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Consumer Reports bad Malwarebytes review

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I went to the ratings, (I have a subscription) and now CR is rating malwarebytes poorly and claims it costs $60.00:

 

OVERALL SCORE36
 
3480
 
ADD TO COMPARE

Malwarebytes Premium antivirus software

395974-antivirus-for-windows-malwarebytes-premium-61809.jpg
395974-antivirus-for-windows-malwarebytes-premium-61809.jpg
PRICE
$60.00
Shop 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
 
36

Malwarebytes Premium antivirus software

$60.00
ADD TO COMPARE
 

Scorecard

Protection 
Fair
On access 
Fair
On demand 
Fair
Ease of use 
Good
Messages/Interface 
Very Good
Help 
Poor
Anti-malware 
Good
Use of resources 
Very Good

Highs

Nothing noteworthy

Lows

  • Does not have informative help
  • Does not have a firewall
  • Does not have a spam filter
  • Does not have a parental filter
  • Does not have a password manager
  • Does not have back-up
  • Does not have e-mail protection

CRs Take

Malwarebytes Premium 2018 is a premium antivirus package that brings together its anti-malware, anti-exploit and anti-ransomware services into one new package. This package supports 3 devices and can run on Windows, MacOS, and Android operating systems. Unfortunately it conflicts with Windows 10 Defender. After a week or so it stopped using its own antivirus scanner and reverted to the Windows 10 Defender software without notifying the user. Our test results reflect the Malwarebytes antivirus engine which actually scored lower than the Windows Defender engine. Overall this is a package you should not purchase.

About

A fee-based antivirus suite for Windows X. A renewal fee is required each year.

Specs

Manufacturer's website 
Concise help 
No
Included firewall 
No
Spam filter 
No
Parental filter 
No
Banking Protection 
No
Tune-up function 
No
Password manager 
No
Anti-spyware 
Yes
Anti-ransomware 
Yes
Backup 
No
E-mail protection 
No

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But on the $28.50 malware premium rating, it says as follows for Startup Repair: (two different ratings online...which is newer...not sure.

 

Startup repair provides a way to recover when malware stops your PC from booting, even if you haven't created a repair disc with the software.

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Bet he believes everything the Liberal press says !!!

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I’m surprised the alt right knows how to turn the computer on. Or perhaps someone else did as an assist. In any event political remarks on this topic are inane and inappropriate.

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One other thing... advice from CR: free is fine for most people as long as you (my paraphrasing) don't do anything wrong.......LOL..... don't know who authored CR's article but plainly they had a neophyte doing the job.

Shopping Tips and Safety Measures

Free is fine for most people. As long as you surf safely—that is, you never download software from unfamiliar sites (these downloads might carry malicious software) or click on email links to access bank or other personal accounts (these links are favorite tools for cyberthieves)—the free antivirus programs we recommend should adequately protect you.

Make sure Windows firewall is on to help block malware and keep malicious websites from grabbing data off your computer.

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Agreed with next-to-last comment...please stay on topic no matter how strong the urge to digress.

Edited by gonzo

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Guess I hit a nerve. Anyone that posts something like this on a programs forum is someone just trying to cause trouble. Consumer reports is  in ,NO WAY , even a place for security software reviews. There have been other reviews about software that were totally off base. 

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The nerve hit  is the swaggering presumptuousness of crabbed bumpkins our of their depth. 

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If you were replying to me Ken W

Quote

 Anyone that posts something like this on a programs forum is someone just trying to cause trouble. 

... I posted the CR stuff because I thought it interesting it was so off the mark, but that begs the point... it is actually the self appointed forum police, such as yourself, causing trouble through flippant comments.  This is a pretty good forum... I sure hope the moderators do not allow it to be overtaken by self-appointed message board guardians.

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1 hour ago, lock said:

VB100, AV Comparatives, AV Test.

... is generated by MBAM itself. We need a "third party " certification not self proclaiming.

All over the internet there are hundreds of security solutions which will proclaim themselves as being the best thing since sliced bread. 

All those tests you mentioned are pretty much useless precisely because they are so limited in scope.  They take a handful of samples (often multiple copies of the same threat/family, especially these days) and then test against it with the various products and use that to gauge a product's efficacy.  It's a flawed, outdated methodology, especially now with modern threats being so diverse and using more complex delivery methods (i.e. you no longer click on a bad link and receive a malicious executable; more often than not, you get hit with a scam site trying to convince you you're infected or you get an exploit embedded in a malvertisement on an otherwise safe/legit website) and these are the types of threats and attacks that Malwarebytes is very good at stopping.

The data isn't a self-proclamation because it is raw data, not just marketing claims like those you'd see from other vendors.  It's real data pulled in real-time from real-world systems, so the numbers are allowed to speak for themselves.  It never says that Malwarebytes is better than product X because Y; it simply shows where each AV was installed on a system and how many times it occurred that a Malwarebytes scan revealed an infection on that system, meaning that the AV must have missed it.  That's all.  I wish other vendors would publish similar data for their own products as a means of legitimate comparison and that someone would do some kind of long term real-world testing project using valid testing methodologies to reveal which products cut it and which ones don't, but unfortunately there's not a lot of money in such a venture so we end up with the same old, outdated methods being used to test security software that were used decades ago back when the threats and the security software were very different from what they are today.  Now the threats change too much and too rapidly to reliably replicate the same infection/attack chain twice, much less 10 or 20 times to test all the different security programs so it becomes moot.  All I can say is that people need to find what works for them, that suits their needs and keeps them safe because that's ultimately all that matters.  Relying on so-called tests and paid reviews is a good way to get yourself infected, or at the very least end up with an expensive piece of software that you don't enjoy using.

If you like Malwarebytes and find it to be effective, then use it.  If you don't, or you want an AV onboard as an additional layer of protection then go for it.  No one is twisting anyone's arm to use one product over another here, even though this is the official Malwarebytes forum.  You'll find that the folks behind Malwarebytes are far more interested in making their products effective than they are in skewing public opinion by flashing awards and reviews in everyone's faces trying to increase profits.  That's the very reason they offer the free version in the first place and a free, fully functional trial because they believe (and after all these years have found it to be true) that when users see a product in action and see how effective it is, they'll choose to purchase it.  That's why Malwarebytes has grown so much over the past several years even as many more competitors have come on the market in this space, because they have remained focused on what matters most: keeping systems clean of infection.

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The main point is that Malwarebytes is not an AntiVirus programme. - So comparing it to other AntiVirus programmes is misleading and a waste of everyones time.

If I entered a cat into a dog show I'd expect it to be judged poorly because, although it looks a bit similar, it's not a dog.
I'd also expect it to get attacked by the competition. (Wonderful how you can stretch some metaphors).

Edited by nukecad

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34 minutes ago, nukecad said:

The main point is that Malwarebytes is not an AntiVirus programme. - So comparing it to other AntiVirus programmes is misleading and a waste of everyones time.

If I entered a cat into a dog show I'd expect it to be judged poorly because, although it looks a bit similar, it's not a dog.
I'd also expect it to get attacked by the competition. (Wonderful how you can stretch some metaphors).

Most antivirus programs are no longer true antivirus programs because true computer viruses haven't existed in the wild for several years now, with the last one seen, I believe, being the final variants of Virut which themselves were in fact so broken that files infected by it could not reliably be cleaned/disinfected by the AVs that attempted to do so (or even the targeted Virut disinfection tools developed separately by many AV vendors for this purpose; something many major AV vendors do these days for any true computer viruses since their remediation engines now often lack file disinfection technology, just like Malwarebytes).

The lines are very much blurred now, and technically speaking, malware is a sub-class of software of which viruses are a sub-category (all viruses are malware, but not all malware are viruses) so in theory, any comprehensive anti-malware *should* be capable of dealing with viruses, and in some limited capacity, Malwarebytes is in that it will detect a virus dropper/installer and even a virus infected file, but the difference is, if a file on the system is infected by the virus (i.e. an existing file that was clean before the virus appended its code to it) Malwarebytes will not be able to disinfect the file to make it clean again, but as I already mentioned, most actual antiviruses can't do that these days either and their techniques share much more with the Malware Protection/scan engine component of Malwarebytes than they once did as they have begun to evolve based on the direction that most modern threats have taken and as older disinfection techniques have fallen by the wayside as the bad guys have changed up their methods of attack.

One day true computer viruses may make a return, but it's not too likely given how damaging they are, usually breaking the basic functions of the files they infect, meaning it's very easy for them to render a system unbootable and/or unable to reach the web, both of which are requirements for any modern threat now that the goal is to make money, not just to infect (and possibly irreversibly damage) as many systems as possible.

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On 8/8/2018 at 4:04 AM, ingber said:

I have a subscription to CR.  I just wrote them:

"I've been a member since 2001, and have consulted CR quite a bit before purchases.  However, the sole review on Malwarebytes is complete nonsense by a single complete fool.  It obviously has been published in CR without any due diligence -- not at all what I expect of CR!"

They replied:

"Dear Lester,

Thank you for contacting us. We value you as a member and are here to help quickly with your request.

Here at Consumer Reports we understand and respect the fact that at times our readers are dissatisfied with or disagree with the content of a report or rating we may publish. While we don’t expect all our readers to follow our point of view, whether they are seeking information about a specific product, general buying advice or critical safety information, we do realize the importance of our expert, unbiased and independent product testing that so many look to us for.

Please be assured that our readers' feedback plays a strong role in the work that we do. Because of this I have taken the liberty of sharing your feedback regarding our report on Malwarebytes Antivirus Software with the appropriate members of our staff for their review and future consideration.  

We hope this information is helpful.

Much Appreciated,

XXX [my XXX]
Representative
Member Support"

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57 minutes ago, ingber said:

Malwarebytes Antivirus Software

That in itself tells us that they are putting Malwarebytes in an antivirus category which is the whole issue as others have stated...

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 Well I stopped renewing my subscription to Consumer Reports years ago when they started bashing every single car that wasn't a Toyota. Concerning MB I am a paid customer. I go by real world use. And I can honestly say that I will not be paying for MB again. I have never purchased a piece of software that constantly has as many problems as MB. And the usual response is to disable parts of the program until it's fixed in the next release. Problem is that when the next release comes out either the problem is still not fixed or we have new problems that are introduced. I paid for the software. I do not want to turn off parts of the protection to make the software work. I will use MB in the future as a stand alone scanner with the free version. I have given MB plenty of time to fix the software and they have failed.

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Well Ram, I get where you are coming from...two things though...

I have not had any problems with Malwarebytes since the January episode where it trashed my computer hard drive, requiring replacement.  I was not happy about that and Malwarebytes and I did resolve the issue through a somewhat amicable resolution not requiring Malwarebytes to come up with any cash....... no big deal....point is you and others may have had problems but not all of us.  All of my modules have been and are working since January.  I have never had to disable anything on Malwarebytes.

Still, I would be much more concerned if Malwarebytes was my only protection but its not... I rely primarily on Kaspersky, especially for my office computer, where no matter how much I try to caution my secretaries, they still click on dangerous links.  But Kaspersky mail scanner has caught most of those and those that got by the mail scanner were tagged by other Kaspersky modules.

And then there is Malwarebytes.  Its there just in case...also it has blocked a few exploits and has blocked quite a few rogue websites not flagged by Kaspersky.

 

I still would not rely on Malwarebytes for primary protection, not compared to programs like Kaspersky, but I feel more secure having malwarebytes running in the background and plan to use it indefinitely...so long as another January never occurs.

 

 

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Hello, all--

To provide you all with an accurate, fair and honest response, we have reached out to Consumer Reports directly to determine the exact testing methodologies and sample selection process used to test Malwarebytes Premium.  It is our belief at Malwarebytes that providing you with unverified, unconfirmed and speculative statements regarding the test, or the testing organization, would not alleviate your concerns and could lead to incorrect information that might impact Malwarebytes, Consumer Reports and especially you, our loyal customers.

Once we hear back from Consumer Reports, we will communicate back to you via our blog to clear up any misinformation that may have occurred.

Thanks for your continued support.

Malwarebytes Team

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Some good points in this thread, but one correction is needed. Malwarebytes ITSELF markets the Premium product as an antivirus replacement since version 3, therefore, it WILL get compared to AVs and be categorised as such.

I'd never use it alone, it sits on top of the very capable (these days) Windows Defender. I do think MWB being classed as an AV is unfortunately somewhat misleading, even false in my personal opinion and many will disagree with me, but I see it as more of a commercial decision by MWB rather than a technical one.

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2 hours ago, AP2012 said:

Some good points in this thread, but one correction is needed. Malwarebytes ITSELF markets the Premium product as an antivirus replacement since version 3, therefore, it WILL get compared to AVs and be categorised as such.

I'd never use it alone, it sits on top of the very capable (these days) Windows Defender. I do think MWB being classed as an AV is unfortunately somewhat misleading, even false in my personal opinion and many will disagree with me, but I see it as more of a commercial decision by MWB rather than a technical one.

Just to add, although I'm not currently using MWB alone, but on top of Windows Defender, I was not clear in my comment above saying that I'd "never" use MWB alone. What I meant to say is that I would not run it alone with the current version 3.5x, I tried earlier this year. As the MWB Premium product evolves and improves, I'll certainly test it and if it works smoothly and reliably then I'll decide if WD is still needed or going with MWB alone is fine.

As far as the CR review is concerned, their reports are similar to the UK Which? consumer magazine in that they take a simplistic view of it. That's fine for some users, but for many of us who understand more about security products and have used different ones over many years, these high level consumer reviews are not helpful, at least not to me.

 

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Yes, Malwarebytes is marketed as an AV replacement, but the reason for that is not because of some new capabilities added to it to emulate old antivirus disinfection techniques, which is why it isn't being marketed as an antivirus.  AV replacement means that it is capable of preventing infection by the same broad landscape of modern threats faced by systems today on the web, rather than using some limited database that only detects a small sub-set of infections currently in the wild.  The reason for this is because with the addition of several new modules to the real-time protection layers, Malwarebytes is now capable of stopping attacks at multiple points in the attack chain without having to rely on huge databases of signatures and without having to capture samples of each individual malware infection after the fact.  This is because the signature-less behavior based components like Ransomware Protection and Exploit Protection do not use signatures and instead stop attacks by detecting and blocking the behaviors that these phases of an attack/attempted infection display on a system.

The information found in this page should help explain what I mean.

Additionally, the more recent anamolous threat detection engine which leverages cloud capabilities, Machine Learning (what most vendors refer to as "AI" when in fact there is no true Artificial Intelligence in existence at this time), as well as advanced heuristics algorithms adds another layer to the more traditional detection and protection capabilities in the Malware Protection engine of Malwarebytes to add even further to the 0-hour threat detection capabilities in Malwarebytes 3.

With all that said, it may be moot anyway, as I've been noticing a trend lately away from malware and towards more typical phishing scams, tech support scams, crypto currency mining, and PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) by the bad guys with only a sparse set of exploits and rootkits, usually being used in an attack to install/launch one of the items in those categories rather than being used to install actual malware (other than the rootkits themselves, obviously, which I've seen being used mostly to install/protect PUPs as with the SmartService infection and others like it) and I believe this is related to the increase in the use of mobile devices to access the web, and because they do not use Windows, creating Windows malware has become more akin to attacking Mac OS or Linux, especially with the security improvements in modern Windows versions with the advent of UAC and many of the features in Windows 10 as well as the improvements in 0-day threat detection by vendors like Malwarebytes as well as the big name AVs, most of which now take an at least somewhat layered approach to protection through the use of several different modules/components to protect systems/devices.  I do believe the transition to mobile is the biggest factor though, which also explains why Google Chrome has become the most widely used browser with the largest market share since many mobile devices are shipping with Chrome as the default/primary browser.  This makes Chrome a bigger target for exploits, but Windows a smaller target for malware simultaneously and the bad guys go where the profit is, and profit is in the numbers they can infect to harvest data from or control (i.e. through botnets etc.).

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5 hours ago, exile360 said:

AV replacement means that it is capable of preventing infection by the same broad landscape of modern threats faced by systems today on the web, rather than using some limited database that only detects a small sub-set of infections currently in the wild. 

Do you hear yourself???

Malwarebytes  marketed as an AV replacement means "dich your antivirus and use only malwarebytes" nothing else!

5 hours ago, exile360 said:

Malwarebytes is now capable of stopping attacks at multiple points in the attack chain without having to rely on huge databases of signatures

What happened with "Malwarebytes doesn't target older malwares than 6 months?

 

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55 minutes ago, lock said:

Malwarebytes  marketed as an AV replacement means "dich your antivirus and use only malwarebytes" nothing else!

What happened with "Malwarebytes doesn't target older malwares than 6 months?

 

Correct, it is marketed as an AV replacement because of the reasons I mentioned.  Because of all of these layers and working through the various phases of the attack chain (or kill chain as it is sometimes referred to), Malwarebytes is able to stop threats during different phases of an attempted infection event, rather than using a massive database of threat signatures for known infected PE files (executables) which would not only do nothing to prevent new threats (i.e. at 0-hour/0-day), but would also result in waiting until an infection is downloaded to the system and attempts to execute before trying to stop the attack.  Because Malwarebytes uses more advanced technologies like Exploit Protection, Web Protection and the new cloud and Machine Learning+heuristics algorithm technology in the anomalous threat detection engine, it is able to provide full protection without a massive database of hundreds of megabytes or more like a traditional AV would (which would also be a far less proactive approach, since doing so would only protect users from known threats, not new ones, and certainly not against file-less malware that doesn't use executables).

As for the question about 6 months, I've never heard that statement from any official source, and I actually have first-hand knowledge that this is not accurate.  Malwarebytes tracks stats on detections to determine which threats are still live in the wild, and when a threat is no longer being detected, its signatures are removed from the Malware Protection component's database which is the same database used by the primary component of the scan engine (though both the scan engine and Malware Protection also leverage heuristics as well as the anomalous threat detection engine with its cloud and Machine Learning capabilities).  Culling of threats from the database has no bearing whatsoever on technologies like Exploit Protection, Web Protection, Ransomware Protection and the anomalous threat detection engine so most of what makes Malwarebytes an effective, proactive malware prevention solution does not rely on targeted threat signatures/databases, so culling of threats from those databases for any reason would not impact the level of protection provided by Malwarebytes.  In fact, more often than not when items are culled from the database, it is not just because older threat signatures are removed because the threats they target are no longer found in the wild, it is also because newer heuristics signatures and algorithms have been implemented which cover/detect those threats in addition to more current/known threats as well as potentially large swaths of unknown threats (thanks to heuristics) so Malwarebytes is able to provide superior protection using a smaller database.  Also, given how short lived modern threats tend to be and how frequent polymorphism is used by the bad guys to attempt to evade consistent detection by AVs, attempting to track all threats that have ever existed in a traditional detection database and rely on that as the primary layer of defense against infection would be a poor decision because it does not account for the reality of how modern threat engineering and tactics actually work in the wild.  This is why Malwarebytes has invested so heavily in signature-less and behavior based technologies to augment their base Malware Protection component because their threat Researchers and Developers have discovered this truth.  At one time, many years ago (several decades back) it was often true that a computer infection wouldn't change much and the bad guys would rely on attempting to infect large numbers of systems over a longer span of time, however due to the emergence of more modern detection and protection technologies like heuristics and AV/AM products providing more frequent database/signature updates, they have had to evolve how they do things and create threats that change far more quickly and more frequently, which has the inverse effect of making more traditional threat signatures obsolete.  This is why culling out old signatures has little to no effect on the actual effectiveness of Malwarebytes and only serves to improve its memory usage, disk space usage and scan time performance.  If culling signatures from the database would result in users getting infected, then the threat Researchers wouldn't do it because that would defeat the entire purpose of providing a product like Malwarebytes in the first place.

Edited by exile360

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7 hours ago, exile360 said:

This is why Malwarebytes has invested so heavily in signature-less and behavior based technologies to augment their base Malware Protection component because their threat Researchers and Developers have discovered this truth

And all the other Researchers and Developers are stupid and still in the dark???

Malwarebytes did not discover anything: they simply bought whatever product was available on the market, (ransomware shield, antiexploit shield)

In-house products (web shield. anomalous detection) are not quite successful, look at the amount of FPs in this forum ... (many reports with 100% anomalous detection which are FP's in fact)

So, let's not exaggerate.... 

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2 hours ago, lock said:

And all the other Researchers and Developers are stupid and still in the dark???

Malwarebytes did not discover anything: they simply bought whatever product was available on the market, (ransomware shield, antiexploit shield)

In-house products (web shield. anomalous detection) are not quite successful, look at the amount of FPs in this forum ... (many reports with 100% anomalous detection which are FP's in fact)

So, let's not exaggerate.... 

I don't think Exile360 exaggerated at all, he/she/it said that -

Quote

the improvements in 0-day threat detection by vendors like Malwarebytes as well as the big name AVs, most of which now take an at least somewhat layered approach to protection through the use of several different modules/components to protect systems/devices.

I added the bold and underline.

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