Part 1: Malwarebytes vs SuperAntiSpyware

Note: This is going to be a two part post.  This post focuses on user interface, speed, compatibility and updates.  The next part will focus on removal and protection.

The Internet today is running rampant with malware – it’s just not safe to surf with the web without some kind of anti-malware application on your computer (at least if you are using Windows).  There are currently only two anti-malware programs I recommend – Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware and SuperAntiSpyware.  Why?  Because they are the only ones which are effective and actually do what they are supposed to do – removing malware from your computer.

However, between the two, which one is better?  As of this very moment I am putting my money on Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware.  Based on my testing of both applications Malwarebytes has excelled in a number of areas.

The first of which being the UI – it’s very simple and easy to navigate.  When I opened SuperAntiSpyware it seemed to be relatively well laid out, however, as soon as I clicked a button to do something and it opened a separate window with several tabs to dive through to find the settings I wanted I changed my mind.  I find ease of use and simplicity to be essential with it comes to applications, websites, and electronics.

The Malwarebytes scanner is also faster (and seems to become increasingly more quick with each scan).  Below are excerpts from the log file Malwarebytes produced when it was done scanning.

First Scan:

Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware 1.37
Database version: 2185
Windows 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3

Scan type: Quick Scan
Objects scanned: 69992
Time elapsed: 1 minute(s), 15 second(s)

Second Scan:

Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware 1.37
Database version: 2185
Windows 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3

Scan type: Quick Scan
Objects scanned: 69904
Time elapsed: 36 second(s)

That’s pretty quick! 1 minute 15 seconds for the original scan and just a mere 36 seconds for the second scan. Below are excerpts from the SuperAntiSpyware log files.

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First Scan:

SUPERAntiSpyware Scan Log

Core Rules Database Version : 3908
Trace Rules Database Version: 1852

Scan type : Quick Scan
Total Scan Time : 00:02:22

Second Scan:

SUPERAntiSpyware Scan Log

Core Rules Database Version : 3908
Trace Rules Database Version: 1852

Scan type : Quick Scan
Total Scan Time : 00:02:12

While the scan time did improve it was unable to get under 1 minute for a quick scan which is somewhat disappointing.

Malwarebytes just released an update to their program (version 1.37) which allows for 64-bit operating systems (XP SP2 and higher) to use the real-time protection module. SuperAntiSpyware currently only supports 32-bit operating systems. I should note that I have been informed by SuperAntiSpyware that will change in the future – I do not have a specific date to provide though.

During my testing Malwarebytes noticed that the Windows Security Center had been disabled (SuperAntiSpyware didn’t) and listed it as a possible threat after scanning my system. If I were to have Malwarebytes “remove” that it would break something right? Not quite. All Malwarebytes will do is enable it if you select to remove it. Why would Malwarebytes do this? Well, a lot of malware out there today will either hijack the Windows Security Center or disable it, so what Malwarebytes did is actually correct. Obviously it doesn’t know that I disabled it, so it’s good to see it would point it out to me.

When it comes to removal of infections I have been impressed by both applications.  However, I am thoroughly impressed with how often the developer team at Malwarebytes releases updates (definition files) and how effective those updates (definition files) are.  Malwarebytes based on my experience has updated at least once (usually more) every day.

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I plan to extend this post once I get my hands on some more malware infections to do a side by side comparison when it comes to removing and protecting against infections such as Zlob, Vundo, etc.  Keep an eye out for that.

Bottom line: Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware is the current winner. If you have a malware infection which you cannot remove yourself, feel free to post on our forums.

  • This isn’t really an accurate test. Just because one anti-malware is faster at scanning on the “quick scan” it doesn’t mean one is necessarily better than the other. There are several reasons for this.

    A) Both applications may scan different directories. This will obviously add to the scan time, as more files have to be scanned.

    B) One application may scan archives and one may not.

    C) One application might be more thorough in its scanning method

    and finally

    One anti-malware may be able to detect and remove more infections than the other, and may provide better overall protection.

    In the end, I feel this is a rather unfair test, as although compatibility with operating systems is important, judgements should not be made on scan speed and compatibility alone.

    • The test is quite fair and I plan to expand it once I get my hands on some more infections.

      UI is important, speed is important, compatibility is important, heuristics is important, detection and removal rate is important, protection is important.

      As for your argument on speed – the system didn’t change and I had the same settings for both. It didn’t scan anything extra. So that is pretty much null and void.

  • You are joking right? You SELL and MAKE MONEY off of MalwareBytes – you have their banners splattered all over your site. You host their BLOG and are personal friends with MalwareBytes.

    Example : Why don’t you try a USERINIT.EXE infection that overwrites the Windows Userinit.exe and see if Malwarebytes can fix it, the answer is “NO” – and SUPERAntiSpyware WILL fix it.

    SUPERAntiSpyware and MalwareBytes are an excellent combination of products and together they get rid of just about any infection – they are both excellent compliments to an anti-virus package and should be used together.

    For an 18 year old, Marcin has done a great job – they have a very nice product – but before you do a one-sided biased review, you should let users know that you SELL and PROFIT from people downloading MalwareBytes.

    FYI : I assume you will remove this post, so I will copy it and post on a blog that you don’t have editorial control over. :)

    • Nick,

      You don’t seem to understand how my site works. Your comment will stay, but I will add my rebuttal right here before you go off and whine somewhere else and don’t read this response.

      First, your statements are blatantly obvious, people are aware of my affiliations already. If you can’t tell that by my friendship with Marcin, the ads, and the fact I host the blog you’re fooling yourself. So that really holds no water here.

      Additionally, I would like to point out your product (in this part of the review) did in fact fall behind Malwarebytes. I didn’t fake those numbers. Nor did I lie about the way I felt when using the application.

      Why don’t you wait for part two when I test out both applications with live malware infections. Who knows, your program may win that round and if it does, I will be sure to let everyone know.

      I should also note, didn’t your company email me trying to win me over by offering me free software? I’m sure Mike knew about my affiliations when he emailed me. If you want to play dirty – I can play that game on a personal level. However, I will not fake, lie, or create falsities to make things turn out the way I want.

      Perhaps you should stop whining and take what I said into consideration as opposed to thinking I’m doing it to hurt your product. If you can’t take constructive criticism get off the Internet.

      • Personally I think the best service to the reader is to have them run BOTH SUPERAntiSpyware and MalwareBytes as their primary Malware/Spyware protection – they don’t conflict and they both have strengths that complement each other.

        Remember, the goal is to protect the user – the more layers of protection the better!

  • Wow. What an incredibly lame comparison! The “quick scan” time comparison is useless as you don’t list what files one software is scanning vs. the other. Is Superantispyware scanning more files in its “quick” scan? Maybe that’s why it’s slower.

    Furthermore you don’t even do any comparisons on an infected machine. Which anti-malware product cleans the most files? Which has the most false positives?

    All you did was hand wave, make a couple of useless comparisons, and claim Malwarebytes your winner.

    Totally useless.

    • You obviously are a selective reader as you clearly skipped over the part where I mentioned (at the very top of the article no less): Note: This is going to be a two part post. This post focuses on user interface, speed, compatibility and updates. The next part will focus on removal and protection.

  • I have been using Malwarebytes and Superantispyware together for about 2 months now. Strangely enough, Malwarebytes does not pick up anything but SAS picks up cookies that are unwanted. Maybe I simply don't have a spyware problem. I also run Spyware Blaster which is supposed to stop spyware from gettin gin your computer in the first place. Additionally, I run Bit Defender Anti Virus 2009. Funny thing -2 months ago, with all this protection running I got a viruse -computer locked up and I had to reinstall windows from zip. Aren't computers fun?

  • It’s nearly 3 years since part 1. I’m researching malware scanners and would have liked to see a side-by-side comparison like you said was coming. 

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