Malwarebytes Vs ESET 2019 | The Ultimate Comparison

(Last updated on November 9th, 2019)

Malwarebytes or ESET, which software is a better option in 2019? 

Read this detailed Malwarebytes vs. ESET comparison to make a smart choice. 

The Dark Web has many sinister stories to its name. But now it’s becoming a haven for anyone with a keen interest in cybercrimes. You heard it right. 

There are new phishing kits available on the dark web for this very purpose. Novice cybercriminals can use these kits to run their own phishing attacks. 

As of now, users take phishing attacks as a low-risk activity and report only 17% of these attacks. But as more advanced tools become available to these kits, phishing can take on even more dangerous form. In fact, 2020 is supposed to be the year of advanced phishing attacks.

So, the wise thing is to get proper protection before you become a victim of one of these cyber threats. Get rid of any free antivirus software you have got, first thing. And then get a premium, robust product that will ensure proper security that you deserve.

Remember that free antivirus is ill-equipped to provide you the cutting-edge protection that comes with premium products. Free software only offers flimsy protection and doesn’t stand a chance against the latest malware threats.

A premium product comes packed with all the advanced features and real-time monitoring tools that provide you multi-layer protection against ever-evolving malware threats, such as trojan horses, viruses, worms, rootkits, spyware, bots, and more.

Important Note

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(All the best security products examined)

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Overall Score: 9.9/10

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During the past few months, we examined and reviewed over 50 antivirus suites from the biggest names in cybersecurity. We did this so you can confidently choose the best antivirus software to protect yourself and those you love.

Overall, Bitdefender is our #1 antivirus software for 2019-20, because of its excellent, flawless performance in all the recent independent lab evaluations we considered, particularly those conducted by AV-Test and AV-Comparatives.

Right now, we think that Bitdefender Total Security 2020 (currently at 60% off) is the best antivirus package available in the market. Apart from providing excellent anti-malware protection, it offers all the advanced premium features and utilities that must be there in a high-end package -- and best of all, it offers excellent value for money. You can protect up to five devices (PCs, Macs, or smartphones) with just one subscription.

If you need protection for more than five devices, we highly recommend Bitdefender Family Pack 2020. It will cover all the internet-capable devices in your household with the Total Security suite, so your family will be protected no matter what goes wrong.

Today, we are going to compare two famous antivirus companies: Malwarebytes and ESET. We are going to gauge each brand on six different aspects in light of our research and independent tests to see which brand is a better choice.

In a rush? Below is a quick summary of the comparison. 

A Quick Rundown of the Winners in Each Category

1. Features
Winner: ESET. ESET’s products boast a more extensive array of advanced features that you don’t find with Malwarebytes. That’s why ESET wins this category.

2. Malware Protection
Winner: Both. Although both companies skipped one of the two independent tests we usually consider, both companies received modest ratings on the tests they participated in. So it’s a tie.

3. System Performance
Winner: ESET. Once again, both companies didn’t participate in one of the two independent tests we usually look at in this category. But ESET left Malwarebytes behind in the other performance test.

4. User-Friendliness
Winner: Tie. Both interfaces have their strengths and weaknesses. It’s hard to pick one over the other. That’s why it’s a tie in this category.

5. Pricing
Winner: Malwarebytes. Both companies’ entry-level products are in the same price range. But Malwarebytes wins by providing more value for your buck with its family suite.

6. Customer Satisfaction
Winner: TieBoth companies received superb customer feedback ratings and earned similar scores. So, both win in this category. 

Short Verdict

Malwarebytes is competitive, but ESET offers a more comprehensive feature-set and superior malware protection with minimal impact on system performance. However, Malwarebytes offers better value for money than ESET. 

Our recommendations: If you want to get the highest level of security and performance, there's no better choice than Bitdefender, which protects over 500 million devices worldwide.

We have reviewed, ranked, and rated all the best antivirus software products out there, and we think that Bitdefender Total Security 2020 (currently at 50% off) is the best antivirus package you can buy right now. You can protect up to five devices (PCs, Macs, or smartphones) with just a single subscription of this suite.

If you need protection for more than five devices, Bitdefender Family Pack 2020 is the best option for you.

Looking for Mac-specific protection? Check out Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac for complete peace of mind.

Now let’s get a more detailed perspective.

1. Features

The antivirus product with an inspiring array of features would naturally be the preferred choice for a user. So, let’s see what our competing brands bring to the table in terms of features. 

We’ll first look at Malwarebytes products. 

Malwarebytes Free is the company’s free offering. This software provides limited protection against some types of viruses and only runs on Windows devices. However, it doesn’t support any advanced features of the premium products.

The first premium product from the company is called Malwarebytes Premium for You. This suite offers several advanced features such as:

  • A top-drawer firewall provides complete protection for your devices, networks, and information against all kinds of malware and cyber threats. The firewall is also set on automatic updates to keep it up-to-date with the latest malware definitions.
  • Additionally, there’s a Remediation Tool that gets rid of any viruses from your devices that existed before you installed this software on them.
  • You have the option to either keep the settings for automatic scans on or apply custom settings for scheduled scans as per your preference. 
  • There’s also a protection tool that keeps hackers from misusing programs and systems on your devices for malicious purposes. This is a Windows-only feature.
  • Another feature provides complete identity protection on fraudulent websites keeping your information safe from hackers. This feature runs on Windows as well as Android devices.
  • A detection tool helps to identify and remove any rogue applications that mistakenly get installed on your devices. This is an Android and Chromebook-only feature.
  • 1 license of this suite protects 1 Windows, Mac, Android, or Chrome OS device.

Get Malwarebytes Premium for You

Next up is Malwarebytes Premium for Home, the extended version of Premium for You suite. This suite comes with three universal licenses (up to 10 more can be added) and makes an ideal pick for a family or for someone with multiple different devices to protect.

 Get Malwarebytes Premium for Home

Malwarebytes Plans for Mac platform

Paying customers can contact customer support 24/7 via email, online chat, or phone.

Follow this link for Malwarebytes Business Security Products. There’s Malwarebytes for Teams, Malwarebytes Endpoint Protection for companywide servers, and Malwarebytes Endpoint Protection and Response.  

Now let’s turn our attention towards ESET security suites. 

Unlike Malwarebytes, ESET doesn’t offer free software.

The first paid offering from this company is called ESET NOD32 Antivirus, a Windows-only product. This package comes with a host of advanced features:

  • It offers premium defense against all kinds of malware threats, including ransomware and antispyware.
  • The product also includes a website shield that protects your sensitive information while you surf or shop online. 
  • An Exploit blocker module detects and blocks viruses that are specifically designed to avoid detection.
  • A Game Mode feature is also part of the suite that blocks pop-up notifications to give you uninterrupted gaming or movie experience. 
  • There’s a Cloud-Powered Scanning feature that speeds up your system scans by whitelisting safe files on your computer and omitting them during future scans.

 Get ESET NOD32 Antivirus

ESET Internet Security is the next tier of protection offered by the company. You get everything included in the NOD32 Antivirus suite, plus some additional features:

  • There’s a firewall that prevents unauthorized access to your private information and prevents any misuse of your data. 
  • There’s a Personal Firewall that prevents hackers from getting access to your computer and makes you invisible while connected to public WiFi.
  • Also, Network Attack Protection utility protects your device from malicious network traffic, providing you multi-layered protection.
  • There’s also Botnet Protection that saves your computer from botnet malware and network attacks launched by endpoint machines.
  • An antispam shield keeps your inbox free of junk emails, so you don’t have to manually clear unwanted messages.
  • There’s a hardened browser that provides complete security for your financial information that you share during online banking and payment operations. 
  • Included in the package is also a full suite of parental controls that help keep a watchful eye on your kids’ browsing habits and limit their access to unwanted websites. 
  • There’s also a set of webcam controls that prevent people from spying on you with your device camera.
  • Finally, an Anti-Theft module included in the suite helps to locate missing or stolen devices for you.

Get ESET Internet Security

Next up is the highest tier of coverage offered by the company called ESET Smart Security Premium. Everything from the Internet Security package is included in this package, plus more:

  • There’s a Secure Data feature that saves your important data from landing in the wrong hands while you’re using the internet or any removable media, such as USB keys.
  • Similarly, a password management tool encrypts your sensitive data and safely stores all your passwords on your device, allowing a safe web experience for you.

 Get ESET Smart Security Premium

ESET Windows Antivirus Suites

ESET has two Mac-specific antivirus products: ESET Cybersecurity and ESET Cybersecurity Pro. Both products offer:

  • Complete anti-malware protection against all sorts of digital and other related threats.
  • The software receives automatic updates to provide you complete protection against emerging threats.
  • Anti-Phishing features secure your sensitive data such as usernames, passwords, and financial information, from fraudulent websites.
  • There’s a Removable Media control that prevents unknows CDs, USBs, and other similar media from copying information from your computer.
  • A Presentation Mode blocks any notifications or pop-up messages during full-screen operations.
  • ESET Cybersecurity Pro also includes a couple of extra advanced perks such as a Personal Firewall and Parental Controls. 

All ESET products offer single device licenses. ESET offers free support in your local language for all suites. 

Interested in ESET’s business solutions? Follow this link for more information.

Winner: ESET. ESET offers more feature-rich products that include a vast array of utilities and many advanced protection-related features and tools that Malwarebytes lacks. 

2. Malware Protection

Now, let’s see what company does a better job of protecting our devices from all kinds of malware threats. We’ll take help from two independent testing organizations to assess our companies on this benchmark.

AV-TEST.org is our organization that evaluates antivirus products on their protection, system performance, and usability competences. According to their recent Protection Test results in August 2019, Malwarebytes received a modest score of 4 out of 6. 

ESET didn’t participate in this test after December 2018 for unknown reasons.

Now let’s look at test results from AV-Comparatives. They gave out their Real-World Protection Test results in June 2019 as well. Curiously, Malwarebytes didn’t participate in this test while ESET also only received the STANDARD award.

AV-Comparatives-Real-World-Protection-Test-June-2019

Winner: Both. Both companies didn’t participate in one of the tests. But comparing the scores of the ones they did appear in, both companies gave an equally modest performance so both stand at par.

3. System Performance

It is of crucial importance to customers, especially professional users, that their antivirus software doesn’t disturb their routine tasks. Let’s see how Malwarebytes and ESET affect the systems they run on.

Looking into the Performance Test results from AV-TEST.org, we find that Malwarebytes performed better on this test and received 5 out of 6 score. 

Now, we’ll turn to AV-Comparatives for their version of Performance Test evaluations from April 2019. Here, ESET received the perfect ADVANCED+ award.

AV-Comparatives performance test awards - April 2019

Winner: ESET. Both companies skipped one of the two tests we usually consider in this category. But ESET achieved the highest award on the second test while Malwarebytes was short of a perfect score in the first evaluation.

4. User-Friendliness

As much as finer details of an antivirus product matter, the user interface still contributes hugely to the overall user experience. Most customers want the software interface to be simplistic but still packed with enough customization functionality to make it worthwhile. 

Let’s compare Malwarebytes and ESET on their user interfaces.

Malwarebytes interface uses a simple design that even novice users find easy-to-navigate. At first glance, the right side of the screen does look cluttered with all the horizontal slabs containing information and updates about security status, scans, and protection history.

The left-side looks more organized with a black panel that consists of buttons to access different features such as scans, system reports, and settings. Finally, the center of the interface is dedicated to displaying overall security status.

Here, you can also click buttons to start a scan immediately and upgrade to a higher tier. Overall the interface is quite user-friendly for both light and seasoned users.

Malwarebytes Interface on Windows 10

Now let’s have a look at ESET’s interface.

ESET interface uses ash white and blue as primary colors. The interface design is very intuitive and simplistic. A panel on the left side gives access to different features, functions, and settings. While the upper section of the left side shows information about security status.

A blue horizontal panel along the bottom half shows icons for different functions such as scans or password manager, depending on the product you’re using. The “Computer scan” button gives access to detailed information and advanced settings for scans.

“Tools” button takes you to further operations like security report, running processes, watch activity, scheduler, system cleaner, and more. The interface is cleverly designed to look uncluttered and simplistic, even if it means a few more clicks to get to your desired feature.

ESET Antivirus Interface

Winner: Both. Both companies have intuitive designs. Malwarebytes provides the overall picture in once glance. While with ESET you do have to dig through a little, but it makes for an uncluttered screen. Both designs have their perks according to user preference.

5. Pricing

‘Value vs. money’ is a big equation in the customer’s eyes. This is where the rational mind jumps in to justify the product’s usefulness against the bucks that buy it. Let’s see which of our competing brands prices its products more reasonably. 

Malwarebytes charges $39.99 per year for one license of Premium for You suite. This license protects one device (PC, Mac. Chromebook or Android).

While Malwarebytes Premium for Home costs $59.99 per year for protecting up to 10 of your devices. This price seems quite reasonable for a premium family suite. 

Malwarebytes charges varying rates for its business-specific security solutions which you can review below. 

Malwarebytes Security ProductsPrices
Malwarebytes FreeCheck Price
Malwarebytes Premium for PCsCheck Price
Malwarebytes Premium for MacCheck Price
Malwarebytes Business ProductsCheck Prices

Now let’s look at ESET’s pricing in comparison.

The first paid product from ESET, ESET NOD32 Antivirus, also costs $39.99 per year for 1 license. But unlike Malwarebytes, this license only covers a Windows device. However, ESET Internet Security offers 1 universal license at the cost of $49.99 per year. 

ESET Smart Security Premium costs you $59.99 per year also for one license only. 

For Mac-specific products, ESET Cyber Security and ESET Cyber Security Pro cost $39.99 and $59.99 per year, respectively. Both these suites also cater to protection for only 1 device. 

All of these prices are relatively high, seeing as you only get protection for 1 device in all the suites.

For the business solutions offered by ESET, check the table below.

ESET Security ProductsPrices
ESET NOD32 AntivirusCheck Price
ESET Internet SecurityCheck Price
ESET Smart Security PremiumCheck Price
ESET Multi-device SecurityCheck Price
ESET Cyber Security for MacCheck Price
ESET Business ProductsSee Full Range

Winner: Malwarebytes. Although both companies price their products in the same range. But you can protect 10 devices with Malwarebytes Premium for Home but only 1 device with ESET’s most premium product. That’s why Malwarebytes wins.

6. Customer Satisfaction

Finally, the last metric we will use to evaluate both brands is customer satisfaction. We’ll look at the customer feedback ratings from independent organizations to see which of our brands is better at keeping its customers happy. 

Better Business Bureau (BBB) is our first independent source for ranking our competing brands on customer satisfaction. BBB uses an alphabetic scale from A to F to rate the antivirus products. They awarded Malwarebytes with an amazing A+ rating. ESET wasn’t behind as it too scored the perfect A+ score. 

Now we’ll look at consumer feedback ratings from our second source, the Consumeraffairs.org. This website uses a 5-star rating scale to rank products. Malwarebytes scored pretty well here too with a 4-star rating. ESET was head-to-head with Malwarebytes here as well, with a 4-star rating of its own.

Winner: Both. Both companies received similar ratings from both independent sources. So both companies win in this category.

Final Thoughts

Both our brands were head to head in this comparison tying in two of the categories. But ESET still outperformed Malwarebytes in three categories becoming the winner of this comparison. ESET’s meticulous approach to product features, malware protection, and system performance made it excel in three of the most important categories. Malwarebytes did win on the pricing, but that’s the only category it beat ESET in. ESET needs to revise the number of licenses it offers per product.

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Our recommendations: After reviewing 50 antivirus suites from some of the biggest names in the cybersecurity realm, we believe that Bitdefender Total Security 2020 (currently at 60% off) is the best antivirus suite for 2019-20 in terms of value for money. You protect up to five devices (PCs, Macs, and smartphones) with a single license of this suite.

Got more than five internet-capable devices? We found that Bitdefender Family Pack 2020 is the best option out there in terms of value for money.

If you are still unsure, Bitdefender offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and exceptional customer support, so you there is nothing to lose.

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