5 Best Malware Removal Tools in 2020
The more we use the Internet, the higher the chance to get infected by some kind of malware. Malicious software is widely present on the web, and it has developed a lot during the last couple of years. That said, hackers have even come up with the programs capable of outsmarting the most advanced security tools.
Still, adequate malware protection is more than essential for both business and private users. Many different software solutions are available nowadays, which means that you have plenty of options when it comes to choosing the program that will provide the highest level of security.
Most malware protection tools also come with malware removal options that successfully eliminate the piece of malicious software that entered your system somehow. To help you make a wise choice, we’ve prepared a list of the 5 best anti-malware products you can find in 2020 – let’s learn more about their features and price!
What is Malware?
Before we start with our list, we should mention the term malware and its definition. Malware is a portmanteau of the words malicious and software, and it refers to practically any software that’s created for harmful, and even criminal purposes.
The first malware appeared in 1971, and it has been developing ever since then. That said, the types of malware we know today are just a small part of a much bigger group of fraudulent software made by hackers who want to gain unauthorized access to a user’s network and critical files, in order to disable, modify, or corrupt them.
The most common types of malicious software include a computer virus, rootkit, keylogger, spyware, ransomware, worm, Trojan horse, and more. The primary goal of most hackers is the money, which is why they tend to access credit card credentials and other passwords that could help them steal your financial records.
Do I Need Anti-Malware Protection?
Yes, you do.
We mostly use our devices to browse the Internet, check social media accounts, make transactions, purchases and do a variety of other things the web has brought to us. Although most users think that they won’t be potential targets, the truth is that we shouldn’t underestimate the power of the Dark Side.
Malware can penetrate our systems without much effort – through downloads, infected shared data, email attachments, and more. In most cases, we are not aware of its operation, which is performed in the background. That said, it can modify, erase, or steal our data before we’ve become aware of its presence (it sounds like a Jedi mind trick indeed).
Fortunately, malware can be both detected and removed before it’s completed its task. Thanks to the development of the antimalware tools, we can successfully beat the hackers’ attempts to implement fraudulent activities. Let’s see the 5 most prominent examples of malware removal software we can find in 2020.
5 Best Malware Removal Tools in 2020
We have made a list of the best malware protection programs that can help you delete malware from your system. Some of them are paid, while some providers offer their products for free.
Free malware protection is often the right choice when you’re not ready to pay for the full package, and they are quite convenient for home users. Although they usually come with limited features, they can provide a decent level of protection and security, at least for the beginning.
Let’s see the best examples:
1. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020 ($39.99/device/year)
Bitdefender has always been a prominent name in the antivirus industry, primarily because it offers a variety of packages convenient for every user’s needs.
Speaking of Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, we can say that it’s one of the best tools that can help you remove malware and protect your critical data from being stolen and exploited.
It has shown excellent results in independent lab tests, being exceptionally well in providing malware protection. Namely, it has scored 94 points in detecting and removing even the most advanced types of malicious software.
- Password manager: Bitdefender comes with a Wallet feature that works as a password manager. It stores passwords, personal data, and all credit card information for use on websites.
- VPN: Antivirus Plus comes with 200MB/day of VPN connection, which encrypts your connection and prevents hackers from monitoring your online activity.
- Outstanding banking protection: According to AV-Comparatives, which conducted the banking Trojans test, Bitdefender has shown exceptional results in keeping a user’s banking information safe from attackers.
- Do Not Track: This Bitdefender’s package comes with an active Do Not Track feature, which blocks all the trackers provided by websites that contain advertisements or other monitoring tools.
- Limited VPN access: To get a full, unlimited VPN access, you’ll need to purchase a separate policy. This is something most users don’t find convenient.
- No Parental Control included: Bitdefender does offer a Parental Control feature, but only if bought separately.
2. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware ($39.99/device/year)
Malwarebytes is a commonly used anti-malware program, which helps detect and remove malware from a user’s device. It can recognize different kinds of spyware, Trojans, worms, ransomware, and similar threats that could affect your privacy.
It has shown remarkable results in detecting zero-day malware attacks, as well as email and web threats, which it successfully removed from a user’s device. Here are more advantages you can expect from this product:
- 14-day free trial: The premium version of Malwarebytes comes with a 14-day free trial, which allows you to use the product at no cost to see whether it meets your needs. It provides a real-time malware scan and additional options for dealing with ransomware.
- Daily updates: Thanks to the frequent and daily updates, Malwarebytes is capable of identifying and removing the newest types of malware that have never been seen before.
- Available for different OS: Not all the providers offer solutions for different OS, but Malwarebytes made its products available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and even Chromebooks.
- Additional scan options: Malwarebytes allows you to scan different locations, which include other hard drives, USB drives, and network drives. There is also a Hyper Scan option, which checks the device pretty quickly.
- No network scan: Although it offers a variety of malware scan options, it still lacks the network scan feature. It means that it can’t identify threats on networked devices other than drives.
- Unresponsive customer support: There are both live chat and ticket system customer support, but the truth is that they don’t respond to a customer’s issues on time.
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3. Malwarebytes Free (Free)
Malwarebytes Free is considered one of the best free malware removal tools for home users who’re not ready to purchase a full, premium package. It cleans up all the existing problems on your device and removes the signs of malware that may provoke certain issues. Since it’s free, it excludes some options such as ransomware protection, but it still provides a decent experience and sufficient protection. Although it can’t replace an actual antivirus, it can complement it.
It’s easy to use, and you can always upgrade to the premium version and explore the world of advanced and unlimited features.
- Quick and efficient scan: This free malware removal tool provides quite a fast and in-depth device scan, making sure it displays all the information about its findings.
- Browser Guard extension: Once you’ve installed Malwarebytes, you’ll be offered to add a free browser extension – the Browser Guard. It will remove the ads, block fraudulent URLs and sites with a bad reputation, and prevent phishing attacks.
- No hidden costs: The free version of Malwarebytes remains free until you decide to upgrade to premium. That said, you won’t need to worry about unexpected charges or hidden fees.
- Excellent malware detection: Recent tests have shown that Malwarebytes Free can identify different kinds of malicious software and prevent their execution on the system.
- No real-time protection: The lack of real-time protection may affect the product’s ability to identify malware attacks immediately.
- No ransomware protection: If you want additional ransomware protection, Malwarebytes Free might not be the right choice for you since it doesn’t include protection against cryptographic attacks.
4. Avast Free Antivirus (Free)
Another free malware software is Avast. Apart from a variety of premium products it offers, there is also a free version that comes with essential protection features that every home user needs. It comes with an intuitive user interface that’s easy to use, and it offers many advanced options we usually find in paid programs.
According to AV-Comparatives, Avast has scored a 100% protection rate at detecting malware online and protecting the user. Therefore, it achieved an ADVANCED+ reward.
- Wi-Fi Inspector: This feature automatically detects potential weaknesses in your home Wi-Fi, and check whether there are any strangers connected to it.
- Excellent malware scanner: Avast malware protection offers a Smart Scan option, which will scan your device and find potential cracks that allow malware to walk free into your system. Additionally, it will check all unsafe settings, passwords, extensions, and outdated software.
- Behavior Shield: The newest version of Avast Free includes Behavior Shield, which keeps an eye on the application’s behavior, paying attention to its changes that could indicate the presence of malware.
- Do Not Disturb: Avast now offers Do Not Disturb Mode, which blocks distracting pop-ups and notifications while you’re playing games, watching a movie, or doing something else in full screen.
- Installing stuff without a user’s consent: Some users complained about the fact that Avast Free installed a secure browser to their machines and imported passwords into Avast’s password manager without the customers’ permission.
- No firewall: Firewall should be a part of any anti-malware program, and Avast offers it only as a part of paid plans.
5. Norton 360 with LifeLock Select ($89.99/5 devices/year)
Norton 360 with LifeLock Select is enterprise-level software that protects the users from the most common attacks. It offers a broad range of options suitable for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, providing real-time security. Let’s see what else it’s included:
- Unlimited VPN: Unlike most of the products that offer limited, or no VPN at all, Norton 360 provides you with unlimited access to the virtual private network with bank-grade encryption.
- Parental Control: Children aren’t usually aware of the dangers that exist on the Internet, which is why the Parental Control feature plays a significant role in preventing malware and other threats that come from fraudulent sites. By monitoring their children’s online activity, parents can block particular contents, webpages, and suspicious URLs.
- PC SafeCam: It’s not rare that cybercriminals often use a victim’s webcam to spy on them. Thanks to the PC SafeCam, you can feel safe knowing that any unauthorized access to your webcam will be blocked.
- Dark Web monitoring: You’ll get notified in case someone is trying to sell your information, such as email address, on the Dark Web.
- Limited options on Mac and iOS: Despite being efficient and rich in possibilities, Norton 360 still lacks some features on Mac and iOS. For example, the users of macOS don’t have parental control or backup on their devices.
- Cannot prevent identity theft: Although it comes with a lot of options regarding identity theft prevention, it actually can’t stop it.
What to Look for in Malware Removal Tools?
All anti-malware tools may look the same for a user, but the truth is that some programs are better than others due to the feature they have. That said, you should pay attention to the following options when looking for the software that would help you get rid of the malware.
Although the look of the user interface may seem insignificant to some customers, it is an essential part of the entire software.
An intuitive and easy-to-use interface is critical for inexperienced users that might need some time to figure out where all the options are. Therefore, they need to find a more straightforward program that doesn’t include some advanced functions they might not need. Otherwise, they may end up confused.
As for experienced users that require more advanced features, they’ll have no trouble navigating even the most sophisticated interface.
Of course, you should look for the total protection a particular product offers. Consider the security options it includes, and whether there is ransomware protection, fraudulent websites detection, and malicious URL blocking included.
It’s critical to find software that will make you feel safe while online and protect you from the newest and the most advanced threats present today.
A password manager is a tool that keeps all your passwords safe and in one place. It can store your credit card details, wireless network passwords, application logins, license keys, and other critical credential information.
All your login data will be secured with a master password that’s impossible to be cracked.
Parental Control is one of the most expected features since it allows parents to filter the content their children can watch online, and that way, prevent malicious software from entering the system.
Still, you should know that Parental Control often comes in paid packages only, and sometimes it even requires a separate subscription.
Price is a critical factor that can impact your decision regarding the antivirus purchase. Make sure you understand your needs since it will help you find a plan that’s convenient for you – for example, if you don’t need VPN, or some more advanced options, go for more cost-effective solutions.
Also, there is nothing wrong with choosing free software. Such an option is suitable for home users who don’t need options that provide an additional layer of protection.
Verdict: How to Get Rid of Malware?
As you could see, the options for malware removal are diverse. You can enjoy unlimited features, advanced protection levels, and many other functions that form part of the tools created for endorsing a user’s safety and privacy.
Apart from installing one of the mentioned tools, you should stay away from shady websites and avoid logging in to sites that don’t seem trustworthy. That way, you can prevent the damage that could be caused by malware that advanced that even antivirus software couldn’t catch it.