimalware apps, including the ones mentioned above and some few more and put them to test. It demonstrated that in terms of scan time and detected threats, Malwarebytes, HitmanPro, Spybot ‘Search and Destroy’, GridinSoft were the most efficient. Check out full results below. 

Product

Installation time

Disk space occupied

Full scan time

Files scanned

Threats detected

MalwareBytes

1 min

193 MB

7 min

216,762

51

HitmanPro

1 min

11 MB

6 min

301,544

15

Emsisoft Antimalware

4 min

430 MB

83 min

223,868

1

AVG Antivirus

2 min

760 MB

9 min

N/A

1

Spybot

1 min

221 MB

72 min

N/A

63

Windows MSRT

1 min

46 MB

5 min

9,334

3

RansomFree

3 min

5 MB

N/A

N/A

1

Zemana Antimalware

0.5 min

17 MB

16 min

57,701

4

Comodo

1 min

116 MB

75 min

N/A

55

Avast Antivirus

4 min

903 MB

8 min

N/A

2

GridinSoft

2 min

130 MB

35 min

48,069

38

IObit Malware Fighter

1 min

126 MB

200 min

283,814

2

Xvirus

0.1 min

30 MB

240 min

202,359

5

STOPzilla

3 min 

44 MB

62 min

49,674

4

Malware Killer

2 min

17 MB

20 min

34,195

2

As we’ve mentioned, each anti-malware applies different detection strategy, or a combination, to protect against damaging code. So, we may divide them in 3 types: 

  1. Signature-based, such as Emsisoft Anti-Malware Home or McAfee.
  2. Behavior-based, such as Malwarebytes or HitmanPro.
  3. Sandbox, such as Cuckoo Sandbox, Shade or FortiSandbox.


Each type has peculiarities in user interface, system requirements, malware removal options, that should be in mind of a conscious customer. 

By business model, there could be a distinction between all-in-one internet security suites and specialized programs. Avast, AVG, Kaspersky and so forth are good examples of security suite, where certain anti-malware tools are part of bigger integrated system. Malwarebytes, Malware Killer, Cybereason and others are software specifically designed to prevent malware and nothing more.

Which type is more relevant is still a subject of discussion. At the same time, general malware prevention measures while browsing the Internet include the following:

  1. Not opening suspicious email or links as this could lead to phishing and data harvesting, by cyber attackers;
  2. Regularly updating the Windows operating system and other software;
  3. Investing in strong antivirus programs;
  4. Taking appropriate action on suspected threats as advised by an antivirus;
  5. Using firewalls, a secure web browser;
  6. Not installing unknown or illegally downloaded software.


Malware, PUA/PUP, malicious scripts are on the rise, evolving constantly. In 2018, evasive malware and exploit kits emerged as one of the ways to pass through security software, for instance ransomware such as Cryptomix, Spora, TeslaCrypt, JigSaw. More and more attackers use malicious cryptomining, running hidden scripts on users’ devices without permission, basically hijacking resources, electricity, etc.


For anti-malware tools the upcoming years will be a busy time. Digital security suites are investing more money and introducing new techniques to protect computers, smartphones, networks, servers, IoT devices. New methods such as so called “vaccinations” against malware families (misleading malware to think it is already in the system), and others will have to up the game. 

Malwarebytes Labs predicts the following challenges for 2019: high-profile password breaches, AI-assisted malware, self-propagating exploits like EternalBlue to spread infections, more attacks on Microsoft Edge browser, skimming - i.e. hijacking checkout pages and intercepting payment information. 

What is anti-malware software?

Anti-malware (a.k.a. Antimalware, anti malware, malware removal software, malware scanner tools) are special software programs that detect and remove malware from computer devices. Anti-malware protects against malicious scripts, viruses, rootkits, ransomware, spyware, adware.

How does anti malware work?

To prevent malware, this special type of security software implies three main methods: signature-based malware detection (see the 2nd paragraph above), behavior-based detection (by intentions, behaviors, actions, etc.) and sandboxing - testing stuff in virtual environment before allowing it into the system. By design, anti-malware can do the following tasks: block suspicious websites, quarantine the detected malware, display data about the infections and insights into how and how far a malicious script has compromised a network.

What is the best anti-malware?

You can’t go wrong with Malwarebytes, HitmanPro, Emsisoft, Comodo, Zemana, AVG/Avast. For more considerations, pros and cons, tips and more read our product reviews, sich as Malwarebytes, Malware Fighter, Spybot, etc.

Is anti-malware and antivirus the same thing?

No, but similar. A virus is also a malware, but malware isn’t necessarily a virus. Thus, an antivirus software protects against computer viruses specifically, while antimalware covers a wider range of threats: trojans, worms, unwanted apps, ransomware, cryptomining, adware, exploits, keylogging, etc. Many antivirus programs have been expanding their functionality to defend against malware too. The best practice is to use both.

What is Malwarebytes anti-exploit?

Anti-Exploit is a security program that was bought out by malwarebytes from ZeroVulnerabilityLabs, and is now in beta-version, as of January 2019. It runs in the background and specifically targets zero-day exploits in browsers, rootkits, phishing scams, malicious links and sites. It is only available in Premium package.

What is Bytefence? Is it good?

Firstly, this is just one of the anti-malware programs and a popular antivirus. Secondly, it got (in)famous due to often being distributed in a bundle with another software which essentially means PUA. So it’s kind of “fight-crime-with-crime” situation. Many users online recommend removing it because it got them more malware instead of preventing it. We can neither confirm or disprove any information until we’ve tested it ourselves, so caution is our tip right now.

How to choose the right antimalware program?

Go with reliable and reputable. Seek programs that can protect itself against termination by another software, that won’t cause conflicts with antivirus, that can automate scanning and is always up-to-date. A good anti-malware is often an “all-inclusive” package/suite - with security scanning, parental control, password manager, web protection, backup and restore, firewall, etc. It should not affect PC boot time and overall performance, be easy to navigate, fast in scanning, provide full control over all elements.