Malwarebytes vs Trend Micro: Which Antivirus to Pick? (2023)
Malwarebytes and Trend Micro and 2 capable antivirus options, but when put side by side, only one of them can be the best pick. With both of them offering excellent protection and a good number of security features, it can be difficult to choose the best option.
I compared Malwarebytes and Trend Micro across 15 different areas to determine which is best. I tested their malware protection capabilities and examined their features, performance, ease of use, and ultimately the overall value of money.
From my tests, Malwarebytes is the best option among the 2 antiviruses. It offered perfect malware detection rates through scans, an excellent range of security features, and good value for money. Plus, Malwarebytes’ Free app outshines Trend Micro as an effective malware removal tool. You can try Malwarebytes risk-free using the 60-day money-back guarantee.
No Time? Here’s a 1-Minute Summary of Category Winners
Both Malwarebytes and Trend Micro are reputable antivirus options with reliable security features. After extensive testing, I found Malwarebytes to be the superior antivirus of the 2, although it was a close call.
|Virus Scanner||Detects and removes 100% of malware and has faster scan times||Detects and removes 99.05% of malware, but its scans are slower|
|Real-Time Malware Protection||Blocks 100% of real-time threats||Blocks 100% of real-time threats|
|System Performance||Scans have a minimal impact on system performance||Scans have a noticeable impact on device performance|
|VPN||Offers 500+ servers in 30+ countries||Has a small server network in 15+ countries|
|Parental Controls||No parental controls feature||Provides screen-time limits, app controls, location tracking, and other parental controls tools|
|Firewall||No firewall feature||Has a Firewall Booster feature that enhances the Windows Firewall program|
|Password Manager||No password manager feature||Allows you to organize and manage all your logins seamlessly|
|Gaming Mode||Play Mode improves the gaming experience||Mute Mode only silences notifications during gameplay|
|Optimization Tools||No optimization tools||Offers Startup optimizer, Disk Cleaner, and PC Health Checkup|
|Other Features||Only has a browser protection extension||Has Secure Online Banking, Data Theft Protection, and Secure Erase|
|Device Compatibility||Supports Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices||Compatible with older versions of Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS|
|Customer Service||Offers live chat, email support, and online knowledgebase with fast response times||Has live chat, email, phone support, and online knowledgebase, but with slower response times|
|Price||Cost-effective pricing options||Decent pricing options, but slightly more expensive|
|Free Version||Has a robust free version with perfect detection rates||Offers a free online virus-scanning app|
|Money-Back Guarantee||Provides a 60-day money-back guarantee||Has a 30-day money-back guarantee|
How I Tested and Compared Malwarebytes vs Trend Micro
I conducted an exhaustive comparison of Malwarebytes and Trend Micro using a standardized testing methodology. Here’s an overview of how I tested and compared the 2 antivirus solutions across various categories:
- Virus Scanner — I evaluated the effectiveness of both antivirus programs in detecting and removing malware through on-demand and scheduled scans.
- Real-Time Malware Protection — I assessed the real-time protection capabilities of Malwarebytes and Trend Micro in detecting and blocking threats as they occur.
- System Performance — I measured the impact of each antivirus on system performance, including CPU usage, memory usage, and overall system speed.
- VPN — I analyzed the VPN services offered by both Malwarebytes and Trend Micro and compared them to third-party VPN solutions.
- Parental Controls — I examined the parental control features of Trend Micro, as Malwarebytes does not offer parental controls.
- Firewall — I evaluated the firewall capabilities of Trend Micro, considering that Malwarebytes does not have its own firewall.
- Password Manager — I compared the password manager feature of Trend Micro to the lack of this feature in Malwarebytes.
- Gaming Mode — I tested and compared the gaming mode features of Malwarebytes and Trend Micro.
- Optimization Tools — I reviewed the optimization tools provided by Trend Micro and compared them to the absence of such tools in Malwarebytes.
- Other Features — I explored additional features offered by both antivirus solutions beyond the core security features.
- Device Compatibility — I assessed the compatibility of Malwarebytes and Trend Micro with various operating systems and devices.
- Customer Service — I interacted with customer support from both companies to evaluate their responsiveness, knowledge, and assistance.
- Price — I compared the pricing plans of Malwarebytes and Trend Micro to determine their value for money.
- Free Version — I examined the features and effectiveness of the free versions offered by both antivirus solutions.
- Money-Back Guarantee — I researched and compared the money-back guarantee policies of Malwarebytes and Trend Micro.
1. Virus Scanner — Malwarebytes’ Scanner Takes Less Time
Malwarebytes offers perfect malware detection rates, whereas Trend Micro comes close at 99.05%. Still, bear in mind that it’s normal that results change over time as new threats emerge so Trend Micro is still a solid choice.
In terms of scanning types, Malwarebytes offers a straightforward and intuitive virus scanner interface with a focus on simplicity and ease of use. It offers 3 scanning options as follows:
- Quick Scan – inspects your memory and startup objects for any active infections.
- Threat Scan – scans all potential threat hiding spots on your system.
- Custom Scan – allows you to choose and specify the folders for the scan.
Similarly, Trend Micro presents 3 types of scanning options as well. They are:
- Quick Scan – focuses on scanning the areas where threats often conceal themselves.
- Full Scan – conducts a thorough scan of the entire computer and external drives, excluding network drives.
- Custom Scan – performs scans on all items within the folders you specify.
Malwarebytes excels in scan times with its Threat scan taking less than 2 minutes. In comparison, Trend Micro’s quick scan took 6 minutes to finish. Additionally, Malwarebytes’ scanner is pretty easy to use, and it conducts thorough checks of your entire system.
Overall, Malwarebytes emerges as the preferred choice between the 2 in terms of virus scanning. Its user-friendly virus scanner interface and efficient scan times make it a top-notch antivirus solution. However, both Malwarebytes and Trend Micro offer reputable protection against cyber threats.
Virus Scanner Winner: Malwarebytes
2. Real-Time Malware Protection — Both Antiviruses Offer 100% Protection From Zero-Day Threats
Both Malwarebytes and Trend Micro are constantly monitoring and preventing malware threats from infecting your system. This acts as the most important line of defense during daily use and during my tests, both Trend Micro and Malwarebytes achieved a 100% detection rate of threats in real time.
When it comes to web protection, Trend Micro demonstrates exceptional performance. Its web protection features efficiently block access to malicious websites, phishing attempts, and infected downloads in real time, safeguarding users while they browse the internet. Malwarebytes also offers reliable web protection, but Trend Micro detects more threats.
Malwarebytes and Trend Micro employ sophisticated threat detection analysis techniques to identify and analyze malware. Malwarebytes utilizes its extensive database, behavioral analysis, and machine learning algorithms to detect and respond to new and unknown threats.
Similarly, Trend Micro employs signature-based scanning, cloud-based security intelligence, and sandboxing to detect and mitigate emerging threats.
With both antivirus solutions offering robust 100% real-time detection rates, this round is a tie.
Real-Time Malware Protection Winner: Tie
3. System Performance — Malwarebytes Consumes Fewer Resources
Both Malwarebytes and Trend Micro are lightweight antivirus options, but Malwarebytes stands out for consuming fewer system resources. During various tasks, such as web browsing, downloading, and file copying, I experienced no significant slowdowns with Malwarebytes running in the background.
To evaluate the system resource usage of each antivirus, I conducted a comparison by recording the initial baseline values of CPU, Disk, and Memory Utilization. I then contrasted these values with the corresponding measurements obtained during a full scan test for both antiviruses.
|Test Type||CPU Utilization (no scan)||Memory Utilization (no scan)||Disk Utilization (no scan)||Full Scan CPU Utilization||Full Scan Memory Utilization||Full Scan Disk Utilization|
|Malwarebytes||12%||81%||73 MB/s||57%||85%||82 MB/s|
|Trend Micro||14%||82%||78 MB/s||60%||85%||87 MB/s|
In my tests, I observed that Malwarebytes caused a slight increase in CPU utilization, from 12% to 57%, with a little impact on system performance. However, Trend Micro raised CPU utilization slightly more, from 14% to 60%. While both antiviruses do affect PC performance, Malwarebytes had the least overall impact on system resources during scanning activities.
System Performance Winner: Malwarebytes
4. VPN — Malwarebytes Offers More Security Features in Its VPN
Malwarebytes takes the lead in the VPN section due to its well-rounded security features. While Trend Micro offers a decent VPN service, its lack of certain key features makes it less competitive compared to Malwarebytes.
While available only on the top-tier plan, Malwarebytes’ Privacy VPN offers the following features:
- AES-256-bit encryption – ensures uncrackable security, safeguarding your browsing activities.
- 500+ servers in 30+ countries – offers multiple locations to access your preferred content and surf the web securely.
- Automatic kill-switch – prevents IP address leakage by disconnecting your internet if the network becomes unstable.
- Strict no-logs policy – guarantees that your VPN connection data is neither stored nor shared.
- WireGuard VPN protocol – enhances connection speeds and reduces lag for a smoother browsing experience.
- Split-tunneling – allows selective routing of internet traffic, choosing which data goes through the VPN and which uses the regular internet connection.
In comparison, Trend Micro’s VPN Proxy One Pro offers the following features:
- AES-256-bit encryption – ensures unbreakable security to protect your browsing activities.
- Small server network in 15+ countries – provides a limited number of server locations to browse from.
- WiFi protection – protects against unsecured WiFi networks.
- WireGuard VPN protocol – utilizes the WireGuard protocol for faster speeds.
Although Trend Micro’s VPN offers faster speeds than Malwarebytes, its lack of features like split-tunneling and a kill-switch feature, and the fewer server locations put it behind Malwarebytes when it comes to the overall security of the VPN. For these reasons, Malwarebytes is the winner in this category.
VPN Winner: Malwarebytes
5. Parental Controls — Only Trend Micro Has Parental Control Tools
Trend Micro secures the win in this section due to its robust and comprehensive set of features designed to keep children safe online. On the other hand, Malwarebytes does not have parental controls, putting it at a disadvantage in this category.
Trend Micro offers a wide range of powerful parental control features, allowing parents to manage and monitor their children’s online activities effectively. These features include:
- Web Filtering – blocks inappropriate content and restricts access to harmful websites.
- Time Limits – set usage schedules to manage screen time for children.
- App & Game Controls – manages app access and game usage based on age-appropriate content.
- Social Media Monitoring – monitors social media activities to ensure safe online interactions.
- Location Tracking – provides real-time location tracking for child safety.
- Cyberbullying Protection – detects and prevents cyberbullying incidents.
- Parental Reporting – delivers comprehensive reports on your child’s online activities.
I found Trend Micro’s parental control app to be user-friendly, making it easy for parents to set up and manage restrictions. The app allows parents to customize settings, view activity reports, and receive alerts about potential online risks.
When it comes to parental controls, Trend Micro takes the lead by offering a comprehensive set of features that ensure a safe online environment for children. While Malwarebytes is a reliable antivirus solution, its lack of parental controls means that users seeking a complete security package with built-in safeguards for children should opt for Trend Micro.
Parental Controls Winner: Trend Micro
6. Firewall — Trend Micro’s Firewall Booster Improves on the Windows Firewall Program
Trend Micro wins this section as it offers its Firewall Booster, which integrates with the Windows firewall, and provides enhanced security against network threats. In comparison, Malwarebytes doesn’t have an integrated firewall or firewall control option.
The Firewall Booster of Trend Micro strengthens the Windows firewall by adding advanced intrusion detection and prevention mechanisms. It monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic, blocks unauthorized access, and identifies potential threats effectively. This integration ensures users have an added layer of protection for their devices and personal data.
Since only Trend Micro offers firewall capabilities, it wins this category.
Firewall Winner: Trend Micro
7. Password Manager — Only Trend Micro Provides a Password Manager
Trend Micro stands as the winner in the Password Manager section, as Malwarebytes does not offer that feature. Available only on top-tier plans, Trend Micro’s password manager provides users with a secure and convenient solution to manage their passwords.
It offers features such as:
- Secure Password Storage – safely stores and manages passwords in an encrypted vault.
- Autofill & Form Filling – automatically fills login details and forms for convenient access.
- Password Generator – creates strong and unique passwords for enhanced security.
- Biometric Authentication – allows secure access using fingerprint or facial recognition.
- Cross-Device Sync – syncs passwords across multiple devices for seamless access.
- Password Health Check – identifies weak or reused passwords for improved protection.
Using Trend Micro’s password manager was a seamless experience. The app’s intuitive interface made it easy to organize and store all my passwords for various accounts. The password generator feature helped create strong and unique passwords, and the auto-fill function streamlined the login process on websites and apps.
Overall, Trend Micro emerges as the preferred choice with its robust and user-friendly password manager. Malwarebytes lacks its own password manager, making Trend Micro the only option among the 2 to opt for seamless password management.
Password Manager Winner: Trend Micro
8. Gaming Mode — Malwarebytes’ Play Mode Improves Gaming Performance
Malwarebytes takes the lead in this section, providing a dedicated gaming mode to enhance the gaming experience without interruptions, while Trend Micro lacks a specific gaming mode feature.
Malwarebytes’ Play Mode is designed to prioritize system resources for gaming activities. It optimizes background processes and temporarily suspends non-essential notifications and updates, ensuring a smoother and more immersive gaming session. Similarly, Trend Micro’s Mute Mode silences notifications, so you can play games uninterrupted.
Using Malwarebytes’ gaming mode was a pleasure. As an avid gamer, I appreciated the seamless experience it provided. During gaming sessions, I noticed a significant reduction in pop-up notifications and background processes, resulting in enhanced performance and fewer distractions.
In this category, Malwarebytes emerges as the preferred choice due to its dedicated gaming mode feature. While both Malwarebytes and Trend Micro are reliable antivirus solutions, Malwarebytes’ gaming mode offers gamers an added advantage by optimizing system resources and minimizing interruptions during gameplay.
Gaming Mode Winner: Malwarebytes
9. Optimization Tools — Trend Micro Offers Decent Device Optimization Tools
Trend Micro secures the win in this section, as Malwarebytes lacks dedicated optimization features. Trend Micro offers a variety of optimization tools designed to enhance system performance. These tools include:
- Disk Cleaner – cleans up unnecessary files and optimizes disk space usage.
- Startup Optimizer – speeds up system boot time by managing startup applications.
- PC Health Checkup – scans and identifies issues affecting device performance.
- Junk File Cleaner – removes temporary files and clutter for improved system speed.
- Privacy Scanner – safeguards sensitive information and enhances privacy settings.
- Battery Saver – optimizes power consumption for longer battery life on laptops and mobile devices.
- Browser Booster – enhances browser performance for smoother internet browsing.
During my tests, Trend Micro’s optimization tools provided a noticeable improvement in system performance. The disk cleanup and registry cleaner efficiently removed temporary files and invalid registry entries, freeing up valuable disk space while the startup optimizer helped reduce boot times by managing startup programs effectively.
Overall, Trend Micro’s optimization tools were user-friendly and effectively improved the system’s overall performance. While Malwarebytes offers strong antivirus protection, its lack of optimization tools limits its capacity to enhance system performance, making Trend Micro stand as the winner in this category.
Optimization Tools Winner: Trend Micro
10. Other Features — Trend Micro Offers More Extra Features
Trend Micro emerges as the winner in this section due to its broader range of additional features compared to Malwarebytes.
Malwarebytes offers a browser extension that provides an additional layer of protection against online threats, such as phishing attempts and malicious websites. There’s no other standout extra feature provided in the antivirus.
In comparison, Trend Micro offers the following additional features:
- Secure Online Banking – ensures secure transactions and protection against online threats.
- Fraud Buster – guards against phishing scams and fraudulent websites.
- Social Media Privacy – manages privacy settings and protects social media profiles.
- Data Theft Prevention – safeguards sensitive data like credit card details from unauthorized access and theft.
- Folder Shield – protects important folders with an additional layer of security.
- Secure Erase – permanently deletes sensitive files to prevent data recovery.
In summary, Trend Micro takes the lead with its wider array of additional features, including Secure Erase, Folder Shield, and the Social Media Privacy Scanner. While Malwarebytes offers some valuable extra features like the Browser Guard, Trend Micro’s diverse range of other features adds significant value to its antivirus suite.
Other Features Winner: Trend Micro
11. Device Compatibility — Trend Micro Provides More Platform Support
While both Trend Micro and Malwarebytes are compatible with similar versions of Windows and macOS, Trend Micro has the edge as it supports older versions of Android and iOS. Consequently, Trend Micro is accessible on a broader range of iPhones, iPads, and Android devices compared to Malwarebytes.
Trend Micro is compatible with multiple platforms, including:
- Windows (7 SP1 and above)
- macOS (10.14 and above)
- iOS (11 and above)
- Android (5 and above)
Malwarebytes is also available on several platforms, supporting:
- Windows (7 SP1 or higher)
- macOS (10.12 or higher)
- iOS (14 or later)
- Android (9 or later)
Using Trend Micro’s desktop app on my Windows PC was a seamless experience. The interface was user-friendly and intuitive, making it easy to navigate and access various security features. The app ran smoothly in the background without causing any significant performance issues.
With Malwarebytes’ user-friendly Windows app, I also had a seamless desktop app experience. The user interface was straightforward, and the app efficiently scanned and quarantined potential threats.
In summary, Trend Micro takes the lead for its broader device compatibility, especially with older mobile versions. This means that Trend Micro can run on more models of Android and iOS devices. On the other hand, Malwarebytes offers a dependable antivirus solution that’s very popular among Windows users.
Device Compatibility Winner: Trend Micro
12. Customer Service — Malwarebytes Offers More Responsive Customer Support
While both antivirus options provide multiple support channels, Malwarebytes takes the lead due to its prompt and efficient live chat and email support, which offers users a quick resolution to queries and issues.
- Live Chat Support – Malwarebytes offers live chat support, allowing users to connect with a customer service representative in real time to get immediate assistance.
- Email Support – Malwarebytes provides email support for users who prefer to communicate their issues via email.
- Online Knowledge Base – Malwarebytes has an extensive range of articles, FAQs, and online resources to learn from.
Trend Micro also has a good number of support options as follows:
- Live Chat Support – Trend Micro lets you access live chat support for quick resolution of issues.
- Phone Support – Trend Micro allows you to speak with an agent directly for urgent assistance.
- Email Support – You can contact Trend Micro support via email.
- Knowledge Base – Trend Micro has a knowledge base with comprehensive articles and guides to help users troubleshoot common issues.
Malwarebytes live chat is the best support option with quick response times. In my tests at different times, I connected in under 2 minutes each time. Support agents were impressive, offering detailed solutions. For instance, when I couldn’t find Malwarebytes’ “Gamer Mode,” they guided me with a step-by-step link and ensured my satisfaction before closing the chat.
I connected to Trend Micro’s live chat support within a minute, but the response time to my queries was slower than expected. Resolving my issue took roughly 8 minutes, a contrast to the swifter experience I had with Malwarebytes.
Malwarebytes’ email support outpaced Trend Micro’s in terms of responsiveness. After submitting 2 support tickets via their website, I received helpful replies in under 3 hours. On the other hand, when I reached out to Trend Micro about a missing VPN feature in my Windows app, it took them close to 7 hours to solve my issue.
When it comes to customer support, Malwarebytes takes the lead. Although both Malwarebytes and Trend Micro provide a range of customer support options, Malwarebytes consistently delivered swifter replies to my inquiries, whether via live chat or email.
Customer Service Winner: Malwarebytes
13. Price — Malwarebytes Offers Better Value for Money
Although both antiviruses offer decent pricing options, Malwarebytes wins this section due to its more affordable pricing plans compared to Trend Micro.
Malwarebytes offers 2 subscription plans for home users:
- Malwarebytes Premium – features malware removal, real-time protection, web protection, and brute force protection, and covers 1 device.
- Malwarebytes Premium+Privacy – has all features included in Malwarebytes Premium, plus VPN and Identity Theft protection, and covers 5 devices.
In contrast, Trend Micro has multiple pricing plans, which include:
- Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security – covers 1 device and includes essential antivirus protection, ransomware protection, and email scam safeguarding.
- Trend Micro Internet Security – extends protection to up to 3 devices with additional features like social media privacy protection and secure online banking.
- Trend Micro Maximum Security – offers protection for up to 5 devices, including advanced features like parental controls and PC optimization tools.
While both antivirus solutions offer value for money, Malwarebytes stands out for its cost-effective options, making it the preferred choice for budget-conscious users seeking reliable antivirus protection. Hence, Malwarebytes emerges as the winner in this category.
Price Winner: Malwarebytes
14. Free Version — Malwarebytes Free Provides a Robust Anti-malware Solution
Malwarebytes wins this section due to its comprehensive and feature-rich free version. Trend Micro doesn’t have a free version like Malwarebytes, but it has a free online virus scanner (HouseCall) that detects and removes malware.
Malwarebytes offers a robust and effective free version of its antivirus software, which includes essential features like on-demand scanning and automatic updates. The free version is capable of detecting and removing malware, providing users with a solid level of protection at no cost. It also comes with a free extension (Browser Guard) that blocks malicious websites.
Overall, Malwarebytes takes the lead with its more feature-rich and effective free antivirus offering. While Trend Micro provides a free online scanner, you’d get a comprehensive and more capable free antivirus solution with Malwarebytes.
Free Version Winner: Malwarebytes
15. Money-Back Guarantee — Malwarebytes Offers a Longer Money-Back Guarantee Period
Malwarebytes wins the Money-Back Guarantee section due to its generous and more customer-friendly refund policy compared to Trend Micro.
Malwarebytes offers a 60-day money-back guarantee on all of its premium plans, allowing you to try the antivirus risk-free for a considerable period. If you’re not satisfied with the product within 60 days of purchase, you can request a full refund without any questions asked.
By contrast, Trend Micro offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on its premium plans. While this provides reasonable time for users to test the product, it’s only half as long as Malwarebytes’.
Therefore, by offering a money-back guarantee twice as long, Malwarebytes wins this category.
Money-Back Guarantee Winner: Malwarebytes
And the Winner Is… Malwarebytes
I compared Malwarebytes and Trend Micro across many to determine the best pick and to see if any of them would measure up to the top antiviruses on the market. It was a tough contest, but Malwarebytes emerged as the winner by a very small margin. It excelled in a few areas such as virus scanning, VPN, customer service, and value for money.
- Virus Scanner — Malwarebytes
- Real-Time Malware Protection — Tie
- System Performance — Malwarebytes
- VPN — Malwarebytes
- Parental Controls — Trend Micro
- Firewall — Trend Micro
- Password Manager — Trend Micro
- Gaming Mode — Malwarebytes
- Optimization Tools — Trend Micro
- Other Features — Trend Micro
- Device Compatibility — Trend Micro
- Customer Service — Malwarebytes
- Price — Malwarebytes
- Free Version — Malwarebytes
- Money-Back Guarantee — Malwarebytes
Trend Micro was also very good, especially with its feature-rich software. It has many of the features lacking in Malwarebytes such as parental controls, password manager, device optimization tools, and many other features.
However, both of them are still far from offering a comprehensive security suite that top-tier antiviruses offer. Unlike Malwarebytes and Trend Micro, Norton provides an extensive range of features including advanced firewall and perfect detection rates, both in scans and in real-time scenarios. Plus, you can try Norton risk-free using the 60-day money-back guarantee.
Overall Winner: Malwarebytes
How to Install Malwarebytes Antivirus on Your Device
Here’s a guide on installing and using Malwarebytes on Windows, along with starting its 14-day free trial. While Malwarebytes is available on macOS, iOS, and Android, this walkthrough focuses on the Windows platform, which is widely used by Malwarebytes users.
- Go to Malwarebytes’s website — Click on “Free Download” on the menu bar to download the installation file.
- Install the app — Run the installer file and follow the setup wizard to begin the installation.
- Complete the installation — Once the app has finished installation, click on “Get Started” so it can open the antivirus window.
- Run your first scan — Click on the “Scan” button on the middle tile to run your very first Threat scan.
FAQs About Malwarebytes vs Trend Micro Antiviruses
Is Malwarebytes better than Trend Micro?
Can Trend Micro detect malware?
Can Malwarebytes and Trend Micro work together?
No, Malwarebytes and Trend Micro should not be used together on the same device. Running two antivirus programs concurrently can lead to conflicts and performance issues.
Both antivirus programs may interfere with each other’s operations and cause false positives or fail to detect threats accurately. You should choose one of the antivirus solutions that meets your needs and uninstall any other security software to avoid conflicts and ensure optimal protection.