Malwarebytes to charge $24.95 annual fee for Pro version of anti-malware scanner

Overhauls product in new 2.0 beta

Malwarebytes is to start charging $24.95 (£15) per annum for the 'Pro' version of its popular and well-regarded malware detection and clean-up program, ending a period during which the same deal bought a lifetime license.

The firm announced the change in its release notes for the beta of version 2.0, which represents a major overhaul of the program's interface. The change was necessary for the program to remain "sustainable," the announcement said.

"As more and more people have come to rely on us for malware protection and cleanup, our costs in bandwidth, hosting fees, infrastructure, salaries of our researchers, QA department, and more have grown immensely."

"We do have to make money to pay our staff to continue doing what they love, which is fighting malware."

So, in essence, there will still be a free version lacking some features but anyone who wants to pay for the Pro version will now only be able to buy it on an annual (rather than lifetime) basis. Note: the announcement of the firm's on the website implied that all versions of the software would be charged for (in effect, abandoning the current scanning-only free version) but Techworld understands that this is not the case.

Licenses already granted on a 'lifetime' basis will continue to be honoured on that basis, Malwarebytes confirmed. Furthermore, users paying the subscription fee will be able to run the software on up to 3 PCs.

Despite the annual fee, many of its fans will probably be willing to pay up to get a feature set that includes the ability clean up many malware infections after the event, something conventional antivirus programs lack. It can also quite happily be used as a compliment to a second antivirus program without the risk of memory clashes.

Other features included a complete rewrite of the detection and removal engines, improved malicious website blocking and more 64-bit code.

"We could have gone other routes to make our business more financially sustainable, like adding toolbars or advertisements like many other security products have, but that's not the company we are. We believe that products should be nag-free and cleanup shouldn't cost our users a dime, and we're going to stay true to that," Malwarebytes said.

Malwarebytes slowly expanded it family range during 2013, launching a version of the program for small business users that embedded the scanning engine on a USB stick; on that topic, the business-oriented version of version 2.0 will be available in "a few months," the firm said. It also now offers a cloud backup system that incorporates scanning for malware as files are transferred.

Last summer it bought out a stealth startup, ZeroVulnerabilityLabs, founded by fomer Panda Security engineers.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Personal TechsecurityMalwarebytes

More about MalwarebytesPandaPanda Security

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by John E Dunn

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts