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Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium Review
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Review

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium Review

by June 1, 2015

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium Review

Everyone who has a computer wants to keep the system clean of malicious files. One of the first things you can do to help keep your system clean is to install a good antivirus software. But are you safe just because you have paid security software? Surely not! Each day many viruses and other types of malware are created and released onto the web. If allowed to achieve their goals these malicious programs can easily access your computer or even damage it. What should you do? How can you protect your computers from viruses? You must have something which aids your antivirus in keeping the computer clean. Basically, you must have a good complementary on-demand scanner. The program Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) is exactly such a program.

MBAM was developed by the Malwarebytes Corporation which was founded in 2008. The first stable release of the program became available in the same year as a freeware version. The continual development and improvement has made it one of the best security programs available to users on the market!

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware comes in two versions : Free and Premium. The main difference is that the free version can only be used as an on-demand scanner because it lacks real-time protection. The features of the free version alone are good but I would recommend buying the Pro-version for only $24,95. It is well worth it! The license covers one year and up to three PCs. I do not think that is a lot of money when it comes to the security of your computer.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a unique, powerful and smart security program. MBAM finds some viruses and Trojans that even other well know and reliable antivirus programs are not yet able to detect. If you use the Pro version you not only get real-time protection, but it has additional layers such as the automatic blocking of malicious websites. The program uses a special module called Chameleon which allows you to run MBAM on a computer even if it is heavily infected with viruses, some of which may actively attempt to prevent the install or execution of other AntiVirus softwares! One of the huge advantages of this program is that it does not conflict with other antivirus software and you can use it along side them.

The installation file is not large, just about 20 Mb and it works on any Windows system from XP to Windows 8.1. The installation process is very easy and short. Just a few clicks and the program is ready for use and the protection of your system. Minimal hardware requirements are- 1024MB of Ram, 800 Mhz CPU or faster, 20 MB of hard disk space and an active Internet connection for database updates.

The interface of the program is simple and pretty attractive. The main window, called Dashboard,  provides information about the license type, database version, Scan progress and state of the Real-Time Protection. You can also manually update the programs database.

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The second Tab Scan allows you to perform three scan types:

1) Threat scan

2) Custom Scan

3) Hyper Scan.

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During a Threat Scan MBAM analyses the entire computer system. This includes whatever is currently running in your computers memory (RAM), startup entries (Programs that start when the OS boots), registry and files. Besides the above mentioned scan types, MBAM uses a special heuristic analysis of the system. The duration of a Threat Scan is not normally very long but it can depend on your computer’s processor and hard drive speeds along with the number of files on your hard drive. It took only five minutes to scan my computer. After scanning you can view a detailed log. Just click on the button Show results. You will see a detailed report about the scan and any detected or deleted viruses. If MBAM detects any malicious files or processes they will be quarantined. You can leave them there, remove them completely, or if you believe it is a false positive, restore the file.

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Custom Scan allows you to configure the scan preferences. You can choose what you want to scan: an individual folder, external USB stick, or an entire partition. You can also include or exclude scanned objects, for example, scan only the memory or startup objects, choose the desired folders and processes, etc. Scanning for rootkits is unchecked by default but you can easily enable it by checking the option. More than that, the program allows you to identify ‘potentially unwanted programs’ and other possibly unwanted modifications. The scanning process is similar but its duration can be much faster than a Threat Scan– taking only about two minutes on my system.

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Hyper Scan checks only the most critical system areas: startup and memory objects. It is very fast and takes about a minute.

The detection rate of MBAM is astonishingly high. It finds malware threats which other antivirus programs are not able to detect and fix.

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The main tab of the program is called Settings. There you can customize the primary features of the program. It consists of the following sub-tabs : 1) General Settings, 2) Malware exclusions, 3) Web Exclusions, 4) Detection and Protection, 5) Update Settings, 6) History Settings, 7) Access Policies, 8) Advanced Settings, 9) Automated Scheduling and 10) About.

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In the General Settings window you can enable or disable notifications, set the time of notifications from 3 to 15 seconds and choose your preferred language. The program supports more than 30 languages, for example, Russian and Japanese, etc. This allows for a broad range of choices which is not something every program can boast.

The Malware Exclusions window allows you to add files and folders which will be excluded from scanning. Just click on the button and simply add it to the exclusion list- that’s it. Your selections will be never again be scanned by the program.

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Web Exclusions allows you to add IPs or Domain names to prevent MBAM from blocking them.

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Detection and Protection allows you to customize protection preferences. In this tab you can configure system protection, enable or disable the Advanced Heuristics Engine, scan for rootkits and scan within archives. The program also has a module for non-malware protection which detects ‘potentially unwanted’ but not strictly speaking malicious files or entries. Of course, you can configure it for your needs. Besides that, you are able to fully enable or disable Malware Protection or Malicious Website Protection.

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In the Update Settings window you can customize update options. Namely, if and how often an update check should occur along with proxy settings for those who use one.

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History Settings  has information about your previous scans. You can easily explore your scanning history. By default the data is located inside a folder within ProgramData which is hidden by default. You can choose to export this information to a location more easily accessible to you.

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Access Policies– Here you can control levels of access to the various settings and functions of the program. Just create a Policy name and password then configure the accessibility options. For example, you can restrict access to certain features of MBAM, namely, to the exclusions list, update settings, etc.

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Advanced Settings– Allows customization of some behaviors related to  the protection of MBAM.  You can set MBAM to start with Windows, enable protection after starting the program, quarantine detected items automatically, etc.

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Automated Scheduling allows you to schedule events for the program- set up the time, frequency of scan, update checking, etc.

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About provides you with information about the program including version build date and a link to the official website.

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The last tab of MBAM is called History. It consists of Quarantine and Application logs. The Quarantine window holds information about threats which have been found on your computer. You have two options: you can simply restore quarantined items or delete them. The Application logs window saves log files. You can view the history of your scans or delete them.

It is worth mentioning two of the special features MBAM has again- Anti-Rootkit and Chameleon. Anti-Rootkit is used for detecting and deleting the advanced hidden virus threats called rootkits. It is a very useful addition to the program. It used to be available as a separate program but was later integrated into MBAM.

The other module, Chameleon, is used when the Operating System is heavily infected with viruses. It is often very difficult to install an antivirus program during such cases. Chameleon is specifically designed to ensure that MBAM is not prevented from being installed or executed on an infected computer. It contains special methods to ensure it can install on the infected computer and then clean malicious files.

Pros

1. Easy installation and configuration.
2. Fast and precise scanning.
3. The possibility to use it along with other antivirus programs.
4. Outstanding detection rates and fast cleaning of malicious software or potentially unwanted programs.
5. Error correction of system files which have been infected.
6. Comfortable and easily customizable interface.
7. The Database is updated daily.
8. Multilanguage support (more than 30 languages).
9. Very light on system resources.
10. Useful support forum where you can find questions and answers for nearly everything concerning the program or ask your own question.

Cons

1. It does not have a real-time protection in the free version (but the Pro version does).
2. The website protection module can be annoying. It may sometimes blocks sites that the user does not find suspicious. (You can simply disable that function in system settings or more preferably add the site to exclusions).

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Conclusions

Malwarebytes is a unique and multifunctional on-demand scanner which provides a wide range of various security features. It is a great addition to any antivirus program. It does the job of kicking viruses off of your computer along with other kinds of malicious or unwanted software. Every computer user who wants to keep their machine free from viruses should try MBAM even if they have another solution currently installed. It provides enhanced real-time protection and a full scan of all the disks. Users can easily update the antivirus database at any time.

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