Are you on the lookout for antivirus software with impeccable anti-malware features? You will come across Adaware and Malwarebytes. These two antivirus agents combine the best of both protection agents, the scanning capabilities of antivirus agents and the agility in detecting and combating malware of anti-malware agents. These unique features are the reason why many categorise Adaware and Malwarebytes as anti-malware agents rather than antivirus agents.

We put Adaware vs Malwarebytes to understand more about their interesting cybersecurity features and how they can help keep your system and data secure.

What is an Antivirus Software? What Does It Do?

Antivirus software is similar to anti-malware; it protects your computer against malicious programs like viruses, spyware, and ransomware. It constantly scans your files, system activity, and network traffic to detect, prevent and neutralise malicious software, commonly known as malware, from your computer. Malware includes viruses, spyware, adware, trojan horses, ransomware and other harmful programs that can compromise your device’s security and functionality. Anti-malware software also keeps your data safe and your system running smoothly.

What is Adaware?

Adaware is a multi-featured antivirus software developed by Adaware, previously Lavasoft. The software development company produces a series of cybersecurity tools, such as malware and spyware detectors, like Adaware Antivirus and Adaware Web Companion. Additional products by the company include its Drive Manager, PC Cleaner, AdBlock and Adaware Privacy. These cybersecurity products offer real-time protection against various types of threats. There used to be three versions of the antivirus: Adaware 14, which is Adaware Privacy now, and Adaware Total and Adaware Pro Antivirus.

The antivirus has several features that make it compete against other antivirus agents on the market. Such strengths include a focus on adware; it is particularly strong at detecting and removing adware. The software has a user-friendly design, making it easy to use by users with varying levels of technical expertise. Adaware provides real-time protection to prevent malware infections as they occur. It also has several features to help your device’s performance, such as cleaning installation remains and boosting startup.

What is Malwarebytes?

Adaware vs Malwarebytes - Malwarebytes is a widely recognized antivirus and anti-malware software
Adaware vs Malwarebytes – Malwarebytes is a widely recognized antivirus and anti-malware software

Malwarebytes is a widely recognized antivirus and anti-malware software that offers numerous security features, including real-time protection, ransomware protection, and anti-exploit capabilities. A product of Malwarebytes Corporation, it was released nearly 20 years ago. In addition to producing Malwarebytes Premium, its most powerful antivirus software, it offers users free antivirus and free virus scan and removal. Other Malwarebytes products include Privacy VPN, Identity Theft Protection and Browser Guard.

Malwarebytes free version offers users a virus scanner and antivirus for all main operating systems for desktops and smartphones. The premium version offers advanced protection features such as advanced web and malware protection, blocking malicious and zero-day threats, a catchy user interface, and an easily customisable dashboard with minimal impact on your operating system. Malwarebytes has been previously tested in independent tests such as Av-Comparatives

Adaware vs Malwarebytes: Which Protection Agent Wins the Game

We have independent test results to help us compare Adaware and Malwarebytes. We will get a more comprehensive overview of each protection software as we dive into their features, prices, compatible operating systems and customer support options.

Features and Independent Test Results

Both cybersecurity agents offer antivirus protection with a focus on malware protection. What other features will you benefit from when you choose either of them? We answer this question extensively here.


Adaware has been known as a powerful anti-malware software, a merit that remained the same even as the software switched to a full antivirus protection agent. The Total version gives you ultimate security with real-time protection, on-demand scanning, web protection and a firewall. You also get powerful privacy protection features such as webcam and mic blocking, email monitoring, a VPN, parental controls and password monitoring. For performance features, it offers you advanced cleaning, Windows repair, safe online banking and shopping, the cleaning of installation junk files, and boosted startup.

Adaware Antivirus Pro protects you against malware, download protection, real-time protection, web protection, shopping and banking safely online, a firewall, email protection, network protection and parental controls. The software’s free version, Adaware 14, is no longer available and was replaced by Adaware Privacy, which has a free and paid version. This software gives camera and mic protection, adblocker, web protection and a limited email scanner, which is upgraded when you buy its pro version and a VPN.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any recent independent AV-Test results for Adaware; it was last tested in 2013 when it was a product of Lavasoft. The Av-Comparatives tests last tested the software in 2017, blocking 95.4% of threats.


Malwarebytes offers users a free antivirus, virus scanner, and remover for the different operating systems. The free version is effective against malware types and doesn’t slow your system down. Several features are limited in the free version, including protection against ransomware, protection of all your devices with different operating systems and browser guard. When you upgrade to the premium version, these features are enhanced and joined by more protection features such as uninstall protection, which limits unnecessary notifications, protection against program-attacking malware and protection from fake websites.

The latest Av-Comparatives independent tests last tested Malwarebytes in October 2022, when the software successfully blocked 99% of threats. The software scored even better results in the latest AV-Tests in 2023, where it scored 5.5 in Protection and Performance and a full mark of 6 in Usability. It was evaluated as outstanding when tested on the Windows operating system.

Installation and User-friendly Interface

With rather swift purchasing and downloading processes, our two antivirus agents provide users with swift installation experiences and user-friendly interfaces.


The Adaware product page will guide you to the purchasing page; whether you choose the Total version or the Antivirus Pro one, you will choose any of the three package options to proceed. You can download the paid antivirus to protect your device when you pay and finish purchasing. After the installation process takes a few minutes, the navy and black dashboard greets you.

The colours are rather comforting for the eyes, with details in white and green to indicate the security status. A screen prompting you to conduct a smart scan dominates the middle of the dashboard, while all your security settings are on the left-hand side. You can choose between Dashboard, Security, Privacy and Performance to dive deeper into your new protection agent’s settings.


If you choose the free version of Malwarebytes antivirus, the download starts immediately when you click the Free Download button. If you’re purchasing a premium package, you will be directed to enter your information before the download starts, besides finalising your purchase. The installation process doesn’t take long; with few customisations, you’re all set up to go.

Adaware vs Malwarebytes - Malwarebytes’s mainly blue and white website theme continues through its dashboard
Adaware vs Malwarebytes – Malwarebytes’s mainly blue and white website theme continues through its dashboard

Malwarebytes’s mainly blue and white website theme continues through its dashboard, with the traditional green and red to indicate the security status. You get the main directive menus on the left-hand side with all your customisations listed under five menus, from the Dashboard to Quarantine to Settings. When you choose one of the menus from the left, it springs in detail on the right-hand side to give you better control of your device’s status and options.


Our contenders offer different packages with varying features. This category will explore these free and paid options to show you which antivirus software offers the best value for money.


There are two versions available from Adaware Antivirus: the Total version for $44.99 per year, and the Antivirus Pro one gives you three options to choose from: a monthly subscription for $7.99, a 6-month subscription for $30 and a yearly subscription of $40. If you choose to download Adaware Privacy, you get the same three subscription options from the Antivirus Pro version.


In addition to the free antivirus version Malwarebytes offers its customers, though with limited features, it offers four main paid versions. The first version, Malwarebytes Antivirus Standard, costs $44.99 to protect one device for a year. You get the basic round-the-clock antivirus and a browser guard. The following version, Malwarebytes Antivirus Standard, costs $59.99 to protect three devices per year, and you get the same benefits as the previous version.

You can purchase the second plan, Malwarebytes Antivirus Plus, which costs $79.99 to protect three devices per year, with the added benefit of a secure VPN. The last paid version is the same as the previous one, but it costs $99.99 annually to protect five devices.

Supported Operating Systems

Both Adaware and Malwarebytes offer different cybersecurity solutions for various operating systems, but one of them is compatible with more operating systems than the other.


Adaware cybersecurity solutions are mainly compatible with the Windows operating system. Adaware Antivirus Pro and Adaware Total are compatible with Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10. They can also be integrated with Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and Google Chrome.


Malwarebytes is compatible with the basic operating systems for desktops and smartphones, from the Windows operating system to iOS. It also operates with numerous browsers, from Google Chrome to Safari.

Customer Support

Adaware and Malwarebytes each offer their users several customer support methods to help them answer any questions regarding their products, the installation process or any problems that might arise while using their services.


Choosing the Support tab from Adaware’s website takes you to their available support methods. These methods include its cybersecurity blog, the online community and its knowledge database. You can choose which product you need help with before it gives you a detailed overview of the topics it can help you with.


Malwarebytes’s customer support asks you to make several choices before you can contact them. The main Support page allows you to choose between Personal Support and Business Support, after which you can chat with one of its agents. You must specify your operating system and problem’s category for Personal Support. Other customer support methods include email, phone support for business packages and the Malwarebytes online database.

Adaware and Malwarebytes Alternatives

Adaware vs Malwarebytes - Adaware and Malwarebytes are both antivirus agents that focus on malware removal,
Adaware vs Malwarebytes – Adaware and Malwarebytes are both antivirus agents that focus on malware removal,

Adaware and Malwarebytes are antivirus agents focusing on malware removal; some would argue they are anti-malware agents, not antivirus agents. If the features and packages these two protection agents offer don’t satisfy your cybersecurity needs, what alternatives can you consider that work with the same efficiency against malware?

Adaware Alternatives: We can recommend several antivirus and anti-malware agents that offer nearly the same features as Adaware, some even with better and enhanced features. These recommendations include AVG, Avira and Spybot Search & Destroy.

Malwarebytes Alternatives: You can consider Norton, Kaspersky and Bitdefender as Malwarebytes alternatives. These alternatives offer excellent all-around protection with anti-malware, ransomware protection and vulnerability scanning.

Ultimately, the choice between Adaware and Malwarebytes depends on your cybersecurity needs, preferences, and the type of protection you desire. Users may also consider trying free versions or trial periods to evaluate the performance of their systems before making a decision.