Avast vs Malwarebytes 2024: Avast Edges Into the Lead

If you need a full set of security features and coverage for multiple devices, Avast may be the perfect solution for you. But Malwarebytes’ simpler approach and potentially lower cost may check all your boxes. Let’s find out exactly how these two stack up
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Best Protection for Multiple Devices

4.8
Learn More
On Avast's website

Avast
  • High antivirus test scores
  • Ransomware protection
  • No parental controls

Best for Low-Cost Basic Plans

4.6
Learn More
On Malwarebytes's website

Malwarebytes
  • Free version with manual scans
  • Near-perfect protection scores for Premium plan
  • High starting price point for paid plans

Looking at Avast vs. Malwarebytes, you’ll see some differences between these two well-known antivirus programs. Avast is good for people who want superior online shopping security with the usual security features like phishing and ransomware protection. It also offers one of the best free antivirus programs on the market.

Malwarebytes provides a free web security browser extension and works well with other antivirus programs, and it also starts at a cheaper price than Avast. For paid plans, Malwarebytes ranges from $59.99–$99.99/yr as compared to Avast’s pricing of $34.68-$119.88/first yr.

We’ll dig into the differences and similarities between these two antivirus programs in our Avast vs. Malwarebytes review.

In this article
Avast vs. Malwarebytes review at a glance
Avast vs. Malwarebytes: pricing
Avast vs. Malwarebytes: features
Avast vs. Malwarebytes: test results
Avast vs. Malwarebytes: compatibility and ease of use
Avast vs. Malwarebytes: customer service
Avast vs. Malwarebytes antivirus FAQs
Bottom line: Is Malwarebytes better than Avast?

Avast vs. Malwarebytes review at a glance

One of the differences you’ll notice between these two popular antivirus products is the price. Malwarebytes’ plans start and top off at a lower price. But the features you get with Avast may make the potentially higher price more worth your while.

Avast includes a firewall for PC users and offers a Stay Safe Virus Guarantee if you use the auto-renew subscription option. This guarantee refunds your money if you get a virus that Avast can’t remove. Avast also covers up to 30 devices with the Avast One Platinum plan for $119.88/first yr.

Of course, the best antivirus software meets your security needs at a price you can afford, so Malwarebytes’ more simplistic and lower-cost approach could be a better fit.

  • Avast: Best for a variety of security features for numerous devices
  • Malwarebytes: Best for a lower cost antivirus solution

Avast vs. Malwarebytes compared


Avast
Our Pick

Malwarebytes
Starting price Starts at $50.28/first yr Starts at $59.99/yr
Max number of protected devices 30 10
Compatibility Android, Windows, macOS, iOS Android, Windows, macOS, iOS
Free version
Phishing protection
Ransomware protection Yes — Windows only
Real-time protection
Firewall Yes — Windows only
Ad blocker Yes — Browser Guard
Learn more Get Avast
Read Avast Review
Get Malwarebytes
Read Malwarebytes Review
Prices as of 07/13/2023.

Avast has a definite edge over Malwarebytes when it comes to device coverage. Not many antivirus products will protect up to 30 devices, which may appeal to you if you own a lot of internet-connected devices or want to protect your entire family’s electronics.

But while Malwarebytes only protects up to five devices, it comes at a more affordable price. Avast’s subscription that covers up to 30 devices costs $119.88/first yr. Of course, Avast includes a firewall with that extra cost, but only if you use a PC. (You won’t get this option for macOS.)

Otherwise, these antivirus programs offer similar features and both are compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.

Avast vs. Malwarebytes: pricing


Avast
Best Price

Malwarebytes
Price range $34.68-$119.88/first yr $59.99–$99.99/yr
Best value plan Avast One Family for $69.48/first yr Standard for 3 devices starting at $59.99/yr
Money-back guarantee Yes — 30 days Yes — 60 days
Learn more Get Avast
Read Avast Review
Get Malwarebytes
Read Malwarebytes Review
Prices as of 07/13/2023.

Malwarebytes may offer a more budget-friendly option, but you only have two plans to choose from: Standard for 3 devices and Plus for 5 devices. If you want to grab the Malwarebytes Privacy VPN, you can choose between coverage for three or five devices, but the Premium plan with no VPN covers up to 10 devices, and the price increases as you add more coverage.

Since Malwarebytes only offers two plans, we went with the Standard for 3 devices plan that starts at $59.99/yr. This gives you the option to choose the exact number of devices you want coverage for — up to 10. The only thing this plan is missing is a VPN, and while we recommend using a virtual private network to secure your Wi-Fi, we’ve found other options that may cost less for more features, such as NordVPN, Surfshark, and Private Internet Access.

Avast plans could cost you more, but we like that it offers a few different plans so it’s easier to find one that fits your budget. Aside from Avast One Family, which bundles antivirus, privacy, and identity protection features, you can opt for the lower-cost Avast Premium plan.

We chose the Avast One Family Individual plan since it’s a good middle-of-the-road option and costs less than half of what the Avast One Platinum plan runs. For $69.48/first yr, you’ll get antivirus security for up to five devices, which is much cheaper than what Malwarebytes costs for the same number of devices ($79.99/first yr).

The one area where Malwarebytes has a bit of an edge over Avast is the money-back guarantee. You’ll get 60 days to see how you like the software and can then get a refund if you choose not to keep it.

Avast comes with a money-back guarantee as well, but only for 30 days. Still, this gives you a whole month to try it out and get your money back if you don’t like it.

You should note that if you purchase Avast through Google Play or the Apple App Store, there are some restrictions based on the vendors and their refund policies. If you want the full 30- or 60-day period to try the software, we recommend buying it directly from Avast or Malwarebytes to avoid possible refund headaches.

Winner: Avast is the clear winner thanks to lower-cost plans and more options to choose from. However, we’d like to see a longer money-back guarantee similar to Malwarebytes’ 60-day guarantee.

Avast vs. Malwarebytes: features

Feature
Avast
Best Security Features

Malwarebytes
Manual and scheduled scans
Phishing protection
Ransomware protection Yes — Windows only
Firewall Yes — Windows only
VPN
Ad blocker
Device optimization tools
Parental controls
Password manager
Learn more Get Avast
Read Avast Review
Get Malwarebytes
Read Malwarebytes Review
Data as of 07/13/2023.

In comparing Avast vs. Malwarebytes, the features are quite different. For instance, Malwarebytes won’t give you a firewall with the antivirus software, but its Premium + Privacy VPN bundle comes with a VPN, which costs you $99.99 per year. (We’ll caution you that Malwarebytes Privacy VPN is best for lightweight streaming and logs some of your data, so it may not be the best option.)

We liked Malwarebytes Privacy VPN's simple and user-friendly interface.

The Malwarebytes Privacy VPN.

Malwarebytes also includes an ad blocker via the Browser Guard feature. The extension provides a safer, more private internet experience by blocking ads and suspicious websites that could compromise your online security.

Our Malwarebytes Browser Guard blocked 48 total threats from the PC World website.

In contrast, Avast antivirus doesn’t come with an ad blocker. However, it comes stocked with a firewall for Windows users and the Avast SecureLine VPN is included with all Avast One plans.

Avast SecureLine VPN's main screen showing that your device is connected.

The Avast SecureLine VPN.

You’ll also get some device optimization tools that can be very handy, like the Network Inspector, which scans your network to check for vulnerabilities and security problems. The Wi-Fi security alerts warn you if an intruder is attempting to gain access.

The Avast Premium Security Network Inspector preferences.

Lastly, if you choose to auto-renew your subscription, you get the Stay Safe Virus Guarantee that refunds your money if your device gets malware that Avast cannot remove. If these weren’t enough to get you interested, Avast has a data breach alerts feature to give you a heads-up if your sensitive information gets leaked.

Winner: Avast is the winner for this round. It offers more features to keep your data secure, like Network Inspector, tracking cookie blocker, data breach alerts, and Email Guardian phishing protection.

Avast vs. Malwarebytes: test results

We take our antivirus reviews seriously, and we know you do too. Not only do we perform our own testing to check out these products, but we also rely on independent third-party tests to get a complete sense of how these products hold up to rigid scrutiny. For Avast vs. Malwarebytes, we checked AV-TEST scores for both antivirus products. [1, 2, 3, 4]

Avast vs. Malwarebytes AV-TEST scores


Avast
Best Protection Scores

Malwarebytes
Windows score 18/18 17/18
macOS score 18/18 n/a
Android score 18/18 n/a
Learn more Get Avast
Read Avast Review
Get Malwarebytes
Read Malwarebytes Review
Avast test scores Mar-Apr 2023.
Malwarebytes test scores Mar-Apr 2023.

The test table shows that Avast received perfect scores across the board for Windows, macOS, and Android, meaning its malware detection, performance, and usability was top-tier. Malwarebytes only received 17/18 for Windows and had no recent testing for macOS or Android. That doesn’t necessarily mean this software isn’t good though. Since antivirus companies pay for these tests, sometimes they may choose not to have a product examined.

What we can see from the test results for Windows is that Malwarebytes didn’t show any false detections of legitimate software or false warnings while installing software. It did, however, score lower than the industry average for protection against zero-day cyber threats.

In comparing Avast for the same category, the software scored higher than the industry average. It even received a score of 100% for both months for protection against zero-day malware attacks. Avast also had no false detections of legitimate software.

Winner: Avast. Avast antivirus had perfect third-party test scores and performed better than Malwarebytes for protection against malware attacks.

Avast vs. Malwarebytes: compatibility and ease of use


Avast
Our Pick

Malwarebytes
Windows
macOS
Android
iOS
Browser extensions Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, Avast Secure Browser Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari
Learn more Get Avast
Read Avast Review
Get Malwarebytes
Read Malwarebytes Review

Both antivirus programs featured user-friendly interfaces and were easy to use. With Avast, scanning was fast and easy for both the Smart and Deep Scan functions. Features like the Network Inspector and Ransomware Shield are on by default, so there’s nothing extra for you to do.


We also liked that Avast has a Personal Privacy section where you decide how you want to share data or if you want to share it at all.


When testing Malwarebytes we noticed that you can only use the Full Scan feature with Windows. If you use a Mac, you’ll have to be satisfied with just Quick Scan.

We do like the scanning reports that come with Malwarebytes Premium because you can check your scanning history for the last 30 days to see if any malicious files were discovered.

Malwarebytes has a scan history list so you can see the results of every scan you ran in the past 30 days, including the date and time it was run.

Winner: Avast. Malwarebytes has some good features, but it doesn’t compare with what you get with Avast, like Full Scan for Mac and PC users, Network Inspector, and the Personal Privacy settings.

Avast vs. Malwarebytes: customer service


Avast
Our Pick

Malwarebytes
24/7 live chat
Phone
Email
Support forums
Online guides

There aren’t many options if you need customer support from Malwarebytes. You can enter a support ticket and wait for an email response or check out the online product guide. But that’s it.

Avast, on the other hand, delivers multiple ways to get support. There’s no live chat option, but you have access to phone support and can call 24/7 to get help with non-Avast technical issues if you pay for the premium support plan. Avast does offer an automated chat function to give you some additional assistance, but it is limited since it’s not a live chat.

If you’d rather do some troubleshooting on your own, you can view Avast’s online knowledge base or use the support forums to get help from the community.

Winner: Avast. It’s easy to see that Avast simply gives you more ways to contact support and get assistance when needed.

Avast vs. Malwarebytes antivirus FAQs


+

Do I need both Malwarebytes and Avast?

You don’t typically need two antivirus programs, although it’s possible to run both at the same time. But using two antivirus products could potentially interfere with your system resources and slow down your machine.


+

Which antivirus is better than Avast?

Avast is a good antivirus, but if you want software with features like parental controls, McAfee is better.


+

Can Avast detect all viruses?

Avast can detect all kinds of malware like ransomware, phishing scams, and other threats. According to the Avast website, it has six layers of protection to keep you safe from the latest viral threats and hackers.

Bottom line: Is Malwarebytes better than Avast?

When comparing Malwarebytes vs. Avast, our testing shows that Avast has more features and better protection scores. That doesn’t mean that we think Malwarebytes is bad, but we aren’t able to say it’s better.

Avast covers up to 30 devices with the Avast One plan compared to Malwarebytes’ coverage for up to 10. And Avast One comes with multiple bonus features like Network Inspector and Email Guardian that push it even further into the lead.

Still, both antivirus programs offer additional security features like a VPN and come with a well-regarded reputation for solid malware protection.

Avast vs. Malwarebytes alternatives

If neither of these antivirus programs tickles your fancy, we understand. Sometimes you want more or less, depending on your needs and life situation. If so, here are some alternative options you might want to consider.

  • TotalAV: This is a highly-rated antivirus that protects your device from multiple malware threats, has an intuitive interface, and includes a VPN and password manager. You can also grab its ad blocker, Total Adblock, to get rid of online ads and block trackers.

    Get TotalAV | Read Our TotalAV Review

  • Norton: Norton has been a trusted name in antivirus software for years. It comes with a secure VPN, password manager, and parental control features. We also like that you can choose to bundle Norton with LifeLock identity theft protection to cover all aspects of your digital life.

    Get NortonRead Our Norton Review

  • Bitdefender: Bitdefender gives you reliable antivirus security with a clean interface that offers premium features like parental controls and a firewall, along with almost perfect third-party test scores. We also like that it comes with mic and webcam protection.

    Get Bitdefender | Read Our Bitdefender Review

4.8
Learn More
On Avast's website

Avast
  • High antivirus test scores
  • Ransomware protection
  • No parental controls
Author Details
Patti Croft is a seasoned writer who specializes in all things technology. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science and carries a wealth of hands-on experience thanks to her background as a technical analyst and security specialist.

Citations

[1] Test Avast Free Antivirus 23.1 & 23.2 for Windows 11

[2] Test Avast Security 15.6 for MacOS Ventura

[3] Test Avast Antivirus & Security 23.3 for Android

[4] Test Malwarebytes Premium 4.5 for Windows 11