We have combined this comprehensive comparison based on seasoned experts’ research and the world’s top independent labs. That way, you can make an informed decision when choosing the best antivirus for you.

We follow four labs that regularly release detailed reports: AV-Test Institute based in Germany, MRG-Effitas, SE Labs in the UK, and AV-Comparatives based in Austria.

The total number of malicious programs discovered in 2020 surpassed the total of 2019 in September. AV-Test reports that 1.1 billion were found in the first 10 months of 2020. The last 10 years show a scary trend as the number has risen over 16 times from only 65 million malicious programs in 2011.

Ransomware attacks are on the rise as well. Ransomware is malware that locks your files and data so hackers can release it when you pay the ransom. Emisoft says that US ransomware attacks cost an estimated $7.5 billion in 2019.

So you can see that the stakes are pretty high when it comes to digital security.

In this head-to-head battle, you’ll see the security products, features, and tools both companies offer. We look at how they stack up against each other regarding malware protection, system performance, user interface, cost, and more.

Here are the most important factors that we’ve compared:

  • Protection
  • Performance
  • Usability
  • Features
  • Pricing

We do this so you have an easy way to choose the software that best serves your needs. And you may never have to pay criminals for your data.

So let’s get on with it.

A quick overview of results

We have created this quick overview for an easy comparison of all the essential facts. If you’re in a bit of a hurry, that’s the right place to start.

  • Protection

    AVG offers excellent protection and detection. Malwarebytes showed below industry average test results.

  • Performance

    Both software have some problems with performance, but Malwarebytes causes severe slow-down while installing popular applications.

  • Usability

    Both our competitors have easy-to-use interfaces, but AVG had more problems with false reports than Malwarebytes.

  • Features

    Both companies offer various security products, but AVG's line-up is much more expansive, offering more specific options.

  • Pricing

    When comparing the prices, we can see that AVG and Malwarebytes have almost precisely the same prices.

A short verdict

AVG is a better antivirus software than Malwarebytes. It offers higher-grade protection, better performance, and more features.

  1. Overall winner
    AVG Antivirus logo

    AVG

    AVG offers everything you need for securing your computer against viruses, malware, and more – both offline and online.

    Special offer - 43% offGet the best dealFrom $39.99 / year
  2. Malwarebytes Antivirus logo

    Malwarebytes

    Malwarebytes offers an excellent user interface and is easy to operate. The downsides are its protection abilities and performance issues.

    Visit websiteFrom $39.99 / year

Detailed results

If a short overview and quick summaries aren’t for you, we’re happy to dive into the details. We put AVG and Malwarebytes head-to-head in all the categories using our experts’ data and test results of top independent testing facilities.

Let’s see which did better.

Protection

Protection against malware is undoubtedly the most crucial part of any antivirus software. In the last tests, AVG and Malwarebytes showed results that differed from one another quite a lot.

We usually compare the test results of many labs, but unfortunately, Malwarebytes is only tested by AV-Test. Let’s see what their results show.

In the last tests, AV-Test put both software up against 402 samples of 0-day malware attacks and 20606 samples of malware for four weeks.

AVG tested a clean 100% in both protection and detection. Malwarebytes, on the other hand, showed below industry average results with 95,9% in protection and 99,8% in detection.

Industry average AVG Malwarebytes
Protection against 0-day malware attacks, inclusive of web and email threats

402 samples used

Detection of widespread and prevalent malware discovered in the last 4 weeks

20606 samples used

Source: av-test.org

Compared to Malwarebyte, AVG clearly offers higher-grade protection. That’s why we can say that AVG is the winner in this category.

Winner: AVG

Performance

Another crucial aspect to consider when choosing antivirus software is its performance. This means you have to look at how much of a toll it takes on your computer. Does it slow the computer down, or are you able to do everything you need with ease? It’s crucial for the solution to trouble your everyday tasks as little as possible. Trying to load websites or open applications when the computer keeps slowing down can get quite infuriating.

Our experience has shown, it can be quite a problem in some cases. Let’s see how the two competitors hold up against each other in that regard so that you can avoid any issues.

AV-Test conducts tests to find out how antivirus software impacts the computer’s ability to perform. Results show that AVG lets you install frequently-used applications faster than the industry average. There are some problems when launching websites or apps, though.

Malwarebytes did well when launching websites and downloading apps. But as you try to install or launch said applications, it takes a considerable toll on your computer’s performance.

Industry average AVG Malwarebytes
Slowing-down when launcing popular websites

50 websites visited

Slower download of frequently-used applications

20 downloaded files

Slower launch of standard software

12 test cases applied

Slower installation of frequently-used applications

19 installed applications

Slower copying of files (locally and in a network)

7388 files copied

Source: av-test.org

Because of the percentage of slow-down Malwarebytes caused while installing popular applications, the win goes to AVG.

Winner: AVG

Usability

When you have found an antivirus to keep you safe while not taking too much of a toll on your computer, it’s time to consider its usability. There are two aspects to compare. Firstly, its interface and how easy it is to use. Secondly, the software’s false reporting. False error notifications can get annoying quickly. And when a real one shows up, we might even ignore it altogether.

To find the best option, let’s compare the interfaces first.

AVG has a simplistic, modern design that is easy on the eyes. The excellent color contrast makes information easy to grasp, and minimalist icons are understandable at first sight.

The first thing you notice is a green tick that says if your computer is protected. If there are some malware problems or any of the features are disabled, it lets you know.

On the main screen, you will find all the features separately as well – Computer, Web & Email, Hacker Attacks, Privacy, and Payments.

You can also see when you ran the last scan and when the virus definition database was updated.

With just one click, you can start a smart scan. If you prefer to run a different scan, click on the three dots that are part of the button.

AVG User Interface Screenshot

Malwarebytes offers a modern and easy to understand application that is intuitive in its design as well. Colors are natural on the eyes, and everything can be found in a heartbeat.

The main window shows your device’s status and gives you an option to update the bundle if you need protection for more than one device.

On the left, you can see Detection History that shows the results of the last scan and items quarantined.

In the middle of the bottom portion, you can find Scanner and see when the next scan is scheduled. There is also a button for you to start a scan if you wish to do so.

On the right is the Real-Time Protection section that lets you know what features are turned on. You can turn on and off Web Protection, Malware & PUP Protection, Ransomware Protection, and Exploit Protection.

Notifications, settings, and information are in the top right corner of the main window.

Malwarebytes User Interface Screenshot

Now let’s dive into false reporting.

AV-Test labs also gather information on false reporting. The results show that both options had a few false notifications pop up. AVG had five false reports, Malwarebytes only had two.

Industry average AVG Malwarebytes
False warnings or blockages when visiting websites

500 samples used

False detections of legimate software as malware during a system scan

964 585 samples used

False warnings concerning certain actions carried out whilst installing and using legitimate software

87 samples used

False blockages of certain actions carried out whilst installing and using legitimate software

87 samples used

Source: av-test.org

As both our competitors have easy-to-use interfaces, it all comes down to false reporting. AVG showed a below industry average result of 5 false reports. Malwarebytes, on the other hand, performed above industry average with 2 false notifications. The win goest to Malwarebytes.

Winner: Malwarebytes

Features

AVG and Malwarebytes have quite different line-ups. AVG offers different antivirus and online security options, as well as a few performance products. Malwarebytes only have two products, sold separately and bundled up.

Let’s see what AVG has to offer first.

AVG’s product line consists of security, performance, and privacy tools. Let’s talk about the most important ones first – the security line.

AVG entry-level product is actually free and called AVG Antivirus Free. It is available both on PC and MAC, as well as for your mobile devices. You can scan your device and find the viruses, spyware, ransomware, and other malware. It also blocks unsafe links, downloads, and email attachments. AVG’s free option can also point out any performance issues your PC has.

But if you want real ongoing protection, it’s better to opt for AVG Internet Security with a lot more features. That way, you’ll get real-time security updates, and your webcam is safe from any peeping Toms. AVG’s enhanced firewall will keep any hacker out, and your private folders will get an extra layer of ransomware protection. AVG Internet Security will also help you avoid fake websites so you won’t get scammed online. It’s available as one device option and a ten device bundle for families.

AVG performance division offers two products – AVG TuneUp for PC and Mac, and AVG Driver Updater for PC. TuneUp lets you get the most out of your computer with automatic maintenance and removing unneeded files and apps. Driver Updater keeps all your drivers up to date without you having to lift a finger.

AVG also offers three privacy products – AVG Secure VPN and AVG Secure Browser for PC and Mac, as well as AVG AntiTrack for PC. Secure VPN will secure any WiFi wherever you go, so your browsing, banking, and online payments stay hidden and protected. It will also keep your online activity private with an encrypted connection. That means nobody sees what you do online, including hackers, your ISP, and even the government. VPN also gives you unrestricted, worldwide access. A list of anonymous international servers lets you pick a country of your choice, and surf and stream as if you were there.

All of AVG products are also available as a big bundle called AVG Ultimate. It consists of AVG Internet Security, TuneUp, and Secure VPN. When going for this option, you’ll get all of AVG’s products at a reasonable price.

View all AVG products

Now let’s take a look at what Malwarebytes has to offer.

Malwarebytes offers antivirus for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Chromebook. There is also a free version of Malwarebytes. Still, you can only use it to clean up an already infected computer.

The paid version is called Malwarebytes Premium and offers different features based on the device you use.

The Windows version protects your identity and privacy from hackers as well as your documents and financial files from ransomware. It also includes security against malicious and fraudulent websites and offers malware protection.

If you use an Apple computer, Malwarebytes offers protection against viruses, spyware, and malware and blocks adware and unwanted programs. Mac users also get notifications if they are about to open apps from developers of unwanted software.

You can buy the software for only one device or up to 5 devices.

The new addition to the product family is Malwarebytes Privacy. It helps protect your online privacy, secures your WiFi connection, and delivers speeds way faster than older VPNs.

It helps keep your connection secure with 256-bit encryption and uses a newer and faster VPN protocol to get all the benefits of a VPN with less lag.

The Privacy software can stop advertisers and websites using your IP address to track your activity across sites by assigning you a virtual IP address.

You can also use it to make it appear like you’re connecting to the Internet from a different country so you can view new content.

Malwarebytes also offers its products a discounted bundle called Malwarebytes Premium Bundle, where you get both Premium antivirus and Privacy as one package. You can use it on up to 5 devices.

View all Malwarebytes products

As you can see, both companies offer a variety of security products. AVG’s line-up is much broader, though. That means you can have specific help for a particular problem. That’s the reason why the win goes to AVG.

Winner: AVG

Pricing

When deciding which option to go with, pricing is one of the most critical factors. You have to take all the details into account to make the best decision. When investing in antivirus software, you are not purchasing an application but rather an ease-of-mind that your digital life is in safe hands.

It’s usually believed that the more you pay, the more you get. But that isn’t always the case. Let’s compare the price points of AVG and Malwarebytes to find out what’s the situation.

  1. AVG Antivirus logo

    AVG Internet Security

    Antivirus, ransomware protection, a customizable firewall, and more.

    Special offer - 43% offGet the best dealFrom $39.99 / year
  2. AVG Antivirus logo

    AVG Ultimate

    Antivirus, tuneup, and VPN in one ultimate package.

    Special offer - 33% offGet the best deal $79.99 / year

Malwarebytes offers a few options for its products. You can buy its antivirus and privacy products separately or as a bundle.

  1. Malwarebytes Antivirus logo

    Malwarebytes Premium

    Malwarebytes is smarter, faster, and lighter than ever before. Go beyond antivirus and stop worrying about online threats.

    Visit websiteFrom $39.99 / year
  2. Malwarebytes Antivirus logo

    Malwarebytes Privacy

    Next-generation VPN helps protect your online privacy, secures your WiFi connection, and delivers speeds way faster than older VPNs.

    Special offer - 34% offGet the best deal $49.99 / year
  3. Malwarebytes Antivirus logo

    Malwarebytes Premium Bundle

    All the antivirus capabilities with an added VPN to give you all-round protection both offline and online.

    Visit website $74.99 / year

The two software are priced almost precisely the same. This means you have to consider everything discussed before. We can’t really point to a clear winner in this category.

Winner: It’s a tie

Final Thoughts

AVG did better in three categories – protection, performance, and features. Malwarebytes only got one win with false reporting, but the difference really wasn’t that much. All of this can only mean one thing. We think that AVG is a better option than Malwarebytes.

Keep in mind that we give our best to get you all the facts to decide what is the best option for you. After all, you are the one that is going to use the software. We hope this review has been helpful to you.

  1. Overall winner
    AVG Antivirus logo

    AVG

    AVG offers everything you need for securing your computer against viruses, malware, and more – both offline and online.

    Special offer - 43% offGet the best dealFrom $39.99 / year

Top 3 best antivirus software in 2020

  • Norton Antivirus logo

    The best protection, performance, and usability you can get.

    Special offer - up to 60% offGet the best dealFrom $29.99 / year
  • Avira Antivirus logo

    Professional grade protection for home users.

    Visit websiteFrom $34.95 / year
  • Kaspersky Antivirus logo

    High-level of protection with low impact on performance.

    Special offer - 50% offGet the best dealFrom $25.99 / year