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Malwarebytes vs Windows Defender (2022): Which Antivirus is Better?

Dave Miller with Online Cloud Security

Dave Miller – Tech Enthusiast & Security Expert – January 6th, 2022

Malwarebytes vs Windows Defender

Going online without a good antivirus software is worse than before nowadays. Because more people use the internet now than ever, hackers are always developing new software and devising new methods to get your business information and confidential details. Here we will have a detailed comparison of Malwarebytes vs Windows Defender.

Approximately 10 billion malware infections were registered globally in 2018. Each month, more than 1.5 million new fraudulent sites are generated. Almost the last two years, ransomware threats have surged by over 97 percent. These figures are disturbing, and they are predicted to rise considerably more in the future. Let’s go right to the point: antivirus software isn’t optional. Because I understand that a compromised computer places your individually identifiable details at danger, I want the excellent defense for my own systems.

I’ll give comparison of Windows Defender vs. Malwarebytes in this comprehensive review to find which antivirus is better. We’ll examine the functionality, anti-malware protection, influence on application performance, and everything of both solutions.

Table of Contents

Windows Defender logo 2022

Windows Defender: Pros & Cons



Malwarebytes Antivirus for Windows computers

Malwarebytes: Pros & Cons



Windows Defender highlights

Malwarebytes highlights

  • Most varieties of malware are well-protected by this program.
  • It comes with a built-in firewall.
  • Phishing prevention for Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge
  • There is a parental control function accessible.
  •  It comes pre-installed with the Windows operating system, and it’s set to protect you by default.
  • Can be used in conjunction with other antivirus software
  • The system’s influence is significantly lower than the national average.
  • Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, and Chromebooks are all supported.
  • Offers a good free version.
  • Scans that are lightning quick

About Windows Defender

Windows Defender is a Microsoft-developed anti-malware solution that is installed by default into Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. It was quite cropped and ineffectual at the moment of its conception, which prompted a barrage of criticism. But, it has significantly developed since then, and in 2021, it will have a lot to be proud of. Particularly since it has become one of the top free antivirus programs in its category.

It is now a full-featured antivirus software with robust malware prevention and a few handy additions. The world’s main antivirus testing laboratories give it a high rating. Windows Defender identifies and eliminates nearly all cyber-attacks with little to no influence on application performance.

At the very same time, the Defender lacks certain key functions seen in leading antivirus software. Furthermore, its efficiency isn’t perfect, particularly when it relates to false – positive results.

About Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes Antivirus is a powerful tool for sophisticated malware prevention that was created in Santa Clara, California. It’s compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, Android, and iOS. Although this antivirus has several other capabilities, its main goal is to detect and eradicate malware, ransomware, as well as other infections.

Malwarebytes 4.0, which leverages better methods to identify the newest cyber-attacks, was just launched by its makers for Windows. It also speeds up scans and consumes up to half as much CPU power.

Remember that the Malwarebytes Premium + Privacy subscription includes all of these important features as well as a VPN.

Windows Defender Antivirus Background​

Microsoft Defender Antivirus isn’t known for its protection, although it’s been around for quite some time. It’s been incorporated in the version of Windows since Vista, and it’s now merely one of a series of built-in free safety precautions. It was first published as Windows Defender in 2006, then renamed as Microsoft Defender.

For example, there’s malware prevention that’s available on request and in timely manner. Dangerous URLs and files are automatically detected and blocked by the system. A straightforward firewall solution. And some advanced low-level exploitation prevention that makes it much harder for malware to infect your PC.

Malwarebytes Background

Malwarebytes is a California-based firm that has been creating malware-detection software for over fifteen years. Malwarebytes 4, the company’s most recent software, promises to be smarter than standard antivirus owing to layers of technologies such as anomaly detection, behavior analysis, and program hardening.

Other than that, there aren’t any significant security features. There is no firewall, parental monitoring, backups, or any other security feature: Malwarebytes is all about the basics: removing malware and preventing access to harmful websites.

Malwarebytes vs Windows Defender: Features

Most contemporary antivirus software has outstanding features and services that encourage additional real value beyond anti-malware security.

First, let’s take a look at the features that come with Windows Defender.

Windows Defender Security Centre (commonly known as Windows Defender) is the standard antivirus software which arrives with practically all variants of the Windows operating system. Sadly, you cannot completely delete this software, although it does switch off once you download a third-party antivirus application.

Windows Defender protecting device

The solution has a robust malware scanner which is frequently updated with new interpretations. And also a firewall which monitors all data entering and exiting your system

The system also has the Find My Device feature, which allows you to track down your PC if it is reported stolen. If you’re worried about your private details being taken, you may use this tool to wipe or protect your system.

Windows Defender has a set of parental controls as well. You may use these tools to prevent your children from visiting websites or applications that are inappropriate for their age. You may also establish time limitations for their screen usage and monitor their web activities.

Let’s have a look at the things that Malwarebytes has to offer.

Malwarebytes Free is the free version of Malwarebytes. The freeware, on the other hand, can simply clean your device of malware. Because it does not provide real-time anti-malware monitoring and protection, it is not a viable choice for protecting your computer from malware attacks. Nevertheless, if you’ve already been compromised, this software can be beneficial.

Malwarebytes Premium for You (for Windows, Mac, and Android) is the business’s first commercial antivirus product. This pack provides better anti malware against a variety of threats, as well as a secure internet browser that enables a user to view and buy safely online, as well as powerful ransomware protection.

Instead of doing each scan individually, the premium edition allows users to manage various scans around your timetable. Malwarebytes will also provide you with active safety updates, ensuring that your machine is constantly secured against the most recent digital dangers.

Malwarebytes vs Windows Defender: Security

Windows Defender Security Center protects from viruses, Trojans, spyware, as well as other types of malware. It is standard with Windows, so if you don’t want to download a third-party solution, your machine will be protected against these attacks. Furthermore, the application identifies any other antivirus systems you may well have installed. This makes it very simple to uninstall any previous scanners if you wish to rely solely on Windows Defender to safeguard you from online dangers.

After some days of using Windows Defender, I was favorably pleased by the number of capabilities in this free default application. AV-Test, an independent laboratory, has consistently placed Defender among the top ten options for virus identification, and the application received a flawless score for malware eradication. There isn’t much to perform post installation if you’re the hands-off,’ set and forget’ kind. Malwarebytes operates in the background and safeguards you right away, with no additional steps required.

It’s as simple as double-clicking Malwarebytes’ system tray icon, pressing the Scan button, and watching for the findings to run an on-demand scan. It’s all quite simple, and even the most inexperienced newcomers will experience more at home.

Malwarebytes Primary Scan Tool

Malwarebytes’ primary Scan tool swiftly scans memory, startup items, and essential file system regions. It chose well on my test system, investigating enough regions to be relevant but not so much that I patiently waited for results, and finished in a quick 7 minutes 25 seconds. In contrast to my own assessment, I double-checked the results at AV Test, one of the most reputable external antivirus testing laboratories.

When the antivirus software evaluated the program’s capacity to detect current malware detected in the previous month, Malwarebytes identified 100 percent of it. In that case, it’s impossible to disagree with excellence, but it’s also challenging to reject the reality that discovering malware doesn’t invalidate the software’s difficulties in finding infections. 

Malwarebytes vs Windows Defender: Interface

Another of the primary advantages of Microsoft Windows Defender Antivirus is that it is pre-installed with Windows, so there is no need for setup, no difficulties, and hardly any likelihood of incompatibility with any of it: it simply operates.

One significant benefit of this minimalism is that, other from the odd alarm, many users will never ever see Defender’s UI. Sensible default settings safeguard you right away, automated scanning on downloading and execution protects you from the majority of attacks, and inactive and regular scans try to identify anything else.

Malwarebytes features a cluttered main interface that employs huge icons plus horizontal bars to display all of the important data. Whether there is an issue, the bars will flare up and switch color fast, then revert to regular color.

As is customary, other blocks, like Scan and Settings, can be found on the left side of the screen. A Scan Now option is also available on the screen, which allows you to start a scan with only one click.

The status of several security modules, like web security, exploit protection, and ransomware safeguards, is displayed on the right side of the main window, together with data on the previous scan and when the following scan is planned to occur.

Malwarebytes vs Windows Defender: Customer Service

Windows Defender has a plethora of thorough FAQs and forums where you may get solutions to the majority of your questions. Furthermore, you may contact IT experts directly through a variety of methods, including online chat, e-mail, and phone. But, Windows Defender does not have its own support service; alternatively, the customer support includes all Microsoft applications.

On the bright side, you may get a wealth of information without having to approach customer service. On the negative side, the absence of a specialized help line means that contacting a tech professional immediately will take more than expected.

Malwarebytes’ customer service much better than Windows Defender, but it’s not the best. When the app’s assistance button was pressed, three alternatives appeared. One of these was the “official” instruction manual, which contained very little material that wasn’t already public known on the application itself I could have also downloaded an assistance program with extra troubleshooting choices as a backup.

However, I could get this information by selecting the third option, Malwarebytes Support, which gave us to a site with accessible subjects. That page also has an instant messenger, although it appears to be a bot that does little more than run queries that you can do manually. Submitting a “Support Ticket” was necessary for any inquiries or concerns that went above these basic support alternatives. There’s no easy method to get in touch with the company by phone or email.

I appreciated having access to Malwarebytes Labs, which is effectively a blog and knowledge library on all matters security-related, even if it doesn’t constitute as direct help.

Malwarebytes vs Windows Defender: User-Friendliness

Every software product’s usefulness is essential. For anyone who has worked with original Microsoft products before, the interface for Windows Defender is rather easy. However, even unskilled users need not fear because Windows Defender is pre-installed as well as its core functionality are turned on by default.

That doesn’t rule out the possibility of customizing Windows Defender to meet your specific requirements. With a few clicks, advanced users may simply configure the required parameters. To make changes, go to the Update & Security section of the Settings menu and select the Windows Defender Security Center.

Malwarebytes is one of the most user-friendly antivirus software I’ve encountered, as I said before. Information and options are presented in a straightforward manner, with a single layer beneath the site. 

The app’s functionality was restricted to a handful basic operations, such as turning detectors on and off and scanning a small area of the device quickly. There was no camera security, no means to automatically update virus definitions, and no way of keeping track of our Wi-Fi. Simple is nice, but I also appreciate having a lot of choices and feeling in charge.

Malwarebytes vs Windows Defender: Installation & Support

There’s hardly anything to install or switch on with Windows Defender since it’s built into the operating system. If you need it or not, it’s present. But, unlike certain complimentary malware products, Windows Defender comes with Microsoft’s 24/7 phone or email assistance to help you with any questions you may have or to help you resolve a difficult infestation. There are also many resources available online, such as setup directions, virus reports, and thorough guidelines.

The Malwarebytes antivirus software bundle was also quite easy to download and install. The homepage overall was a little basic, but as I already stated, you had no trouble navigating it. However, everything worked out.

It simply took a few seconds to download everything. Although the setup lasted a bit longer, the entire process took less than five minutes.

Malwarebytes vs Windows Defender: Pricing

Malwarebytes offers a freeware version and also two premium antivirus solutions, Malwarebytes for You and Malwarebytes for Home. Windows Defender is completely free.

Malwarebytes for You is $39.99 a year for a single profile that may be used to defend your PC, Mac, or phone. Malwarebytes for Home is $59.99 per year for up to ten devices. Absolutely, Malwarebytes is a fantastic investment. The subscription fees are comparable to those offered by other service companies. It also doesn’t fall behind — you receive outstanding adequate defense, phishing site prevention, and a fast VPN.

Malwarebytes also diversifies its service, allowing users to pick between a free alternative and premium membership options. The free edition is also quite valuable, since it allows you to begin the necessary cleanup without paying any money.

Final Verdict for Windows Defender and Malwarebytes

When you’re seeking for top quality protection against dangers such as spyware and Trojan, Windows Defender, Windows’ built-in anti-malware as well as firewall software, will not be the first thing that springs immediately to mind.

Windows Defender is getting closer to contending with third-party online security suites than it has ever been, but it still isn’t strong and sufficient. When it comes to malware detection, it frequently falls short of leading antivirus rivals’ detection rates.

Defender’s scans are slower and take much longer than other third-party antivirus software in terms of system efficiency. Finally, Defender is woefully deficient in terms of critical security capabilities.

While having Windows Defender as a separate antivirus is preferable than having no antivirus at all, it still puts you exposed to ransomware, adware, and complex types of malware, which may leave you heartbroken if you are attacked.

You can utilize Windows Defender as your primary protection at the very least, which is a good option because it surpasses certain expensive applications. Then perform a Malwarebytes scan every day to see what else is lurking and delete it. You won’t receive the same level of security as the finest and most feature-rich suites, but you’ll be secure from the vast majority of attacks, and it won’t charge you a thing.

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Dave Miller with Online Cloud Security

Dave Miller

IT Consultant at Online Cloud Security

Dave Miller is an IT Consultant for Online Cloud Security and has over 7 years of experience in the Information Technology space. He also specializes in repairing laptops & computers. In his spare time, he loves to talk about new technologies and hosts monthly IT and Cyber Security meetings in the Houston area.

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About Online Cloud Security:

Online Cloud Security is here to recommend you the most secure devices, from laptops to smartphones, we only want to provide you with products that we have tested and used ourselves for online security. Every product that we recommend is heavily inspected and tested for security against hackers, viruses, malware, and any other intruders that may want to steal your information. 

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Online Cloud Security Logo (500x500px)

About Online Cloud Security

Online Cloud Security is here to recommend you the most secure devices, from laptops to smartphones, we only want to provide you with products that we have tested and used ourselves for online security. Every product that we recommend is heavily inspected and tested for security against hackers, viruses, malware, and any other intruders that may want to steal your information. 

Recent Posts: