Bitdefender vs Malwarebytes – Which One Is Better?

In this article, we’ll compare Bitdefender vs. Malwarebytes to help you determine which one suits your needs, budget, and requirements.

Bitdefender and Malwarebytes cater to different audiences, and after thoroughly testing them, we will help you spot their differences and compare their features. Read on to find out which antivirus solution offers better performance, security features, ease of use, and value for money.

Bitdefender vs. Malwarebytes Compared

Bitdefender and Malwarebytes excel at keeping your devices safe from viruses, malware, ransomware, and similar online threats. However, not all antiviruses are equally good. Take a look at how Malwarebytes and Bitdefender fare against each other.

Bitdefender Malwarebytes
Starting Price $39.99/year $44.99/year
Antivirus testing results Protection: 6.0/6.0
Performance: 6.0/6.0
Usability: 6.0/6.0
Protection: 5.5/6.0
Performance: 5.5/6.0
Usability: 6.0/6.0
Compatibility Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and browser extensions Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and browser extensions
Firewall
Real-time protection
VPN
Max Devices Supported 5 5
Moneyback Guarantee 30 days 60 days
Site

Bitdefender vs. Malwarebytes Pricing Compared

Winner: Malwarebytes is cheaper long-term

Antiviruses can get notoriously expensive in the long run, which makes budget-friendly options like Malwarebytes stand out. In this section of our Malwarebytes vs. Bitdefender guide, we’ll discuss their plans and pricing to help you make an informed decision.

Bitdefender Malwarebytes
Free Version Free plan for Windows and Android Free plan for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS
Starter Bitdefender AntiVirus Plus
$39.99/year (renews at $59.99/year)
VPN, web attack prevention, ransomware protection, and more
Malwarebytes Standard
$44.99/year
Malware, ransomware, and phishing protection, Browser Guard, and more
Advanced Bitdefender Total Security
$69.99/year (renews at $109.99/year)
Adds password manager, data breach monitoring, scam prevention, and more
Malwarebytes Plus
$79.99/year
Adds VPN protection
Premium Bitdefender Ultimate Security Plus
$119.99/year (renews at $189.99/year)
Adds identity theft protection and financial fraud prevention
Malwarebytes Ultimate
$399.99/year
Adds identity theft protection, financial fraud prevention, dark web monitoring, and more

Malwarebytes doesn’t have a high subscription renewal price, which earned it an extra point. Additionally, its most premium plan, Malwarebytes Ultimate, can be reduced to $239.99/year if you opt to protect just one device instead of five.

Both providers let you protect one device with their cheapest plans, which are ideal for Windows users. However, Bitdefender’s Total Security plan allows for securing up to five devices. This makes it a better pick than the Malwarebytes Plus plan, which offers protection for three devices.

Overall, Malwarebytes is an excellent long-term pick for users on a budget, but paying a bit more for Bitdefender will unlock more features and better protection capabilities.

Malwarebytes vs Bitdefender – Which Free Plan is Best? Is It Enough?

Winner: Draw

Malwarebytes and Bitdefender offer free antivirus protection on different devices. Bitdefender can protect your Windows and Android devices, while Malwarebytes offers free apps for Windows and Mac.

Malwarebytes also offers a 7-day free trial for iOS and Android devices. However, you’ll need to use your card for that. Additionally, the free iOS app can only protect you from spam calls, ads, and scam websites.

While Malwarebytes’ free option is available for more than just Windows and Android, Bitdefender is the better option if you wish to secure said operating systems. In testing, we saw far less battery consumption on Android devices and much better performance on Windows with Bitdefender.

It’s worth mentioning that both providers offer ransomware, spyware, and malware protection with free Windows apps. However, Bitdefender has far fewer pop-ups than Malwarebytes, making it one of the best free antivirus solutions.

Bitdefender vs Malwarebytes – Which One is Safer?

Winner: Bitdefender offers better security features

Antivirus providers may offer numerous extra features and benefits, but they won’t do much without a strong core of security features. In this category, Bitdefender is a clear winner, as it has higher malware protection rates, offers a firewall, and performs better.

Malware protection

Bitdefender is a good antivirus program to prevent malicious files from harming your devices. We stress-tested its real-time protection, scanning, and web protection features by attempting to expose our testing rigs to more than 1,000 variations of malware, and it blocked them all.

Bitdefender quick scan

Although Malwarebytes did equally well during our testing, we checked the AV-Test report and noted a flaw with its protection from zero-day threats. On the other hand, Bitdefender blocked 100% of these threats, with an industry average of 97.6%, while Malwarebytes blocked 99.2%.

We also tested their ability to prevent malware threats by steering us clear of malicious websites and phishing attacks. Both providers successfully blocked known malware-carrying and phishing scam websites we visited.

However, according to recent phishing statistics, you’re most likely to get attacked via targeted email campaigns. While Bitdefender protects you from email phishing attacks, Malwarebytes doesn’t.

Firewall protection

Bitdefender adds an additional layer of protection to your Windows devices with its easy-to-use firewall. This feature will double-check the data transmitted to and from your PC, preventing hackers from tampering with your device and personal data.

In testing, we found it easy to use, as you can turn it on and off and configure all its settings from the Bitdefender app. Adding apps to the “Trusted” list is also effortless, and you can also set rules and network adapters with a single click.

We also enjoyed its “Alert Mode,” which will alert you whenever a new app tries to connect to the internet. In addition, Bitdefender provides you with a list of the last 15 apps to connect to the internet, making troubleshooting a breeze.

In comparison, Malwarebytes doesn’t offer a standalone firewall. However, it has Windows Firewall Control (WFC), which enhances your existing Windows firewall by making it more customizable.

Real-time malware protection

Bitdefender real-time malware protection settings

Real-time malware detection is the first line of defense when keeping your device safe. This feature constantly works in the background, trying to detect known and emerging malware before it infests your devices.

During our testing, Malwarebytes and Bitdefender successfully blocked over a thousand malware variations without slowing our devices or showing false positives. However, Bitdefender had a slightly faster detection rate than Malwarebytes, and we found its interface more intuitive while configuring its real-time malware protection.

In addition, Bitdefender extends its real-time protection to email attachments, while Malwarebytes doesn’t.

Scanning

Bitdefender scan options

Scanning your devices for cyber threats can uncover even the most persistent and well-hidden malware, adware, and similar viruses. Although both providers offer in-depth and quick scans, we found Bitdefender much easier to use.

Both providers let you run a quick scan to detect common malware in minutes. With Bitdefender, you can run a full system storage scan with a single click, while Malwarebytes requires you to manually flag all the folders and files via its Custom Scan feature.

Bitdefender’s Custom Scan option also lets you flag specific files and folders you want to scan, and you can right-click any file or folder for a targeted scan. Additionally, it offers a vulnerability scan that will detect any issues with your apps, system updates, and even passwords on your device.

Bitdefender vs Malwarebytes – Ease of Use

Winner: Bitdefender has a more intuitive interface

Both beginners and advanced users will find the Bitdefender dashboard easy to use. That’s because the dashboard has an intuitive layout with short descriptions of each feature.

Bitdefender dashboard

Malwarebytes isn’t any worse than Bitdefender in this area, but it does feel slightly outdated in comparison.

The first major difference we noticed was the speed of their scans. Performing a full scan with Bitdefender took 7 minutes, while Malwarebytes took nearly 13 minutes. Since Malwarebytes scan time was twice as long, Bitdefender is better for users looking for a lightweight, quick antivirus solution.

Furthermore, we found that Bitdefender shows fewer pop-ups and notifications. However, Malwarebytes includes a “Play Mode” that prevents all notifications from showing when you’re playing games or streaming.

Ultimately, both providers are equally well-suited to beginners and advanced users, but Bitdefender gets a point for its quicker scans and more modern interface design.

Bitdefender vs. Malwarebytes Key Features

Winner: Bitdefender offers a more comprehensive feature kit

Bitdefender takes another point in this Malwarebytes vs. Bitdefender comparison, as it offers a better lineup of extra tools and features.

VPN

Bitdefender VPN interface

Pairing a virtual private network (VPN) feature with your antivirus software is always an excellent idea. Fortunately, both Bitdefender and Malwarebytes offer a built-in VPN service, but neither includes it with its cheapest plan.

While neither service can match the best VPN providers, the VPNs are very functional. Each offers around 500 servers in 40+ countries, good speed, and reliable geo-unblocking. However, Malwarebytes’ Privacy VPN couldn’t unblock popular streaming platforms, like US Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Bitdefender’s VPN is also limited, offering a 200MB daily data cap with cheaper plans. However, more expensive plans, like Bitdefender Ultimate Security Plus, allow you to encrypt unlimited traffic. Having a data allowance of just 200MB per day means you won’t be able to torrent large files or binge-watch your favorite shows with Bitdefender.

Dark Web Monitoring

Large companies are constantly under attack from hackers trying to get into their databases, and when a data breach happens, your credentials are up for grabs among cybercriminals.

Unfortunately, these companies can take weeks or months to identify the problem and inform their users of potential risks. That’s why Bitdefender and Malwarebytes offer a monitoring solution that continuously scans the dark web for your credentials.

However, to access this feature, Malwarebytes requires you to sign up for its premium Malwarebytes Ultimate plan, which offers identity theft protection. Alternatively, Bitdefender provides the feature with its mid-range and most expensive plans, which makes it a more budget-friendly pick for privacy-conscious users.

Identity Theft Protection Features

Malwarebytes and Bitdefender offer comprehensive identity protection features, including generous identity theft insurance, credit monitoring and reporting, and digital footprint visualization.

Opting for their most expensive plans can help you identify any data leaks that may endanger your online accounts and finances. The providers will provide risk mitigation advice, such as changing your passwords on your other accounts if it finds the same password in a data leak.

Bitdefender lets you access and monitor your credit reports and scores in one bureau, while Malwarebytes covers three with its most expensive plan. In addition, both services will alert you if an unfamiliar name, address, or alias is associated with your Social Security Number (SSN).

Furthermore, if your identity is stolen, both providers offer insurance to help you cover the costs of restoring it and lost wages. Malwarebytes and Bitdefender’s insurance ranges from $1 million to $ million, depending on your plan.

Unique Features

Testing the features they share did not leave us with a clear winner. However, Bitdefender quickly took the spotlight with its additional features that Malwarebytes doesn’t offer.

The most notable Bitdefender feature is its password manager, which lets you import, store, and improve your passwords. It also uses the robust AES-256 encryption algorithm to make the passwords virtually immune to brute-force attacks.

Moreover, its password manager has native Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS clients and is compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari. That means you won’t need to re-enter your passwords when you change devices, making it a reliable password manager.

A few other features Bitdefender has, while Malwarebytes lacks:

  • OneClick Optimizer – This can help you speed up your computer by performing registry cleanup, removing junk files, and optimizing your browsers.
  • File Shredder – Bitdefender will help you permanently delete a file or a folder by removing its last traces from your storage disk with one click.
  • Parental Controls – Set up screen time limits, track your child’s location via GPS, monitor their phone contacts, and prevent them from accessing inappropriate content online.
  • Webcam Protection – Bitdefender will make it impossible for hackers to access your webcam by preventing unauthorized access to the camera.

It’s worth mentioning that Malwarebytes also has a unique feature that Bitdefender lacks: an ad blocker. Although Bitdefender’s VPN slightly reduces targeted, intrusive ads, opting for Malwarebytes will result in far fewer ads on your screen when browsing the web.

Bitdefender vs Malwarebytes – Compatibility

Winner: Bitdefender

Bitdefender and Malwarebytes offer clients for the same operating systems: Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. However, there are some differences regarding the operating system versions they support:

Device/Operating System Bitdefender Malwarebytes
Windows Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 7 (SP1) Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7
macOS macOS X 10.10.x or later macOS 10.12 or later
Android Android 5.0 or later Android 9.0 or later
iOS iOS 12 or later iOS 15 or later

Bitdefender is compatible with more devices, even older iOS and Androids. In addition, it offers more features than Malwarebytes with each app, especially if you need an iOS antivirus. However, Malwarebytes is compatible with Chromebooks, while Bitdefender isn’t.

Bitdefender vs Malwarebytes – Customer Reviews

Winner: Malwarebytes leaves a better impression on customers

Even though we test the products ourselves, we also check real-user reviews. These independent reviews from long-term users give us a better understanding of real users’ issues.

With nearly 4,000 reviews, of which 73% give it the highest score, Malwarebytes enjoys an overwhelmingly positive rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot.

A customer's review of Malwarebytes on TrustPilot

Most of its positive reviews describe it as a reliable choice if you’re looking to keep your devices safe from malware. In addition, users praise its customer support teams for their professional and swift responses.

Negative reviews, on the other hand, generally focus on its performance-tanking scanners because they don’t allow its users to run other resource-heavy programs in the background.

Bitdefender has nearly 8,000 reviews, of which 67% give it the highest score. However, its overall score of 3.6 out of 5 stars indicates that the users aren’t pleased with all of its features.

A customer's review of Bitdefender on TrustPilot

Most of its positive reviews praise the quality of its anti-malware protection and extra features, such as its password manager. However, some negative reviews come from users who aren’t happy with the daily VPN data limit.

For further analysis and comparisons, see our Bitdefender vs Kaspersky guide.

Conclusion: Bitdefender vs Malwarebytes – Which One Wins?

Bitdefender Malwarebytes
Price
Free Plan Draw Draw
Security
Ease of use
Features
Compatibility
Customer reviews

After analyzing both providers, Bitdefender proved to be the overall winner in this Bitdefender vs Malwarebytes showdown. But Malwarebytes is still a solid choice, especially if you’re on a budget. It will safeguard your devices from nearly every type of malware, include a VPN, and offer identity theft protection.

However, Bitdefender does all that and more. Although it may be more expensive in the long term, its firewall, password manager, and PC optimization features justify the price. In addition, AV-Test gave Bitdefender a perfect 18 out of 18 score, while Malwarebytes had a point less.

Thanks to its free plan and a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can try Bitdefender risk-free today.

How We Test Antiviruses

We test antivirus solutions extensively to identify any deal-breaking flaws in their malware protection or extra features. Besides injecting them with malware, we monitor their impact on the device’s performance or battery life and evaluate the quality of their interface.

  • Independent Antivirus Testing – We also check AV-Test reports after running our performance tests.
  • Features – Besides testing the core anti-malware features, we tried their VPN, password manager, PC optimizer, firewall, and other extra tools.
  • Ease of Use – Before suggesting them, we tested the interface of these antiviruses to ensure that both beginners and experts can use them with no issues.
  • Third-Party Reviews – We identified the issues their long-term customers face and tried to replicate them on our testing rigs.
  • Pricing – We analyze provider packages and the price point to determine which offers better value.

How to Choose the Best Antivirus Service

Picking between the best antivirus software providers isn’t easy, as many reputable providers offer unique features and cheap plans. Here are some crucial factors to consider before you make a decision:

  • Performance – Look into the results independent antivirus testing labs, such as AV-Test, give to these providers.
  • Ease of Use – Your chosen antivirus shouldn’t be overly complicated, even if you have no prior experience with these programs.
  • Compatibility – The best antiviruses are compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS platforms. Don’t opt for a solution that doesn’t cover one of your devices.
  • Key Features – Take a closer look at the features that antivirus providers offer until you find one that suits your preferences without breaking the bank.
  • Customer Feedback – Third-party user reviews are an excellent starting point if you’re trying to research your future software’s customer support quality. Look into how easy it is to reach and how reliable their answers are.
  • Cost – Found a plan that suits your budget? Check what the other providers offer in the same price range until you find the ideal one for your needs.

FAQs

Is Bitdefender better than Malwarebytes?

Can you use Bitdefender and Malwarebytes at the same time?

What are the downsides of Malwarebytes?

Is there a better antivirus than Bitdefender?

Ilijia Miljkovac
Technology Writer

Ilija Miljkovac is a Techopedia writer with 7 years of experience covering all things tech. He writes about everything from cybersecurity to ISPs, ensuring businesses and customers are educated about the latest products and services. He's written for publications such as Business2Community, TheTechReport, Comparitech, and more. When he's not maniacally hacking away at his keyboard, Ilija spends his time either hiking in nature or holed up in his apartment gaming.