The Good and the Bad
Malwarebytes is a freely downloadable anti-virus software solution. I had heard a lot about it and thought I would give it a try. There are multiple places to download it from, a simple Google search will provide numerous results. As a note, this is definitely not a complete solution for anyone's anti-virus needs. It is not live, in that it does not actively scan content or provide up-front analysis like other providers like Norton do. This is a love-hate relationship for me because the fact that knowing (or at least feeling better about) clicking online content before you click it is better than blindly going into it, but this also uses precious resources from your computer and will effect internet speed as well. To me, this is unacceptable and I am willing to take the risk to save resources and keep my fast download speeds, so this fact is a plus for me, but will be a minus to many others. The way you use Malwarebytes is that you run it every week or two weeks (not daily because this can damage your hard-drive), or just whenever you suspect a virus has snuck in. As soon as you start it a screen will pop up asking you if you want to upgrade and provide you with the amount of days your database is out of date, which is a tremendous thing because you won’t have to remember to upgrade and get behind. It will then upgrade, which is usually pretty quick.
After the database is updated you will be provided with the options to perform a full or quick scan. I would definitely recommend the full scan just for the peace of mind and thoroughness of it. There is also an option of a flash scan, but this if for only registered (paying) members. The live detection service is also available through registering, along with other useful tid bits. The scan will take some time, which timing will vary depending on not only the type of scan performed, but the amount of files on the computer and speed of the computer. The time of the scan is not bad, usually only a couple hours for a full scan on my four year old laptop. After the scan is completed the results will be shown in a user friendly window detailing not only the type of malicious software found, but the location. This is great and surprising, coming from free software. You can then quarantine the viruses or delete the files.
Overall I give the free version of Malwarebytes a 4 out of 5, and highly recommend it for anti-virus solutions of people not wanting something to waste resources. As a side note, it is probably better to keep it on an external drive such as a flash drive so that it won’t be corrupted by malicious software.