Both Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware and SUPERAntiSpyware are the widely-use scanner and remover of malware. Not only because it’s free but the programs can remove what traditional anti-virus scanner and remover could not detect and remove. However, both have advantages and disadvantages and we’re here to find out.
Installation and System Requirements: Winner – SUPERAntiSpyware
You may install SUPERAntiSpyware (SAS) in Windows 98/98SE/ME/2000/XP/2003/Vista while Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware (MBAM) is only compatible with Windows 2000/XP/Vista. Both programs will run in 32-bit or 64-bit edition of supported OS. The installer of SAS is bigger than MBAM: 6.83MB vs 3.85MB. The hard-disk usage by SAS is also bigger than MBAM: 26.3MB vs 3.98MB.
Installing both programs is a quick process but SAS provide customized installation that MBAM does not:
- SAS let you choose whether to install the program for “All Users” or “Current User” only.
- SAS provide an option to check for program and definitions update when starting the program.
If a system is infected prior installation of MBAM or SAS and if the malware will target both programs (by preventing the installation of malware scanners): The vendor of SUPERAntiSpyware is offering alternative installer by downloading it from their website. There is no alternative installer of MBAM. Your option is to rename the setup file of MBAM.
Self-Defense and Protection: Winner - SUPERAntiSpyware
Not all freeware scanner and remover will provide some kind of protection to itself and on some system settings. MBAM does not have self-protection and will not monitor the system for any changes. SAS on the other hand will try to defend itself against unwanted termination by malware or another application. Also, SAS will protect your browser’s home/start page.
I tested the self-defense of SAS by running a quick scan and then I tried to terminate its processes using WinPatrol. SAS continue to be running and scanning. This is quite useful because another process or malware will fail to terminate the program during a malware scan by SAS.
Program Options: Winner – SUPERAntiSpyware
SAS let you integrate itself to Windows Security Center, start the program during Windows startup, show SAS icon in notification are in Windows, auto-scan during Windows start-up, check for updates before scanning on system startup, keep detailed logs and reset program options to its default. SAS allows you to scan a file or folder via context menu. However, SAS is required to be running.
SAS includes an option to start the program using Alternate Start. This is designed to allow the program to start if a malware is targeting SAS (which is common nowadays!) by blocking the malware scanner in running. Note that if Alternate Start will again prevent to the program to run, the vendor is offering a download version of SASSAFERUN.COM and RUNSAS.EXE. SAS includes a utility called BootSafe. This is not required in using the program (see FAQ about BootSafe utility in SAS) but available for users who want to quickly boot the system in safe mode.
MBAM has no program options other than save the log automatically after the scan and scan a file or folder via context menu. You do not need to have MBAM program running to use the single file or right-click scanner. If a malware is targeting MBAM (by blocking it from running or scanning), your option is to try running MBAM in safe mode or by renaming MBAM executable to something else.
This post is part of the series: Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware Vs SUPERAntiSpyware
If you frequent discussion forums, you may notice that there are two popular freeware malware scanners and remover - MBAM and SAS. Let’s compare its features and performance.