It’s important to protect your data from cyber threats, whether you’re using social media or using your computer to browse the internet. Avast and Malwarebytes are two of the most popular antivirus programs. Both programs are similar, but they each have distinctive features that differentiate them.

While Avast’s free version is an excellent option, it offers bare-bones security that doesn’t check for ransomware or malware. Premium tiers offer more features. The highest priced plan Premium + Privacy includes a no-log VPN, which prevents unauthorized tracking, masks your location, and encrypts your connection.

One of the biggest advantages of Avast is its extremely thorough malware detection system. In AV Comparatives tests, Avast scored a 5.5/6. The algorithmic heuristic and machine learning algorithms are both excellent for detecting new threats. The program also blocks more than 1.5 billion attacks per month, which is higher than the average for its competitors.

Malwarebytes may not be the best choice for users looking to run an antivirus that provides real-time protection. The program examines the files on your PC, and doesn’t block malware from entering the system from the outside. Luckily, the paid plans include an antivirus and antimalware, including ransomware and exploit protection.

Both have a simple and user-friendly interface, but Avast’s is more expansive and customizable. The security options and settings are more extensive than Malwarebytes which could make it somewhat confusing for newbies. Avast provides a range of additional utilities and security features that aren’t available in Malwarebytes paid levels.