Malwarebytes vs Avast – Which One is Better for 2024?

Malwarebytes vs Avast

In this Malwarebytes vs Avast guide, we’ll draw a line between the two products.

Malwarebytes and Avast are two of the leading antivirus solutions in the industry today, but choosing between the two can be difficult. In our review, we’ll dive into their differences and help you choose the one that’s best for you.

Avast vs Malwarebytes Compared

Avast and Malwarebytes can both protect you from viruses and malware, but they have plenty of differences. The following overview compares core aspects of Avast and Malwarebytes across pricing, antivirus protection, compatibility, and add-ons so you can see how they stack up.
Overview Avast Malwarebytes
Cheapest Plan $4.19/m for 12 months $3.75/m for 12 months
Free Version Free-forever plan Free-forever plan
Antivirus Testing Results 6/6 in Protection, Performance, and Usability – 6/6 in usability
– 99.9% detection of widespread malware
Firewall
VPN Add-on or with upgrade
Max Devices Supported 30 20
Compatibility Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, browsers Windows, Mac, iOS (limited), Android
Money-Back Guarantee  30 days 60 days
Site

Malwarebytes vs Avast Price Comparison

Winner: Avast has a better starter plan

We’ll now take a thorough look at the plans and pricing structure of the two antivirus solutions. In this guide, we’ve covered the Avast One product rather than Avast Premium Security, given that it includes a much wider range of features, and its starter plan is only $0.02 more expensive in the first year.

Avast Malwarebytes
Free Version Free-forever plan for all devices – includes scans, firewall, VPN, dark web monitoring Free-forever plan for Windows and Mac – includes scans
Starter Avast Individual
$4.19/m for 12 months (renews at $9.17/m) – 5 devices, and unlimited VPN
Malwarebytes Basic Security
$3.75/m for 12 months – malware, ransomware, phishing protection, and ad blocking
Advanced Avast Family
$5.79/m for 12 months (renews at $12.50/m) – covers 30 devices
+ VPN + 3 devices
$6.67/m for 12 months – adds VPN
Premium Avast Platinum
$9.99/m for 12 months (renews at $24.99/m) – adds identity theft protection features and 24/7 support
Malwarebytes Ultimate
$20/m for 12 months – adds data breach monitor and identity theft protection

Here’s a quick glimpse at the plans offered by Avast:

  • Avast Essential (free) – Avast offers a free-forever plan with protection from malware and ransomware. There’s also a VPN (with limited bandwidth), a firewall, network security scanning, data breach monitoring, and device performance optimization.
  • Avast Individual (starting at $4.19/month) – This plan adds unlimited VPN bandwidth, protection for five devices, phishing protection, and webcam protection, and it extends the data breach monitoring capabilities.
  • Avast Family (starting at $5.79/month) – Matches the “Individual” plan but covers up to 30 devices.
  • Avast Platinum (starting at $9.99/month) – Adds identity theft protection features and 24/7 personalized support.

Users qualify for a 30-day money-back guarantee during which they can test the platform and request a refund if they aren’t satisfied with the service.

Malwarebytes’ personal plans have three main tiers:

  • Free – Includes a virus scanner for Windows and Mac.
  • Basic Security ($3.75/m) – Covers a malware scanner and ad blocker.
  • + VPN ($5/m) – Adds a VPN.
  • + Identity Protection ($8.33/m) – Provides identity theft features with $1m in identity insurance.
  • Complete Protection ($20/m) – Adds identity theft protection, dark web monitoring, and $2m in identity insurance.

Malwarebytes’ plans support a single device as standard. You can then add additional licenses. This costs $5 per year for the next device and then $10 per device per year for a total of up to 20 devices.

Plans from Malwarebytes include a 60-day money-back guarantee and free customer support, so you can ensure you’re comfortable with the platform. There’s also a 14-day free trial, so you can access all the paid features before you buy.

Overall, Avast’s plans offer better value for money than Malwarebytes. Malwarebytes is slightly cheaper, but Avast offers a lot more features at a similar starting price and far more features with its free plan.

Malwarebytes Free vs Avast Free – Which Is Better?

Winner: Avast has a better free plan

Malwarebytes has a free plan that includes a virus scanner for Windows and Mac.

On the other hand, Avast’s free app also supports Android and iOS and includes malware, ransomware, and phishing scanning, a firewall, a VPN with 5GB monthly bandwidth, and dark web monitoring.

Comparing the two, Avast has a far stronger offering – and it’s one of the best free antiviruses on the market.

Avast and Malwarebytes – Which is Safer?

Winner: Avast has stronger core security features with a firewall, more flexible scanning, and more in-depth real-time protection

Avast and Malwarebytes both come with a range of core antivirus cybersecurity capabilities. Here’s how they compare to each other.

Scans and Real-Time Protection

Avast offers a range of scan types that check malware against real-time intelligence:

  • Smart Scan – Comprehensive scan for malware, network threats, obsolete software, browser add-ons, and performance issues.
  • Full Virus Scan – In-depth system scan, checking your drives and memory.
  • Targeted Scan – Scans selected folders for malware.
  • Custom scans – Scans your device based on specified parameters.
  • Boot-Time Scan – Scans during startup before malware can launch.
  • Explorer Scan – Scans selected files and folders via File Explorer.

The platform provides tools to block malicious files, downloads, sites, and email attachments and to combat ransomware. Avast also monitors app behavior to identify anomalies and patterns that may indicate threats.

What’s more, with the VPN – available with unlimited bandwidth with the starter plan – you can encrypt your traffic, giving you an additional layer of protection.

Malwarebytes offers Quick, Custom, and comprehensive Threat Scans. Custom Scans allow you to scan specific files and folders and for specific types of threats. You can also schedule scans. The platform also includes real-time protection, which can track changes in the system to flag suspicious activity.

In addition, Malwarebytes’ Browser Guard can block ads, tracks, and malicious code on the web to further protect you on Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari.

Firewall

Avast's integrated firewall
Avast’s firewall

Avast comes with an integrated firewall that monitors all the traffic flowing to and from your device to keep an eye out for potential intruders. After the initial installation, the firewall is enabled by default.

The firewall also comes with a Port Scan Alert feature that tracks networks trying to connect to your system so it can identify possible threats and block connections. The firewall is highly effective in protecting you from external attacks.

Malwarebytes, on the other hand, doesn’t have an integrated firewall.

What is the Difference Between Avast and Malwarebytes? Exploring Key Features

Winner: Avast has a more impressive set of security tools available

Malwarebytes and Avast both have a range of additional security tools on offer. That said, there are a few notable differences between them, which we’ll now discuss.

System Performance Optimization

Avast Cleanup Premium
Avast Cleanup Premium

Avast comes with built-in performance optimization features with its free plan. You can use these to manually update and optimize apps to speed up your device. More features are available with an upgrade, which allow you to clean up your disk and shortcuts and update your device’s drivers.

These features can highlight programs that are using excessive memory and put unused apps to sleep so they don’t consume system resources.

Malwarebytes’ antivirus plans don’t come with system optimization tools, but you can download Malwarebytes AdwCleaner for free. This identifies potentially unwanted programs, browser toolbars, and hidden adware that could be tracking you, slowing down your system, and putting you at risk.

Identity Theft Protection Features

Avast Data Shredder
Avast Data Shredder

Avast Platinum package includes a range of identity theft protection features, including:

  • Dark web monitoring
  • Social media account monitoring
  • Tracking credit changes for fraud with three leading credit bureaus
  • Lost wallet assistance to cancel and replace cards
  • 24/7 personal assistance to address identity and credit issues
  • $2m of identity theft coverage

Avast also comes with a built-in data shredder. Once a file is destroyed with this, it’s completely unrecoverable. This is ideal for permanently deleting sensitive information and personal documents.

Malwarebytes offers comparable features with its Identity Protection add-on. This includes identity monitoring and alerts, identity recovery and restoration assistance, and $1m in identity theft insurance.

Upgrading to the Complete Protection deal adds dark web monitoring, checks across three credit bureaus, social media monitoring, and $2m in identity insurance.

VPN

Avast has 500+ servers in 36 countries with 16 locations in the U.S., while Malwarebytes has 500+ servers in 40+ countries. Both are adequate for allowing you to browse the web securely and anonymously and to access the internet from other geographic locations.

Avast notably includes its VPN for free (with a 5GB monthly limit) with the Avast One Essential plan.

Webcam Protection

Avast's Webcam Shield which allows users to block webcam access for apps
Avast’s Webcam Shield

Avast’s webcam shield prevents third parties from accessing your webcam and microphone without your consent. You can also manually block or allow apps you wish to grant access to your webcam.

Malwarebytes doesn’t have a webcam protection feature beyond its general anti-malware capabilities.

Malwarebytes vs Avast − Ease of Use

Avast and Malwarebytes both have user-friendly interfaces and are simple to use. Avast’s dashboard consists of a simple menu on the left with the options Status, Protection, Privacy, and Performance (and Store).

It’s extremely easy to find the option to run a Smart Scan and run a device-wide scan, digging out threats and performance-related issues. Extra features are included under each category, giving the interface a neat and organized look.

Malwarebytes Dashboard
The Malwarebytes Dashboard

Malwarebytes has a similar design. The options are on the left of the screen and are labeled Dashboard, Scan, Quarantine, Reports, and Settings. It’s very easy to find the settings for real-time protection, detection, and scanning.

In their most recent AV-Test assessments, both Avast and Malwarebytes got full marks for usability with no false warnings. In terms of performance, Avast got 6/6 with a system impact that was better than or very close to industry averages.

Malwarebytes, however, had a notable impact on performance when launching standard software apps and when opening popular websites, which were 19% and 25% slower than standard, respectively, and 10% and 4% worse than industry averages.

Malwarebytes versus Avast – Which Offers Better Compatibility?

Winner: Avast clinches it with its mobile apps

Malwarebytes and Avast provide antivirus protection for a range of different devices. Both support Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.

Device/Operating System Avast Malwarebytes
Windows Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7 (32 and 64-bit) Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7
macOS macOS 10.13 or higher macOS 10.12 (or higher)
Android Android 6.0 or higher Android 9.0 or later
iOS iOS 13.0 or later. iOS 15 and later

Malwarebytes can also be downloaded for Chromebooks, and its Browser Guard product is available for Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari. Avast has a security and privacy extension for Firefox, Edge, the Avast Secure Browser, and Opera.

Overall, the two products offer a fairly similar level of coverage.

Which Offers Better Apps – Malwarebytes or Avast?

Avast offers mobile apps for Android and iOS. These have a consistent interface and carry over many of the desktop features. The app is designed to fit the small screen while keeping the visual components coherent. Some users complain that there are excessive prompts to upgrade on the free plan.

Malwarebytes also has dedicated mobile apps for both Android and iOS. The apps are intuitive, easy to use, and extremely lightweight.

Given the operating system, neither provider offers full antivirus tools for iPhone. However, Avast includes its web shield and a folder protection tool, while Malwarebytes only has a tool to block trackers, suspicious links and sites, and robocalls. Given this, Avast comes out ahead.

Is Avast Compatible with Malwarebytes?

If you want top-notch protection, you could run both of these platforms together. However, you may find the platforms block actions by the other program, meaning that they constantly come into conflict with one another and attempt to block processes launched by the other app.

Equally, having the two programs attempting to run simultaneously and scanning files and downloads is likely to significantly slow down your system – to the extent that it may become inoperable.

Hence, while there are, theoretically, no major compatibility issues, you may face significant issues like these, which means running the programs at the same time is a bad idea.

Comparing Malwarebytes and Avast − What Do The Customers Say?

Winner: Malwarebytes has more favorable customer feedback

Here’s an overview of how Avast and Malwarebytes have fared on popular review sites.

On Trustpilot, Avast enjoys a rating of 3.9/5 based on 13,500+ reviews. This is fairly good, given the sheer number of reviews. Out of these, 62% of them are five-star ratings, and another 13% are four stars.

Avast's Trustpilot stats
Avast’s Trustpilot stats

Customers love how easy Avast is to set up and note that if you run into any issues, the customer support team will go above and beyond to help you out and are both helpful and fast to respond.

Avast’s Ultimate Business Security package also fares well on GetApp. Based on 925 reviews, it has a rating of 4.4/5, with more than half the respondents giving it a perfect 5. The reviewers from both Trustpilot and GetApp complimented the app’s ease of use and customer support.

A review of Avast on GetApp
Avast feedback on GetApp

One thing some customers complained about was upselling messages from the vendor – though this was a relatively minor complaint.

Malwarebytes has a better rating on Trustpilot than Avast, though with a significantly smaller number of reviews. Based on 3,900+ reviews, it has a 4.3/5 rating, with 73% of users giving it a five-star review and 12% giving it four stars.

Malwarebytes on TrustPilot
Malwarebytes overall stats on Trustpilot

Many users noted that they appreciated the thoroughness and efficiency of the antivirus in catching malware and that the software ran in the background without slowing down their systems.

GetApp reviewers shared similar views. With some 2,300 reviews, Malwarebytes for Business has an overall rating of 4.7/5 on GetApp.

Reviewers had a fair few complaints about Malwarebyte’s customer support team, though, with many finding their responses slow and unhelpful. One customer even complained that despite raising several tickets, the team never reached out to them.

Malwarebytes on GetApp
Malwarebytes on GetApp

Malwarebytes seems to take customer complaints very seriously, though, and every negative review has been replied to and addressed.

You can also check out our full Avast antivirus review for more information.

Malwarebytes vs Avast Internet Security − Which is Best to Use in 2024?

Avast Malwarebytes
Price Winner
Free Plan Winner
Security Winner
Features Winner
Usability Winner
Compatibility Winner
Customer reviews Winner
Overall Winner

Malwarebytes and Avast are both promising antivirus solutions. In our comparisons, though, Avast has generally come out ahead with better malware protection, security features, and (reportedly) customer service – and it’s been in the industry for much longer.

It also has a stronger free plan and a better, cheaper starting tier, meaning it’s a better budget pick – though Malwarebytes’ entry-level option will be cheaper after the first year.

How We Tested and Compared Malwarebytes and Avast

Our team of cybersecurity experts tests and assesses each of the products we review over an extended period. Here are the key metrics we use to assess antivirus products.

  • Ease of Use – We check the usability of each platform, including how easy it is to navigate, especially for individuals who aren’t tech-savvy or are new to antiviruses.
  • Features – During the testing process, we review each of the key features, such as security scans, browser extensions, and VPNs.
  • Independent AV testing – To get lab testing results, we’ve referred to reports published by AV-Tests to provide advanced, up-to-date insights on detection rates.
  • Customer feedback – It’s important to us to incorporate information on the customer service on offer both during and after purchase to get a fuller sense of the long-term experience. We test support services and comb through reviews on platforms like Trustpilot so we can assess platforms from a different perspective.
  • Pricing – We also consider products within their market context to ensure we can recommend the best set of features at the most affordable price possible.

How to Choose the Best Antivirus Service

Comparing the best antivirus software solutions can be a challenge, given the number of products on the market and their numerous features. These are the key factors we focus on when testing and assessing digital security tools:

  • Independent antivirus testing – There are several testing firms that apply cutting-edge assessment techniques to the full spectrum of cybersecurity products, tracking how they perform against widespread and zero-day threats and whether they generate false warnings. We refer to results from AV-Tests, among others, in our reviews.
  • Key Features – It’s wise to weigh up the features that you need and their cost. For example, having an antivirus and firewall may be sufficient, but having a VPN and password manager will be even better.
  • Ease of Use and Compatibility – The top antivirus solutions will support a whole range of devices with easy-to-use apps and will point you to useful tools without getting in the way.
  • Customer Support – Being able to get helpful support is crucial for fixing issues – and it’s something that users leave more feedback about than any other product feature, so it’s something we focus on.
  • Price – We always prioritize value for money and highlight excellent deals. This also means knowing when you can get more for your money by upgrading to another package.

More Antivirus Guides

Now that you have a good idea of Malwarebytes versus Avast, here are some more detailed antivirus guides from our network:

FAQs

Is Avast better than Malwarebytes?

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Krishi Chowdhary
Tech Expert

Krishi Chowdhary has half a decade of experience writing buying guides and product reviews for numerous leading technology websites. He spent two years writing for Business2Community.com before joining Techopedia.com. He has a degree in Commerce and extensive experience in the technology industry. He's also the key driver behind TechReport.com's news content, delivering expertise insight into the latest tech and cybersecurity news daily.