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Malwarebytes Privacy VPN Review: A promising new VPN

Last updated: June 4, 2021 By Dean Chester

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN Logo

Antivirus companies have been expanding towards online privacy by adding VPN services to their portfolio. The latest to do so is Malwarebytes, and the company recently launched Malwarebytes Privacy VPN. This review takes a closer look at the VPN service.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • It doesn't keep logs
  • It’s super-fast
  • Supports torrenting
  • Kill switch & split-tunneling
  • Private DNS
  • Live chat support
  • 7-day free trial

Cons

  • It doesn't work with streaming sites
  • No Android app
  • No monthly plan
  • Based in the US
 

Malwarebytes is a well-known security company that offers a wide range of products for personal and business use. The most popular of these is their Security & Antivirus software, but the company has decided to venture into online privacy. In April 2020, Malwarebytes announced a new VPN service and termed it as just their first product focused on privacy.

Here’s a quick overview of the VPN.

  • It runs on the new WireGuard Protocol
  • Offers great speeds
  • It offers solid privacy & security
  • 370+ servers in 30+ countries
  • Uses a private DNS
  • It doesn't work with most streaming services

Although the VPN is just over a year old, it looks quite promising, but it also lacks in several areas. So, is it worth considering? This Malwarebytes Privacy VPN review will look at all aspects of the VPN to help you make an informed decision.

📑 Table of Contents


What can Malwarebytes Privacy VPN do?

Thanks to the competition, VPNs today offer more than just privacy and security. This is, therefore, a crucial consideration when choosing between two or more products.

Streaming: Does Malwarebytes Privacy VPN work with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and other services?

Unfortunately, Malwarebytes VPN isn’t the best VPN for streaming. The VPN is blocked by several streaming services, including BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, and DAZN.

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN is blocked by BBC iPlayer & other sites

Malwarebytes Privacy is not blocked by Netflix, which is a good thing, but you won’t be able to access any country-specific titles. You’ll only be able to access Netflix originals and a few movies.

If streaming is your thing, we suggest that you look at ExpressVPN. The VPN can unblock almost all popular streaming services and provide access to 20+ Netflix libraries. It also comes with a Smart DNS service that you can set up on your Smart TV or console.

Does Malwarebytes Privacy VPN support torrenting?

Yes, Malwarebytes Privacy VPN supports torrenting. The VPN doesn’t impose any restrictions on its network and doesn’t keep logs either, so you can torrent privately and anonymously. However, it’s still important to note that Malwarebytes, being a huge company, has a tough stance against copyright infringement.

Does Malwarebytes Privacy VPN work in China?

No, Malwarebytes Privacy VPN doesn’t work in China. This is because the VPN isn't equipped with the technology that helps some VPNs bypass VPN blocking. If you are planning to visit or stay in a highly restricted country, you can look at our suggestions for the best VPN for China.


Is Malwarebytes Privacy VPN Secure?

Yes, Malwarebytes Privacy VPN is a secure service. Below is a more detailed look at its privacy and security.

Privacy

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN is a product of Malwarebytes Inc., a company based in Santa Clara, California, United States. This means that the VPN operates within the privacy-invasive laws of the US.

The US is always touted as a privacy-unfriendly region as it is a member of the 5-eyes, 9-eyes, and 14-eyes intelligence-sharing agreement. And while VPNs aren’t really forced to keep data by law, government institutions in the country often subpoena VPN companies for information. This means that if you are a privacy enthusiast, you need to make sure a US-based VPN doesn’t keep any logs. Malwarebytes VPN has the term privacy right in the name, so let's look at its logging policy.

Logging Policy

Malwarebytes maintains a very detailed privacy policy that has several sections. One of these sections addresses the company’s privacy products, which is where the Malwarebytes VPN lies.

The privacy policy states that:

“The Malwarebytes Privacy application does not collect or retain the following:

  • Details about the websites or IP addresses browsed on your device;
  • DNS requests made by you;
  • Bandwidth usage on your device;
  • Network details of your device, including IP address;
  • Telemetry data from the Malwarebytes Privacy application, including telemetry on functionality and on system environment; OR
  • Local Malwarebytes Privacy application logs. These logs are only available on your device and can be helpful for diagnostic purposes if you experience connectivity issues.”

This is good to see as it means that the VPN can’t associate your activities with your real identity. This is also boosted by the fact that Malwarebytes Privacy VPN uses private DNS servers and only offers shared IP addresses.

Leaks

As part of our Malwarebytes VPN review, we carried out several leak tests to check if Malwarebytes leaks any information. We conducted the tests using multiple random servers and several different tools.

Gladly, we didn’t notice any IP address, DNS, or Web RTC leaks when using the VPN.

Malwarebytes VPN Leak Test

Security

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN uses the 256-bit AES encryption standard for all data transferred between you and the VPN server. This is the best encryption standard, and it's recommended as no hacker or government institution can compromise it.

The VPN supplements the security offered using the relatively new WireGuard protocol. The protocol is still in its early stages, but analysis has already proven it as secure, simpler, and much faster than the standard OpenVPN. The protocol has already been adopted by some of the biggest names in the VPN industry, and it's good to see that it's the default (albeit the only) protocol used by Malwarebytes Privacy VPN.


Malwarebytes Privacy VPN Features

Malwarebytes VPN offers several features across the devices it supports.

Auto Connection

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN helps users stay secure by providing several auto connection features. The first of these is auto-launch, which launches the app when the computer starts. This is then supplemented with auto-connect, a feature that automatically connects to a server when the app launches. The two are finally coupled together as part of the kill switch (turns them on by default).

Kill Switch

A kill switch is an important privacy and security feature that prevents exposure in case of accidental or even intentional disconnection. Malwarebytes VPN provides a kill switch that discontinues all internet connections whenever the VPN is not connected. This sets it apart from most VPNs as their kill switch only comes into play when the disconnection is accidental. The functionality is quite helpful to torrent fans as they can always know when they are not connected.

Split Tunneling

Malwarebytes VPN provides split tunneling on its desktop applications. The feature is labeled "Connection rules," and it allows users to determine how specific applications interact with the VPN. You can set an app to either require or bypass the VPN. You can also set a particular IPv4 address, though this option would be more helpful if it were domain addresses.

Multihop

Malwarebytes allows users to boost their security through double encryption, otherwise known as multihop. This feature makes it possible to route user traffic through two different servers, with the process ensuring that encryption takes place twice.

The VPN goes a level higher than most VPNs in that you can use any server. All servers support multihop connections, and you can choose the second server manually or let the VPN choose the best one. We also noticed that the Malwarebytes VPN still delivers great speeds even when using double encryption.

Private DNS

Malwarebytes comes configured with the company’s private DNS. This is a great feature that helps boost user privacy and security by avoiding third-party DNS servers, which may log user data or compromise security. The VPN also lets users configure an alternate DNS service, but we recommend that you retain the private DNS.

Malwarebytes Browser Guard

This is not part of the VPN, but Malwarebytes allows you to install their Browser Guard addon alongside the VPN. This is an addon that helps prevent ads, trackers, malware, scams, PUPs (potentially unwanted programs), and suspicious gTLD domains when you are browsing. You will also be able to see the trackers blocked by a particular website as well as those blocked over the last week/ month. The addon is well designed and super useful, so it’s worth installing when prompted.

Malwarebytes Browser Guard Addon


Malwarebytes Privacy VPN Server Network

Malwarebytes has a network that consists of 370+ servers in 30+ countries. This is not anywhere near the server size of VPNs such as NordVPN, but we would like to hope the network will grow with the users.

In terms of distribution, you can connect to servers in North America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. All servers available are displayed in terms of cities, with most countries having multiple locations. The US has the most cities with 12.


Pricing & Plans

Malwarebytes takes a unique approach here in that it doesn’t provide a monthly subscription plan. This is quite inconvenient for users who are looking for a short-term VPN, although the VPN has a trial period.

Here are the two available plans:

  • 1-year Plan Privacy VPN: Costs $59.99 a year, which is equivalent to $5.00 a month.
  • 1-year Plan Premium + Privacy VPN: Costs $99.99 a year, which is equivalent to $8.33 a month.

The second plan allows users to bundle the VPN with Malwarebytes multi-device premium plan. The plan alone costs $6.67 a month billed annually, so this may be a good deal if you’d also like an advanced antivirus solution. The two plans support up to 5 devices.

Supported payment methods

Malwarebytes only accepts payments through debit/ credit cards and PayPal. This is not good news for people who would like to pay for a VPN via Bitcoin, but most users should still be okay.

Does Malwarebytes Privacy VPN have a free trial?

Yes, Malwarebytes provides a 7-day free trial. To get the free trial, you only need to provide an email address and create a password. This is good to see as you won’t be required to provide your payment details.

Does Malwarebytes Privacy VPN have a money-back guarantee?

Yes, Malwarebytes has a 60-day money-back guarantee. This guarantee applies to all Malwarebytes home products, and it can be claimed by getting in touch with the agents. You can do so easily through their live chat system.


Getting started with Malwarebytes Privacy VPN

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN Page

As you would expect from most security companies, Malwarebytes VPN does not have a website as it is found within the larger Malwarebytes website. To find the VPN page, head to Personal then click Malwarebytes Privacy VPN under Online Privacy.

You'll then get two options; request a free trial and buy the VPN.  To get a subscription, click Buy Now, choose a plan, and complete the checkout using your preferred payment method. If you'd like to try out the VPN first, you'll be required to create an account, but the VPN won't ask for your credit card.

After that, log in to your account, and you'll see a license key to use on your desktop devices. The other VPN apps only require your credentials.

Which devices & platforms does Malwarebytes Privacy VPN support?

Malwarebytes is still a new VPN, so don’t expect it to cover all devices yet. Here are the supported devices:

  • Windows
  • macOS
  • iOS

The VPN only started with Windows and macOS apps, and the website says the VPN is coming soon for Android and Chrome devices. Unfortunately, you also can't configure the VPN manually on Linux or routers as it doesn't support OpenVPN.

Ease of use

To give you an idea of what to expect from the VPN’s apps, we installed them on Windows and iOS.

Desktop App (Windows)

You can download the VPN’s desktop app from the VPN page without even needing to log in. The download file is just about 2 MBs, and it shouldn't take long to install. From there, you can then log in either using your credentials or your license key.

The main interface has a huge connection button, a button for changing the selected server, and a map that shows the selected region.

Malwarebytes Windows App Before Connection

There’s no auto-connection button that chooses your best server, but you can easily select one by clicking the Change Server Location button. This will bring up a server list that displays countries in alphabetical order. You can choose a server by selecting a particular city.

You can customize the connection by clicking the settings button on the top right side. There's a General tab that lets you activate auto-launch, auto-connect, and dark mode. You can also choose a language out of 10 available languages.

Under the Network tab, you can activate multihop, split tunneling, and the kill switch. There’s also an option to enable local devices and set up an alternate DNS.

Malwarebytes VPN configuration options

Once everything is set, you can then connect to the VPN. You'll see both your actual IP address and your new one on the lower side of the screen.

Malwarebytes Windows App After Connection

Overall, the Malwarebytes Privacy VPN app for Windows is impressive. The app is well designed, has several features, and we didn’t experience any technical issues. The only problem most users might have is that you can’t move the app from the right-side region of the screen or send it to the back by clicking a different app.

Mobile Apps

Malwarebytes VPN has an iOS app that can be downloaded from the Apple App Store. The app takes a similar design to the desktop app in that it has a map that displays the selected location.

You can choose a server using the server drop-down menu. The servers are also displayed in alphabetical order, with most locations having city-level options.

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN iOS app

However, that’s pretty much everything you can do with the Malwarebytes iOS app. The app’s feature section doesn’t have any customization options.

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN iOS app

The app is still new though, so we can only expect more features are on the way.

Overall, the app is well designed and easy to use. The only issue is it lacks features, and we also experienced a problem that we noticed has been posted several times on their forum. The VPN couldn’t connect at first, but we easily solved the issue by going to Settings > VPN, then toggling the "Status" connection button on and off. The issue will most likely come up if you have another VPN that runs on WireGuard.


How fast is Malwarebytes Privacy VPN?

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN uses WireGuard as its only protocol, so we expected the VPN to be fast. This was proven when we carried out several speed tests using multiple servers.

The first speed test was done without a VPN connection, and it recorded 50 Mbps on a number of tests. We then connected to a server in the same country and recorded impressive speeds of 45 Mbps. This is a drop of only 10%, which is quite commendable.

When connected to servers in different continents, we averaged remarkable speeds of between 35 Mbps and 42 Mbps.

Overall, Malwarebytes is super-fast, so you can use it to torrent and stream without any issues.


Malwarebytes Privacy VPN Customer Support

Malwarebytes offers live chat support, which means you can talk to a representative within a short time. The live chat support option is found within the support section and can be accessed by clicking “get in touch” after texting the bot. You’ll then get an option for chatting with an agent or sending a ticket.

Apart from reaching out, the website provides multiple forms of support. These include:

  • Bot support
  • Knowledge base
  • Forum
  • Tutorials

The knowledge base is well grouped into various devices, so it’s easy to solve an issue. The forum is also quite active, and representatives often reply within a day.


FAQ

Does Malwarebytes offer a VPN?

Yes, Malwarebytes offers a VPN, and it’s known as Malwarebytes Privacy VPN. The VPN comes as a standalone product that you can use to secure your VPN and enhance privacy. When you connect to a server, it will encrypt your activities and change your IP address.

Is there a Malwarebytes privacy iOS app?

Yes, Malwarebytes has a VPN app for iOS. The app is available on the App Store, although it is not available in all countries.

Is Malwarebytes VPN unlimited?

Yes, Malwarebytes VPN is unlimited. The VPN does not have a free version, and it does not limit data on the premium plan.

How good is Malwarebytes Privacy VPN?

Malwarebytes Privacy is a good VPN service as it does not keep any logs, and it uses 256-bit AES encryption. The VPN complements this with several features and functionalities such as split tunneling, private DNS, kill switch, and support for torrenting.


Conclusion

Malwarebytes is a decent VPN service. Since its launch, it has expanded its server network, introduced several features on its desktop VPN clients, and launched an iOS app. One of the VPN's standout attributes is that it uses WireGuard as its default (albeit only) protocol, making it both secure and fast.

The only major issues about the VPN are its streaming capabilities, lack of an Android app, and the high amount you have to part with on your first subscription. Other than that, you can use the VPN for your online privacy, and it gets an even bigger appeal if you'd like an advanced antivirus solution too.

CoolTechZone - Chief Editor
Dean Chester
Cybersecurity and online privacy expert and researcher. He's been published on OpenVPN, EC-Council Blog, DevSecOps, AT-T Business, SAP Community, etc. Dean has been testing VPNs for 8 years.

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