Malwarebytes and Avira are two different types of programs that approach the same problem -- keeping bad software off your computer -- in different ways. Malwarebytes is an anti-malware program, whereas Avira is an anti-virus program: both programs target malware infected files for blocking or removal. However, the scope, focus and use-cases for each program varies. Malwarebytes and Avira are not in direct competition: neither is designed to replace the other; rather, they're designed to work together.
Anti-Virus vs Anti-Malware
Viruses are a type of malware, so looking at the naming conventions used by anti-virus and anti-malware programs you may come to the conclusion that the anti-malware programs are all-inclusive and replace anti-virus programs. However, the two types of programs work differently. Anti-virus programs are designed to work as the computer's first line of defense against malicious software infection, while anti-malware programs are designed to go in and clean up any infections that the anti-virus program was unable to prevent. Anti-virus programs are proactive whereas anti-malware programs are reactive with regards to malicious software.
Anti-virus programs are designed to run at all times the computer is running and scan all incoming files to check for any type of malicious code that could infect the computer. Anti-malware programs are not designed to run at all times: instead, they are designed to be used retroactively to periodically scan the computer for any malware infections. Anti-virus programs can also be used to scan for infections after the fact in the event they are installed following an infection or missed an infection that they can now clear following an update. A computer can be running Avira as its anti-virus at all times and have weekly scheduled scans with Malwarebytes as its malware protection setup.
There's a lot of malicious software out there, so security software programmers have to pick and choose which malicious programs they're going to prevent and clean up. Since anti-virus programs are the first line of defense, Avira's programmers tend to target the most dangerous viruses and other malicious software. If a specific piece of malware is designed to disable or cause substantial damage to a computer, it will find its way to the top of Avira's shortlist. Malwarebytes, however, is designed to target the malware that didn't make it to the top of Avira's shortlist. While Malwarebytes can remove dangerous infections designed to steal information from your computer, its programmers usually target the more annoying, system-performance forms of malware.
While both Avira and Malwarebytes feature free and premium versions, they both include unique features that differentiate them from other products on the market. For example, Avira has its own unique browser tracking blocker toolbar that integrates with the Web browser and blocks sites from tracking what you're doing online. Avira also includes security ratings for sites that appear in Web searches. Malwarebytes includes its own brand of “chameleon” installation that lets a user install it on an infected computer running malware designed to block anti-malware program installation.
- Difference Between: Difference Between Antivirus and Antimalware
- FixMyPCFree; The Difference BEtween Anti-Malware and Antivirus Programs
- Digital Trends: Best Free Antivirus Software
- University of Califorina Santa Cruz: Computer Virus and Malware Information
- Network World: Anti-virus/Anti-malware Cheat Sheet
- Cru Solutions Cru Compass: Anti-virus Vs. Anti-malware - Do I really need Both?
- PC Magazine: The Best Free Antivirus for 2013
- Malwarebytes Support: Does Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Replace Antivirus Software?
- Avira: Avira Free Antivirus
- Malwarebytes: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free