"Removes even the most stubborn malware"
Malwarebytes is easily one of the most renowned free anti-spyware software available online. The main purpose of this program is to scan, remove, and actively protect your computer from malicious threats. While the free version of Malwarebytes is capable of performing full scans and removing almost all forms of malicious software, the paid version includes a protection module that allows you to block malicious websites, safeguarding your computer from threats before they are able to damage your system.
The installation process for Malwarebytes is surprisingly simple. After running the setup.exe file you'll just need to click continue/next a few times, select your language preference, choose an installation location, and decide whether you'd like to create desktop/quick launch icons. After you click the final "install" button the rest of the installation should take care of itself. To finalize the installation you may have to restart your computer if prompted to do so. Once the software has been installed you may be prompted to update the database, if so click "yes."
This powerful anti-spyware software actually consists of nine different modules that can be easily accessed via tabs at the top of the simplistic user-friendly interface.
The scanner module allows you to choose from three options – quick scan, full scan, or flash scan. This module is the one that you'll probably deal with the most, particularly if you have the free version of Malwarebytes.
The protection module is only included in the paid (PRO) version, and allows you to perform the following functions:
- start protection model with Windows
- start file execution blocking when protection module starts
- star malicious website blocking when protection module starts
- show tooltip balloon when malicious website is blocked
Updating the software is as easy as clicking the "Check for Updates" button.
Whenever a malicious threat is found during a routine scan, or is blocked from accessing your hard drive by the protection module, it is automatically stored in the quarantine section to prevent it from spreading to other file systems on your computer.
The logs module allows you to view or delete text logs that document all previous activity performed by Malwarebytes.
The ignore list module allows you to review/delete IP addresses that you told the scanner/protection modules to ignore within the Malwarebytes taskbar menu. This feature is useful when you're trying to visit a website that is being unnecessarily blocked by Malwarebytes. When a site is blocked a notification should appear in the bottom right corner of the Windows taskbar, at which point you can right-click the pop-up box and select the "add to ignore list" option.
The settings module is basically your Malwarebytes control panel. All of the available options in this module are pretty self-explanatory.
- Extremely easy to install
- Free version is just as effective as paid version at performing scans and removing viruses.
- Has been shown to be effective against 99% of existing malicious software.
- Users can set up automatic updates, and downloading new databases usually takes less than a minute
- Includes a bonus FileAssassin utility within the “More Tools” module that will help you unlock and delete stubborn files that refuse to move to your recycle bin.
- Runs quietly in the background without consuming a lot of computer resources.
- Includes responsive customer support.
- You may be required to restart your computer if threats are found during a scan, or after some database updates.
- Updates are frequent, so you may need to set up automatic updates to avoid possibly annoying update reminders.
- If you have a lot of files on your computer scan times can take up to an hour or longer.
While there aren't many software that can compete with Malwarebytes in terms of efficiency and ease-of-use, there are some similar programs that come to mind, including ComboFix, Spyware Terminator, Windows Defender, and Spyware Blaster. The primary difference between Malwarebytes and these competitors is that most of these programs have paid versions that differ in their scanning and threat removal capabilities, while the free version of Malwarebytes is just as effective at finding and removing viruses as the paid version.
If you've recently noticed issues with your computer's performance and suspect that malicious software may be damaging file systems and consuming resources, it would be advisable to use Malwarebytes as your first line of defense.
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