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Malwarebytes vs AVG: side-by-side comparison

Malwarebytes and AVG are very popular names in the cybersecurity realm. Malwarebytes is easy to use and primarily focuses on removing malware while AVG is more comprehensive and uses AI technology to detect cyber threats.

User-friendly, effective, and with dozens of years of experience, AVG and Malwarebytes are the go-to antivirus software for those who are security-conscious.

So, it’s not at all surprising that many are stuck trying to choose between the two providers.

Well, this is where this Malwarebytes vs AVG comparison comes in. Features, security, pricing, performance, user experience, and support – I’ll compare them all. Let’s dive in.

Malwarebytes vs AVG

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Malwarebytes vs AVG: feature comparison

When it comes to the features of AVG vs Malwarebytes, AVG offers a wider range of them. However, many of these features are only available with the more expensive plans. Malwarebytes, on the other hand, is more minimalistic and covers only the essentials.

Take a look at their feature comparison down below:

Virus scans
Real-time protection
Ransomware protection
Anti-tracking protection
Malicious website protection
Wi-Fi security
Quarantined files
Phishing protection
Webcam protection
File shredder

In brief, the two providers could be more comprehensive and generous in terms of features. However, while AVG includes wifi security, a firewall, phishing and webcam protection, and a file shredder, Malwarebytes lacks all of these extra features.

Overall, both Malwarebytes and AVG aren’t the most well-rounded services. Yet, I have to declare AVG as the better service than Malwarebytes because it offers more useful features and extra security-related utilities.

Malwarebytes features

Although Malwarebytes isn’t the most feature-rich provider around, it offers all the essential measures you need.

To start, the Premium version includes real-time protection. It’s a lightweight process that runs in the background and checks for online threats when you’re opening, modifying, and saving files/folders.

As part of its real-time protection, Malwarebytes also provides exploit protection. This advanced security technique helps prevent malicious code from exploiting security holes in vulnerable applications.

Additionally, Malwarebytes also has three system scan modes: Quick scan, Custom scan, and Threat scan. However, you can only run one scan at a time.

Browser Guard, meanwhile, is a free browser extension for Google, Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. It blocks ads and protects against things like third-party trackers, malware, scams, and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs).

Apart from that, Malwarebytes also offers Malicious Website Protection with the Premium plan. Here, the feature automatically blocks malicious or suspicious domains and IP addresses to shield against scams and phishing sites.

Quarantined Files is another handy Malwarebytes feature. The tool will instantly neutralize any detected infected file in the quarantine section.

Besides that, Malwarebytes’ Premium + Privacy plan comes with a VPN, too. On top of the 256-bit encryption, it features the WireGuard protocol and a strict no-logs policy.

Malwarebytes VPN app

The VPN also has over 450 servers in 30+ countries, which is nowhere near what the best VPN services on the market offer. Yet, considering that other antiviruses don't provide this security feature, there are plenty of servers to connect to.

If you’re interested in this antivirus provider, you can read our full Malwarebytes review.

AVG features

AVG, too, flaunts a range of attractive security features. However, just note that many of them are reserved for its premium plans.

First off, it includes real-time protection and constantly checks every file and application before they’re opened, downloaded, or installed. Here, AVG uses machine learning to detect various new threats like viruses, malware, ransomware, and more.

Besides that, an enhanced firewall is also available, but it comes with a price bump. It monitors all incoming/outgoing network traffic to shield your device and network from malicious threats.

Plus, AVG offers multi-layered malware protection. Yet, if malware still somehow manages to get through, the antivirus will perform a detailed scan.

Additionally, AVG has excellent phishing protection. The antivirus is great at detecting phishing attacks that are delivered as malicious attachments in emails. Beyond that, it also uses AI technology to detect phishing sites by checking things like domain meta information, suspicious tokens, and visual elements.

Besides the common basic and deep scan, AVG offers other types of scans, too. Among them are file or folder, USB/DVD, and performance scans.

Sensitive Data Shield is another must mention that comes with the AVG Internet Security plan. It protects vital files by limiting the applications that can access them.

AVG sensitive data shield

And for those concerned about their online privacy, webcam protection is a premium feature you get with AVG. With it, you can set the applications that can access your webcam.

To learn more about this provider, check out our in-depth AVG antivirus review.

Malwarebytes vs AVG: which offers better protection?

In terms of security, it’s a close match, but AVG slightly tipped the scale in its favor. The provider edges forward with marginally better results in the tests.

Security is undeniably the crux of this Malwarebytes vs AVG comparison. After all, what’s the point of installing an antivirus if it doesn’t offer effective protection from viruses and other cyber threats?

Well, here’s how Malwarebytes and AVG performed in independent lab tests:

AV-TestTop productTop product

Starting with AV-TEST, both AVG and Malwarebytes snagged the top product certificates. However, Malwarebytes stumbled slightly with usability and received a still-excellent 5.5 points rather than the full 6 points. Meanwhile, AVG scored the full 6 points in all 3 categories: protection, performance, and usability.

As for AV-Comparatives, Malwarebytes was rated Advanced, which is great. But AVG one-upped it and received the highest Advanced+ grade.

Unfortunately, Malwarebytes didn’t make the list of antiviruses tested by SE Labs. AVG, in contrast, received an excellent AAA ranking.

It’s clear that both providers offer high-protection levels. While AVG got the upper hand in a few instances, Malwarebytes didn’t fall far behind either. So, it’s a tie.

Real-time protection

For real-time protection, Malwarebytes has a few tricks up its sleeves. The provider has multi-layered protection to continuously monitor files, applications, and websites for suspicious activities.

This includes Web (blocks infected websites), Malware, PUPs, Ransomware, and Exploit protection. From the user interface, you can toggle to easily enable/disable the different layers.

AVG, on the other hand, utilizes AI for its real-time protection. Here, it uses machine learning to discover and learn about new threats as well as their operating patterns.

Malware protection

Malwarebytes has all the basic anti-malware measures that you need. For instance, both its free and premium antivirus packages detect and remove malware, ransomware, as well as other cyber threats.

Besides that, the provider also offers protection against malicious or fraudulent websites that might contain threats like phishing scams, tech support scams, and malicious advertising. Here, the antivirus prevents access to and from such websites.

AVG, too, has multi-layered malware protection. Here, the malware will have to go through multiple measures – like its malicious URL shield and ransomware protection – before it can infect your device.

And if the file is already on your device, the antivirus assumes that it has sneaked past the protection layers. In that case, AVG antivirus will perform a thorough scan.

Firewall protection

A firewall is an important security feature that helps protect your network from outsider threats. The way it works is it monitors your network and prohibits unauthorized attempts to access your operating system.

Unfortunately, Malwarebytes doesn’t offer a firewall and focuses almost solely on antivirus protection instead.

In contrast, AVG offers an enhanced firewall if you spring for its paid packages. The firewall secures your entire network to prevent unwanted access to your private files.

AVG enhanced Firewall feature

The AVG antivirus comes with different presets that you can easily adjust to match your desired strictness level. For instance, you can set stricter parameters if you’re using public wifi for enhanced protection.


Both Malwarebytes and AVG provide multiple scanning options to offer their users a higher degree of flexibility and control. With Malwarebytes, you get Quick, Custom, and Threat scans.

Malwarebytes scan options

The quick scan goes through your device’s memory and startup objects for active threats. Meanwhile, the Threat scan is a daily scan for memory, startup, registry, and file system objects. Additionally, it will also perform a heuristic analysis that detects malware-like behavior patterns to weed out new or not-yet-known malware.

Finally, with its custom scan, you can set what you want it to scan for as well as how to handle the PUPs. Since Malwarebytes doesn’t offer a dedicated full scan, the custom scan could also be seen as a DIY for those who want to set up a full scan.

On the other side of the match, the AVG antivirus also offers several scanning options. It has the typical quick scan as well as a boot-time scan that could be used to detect deep malware infections and other kinds of threats. Alternatively, you could also perform a USB/DVD scan to check removable drives.

AVG scanning modes

All things considered, Malwarebytes and AVG might not be the most robust or comprehensive providers but their security measures are sufficient for the majority of users. Therefore, I declare this round a tie.

Pricing and plans

Malwarebytes takes the lead when it comes to pricing thanks to its user-friendly pricing and plan structure. While both Malwarebytes and AVG offer a free version, Malwarebytes has cheaper paid packages and a longer money-back guarantee of 60 days.

Meanwhile, AVG’s entry plan costs considerably more than Malwarebytes’ basic plan. Plus, it only has a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Malwarebytes Premium/AVG Internet Security
Malwarebytes Premium + Privacy/AVG Ultimate
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To sum it up, Malwarebytes is the more affordable and user-oriented option than AVG in terms of pricing. The cheap prices translate to a better value for money since you’ll only be paying for a dedicated solution that meets your needs. Additionally, it also has a longer money-back guarantee compared to AVG antivirus.

Malwarebytes antivirus plans

In addition to its free plan, Malwarebytes also offers a Premium product (either a 1 or 2-year subscription) as well as a Premium + Privacy plan.

  • Premium – $38.24/year, 1 device for 1 year
  • Premium – $76.48, 1 device for 2 years
  • Premium + Privacy – $99.99/year, up to 5 devices

If the prices still seem much, check out our Malwarebytes coupon codes to get the best possible deals.

Also, for the budget-conscious, the Premium version offers the best value for money. Priced at a very affordable $38.24/year, it has all the essentials that you need – including various scans and real-time protection measures.

AVG antivirus plans

On top of the AVG free plan, the antivirus also has two other plans: Internet Security (for either 1 device or 10 devices) and Ultimate.

  • Internet Security – $45.59/year, 1 device
  • Internet Security – $39.99/year, 10 devices
  • Ultimate – $31.20/year, 10 devices

If you want to save a few bucks, check out our AVG coupon codes to find the cheapest offers.

Among the paid plans, the AVG Internet Security tier for a single device is the cheapest plan. It also offers good value since you get vital features like malware, ransomware, wifi, and phishing protection. To upgrade your protection to 10 devices, it’ll set you back to $39.99/year.

If you need a short-term solution, AVG Ultimate is a good deal, too. However, it’ll renew at a whopping $127.99/year after the first year. Frankly, that can be a bit too expensive since the only additions you get are AVG TuneUp registry cleaner and Secure VPN.

All things considered, Malwarebytes has the upper hand in this round of Malwarebytes vs AVG. The provider’s cheaper plans and targeted approach in terms of features included are more beneficial to users.

PC performance

In terms of performance, AVG is quicker and slightly less intense on system resources compared to Malwarebytes. However, AVG’s disk usage is generally quite a bit higher than Malwarebytes.

Now, it’s common knowledge that security software can slow down your device since they’re constantly scanning your files and programs. But, there’s still no reason to skip the scans since they’re absolutely necessary to update virus definitions to detect new threats, hunt for viruses and malware, and root out advanced issues.

Luckily, both Malwarebytes and AVG don’t affect performance too badly. If we take a look at AV-Comparatives performance impact scores, Malwarebytes scored a 24.3 (ranked 14th) and AVG – a 9.9 (ranked 9th). Those results are still very much ahead of the curve.

For my tests, I performed two scans: quick and full scans. During these tests, I’ve noted down the changes in CPU, memory, and disk load.

Quick scan

Malwarebytes and AVG both scanned quickly but the latter sped ahead and finished scanning in just 25 seconds. As for system resources, both providers saw high-resource usage, especially for CPU with Malwarebytes peaking at 100%. Meanwhile, AVG antivirus logged almost twice Malwarebytes’ disk usage while recording.

Quick scan
0 h 2 min 44 sec0 h 0 min 25 sec
CPU load
100% maximum, 70% average
70% maximum, 65% average
Memory load
Disk load 25%

Without recording, there was a slight improvement in resource consumption. Malwarebytes also slightly slashed its time but its disk load shot up quite a bit.

Quick scan
0 h 2 min 21 sec0 h 0 min 25 sec
CPU load
100% maximum, 65% average
65% maximum, 30% average
Memory load
Disk load 79%

Overall, both Malwarebytes and AVG dashed through their quick scans. Just note that both utilized a fair bit of system resources for the scans.

Full scan

When performing a full scan, Malwarebytes took longer than AVG. However, their CPU and memory load were quite similar to each other. But, in AVG’s case, its disk usage was considerably higher than Malwarebytes.

Quick scan
0 h 36 min 13 sec0 h 11 min 36 sec
CPU load
100% maximum, 75% average
94% maximum, 60% average
Memory load
Disk load 62%

In brief, AVG made quick work of its full scan and wrapped things up faster than Malwarebytes. However, the scan took a toll on its disk consumption.

To sum up, both Malwarebytes and AVG completed their scans quickly to ensure minimal impact on system performance. However, both placed quite a load, especially on disk usage, during the scans.

Apps and interface

When it comes to user experience, it’s a tough call. That’s because in the case of Malwarebytes vs AVG, both services are easy to navigate, so it comes down to taste and personal preferences.

For instance, while Malwarebytes’ interface is more straightforward, AVG’s looks more modern. Whether you’re looking to configure real-time protection or run scans, all the features are easily reached on both providers’ interfaces.

So, both AVG antivirus and Malwarebytes offer convenient and simplistic apps that are effortless to figure out. Therefore, it’s a tie.

Desktop Apps

Malwarebytes’ desktop apps are all about simplicity. The streamlined design features three white blocks that house all the main features: detection history, scanner, and real-time protection.

Everything else that isn’t there can be found in the top right corner. There’s no need to navigate around or click wildly since everything is right at your fingertips.

Malwarebytes Desktop app interface

AVG is very easy to use with its modern and neat desktop app, too. However, except for its scan button, all of its features are hidden under different sections.

AVG desktop app dashboard

Depending on your preference, this could be a pro or a con. It’s cleaner and more organized on the one hand. But, it also requires some extra navigating to get to the security feature that you need.

Overall, it all boils down to preference – both providers offer a great customer experience.

Customer support

24/7 live chat✅ (Only with Premium Tech Support plan)
Phone✅ (Only with Premium Tech Support plan)
Social media platforms
Knowledge base

Malwarebytes comes out on top when it comes to support. While both providers offer multiple customer support options, AVG reserved many of its support channels for only those that purchase its Premium Tech Support plan.

You can contact Malwarebytes via its assorted support channels, which include email, phone, live chat, and forum. The latter three typically yield quicker replies than the email option.

Alternatively, the provider also has hundreds of articles on all-thing cybersecurity. Whether you’re troubleshooting, comparing AVG vs Malwarebytes android protection, or reading up on Malwarebytes and AVG compatibility, you’ll find excellent resources there.

As for AVG, it also offers various support channels like email, 24/7 live chat, phone, and forum. Unfortunately, many of these channels are only available if you fork out $199/year to buy its Premium Tech Support plan, which is overpriced. Otherwise, your best bet is its community forum and knowledge base.

Overall, it’s a shame that both Malwarebytes and AVG don’t offer a quick 24/7 help channel without strings attached. But, Malwarebytes is the better option than AVG since its support doesn’t come with a $199/year price tag.

Malwarebytes vs AVG: final verdict

Category MalwarebytesAVG
User interface

Taking everything into account, both Malwarebytes and AVG are solid antivirus options that offer good protection against threats. Yet, Malwarebytes is a slightly better service than AVG.

As a whole, Malwarebytes offers all the features that are essential to an antivirus at a very affordable price, yet it doesn’t have as many features as AVG. Beyond that, Malwarebytes included more support options that you don’t need to pay for additionally. Finally, it offers great apps that are beginner-friendly.

Meanwhile, AVG is considerably pricier but offers a more comprehensive security suite. This includes features like a firewall, file shredder, phishing, and webcam protection. Additionally, the provider also nailed every independent lab test. Yet, Malwarebytes didn’t fall far behind.

When it comes right down to it, though, Malwarebytes wins the first place in this Malwarebytes vs AVG comparison. It offers better value for money, all the essential features, and good performance. Plus, it also delivers a great user experience for both newbies and experienced users.

Alternatives to Malwarebytes and AVG

Malwarebytes and AVG are solid options but they might not be right for everybody. Alternatively, you could opt for a different virus scanner. In that case, I’d recommend Bitdefender and Norton Antivirus.


An award-winning antivirus, Bitdefender is popular with consumers, businesses, and organizations. Besides its best-in-class malware and cyber threat detection as well as powerful multi-layered ransomware protection, Bitdefender is also known for its rich additional features.

Its plans are packed with features, including a built-in VPN, anti-spam, SafePay, a password manager, and parental controls.

Bitdefender’s prices start from just $29.99/year, and it also has a free version.

Norton Antivirus

Constantly lauded as the best antivirus by both professional and amateur users, Norton Antivirus has plenty to offer. For starters, the provider boasts amazing malware detection rates and offers excellent real-time protection.

Beyond that, Norton also has robust features in its arsenal. Its plans come with things like a VPN, firewall, password manager, cloud backup, and parental controls.

As for prices, they start from only $29.99/year for Norton.

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