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The traditional antiviruses are passé now. They rely on the signature-based detection mechanism, which won’t work in the present day. Thousands of malware emerge every single day, and it is almost impossible to detect them all using the signatures. To effectively detect malware, you need an anti-malware software that works on signature-based detection as well as analyzes the behavior of programs. One such anti-malware software at your service is MalwareFox; at least this is what they claim. I installed this anti-malware on my PC and used it for a while and here are the observations.
Read this article to know how effective it is, and should you even give it a try?
It is going to be a detailed review, so catch your breath.
Easy Steps To Set Up MalwareFox
An essential tool like antivirus or anti-malware should be easy to install. Almost all types of users use such programs. From mediocre to average and even expert users require anti-malware at some point in time. If a person faces any difficulty in setting up the program, then it is most likely that they are going to skip it. MalwareFox doesn’t let you struggle with the installation process.
MalwareFox asks you a few simple and necessary details to set up the program. All you have to do is enter your preferred language, read & accept the terms & condition, choose the installation location, and then select a few additional settings like creating desktop icon & start menu entry. That’s it, after taking submission of these details, MalwareFox will be installed in your system.
Once it gets installed, it will take up to a minute to update the program and load the signatures from the servers. Overall in my system, the whole installation took around 7 minutes to complete. The time taken to update the database depends on your internet connection speed, though the update size isn’t that huge. MalwareFox setup file is just 6.31 MB, so downloading the program from the website is not a tedious task. For most, it’s just a matter of one minute.
Overall, installing MalwareFox anti-malware on your system doesn’t require any skills. Any user can easily install it.
Does It Work Well With Other Security Suits?
MalwareFox doesn’t interfere with other security suites. You don’t need to uninstall your current antivirus to enable MalwareFox. To test this claim, I installed the Avast free antivirus on my system before installing MalwareFox. There were no compatibility problems during and after the installation. To make sure, I ran the scan on both MalwareFox and Avast simultaneously. They both seemed to understand and comply with each other.
MalwareFox has modules like adware remover, ransomware protector, etc. but none of them cause any hindrance with third-party programs.
The best compatibility of MalwareFox is with Windows Defender. Defender provides a secure firewall, and MalwareFox stops threats from entering your system. But how can two Real-Time protection programs run on a system when Windows Security Center allows only one?
Yes, that’s true only one real-time protection can run at a time. When you install a third-party security suite, the Windows Defender disables its real-time protection and lets the new suite handle the task. So when I installed the Avast antivirus Windows Defender stopped and Avast started working. Again, I installed the MalwareFox anti-malware the Security Center disable the real-time protection of Avast and activated the new one. That’s how MalwareFox can work well with other security suites.
360-Degree Security Process
MalwareFox scan is fast; it’s not like the traditional antiviruses which take all day to scan a partition of your hard disk. The scan quickly analyses the files and then starts the scan. The scan status is visible on the screen. First, it checks the system’s integrity and then classifies the files which took around 2-minutes. After that, the actual scanning begins.
MalwareFox uploads suspicious files on the cloud to scan and observes their behavior, which saves the PC’s resource consumption. The behavior analysis and cloud upload happen in the background. If you have a slow internet connection, you would be able to see the upload process on the screen.
The scanning window displays the file’s name, scan duration, total files, and the detected count. It also shows the information on the threats. There is an option to choose action on the detected threats. By default, it quarantines the malware and repairs the hijacked settings in the browser. For malware, you can select either Quarantine or Delete. If lots of threats come up, then there is an option to apply this action to all.
For a false positive detection, there is an option to Report as Safe. You can even check the status of a particular threat on the VirusTotal. Pressing the Scan button starts the Full scan of your system. If you want to scan a folder or file manually, then you have to Drag & Drop it in the box provided on the home screen. Or right-click and choose Scan with MalwareFox Antimalware from the drop-down menu.
To test the false positive and the quick scan feature, I created a folder with lots of executable system files of some famous and lesser-known applications. The folder contained around 1.87GB of data with 112 executable files.
MalwareFox took 1 minute 42 seconds to scan all the data and detected two threats. There was just one threat but MalwareFox displayed it twice. I don’t know why. There were no false positive cases, though.
Protects in Real-Time
The real-time protection is a premium feature and won’t come along the free version. However, it is available with the 14-days trial option. After that, it stops working unless you get a paid subscription. Once your trial period ends, MalwareFox doesn’t become useless. The manual scan will still catch threats.
Real-Time protection is a critical feature of a security suite. If your security software doesn’t stop the threat at the same time, the malware forces itself and begins damaging the data until you press the scan button.
MalwareFox’s real-time protective action is impressive. It catches threats like adware, hijackers, ransomware, spyware in real-time and notifies the user with a system notification. To detect a threat, MalwareFox keeps analyzing the executable programs and files. It matches the malware signature and blocks the risk if there is a match. It also examines the behavior of the program; that’s what a Heuristic Approach is.
Thousands of new malware emerge in a single day. It’s not possible to catch all threats with signature-based detection. That’s why MalwareFox adopted the heuristic approach and started the behavior analysis method to detect threats. It actively monitors the activity of the program. If it seems like a possible threat, MalwareFox blocks it immediately. It quarantines that program and notifies you, and allows you to choose to delete the malware at the same time or later from the quarantine.
Ease of Use
MalwareFox antimalware has a simple user interface. It has everything organized in a way that you don’t need to spend a lot of time on the software. The home screen contains all the essential information that you might need on a day to day basis. It tells you about system status, license, last scan, last update check, and the real-time protection status.
The options to visit settings, quarantine, license, and reports section are at the home screen.
From the Settings, you can customize your antimalware according to your need. You can disable the Cloud-Sandbox technology, that uploads the threats in the cloud and analyze their behavior. Other options allow you to add exclusions, check for updates, and has some other advanced settings. You can enable the detection of suspicious (Root CA) certificates, that help to identify fake and phishing websites.
Similarly, Quarantine provides some useful options. It lists files and displays the path, the detection (the type of the threat), and time of detection. There is an option to restore or delete the threats from quarantine.
The License window lets you enter your license key or renew it. The reports keep detailed statistics of the complete scans over time. You can open the reports to view the details and delete them.
The report section contains full detail of every scan. You can sort the reports by time, type, or result. Double-clicking opens the full report in the Text File, which includes complete details for that particular scan.
The reports are arranged in the Timestamp of the scan. The scan type shows three different types of scan (System, Scheduled, and Custom Scan). The result shows clean or harmful objects detected. When you open the report, the text file lists every single detail for that scan.
First, it shows the version of the MalwareFox, and then it contains some system information. Below are some crucial system details of the report.
- Scan Result (Terminated / Completed)
- Scan Date, Scan Type, & Duration
- OS, Processor, BIOS Mode, & CUID
- Scanned Objects, Detected Objects, & Excluded Objects
After all these details, the report shows the details of detected objects like:
- Object Name
- Detection (Threat Type)
- Cleaning Action (Quarantine / Delete / Repair)
- File Location
At the end of the report section, you will see the summary. That tells you about the number of cleaned objects, reported as safe, and failed objects.
Such a comprehensive report helps track the actions, in case of any problem.
All Important Information on the Dashboard
All the vital information about the program and the status of the system is available on the home screen of MalwareFox. Still, the home screen doesn’t feel cluttered. You will see the below items on the dashboard.
- Real-Time Protection status (On/Off)
- System Status (Clean/Infected)
- License (Days Remaining)
- Last Scan (Day)
- Last Update Check (Day)
Apart from these details, there is a dedicated area to drag & drop files or folders for the deep scanning and a big Scan button. There is no need to go through different options to check these details, you open the dashboard, and you will know it. If there is threat detection, a Green Check Mark in the computer turns into a Red Cross Mark, and the system status goes to infected.
Enhanced Security for the Browsers
MalwareFox doesn’t just catch the big fishes, but it also protects your PC from small threats such as PUP/PUA and Hijackers. It scans the settings of the browsers and flags any suspicious changes. It also examines the Add-ons/Extensions of the browser and detects the malicious ones.
During the scan, MalwareFox detected ClipConverter URL, which hijacks my Chrome browser settings. It also checked the settings of other browsers like Firefox, Edge, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc. I tested MalwareFox by installing Three Malicious Extensions on the Chrome browser, and it detected all of them within 5 minutes of scan.
There are two options to get in touch with people behind MalwareFox. You can use the application to initiate the support or can visit their website support section. Either way, you are going to receive a prompt reply. MalwareFox claims that you will get an answer within 24 hours, though their response time is around 1 hour on weekdays and about 1-2 hours in the weekends, to conclude that, I had to contact their support several times in the past week.
If you are having an issue regarding the program feature, bug, or malware removal, then you should contact them using the Application Interface. The option is available under the Send Feedback section. You can attach the latest scan and error report that helps to track the issue in a better way.
The application support interface also allows you to attach FRST Logs. It is helpful in case you want malware removal assistance. FRST stands for the Farbar Recovery Scan Tool developed by Microsoft that helps to create detail logs. It gets the log from Registry, Services, Drivers, Processes, and Internet. These details help the support executive to look deeply into your system so that they can quickly assist you for the removal.
To seek help about the license, product activation, and billing related issues, I recommend you to contact them on their Website Support Page. You will get a quick reply via email. However, if you have a question regarding the pricing, then you can directly chat with their executive. It is available on the Pricing Page.
The support executives are enthusiastic and eager to help. They even reply to the basic questions calmly. However, I feel the need of telephonic support for the people who are not friendly with the text messages.
Pricing: Does It Suits Your Pockets?
MalwareFox has attractive pricing for a single computer as well as for multiple home or business computers. The pricing for a single computer starts at $24.95/year for the international market, but they have special pricing for the Indian user base.
If you need it for your business, then you can contact them for attractive deals. You can even get the MalwareFox anti-malware for your android device in a special combo price. I feel that the pricing is not too high.
Still, I recommend you to get the 14-days trial license first. Use it for a few days and then decide if you want to invest your money in this anti-malware. If you’ve already purchased it and didn’t like the product, then there is a 30-days refund policy.
People who do not want to purchase the premium version can also use the free version. But I recommend them to opt for the premium as the free version lacks critical features. Below are the elements that the free version doesn’t have-
- Doesn’t stop threats in Real-Time
- No Ransomware Protection
- Lacks Rootkit Scanner
- No Zero-day attack protection
- Lacks Support
MalwareFox is an excellent choice as an anti-malware for the people who like straight-to-the-point applications. MalwareFox doesn’t include fancy features, which is its positive and negative point at the same time. Lots of features make a program bulky, and that needs lots of system resources to run.
Would you like to spare 30-40 minutes from your busy schedule to finish a scan? No one wants that. That’s the plus point with MalwareFox, I ran the scan and did several other works like playing HD videos, browsing multiple tabs, working on large excel sheets, and even editing a video on the Camtasia. My PC didn’t lag even for a second, thanks to the Cloud-Sandbox technology.
Now come to the negative point, which is not including some essential features. MalwareFox should at least have a password vault and Firewall. It lacks these two critical features that’s why it is recommended to run it alongside the Windows Defender. The Windows Defender firewall makes it a complete package.