Bitdefender vs. Malwarebytes: Which Is Better in 2023?

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

Bitdefender vs. Malwarebytes: Which Is Right for You?

Katarina Glamoslija
Katarina Glamoslija
Head Content Manager

Bitdefender vs. Malwarebytes: Which Is Right for You?

Bitdefender and Malwarebytes are two very different antivirus options with their own features and benefits. Bitdefender is a full-featured internet security suite with perfect malware detection rates, while Malwarebytes is a simplistic, minimalistic antivirus that is best suited to beginners and non-techy users.

Bitdefender vs. Malwarebytes: Final Verdict:

  • 1st place: Bitdefender vs. Malwarebytes: Final Verdict:
  • 2nd place: Bitdefender vs. Malwarebytes: Final Verdict:

Bitdefender is better for overall security, features, and price. If you want one of the best internet security suites in 2023, go with Bitdefender.

Malwarebytes is better for beginners. If you want a simple, streamlined, easy-to-use antivirus, go with Malwarebytes.

Bitdefender vs. Malwarebytes: Malware Protection

Bitdefender’s cloud-based anti-malware engine is one of the best out there. It uses a combination of machine learning and a huge malware directory to detect all kinds of malware. And because most scanning happens in the cloud, it’s very lightweight, meaning there’s no impact on your device’s performance during the scans.

In my tests, Bitdefender’s full scan caught every single malware sample. I downloaded hundreds of samples onto my computer for the tests, including viruses, trojans, ransomware, and cryptojackers. What’s more, the full disk scan only took 1 hour, and it didn’t slow my computer down at all.

Bitdefender’s real-time protection is also excellent. It caught 100% of the malware in my tests, blocking every dangerous file before it had the chance to download. Bitdefender also allows for a lot of customization with its real-time protection, which will be appreciated by advanced users.

Visit Bitdefender

Malwarebytes has a good anti-malware engine that is able to detect and block the vast majority of malware on both Windows and Mac devices. It uses a malware database combined with heuristic analysis to detect threats, and it offers a range of scan options as well as real-time protection.

Malwarebytes found 95% of the malware samples I hid on my device, and its real-time protection blocked 98% of the malware files I tried to download. This isn’t as good as top competitors like Norton and Bitdefender, but it’s a good industry average.

But Malwarebytes’s scanner took over 3 hours to scan my entire disk, which is longer than many other antiviruses. And it doesn’t have a default full disk scan option, so you have to choose this manually in a custom scan.

Visit Malwarebytes

Bitdefender vs. Malwarebytes: Web Security

Bitdefender provides exceptional protection against phishing scams and a wide range of other web-based threats. It cross-checks every website you visit against a huge database of known dangerous sites and automatically blocks access to any matches — and in my tests, it successfully blocked 100% of the dangerous sites I tried to access

It also provides a handy pop-up when a site is blocked, listing the site and the reason, and allows you to easily whitelist a site if you’re 100% sure of a false positive.

Visit Bitdefender

Malwarebytes offers good web protection via its browser extension, Browser Guard. The extension works with Chrome, Edge, and Firefox, and it protects against phishing, trackers, pop-up ads, and PUPs (potentially unwanted programs). This extension is also available completely free.

Browser Guard blocked 90% of the known phishing sites I tried to access, which is pretty good. However, the ad blocker wasn’t as effective, only blocking around 35% of ads on the various sites I visited.

Visit Malwarebytes

Bitdefender vs. Malwarebytes: Features

Bitdefender’s various plans cover between 1 and 10 devices and include the following features:

  • Advanced malware detection and real-time protection.
  • Web protection.
  • Firewall.
  • Secure browser.
  • VPN (limited to 200 MB/day on most plans).
  • Parental controls.
  • Wi-Fi network protection.
  • System optimization tools.
  • File shredder.
  • Password manager.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • And much more…

Bitdefender has an excellent variety of additional tools and features, which all work very well. The parental controls are some of the best around, with a wide range of useful features — most of which are highly customizable. The file shredder and secure browser are also really nice additions.

Bitdefender’s VPN is on a par with many standalone VPNs, and on the top-tier Premium Security plan, it comes with unlimited data, making that plan an extremely good-value option for anyone looking for both a quality antivirus and a VPN.

The password manager is okay but a little too basic in my opinion, especially as it’s only included free on the top-tier plan.

Visit Bitdefender

Malwarebytes covers up to 5 devices across Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, and it includes:

  • Malware scanning.
  • Real-time protection.
  • Web and anti-phishing protection.
  • VPN (premium plan only).
  • 60-day money-back guarantee.

Malwarebytes’s features are all pretty good, and the malware scanner and web protections are both available on its free plan. However, it has far fewer features than most top competitors — missing things such as a firewall, dark web monitoring, parental controls, and system optimization tools — and the real-time protection is good but not perfect. So its paid plans aren’t as good a value as many other antiviruses.

Malwarebytes’s VPN has good privacy protections and decent speeds, but it’s not able to access streaming sites or support torrenting, and it doesn’t have a kill switch, so it’s not really worth the extra cost.

Visit Malwarebytes

Bitdefender vs. Malwarebytes: Ease of Use

Bitdefender is well designed, easy to use, and intuitive. All features are easy to find and access on its desktop app, with large buttons and a simple and intuitive categorization. There are also a lot of customization options for the various features, as well as the dashboard itself, and everything is easy to find and use.

The mobile apps are also good. The Android app in particular is really feature-rich and has an attractive and intuitive interface. The iOS app is surprisingly limited though, with just 3 features: web protection, breach monitoring, and a VPN.

Visit Bitdefender

Malwarebytes is a really intuitive and easy-to-use antivirus. It’s clean, simple, uncluttered, and very easy to navigate. As there are so few features, it takes no time at all to set up. You simply download the software and you’re away.

Malwarebytes’s mobile apps are also pretty good, although as is often the case, the Android app has a lot more functionality than the iOS app. However, they both have clean, easy-to-use interfaces and are decent options for beginners or less tech-savvy users in particular.

Visit Malwarebytes

Bitdefender vs. Malwarebytes: Customer Support

Bitdefender’s customer support is very good. It offers email support, live chat, phone support, a detailed knowledge database, and community support.

The live chat and phone support are both excellent. They’re available 24/7 in English, and during local working hours in a wide variety of other languages. There are also a large number of local phone numbers available, as well as more general “worldwide” and “European” phonelines.

My experience with Bitdefender’s support was always very good. I was connected quickly and received friendly and helpful responses every time.

Visit Bitdefender

Malwarebytes has okay customer support. It offers a good knowledge base, a chat bot, and email support. However, there is no live chat available with a real person, and there’s also no phone support.

The chat bot is basically a search function for the knowledge base, providing you with links to relevant articles. These articles are very informative and cover a wide range of issues in detail. However, if you need more help, email is your only option — and when I tested the email support, it usually took around 24 hours to receive a reply. This is a shame given there are no other more instant support options available.

Visit Malwarebytes

Starting Price
Money Back Guarantee
Free Trial
30 Days
60 Days
Ease of Use
Latest Positive Review*User reviews are not verified
Dec. 6, 2020
Excellent Antivirus
This antivirus is very helpful and quickly blocks unsafe websites and...
Derek R. Freeman
May 26, 2020
Great AV
I run five A-V Anti Malware programs and only BitDefender finds the...
Jul. 23, 2021
I had a shit tone of malware left after a ransomware attack and it removed...
Gucci G
Feb. 12, 2021
i had a "yahoo virus", the virus was deleted within a few minutes
Latest Negative Review*User reviews are not verified
David Alden
Sep. 2, 2022
Having tried various platforms
Having tried various platforms all starting up with amounts to start up...
Aug. 24, 2022
Pop-up Ads even when Paid for Subscription
Total Security comes with 'Wallet' for passwords but rather than improve...
Michael Weser
Mar. 31, 2022
Support SERIOUSLY Lacking!!!
I have been trying to get support for a licensing issue and now a refund...
bob venezia
Mar. 23, 2022
poor customer support
bought subscription for 3 devices thinking it would cover my laptop and...
Our Verdict
Katarina Glamoslija
Katarina Glamoslija
Head Content Manager
Bitdefender is one of the best antivirus suites available in 2023. Its malware scanner and real-time protection both scored 100% in my tests, it has a huge selection of useful extra features, some of the cheapest plans on the market, and it’s super lightweight — meaning it causes no slowdown on your device. Malwarebytes is a decent minimalistic and easy-to-use antivirus, but both the malware scanner and real-time protection missed a number of malware files that Bitdefender caught, and it’s missing a lot of the important additional protections that most antiviruses in 2023 include in their plans.
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 2023.

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 to find the most up-to-date and unbiased information about the best cybersecurity products on the market today.