Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware is a fast, effective and very popular on-demand antivirus tool.
The program is very easy to use. Launch it, fire off a "quick scan" and it'll quickly check the most vulnerable areas of your PC for possible infection. And we do mean quickly: on our test PC it managed to examine more than 229,000 objects in around 11 minutes.
And Anti-Malware also proved accurate, not only detecting our test malware files, but also some potential dangers that we hadn't previously spotted.
The free version of the program doesn't include any real-time protection, and you can't schedule regular scans either, so it's no substitute for a full antivirus package. Anti-Malware is great to have around to offer a second opinion, though; if you think you might be infected by something, but your regular security package is saying nothing, then launch it instead and you'll quickly get a verdict on your system health.
Alternatively, you could upgrade to the Premium version of the program, which includes real-time protection, automatic malicious site protection, a scheduler to run scans when you like, and priority customer support. Anti-Malware includes a 14-day trial option so you can see how the system works for you (click the Protection tab). There is a one-time fee for personal users; commercial users must buy an annual licence.
So, what's new in v2? The interface has been revamped with a simplified, more modern look. An opening dashboard displays your licence details, database version, scan and real-time protection status. You can update the program or launch a scan with a click, while "Scan", "Settings" and "History" tabs provide more details and control.
Detection has been notably improved with a new heuristics engine, locating and killing malware based on its behaviour - not just signatures.
Elsewhere, Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit has been integrated with Anti-Malware. It's turned off by default, but can be quickly enabled from Settings (click Detection and Protection, check "Scan for rootkits").
The Malwarebytes Chameleon driver is integrated with the Premium build, offering extra protection from malware, and can also be enabled from the Settings dialog (click "Advanced Settings", check "Enable self-protection module").
The Malicious Website Protection system now has better performance, and offers finer control of its actions (you can exclude processes such as BitTorrent clients, as well as IP addresses and URLs or domains from Malicious Website Protection).
What's new/updated in 2.2.0 (see the changelog for more information)?
- Full support for Windows 10 operating system added
- Enhanced safeguards to prevent false positives on legitimate files
- Improved rootkit scanning to prevent false positives for Unknown.Rootkit.Driver and Unknown.Rootkit.VBR
- Minor user interface edits including updated Scan Results view and updated top navigation menu
- Added ability to sort the columns in Quarantine table under History tab
- Improved handling of scheduled updates set to run on reboot to prevent repeated missed updates
- Improved messaging in limited user accounts when an action requiring Admin privileges is attempted
- New message added when Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is running in a business environment
- Updated License Agreement included
- Fixed security vulnerability and enhanced Malwarebytes Anti-Malware self-protection
- Fixed several issues related to updating databases in a limited user account
- Fixed issue where USB drives would not show as available for scanning on the Custom Scan Configuration screen
- Fixed several licensing issues that could potentially cause invalid license and protection states
- Fixed problem where double-clicking the tray icon would not launch the user interface
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 2 looks good, and the new heuristics engine, and integration of Anti-Rootkit and (in the Premium version) Chameleon means it offers much greater protection.