Malwarebytes vs. Avast — Which Can Be Trusted in 2024?

Find the best antivirus for you and your devices.
We compare security, extra features, ease of use, and more to help you decide.

Avast vs. Malwarebytes: Which Is Right for You?

Raven Wu
Raven Wu
Writer

Avast vs. Malwarebytes: Which Is Right for You?

Malwarebytes is a minimalistic antivirus and only includes the most basic of protections. However, it’s lightweight, doesn’t use a lot of computer resources, and can be left to run out of the box if you’re a beginner user.

Avast has excellent malware detection rates and offers more security features than Malwarebytes, but it isn’t as lightweight or simplistic, and it might not be as good of a choice for beginner users.

I’ve summarized the key features of each antivirus below to help you decide which is right for you.

Short on Time? Malwarebytes vs. Avast — Final Verdict:

  • 1st place: Short on Time? Malwarebytes vs. Avast — Final Verdict:
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Malwarebytes is simple to use and very lightweight. It’s an excellent choice if you’re just after the essential protections. If you’re on a budget and need your computer protected, go with Malwarebytes.

Avast has better malware protection rates, web protection, and customer support, plus a wide range of additional features. If you’re looking for a feature-rich internet security suite, go with Avast.

Malware Protection

Malwarebytes 

Malwarebytes uses heuristic analysis and a massive malware database to protect you from malware in 2024. Since Malwarebytes is so lightweight, I didn’t notice any slowdown while running a full system scan.

Malwarebytes found the vast majority of malware samples in my tests. To test it, I downloaded an archive with 1,000s of different malware samples inside it, including trojans, worms, rootkits, spyware, adware, and more. I hid the samples throughout my PC — including in critical system folders — and ran Malwarebytes’s full-system scan. The scan found 95% of malware samples (which is pretty good) and took about 3 hours to complete.

I was pretty impressed with Malwarebytes’s real-time protection. Once I’d removed the samples, I switched the protection on and tried to download the same archive. Malwarebytes successfully stopped 98% of the samples, which isn’t bad.

Avast

Avast’s powerful anti-malware scanner detected every malware sample I put on my computer. With its real-time protection turned on, it was also able to stop me from downloading any of these samples again.

Avast’s full scan took just under an hour to complete, which is faster than Malwarebytes. As with Malwarebytes, I noticed no significant performance impact while the scan was ongoing.

Web Security

Malwarebytes 

Malwarebytes uses a web security extension called Browser Guard to protect you from phishing websites, ads, and trackers. Browser Guard is compatible with all major web browsers, including Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.

It was able to block 90% of the dangerous websites I visited, which isn’t bad. This included several dangerous websites that the default protections on Chrome, Edge, and Firefox missed.

However, I was disappointed with Browser Guard’s ad blocker. I visited an ad-infested website with Malwarebytes’s ad blocker running, and it could only block 35% of the ads. This is one of the lowest detection rates I’ve experienced in my tests.

Avast 

Avast has a high detection rate for phishing sites, performing better than the default protections on Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.

If you use Avast’s Secure Browser, you also get access to a pretty great ad blocker, but the browser is only available as a separate download. I would prefer to have an ad blocker that works with my browser of choice — but still, Avast’s ad blocker is way more effective than Malwarebytes’s.

Features

Malwarebytes 

Malwarebytes is minimalistic and lightweight, so it doesn’t have many features — however, its top-tier package can cover up to 5 devices. Malwarebytes includes:

  • Malware-scanner.
  • Real-time protection.
  • Anti-phishing protection.
  • VPN (virtual private network).
  • 60-day money-back guarantee.

These features worked as expected in my tests and provided better protection than the default protections of Windows and Mac.

Malwarebytes’s VPN works particularly well. It masks your IP address behind a fake one, so hackers can’t intercept and steal your data. It doesn’t include as many features as a standalone VPN, but it provides good speeds and access to over 500 servers.

Malwarebytes offers a minimalistic antivirus approach but also extends its services to include Identity Theft Protection. However, this is a separate offering which is not part of Malwarebytes’s standard antivirus plans.

Avast 

Avast covers up to 30 devices, and its plans include a lot more features than Malwarebytes, including:

  • Anti-malware protection and real-time protection.
  • Web protection.
  • VPN.
  • Rescue Disk (not included with Avast One).
  • Wi-Fi network protection.
  • Firewall.
  • PC clean-up and optimization tools.
  • File shredder (not included with Avast One).
  • Sandbox (not included with Avast One).
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • And more…

Avast’s system tune-up and PC speed-up tools are pretty good, and its Rescue Disk is very useful for helping you recover from a serious malware infection that prevents your computer from even starting up.

On the other hand, the VPN is not that great. Its speeds are pretty mediocre, it only provides access to servers in 30+ countries, and it keeps connection logs, which can compromise your privacy.

Ease of Use

Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes is really quick to download and install, and once you’re up and running, it’s straightforward to use. Malwarebytes features a clear and easy-to-navigate user interface with every feature accessible through large buttons. You can run a quick, custom, or full scan in just a couple of clicks and easily schedule a scan. Whenever I clicked on Malwarebytes’s tray icon, it loaded quickly, and there was never any slowdown to my system’s performance.

I also like how Malwarebytes includes a gaming mode, so if you run apps in full-screen, there are no notifications.

Malwarebytes features mobile apps for iOS and Android. Both are quite well-designed, with most features accessible in just a few taps. I like how the Android app adds some extra features, like spyware protection and a privacy audit tool.

Avast 

Avast can be installed quickly and easily, and it’s one of the most user-friendly antiviruses on the market. It includes a ton of additional features, but thanks to a very intuitive interface and the brief explanations attached to every major feature, even new users shouldn’t have any trouble using it. I especially like how easy it is to find the setting you’re looking for using the search function included in the settings menu.

Avast’s mobile apps are just as simple to use, and its Android app offers many of the same features available on its desktop apps. Its iOS app is comparatively limited, but that’s quite normal for iOS antivirus apps.

Customer Support

Malwarebytes 

Malwarebytes offers a live chatbot, email support, and a knowledge base. This isn’t the most comprehensive customer support I’ve experienced, and getting immediate responses was sometimes difficult — but the staff is friendly and helpful when you get through to them.

The live chatbot is essentially a search function for the knowledge base. I thought this was pretty handy, but I do wish there was a live chat feature like the majority of competitors include. The knowledge base is quite comprehensive, though. The guides are in-depth, and I never struggled to find the information I needed.

Malwarebytes’s email support team was helpful in addressing technical issues, and its customer service reps were consistently helpful. The only drawback is the 24-hour wait time for a response, which isn’t the fastest I’ve encountered.

Avast

Avast provides support through live chat, email, and phone. It also features a community forum and a comprehensive, well-structured knowledge base.

As soon as I connected to live chat I was able to converse with an agent, who could answer the majority of my basic inquiries. Nonetheless, they appeared to have difficulty addressing some of my more intricate questions.

Starting Price
Money Back Guarantee
Free Trial
$23.40
30 Days
$59.99
60 Days
Security
Features
Ease of Use
Support
Pricing
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Latest Positive Review*User reviews are not verified
data-squirrel
Mar. 15, 2021
Reliable in virus detection, average in virus removal
I am satisfied. It detects viruses very well. It removes them with 1-3...
Kshitij Bajaj
Dec. 16, 2020
Nice Software
I like this antivirous. It has protected my pc from so many attacks and...
Max Edwards
Jun. 28, 2023
Doesn’t slowdown my PC and easy to use
Just upgraded from their free version to paid premium subscription. It is...
Michael Weiner
Dec. 12, 2022
Great so far
Malwarebytes is fast and has an effective user interface that allows...
Latest Negative Review*User reviews are not verified
May 21, 2023
Thieves
Avast took $77.99 out of my checking account that I did not authorize. I...
Sean
May 9, 2023
HORRIBLE AND WILL NEVER USE IT AGAIN
Besides it being annoying, it also affects my chrome browser. I...
Mel
Sep. 8, 2022
product has gone down hill, poor support & can't get refund
Support is non existent only auto replies from a bot. even if you turn off...
Michael Weser
Mar. 31, 2022
Support SERIOUSLY Lacking!!!
I have been trying to get support for a licensing issue and now a refund...
Our Verdict
Raven Wu
Raven Wu
Writer
While Malwarebytes only offers essential protections, it does them well. Malwarebytes has good malware detection rates, web protection, and pretty neat extra features like a VPN. If you’re a beginner user and want an antivirus that runs straight out of the box, it’s one of the better options on the market. Avast is also super beginner-friendly, and it offers more features than Malwarebytes. While some of them (like the VPN) are disappointing, others (like the clean-up tools and Rescue Disk) are really good. Malwarebytes has a 60-day money-back guarantee, while Avast offers 30 days risk-free.
Time To Decide Which One Is Best For You

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find the best antivirus for me?

The first thing to do is to understand what you need — all antiviruses come with different internet security tools to help you stay protected, so identifying what level of protection you want will help you figure out which product is right for you.

Some antiviruses have a virtual private network (VPN), some have safe browsing extensions, and some have a password manager. Some only work on certain operating systems, while others cover all operating systems across multiple devices.

It’s important to compare the best antiviruses on the market to find the perfect one with the functionality you need.

What makes an antivirus secure?

A high-quality antivirus suite will detect, flag, and remove viruses and various types of malware. It will also offer real-time protection against all threats, regardless of whether you are browsing the internet, downloading software, shopping online, or opening email. For additional security, many antivirus suites offer a VPN, secure storage, and a password manager — these things all add several layers of protection against various cyber threats.

For more information on how antiviruses work, read this.

What do I need to look for when searching for an antivirus?

An antivirus needs to protect against all types of malware — trojans, rootkits, worms, spyware, viruses, ransomware, and anything else that might cause damage to your devices. This is done in a variety of ways, but the most essential feature of an antivirus is real-time protection — this makes sure that an active threat is effectively stopped before anything serious can happen.

Other things to look for include — excellent detection rates, fast system performance, included extra features (like a VPN, password manager, etc.), easy-to-use interface, good customer support, and overall value.

Go here for a list of the best antivirus software of 2024.

How do I know if one antivirus is better than another?

When researching antiviruses, it’s a good idea to visit a few well-known antivirus software websites such as Norton, McAfee, and Bitdefender to directly compare each antivirus’s features.

You can also look at the expert opinions of our reviewers at SafetyDetectives.com to find the most up-to-date and unbiased information about the best cybersecurity products on the market today.

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