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mac_in_tosh

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 6, 2016
584
6,335
Earth
Some years ago, due a security concern at the time, I installed the paid version of Malwarebytes (MB) and have kept it up each year. I'm trying to decide on renewal.

My older laptop is starting to show some reduced battery performance, although it's still rated as "normal," and I may have convinced myself that turning off MB's live scan helped a bit. The main difference between the paid and free versions as far as I'm concerned is the live scan.

I've read some older threads and I expect the usual suggestion that Mac OS doesn't need third party protection but my concerns are:

o Mac OS updates happen only occasionally, while programs like MB and Windows Defender update frequently.

O You can't do an on-demand scan of a USB stick or a downloaded file before opening it.

How much of an advantage is the live scan? I assume that with the free version you can do regular on-demand scans.

Thanks.
 

russell_314

macrumors 603
Feb 10, 2019
6,011
8,891
USA
from my understanding the live scan is active protection that will catch malware trying to execute. The on demand scan will let you know at the time you do the scan.

I don’t have any kind of third-party antivirus or anti-malware on my Mac. However I’m very cautious and knowledgeable as to what not to do. If you have an understanding of how malware can get on your system, it’s easier to prevent it. If you’re more of a risk taker, or not all users of the Mac have an understanding of what not to do then the live scan might be worth it.
 

Apple_Robert

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
34,265
49,461
In the middle of several books.
Malwarebytes really isn't needed. MacOS comes with multi-layer protection. X-Protect updates are not dependent on waiting for the usual MacOS update.

 
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Sheepish-Lord

macrumors 68020
Oct 13, 2021
2,169
4,409
I tried it once for my spouse who didn’t want an adblocker and she accidentally clicked on one of those sketchy pop-ups followed by who knows what next. Safari keep opening a weird homepage after and you could never change it, plus some other weird issues. Installed malware bytes and it never detected anything and was resource intensive with an insane amount of permissions needed for obvious reasons.

Was easier and quicker to blow away the whole OS than use that bloatware.
 
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Alpha Centauri

macrumors 65816
Oct 13, 2020
1,180
874
since G5 days I've run ClamX and since a couple yrs ClamxAV sub on 14yr HW with a patched OS. I too found the trial of MB to suck up resources heavily on an old 5.3.

I guess the key is how old and how supported your system still is, what sites you visit. I've since got an M2 MBP and will most likely let the 2009 MBP (now and then) just let MB run on demand as a free version.

Edit: The m2 MBP I run without AV
 
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bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
15,388
1,520
Lard
I've been running Malwarebytes on Macs, Windows, and Android since 2016.

While I don't see it as critical on Macs as it is on Windows, Apple's security updates aren't as good as they should be. They leave too much to chance for things to go wrong.

I will use Malwarebytes as long as it is available.
 
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kitKAC

macrumors 6502a
Feb 26, 2022
658
621
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bogdanw

macrumors 603
Mar 10, 2009
5,481
2,605
For Malwarebytes, see
"How safe is malwarebytes for Mac?" https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/how-safe-is-malwarebytes-for-mac.2378702/
"Malwarebytes" https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/malwarebytes.2305923/
About XProtect:
"The Many Faces of Undetected macOS InfoStealers | KeySteal, Atomic & CherryPie Continue to Adapt"
https://www.sentinelone.com/blog/th...-keysteal-atomic-cherrypie-continue-to-adapt/
"Recent updates to macOS’s XProtect signature database indicate that Apple are aware of the problem, but early 2024 has already seen a number of stealer families evade known signatures."
 
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HDFan

Contributor
Jun 30, 2007
6,331
2,670
It is an ongoing, unresolvable controversy as to whether you need to be running an antivirus program. Apple support does have you run Malware bytes under some circumstances. In my case I run Sophos.
 

svenmany

macrumors demi-god
Jun 19, 2011
1,911
1,246
You can't do an on-demand scan of a USB stick or a downloaded file before opening it.

This is a compelling reason to have the free version available. It seems Apple's X-Protect only kicks in when an executable starts to run. It's more prudent to check a file before it triggers something to run.

Really this is my ignorance talking, but I'm imagining a totally fine piece of software that's running. I then select a malicious file to open which takes advantage of some weakness in the application. I do wonder if X-Protect would catch that since the program is already running and the Eclectic Light link suggests that X-Protect checks "executable code prior to it being run".

For me personally, I count on Apple and haven't installed MalwareBytes. But, without a deeper understanding of X-Protect, I'm being careless.
 

mac_in_tosh

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 6, 2016
584
6,335
Earth
Better, free, in the App Store, alternatives:
Intego VirusBarrier Scanner https://apps.apple.com/app/id1200445649
Bitdefender Virus Scanner https://apps.apple.com/app/id500154009
Bitdefender doesn't have great reviews in the App Store. Also, there's a curious similarity in the program descriptions:

"Intego Virus-Barrier Scanner can scan and remove Mac and Windows malware with a single click. VirusBarrier Scanner will detect any infected files which you might have downloaded or gotten in your inbox. This way your Mac is always kept safe and you won’t put your friends and family at risk of being infected with malicious files.

Bitdefender Virus Scanner finds Mac malware as well as Windows viruses with ease. Virus Scanner will detect any infected files that you downloaded or got in your inbox, so your Mac will be safe and you won’t pass anything bad to your friends’ computer."
 

MacPeasant123

macrumors member
Feb 24, 2018
76
66
I use four virus scanners in all:

the two free ones that bogdanw suggested:

1. Intego VirusBarrier Scanner https://apps.apple.com/app/id1200445649

2. Bitdefender Virus Scanner https://apps.apple.com/app/id500154009

and also:

3. the free version of Malwarebytes

4. ClamXAV paid edition


In my experience with them:
-Bitdefender has identified more suspect items in recent memory (maybe 2-3 in the past year)
-ClamXAV's scan for "Caches" will occasionally catch something for me
-and Intego may have found something once or twice years ago, can't recall anymore

Also when updating their definitions, Bitdefender takes seemingly 10 minutes or more to do so. Sometimes the Intego virus definition update stalls and only a few days later will the definitions finally update when I try again.
 

kagharaht

macrumors 65816
Oct 7, 2007
1,338
786

svenmany

macrumors demi-god
Jun 19, 2011
1,911
1,246
"Researchers tend to classify malware into one or more sub-types (i.e. computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, rogue software, wiper and keyloggers)."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malware

I've read that elsewhere, as well, targeted to a less technical audience. Also, many applications which have "anti-virus" in their names are actually anti-malware. So, in this field's vernacular, malware and viruses are roughly synonymous.
 
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themadrhino

macrumors newbie
May 1, 2010
22
0
Northern VA
I used MalwareBytes to get some malware off my girlfriend's MBA and it was awesome and free. I was surprised by the malware believe through Chrome Browser but I run Norton Antivirus on all my computers so never have an issue.

I would recommend the free MalwareBytes to anyone who has a problem. On the start of this post on renewing - you are paying it forward for the rest of us, so thank you
 

JonaM

macrumors regular
Sep 26, 2017
156
160
I run the paid version of MB on an old 2017 iMac and have not observed any appreciable performance impacts from it. I have the paid version as my bank quietly offers a security package to all customers ( worth checking), would I pay for it if it didn't? Debatable, but probably as you get multiple installs and it's most useful on devices of the less tech-savvy family members who are more inclined to click on things they shouldn't
 

kagharaht

macrumors 65816
Oct 7, 2007
1,338
786
According to Apple. I still prefer having something like Intego has for free. Does that make me paranoid? ;)

 

kagharaht

macrumors 65816
Oct 7, 2007
1,338
786
Well. Intego VirusBarrier Free version just notified me of 4 malware files in Safari Cache. Located in several levels of subfolders. It removed it. I rebooted and reset Safari, ran VirusBarrier again manually and its clean. I do wonder if I would allow it to scan my Time Machine backup drive. What happens if it finds something there and removes it? Will it mess up Time Machine Restore process?
 
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