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Second Opinion Anti-Malware Apps – The main contenders

The main contenders in the second opinion Anti-Malware race.

The terms `anti-malware’ and `anti-virus’ are the same thing nowadays.

Some online security companies have stayed with the ubiquitous term anti-virus, while others have reaped the benefits of using the newer term – anti-malware.

The best security app to choose for your system is the one that stops the most viruses/malware. So, when an `anti-virus’ app is tested against an `anti-malware’ app, the names become irrelevant. It’s all about the results.

Not all anti-malware apps are designed to be standalone or full-time security apps. The second opinion anti-malware apps on this page are either designed to be run alongside your main security app or just occasionally – to further check your system. Hence the term – second opinion anti-malware.

When you’re online, it can offer peace of mind to have this second line of defense, and it’s good to see some of these second opinion anti-malware apps occasionally blocking unwanted connections in real-time.

The more popular second opinion anti-malware apps

Malwarebytes Premium

Malwarebytes is one of the most renowned names in `anti-malware’ detection. I’ve been using their Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (Premium) for quite a few years now. It’s an anti-malware app that runs in the background and can be used alongside your main online security app. It’s nice to see it blocking connections in real-time. Because of the extra added features, they say it can replace your main security app. I don’t use it as my only security app, though. I run it alongside Windows Security.

Screenshot of Malwarebytes Premium Main screen

Norton Power Eraser

Norton Power Eraser is one of the newer second-opinion anti-malware apps on the scene. Some of you might notice that the Norton brand logo now includes the name LifeLock, instead of Symantec. Back in 2017, Symantec acquired LifeLock, Inc.

Norton Power Eraser is Norton LifeLock’s second-opinion anti-malware app.

Screenshot of Norton Power Eraser - main screen

HitmanPro / HitmanPro.Alert

As a second opinion anti-malware app, HitmanPro is one of the most well known. If you don’t need real-time protection, HitmanPro is an anti-malware scanner you can turn to for that last thorough PC security check. If you want always-on 24/7 real-time protection, then take a look at HitmanPro.Alert.

Screenshot of HitmanPro app - main screen

Screenshot of HitmanPro.alert app - Scanning

Zemana AntiMalware

Zemana AntiMalware has come a long way since it was first released. Like Malwarebytes, Zemana AntiMalware comes with real-time protection and can be run side by side with your regular main security app. It has a simple user interface, and scanning is pretty quick. When researching apps for this page, it was one of the first to block malware test files.

Zemana AntiMalware (Premium) - Home



These are the most popular second opinion `anti-malware’ apps for Windows. To see how many of them perform, check out The PC Security Channel on YouTube.

As I said, it’s all about the results. If your main online security app is one of the best, then you might not need a second opinion anti-malware app. However, it’s nice to have a second line of defense, and it’s peace of mind to see any app at all doing a better job of improving your online security.

Personally, for most Windows computers, I’m happy to use Malwarebytes Premium as my second opinion anti-malware app, alongside Windows 10’s Windows Security (previously called Windows Defender). I occasionally do a scan with HitmanPro, too.

I’m interested to know which anti-malware apps you use, so let me know in the comments.

Other thoughts:

Malwarebytes has a setting under Security – Windows Security Center – Always register Malwarebytes in the Windows Security Center. I like to toggle this setting off. This ensures that Malwarebytes doesn’t visually replace Windows in the Windows Security Center. I like to see that Windows Security is the main security, while knowing that Malwarebytes is working in the background. A few years ago, there was a conflict with this option: link

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