A reliable anti-virus software suite can be a genuine lifesaver. The harsh reality being that if the world’s biggest and most iconic organizations can fall victim to cybercrimes, so can anyone. Precisely where the whole Bitdefender vs Malwarebytes comes into the equation.
Bitdefender and Malwarebytes are two of the most widely used anti-virus software suites available right now. Used by millions of businesses and everyday households worldwide, both Malwarebytes and Bitdefender can provide robust and reliable protection from a wide variety of threats.
Likewise, Bitdefender antivirus anti malware software and Malwarebytes antivirus both have affordable options available to suit most requirements and budgets.
But which of the two wins the Malwarebytes vs Bitdefender battle? If looking to protect your home computer or your business with a reliable antivirus software suite, which of the two options is worthy of your money Malwarebytes or Bitdefender?
That’s what we’ll be taking a look at in this fully independent review.
Our Recommended Choice
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Bitdefender vs Malwarebytes: Who Wins the Battle?
Working out which of the two is the ‘better’ anti-virus suite means taking into account a wide variety of features, functionalities, characteristics and qualities. It also means answering a series of key questions, including but not limited to the following:
For the most part, reaching a verdict with regard to any antivirus software suite means factoring in two things into the equation – protection level and value for money. Malwarebytes and Bitdefender malware detection and removal is said to be just about as good as it gets, but which of the two should you go for?
In short, Bitdefender wins out. In fact, it's one of our top-rated security softwares.
Setting Up the Standout: Bitdefender vs. Malwarebytes
In this independent review, we’ll be taking a look at the most important features, functionalities and selling points of these two packages. We’ll also be considering Malwarebytes Free vs paid options, the effectiveness of the free Bitdefender antivirus malware option and the extent to which both platforms are user-friendly or otherwise.
Though it’s a pretty close-run race between the two, there is an outright winner and a recommended antivirus software suite that’s well worth investing in. Read on for all you need to know about the ins and outs of both Malwarebytes and Bitdefender.
The extent to which you need an endless list of complex features and functionalities is entirely up to you. Nevertheless, most would (quite rightly) argue than when it comes to advanced anti-virus and anti-malware features, more is better.
If you go for the most basic Bitdefender plans on offer, you’ll benefit from a wide variety of cool features including secure file shredding, ransomware protection and plenty of advanced scanning options. On the downside, you’ll need to upgrade to something a little more premium to benefit from a firewall and several other top-end security features.
The Total Security package is the top-shelf plan with Bitdefender, which brings a whole bunch of cool features and additional safeguards into the equation. The inclusion of a VPN is great, but the fact that it is limited to 200MB of daily usage (unlimited with the Premium Security package) means it’s a little on the restrictive side. Parental controls, file encryption, webcam protection and more are all included in this top-tier package.
Bitdefender’s lower-end packages aren’t lacking in features in general, but nonetheless exclude several essentials for robust protection.
By contrast, Malwarebytes is a little on the sparse side when it comes to the advanced features and added extras. At least when compared to Bitdefender…well, there’s technically no comparison between the two features-wise.
Malwarebytes offers an extensive range of useful features and functionalities, but doesn’t include things like a file shredder, parental controls or password manager. There’s also no webcam protection and no VPN whatsoever, giving Bitdefender a slight edge.
Though again, it’s not to say that Malwarebytes doesn’t bring a long list of useful and important features to the table. It’s just that it lacks several of the additional security features and functions you gain access to with Bitdefender.
Round One Winner
A clear case of no contest in this instance – Bitdefender excels in terms of features and functionalities. Even if you opt for one of the lower-cost packages, you could still be looking at several useful features that aren’t available with Malwarebytes.
Evaluating antivirus software by way of price should always be gone about in the context of value for money. After all, paying pennies for a low-grade anti-virus suite isn’t the way to go, if all you get in return is low grade protection.
It’s also worth pointing out at this stage that both Bitdefender and Malwarebytes offer free plans and free trial period for their paid product, so there’s nothing to lose by finding out what’s available.
Taking a look at Bitdefender first, these guys are renowned for offering huge initial discounts for new customers, valid for the first year. In addition, you stand to save quite a lot of money if you sign up for a three-year subscription straight away, rather than a shorter contract.
The least expensive plan available is Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, but (of course) also provides access to the shortest list of features. Stepping up to Bitdefender Internet Security at the next level is therefore recommended, which takes things a step further with a firewall and webcam protection.
Bitdefender Total Security is the next offering in the hierarchy, which delivers exceptionally robust and reliable protection for up to five devices. Right at the top of the table comes Bitdefender Premium Security, which along with providing protection for up to 10 devices also includes unlimited VPN traffic, priority customer support and every feature Bitdefender has launched to date.
In any case, the cheapest package currently available at Bitdefender stands at $29.99 per year, while the Bitdefender Premium Security will set you back $89.99 per year. Given that the latter provides coverage for up to 10 devices, it represents exceptional value for money.
There are currently two options available at Malwarebytes for personal users – one that’s good for covering one device (Malwarebytes Premium) and one that covers up to 10 devices (Malwarebytes Premium for Home). Both of which can be used to protect devices running Chrome OS, Android, Mac OS or Windows.
Protecting a device running iOS means paying an extra $1.49 per month for the privilege.
There’s also a great business version of the software available called Malwarebytes for Teams, covering up to 20 devices and aimed at smaller firms. Malwarebytes Endpoint Protection for Business takes things a step further with a fully-managed cloud-based solution, with no limitations on how many devices can be covered.
Covering one device with Malwarebytes means paying an annual premium of $39.99 per year, after which additional devices can be added to the plan for just $10 per year. All in all, exceptional value for money for both personal and business use.
Round Two Winner
Though the two are almost identical in value for money stakes, Bitdefender takes the lead for one important reason. That being that when you sign up for the lower-end Bitdefender Internet Security package, it covers three devices – Malwarebytes covering just one device for the same price.
That said, stepping up to higher-end packages and covering more devices with a single subscription makes the whole thing too close to call. Both Malwarebytes and Bitdefender offer exceptional value for money across the board.
With antivirus software, user-friendliness refers primarily to two things – simplicity and invisibility. If your antivirus software is doing its job properly, you won’t even know it’s there.
Likewise, there’s no place on the market these days for anti-virus programs you need a degree in software engineering to get to grips with.
By today’s standards, the installation process with Bitdefender is slightly on the laborious side. At least, by way of the fact that the download is pretty sizeable (almost 500gb) and then needs a good 10-15 minutes to install on your system.
With Malwarebytes, it’s a similar story in reverse. The download and installation process is exponentially quicker and easier, but the dashboard itself is not quite as streamlined and straightforward as that of Bitdefender.
It’s by no means difficult to use, but does take a little bit longer to get to grips with.
On the plus side, everything else about the user experience is suitably streamlined and straightforward. The interface itself is fantastic, featuring a whole bunch of one-touch buttons and shortcuts that can be customized in just about any way you like.
More or less every feature you’ll be using on a regular basis is right there in front of you, along with all the alerts and information you’ll need to keep tabs on your system’s safety in real-time.
Scheduling scans, customizing alerts, executing disc cleanups and file shredding – all as easy as it gets. Even with no prior experience with this kind of software, you’ll be working your way around Bitdefender like a pro in a matter of minutes.
In addition, there’s no option to pin the settings you use most often to the dashboard, which is a bit of a shame.
On the plus side, power users will be in their element with the Malwarebytes user interface, which provides you with an astonishing level of control over its operation. Most scans are super-fast (if a little resource hungry) and the overall flexibility of the Malwarebytes ecosystem is impressive to say the least.
Round Three Winner
The verdict in this instance would depend entirely on whether you are an experienced power user or something of a newcomer.
If you’ve plenty of experience with advanced antivirus software and know what you’re doing, you could be in your element with Malwarebytes. If you’re more about a streamlined and straightforward user experience with no unnecessary complications, Bitdefender is the way to go.
The level of protection an antivirus software suite provides should be the single biggest deal-breaker. After all, a computer security suite isn’t worth bothering with, if it’s unable to provide the security you need to safeguard your system.
In this instance, we’ll be taking a look at how the two performed when put to the test by reputable independent specialists.
Having consistently scored top-marks in most industry standard tests, Bitdefender has earned a reputation as one of the most robust and reliable anti-virus suites money can buy. The only downside being that it does have a tendency to slow low-specs machines down when carrying out more intensive functions.
AV-Test put Bitdefender through its paces recently, during which it scored 100 percent protection against zero-day malware attacks and was subsequently awarded an overall score of 6 out of 6. The industry average for zero-day malware attack protection being 99.3 percent, for reference. Bitdefender also successfully detected 100 percent of widespread and prevalent malware when tested by the same team.
In terms of system performance, Bitdefender was found by AV-Test to slow website launch times by an average of 19 percent while in use. This was slightly above the industry average of 14 percent, though wasn’t considered a cause for concern.
Malwarebytes didn’t lag far behind when put through the same tests – AV-Test awarding the software an impressive overall score of 5.5 out of 6 for protection. The same 100 percent detection of widespread and prevalent malware was also achieved by Malwarebytes.
Where system performance was concerned, Malwarebytes came out slightly ahead by slowing the launch of websites just 10 percent on average while in use. Though a 22 percent reduction in software launch speeds was also detected, falling well below the industry average.
Round Four Winner
It’s almost impossible to draw any real distinction between the two from a personal-use perspective. Hence, you have to go with the official verdict from those who carried out the comparison.
Given that AV-Test awarded Bitdefender a flawless score of 6 compared to the 5.5 score awarded to Malwarebytes, the former came out ahead by a microscopic margin.
Antivirus software isn’t impervious to the occasional issue. Sooner or later, you may find yourself in need of help and advice from the relevant customer support team.
Here’s how Malwarebytes and Bitdefender rate in terms of customer support quality.
Over the years, Bitdefender has enhanced and improved its customer support beyond recognition. Today, getting in touch with the team is an absolute breeze on a 24/7 basis, with various channels to choose from including email, telephone support and live chat. There’s also a whole bunch of articles, informational resources and how-to videos available as an added bonus.
Put to the test, the Bitdefender customer support team never disappoints. There are also 16 dedicated phone lines available for various countries in a wide variety of languages.
The biggest difference with Malwarebytes being that not only is there currently no telephone support available (at least I couldn’t find a telephone number), but the live chat facility is only available during limited hours - from 1 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST. Email support is also available and there’s a useful forum, but response times in both instances aren’t as good as the live chat service.
Like its counterpart, Malwarebytes offers users a wide variety of helpful articles and tutorials to help get the most from the software. You’ll also rarely encounter a representative that isn’t knowledgeable, friendly and extremely keen to help you out.
Round Five Winner
While Malwarebytes offers nothing but excellent customer support, actually getting in touch with a member of the team isn’t always easy. For this reason alone, Bitdefender takes the lead by offering 24/7 support via a variety of channels and in multiple languages.
It would probably be a tie if Malwarebytes offered telephone support and switched to 24/7 operational hours, which is something I’d like to see in the future.
Pound for pound, there’s a clear winner between the two. Though it has to be said that the differences in most instances were relatively modest, so it’s not like the winner wiped the floor with its rival.
As you’ve probably guessed by now, the winner is Bitdefender.
Considered in terms of level of protection, value for money and customer support in particular, Bitdefender continues to rank among the best antivirus software suites money can buy right now. It also represents outstanding value for money, particularly if looking to protect multiple devices with the same annual subscription package.
It’s still worth checking out what Malwarebytes has to offer if setting yourself up with an anti-virus suite, but my personal recommendation has to go with McAfee. McAfee is a far more formidable option available on the market. That option is McAfee, with over 18.9 billion devices connected to this program, you can infer it’s quite a popular choice amongst the people.
Bitdefender Pros and Cons
Bitdefender is a comprehensively impressive anti-virus suite, which delivers market-leading performance for a surprisingly low price. Here are the main pros and cons I came up with for anyone considering Bitdefender:
Bitdefender scores top marks in terms of value for money and for having an impressive list of features and functionalities for such a low price. The primary pros and cons of this popular software suite being as follows:
Malwarebytes Pro and Cons
Over with Malwarebytes, it is a similar story of predominantly pros and just a couple of cons. The most important of which being as follows:
It’s hard not to be impressed with the way Malwarebytes gets the job. Nevertheless, there are pros and cons to the package that are important to take into consideration:
Overall Winner: Bitdefender
Bitdefender once again reigns supreme, though in this instance it was a surprisingly close call!