Malwarebytes Privacy VPN Review 2024: A Great Beginner VPN

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN is a popular VPN from a long-time cybersecurity company, Malwarebytes. But does it live up to its hype?
3.7
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On Malwarebytes Privacy VPN's website

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN
  • Uses modern WireGuard protocol
  • Unblocks Netflix
  • Logs some data
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Malwarebytes Privacy VPN is suitable for those with basic security requirements and lightweight streaming needs. It passed IP and DNS leak tests and can offer privacy for online activity. However, it has a limit of five devices and offers only annual subscriptions.

Malwarebytes VPN is a good option for basic privacy but other VPN providers may be better suited if you require more diverse features, flexible subscription options, and stronger protection against logging and government access.

We aim to address all of your concerns and everything you would ever need to know about Malwarebytes Privacy VPN. Ready? Let’s dive in.

In this article
Malwarebytes Privacy VPN review at a glance
Who is Malwarebytes VPN best for?
Malwarebytes Privacy VPN features
Malwarebytes Privacy VPN test results
Malwarebytes Privacy VPN compatibility
Malwarebytes Privacy customer support
Malwarebytes Privacy VPN FAQs
Bottom line: Is Malwarebytes Privacy VPN good?

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN review at a glance

Price $3.33–$8.33/mo
Free version 7-day free trial
Max # of connected devices 5
# of servers 500+ in 40+ countries
VPN protocol WireGuard
No-logs policy No logs
Headquarters Santa Clara, California, U.S.
Netflix access Yes
Learn more Get Malwarebytes Privacy VPN
Prices as of 06/29/2023.

Who is Malwarebytes VPN best for?

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN is a good option for basic privacy and security, but there are limitations to consider. While this VPN offers both multihop and split tunneling functions, these features are limited to Windows.

And while the monthly investment is low, there’s only an annual subscription option. Not everyone needs 12 months' worth of VPN services. Luckily Malwarebytes says you can cancel at any time. If you fall within its 60-day money-back guarantee, you can submit a support ticket to customer service and receive a refund.

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

Additionally, Malwarebytes is based in the U.S., which may make your data accessible to the government, despite a no-logs policy. And those same logging policies may not meet everyone's expectations, as they do collect license information and change your public key sometimes. Also, five device connections may be perfect or not enough for some.

Overall, for those seeking greater privacy and more flexibility, there are other VPNs that offer just that. But the average person is likely to find this sufficient for their everyday needs, and the ability to bundle the VPN with Malwarebytes antivirus protection is a bonus.

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN pros and cons

Pros
  • Unblocks Netflix
  • Includes an automatic kill switch for Windows
  • Uses modern WireGuard protocol
Cons
  • Includes only 500+ servers
  • Logs some data
  • Headquartered in the U.S.

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN features

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN is a reliable and secure choice for streaming and meeting basic security needs. However, some users may have security concerns about the company or the VPN service.

Some of our favorite features include the following:

  • Unblocks Netflix libraries: With 500+ server locations in 40 countries, you can enjoy extensive access to Netflix libraries in the U.K., Japan, Australia, and more.
  • User-friendly interface and guides: Simple navigation and readily accessible online guides.
  • AES-256 encryption: Utilizes highly secure 256-bit encryption trusted by governments and businesses.
  • Automatic kill switch for Windows and macOS: Instantly cuts off internet traffic if the VPN connection drops, enhancing data protection.
  • Uses WireGuard: The WireGuard protocol offers faster VPN speeds and reduced lag.
  • Offers multihop and split tunneling: Malwarebytes calls multihop (double VPN) “connection mode” and split tunneling “connection rules” — both features provide additional security for your Wi-Fi connection.

Here are the potential cons we see with Malwarebytes Privacy VPN:

  • Jurisdiction: Based in the United States, Malwarebytes is subject to data retention laws and intelligence-sharing agreements, such as the Five Eyes Alliance. This raises concerns about government surveillance and data access.
  • Logging policy: While claiming a no-logs policy, Malwarebytes’ privacy policy should be reviewed for specifics. Minimal logs can still compromise privacy.
  • Limited server network: With a limited server network, slow connections and speed drops may be more common and it can be frustrating to find a good server due to overcrowding.
  • Advanced security features: Malwarebytes Privacy VPN prioritizes simplicity over advanced security features. If you need stronger security measures, you might find it lacking. There are additional security features included if you bundle the VPN with Malwarebytes Premium antivirus — but you’ll need to pay more.
  • Independent audits: Malwarebytes Privacy VPN hasn't undergone independent security audits from the looks of their website, potentially affecting trust in their privacy and security claims.
  • Feature limitations: Some features, like multihop and split tunneling, are available only for Windows, leaving out macOS and mobile users.

Evaluate your security needs before deciding if Malwarebytes Privacy VPN meets your requirements. Want to binge-watch your favorite TV series this weekend? Likely a solid choice. Trying to run from the government? Not so much.

Server count and countries

  • Over 500 servers in 40+ countries

Having servers in different locations allows you to access specific content, improve your connection speed, and enhance privacy and security by connecting through different countries.

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN over 500 servers across the globe.

Currently, Malwarebytes Privacy VPN has over 500 VPN servers spread across more than 40 different countries. Here is the breakdown by continent:

  • Europe: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Moldova, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine
  • North America: Canada, the United States
  • Asia: Israel, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore
  • South America: Brazil, Colombia
  • Africa: South Africa
  • Oceania: Australia, New Zealand

While Malwarebytes Privacy VPN has a smaller number of servers compared to competitors like NordVPN, which has 5,730 servers as of today, it still provides wide coverage across various continents. Again, the server count comes down to your specific needs.

No-logs policy and headquarters

  • Malwarebytes Privacy VPN logs policy: Malwarebytes VPN logs minimal data, including bandwidth usage and the public key used for the connection.
  • Malwarebytes Privacy VPN headquarters: Santa Clara, California, United States

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN claims to have a "no-logs policy," but its privacy policy suggests some data collection. Being based in California, United States raises concerns due to surveillance alliances like the Five Eyes Alliance.

A VPN provider in such jurisdictions may have to share user data with the government. If you’re concerned about privacy, you may prefer VPNs based in countries outside of these alliances to minimize the risk of government surveillance and data sharing, such as NordVPN (Panama), ExpressVPN (British Virgin Islands), or CyberGhost (Romania).

While not a true no-logs policy, this stance isn't unusual in the VPN world. It is worth noting that Malwarebytes Privacy VPN doesn’t log network data, which includes personal information like email addresses and IP addresses.

Kill switch

A kill switch is a feature that prevents your device from automatically switching back to its regular, unencrypted internet connection if the VPN unexpectedly disconnects. This is especially important if you’re using public Wi-Fi and want to prevent hackers from gaining access to your device.

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN has an automatic kill switch feature for both macOS and Windows.

Multihop (double VPN)

As of the time of our review, the multihop feature is currently exclusive to Windows users. Mobile and macOS users do not have access to this feature.

With multihop, also known as double VPN, you can establish a connection through two different VPN servers, enhancing your online privacy and security. Malwarebytes calls this “connection mode.”

With multihopping, your data gets encrypted and passes through multiple VPN servers, making it harder for anyone to trace your online activities back to your device. This extra layer of protection is particularly useful in countering potential surveillance from entities like the Five Eyes Alliance, given that Malwarebytes is based in the U.S.

Considering these factors, if you have lesser security needs, are a macOS or a mobile user, or prioritize simplicity and user-friendliness, Malwarebytes Privacy VPN without multihop may still be a suitable choice.

Encryption

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN uses a strong encryption method called the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), specifically AES-256. AES was specifically chosen by the U.S. government to protect important and secret information.

AES is widely used around the world to encrypt sensitive data, both in software and hardware. By using 256-bit encryption, Malwarebytes Privacy VPN ensures your data is secure and protected from unauthorized access. This means your information stays private while using the VPN.

VPN protocol

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN uses the WireGuard tunneling protocol, which is a free and open-source option designed to be faster than other VPN protocols like OpenVPN, IPsec, and IKEv2. It uses the ChaCha20 algorithm to encrypt data, which is just as secure as AES-256 but requires fewer system resources. WireGuard also runs better on mobile devices and offers faster speeds and more reliable connections.

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN test results

Testing VPNs helps us understand how fast and reliable they are at protecting your privacy and security. We tested the performance of Malwarebytes Privacy VPN by measuring the download, upload, and latency speeds of its servers around the world. We used online tools to check the internet speed and ensure there were no DNS leaks or IP address problems.

Speed tests

During our testing using Malwarebytes Privacy VPN on a 2018 MacBook Pro, we experienced significant lag and delays when loading web pages. Buffering was noticeable, causing delays in streaming content.

To assess the impact on internet speed, we conducted a baseline speed test without a VPN. Our download speed was 245.5 Mbps, upload speed at 124.5 Mbps, and ping rate was 35 milliseconds (ms).

With Malwarebytes Privacy VPN enabled, the download speed decreased by as much as 148%. The upload speed decreased up to 135%, and our latency also saw a significant increase, reaching up to 150%.

Based on these results, Malwarebytes Privacy VPN is not equipped for activities that demand low latency and high bandwidth, like professional gaming, torrenting, or serious streaming. Not everyone has these needs though, so as always, consider your expectations of a VPN when using this product.

Our speed tests showed Malwarebytes VPN slowed our internet speed down significantly, making it a less-than-stellar choice for activities like streaming.

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN speed test results

Test type No VPN US to US US to EU US to AU
Download speed 245.5 Mbps 123.6 Mbps 41.8 Mbps 36.6 Mbps
Upload speed 124.5 Mbps 94.1 Mbps 75 Mbps 24.4 Mbps
Latency (ping) 35 ms 37 ms 110 ms 243 ms
Download speed % difference N/A 49.7% decrease 83.0% decrease 85.1% decrease
Upload speed % difference N/A 24.4% decrease 39.8% decrease 80.4% decrease
Latency % difference N/A 5.7% increase 214.3% increase 594.3% increase
Test results as of 06/14/2023.

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN Netflix tests

  • Malwarebytes VPN Netflix test results: Yes, it unblocked all except the U.S. to U.S. servers.

Something we’re seriously impressed with is Malwarebytes Privacy VPN’s access to Netflix. For Netflix streamers, you’re in luck. Almost all of the Malwarebytes VPN servers have unblocked Netflix’s worldwide libraries. If you are new to streaming with a VPN, we recommend you learn how to watch Netflix on a VPN.

The only issue we ran into with Malwarebytes VPN was that we could not access Netflix from another U.S. server. When we changed the server to one in the U.K., Canada, or Australia, it worked like a charm.

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN successfully unblocked Australian Netflix.

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN Netflix test results

US to US US to UK US to Canada US to AU
Did it work with Netflix?
Test results as of 06/14/2023.

The thing to know about VPNs and streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer is that the streaming platforms are always trying to detect and block VPNs. On the other hand, VPNs are always trying to find ways around detection, so you may find different VPN servers, a whole different VPN, or even trying Netflix on another day may work if you run into trouble.

DNS and WebRTC leak tests

  • Malwarebytes VPN DNS leak test results: No leaks
  • Malwarebytes VPN WebRTC leak test results: No leaks

Our WebRTC test showed Malwarebytes Privacy VPN has no leaks.

A DNS leak test checks if your device accidentally shares your browsing activity outside of the private VPN tunnel, potentially exposing it to your internet service provider (ISP) or others. A WebRTC leak test verifies if your actual IP address is revealed when using WebRTC, which could also jeopardize your privacy.

We used a special tool to detect leaks, and none of the servers tested had any IP, WebRTC, or DNS leaks. This means that when you use the Malwarebytes VPN service, your browsing Information stays protected inside the VPN tunnel, and your real IP address remains hidden when using WebRTC applications.

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN compatibility

Whether you're using a Windows computer, a Mac, an Android device, or an Apple device, Malwarebytes Privacy VPN has got you covered. This VPN is compatible with with desktop and mobile apps for:

  • Microsoft Windows 7 and up
  • macOS Catalina 10.15.4 and up
  • Android 9 and up
  • iOS 14 and up

Malwarebytes Privacy customer support

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN has a large knowledge base with helpful guides, FAQs, forums, and a blog. However, live support isn’t very effective because you can't talk to a real person. Instead, Malwarebytes uses an AI chatbot. If you need assistance, you have to submit a support ticket and wait for a response.

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN prices and subscriptions

Malwarebytes VPN offers three subscription options and you can also bundle it with Malwarebytes Premium antivirus, which earned four stars for its effective anti-malware tools.

While the pricing may seem reasonable, the least expensive plan protects only a single device, and the most expensive plan provides a modest upgrade for multiple device coverage. The VPN also offers only annual subscriptions, which doesn’t provide much flexibility. (If cost is a constraint, there are ways to save money on a VPN.)

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN cost

Plan 1 Device
3 Devices
5 Devices
Price per month $3.33/mo $4.17/mo $5.00/mo
Price per year $39.99/yr $49.99/yr $59.99/yr
Learn more View Plan View Plan View Plan
Prices as of 06/29/2023.

Malwarebytes Premium + Privacy VPN bundle cost

Plan 1 Device 3 Devices 5 Devices
Price per month $5.00/mo for 1 device $6.67/mo for 3 devices $8.33/mo for 5 devices
Price per year $59.99 $79.99 $99.99
Learn more View Plan View Plan View Plan
Prices as of 06/29/2023.

Malwarebytes offers a free 7-day trial for its VPN service as well as a 60-day money-back guarantee.

Speaking of prices, we'd love to see Malwarebytes accept additional payment methods. Currently, it only accepts PayPal as well as credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.

Other VPNs, like ExpressVPN and NordVPN, accept multiple payment methods including cryptocurrency and gift cards. And Mullvad VPN even accepts cash. The anonymity these types of payments provide is especially ideal for anyone using a VPN for personal security.

Malwarebytes Privacy FAQs


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Is Malwarebytes VPN better than NordVPN?

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN may be suitable for basic browsing and streaming needs, but it isn’t ideal for gamers or users with high security and privacy requirements, due to potential latency issues and logging policies.

In comparison, NordVPN offers more features, compatibility with a wider range of devices, a larger server network, an independently audited no-logs policy, and stronger privacy measures.

If enhanced privacy and faster speed are your goals, NordVPN is the better move.


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How do I know Malwarebytes VPN is working?

The connection status is displayed under the app's ON/OFF toggle. If you still can’t tell if Malwarebytes VPN is working, do a quick IP address test.

  1. Make sure your VPN is disconnected and go to a privacy-oriented search engine, like DuckDuckGo. Type and enter, "What is my IP address?" Write down what IP address comes up.
  2. Start Malwarebytes Privacy VPN and connect to a server. Double-check to see that you're connected by looking at the ON/OFF toggle. Notice the IP address the VPN has given you at the bottom of the VPN’s interface.
  3. Repeat step one and record what your IP address is now.

If your IP address did not change from step one, your IP address is not concealed. If it matches the one you picked during step two, your IP address is masked.


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Does Malwarebytes VPN hide your IP address?

Yes, Malwarebytes VPN can protect your online privacy by hiding your IP address. Your IP address is like your home address on the internet. This VPN uses split tunneling and has network filters that block connections to certain applications’ IP addresses or ports unless the VPN is connected, adding an extra level of privacy protection.


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Can you turn off Malwarebytes VPN?

Yes, you can turn off Malwarebytes VPN. Simply open the app and toggle the ON button to OFF, or right-click on the tray icon and select "disconnect." Disabling the VPN may reduce your online privacy and security. To resume using the VPN, just turn it back on using the same method.


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Who owns Malwarebytes?

Malwarebytes was founded in 2004 by Marcin Kleczynski.

Bottom line: Is Malwarebytes Privacy VPN good?

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN is a good choice if you want basic security and streaming capabilities. It offers a user-friendly interface, strong encryption, and a kill switch that cuts off internet access if the VPN connection drops. It can also be bundled with Malwarebytes Premium antivirus software for multi-layer device protection.

However, there are a few factors to consider. Malwarebytes is based in the United States, which has data laws that may raise concerns for some users. The server network is limited, leading to potential slowness — our speed tests revealed a serious drop in internet speed and noticeable lag. Additionally, the VPN lacks advanced security features and independent audits.

If you prioritize streaming and have moderate security needs, Malwarebytes Privacy VPN is a suitable option. However, if you require stronger security or additional features, other VPN providers like NordVPN and Surfshark may be worth considering if you are looking for the best VPN service.

3.7
Learn More
On Malwarebytes Privacy VPN's website

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN
  • Uses modern WireGuard protocol
  • Unblocks Netflix
  • Logs some data
Author Details
Cheyenne Lightfoot is a freelance content writer specializing in the intersection between identity and access management and user privacy. As an account executive, she has helped small-to-medium-sized businesses prevent data breaches, safeguard sensitive information, and achieve compliance with passwordless multi-factor authentication software.