Malwarebytes Last in latest AV-Test Antivirus Test

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 27, 2018

German IT security institute AV-Test published the results of its latest antivirus study for Windows today. The organization evaluated 19 different security products on machines running Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system over the course of two months (September and October 2018).

Particularly interesting about the test is that the organization included Malwarebytes Premium, the flagship product of Malwarebytes, for the first time.

The previous test, results were released in August 2018, included only 18 products for the home market. The remaining 18 products included the who is who of the security world: Windows Defender, Avast and AVG, Avira, Bitdefender, Kasperksy, Norton, Trend Micro, and others.

11 of the 19 products were awarded with the Top Product award:

  • AhnLab V3 Internet Security 9.0
  • Avira Antivirus Pro 15.0
  • Bitdefender Internet Security 23.0
  • Bullguard Internet Security 19.0
  • F-Secure Safe 17
  • Kaspersky Internet Security 19
  • McAfee Internet Security 21.4
  • eScan Internet Security Suite 14.0
  • Norton Security 22.15 and 22.16
  • TrendMicro Internet Security 12.0 and 15.0
  • Vipre AdvancedSecurity 10.3 and 11.0

All eleven products got full points in the protection category and full points either in usability or performance, and 5.5 out of 6 points in the other category.

Avast, AVG and Microsoft products did not receive the Top Product award this time but they did so in August.

Malwarebytes Premium 3.5 and 3.6, the product that was included in the antivirus test for the first time, ranked last in the protection category and in the bottom three in the performance and usability category.

The application got a total rating of 13.5 out of 18 points, the lowest rating of all 19 products.

A look at the protection stats show some progress, though. Results against 0-day attacks rose from 94.1% in September 2018 to 97.2% in October 2018; still below the average of 99.4%. For widespread malware, Malwareytes managed to protect against 99.6% of samples while the industry average was 100%.

The program's usability was low because of false alarms: 13 in September and 4 in October, again more than the average of 4 for all tested products.

Performance, usability, and protection scores improved in October. One explanation for that could be update to version 3.6.x released in mid September as the release notes list "improved detection and remediation".

Avast, AVG (which is owned by Avast), and Windows Defender lost the recommendation as protection scores dropped from the perfect 6 out of 6 in August 2018 to 5.5 out of 6 this time for all three products.

Closing Words

It will be interesting to see how the mentioned products will fare in the next test and whether Malwarebytes manages to improve the product.

Now You: which security products do you use?

Malwarebytes Last in latest AV-Test Antivirus Test
Article Name
Malwarebytes Last in latest AV-Test Antivirus Test
German IT security institute AV-Test published the results of its latest antivirus study for Windows today., and Malwarebytes came in last.
Ghacks Technology News

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  1. Graham Perrin said on December 9, 2019 at 9:31 pm

    Hi, please, can you update the outdated link in the first paragraph?

    (I sent an e-mail a few days ago …)


  2. David Dawson said on August 9, 2019 at 2:39 am

    Since McAfee is provided free from our ISP provider I have been using that for a while now and havent seemed to have any problems with it bogging down my system or anything else, unfortunately it’s not very good at detecting and removing some of the things that may or may not be “Malware” depending on what they are doing. I use Malwarebytes for this. I’ve never depended on Malwarebytes for anti-virus solutions as I always found it good for what it was originally intended for which was detecting and removing the various types of malware that can get on your system, which it generally does fairly well for me.

  3. Kata said on November 29, 2018 at 7:46 am

    Malwarebytes + Malwarebytes AdwCleaner + Malwarebytes Browser Extension!!!

  4. Boring said on November 29, 2018 at 2:53 am

    What Nico said.

    (Nico: I suggest CookieAutoDelete, which will take care of your tracking cookies that slip through)

  5. Nico Weytens said on November 28, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    I use common sense :-D
    And Windows Defender, and an occasional scan of the free editions of SUPERAntimalware & Malwarebytes. They’ve so far only detected a handful of tracking cookies that slipped through Ghostery/uBlock Origin/Privacy Badger.

  6. noemata said on November 28, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    laughable. why are these paid and revenue-generating results still taken seriously? av-test-org cannot be trusted. imho. see recently the contributions of a former av-test-org employee on and eugen kaspersky’s criticism about this company a few years ago (and he has no reason to complain).

    eset will also have good reasons not to waste a cent more on this company (and eset would have nothing to complain about, too).

    i trust mwb, adw + novirusthanks exe radar plus beta 4, et cetera. dot.

  7. Radical Dreamer said on November 28, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    An AV comparison but no Firewall comparison as well ? :/
    The only compression I found was from 2014.
    Nowadays, people are installing a whole suite rather than just an AV or FW separately.

    1. John G. said on November 28, 2018 at 7:27 pm

      I tested W10 firewall with all the online tests that I found and all the results were fine. In fact I am sure that both W10 Defender and W10 Firewall built in are the two best things of whole Windows 10. The worst thing of W10 is the way it is updated or upgraded, but the built in features are good.

  8. PanamaVet said on November 28, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    It has come to light that hackers can break into your machine using vulnerabilities contained in and installed by antivirus software. This occurred with major AV products.

    Antivirus testing firms do not measure vulnerabilities created by the products they are testing. I checked. Their silence is deafening.

    What good is a top score from any test when it does not grade the risk introduced by installing the AV product being graded?

    A Mozilla developer working to improve security in Firefox observed vulnerabilities injected by antivirus software. His conclusion was that antivirus functionality has to be built-in to the operating system.

    There is only one AV product built-in to an operating system. It is being updated to run in a sandbox which makes it the first AV product to achieve that goal. You can turn on sandboxing in the current version by running a simple command. Search GHacks and you will find it.

    I have been running it that way for a couple of weeks now. FWIW, it achieved a 100% grade for detection recently.

    Good luck.

  9. Mickey mouse said on November 28, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    I use Linux Mint with firewall – end of having to buy AV software

  10. James said on November 28, 2018 at 9:45 am

    Appguard + NVT ERP + Sandboxie + WFC on one of my main Windows machines. Spyshelter + Shadow Defender on the other one. First for lockdown, latter to pick out significant (disruptive) changes after updates. Symantec Endpoint Protection Cloud + Appguard on the rest of the family devices configured to require less user interaction. Each combo is lighter, less buggy and less vulnerable than any home suite i’ve tested over the years.

    1. John G. said on November 28, 2018 at 2:14 pm

      If you need such kind of over bloated protection I firmly think that something is really wrong or probably you are not using W10 at all. The combo Chrome + W10 Defender stops nearly all infected sites and their derivative problems while browsing, recommended combo suggested to me by two Cyber Coffee managers. I have also Malwarebytes because I really like it because my father is using it with W7 so I liked it for W10 too, however, do you know how many viruses or malware have been removed in my computer since 2015? None. 😃

      1. James said on November 28, 2018 at 6:28 pm

        The last version of MBAM i would install if i had to is 1.75. It just got worse and worse since then. Frankly 3.xx is only waste of money and system recources. That’s what i said to my gamer son 2 years ago when he told me his friend thinks Malwarebytes is cool. The only thing wrong in my opinion is that we need to have the worst coded, not sufficiently audited, whose vulnerabilities neglected (as not considered exploitable), terribly documented OS which also has the worst update policy, installed on a few machines at home. Feel free to ask any software engineer in the business not affiliated with Microsoft about this. You’d be surprised at their reaction.
        You can’t be just too lucky to stay malware free with Malwarebytes for that long, I bet your common sense and safe browsing habits serves you more than any security software. However i wouldn’t rely solely on WD, unless you’re on an enterprise/education edition and familiar with SRP. People realize true capability of WD at one point or another when they hit allow on Smartscreen.

  11. Pekka Reittilä said on November 28, 2018 at 7:38 am

    I gave up using MWB because my PC bluescreened several times a day after latest update. No bluescreen after uninstalling MWB.

  12. ULBoom said on November 28, 2018 at 5:25 am

    Malwarebytes is not an anti-virus, they never do well in these comparisons of conventional AV’s. I run it every six months or so and nothing ever appears.

    There’s some value to AV Test stressing a bunch of similar software but they’re all so close together with results varying slightly every few months, how much these things gum up your device is more important.

    Why is AnhLabs on the list? I’ve tried and tried and can’t buy their software, only download old versions of it.

    I used bitdefender for a few years and it was fairly fast. Also tried Kaspersky for a year or so and it was considerably slower. Avira was realllly slow, didn’t last more than a month. Started with free Avast a decade ago and dumped it after a rootkit infection; with piriform owning them, they’ve become malware.

    Now we use webroot, very fast, far faster than the others. Note that in almost two decades of various AV’s on 3-4 devices, only Avast ever let in badware. Browsers filter malware; browser add ons, ad blockers, email providers, modem, router, and OS’s too, along with other attack types. The combination of a decent AV with a browser and OS modified for privacy and security should be enough.

    Pick an AV that is fast, learn to use Windows Firewall (most suites just modify it, they don’t have their own) and learn gp editor (if Win Pro), use good internet common sense and all should be peachy. Forget suites, they just replicate settings that already exist and slow things down a lot, a plain AV is fine.

    How many articles are there about the user being the biggest security risk? Countless and it’s true.

    1. James said on November 28, 2018 at 8:35 am

      Webroot being fast (one of the worst in detections and proactive protection though), importance of GP Editor and common sense i couldn’t agree more, but i’m afraid the rest is false information to me from top to bottom.

      1. ULBoom said on November 30, 2018 at 5:44 pm

        Weird comment. A rebuttal of all the false information, whatever that means, would be even weirder, I imagine.

  13. Anonymous said on November 28, 2018 at 2:49 am


  14. Anonymous said on November 28, 2018 at 2:09 am

    I use the Comodo free suite, because I like their firewall. I haven’t found any other free one that suits my needs. The antivirus is just a plus but I don’t rely much on it, when I have doubts about a file I scan it in virustotal to be safer.

  15. Gabriel said on November 28, 2018 at 2:08 am

    Does anyone know if Bitdefender Internet Security and Bitdefender free are the same when it comes to virus detections?

  16. Tocs said on November 27, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    It doesn’t matter which AV has the highest detection rate. None of these will protect your CPU against speculative execution attacks.

  17. Haakon said on November 27, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    I lost faith in Malwarebytes when they cowered under their workstations upon the revelations of Issue 714, Google Security Research, in February 2016.

    Previously as a Premium u$er, I do continue to use their stand-alone “perpetual beta” Anti-Exploit as it was an independently developed product purchased by Malwarebytes and the developer continues to advance its feature set and protection.

    For Windows 7 I use MS Security Essentials. A scheduled task runs “MpCmdRun.exe -SignatureUpdate” every two hours as MS updates them up to four times a day. See www dot microsoft dot com/en-us/wdsi/definitions/antimalware-definition-release-notes

    SpyShelter Anti-Keylogger and AppCheck Pro wrap it up.

    Firewall is Windows. Though there are several front ends for ease of control, I like GlassWire Network Security to block apps I feel don’t need to phone home and for a superb suite of monitoring, logging, security tools and HIPS/IDS alerts.

  18. John G. said on November 27, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    Malwarebytes is not an antivirus but an efficient malware remover, and probably it is the best maintenance tool for everyone to keep healthy computers and to have a clean system working like a charm. W10 Defender and Malwarebytes, no single problem here at my system since 2015.

    1. Anonymous said on November 28, 2018 at 3:21 am

      Malwarebytes is an antivirus since version 3

      1. Pierre said on November 28, 2018 at 5:10 pm

        Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
        I didn’t know Malwarebytes was considered as an antivirus. Their site dont’ say it, it’s ambiguous : it “replaces” the antiviruses and turn them “obsolete”. Anyway it has a bad mark in terms of protection… and is very expensive !
        I am surprised AV-rtest considers it so
        I have the free version as a complementary security product

    2. Anonymous said on November 28, 2018 at 2:54 am

      I didn’t believe it until it removed an adware page redirector from Firefox every other AV I tried failed. Avast, Defender, Bitdefender, Kaspersky all missed it! This kind of malware is different from viruses because it uses Windows’ or the browser’s own functionality to serve ads or do other annoying things so there is no malicious code to detect.

  19. Apparition said on November 27, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    ESET NOD32 and HitmanPro Alert FTW.

  20. Matt said on November 27, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    Any info why Eset isn’t part of the test anymore? Did they cancel or were they canceled?

    Overall, I find to be more comprehensive and interesting. Their annual survey also gives good insights into the userbase that use these kind of products.

    1. svim said on November 28, 2018 at 12:06 am

      I was curious about that too. Up until a couple of years ago Eset was often one of the higher ranking utilities. But these ‘Best A/V’ studies that get publicly released have a common thread — the top performers tend to always vary on a regular basis every few years. Even Microsoft’s Security Extensions was high on the list at one time.
      But outside these a/v studies, most research indicates not running your computer as an admin-privileged account is one the best ways to keep the operating system itself secure, leaving the user’s restricted, general account as the primary target to keep safe.

  21. Gyffes said on November 27, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    Every machine I’ve ever seen come across my desk with an infection has had Symantec on and running.* Bah.

    For Win10, I favor Defender for prevention and the free Malwarebytes in the event removal becomes necessary. And lots of lots of user training. Because as chesscanoe asserted, Users are the weak link.

    * Note: Win7 only — I’ve seen no Win10 infections, yet

  22. user17843 said on November 27, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    The test results show that is a scam.

    When you see results like that – almost everyone getting the highest score – the independence has to be questioned.

    They make money with some kind of certification.

    Here’s some background:

    1. Matt said on November 27, 2018 at 11:11 pm

      Scam is a bit of a stretch. It’s just that nowadays av-products of the market leaders have got very similar quality levels. There isn’t much difference anymore. It’s come down to personal preference, really. This used to be very different 10 years ago.

      Check out some other tests from various testing institutes. The household names always lead the pack. Don’t forget most of them are in this business for over 20 years by now.

      1. user17843 said on November 28, 2018 at 1:23 pm

        Yes, it’s a bit of a stretch.

        But when it comes to testing, there is always difference. If the difference is marginal, independent test providers tend to focus on the issues that make certain products stand out.

        Or in other words, the test results have to be adjusted to the situation.

        That’s how testing usually works, in relation to everything else. Otherwise you end up with only great products, and that happens when a testing company creates tests only for the security companies to buy certificates.

        If you always give out great test results, then your entire business is either obsolete, or you have to change your benchmarks.

        For example for AV products it would be interesting to include transparancy when it comes to subscription models, price in relation to quality, past security incidents, corporate transparency, etc.

        Maybe the fact that all products are good in the end only shows that the market in itself is mostly based on psychology and fear.

        As has already been said, simply sandboxing the environment (for example with a non-admin user) gives all protection people ever need, since viruses itself were only possible due to the way Windows works/worked. The security companies are capitalizing on this and in reality increase the attack surface of a system.

        Nowadays it is mostly adware that is a real problem, not viruses, which is why ironically Malwarebytes may be the best product for most people.

  23. P said on November 27, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    Trend Micro for servers, Eset AV on workstations and AppRiver for mail. I’m astonished mcafee and norton are on that list. No respect. One customer brought me a laptop with mcafe on it and 167 infections. Its the record for me.

  24. chesscanoe said on November 27, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    The methodology of the testing no doubt generates the reported results, but that does not make them useful. I will keep using Windows Defender under Windows 10 [Version 10.0.17763.134] . A bit of user gray matter is even more important than the choice of antivirus used.

    1. crambie said on November 27, 2018 at 5:27 pm

      So you don’t know and couldn’t be bothered to find out how the results are derived, just “no doubt”. Yet you don’t think they’re useful. Very scientific.

    2. Armond said on November 27, 2018 at 5:16 pm

      Too many false positives for me. Have to switch to something else. Kaspersky maybe? Let’s see.

  25. stefann said on November 27, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    Note that Symantec no longer pay to take part in these kind of tests.

    1. Matt said on November 27, 2018 at 4:49 pm

      (Symantec) Norton Security 22.15 and 22.16 are part of the test.

  26. Mikolaj said on November 27, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    Should MWB be considered at all? After all, the product’s purpose is slightly different, and the testing procedure was surely created for AV products, and MWB is not such product…

    Personally I use Kaspersky Total Security together with MalwareBytes and this tandem makes a rock-solid protection shield! At least since both developers finally eradicated mutual conflicts ;)

    1. Emanon said on November 27, 2018 at 4:22 pm

      Clearly you don’t have knownledge in this department, and I say this while trying not to be rude. Malwarebytes was turned into a full Security Suite (Anti-Virus) since version 3.0.

      So it makes total sense to be tested along with other AVs, the results are as expected as well.

  27. Dave said on November 27, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    As usual, Webroot is not on the list. Why? You really should learn that for yourself.

    1. seeprime said on November 28, 2018 at 4:19 pm

      Webroot apparently doesn’t make an effort to be on the list. That, or they aren’t following the protocols laid out by AV-Test.

  28. Jody Thornton said on November 27, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Yikes! I run manual scans using the old v1.75 application, but with modern definitions. I don’t feel so bad now ….lol

  29. asd said on November 27, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    McAfee itself is malware. I can’t believe anyone would take this crapware seriously.

    1. rickmv said on November 27, 2018 at 8:07 pm

      Nah, it’s just “great” software: over 1GB memory and 25% CPU load. You just need a second CPU with dedicated RAM to run it…

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