Talking tech since 2003

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.

First Scan:

SUPERAntiSpyware Scan Log
http://www.superantispyware.com

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
http://www.superantispyware.com

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.

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.


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