Is This Your New Internet Security Tool?

Category: Anti-Virus , Security

MalwareBytes Anti-Malware, commonly abbreviated as MBAM, has long been recommended as a supplement to full-coverage security suites. Now with the arrival of MBAM Version 3, it's a full-coverage security suite. Read on to see what’s new, and if you should switch...

What's New in MBAM v3?

Malwarebytes 3.0 has been built from the ground up to provide comprehensive protection, with Anti-Malware, Anti-Exploit, Anti-Rootkit, Anti-Ransomware, Malicious Website Protection, and remediation technologies all rolled into one. It also scans your system for infections 3 to 4 times faster than before.

Exploit Protection and Ransomware Protection used to be separate products from MalwareBytes; now they are rolled into main MBAM program along with other, new layers of protection. Behavior-based detection of suspicious activity enables MalwareBytes V3 to block ransomware before it encrypts your data, block exploits before they take control of your PC, and block malware before it trashes or ransacks your system for sensitive data.

The new Malwarebytes user interface is simple and easily understood. Each type of protection and its status is shown on the right side of the screen, along with the dates of the last scan and next scheduled scan, and a summary of suspicious items found.

MBAM V3 review

My first scan took only 1:48. MalwareBytes incorrectly flagged Advanced SystemCare as a PUP (potentially unwanted program), but it was very easy to tell MalwareBytes to ignore that program’s components in future scans. A second scan took 8:18, apparently because rootkit detection was enabled; it’s disabled by default. This time, Advanced System Care was not flagged.

Malwarebytes 3 provides a free trial period of 14 days. When the trial expires, you can continue using all of its protections by paying $39.95 for a one-year license, which is the going rate for other full-protection suites. If you don’t pay, MalwareBytes reverts to its old manual-scan-only form.

Current subscribers to MalwareBytes products can register MalwareBytes 3 for $24.95 forever, as long as you don’t let your subscription lapse. That’s a nice thank-you to loyal customers.

Will the real MBAM please stand up? Don't confuse MalwareBytes AntiMalware (MBAM) with the unfortunately-named Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring software. I'd never even heard of the latter until I did a Google search for "MBAM" today, and it popped up at the top of the results.

Should You Switch?

MalwareBytes touts its new software as a replacement for outdated signature-based antivirus software. You may not want to rely on MalwareBytes V3 alone; at least, not yet. This suite is so new that it hasn’t been tested by many independent labs yet.

No security program blocks or detects every known threat. That's why I've long recommended the free version of MBAM as a "second look" anti-malware tool. You can run it when you suspect there's a problem, or set a reminder to do a MBAM scan weekly or monthly.

Long-time readers will remember that I've cautioned against running more than one real-time virus scanner concurrently. I've seen competing security tools detect each other as malware, and either attack the other, or go into a "death spiral" that can lock up your computer. But in my experience, MBAM has always "played nice" with other security tools. So I see no problem running the free or paid versions in conjunction with another security suite such as Avast, Avira, Kaspersky, Bitdefender, or whatever you're using now.

Aside from the brief period of time when MBAM was having their ugly spat with PC-Matic (see may article When White Hats Collide, I've been an enthusiastic recommender of their product. I think MBAM V3 is worth a try.

Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Is This Your New Internet Security Tool?"

(See all 36 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

09 May 2017

I paid for two years of MBAM and V3 came along and messed with me. I use avast BTW and have for a few years. MBAM support and I exchanged emails for a few weeks and I finally gave up. They have my money but I do not have MBAM. However, on a laptop I have avast and the free MBAM and there seems to be no problem.

Posted by:

09 May 2017

no problem at I use PC MATIC for all

Posted by:

09 May 2017

Thank you Joe Farkas ! I re-downloaded MALWAREBYTES....Made a seperate directory and copied MALWAREBYTES uninstall pgm to it and ran it. Now my registry is clear of any trace of MB. I tried ALL other suggestions I found here, but only this method worked !

Posted by:

09 May 2017

I've been giving MBAM another try, over the last month or so. Like your experience, Bob, it immediately flagged (nearly?) every file belonging to Advanced SystemCare. I sent MBAM an email to let them know that it was giving a False Positive for this well-know, and respected, software. They wrote me back saying that it was NOT a False Positive; not that they consider it a Risk, but that: "Our Research Team has been monitoring this application for some time and has decided to add detection based on triggers against our PUP detection criteria.

The detection is correct and not a false positive. We will continue monitoring this application and if we notice a change in the behavior we will review it again".

They did recommend setting MBAM to ignore the software, if I wanted to continue using ASC; which I did. The process wasn't nearly as simple as they instructed, but I did get it to stop, finally.

Based on some of the bad experiences, noted above, with MBAM v3, I think that I'll wait, and not install it at this time.

Thanks, Bob, for another great article!

Posted by:

Tom Evans
09 May 2017

Hi Bob,
I have used MBAM v3 since the day this version was released, not had any problem.I also had v2 before this with no problem.
A very good software I recommend it.
Kind regards.

Posted by:

Bill VS
09 May 2017

I run Win 8.1, and have run MBAM for a long time. It has saved my bacon many times, as it has caught much malware that Win Defender didn't, and quarantined it automatically as per my personal settings in MBAM.
I wanted to share this particular item with everyone regarding the install of MBAM. In order to make MBAM work flawlessly with Win Defender, you MUST check the box that says, "never register MBAM with the Action Center." Failure to do so will result with Win Defender being automatically disabled. I discovered this purely by accident, and the folks at MBAM do not point this out. Maybe just an oversight on their part. But do as I have suggested and you'll have no problems. Happy computing!

Posted by:

09 May 2017

I installed version 3.0 in late February. Within a few seconds, I noticed my mouse cursor intermittently disappearing, web browsing slowing to a crawl and then to a complete stop, and other programs that hung my system (Windows 7 64-bit Home SP-1). I contacted their support and tried everything they suggested, only to eventually uninstall the new version and reinstall v.2.x plus Anti-Exploit. Everything worked fine until I started getting nagged about updating because my program was out of date. I checked their support forum and found that (1) there are still problems with v. 3.0, and (2) I'm not the only one experiencing this update issue.

Thanks to help received via the Malwarebytes support forum, I got a solution to the problem mentioned above -- the constant nagging to upgrade to version 3.0.

If you delete the mbam-setup.exe file, it stops the prompts. However, there's a little more to it.

1. Open MBAM, click the Settings tab, and then click Advanced Settings in the left column.
2. Uncheck "Start Malwarebytes Anti-Malware with Windows" and "Enable self-protection module."
3. Close MBAM and reboot.
4. Go to C:\ProgramData\Malwarebytes\Malwarebytes Anti-Malware\ and delete the mbam-setup.exe file in this folder. (I chose to rename mbam-setup.exe to mbam-setupexe.old instead of deleting the file, just in case.)
5. Open MBAM and re-check what you previously disabled.
6. Click "Update Settings" on the left and then uncheck "Check for program updates when checking for database updates."

I now have MBAM v. running smoothly and updating the definition files without any prompts to upgrade.

If you need that version, it's available at:

Posted by:

Jay R
10 May 2017

From the Geezer to the Guru. THANX!! I have had MBAM Premium for several years without probs except the ASC nonsense. I will wait on this upgrade....or what sounds more like a downgrade.

Posted by:

10 May 2017

Boy am I lucky on several accounts!!!

First of all, way back when - I purchased Malwarebytes with a lifetime account! Back then it was common for programs to offer Lifetime Accounts. When Malwarebytes started the current program - Premium - It was being sold on a yearly basis. At that time, Malwarebytes said that they would honor the Lifetime Accounts So, I just kept on using Malwarebytes. I did get the Premium level a bit later than those that purchased that level. I didn't complain because my Lifetime Account was honored!!!

Right now, I have the Malwarebytes Premium 3.06 on my computer and it is working fine. I did have an issue with Malwarebytes quarantining all of my purchased IWIN games, which I set as Exclusions. Since I did that I can play my IWIN games and Malwarebytes hasn't flagged them.

I haven't had any issues with MBAM v3.06 with Win 10's Defender. I have Defender set at randomly scan and so far, no issues to date. I also use Avast FREE and haven't had any issues to date.

Maybe I am just lucky but so far - No issues - And no malware. I do like that Web Protection, Exploit Protection, Malware Protection, and Ransomeware Protection are all on and working.

I wish that I could remember when I got Malwarebytes. I know that I started using it after I read an Ask Bob Rankin article. My mind is saying around 2010??? Bottom line it has been awhile, I remember when my Malwarebytes going from 1.0 to 2.0. I got my Malwarebytes Pro during the 2.0 period - Maybe around 2012??? Again, not sure but it was quite awhile.

I got the Pro version with a Lifetime guarantee. When Malwarebytes went Premium many thought they would lose the Lifetime guarantee and would have to renew annually. Nope, no one with a paid for Pro version had to pay for the new Premium version. Due to honoring the Lifetime version - I have the Malwarebytes 3.06 Premium and I didn't pay for it. I simply got the upgrade to Malwarebytes

Posted by:

Gary in southeast Wisconsin
10 May 2017

Lifetime (evergreen) PC Matic and MSE for many years - no problems!

Posted by:

Robert Hall
10 May 2017

I have an ongoing forever Pro license and it seems to have just updated without any email to me, ver. . I wonder why or is this something else, an update only of Pro?

Posted by:

10 May 2017

I use Super Anti Spyware real time protection along with Avast Free and have done for 13 years or so and Malabytes as boot only. I bought lifetime sub with SAS so stick with it.
SAS updates daily sometimes more than once and also sub covers my lap top.
Malabytes does a good job as a second boot as it finds PUP's whereas SAS doesn't but it finds things MAM doesnt. Isnt that what we all did way back anyway, had 2nd checker on boot?

Bob I use IDM Pro as a download and AVAST now says it is a bad lad as a browser add on

Posted by:

Bob C
11 May 2017

Hi- I called Malwarebytes about the $24.95 "forever" offer and they told me that they know nothing about this offer but would gladly call me back to give me other "options". I'll just stick with my Bitdefender program. It runs quietly in the background and the free 14 day "trail" of Malwarebytes 3.0 is flagging just about every IoBit program I have installed for system tools.

Posted by:

13 May 2017

i have been using avast with malwarebytes premium and zemana premium with no issues at all. all in real time with no conflicts whatsoever. i highly recommend zemana over malwarebytes and once my subscription runs out of malwarebtyes im letting the premium go and just keep it for on demand piece of mind. i have a paid version of bitdefender and i had nothing but trouble out it so i uninstalled and kissed that 80$ goodbye.

Posted by:

13 May 2017

I have used malwarebytes premium in the past but now only use the free one because there are 6 computers in this household. I cannot afford to use any paid for program that does not allow for at least installation on 3 computers.

Posted by:

16 May 2017

I remain distinctly unimpressed by MBAM's childish attitufde to ASC files.
I will not be using MBAM as long as this petty fault remains: I uninstalled this new version immediately!

Posted by:

19 May 2017

Please Note:

For those who did NOT get the MBAM Pro paid version way back when it was offered as a Lifetime version --- You will NOT be able to get that Lifetime version now! The only paid version today is the Premium version and it is a yearly paid program.

MBAM is an excellent company for honoring their Lifetime protection when they offered it - Even though there is now the Premium paid yearly version. The Lifetime protection is only available to those who have kept MBAM running continuously from the paid PRO version to today's paid Premium version.

For me, it has been hard to understand why MBAM went to a yearly subscription. The only reason I can think of - It is costly to continuously update the data for your PC or Laptop's protection.

Again, they have made the Mobile version a free version - Why isn't there a paid version??? Yes, I have MBAM on my Smartphone because it is an Android phone. I also have Avast on my phone. I am fully aware of the security issues that comes with using an Android Smartphone.

Posted by:

26 May 2017

Been using Malwarebytes on multiple PCs with Webroot for years. Started having lots of issues when 3.xx hit. Aggressive false positives with no trace of the activity in the logs, etc. There are some long blogs on all the issues people have gone through with the many rapid iterations of 3.x. I have unhappily given up after several go-rounds similar to the ones above with the lightweight tech support (although it sounds as if they are being slammed on tech support right now). Now I have to find something as good as MBAM used to be. :-(

Posted by:

28 May 2017

I have a lifetime license for two computers with MBAM! I lucked into the deal about three years ago. My husband, who has a habit of going places by being a link clicker fanatic, even though he knows to mouse over a link first, has had his computer saved about 300 times, now. I know many people don't like the "Web Site Block", feature but if you understand how hackers can easily access a port on your computer by having you connect outbound and then, the bad guys travel back to you, via the "channel" you just made them, it's a nifty tool. Also, you can easily do an "exclude" list.
It's really simple to use and setup so you can't complain about that part. However, it does take up quite a bit of resources, so as long as you have fast loading processes and room, it's well worth running it from startup to shutdown. You can also "Quit" it by a simple right click.
I also believe it is working and improving to be probably one of the top antiviruses' programs in the year or two ahead.
In the end, its cost effectiveness will also bring a great ROI! So, although I don't work for MBAM or know anyone who does, this is one program I will continue to plug-"The force" and fierceness is with it and you are at the command.

Posted by:

Lady Fitzgerald
07 Jun 2017

I have four lifetime licenses I bought several years ago (three are in use). I delayed upgrading to V3.1.2 on my desktop rig until yesterday because of all the reports of people having problems with it (V2.0 had almost as many growing pains). I had to manually download the latest version after allowing the automatically downloaded version to install but after a few minor problems getting all the protections running, it has been doing great. I'm also using Avast Free. I haven't upgraded my notebooks yet (I only use them when I travel and I'm not going anywhere soon so I'm in no rush).

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