Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware (MBAM) and A-squared Free (A2) is one of the popular scanner and remover that many people will use when their resident antivirus or anti-malware programs has failed to detect or remove a threat. Both MBAM and A2 are available as free program with free support via discussion forums. Do you need both or one is enough? Let’s check how they will outperform one another.
System Requirements and Installation – Winner: MBAM
Both programs will support Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 and Windows XP. A2 also supports Windows 7 while MBAM can be installed also with Windows 7, Windows 2003 and Windows 2000. The installer of A2 is quite huge than MBAM (60.26MB vs. 3.86MB).
MBAM is not installed as a service which means you can install it in safe mode (as long as there is no malware that is targeting MBAM while in safe mode). However, there is advantage of installing a program as service so the scanner will have full access when scanning and removing for threats. MBAM will attain the same permission when you installed the program with administrative permissions.
Options and Features – Winner: A2 Free
MBAM will let you run a quick, command line, right-click, custom and full system scans. Add items to ignore list but only after the scanner found infection or risk on an item. Quarantine option is available but there is no option to manually submit the file for further analysis within the program.
A2 Free lets you run a quick, smart, custom, right-click, silent, command line and deep system scans. You can manage a whitelist (ignore list) prior running a scan. Quarantine and false positive or further analysis is available within A2 program.
Updating and Extra tools – Winner: MBAM
Deleting a file on reboot using FileAssassin tool in MBAM is available. Updating both programs can be done online using the program’s updater. Manual download of detection signature file is only offered by MBAM.
The signature files of A2 are huge (
). You will find a lot of its signature files in its program’s directory. MBAM’s signature file is small (less than 3MB) and you can manually replace it by overwriting 1 reference file.
Upgrading to new version of MBAM and A2 is done using its updater. No system restart is required to upgrade A2 but it will only restart itself. MBAM has been reported to require a system restart in some cases.
This post is part of the series: Which is Better? Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware vs. A-squared Free
Free on-demand scanners are often recommended when a PC is infected and the resident anti-virus protection has failed to stop a threat. Let’s find out which of the two popular free malware scanner and remover is better.