AVG vs. Malwarebytes

By Dan Stone

AVG and Malwarebytes are computer protection programs that keep bad software out.
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AVG and Malwarebytes are both programs designed to protect your computer from malware; however, they both focus on different types of malware. AVG is an anti-virus program and Malwarebytes is an anti-malware program. AVG is designed to protect your computer from viruses and other severe malware attacks while Malwarebytes is designed to remove what anti-virus programs miss. The two programs don't directly compete with each other and your computer can benefit from using both programs at the same time.

What is Malware

Malware, or malicious software, is an umbrella term for any program that sabotages a computer in some way. According to PC Magazine, malware is "software designed to destroy data, steal information or aggravate the user." Malware is commonly referred to as viruses, but viruses are actually a subset of malware that describes self-replicating programs that rewrite system code and spread to other computers. According to PC Magazine, viruses can range in severity from a simple prank pop-up to destroying saved data.

What is AVG

AVG is an anti-virus program that comes in free and premium pay versions. Anti-virus programs are primarily focused on blocking viruses that attack your computer. Anti-viruses also feature blocking for other severe malware infections that can disable your computer. You can scan for and remove viruses and other malicious programs with AVG, but it works best by running it at all times so it can preemptively detect bad software before it infects your computer. AVG has won PC World's free anti-virus of the year award and is comparable in quality to many premium paid anti-virus programs.

What is Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes is an anti-malware program that comes in free and premium pay versions. Malwarebytes is primarily focused on removing malware infections including worms, trojans, rootkits, rogues, dialers and spyware as opposed to viruses. According to Stability Networks, Malwarebytes and other anti-malware programs are designed specifically to catch the less severe malicious software that anti-viruses miss. According to PC World, Malwarebytes makes for a good secondary computer protection program. The types of malware that Malwarebytes goes after tend to be more subtle and sit on your computer for a long time collecting information or forcing additional advertisements.

Primary vs. Secondary

AVG and Malwarebytes have different use profiles and the two programs can work together to protect your computer. AVG is the security staff and Malwarebytes is the cleanup crew. AVG serves as a primary protection program for a first line of defense against attacks.

AVG can work just fine as your only computer protection software and will protect you from most severe infections. However, Malwarebytes is built to be a secondary protection program that works in conjunction with an anti-virus. Malwarebytes does not need to run all the time and scan every file that goes through your computer; instead it should be used to run occasional scans for protection that complements the anti-virus program.