Malwarebytes Premium Review

After more than a year of testing, we found Malwarebytes Premium to be a reliable and fast antivirus software.
Expert recommended
Malwarebytes Premium
Monitoring starts at
$59.99
/yr
  • pro
    Real-time monitoring
  • pro
    Fast and easy scanning
  • con
    No iOS antivirus app
Plan choices
Price
All premium features included?
1 yr., up to 5 devices
Icon Yes  LightYes
1 yr., up to 10 devices
Icon Yes  LightYes
Alina Bradford
Senior Writer, Safety & Security Expert
December 14, 2022
SafeWise is an independent review site. We may earn money when you click links on our site. Learn more.

After extensive research, we think Malwarebytes Premium is one of the best antivirus software choices on the market. It offers real-time protection for your computer and phone against viruses, spyware, ransomware, and more. Plus, Malwarebytes Premium is incredibly easy to use, even for the tech illiterate. It’s not perfect, though. Let’s jump into it in this Malwarebytes review.

pro
Pros
pro Robust real-time threat protection
pro Great for purging infected devices
pro There’s a free version
con
Cons
con Some false positives
con Light on advanced features
con Some features are PC only

Compare the best antivirus and anti-malware software

Product
Best for
Price Icon Tooltip  Dark
Number of devices
OS compatibility
Learn more
Read review
Best overall5Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
Expert recommended5Windows
macOS
Android
Best for families10Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
Best for computer speed1Windows
macOS
Android
Best quick scan5Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
Chromebook

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.


What's in the box

Malwarebytes Premium Box WITB

Image credit

  • Real-time threat protection
  • Advanced antivirus, anti-malware, and antispyware
  • Malicious links and phishing protection (PC only)
  • Protection against ransomware, zero-day exploits, brute force, and uninstall protection (PC only)
  • Malwarebytes Browser Guard extension (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari)

Malwarebytes has real-time protection that’s dependable, usually

Like other antivirus software like Bitdefender’s Total Security and Norton 360 Premium, Malewarebytes Premium has real-time protection against online threats. This means that as you use your device, the software is actively protecting it from incoming threats instead of just detecting threats after they’re already in your system.

Our 30-day summary showed Malwarebytes blocked 82+ million malicious sites globally.

How well does it do the job? Pretty darn well. According to independent testing by AV-Comparatives, Malwarebytes is one of the best at protecting computers from real-time threats. Malwarebytes blocked 99.9% of threats, so not too shabby. Trend Micro and Norton  were the only softwares that did a better job. (They both scored 100% effectiveness.)

Malwarebytes blocked Universeodon thinking it was a malicious website.

Malwarebytes does its job a little too well, sometimes. It tends to offer up threat reports when there are no threats. Over a year of testing time, we found this wasn’t a problem. The software just tells you that something’s malicious, and you can choose to ignore it. False positives don’t happen often enough to be annoying.

Thumbs Up
Free version

Malwarebytes has a free version too. The free version doesn’t offer real-time protection, but our testing found that it does offer robust threat detection and cleanup.

Malwarebytes Premium is fast and doesn’t drag down the device

Our computer scan took just under eight minutes.

During our testing, we found that Malwarebytes antivirus software scans computers that are loaded down with tons of files within just five to ten minutes. During that time, computer performance didn’t seem to decrease much at all. The real-time protection running in the background also didn’t seem to affect the computer’s performance.

I’ve been using Malwarebytes for more than 10 years on my computers and phones. I’ve never had a problem with the software, and it’s always caught every little digital beasty I’ve stumbled across.
–Alina Bradford, safety and security expert

Malwarebytes Premium is easy to use

Image of Malwarebytes showing all of the areas of the computer it scanned.

Maybe the best thing about Malwarebytes Premium is that it’s blessedly simple. It quickly scans everyday and works quietly in the background. Each day a notification will pop up on your computer to let you know if anything was found. If the software does encounter a problem, it blocks offending malicious websites or quarantines suspicious software and the like.

Many of Malwarebytes settings are pre-set.

It does all this without any input from you and is pretty fool-proof.  Real-time protection settings (web, malware, ransomware, and exploit protection) are on by default. Malwarebytes on Windows also automatically sets up a scheduled threat scan for the wee hours of the morning. Of course, you can change these settings if you like, but there’s no need. It will work great without any tweaking.

Some may say that Malwarebytes Premium is a little too basic. Unlike its biggest competitor, Bitdefender Antivirus, it doesn’t have parental control options for keeping your kids safe online, gamer mode, VPN protection, or email scanning. Still, we like this antivirus software for people that like to keep things simple. In fact, Malwarebytes Premium is recommended by IT security expert and SafeWise advisor Pete Canavan.

"Malwarebytes started out as a free anti-malware program that proved itself to be very effective at removing malware on Windows-based systems,” said Canavan.  “It was the go-to program for many PC professionals as well as consumers to help remove malware-infected systems.  It has since evolved into a more robust, professional cybersecurity program that has added anti-virus protection to the anti-malware component.”

"They have very good support that is available 24/7, and so if you have a problem, they are just a chat, email, or phone call away. The paid versions are very affordable and provide excellent protection when used in conjunction with other best practices for securing your computer and networks."
-IT security expert and SafeWise advisor Pete Canavan

Final word

If you know that malware, viruses, and those other internet baddies are out there, but you know very little about defending your devices or have no time to mess with an antivirus program, then Malwarebytes Bytes is the perfect solution. It’s the no-brainer antivirus software that keeps your devices safe with very little needed from you or your device.

Malwarebytes Premium FAQ

Is it worth getting Malwarebytes’ premium version?

While the free version is awesome, shelling out around $60 per year is worth the real-time protection. We’d rather a threat be stopped before it has a chance to cause any damage to our devices.

Does Malwarebytes Premium remove viruses?

Yes, and it does it well! After installing the software we ran into several viruses. Malwarebytes was able to remove the virus and return our computers back to a pre-virus state. It also has uninstall protection. That means that malware can’t uninstall it, ensuring that your device can be cleaned.

What is the best alternative to Malwarebytes?

Our top pick for antivirus software is Bitdefender Antivirus. Unlike Malwarebytes, it includes parental controls, gamer mode, and more. Read our Bitdefender Antivirus review to learn more.

How we reviewed Malwarebytes Premium

Our computer scan took just under eight minutes.

Image: SafeWise. 

For our Malwarebytes Premium review, we tested the product for more than a year on several Windows computers and on various Android phones. We also considered opinions from security experts and customer reviews.

To learn more about how we test and review products, please see our methodology page.

Related articles on SafeWise


Sources

  1. AV Comparitives, “Real-World Protection Test February-May 2022,” June 14, 2022. Accessed December 2022.
Disclaimers

Amazon: *Product prices and availability are accurate as of post date and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Alina Bradford
Written by
Alina Bradford
Alina is a safety and security expert that has contributed her insights to CNET, CBS, Digital Trends, MTV, Top Ten Reviews, and many others. Her goal is to make safety and security gadgets less mystifying one article at a time. In the early 2000s, Alina worked as a volunteer firefighter, earning her first responder certification and paving the way to her current career. Her activities aren’t nearly as dangerous today. Her hobbies include fixing up her 100-year-old house, doing artsy stuff, and going to the lake with her family.

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