(Last updated on January 20th, 2021)
Malwarebytes or Trend Micro, which software is a better option in 2021?
Read this ultimate Malwarebytes versus Trend Micro comparison to make a smart choice.
You’re in your home office, chilling as you munch on a tuna sandwich, look at some private emails or maybe ordering the latest car accessory. Next thing you know, you’ve been busted. All your personal files and sensitive financial data is encrypted. How did that happen?
Well, what probably happened was while you were connected to your office network, an employee on another computer very innocently just clicked on an email. Like any other ordinary thing and it turned out to be a can of worms, i.e., a phishing email.
Remote access attacks have not only been growing in number; they are also becoming more sophisticated, scalable, and meticulous in design. The fact that the majority of artificial intelligence technologies end up serving malicious purposes doesn’t help either.
We recommend that you make it your priority to get a premium antivirus protection. A premium software will have the advanced features and cutting-edge technology to save your home network (hence, your family) against all kinds of malware attacks. Don’t rely on any freeware.
Free antivirus software only provides you with limited protection and doesn’t have the capabilities to fight against emerging digital threats. Only a premium product will give you the multifaceted protection that can guarantee you complete peace of mind.
But we know it can be tricky to choose a suitable product that meets your requirements.
Best Antivirus Suite for 2020
Overall Score: 9.9/10
60-day money-back guarantee
Right now, we think that Norton is the best antivirus software your money can buy. It regularly earns perfect or near-perfect scores from independent labs and has the least impact on system performance compared to rival products. Its products combine top-notch security with an array of excellent security features and, best of all, offer exceptional value for money.
Overall, Norton 360 Deluxe (currently at 70% off) is our pick for the best antivirus suite in 2020. It is competitively priced and comes with almost everything you could possibly ask for, such as a firewall, a fully integrated VPN, dark web monitoring, cloud backup storage (50GB), a password manager, and parental controls. You can cover up to 5 PCs, Macs, smartphones or tablets with this suite.
If you want full-on identity protection and don’t mind paying more, Norton 360 with LifeLock Select (currently at 35% off) gives those in the US a full range of identity protection features, more backup space (100GB), as well as all the above.
In this post, we will do a detailed comparison between two of the top antivirus brands: Malwarebytes and Trend Micro.
We’ll assess each brand on six different criteria. See summary below to find out which one comes out as a better option.
In a rush? Below is a quick summary of the comparison and the winners in each category.
A Quick Rundown of the Winners in Each Category
Winner: Trend Micro. Trend Micro is the winner because it provides a wider range of cross-platform features compared to Malwarebytes, with which many functionalities are restricted to specific operating systems.
2. Malware Protection
Winner: Trend Micro. Trend Micro wins because of its excellent performance on both independent tests while Malwarebytes gave a modest performance on one test while didn’t participate in the other.
3. System Performance
Winner: Trend Micro. Again, Trend Micro did well on both tests whereas Malwarebytes skipped one of the tests, giving the crown to Trend Micro.
Winner: Malwarebytes. Malwarebytes has a pretty functional interface for both novice and experienced users. On the other hand, Trend Micro has an extremely simple interface that is more suited to casual users only.
Winner: Tie. Both companies offer different kinds of value vs. money ratio at entry-level and premium-level products; it’s hard to pick one of them as a better option. Therefore, this category is a tie.
6. Customer Satisfaction
Winner: Malwarebytes. Malwarebytes left Trend Micro behind in both independent ratings demonstrating better customer support services. Therefore, this category belongs to Malwarebytes.
Both Trend Micro and Malwarebytes are excellent antivirus software, but independent tests show that Trend Micro is a better option in terms of malware protection and system performance. While Malwarebytes does have a better user interface, Trend Micro offers an extensive array of features that are not integrated into Malwarebytes.
Best Antivirus for 2021
- Robust feature-set
- Excellent anti-malware security
- Minimal system impact
- Easy-to-use interface
- Automatic updates
- Trusted by 50 million users
- 100% virus protection promise
- 60-day money-back guarantee
#2 (Very Good)
- Exceptional malware protection
- Little impact on performance
- Trusted by millions of users
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- User-friendly interface
#3 (Very Good)
- Good malware protection
- Trusted by big corporations
- Minimal impact on performance
- Good value for money
- 30-day risk-free guarantee
Let’s get into some details now.
Antivirus software should have an impressive assortment of features to provide you multifaceted protection as well as help you customize your security settings. It should include automated features to take your mind off some things, such as real-time monitoring.
Let’s start with Malwarebytes.
The first product from Malwarebytes is a free software, Malwarebytes Free, which is a Windows-only product that merely provides limited protection against some malware types. Compared to the paid versions, this is a pretty barebones software that doesn’t have any advanced features.
Malwarebytes Premium for You is the first paid premium product from the company. This is a full-blown single license suite that runs on Windows, Macs, Android, and Chrome OS devices. The suite comes with a number of exciting features:
- The first and foremost is the firewall that incorporates cutting-edge technology to protect your information and devices from malware attacks, both online and offline.
- The software receives regular updates from the company that keeps it up to date to the emerging malware threats. This is a critical function that offers real-time monitoring against the latest cyber threats.
- In case, your device had a virus infection before the installation of this software; the suite provides a Remediation tool that disinfects your system of any pre-existing infections.
- The suite offers the option to run both automatic and scheduled scans. Scheduled scans are a useful feature if you don’t want any scanning done during your routine tasks.
- Hackers have many ways to try and gain access to programs on your device to plant malware. This suite provides a protection tool to prevent and block such attacks from hackers. (Windows only feature)
- The product also provides a utility to keep you safe if you happen to land on phishing websites. In which case, the software provides you complete identity protection to keep your information secure from misuse. (Windows and Android only feature)
- There’s another detection utility, similar to the Remediation tool, but it provides on-going safety against any rogue application that tries to hide within your system. This utility detects such apps and removes them immediately. (Android and Chromebook-only feature)
Malwarebytes Premium for Home is the next premium suite. This product is just the extended version of the previous suite in that it comes with 3 universal licenses. You can add more licenses (up to 10) if required. This suite is a good fit for family use.
Malwarebytes customers can contact the company anytime for premium customer support via email, online chat, or phone.
Malwarebytes provides several business-specific security solutions such as Malwarebytes for Teams; Malwarebytes Endpoint Protection for companywide servers; and Malwarebytes Endpoint Protection and Response. Follow this link for more information.
Now let’s look at the range of antivirus products from Trend Micro.
Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security is the entry-level product by the company that provides many interesting features such as:
- Complete protection against all sorts of malware and digital threats, including ransomware.
- A Web Shield secures your information against any related threats while you’re surfing or shopping online.
- Similarly, a Pay Guard module protects your financial information from phishing websites or hackers for safe online banking and shopping experience.
- The product also protects against spam or junk email so that no viruses can get access to your computer via this channel.
- 1 license of this product protects 1 PC.
The next tier of protection comes with Trend Micro Internet Security. Along with everything from the previous product, this suite also includes:
- A parental control module that helps monitor your children’s online activities and provides them a safe browsing experience.
- 1 license of this suite protects up to 3 PCs.
Next up is Trend Micro Maximum Security, which is the full-blown package from the company. This suite includes everything from the previous products plus:
- An advanced Password Management tool that ensures all your passwords and usernames are safely secured in a digital vault while you’re online.
- There’s a system optimizer tool that reorganizes your temporary files for efficiency and automatically removes junk files from your system, improving your system performance.
- This suite provides multi-platform protection, including PCs, Macs, Android, and iOS devices.
- This product secures up to 10 devices.
Trend Micro has a separate entry-level product for Mac devices called, Antivirus for Mac. This product includes the following features:
- Complete protection against malware, including ransomware and other online threats.
- There’s a feature that blocks fraudulent websites that try to encrypt your personal data for malicious purposes.
- An anti-spyware feature prevents hackers from gaining access to your webcam or microphone, so you’re safe from their spying activities.
- The software also provides security against phishing emails that contain dangerous viruses.
- This suite protects 1 Mac only.
Would you like to review Trend Micro’s business products? Click here for more information.
Winner: Trend Micro. Both companies have almost the same entry-level product features. But Trend Micro provides more cross-platform features through its premium products. Whereas, the type of operating system restricts many of Malwarebytes’ features and utilities.
2. Malware Protection
Malware protection is the most significant aspect of antivirus software. That’s why we’ll compare both our brands using evaluations from independent testing organizations and find out which one is better in this area.
AV-Test is the first testing organization we’re going to turn to for their recent Protection Test results from August 2019. The organization also tests different antivirus products on performance and usability metrics. On the Protection Test, Malwarebytes gave an average performance and received 4 out of 6 score. (see results here)
Whereas, Trend Micro received a perfect 6 out of 6 score. (results here)
Now, we’ll see the evaluations from AV-Comparatives. Their Real-World Protection Test results also came out in June 2019. Malwarebytes did not appear in this evaluation. But Trend Micro went home with the ADVANCED award – second best here – mainly due to higher frequency of false alarms.
Winner: Trend Micro. This category clearly belongs to Trend Micro because it gave a fantastic performance on both independent tests. On the other hand, Malwarebytes received an average rating on the first test and didn’t even appear in the second evaluation.
3. System Performance
There are few things as frustrating in your daily routine as a lagging computer system. That’s why your antivirus software mustn’t be resource-intensive. Let’s see which one of our competing brands has less impact on computer systems.
Let’s first look at Performance Test results from AV-TEST.org. Malwarebytes performed way better on this test and received an excellent 5 out of 6 score.
Trend Micro also received an almost perfect 5.5 out of 6 score.
Now we’ll turn our attention to the Performance Test results from AV-Comparatives. Here again, Malwarebytes did not take part, while Trend Micro scored the ADVANCED award.
Winner: Trend Micro. Trend Micro wins this category too performing pretty well on both tests. While Malwarebytes did manage to get a good score on the first test but did not appear for the second evaluation.
In today’s fast-paced world, time is in short supply. That’s why one-click operations (even one-stop-shops) are such a big thing. Well, your antivirus software is no exception. The more user-friendly and intuitive it is, the better.
Let’s take a look at both our companies’ user interfaces to find out which one brings better user experience to the table.
A single glance at the Malwarebytes interface will tell you that the left side of the screen is quite similar to other interfaces. There’s a black panel that runs downs the screen with vertically stacked buttons to access different features.
The middle section is also standard with information about system security status. But the right side uses a unique layout with stacked horizontal slabs or bars. These slabs show information about security status, scan history as well as protection record.
Overall, the interface has a simplistic, functional design. However, there isn’t much room for customization. The free version of the software also shoots up frequent notifications to upgrade to a premium product, which gets irritating.
Now let’s see how Trend Micro’s interface compares.
In contrast to the Malwarebytes interface, Trend Micro has an extremely simplistic and intuitive interface. You’ll know everything you need to know in a single glance. The interface uses prominent icons at the top of the screen to access different functions and settings.
The middle of the screen, underneath the icons, displays a large circular button to start an immediate scan. Towards the bottom, you find security or system updates.
Trend Micro interface is so user-friendly, even novice users will find it a breeze. The interface doesn’t offer options for customization. But unless you’re a seasoned user wanting more personalization choices, this won’t be a problem for you.
Winner: Malwarebytes. Although both interfaces have simplistic, intuitive designs, Trend Micro interface is more suited to novice users offering tremendously simple navigation. In contrast, Malwarebytes has an interface that may be favored by both novice and expert users.
Antivirus products should be priced within a range that appeals to a bigger demographic and doesn’t feel like a burden on your pockets.
Let’s take a look at the pricing plans of both Malwarebytes and Trend Micro and see which software gives you more bang for your buck.
The first paid product from Malwarebytes, Premium for You costs $39.99 per year for 1 universal license covering protection for 1 device (PC, Mac, Chromebook or Android).
Malwarebytes Premium for Home charges you $59.99 per year for up to 10 devices.
Malwarebytes business-specific security solutions charge varying rates. See the table (below) for more information.
|Malwarebytes Products||Regular Price||Discounted Price|
|Malwarebytes Premium for PCs||$39.99/year||Check here|
|Malwarebytes Premium for Mac||$39.99/year||Check here|
|Malwarebytes Business Products||Varies||Check here|
Now let’s take a look at how Trend Micro prices its products.
Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security comes at a cost of $29.95 per year for 1 PC. The same price goes for Antivirus for Mac. Next up is Trend Micro Internet Security which protects 3 PCs for a cost of $59.95 per year.
The most premium tier, Trend Micro Maximum Security, costs you $53.95 per year and provides comprehensive threat protection to 5 devices (up to 10 devices) which could be PCs, Macs, Android, and iOS devices.
For Trend Micro’s prices for business security solutions, check out the table below.
|Trend Micro Products||Regular Price||Discounted Price|
|Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security||$39.95/year||Check here|
|Trend Micro Internet Security||$79.95/year||Check here|
|Trend Micro Maximum Security||$89.95/year||Check here|
Winner: Both. Trend Micro’s entry-level product is a Windows-only offering costing more than Malwarebytes’. But the upper tiers from both companies charge the same. However, Trend Micro offers more features through premium tiers compared to Malwarebytes. That’s why we think that both companies provide the same level of value vs. money ratio through one product or another.
6. Customer Satisfaction
A good way of knowing how a company takes care of its customers is through customer feedback websites. That’s where existing customers share their real experiences and give us an insight into a company’s customer support management.
We are going to turn to two websites that collect customer responses and average them out on their separate ranking scales. So, let’s see how our companies fair on these scales.
Our first organization is Consumeraffairs.org which ranks products on a 5-star rating scale. As per this website, Malwarebytes scored an excellent 4-star rating while Trend Micro received a modest 3-star rating.
Now let’s look at the ratings from our second independent source called, G2, a similar service as Consumeraffairs.org. They also have a 5-star rating scale. As per G2, Malwarebytes scored an almost perfect 4.6 score (4+ stars) while Trend Micro was a bit behind with 4.4 score.
Winner: Malwarebytes. Malwarebytes has received fantastic consumer feedback-based ratings from both sources. Trend Micro got an average rating from one source and a better rating from the second source but was still behind Malwarebytes.
It is a close call between both companies. However, Trend Micro is the winner of today’s comparison, winning the three most significant categories: Features, Malware Protection, and System Performance, whereas tying in the pricing comparison. Malwarebytes has a more intuitive interface and excellent customer support, but these things alone can’t make it excel ahead of the competition.
Our recommendations: If you want to get the highest level of security and performance, there's no better choice than Norton, which protects over 50 million users worldwide.
After reviewing dozens of antivirus products from some of the biggest names in the cybersecurity realm, we believe that Norton 360 Deluxe is the best antivirus suite available on the market. It provides flawless anti-malware protection without slowing you down. Plus, you get almost all the advanced features you could ever want.
If you're willing to pay more for advanced identity protection features, we recommend Norton 360 with LifeLock select (only available in the US). It's a bit pricey but worth the price.
Anas Baig is a consumer privacy advocate and cybersecurity journalist by profession. Has has more than 7 years of professional experience under his belt. Anas has been featured on numerous media publications including The Guardian, Lifehacker, The Next Web, Infosecurity Magazine, Security Boulevard, Hacker Noon, CMS Wire, IAPP, SC Magazine, and many others. His interest includes Digital Privacy Rights, Information Security, Networking, Privacy, and Data Protection.