Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Pro 1.65 rests is software that's slightly uncategorisable. It looks like an anti-virus tool, but claims to work in a different way and to be happy to sit alongside most other Windows security software offerings as an extra layer of protection. See also: Group test: what's the best security software?
The company is based in San Jose, California, but is made up of developers in many countries, who work on Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Pro 1.65 cooperatively.
You can get the basic product for free, and we reviewed Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free 1.61 earlier in the year. That software offers manual scans only on-demand, when you think you might have a problem or on whatever manual schedule you set for yourself. The Pro version, reviewed here, adds real-time protection, where files are scanned automatically to a schedule you assign.
Once downloaded and installed, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Pro 1.65 presents a very business-like control screen. None of the fancy tiles of recent internet security programs, trying to do the Windows 8 Modern-Metro thing. Instead you get a simple nine tabs, covering things like scanning, live protection, update and quarantine.
Running a quick scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Pro 1.65 took 2 mins, 7 secs to check 200,191 files; and when we aimed the scanner at the drive containing our 50GB bundle of test files, it took 2 mins 17 sec to examine 202,193 files. This gives a scan rate of 1476 files/sec, which is very quick.
You need to choose Full Scan if you want to check a particular part of your system but, even then, you can only narrow it down to a particular drive. This proved a bit long-winded, if you want to check a single folder or files within one.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Pro 1.65: how it works
So how does Malwarebytes Anti-Malware work? According to the guys who put it together, it was originally a tool for computer technicians to remove stubborn software infections. It doesn't work in the same way as traditional AV software, which uses virus signatures to spot and eradicate infections.
To give them their due, most traditional AV programs have also progressed beyond this paradigm, too, using heuristics to spot suspicious behaviour in zero-day exploits and cloud-based databases for quick remedies.
Malwarebyte's full-time protection – the bit that differentiates the Pro product from the free one – checks files as they come in as email attachments or as you load them onto a system from the internet. It should pick up malware at the time of import, using later scans as a back stop.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Pro 1.65: how to use it
This is why your best plan is to run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Pro alongside a regular IS suite. What that doesn't pick up, Malwarebytes may have a different handle on. The program is engineered to cohabit with other IS suites and we had no trouble running it alongside Webroot SecureAnywhere Complete 2013, although in the past we've occasionally had other suites object to it.
Best to run the free 30-day trial before laying down money, to check this. And note that the price of £19.95 is a one-off fee for private customers, not your usual time-limited one-year subscription.
The program supports white lists of software it shouldn't block and a full quarantine system, with which you can isolate suspect files, then reinstate those flagged in error.
We didn't see any false positives during testing. But nor do we have any independent test data to show if and how well it can spot and remove Windows malware.