Real-World Test: Malwarebytes vs. Windows Security

Antivirus software is always a first choice for users who install WINDOWS 11. Malware is always a major concern for the users of computer systems. With so many scams, viruses circulated online especially in Windows because millions of users use pirated versions of Windows. But just what is the best antivirus software for Windows and Max users? In this blog post, we are doing a brief comparison of Malwarebytes vs. Windows Security ( Defender).

Both antivirus come with great features and the capability to detect the latest malware in the system. Both are providing protection shields for Windows. Both are excellent software, we are comparing all features and what is the performance issue when used individually.

Feature Comparison Malwarebytes Free Antivirus vs. Windows Security

Malwarebytes FreeWindows Security
Virus Scanner☑️☑️
Anti-Ransomware☑️
Firewall☑️
VPN
Browser Protection☑️☑️
Anti-spam☑️☑️
Parent Control☑️

Importance of antivirus software

Every day many small businesses and computer systems are hacked by cybercriminals and lose hundreds of millions. According to the special record by Cyberwarfare In The C-Suite.

Cybercrime To Cost The World $10.5 Trillion Annually By 2025.

Source: cybersecurityventures.com

So here some important facts about using antivirus in a system are:

  • Antivirus program prevents malware, trojans, worms, and other type of cyberattacks. It is one of the main reasons for the slowing down of computer systems. Also helps to damage your device from viruses.
  • It protects our personal information from being stolen such as passwords, credit card details, banking details, and social media account login details. Also helps to stop the misuse of this information by hackers.
  • Antivirus safeguards your important data such as photos, videos, and documents from being locked due to ransomware. It also helps to set up corruption by the malware in systems.
  • It helps us to remain safe online by stopping online hacking attempts. It makes the internet safer for blocking inappropriate content online.
  • It enhances the security of a computer system.

Malwarebytes vs. Windows Security Features

Real-time protection

Windows Security or Windows Defender provides real-time protection but Malwarebytes Free does not include real-time protection. If you want to use Real-time protection in Malwarebytes you need to choose premium plans.

Why Real-time protection does matter?

Real-time protection is always active behind the corner. It means when malicious activity such as virus installing, malware trying to connect with the server, etc. it is blocked by the antivirus immediately. That is why real-time protection is important for any computer system.

  • Realtime is a crucial part of any anti-virus program that acts as an extra layer of security between the system and malware.
  • It helps prevent malicious attacks before they occur. It detects and blocks potentially harmful files or software that can be malware.
  • It protects against cyberattacks and safeguards a computer system from cyber threats. For example, malware scripts, network threats, spyware, and viruses spread through malicious websites.
  • It provides Enhanced Security by continuously monitoring computer systems in real-time. It provides defense against emerging threats, ensuring your computer system remains safe.

Malware removal tools in Malwarebytes vs. Windows security

Free Malwarebytes and Widows security provide excellent protection against malware. Both are capable of removing malware, viruses, trojans, and spyware within the computer. Both are designed to detect installed as well as new viruses.

Real-World Test: Malwarebytes vs. Windows Security 1Real-World Test: Malwarebytes vs. Windows Security 2
Malwarebytes vs. Windows security

Malwarebytes offers to scan and remove viruses, malware, spyware, and ransomware with the free versions. Malwarebytes free antivirus includes the latest technology used to block all types of malware. Malwarebytes provides anti-malware tools that find and remove threats like viruses, ransomware, spyware, adware, and Trojans.

Whereas Microsoft provides an offline scan option for malware removal that scans malware and finds it in Safe Mode. In Windows safe mode, only necessary services work so that easy to delete files when a malicious file is in it.

Ransomware protection Malwarebytes vs. Windows Security

After a wannacry ransomware attack, ransomware comes to light. According to Kaspersky

As the ransomware spread beyond Europe, computer systems in 150 countries were crippled. The WannaCry ransomware attack had a substantial financial impact worldwide. It is estimated this cybercrime caused $4 billion in losses across the globe.

source: Kaspersky

Ransomware is a type of malware that is designed to lock i.e. encrypt cybersecurity term files or entire computer system. To unlock, hackers demand ransomware in exchange for a decrypted key. It can cause significant damage to any businesses and computer systems.

So it is essential to provide Anti-ransomware tools in the computer systems. Here are some reasons why Anti-ransomware is important for the computer:

  • It helps to block ransomware attacks online or offline within the system so that it protects against Data Loss.
  • It Protects the Computer System against the new emerging ransomware and prevents it before it damages your system.
  • It helps to minimize business loss. Anti-ransomware avoids paying the ransom if your business data files are hacked by ransomware.

Browser protection Malwarebytes vs. Windows Security

Sometimes users without knowing about the sites, go to websites that are used by cybercriminals to spread malware to the users. Browser protection is very important to safeguard online protection and security.

Microsoft installs Microsoft Defender SmartScreen in the browser to defend the user if any malware is installed from the browser.

Malwarebytes offers free Malwarebytes Browser Guard to users to stop online hacking attempts.

The internet is a vast network of data and information, and no doubt it provides us useful knowledge. But also the truth is it is full of scams. It also exposes us to various online threats.

There are several ways to protect yourself from these threats, and one of them is by using browser protection. Browser protection tools such as Microsoft Defender Browser Protection can help you stay safe online by providing real-time protection against online threats like phishing and malicious websites 1. It checks the URLs you visit against a constantly updated list of malicious URLs known to Microsoft. If the URL matches one on the list, it will show a red warning screen letting you know that the web page you are about to visit is known to be harmful 1.

In addition to browser protection tools, there are other ways to protect yourself online. For example, you can use strong passwords, avoid clicking on suspicious links

Winner: Windows Security

Malwarebytes

About Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes Inc. is an American Internet security company formally known as Malwarebytes Anti-malware. It has offices in Santa Clara, California; Clearwater, Florida; Tallinn, Estonia, Bastia Umbra, and Italy. Malwarebytes Inc. was informally established in 2004.

Source: Malwarebytes

Here is the overview of Malwarebytes

A. Rootkit scanner

Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit Scanner is a free malware scanning tool offered to detect rootkit vulnerabilities and find loopholes. Rootkits are one of the most dangerous and difficult types of malware to find and remove. Hackers use rootkit malware to get access to computers remotely. Rootkits can infect computers via emails.

Malwarebytes protects a computer system to block and remove rootkit malware. It uses machine learning-based anomaly detection and behavioral heuristics to detect rootkits. Malwarebytes Premium gives you advanced protection and stops rootkits.

B. Trojans Scanner

Malwarebytes free trojans scanner scans trojans horse from device and removes from the computers. It slows the computer and sometimes stop application and software from running. Trojan viruses use social engineering to trick users, which can be installed with legitimate software. Trojans are not only damage to Windows PCs, Windows laptops, and desktop computers, It can also impact Macs and mobile devices.

How to know a computer system has a trojan virus?

  1. Lots of desktop popups
  2. Slow computers
  3. Application crash before start
  4. The software won’t run
  5. Annluyind ads pop-up
  6. Automatically install programs

C. Full system Virus scanner

Malwarebytes offers custom scans, quick scans, and full system scans to the users. To use it, download and install a free virus scanner then scan the full system files. Malwarebytes scanner blocks viruses, trojan horses, ransomware, worms, trick bots, and banking viruses. Malwarebytes scanner score continuously more than 5 out of 6 in the Av-test.org testing. Thats a great sign of using a free anti-virus program.

Malwarebytes free offer in Windows 3 types of scans

  1. Threat scan
  2. Custom scan
  3. Quick scan

Malwarebytes are really good anti-malware software that detects hidden malware, that is not blocked by Microsoft Security in Windows 11. The Quickscan takes 5 minutes and detects almost all malware in a system.

D. Ransomware Protection with Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes launches separate Anti-ransomware free of cost to the user, later it is implemented with Malwarebytes antivirus. But still, you can download and use it.

Why ransomware tool is necessary for computers?

  1. If you read cybersecurity news, hundreds of news stories are available about the Loss of data, and businesses due to ransomware attacks. The best way to stop ransomware attacks is to use an anti-ransomware tool.
  2. Even Ransomware can affect MAC and Android phones, not just Windows devices. In short, it is a danger for all devices.

E. Spyware scanner

Spyware is designed to spy and steal information like personal data, credit card details, and sensitive data. Common spyware symptoms are unauthorized browser installation in Windows, Changing the Homepage in the browser, login alert by someone trying to access your account, weird file activity like password change, and sluggish Widnws performance.

Malwarebytes provides free protection with an antivirus solution to the user and blocks emerging spyware within the system. Malwarebytes uses anti-spyware scanners to search for spyware on computer and mobile devices and sniff out threats.

Malwarebytes free tool uses AI and machine learning techniques to detect malware and viruses and keep users safe online.

F. Comparison with other antivirus software

Malwarebytes FreeAvast FreeAVG FreeKaspersky FreeBitdefender Free
Virus Scan 
Real-Time Protection
Anti-Ransomware
Firewall
VPN
Browser Extension
Anti-Spyware
Anti-Spam

Windows Defender

Windows Security or Windows Defender is a free built-in antivirus that comes with Windows OS. In Windows 7, Microsoft provides a basic malware removal tool for the users, but with emerging Internet users, millions of malware are spread by hackers in one day.

In Windows 10, Microsoft provides robust security solutions to the users. Windows Defender is free and helps users to keep safe and secure.

A. Overview of Windows Defender

Microsoft Defender or Windows Security comes with full-packed features for the users. Many features are offered free by Microsoft Windows that come with paid anti-virus. It provides regular updates, patches, and removal malware security updates every month. If you need basic anti-virus software, you can run an anti-virus program on your computer.

B. Features and benefits of Windows Defender

1. Microsoft Defender Antivirus

Microsoft offers free robust scanning against malware, ransomware, spyware, and worms to users. It is an in-built anti-virus, that keeps always safe and secure our computer. Microsoft Windows Security Antivirus is real-time protection, always on and monitoring the malicious activity in your computer.

2. Virus Scanner

Microsoft Security provides basic anti-virus with regular security updates, so you don’t need to worry about your system protection. It also offers security when you are using Bluetooth headsets, mice, keyboards, or other wireless accessories, you can stay safe and feel confident that it’s a secure connection. Windows Security has 4 Scan options:

  • Quick Scan
  • Full Scan
  • Custom Scan
  • Offline Scan
Windows security Scan option, Malwarebytes vs. Windows Security
Windows security Scan option

C. Microsoft Defender SmartScreen

Microsoft Defender SmartScreen is a built-in feature in Windows Security that helps to protect your computer from malicious software, and phishing websites when you download files on it. Sometimes, it disables a website that is not a spammy site. Also when we download free content on a website, it blocks the website.

It works when you sonwload potentially inflected apps, software or files in Windows OS.

D. Windows Firewall

Malwarebytes does not provide a firewall whether you use the free or premium version. Windows OS has an inbuilt firewall that is known as Windows Firewall. It is also available on Windows 7, 10, and Windows 11. You can block software to get internet access and block malicious network activity.

But the main problem of Windows Firewall is User Interface. It is not easy to understand, and also not as powerful as Avast free firewall. It provides basic protection, whenever you install malware, it disables the Windows Firewall very easily.

F. Virtual private networks (VPN)

However, VPN does not come with Windows Security but many free apps are available in Windows Store. You can download, and install and ways to use free VPN from the Windows store. VPN provides an extra layer for any system against online viruses. A VPN helps to encrypt incoming and outgoing data so the danger of malware can be reduced.

G. Smart App Control

Microsoft always provides innovative features to the users. The one feature is Smart APP Control. It monitors apps and protects against emerging threats by blocking apps that can be harmful to computers. It also helps to block a potentially unwanted application that runs in the background.

Smart App Control features work along with any security software, such as Microsoft Windows Security or any antivirus tools, It is useful to add protection.  

Smart App Control is available only on Windows 11.

How does Smart App Control work?

Smart App Control on Windows performs a thorough security check before allowing the execution of any app. By leveraging our intelligent cloud-powered security service, it assesses the app’s safety and makes a confident prediction.

If the service determines the app to be safe, Smart App Control permits its execution. However, if the app is flagged as potentially malicious or unwanted, Smart App Control promptly blocks it. In cases where our security service cannot confidently assess the app’s safety, Smart App Control examines whether the app possesses a valid signature.

If a valid signature is found, Smart App Control grants permission for the app to run. Conversely, if the app is unsigned or has an invalid signature, Smart App Control considers it untrusted and blocks its execution to ensure your protection.

H. Microsoft Authenticator App

Microsoft also provides a free password manager app that is available on almost all device platforms such as Windows, Android, Mac, and iPhone. It also comes with a Microsoft Edge browser.

It helps to scan leaked passwords, suggests strong passwords, and saves your all passwords in one application.

I. Comparison with other antivirus software

Windows SecurityAvastFreeAVG FREEKASPERSKY FREEPanda Security FreeTotal AV FREE
Real-time Protection✅ ✅ ✅ ✅ ✅ 
Virus Scanner✅ ✅ ✅ ✅ ✅ ✅ 
Firewall✅ ✅ ✅ 
Browser Protection✅ ✅ ✅ ✅ ✅ ✅ 
Anti-Ransomware✅ ✅ ✅ ✅ ✅ ✅ 
Spyware✅ ✅ ✅ ✅ ✅ ✅ 

Performance and Impact on System Resources of Malwarebytes vs. Windows Security

Before We start the Performance, how many resources are required by Malwarebytes vs. Windows Security consume. So we get better ideas of which antivirus affects the Windows 11 performance.

MalwareBytes FreeWindows Security
Boot-up Time57 Second44 Second
Ram Aquired327 MB Avg.365 MB Avg.
CPU Load25%32%
Quick Scan Time
For Complete
5 min. 32 Sec.4 Min. 43 Sec.

Malwarebytes

1. Lightweight and minimal impact on system resources

Malware consumes 75% of CPU power when used to scan files. Sometimes it reaches 90% but cools down immediately. The User Experience is very smooth when I am using it.

Real-World Test: Malwarebytes vs. Windows Security 3

2. Fast scanning and efficient threat detection

It took 2 minutes to finish Quick Scan and 21 Minutes to scan FUll Computers Files. I have 68 GB of data in C Drive, So it finishes quickly and scans too fast. Also, I kept 12 malware files in the .zip folder, and it detected only 1 File. That is not good for malware scanner software.

Windows Defender

Windows Defender is inbuilt protection for the Windows OS, so we can expect not to require the resources for background runs.

Real-World Test: Malwarebytes vs. Windows Security 4

In Background, Antimalware Service Executable service is running. It is Windows Security Background Service which can be found on Task Manager. It occupies 15-20% CPU power when not using Windows Security, which is too much. When we use another anti-virus software, it automatically stops the background.

When we run a scan, Windows Security consumes up to 70% CPU and around 600 MB of RAM. That is not high when we use Malwarebytes for scanning.

Winner: Windows Security

User Experience of Malwarebytes vs. Windows Security

Malwarebytes

1. Intuitive and user-friendly interface

There are tens of Antivirus available on the MArkets, Malwarebytes is one of the best lightweight Anti-virus in terms of loading speed, and Simple Interface. Not too much confusing configuration in Malwarebytes like Kaspersky Antivirus, simple settings, and Options on the Front Page.

2. Clear and easy-to-understand navigation

Malwarebytes uses simple and clean navigation for their Anti-virus. You can watch in the Videos. Just click and scan start, on the front page, and you can disable the Anti-virus within a few seconds. No need to find the setting like other Anti-viruses.

Windows Defender:

Microsoft Security user Interface does not look like a modern Design, it’s just like when you open the Settings in Windows 10 And 11.

Microsoft Security offers great features like firewall, browser protection, app and browser control, and health & device performance. Some settings are not easy to understand and confusing when to find them.

Microsoft Security
Microsoft Security

Winner: Malwarebytes

Malware Detection and Protection of Malwarebytes vs. Windows Security

Malwarebytes

Excellent malware detection rates

malwarebytes av-test
source:https://www.av-test.org

Malwarebytes Free is a great antivirus security program but in terms of protection, it is not good as Windows Security. I kept 12 malware files in my system, malware detected only 1 file while Windows Security kept all files in the folder. That does not mean Malwarebytes antivirus is not good, in my experience no antivirus is as good as Malwarebytes when finding older viruses from systems.

Malwarebytes uses Advanced heuristic scanning and is Effective against zero-day threats.

SafetyDetectives has reported that Malwarebytes has a detection rate of approximately 95%, which falls within the industry average. It is worth mentioning that the accuracy of this detection rate may differ based on the type of malware being tested and the specific methodology used for testing.

Source:SafetyDetectives

Windows Defender:

Solid malware detection capabilities

Windows Security https://www.av-test.org
source:https://www.av-test.org

Windows Security is not as bad as many people think about it. Microsoft provides excellent protection to the users. According to the AV-Test Org, it gave continuously 6 out of 6 in terms of protection.

According to a report released by Comparitech, Windows Defender successfully prevented 10,036 offline threats during a Malware Protection Test conducted in March 2022, resulting in a protection score of 99.96%.

Siurce: Comparitech

Winner: Windows Security

Pricing and plans of Malwarebytes vs. Windows Security

Windows SecurityMalwareBytes FreeMalwarebytes
Premium
FreeFreeUS$5.00per month 
(US$59.99 billed annually)
malwarebytes.com
source: malwarebytes.com

Alternatives to Malwarebytes and Microsoft Defender

1. Avast

Avast provides free antivirus and one of the best free solutions to the user. More than 300 Million people use Avast antivirus for their devices.

2. AVG Free

Avg is another free solution for the user who wants free anti-virus. One of the greatest features of AVG is UI, it is a simple and clean user interface. It also provides a firewall to control your Internet and applications that require the Internet.

3. Bitdefender Antivirus Free for Windows:

It offers advanced protection and is known for its simplicity. But the main issue with Bitdefender Antivirus, it provides only Bascis protection. Also, the User interface looks very old.

These Free antivirus software have been tested time to time and ranked by AV-TEST.ORG, a reputable source for antivirus testing.

Final Words

The choice between Malwarebytes and Windows Security depends on your personal preferences and needs. Both programs provide efficient malware protection, but Malwarebytes is ideal for users who prioritize real-time protection and ransomware prevention. On the other hand, Windows Security offers a more comprehensive range of security features, making it a better option for those seeking a broader suite of protections. Whichever program you select, remember to regularly update your antivirus software and take other necessary precautions to safeguard your computer against malware.

Inderjeet

Inderjeet

Hi, I am Inderjeet, and welcome to my blog on cybersecurity. I started this blog to share my insights, tips, and experiences on various topics related to plants, shrubs, juniper and how to care indoor gardern.
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