Our Malwarebytes Privacy VPN score
Malwarebytes VPN Review (2023): Fast VPN With Basic Security
Malwarebytes is a well-known creator of top-self security solutions. Its flagship product, Malwarebytes antivirus, is one of the top five antivirus software in the market. But what about the quality of its VPN service? We decided to take a closer look by doing a comprehensive Malwarebytes VPN review to see if the VPN software is worth it.
Malwarebytes Privacy VPN offers standard security features like the WireGuard protocol, AES-256 encryption, and a kill switch. However, we discovered it lacks in certain areas, such as server network and customer support. Keep reading to find out more about how Malwarebytes VPN fairs regarding the speed of its servers, its security protocols, and user-friendliness.
Malwarebytes Privacy VPN: A Short Review
- Reasonably fast speeds
- Unblocks Hulu, Disney Plus, and BBC iPlayer
- AES-256 encryption
- Allows torrenting
- Kill switch (only available on Windows and Mac)
- Easy to install
- Only 500 servers in 40 countries
- Users can experience issues when trying to unblock Netflix
- High latency which makes it poor for gaming
- Offers only the WireGuard protocol
- Unresponsive customer service
After thoroughly examining Malwarebytes Privacy VPN, we can conclude it’s a reasonably fast VPN that’s great at unblocking popular streaming platforms like Hulu, Disney Plus, and BBC iPlayer. However, we experienced inconsistencies when trying to unblock Netflix and observed slow loading times with online games.
Moreover, its AES-256 encryption provides top-notch security that will keep your sensitive information secure and away from the prying eyes of malicious actors like hackers. Additionally, the company claims it doesn’t keep any activity logs, but we did discover that it does collect a lot of data it shouldn’t.
During our Malwarebytes VPN review, we noticed that the provider also lacks some essential features. It does offer WireGuard, a fast and secure protocol, but there’s no OpenVPN, which is the standard security protocol many premium VPNs provide. In addition, its server network is relatively small: 500 servers in 40 countries.
Malwarebytes Privacy VPN also only offers annual plans. Moreover, even though its website includes a lot of useful information in its FAQ section, blog, and forum, we were a bit disappointed with its customer service, which never replied to our query.
Therefore, based on our rigorous tests of Malwarebytes Privacy VPN, we gave this provider an overall score of 6.5 out of 10.
|From $3.33 a month
|📱 Operating systems
|Android, Windows, Mac, iOS
|💳 Payment methods
|PayPal, Credit card
|📥 Torrent options
|📅 Money-back guarantee
|🎬 Works with
Speed – How Fast Is Malwarebytes Privacy VPN?
Malwarebytes provides reasonably fast download and upload speeds and a smooth browsing experience. This is why during our Malwarebytes VPN review, we gave the provider a 6.5 out of 10 for speed.
Here’s what we discovered while testing Malwarebytes Privacy VPN:
- Malwarebytes VPN gave us fast download and upload speeds on nearby servers.
- Its latency increased significantly on distant servers.
- The VPN provider doesn’t affect browsing and streaming but can slow your gaming experience.
Speed test results for Malwarebytes Privacy VPN
We tested the speed of Malwarebytes Privacy VPN from our offices in the Netherlands. First, we recorded our speeds without a VPN and then connected to servers across the continents.
We’ve compiled our findings in the table below.
Your latency, download, and upload speeds will differ based on your location, internet connection, and device. The table is meant to give you a fair idea of how Malwarebytes VPN performs across the board.
|United Kingdom (London)
|US East (New York)
|US West (LA)
|Brazil (Sao Paulo)
As you can see from the table, Malwarebytes is a high-speed VPN. All the servers in Europe kept at least 93% of our starting download speeds. This is within the ballpark of what the fastest VPNs offer. For example, Surfshark’s European servers maintained around 95% of unprotected speeds.
In a similar fashion, Malwarebytes Privacy VPN barely impacted our upload across Europe. It delivered at least 94% of our initial speeds.
Further away, in places like the US, Canada, and South Africa, Malwarebytes VPN still gave good download speeds. Our upload speeds and latency took significant hits, but for a middle-tier VPN service, Malwarebyte’s speeds are impressive.
Speeds during daily use
Sometimes a VPN can post decent speeds on paper but not perform well when used. Thankfully, we didn’t notice any lag while browsing the internet and visiting numerous sites with Malwarebytes Privacy VPN.
Even streaming HD movies was a breeze. While connected to Malwarebytes’ US server, we streamed YouTube videos and Tubi TV movies without any delays or interruptions.
However, we did have a hard time playing video games with Malwarebytes. We tried to play games that were heavy on bandwidth usage, like Fortnite or Call of Duty, but the games took unusually long to load and paused abruptly sometimes.
This isn’t surprising since Malwarebytes has high latency, especially on faraway servers. Therefore, if you are a fan of online gaming, we suggest going with NordVPN, one of the tried-and-tested options from our list of the best VPNs for gaming.
Safety – How Secure Is Malwarebytes Privacy VPN?
After thoroughly testing Malwarebytes VPN’s safety and security features, we can confidently say that the VPN provider has a good security package. Therefore, we give the service a 6.5 out of 10 for security.
Here are the main takeaways regarding Malwarebytes VPN’s security features:
- The VPN offers users robust AES-256 encryption to protect their data.
- Malwarebytes Privacy VPN employs the WireGuard protocol, which excels at speed and safety.
- The VPN logs personally identifiable information.
- A kill switch is available to protect against data leaks (only for Windows and Mac).
- Upon registration, you must submit your email and create a password to create an account.
Malwarebytes Privacy VPN offers you the highly secure AES-256 cipher to safeguard your online activities and IP address but gives you only one protocol option: WireGuard. However, this is one of the fastest and safest protocols out there.
WireGuard is a lightweight protocol with fast connection times and reduced CPU usage. It also has fewer bugs and security vulnerabilities than other protocols. Because WireGuard was initially released for the Linux kernel, a VPN with WireGuard could be a good VPN for Linux.
WireGuard uses ChaCha20 for encryption, which is so secure that it will require millions of years to compromise.
However, Malwarebytes VPN could take a page from NordVPN‘s books and offer OpenVPN (UDP and TCP) too. This protocol strikes the best balance between speed and security. Other VPNs like ExpressVPN also offer the IKEv2 protocol, which is a good fit for mobile devices because it’s stable when switching networks.
Logging and privacy
Here’s a summary of the details Malwarebytes keeps about you:
- Personal information: Your name, email, mailing address, phone number, username, password, machine ID number, info about your business (if you’re a company), information about product usage, and billing details
- Non-personal information: Your anonymized IP address, browser type, internet service provider (ISP), operating system, referring/exit pages and files viewed on the Malwarebytes site, date/time stamps, and/or clickstream data
- GeoIP data: Continent, country, city, and approximate longitude and latitude based on your IP address, the type of your connection, your ISP, and the organization to which the IP is licensed (if any)
- Client data: Your operating system, system language, processor architecture (32 or 64-bit), the file system in use (FAT32 or NTFS), and info from Windows Security/Action Center (security settings and programs installed or in use)
As you can see, this is a lot of recorded data for a “no-log VPN.” This information can be used to mount an attack against you if hackers manage to steal it.
Note that Malwarebytes Privacy is based in the US. With its surveillance agencies, subpoenas/gag orders, and 5 Eyes network, the US is one of the worst locations for a VPN service.
The only way to run a secure VPN in the US is to log absolutely nothing. This way, if the government asks for user information, the company wouldn’t have anything to hand over. Malwarebytes has a lot of data to give away, making it a rather risky choice for privacy-conscious users.
Malwarebytes offers a kill switch on Windows and Mac devices. However, Android and iOS users still have no access to this fail-safe.
The kill switch prevented our system from accessing the internet without VPN protection. This failsafe stops data leaks if your VPN falters for whatever reason. Our device could only reconnect to the internet when Malwarebytes Privacy VPN came back online. However, if we wanted to, we could disable this feature by using the toggle in the Settings menu of our device.
Does Malwarebytes leak your data?
From our Malwarebytes tests, we discovered that Malwarebytes VPN doesn’t suffer from DNS leaks, meaning your data isn’t exposed when DNS requests are made. Although we were in a different location from the US, when we connected to Malwarebytes’s Chicago servers, it didn’t reveal our original location.
We run IP address leak tests as well, and we can assure you that Malwarebytes doesn’t suffer from IPv4 and IPv6 leaks. This means that your real IP address won’t be exposed.
What information does Malwarebytes Privacy VPN need?
Malwarebytes requires your email and a password to create an account. To remain anonymous, you can create a temporary email address.
If you decide to purchase a premium subscription, you’ll also need to provide your credit card details or PayPal email address.
Usability – How User-Friendly Is Malwarebytes Privacy VPN?
Malwarebytes Privacy VPN has a user-friendly interface, and it is easy to install. Even if this is your first VPN, you’ll have no trouble navigating its app and finding what you need. Hence, we gave Malwarebytes VPN a 7 out of 10 for user-friendliness.
Here is what we discovered about its usability during our Malwarebytes Privacy VPN review:
- Malwarebytes Privacy VPN’s website is somewhat complicated.
- The installation is quick and easy on all devices and systems.
- The Malwarebytes Privacy app is beginner-friendly and intuitive.
- Malwarebytes Privacy is a bit pricey.
- It offers only basic payment methods (no crypto).
- Its customer support section has a good knowledge base, but its agents don’t respond to messages.
Malwarebytes’s website and installation process
Malwarebytes has a lot of different products, and the site definitely shows it. We found its homepage packed with menus, clickable buttons, and special offers. If you’re not familiar with Malwarebytes, it may take some time to find what you need.
To access the VPN page, we had to click on the “Personal” tab and then on “Malwarebytes Privacy VPN.” Here, you can find some info about the service, check the pricing, activate the free trial, and go through a short FAQ.
Clicking the “Sign in” button in the top-right corner allowed us to log into the service and open our personal dashboard. Here, you can:
- Manage your subscriptions
- View your order history
- Retrieve your license keys
- Deactivate your license
- Download the latest updates
- Update your billing info
After purchasing the VPN subscription, we recommend creating a Malwarebytes account first. Here’s how to do it:
- Open the invitation email you received and click “Set up account.”
- Enter and re-enter your password.
- Check “I’m not a robot” and click “Finish.”
Now, you can install Malwarebytes Privacy on your device. The VPN has mobile apps for Android and iOS and desktop apps for Windows and Mac.
The installation on Windows was smooth and effortless for us. Here are the steps you have to follow:
- Go to the Malwarebytes VPN download page.
- Click “My Account” in the top-right corner.
- Log in with your credentials.
- Click the “Download” button in the “Subscriptions” tab.
- Locate and run the setup file (it’s usually saved in your “Downloads” folder).
- Click “Install.”
- Malwarebytes Privacy will start automatically after installation.
Malwarebytes Privacy VPN’s appearance and ease-of-use
Malwarebytes VPN’s client is the total opposite of its website. During our Malwarebytes VPN review, we found it clean, simple, and easy to navigate. Some advanced options might appear confusing, but those are aimed at VPN power users anyway.
The main window features a large ON/OFF toggle and a shortcut to switch servers. That’s all beginners and regular users will ever need. At the very bottom, you can see your real and assigned IP addresses.
The cog menu in the top-right corner features general and network settings. Among other things, this menu allows you to:
- Auto-launch the VPN when your system starts up.
- Activate the kill switch and Multi Hop.
- Define connection rules (how individual apps interact with the VPN).
Malwarebytes offers a dark mode, which can be helpful if you want to reduce strain on your eyes.
Overall, we found that Malwarebytes Privacy is a good VPN for beginners. Apart from some advanced nice-to-haves, this is a pretty barebones VPN service. You’ll master the client in no time and eventually understand how to hide your digital footprint a bit better.
Malwarebytes calls the split tunneling feature “Connection rules.” We discovered this feature in the “Network Settings” tab.
We were able to use Malwarebyte’s split tunneling feature to specify which apps and programs were protected by the VPN and which could bypass it (and access the internet directly).
Split tunneling also boosts your speed and conserves bandwidth. VPN encryption makes the traffic transmit at a slower pace, which eats more bandwidth. This results in frequent lag and speed drops. With split tunneling, you can exclude trusted apps from VPN protection, hence, increasing your speed.
Pricing and payment methods
Malwarebytes offers three annual plans. The prices differ based on the number of devices you want to connect to simultaneously.
With a pretty basic set of features, Malwarebytes VPN is not the cheapest VPN. For comparison, Surfshark’s annual plan for its VPN costs $2.30 per month, and it includes unlimited simultaneous connections. This is far better than Malwarebytes’s offer of $5/month for five devices.
Furthermore, Malwarebytes doesn’t offer any other plans aside from its annual plans. This means that you can’t subscribe upfront for a month, two years, or more. The best VPN services have monthly, annual, and sometimes two or three-year plans.
The bright side of Malwarebytes’s pricing is its seven-day free trial. This will give you a chance to check out the VPN before making any financial commitments.
Plus, you’re covered by a 60-day money-back guarantee regardless of the plan you purchase. This is the longest money-back guarantee we’ve ever seen. The closest is CyberGhost’s 45-day money-back guarantee, which we talk about more in our CyberGhost review.
You can purchase Malwarebytes Privacy VPN along with Malwarebytes Antivirus to get all the extra features that Malwarebytes offers with its Premium solution, like malware protection.
If you already have Malwarebytes Premium, you can add the VPN to your subscription. To do this, go to your “Subscription” page and select “Add Privacy Protection.”
Malwarebytes Privacy accepts the following payment methods:
- Credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover)
Malwarebytes VPN doesn’t accept cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum allow you to bypass banks and other financial institutions. That way, you can make your payments anonymous. That’s why many big-name VPNs allow Bitcoin and other crypto payments. We definitely hope Malwarebytes will follow suit in the future.
How does Malwarebytes’s money-back guarantee work?
To get a refund on our subscription, we sent a message to Malwarebytes’s support team via its ticketing system. As we’ve mentioned, Malwarebytes offers a 60-day money-back guarantee, so you be sure to send your refund request within 60 days of your purchase.
Your request will be processed by Malwarebytes, and you should receive your money back within seven business days from when you submitted your refund ticket.
During our Malwarebytes VPN review, we discovered that the provider has an amazing on-site knowledge base but fails at live support. The official website offers everything a new user could hope for, like a rich FAQ section, a ton of useful guides, a forum, and a blog.
However, if you need a quick fix for your problem, Malwarebytes will make you wait. There’s an AI-powered live chat on the site where a Malwarebytes Bot will try and help you. We didn’t find the bot particularly helpful with our query.
If it can’t solve the issue, it will redirect you to the ticket creation screen. You can submit a ticket and wait for the team to respond. We had a lot of questions about Malwarebytes’ VPN service, but the customer support team never responded to our query.
As it stands, Malwarebytes’ customer support doesn’t match the service provided for their antivirus product. When we conducted our Malwarebytes Premium review, customer service replied to us within two days. But for Malwarebytes Privacy VPN, you can’t rely on them, especially if you need real-time support.
Server Network – Can Malwarebytes Privacy VPN Unblock the Internet?
Malwarebytes Privacy VPN can successfully unblock several popular streaming platforms as its servers are decent enough, but its server network is relatively small compared to other premium VPN providers. Hence, based on our Malwarebytes tests, we gave it a 6 out of 10 for its server setup.
Here are the key points we noted during our Malwarebytes VPN review:
- Malwarebytes Privacy VPN has 500+ servers in 40 countries.
- It was inconsistent when unblocking Netflix but not other streaming services.
- It allows torrenting on its servers.
- Dedicated IPs are currently unavailable.
Number of servers and locations
Malwarebytes Privacy has over 500 servers in over 40 countries. This is a limited server network if you pit it against other VPNs: NordVPN (over 5,000 servers in 60 countries) and Surfshark (over 3,000 servers in 100 countries).
Most of Malwarebytes’s servers are part of Mullvad VPN’s server network. That’s because Malwarebytes has an agreement with Mullvad to use their WireGuard servers. It would be better if Malwarebytes builds its own server network since that would reduce the chances of third-party compromises.
Here’s a summary of Malwarebytes’s server locations:
- Americas: Brazil, Canada, Columbia, and the United States
- Asia Pacific: Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, and Singapore
- Europe: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Moldova, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom
- Middle East and Africa: Israel and South Africa
Malwarebytes and streaming (Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, BBC iPlayer)
You may be wondering, “Is Malwarebytes Privacy VPN good for streaming?” We tested Malwarebytes VPN against the major streaming services and received mixed results. It was able to unblock Disney Plus, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer without any issues.
However, Malwarebytes Privacy VPN struggled with Netflix. It worked seamlessly sometimes, and other times it couldn’t get into Netflix. When it didn’t work on one server, we had to try different servers. Clearly, Malwarebytes still has some way to go before being one of our best VPNs for Netflix, like NordVPN, which can unblock various Netflix libraries.
The table below shows how Malwarebytes VPN fares when unblocking streaming services based on our rigorous tests.
|Can Malwarebytes Privacy VPN unblock it?
|✔ (unblocking can be inconsistent)
Malwarebytes Privacy VPN and torrents
Malwarebytes Privacy supports anonymous torrenting on all of its servers. Mullvad VPN allows P2P traffic on its servers, so there’s no reason for Malwarebytes to miss out on that part. The speed depends on the server you’re connected to. We were able to download torrents without any issues.
Dedicated IP address
With a dedicated IP, your VPN assigns you the same IP address every time you connect. It’s tied to your account, and nobody else can use it. Dedicated IPs facilitate online payments, go around captcha, and make it less likely to get blacklisted by sites (like Netflix or Hulu).
Malwarebytes Privacy allowed us to route our internet traffic through multiple servers for extra security with its Multi Hop feature. Multi Hop is the term used to denote a VPN connection through two or more VPN servers instead of just one. This is also called “double VPN,” although more servers can participate in the chain.
Multi Hop adds an additional layer of security to your connection. If hackers manage to crack one VPN server, they will backtrace yet to another VPN server instead of your computer. However, this also adds extra encryption to your traffic, which will result in lower speeds. So, we recommend using this feature only if you absolutely need it.
Our Experience With Malwarebytes Privacy VPN
Overall, Malwarebytes Privacy VPN is a mixed bag. It offers decent speeds and has a good unblocking ability making it a potential choice for streaming. However, the VPN is limited when it comes to features. For instance, you only get access to the WireGuard protocol and a server network of only about 500 servers, as we discovered in our Malwarebytes VPN review.
Additionally, Malwarebytes Privacy is a bit pricey for the features it provides its users. There are many cheaper VPNs with a lot more to offer. We’re also not fans of mandatory annual subscriptions. Furthermore, we’d like to see crypto payments enabled in the future.
Finally, the customer support is downright disappointing. Live chat is a must nowadays for any premium VPN. The chatbot goes from unhelpful to broken and unresponsive, and the ticketing system does not seem to work as efficiently as for Malwarebytes Antivirus.
Choose NordVPN if you want a VPN that offers lightning-fast speeds, an extensive server network, responsive customer support, and consistent streaming performance.
Do you have more questions about Malwarebytes Privacy VPN? Below, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions. Just click on the question to expand the answer.
Malwarebytes Privacy is a VPN service launched in 2020. Malwarebytes is primarily known for its antivirus software but they’ve decided to jump in on the VPN bandwagon as well. Read more about the VPN in our Malwarebytes VPN review.
Malwarebytes Privacy is a decent VPN service. It uses an ultra-fast WireGuard protocol paired with AES-256 encryption. This is currently the strongest cipher out there. It also comes with an automatic kill switch to prevent accidental data leaks.
Malwarebytes Premium doesn’t come with a VPN by default. There’s a special plan you can purchase called “Premium + Privacy”, which includes both tools. If you’re already a Premium subscriber, you can add Malwarebytes Privacy without extending your subscription length.
You can simply pay the difference for the remaining time of your subscription.
Yes! Malwarebytes does offer a VPN for Android devices. Apart from Android, you can install Malwarebytes Privacy on Windows, Mac, and iOS devices.
Malwarebytes VPN can be inconsistent when unblocking Netflix. Sometimes it works great and others times it does not. Hence, it is better to choose another VPN for Netflix that will give you a smooth streaming experience, like NordVPN.
Malwarebytes VPN offers three annual plans:
- $39.99/year for one device
- $49.99/year for three devices
- $59.99/year for five devices
As it stands, Malwarebytes Privacy is not worth it because it is too expensive for what it offers, has only 500 servers worldwide, and only offers the WireGuard protocol. On top of that, it only allows annual subscriptions. However, it does offer a seven-day free trial to test the service and see if it works for you.
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