AV-Test Shows Malwarebytes is #1 Malware Killer

The AV-Test Institute, which is well known for its testing of antivirus real time performance, has just released the results of a series of tests specifically designed to determine how a selection of leading products handle malware removal, cleanup, and remediation.

The “endurance” tests, which were run over a period of 10 months, showed that many of the antivirus products tested are also quite effective in the area of cleanup and remediation. However, only one product attained a perfect score, and that was Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free.

The following products were included in the tests:

  • 3 popular freeware solutions: Avast! Free Antivirus 9.0, AVG AntiVirus Free 2014, Avira Free Antivirus
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free
  • Microsoft Security Essentials, included in Windows
  • Five additional well-known paid software solutions from Bitdefender, ESET, F-Secure, Kaspersky and Norton.

The Testing Procedure

In this endurance test, the software solutions were tested multiple times over a period of 10 months, from September 2013 to June 2014 in terms of their clean-up and repair performance. Throughout the entire period, various malware families were repeatedly tested, as they also undergo constant evolution.

The Final Results

Credit: AV-Test

Recovery Tools

It’s also interesting to note that, in the Institute’s testing of free recovery and repair tools, only Kaspersky Removal Tool attained a perfect score.

The recovery tools are generally only deployed after a malware infection has occurred. Which was exactly the scenario examined in the test. Each of the 7 tools had to remove 55 intrusions of malware samples and their damage.

Credit: AV-Test

AV-Test Summary

Among the security suites, the solutions from Malwarebytes, Bitdefender and Kaspersky demonstrated the best performance among all the packages tested. All in all, however, the rest of the field still showed quite solid performance, even though a few active components were left behind.

Among the freeware clean-up tools, the Kaspersky Removal Tool is worth recommending. While the Norton tool, as well as Disinfect2013 from Heise, left behind quite a lot of data garbage, neither failed to detect a single active malware component.

I realize some do not put a lot of store in these types of test results, I am often skeptical myself. However, if there is one testing lab that does command respect, it is AV-Test. When all’s said and done, this particular series of test results pretty much confirms what many of us have suspected for some time.


5 thoughts on “AV-Test Shows Malwarebytes is #1 Malware Killer”

  1. Thanks for the article Jim. So it seems having and using KIS 2014 along with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (Premium) and Anti-Exploit are a winning combination in prevention. Finally there is proof, some of us have known for quite some time, Mindblower!

  2. I also use KIS 2014 AU, Malwarebytes Anti-malware Premium, WinPatrol Plus and UnHackMe + Warrior.
    All really good defensive measures against whatever is out there!

  3. Peter Thompson

    I thought Malwarebytes wasn’t an antivirus alternative and instead supposed to work alongside your antivirus focusing on the less common stuff.

    That said, it’s a great program and I’m glad I got a lifetime license as they have moved to a subscription service now. I use Eset Smart Security on top of that. I used to use BitDefender but their programs got too buggy a few years back and they didn’t do enough to fix the problem

    1. Peter, you’re quite right about MBAM. It’s protection and removal if for malware, and many companies group ALL (everything) as being a virus. Are not you glad you had the foresight to get the Pro version for life earlier, Mindblower!

      1. mindblower,

        Considering that a computer virus is a class of malware, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware does indeed protect against viruses. However, viruses aren’t even common anymore, so ‘anti-virus’ doesn’t mean much nowadays. You don’t need to worry about them as much as the other more dangerous threats like ransomware (e.g. Cryptolocker/Cryptowall).

        People think that anti-virus vendors don’t try to protect against malware, when they do. They try to keep up with the changing threats, but Malwarebytes is better, as seen in the above test.

        If someone is looking for endpoint protection, I recommend Malwarebytes as their primary application with an AV like ESET as the secondary layer. It’s funny when people say that Malwarebytes detects and removes threats that AV’s miss and then recommend it as a secondary tool. If they can detect what’s missed, then they can detect what’s not missed.

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