Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware is a fast, effective and very popular on-demand antivirus tool.
The program is very easy to use. Launch it, fire off a "quick scan" and it'll quickly check the most vulnerable areas of your PC for possible infection. And we do mean quickly: on our test PC it managed to examine more than 229,000 objects in around 11 minutes.
And Anti-Malware also proved accurate, not only detecting our test malware files, but also some potential dangers that we hadn't previously spotted.
The free version of the program doesn't include any real-time protection, and you can't schedule regular scans either, so it's no substitute for a full antivirus package. Anti-Malware is great to have around to offer a second opinion, though; if you think you might be infected by something, but your regular security package is saying nothing, then launch it instead and you'll quickly get a verdict on your system health.
Alternatively, you could upgrade to the Premium version of the program, which includes real-time protection, automatic malicious site protection, a scheduler to run scans when you like, and priority customer support. Anti-Malware includes a 14-day trial option so you can see how the system works for you (click the Protection tab). There is a one-time fee for personal users; commercial users must buy an annual licence.
So, what's new in v2? The interface has been revamped with a simplified, more modern look. An opening dashboard displays your licence details, database version, scan and real-time protection status. You can update the program or launch a scan with a click, while "Scan", "Settings" and "History" tabs provide more details and control.
Detection has been notably improved with a new heuristics engine, locating and killing malware based on its behaviour - not just signatures.
Elsewhere, Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit has been integrated with Anti-Malware. It's turned off by default, but can be quickly enabled from Settings (click Detection and Protection, check "Scan for rootkits").
The Malwarebytes Chameleon driver is integrated with the Premium build, offering extra protection from malware, and can also be enabled from the Settings dialog (click "Advanced Settings", check "Enable self-protection module").
The Malicious Website Protection system now has better performance, and offers finer control of its actions (you can exclude processes such as BitTorrent clients, as well as IP addresses and URLs or domains from Malicious Website Protection).
What's new/updated in 2.0.3?
NEW: Scans may now be set to run as lower priority processes to improve multi-tasking under Advanced Settings
NEW: Added support for keyboard navigation of user interface
NEW: Added support for JAWS and Windows Narrator screenreaders
IMPROVED: Malwarebytes Chameleon enhanced to be more effective against active malware infections in getting Malwarebytes Anti-Malware running
IMPROVED: Notification for outdated databases now configured to 7 days by default rather than 1 per user feedback
IMPROVED: All scans with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware now create an entry in protection logs
IMPROVED: Failed update checks are now logged in protection logs
IMPROVED: Updating Malwarebytes Anti-Malware should now function even when the Scan tab is awaiting action from the user
IMPROVED: Support for scanning encrypted drives improved when rootkit scanning is enabled