Zemana AntiMalware Review


malware_infectedJust recently I worked on a client’s Windows 10 laptop which had fallen victim to two nasty and persistent infections. One was the Web-start.org browser hijacker and the other a rogue PC optimizer program which randomly initiated a scareware popup. The first thing I did was uninstall the rogue PC optimizer and then scanned the system with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware – which resulted in 17 flags all associated with relatively harmless PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs). After Malwarebytes had finished doing its thing, the two infections remained active… so, no joy there.

At this stage it was obvious that cleaning this system could turn into a long and arduous chore. I decided to try a different malware scanner/remover but, convinced that Malwarebyes Anti-Malware was about as good as they get, wasn’t sure which one to choose. I was about to try the scanner in Emsisoft Emergency Kit when I remembered writing an article some 12 months ago regarding the then new Zemana AntiMalware which, at that stage, was only available in a free edition with no real-time protection. That situation has since changed and the program is now available in both free (without real time protection) and Premium (with real time protection) versions.

Zemana AntiMalware in Action

zemana-antimalware2So, I installed Zemana AntiMalware free then scanned the system and it identified all items associated with the infections – it cleaned and repaired 6 items associated with Web-start.org and quarantined 2 items associated with the PC optimizer scareware, one of which was a file labeled “driver” that had been sneakily tucked away in the Windows > System32 folder. I restarted the system, as per Zemana’s instruction, and everything was tickety boo. The browser had returned to normal and no more scary popups. Finally, I ran System File Checker to make sure no system files had been damaged and received a clean bill of health. Job done!

Zemana AntiMalware download consists of a 5.1MB executable. Early on during installation you’ll see an option to “Enable Real Time Protection“:

zemana-enable-real-time-protection-setting

Leaving this enabled will initiate a free trial period. If all you want to do is use the software as an on-demand scanner then you should uncheck that option during installation. Zemana AntiMalware free’s interface is entirely minimalistic with just a drop-down menu to choose between a Smart or Deep scan, plus a designated area where you can drag and drop specific files for scanning. The software also adds an entry into the right click context menu to “Scan with Zemana AntiMalware“:


zemana-main-interface

“Smart” scan is the equivalent of a quick scan including only those locations where malware would most commonly reside. The “Deep’ scan, as the name implies, is far more comprehensive. On my client’s machine, with Windows installed on a HDD, the Deep scan took a full 90 minutes to complete.

The group of four icons across the top right lead to Settings, Quarantine, Activation, and Reports. Settings are minimal too but worth checking out. Under “Scan”, for example, is an option to create a restore point prior to cleaning which is not enabled by default:

zemana-seetings-scan

Under “Advanced” you’ll see a dire warning about messing with advanced settings… click the orange button anyway…

zemana-settings-advanced

… and disable the option to auto launch with Windows:

zemana-settings-auto-launch

This option is enabled for real time protection, without which, there’s not much point in having the software running in the background. Zemana AntiMalware is cloud-based so there are no local definitions to update as it feeds on data and definitions from the cloud. This also means that it is very lightweight.


  • More details and direct download: Zemana AntiMalware Home Page. Scroll down toward the bottom of the page for a feature comparison chart plus download links.

Zemana AntiMalware Premium

The Premium version obviously adds in the real time protection component which, according to Zemana, protects against all types of malware (including zero day), ransomware, and rogue browser add-ons. Zemana also offers a wide variety of pricing plans, including 1-PC, 2-PC, and 3-PC over 1, 2, and 3 years. At the time of writing this review, a 1-PC/1-year license costs $24.95us. However, for a single PC, the 3 year deal offers best value at $49.95 – which comes in at a little over $16.00us per year.

zemana-premium-pricing-plans

Bottom Line

In an earlier article I gave Zemana AntiMalware a pretty hard time, primarily because at that time it didn’t include any real time protection yet cost $19.95us, which seemed over the top for a mere scanner/remover, no matter how comprehensive. Anyway, obviously all that has changed with Zemana now offering a free scanner/remover version plus a premium version which includes real time protection (at a pretty reasonable price).

I was mightily impressed with Zemana AntiMalware’s in-depth scan, especially as it got both myself and my client out of trouble, and somewhat surprised that it identified the two infections where Malwarebytes Anti-Malware clearly failed. I would normally install something like this in a VM for review purposes but, based on Zemana AntiMalware successfully dealing with those stubborn infections, I installed it permanently in my main system.

The good thing about these scanner/remover type programs is that, because they don’t include any real time protection, you can install as many as you like without system resources taking a hit – save for a small amount of disk space. I’m not ready to discard Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (free) just yet but I’ll definitely be keeping Zemana AntiMalware (free) on hand, no matter what.

IMPORTANT UPDATE

It’s just been pointed out to me by one of our readers that the latest free version (2.60) of Zemana AntiMalware no longer includes a Deep scan option, only Smart scan. The drop down menu which previously sat just above the green “Scan” button and allowed users to choose between Smart and Deep scan is no longer present and a search through settings did not reveal any option to access a Deep scan:

zemana-2-60-missing-scan-options

The changelog for the latest version (2.60) includes: “Full & Smart scan modes are merged“. However, clicking the Scan button appears to always initiate a Smart scan. If the Smart (or quick) scan is now the only option available, it pretty much renders the free version next to useless. I’ve contacted Zemana and await their reply, I’ll report back if/when I hear from them.

Things are happening fast. I heard back from Zemana almost immediately and this was their response:

Thank you for contacting us,

The function is no longer available. You can use the “drag and drop” function to institute a deep scan. For example: you can scan all your hard drive by this function.

Which, once you’re aware that the drag and drop method works with entire hard drives, does make sense; drag and drop the system drive into Zemana’s interface and it will then scan the entire contents. So, I dragged and dropped “C” drive from “This PC” into the Zemana interface and the scan initiated. However, the scan was labeled Custom scan rather than Deep scan. I then compared the two scan modes:

  • Smart scan scanned 48039 items in 1 minute 50 seconds.
  • The Drag and Drop Custom scan scanned 204077 items in a little over 8 minutes.

Which tends to confirm that the drag and drop method does, in fact, initiate a much deeper scan. Still, it doesn’t sit well with me that a security software company would make such an important change without due publicity/notification.

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About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

41 Comments

  1. It is good to see you change your opinion after your last review which i remember well. As this software has evolved into into a very potent bit of kit.

    • My opinion hasn’t really changed Craig, it’s the software which has changed.

      I still believe it was pretty outrageous to charge $20.00 for a scanner/remover only, with no real time protection. That said, I agree, it has definitely evolved into a “very potent bit of kit”.

      Love that terminology, brings back memories of the old country. 🙂

    • The free version definitely includes a Deep scan. Access the drop down menu just above the green “Scan” button (where it says “Smart Scan”) and you’ll be able to choose the Deep scan option.

  2. There is no drop down menu just above the green “Scan” button. Again, I downloaded the free version, not the trial version which probably has it. I tried it on my second computer. No dropdown on both. I took a screenshot but can’t figure out how to attach it.

    No biggie, I have Malwarebytes Pro so it should catch anything, thought this would be a nice manual scan though.

    • John, you are 100% correct. Just updated my version to 2.60 and it seems they have removed the Deep scan option.

      This changes the situation entirely, what a lousy act. I’m updating the article now to reflect the change. Thank you for bringing it to my attention, appreciated.

      • I tried Malwarebytes, liked it, and bought the Pro version for the real time. Could have done the same here with Zemana if they were better.

        Could be an honest mistake, interested in hearing companies response. But,doesn’t give one a lot of trust in a company that is wants people to trust them to protect our computers when they release a version that removes the main feature of the product..

        • John, further investigation revealed the following in the changelog for v2.60: Full & Smart scan modes are merged.

          I heard back from Zemana almost immediately and this was their response:

          Thank you for contacting us,

          The function is no longer available. You can use the “drag and drop” function to institute a deep scan. For example: you can scan all your hard drive by this function.

          I tried it and it does work.

        • How many people will be able to figure that out? If funcionality is still there, why hide it? Plus, free version is to me is a version to test if I like a product and if it is worth upgrading to Pro. How would I be able to do this without this “hidden” knowledge? Seems rather fishy. Not sure I want to trust this company. I own Malwarebytes Pro (on one laptop) and SuperAntiSpyware Pro (on another). Not sure I want to go with Zemana Pro based on this.

        • You should upgrade your review to put this at the beginning of the article for those that don’t read all the way to the bottom that a security company stealthily makes drastic changes to functionality (for the worse) and doesn’t notify. This, to me, is more important about a security company that I want to trust my computer to that the actual product….since, as we see here, products change and this shows how a company views customers and prospective customers.

  3. Jim, I tried some software from Zemana years ago and was not impressed. After reading your article and comments, I see why I was NOT impressed. Change, don’t notify, and for a security company, a dangerious mix, Mindblower!

  4. As of this morning (11-12-16) they are having a Black Friday sale of 30% off on all three price points bringing the 3 year price to less than $1/mo.

  5. I’m running the trial version now and just hit ‘scan’ rather than the drag & drop. It appears to be automatically running the deep scan as it has been over 40 minutes so far and is only 54% done having scanned over 200,000 files so far detecting 19 issues, 12 of which are actual malware while the other 7 are legit items . Maybe Deep Scan is automatic for the first scan or after some time interval from a previous scan? In any case, Malwarebytes and Spybot Search & Destroy did not detect those 12 items. I may go for the 3PC/3yr license for $54 while on sale.

    • Bruce, when a scan is in progress, the scan mode is displayed right under “Zemana:” at the top center of the interface.

      I tested the trial version and Smart scan is the default scan mode, same as in the free version.

  6. The big question is do you try various scanners often taking many hours which may not find all installed malware, or do you just go straight for a reinstall of Windows.?

    btw Adwcleaner which is excellent has been bought by Malwarebytes.I still use both of these programs as my initial go to removers of malware.

    • Click Start and then, in the Start menu, click “Computer”. In the window that opens you should see your system dive listed as “Local Disk (C:)”.

      Drag and drop:

      Open Zemana AntiMalware, then go to Start > Computer. Left click on “Local Disk (C:)” but don’t release the left click button, hold it down. Now drag “Local Disk (C:)” over to the designated area in Zemana’s interface (where it says “Drag and drop files here to scan them”) and then release the left click button.

  7. Well that was an interesting read. Jerked me one way — Oh great. I’m gonna grab that baby and install it —and then the other — Oh sht, a waste of time — and on to — Maybe I should just wait and see what the next iteration omits.

    • Sorry bout that kelltic. There was such a short period of time between from when I originally downloaded the (then) current version to when the new version was released, only a matter of days. Unfortunate timing. 🙁

      • Nothing to be sorry about. My complaint – if that is what it was – was intended for Zemana not you. I did appreciate the article and your quick response to the change.

  8. Greetings Jim,

    There is also a portable version, though I have not experimented with it; the current version is 2.60.2.1 (I also still have a copy of version 2.50.2.133).

    Any thoughts on the portable version in comparison to the installed?

    Also (and forgive me if you’ve already addressed them), any thoughts on the Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool and McAfee Stinger (both of which are free on-demand scanners that are regularly updated)?

    Many thanks for all your efforts!

    Cheers,

    AJ

  9. Hi AJ,

    Portable is always good! However, with the portable version there is no right click context menu integration. I prefer to have the convenience of right clicking any file and selecting the ‘scan with’ option.

    Privacy issues have been reported regarding Kasperky Virus Removal Tool:. “Kaspersky examines everything on the PC. User Agreement says they collect much and transmit it to Kaspersky — while claiming all this data is ‘generally’ not personally identifiable. Kaspersky also assigns a unique identifier to every computer examined.”

    That said, who/what doesn’t collect user data these days? Seems to be par for the course.

    McAfee Stinger is limited to identifying only the most common types of malware. Not as comprehensive as say MBAM or Zemana. Personally, I tend to avoid anything with McAfee in the title. 🙂

    If you’re looking for a top notch portable on-demand scanner: https://www.emsisoft.com/en/software/eek/

    • Hi Jim,

      Yes, the right-click context menu is certainly a plus; in general, though, I tend toward portable apps in most cases (as they don’t write to the Registry).

      My toolkit has included Emsisoft for several years now as an on-demand scanner (along with HitmanPro, AdwCleaner, RogueKiller Portable, Junkware Removal Tool, Ultra Adware Killer and TDSSKiller). I acquired several lifetime licenses for MBAM Pro on sale some time back, so it is installed on all my Windows boxes (along with WinPatrol Plus).

      Being somewhat obsessive-compulsive, it’s been well over a decade since any of my machines have had an infection detected (but my clients and family have not been nearly as fortunate…).

      Again, many thanks; take good care!

      Cheers,

      AJ

  10. To anyone interested if you install Zemana Antimalware and register with the key “ZEMANA-GIVEAWAY” you will get a free 380 day license. I’m not sure when the promotion ends but it worked for me. By the way Zemana also cleared out a nasty browser hijacker in Chrome on my PC that neither Adaware or Malwarebytes could handle. For the time being I’m sold.

    Key:ZEMANA-GIVEAWAY

    Terms of the offer:
    ===================
    1.The license for 380 days, for home (personal) use
    2.You get free updates for the entire duration of the license
    3.No free technical support

  11. To Paul about the giveaway-I’m assuming this is for the full version of Zemana? Seems the company likes to play around with hiding its function with a “seek and find” approach.

    I want to add that I was shocked that Malwarebytes Pro did not pick up on the Rackcdn pop-up ad malware. MBAM showed all clear as did my anti-virus (Avira). Still suspicious I opened up the cookie section of CC Cleaner and right at the top was Rackcdn shown to be installed on my PC. I still trust MBAM but have lost a bit of confidence in its ability to find the really hidden bad guys.
    Thanks!

  12. Great software. At first I thought it was fake but really happy to see it work. Thanks to the developer team.

  13. SharonH i to use to trust MBAM but it has really went downhill in the last year or so. As soon as my liscense is up i will only keep the free version. i have installed zemana premium and emsisoft internet security and everything on my system is great now. i have alot of trust for emsisoft and zemana after seeing both in action.

  14. To all; Get REAL TIME PROTECTION. Does not matter which product you select, but having Real Time Protect turned ON prevents you all the trouble of finding endless ways of cleaning your system. I just don’t understand why this simple step is so complex that many do not do it. Wait for it. It is because it is not for FREE, that why (silly me), Mindblower!

  15. Yes! I´ve rediscovered Zemana too. My laptop suffered around 2 years of overheatings! it has a horrible situation but I couldnt backup my almost 1TB of data because I dont have money to buy an external hard drive. So everytime my laptop reached a high temperatura, then I turned off for some minutes.

    But Zemana came to rescue and found two nasty things that neither Emsisoft, Panda or Kaspersky couldn´t detect.

    After deleting these two bugs, my laptop was OK again!!!!!! no more overheatings!!!! Marvelous really. Thank you Zemana guys!

  16. Zemana today did find 16 threats which Malwarebytes and my own antivirus could not find. Were they false positives ? No, not all of them atleast.

    In case of a relative , almost a month back, the laptop was severely infected with many adwares/browser-hijackers/malwares. Fault of someone else downloading .rars from unknown sites. Malwarebytes came to my rescue. Removed almost all 93% of the badwares, but the nasty automatic-redirects remained. Zemana scanned and showed the culprits, but then to remove them it asked for cash. Back then I had little time to think so uninstalled the product. A browser reset saved the day. The battle was won, almost by Malwarebytes which remained on C drive but Zemana still remained in mind. Something was there that touched my heart.

    By now I am beginning to fall in love with Zemana. Features such as lightweight, minimalist interface, sweet icon and cloud-scanning especially etc are its star studded hallmarks. Zemana is a new evolution in scanning/detection/action tactics that seems to succeed more often than others.

    Many people have reported false positives in reviews but if Zemana had, has and can also save you from worst infections missed by other competing products, who cares about those false positives. Reviews are available all over google. Give it some more time and in near future the false positives might disappear completely. I encountered some false positives during Zemana scan of my laptop but I believe most of them were actually true-positives. False being small fraction.

    Few questions remain in mind ?

    1) Which is Zemana’s home country ? It is Turkey, although the anti-malware site lists Sarajevo, HQ of the parent company is in Turkey. see https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Zemana

    2) Should I trust my pc to a product of such a country ?? There may be considerable chance that I am being watched/spied on. Cloud-scanning can easily mask this behaviour as it requires internet. And certainly I wont ever trust Kaspersky, Zemana being questionable.

    3) How many of the reviews of the product are genuinely true ? No doubt that Zemana employees must have written some.

    These questions pop up in everyones mind even momentarily. But then even if a product is genuine and beats the top competitors, it still has a hard long path before fame and success.

    SO, TRY IT, IF YOU FIND ANYTHING SUSPICIOUS, IT MIGHT EITHER BE TOO LATE, OR YOU WILL BE ALIVE ENOUGH TO DROP IT. Thats the way the world works. I hope Zemana doesnot betray my trust.

    Found something you may like, it is for small sized files
    DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS for ONLINE-SCANNER :
    https://www.cheathappens.com/virus_warning.asp

    ONLINE VIRUS SCANNER ( uses engines from multiple products )
    https://virusscan.jotti.org/

    P.S. Jim Hillier, please delete your old article
    https://davescomputertips.com/new-zemana-antimalware-is-not-what-you-might-think/

    a google search of Zemana review places it above your current article. No offense but you should have some sense of responsibility, not like fire and forget which spreads misinformation. Or better, do not delete as some people on it have shared their experiences/reviews with Zemana. A headline in bold stating that the old article is obsolete and a link to new article underneath will do much good for unaware users. Being always logical isn’t being human always. We have to bend manytimes to show that we really have a heart. At least go out of your rules and logic for this time only. You may not have any idea how many many of wasted hours you will be saving of billions in future. Remember this is no offence, try to understand my point.

    • ZemanaDieHardFan – What I wrote at that time was factual at that time, so how could that possibly be construed as misinformation? What you are suggesting is ludicrous. If we deleted articles every time a situation changed, we’d probably end up with no articles left. And, with more than 3200 articles published on DCT over a period of 7 years, if we went back and updated or edited articles every time something changed, even if we could somehow manage to keep track of all the changes, we’d have no time to be writing new articles.

      All articles on every tech site, news site, and blog reflect the situation as it was at the time of publication. If, for example, a news site published an article (say) in 2015 that a certain person had been sent to jail and in 2017 that person was released from jail, would you expect that news site to delete, update, or edit the original article? Of course not, you can’t change history.

      Software, in particular, is constantly evolving, what was true one year is rarely true the next, and older articles/reviews constitute an archival history of a software’s progress. Every time (say) CCleaner, Skype, or any number of popular applications have changed or added new features, would you expect sites to go back and delete, edit, or update older reviews? Of course they don’t. They simply publish a current article reflecting the changes.

  17. ZemanaDieHardFan, I hear what you are saying, but can you hear what I said earlier this year too “Get REAL TIME PROTECTION. Does not matter which product you select, but having Real Time Protect turned ON prevents you all the trouble of finding endless ways of cleaning your system.”

    Now asking Jim to delete an old article, really? This is history, a documented time line of then to now. Deleting the article would also delete your post, which is contrary to showing different points of view, Mindblower!

  18. Dear Jim Hillier , the most hot topic on antivirus searched on google are about their reviews / rankings . Just do a google search of “Zemana review” and your older article comes first in google search results
    https://davescomputertips.com/new-zemana-antimalware-is-not-what-you-might-think/
    After that article, this article of yours comes. Many lay users, and many people who are not computer savvy will open the first result, i.e. your older article, and almost wont ever notice the date because the font size is so small. As a result they will read and believe what is there in that old article which is no more true now. They may never visit your this article which appears below the old article in search results. If this doesn’t constitute as misinformation, then I cant imagine what else it means to you.
    Do a google search of “Zemana review” , all the other old articles in the search results have informed visitors / commentors that they are no longer valid. That is what I asked you to do. Update your old article with big headlines “This is an old article” with a link to this article. If you could delete the older article it will be better, but then you will also delete some reviews of zemana on it too.
    No offence but seems that once you write something, you dont want to take the responsibility of changing it later, under the pretext of something or the other. I cant comprehend what makes you so rigid in doing something that would take hardly 2 minutes. If you spend 30 minutes a day for this, thats 15 articles per day and 5000+ articles per year, a really impressive number, well above your 3200s done in 7 years. Change your point of view and learn to think from a different perspective. Also you say that by doing what I say you will have no articles left. So here you admit that all those articles you talk about are meaningless in current time. They have become obsolete and are irrelevant now. So why do you want to hoard garbage ? Since your old, older and oldest articles appear as top results in google search thats why I am stressing this. Otherwise whatever comes on 30th google result is as good as unread.
    All other tech sites do have date of article in large bold big fonts. AT LEAST At least do that, if nothing else. Make your date of articles stand out. That will inform the visitors quickly of what timeline the article is talking about. And majority of such visitors suffering virus infections wont have much patience to check the date. They will be obviously looking for solutions. Dates in bold tells them the time of article quickly.
    Whatever you write becomes garbage in few years, so why write if you cannot maintain ?? Creation and Maintainance must always go together. Otherwise your creation is as good as garbage.
    As you say you wont have time for new articles if you do this !! Then why not divide the work, i.e. someone else will mark which articles are relevant and which aren’t and hence be responsible for deletion. Always the problem and solution are at the source. Making excuses can only fool people (including you) and compound the problem.
    As for Mindblower, DavesComputerTips, clearly you did not read me fully before saying. I said later not to delete the article. This site, meant to give tips on various issues on computers, gives tips on old version softwares by maintaining history!! Isn’t that misinformation ?? Your old articles appear in google searches before/above your new articles. Writing an article is only one side of the coin of responsibility. You also have to see how relevant it is in current timeline.
    Do not assume that every commenter having malware infections isnt using real-time protection. It highlights your immaturity in thinking. I do have real time protection, yet still I got infected. In my panic , I and no one else almost certainly will , wont see the tiny date in such tiny fonts. Yes you say this is history. A real historical document at least mentions the date of the article in big bold letters. Since this is DavesComputerTips, you should present those tips that are currently relevant. Thats why I said, do not delete the old article, instead add with big headlines “This is an old article” to the older article with a link to this article. Or make your dates much more visible.
    It is pretty much evident that you two cannot comprehend the amount of help, this act of yours will bring to visitors. As for you mindblower, it is pretty much clear that you do not read and understand long comments before replying. Maybe because you dont care. So expecting you to do something out of the box seems pretty useless especially Mindblower as you do not care to read comments fully.
    AT LEAST MAKE THE DATES STAND OUT BIG & BOLD

    • ZemanaDieHardFan. Why not ask Google to alter their search methods as they are the ones that disappoint you?

      Maybe there is a better way than using “Zemana review”? Try Zemana review 2017. You’ll be surprised to see different results.

      Now, “because the font size is so small”, have you ever considered using Ctrl + to increase what you read on the screen? I have. We should always verify the article date prior to making an informed judgement.

      Clearly you a trying to help others, as I believe others are. Trying to impose your vision is nothing new and counterproductive, Mindblower!

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