This comprehensive guide was created based on the research of our seasoned experts and the top independent labs in the world so that you could make an informed decision.

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

AV-Test Institute discovered 144.91 million new malware samples in 2019 and a record of 38.48 million new samples in the first quarter of 2020. Malicious hackers are now attacking computers and networks at a rate of one attack every 39 seconds.

Using ransomware is one of the highest growing trends among hackers. The payoff is the main reason for it. Ransomware payments are now totaling around $1 billion per year, making them far more lucrative than traditional malware operations. Ransomware is so financially-viable, in fact, that hackers have upped the amounts they’re asking for in ransom payments. The price for ransomware removal increased 93 percent in Q1 2019.

As you can see, high-grade protection is more critical than ever before.

In this comparison, 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

You need to be able to protect yourself against any digital threats, so you don’t have to deal with these kinds of problems ever in your life.

So let’s see what’s what.

A quick overview of results

If you’re in a rush or just not too interested in all the statistics, we have compiled a handy overview of the results.

  • Protection

    Bitdefender showed a brilliant 100% protection and detection rates, while Malwarebytes did well below average.

  • Performance

    Malwarebytes takes a considerable toll on your computer's performance while installing or launching applications.

  • Usability

    Both products offer simple and straightforward to use interfaces. There were some small issues with false reporting by both software options, though.

  • Features

    The list of features for Bitdefender is quite long. But it is as long for Malwarebytes. That's why we have to say it's a tie.

  • Pricing

    Bitdefender's entry-level products have better prices. Mid- and high-level options are priced about the same.

A short verdict

Bitdefender is a better option than Malwarebytes in almost every regard. It protects better against viruses, doesn’t take that much of a toll on your computer’s performance, and is priced lower.

  1. Overall winner
    Bitdefender Antivirus logo

    Bitdefender

    Since 2001, Bitdefender innovation has consistently delivered award-winning security products and threat intelligence for people, homes, businesses, devices, networks, and cloud services.

    Special offer 50% offGet the best dealFrom $19.99 / year
  2. The other choice
    Malwarebytes Antivirus logo

    Malwarebytes

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

    Get the best dealFrom $39.99 / year

Detailed results

If you’re the kind of person that loves to get to know products before investing in them, you’ve come to the right place. We would be happy to dive into the details that were uncovered during our research. Let’s see everything we learned when we put Bitdefender and Malwarebytes head-to-head. Two contenders were compared in 5 categories using data gathered by our experts and test results of top independent testing facilities.

So let’s see what we found out.

Protection

We can honestly say that there is one main reason you might want to install antivirus software – the security it offers against malware. The last tests show that one of our competitors did a bit better than the other.

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

AV-Test put both software up against 402 samples of 0-day malware attacks and 20606 samples of malware in four weeks.

While Bitdefender protected against 100% threats, Malwarebytes had a 95,9% success rate. One did much better than the other. Malwarebytes didn’t even reach the industry average of 98%.

Bitdefender also detected widespread malware with a 100% rate. Malwarebytes only yielded a 99,8% result. Once again, performing below average.

Industry average Bitdefender 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

When one software gets a home run, and the other is below average in all aspects, it’s easy to call the winner.

Winner: Bitdefender

Performance

If you choose to secure your digital life, 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.

Let’s see how the two competitors hold up against each other in that regard so that you can avoid any problems.

AV-Test lab research shows that Bitdefender performs quite nicely while installing frequently used applications, but may cause some slow-down while launching popular websites. 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 Bitdefender 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 Bitdefender.

Winner: Bitdefender

Usability

The usability of antivirus software can be measured in two aspects. The first is its interface and how easy it is to use. The second is the software’s false reporting. If false reports keep popping up left and right, you can’t properly use your computer. That’s why we put the products head-to-head in both aspects.

First, let’s compare the interfaces.

Bitdefender offers a modern and easy to understand application with an intuitive design. Compared to some of the competitors, it has a bit more information on the home screen. Still, the important things stand out, and everything can be found in a heartbeat.

On the left side of the window, you can find a menu for different modules.

The first is the dashboard that is basically the home screen and gives you an overview of everything that is going on. There’s a big status message on the top, letting you know if your computer is safe. You can also start a quick scan there, open the VPN, safepay, and add other devices you wish to keep safe. There’s also an option to add a customized quick action.

If you check back to the right, you’ll find the protection module, where you can see if your device is protected and if the program is up to date. You are also able to start a quick scan or a vulnerability scan from there.

If you go through the options on the left, you are presented with privacy, utilities, notifications, your account, setting, and support.

Bitdefender User Interface

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 also conducts usability tests that show if any false reports show up. Results indicate that both software have some issues with false reporting. To be honest, for an everyday user, such a small number of false reports doesn’t impact usability.

Industry average Bitdefender 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 you can see, Bitdefender and Malwarebytes only had a few false reporting issues in the last tests. As an everyday user, that small amount doesn’t bother any work. That’s why the result can be nothing else than a tie for this category.

Winner: It’s a tie

Features

Bitdefender and Malwarebytes both come with all the necessary features for you to protect your digital life. There are entry-level products and big bundles available as well. Something for every need.

Let’s first see what Bitdefender has to offer.

Bitdefender offers a wide variety of security products for PC, Mac, Android, and iOS users. They also can provide multiple services for their clients, ranging from install and setup to computer tune-up.

Bitdefender’s entry-level product for PCs is called Bitdefender Antivirus Plus and it offers essential antivirus protection. The Mac version of the same product is called Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac. It promises absolute antivirus protection against all Mac-related threats.

The lightweight software also offers multi-layer ransomware protection, as well as blocks and removes annoying adware. The software prevents phishing and online fraud when shopping and browsing. You’ll also get a secure VPN for complete online privacy, including 200 MB of traffic a day.

The only thing the Mac version offers, that the PC version doesn’t, is the additional Time Machine protection for your backed-up files in case of a ransomware attack. If you compare the two products the other way, you can see that PC users get a lot more than the Mac users.

Here’s a list of all the features that are only available with the PC version:

  • Advanced Threat Defense that uses a technique called behavioral detection to closely monitor active apps. The moment it detects anything suspicious, it takes instant action to prevent infections.
  • A new cyber threat intelligence network threat prevention technologies that can analyze and identify suspicious network-level activities and block sophisticated exploits, malware, or botnet-related URLs, as well as brute force attacks.
  • Advanced aunty fraud filtering system warns you whenever you visit websites that may try to scam you.
  • Safe Files that can prevent unauthorized changes to your most important files. You can simply add folders to the watch list, and Bitdefender guards the files stored in them against ransomware and other types of malware. Only applications you explicitly trust are allowed to access your Safe Files.

These examples are only from the protection features. Bitdefender also offers performance features such as Global Protective Network, Battery Mode, as well as Game, Movie & Work Modes for PC. There is also safe online banking, WiFi security advisor, social network protection, vulnerability assessment, a Password manager, and a file shredder features available to PC users.

If you use more than one computer, the PC version is available for up to 10 devices. The Mac option can be purchased for only up to 3 devices. A 30-day free trial is available for both PC and Mac.

Bitdefender Internet Security is a mid-tier option available to only PC users. Its threat detection is designed to keep all Internet threats away.

It comes with a privacy firewall to block intrusions, filter your network traffic, and provides webcam and microphone protection to prevent eavesdropping.

A secure VPN with 200MB daily traffic is also included to protect your bank info, passwords, and downloads from hackers when you use public WiFi networks.

Bitdefender Internet Security also comes with parental control options so you can be sure that your children stay safe while browsing. Filter out inappropriate content and limit screen time. You can also log in remotely to Bitdefender Central to keep up with your kids.

Bitdefender also offers two different bundle options.

The first is Bitdefender Total Security and is available for PCs, Macs, Androids and iOS devices. You can choose between 5 and 10 device options.

The software bundle offers top-grade protection both off and online as well as a secure VPN for up to 200 MB of traffic a day and advanced parental controls.

It is basically everything Bitdefender has to offer to keep you safe.

There is also another bundle option available for people who are heavy computer users.

In addition to everything covered before, Bitdefender Premium Security offers you unlimited VPN traffic and priority support. So every time you have a question, you’ll get a quick answer. This bundle is only available for up to 10 devices.

View all Bitdefender 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

The list of features for Bitdefender is quite long. But it is as long for Malwarebytes. That’s why we have to say, it’s a tie.

Winner: It’s a tie

Pricing

When deciding which option to go with, price is always an important part. 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.

So let’s see which price points are offered by both products. Here are the prices of both Bitdefender and Malwarebytes products.

Bitdefender offers four different levels of protection for you with its products. You can buy its antivirus and privacy products separately or as a bundle.

  1. Bitdefender Antivirus logo

    Bitdefender Antivirus Plus

    A lightweight antivirus that offers essential protection for 1 to 10 PCs.

    Special offer 50% offGet the best dealFrom $19.99 / year
  2. Bitdefender Antivirus logo

    Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac

    A lightweight antivirus that offers essential protection 1 to 3 Macs.

    Special offer 50% offGet the best dealFrom $19.99 / year
  1. Bitdefender Antivirus logo

    Bitdefender Internet Security

    An Internet security suite that protects your Windows PC against all online threats.

    Special offer 50% offGet the best dealFrom $29.99 / year
  2. Bitdefender Antivirus logo

    Bitdefender Total Security

    Complete protection for all your devices that goes beyond antivirus & anti-malware software. For up to 10 devices.

    Special offer 50% offGet the best dealFrom $44.99 / year
  3. Bitdefender Antivirus logo

    Bitdefender Premium Security

    Premium security and privacy pack for absolute digital freedom – protection, unlimited VPN traffic, and priority support. For 10 devices.

    Special offer 40% offGet the best dealFrom $89.99 / 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.

    Get the best dealFrom $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.

    Get the best deal $74.99 / year

The two software are priced a bit differently. Bitdefender’s entry-level products have better prices. Mid- and high-level options are priced about the same. Bitdefender takes this category thanks to reasonable entry-level prices.

Winner: Bitdefender

Final Thoughts

As you could see, Bitdefender did better in all the categories that really matter. Its protection and detection were superior to Malwarebytes. Everyday life would be better as Bitdefender doesn’t take a toll on your computer.

Keep in mind that we give our best to get you all the facts so you can make an informed decision about the best option. 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
    Bitdefender Antivirus logo

    Bitdefender

    Since 2001, Bitdefender innovation has consistently delivered award-winning security products and threat intelligence for people, homes, businesses, devices, networks, and cloud services.

    Special offer 50% offGet the best dealFrom $19.99 / year