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Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Review

Malwarebytes is an easy to use, effective and light weight anti-malware application. Available in free and full version ($24.95), it is compatible with Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 (in 32-bit and 64-bit). The full version adds feature such as real time protection module, automatic malicious site protection, scanner and update scheduler and priority customer support. There is also an option to obtain backup CD of the program (for $9.95 which includes shipping). And download protection for $5.95 (should the installation file needs to be redownloaded 24 months after purchase).

Download and Installation

Malwarebytes 1.46 installation file size is 5.86 MB. It requires 8.6 MB free disk space available. On some Internet connection, downloading Malwarebytes from its site would be redirected to external website. If this is not the preferred way, Malwarebytes is also available from popular website such as CNET’s download.com.

The simple installation process comprises of the following steps: Welcome Page, License Agreement, Release Notes, where the program is going to be installed, (optional) start menu shortcut creation, and shortcut icons for desktop and Quick Launch, and the summary of installation to be performed.

When the installation has finished, there are options to launch the program and update the software (which is highly recommended).

Test Environment

The tests were performed on an Intel Core 2 Duo T7300 2 GHz laptop with 1 GB of RAM running Windows XP Service Pack 3 with latest security updates and patches applied.

Interface Walkthrough

Malwarebytes has nine tabs available at its main screen. The first tab is the Scanner tab. This is where most of the activities are performed. Three options are available in the Scanner tab. They are Quick Scan, Full Scan and Flash Scan.

The Quick Scan (which scans the system drive) takes less than 4 minutes in a clean install of Windows XP Service Pack 3 (with all the latest patches and security updates applied). According to the Task Manager, during the quick scan Malwarebytes uses around 56 MB of system memory. The Process Image name for Malwarebytes is identified as mbam.exe. The Full Scan allows selecting specific drives in addition to system drive to be scanned. The Full Scan on the system drive takes less than 10 minutes. The Flash Scan (which analyze memory and autoruns objects) is available in full version.

Upgrading to Full Version of Malwarebytes is available from the Protection tab. By clicking on the Purchase button, it automatically takes you to the Malwarebytes shopping cart page.

The Updates tab is used to update the malware database definition. The version information is available in the Updates tab too. The version number of the program can be found by clicking on the About tab.

Program settings such as type of objects scanned, how often the database being updated, etc can be set in the Settings tab. Malwarebytes also has the ability to delete locked files using FileASSASIN (available under the More Tools tab).

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