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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN Review 2024: Worth Your Money?

Our Score: 5.5/10
Ranked 149th out of 285 VPNs
Matthew Amos Updated on 8th May 2024 Fact-checked by Anneke van Aswegen Senior Editor

Malwarebytes offers one of the most respected antivirus software. In 2019, it partnered with Mullvad to use its network of servers and create Malwarebytes Privacy VPN. However, there have been complaints that Malwarebytes Privacy is just an inferior version of Mullvad VPN. So, is there any reason to use it?

After my tests, I can say you’re better off using a premium VPN. Malwarebytes VPN does connect you to Mullvad’s server network, but it offers slower speeds, inferior mobile apps, and much worse privacy features. I’d stick with Mullvad, or you can try one of the best VPNs on this list.

Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings

Pros

Cons

Malwarebytes Privacy Features — 2024 Update

5.5
💸 Price 3.33 USD/month
📆 Money Back Guarantee 60 Days
📝 Does VPN keep logs? Yes
🖥 Number of servers 500+
💻 Number of devices per license 5
🛡 Kill switch Yes
🗺 Based in country United States
🛠 Support 24/7 live chat
📥 Supports torrenting Yes

Streaming — Poor Performance With Many Platforms

5.0

My global team and I faced too many annoying issues while trying to stream safely with Malwarebytes Privacy. Although there were a few instances where it let us stream in high quality with encrypted connections, most of the time it wasn’t possible.

While you could theoretically use a VPN like Malwarebytes Privacy to access content from different regions, this could cause a copyright violation. My teammates and I only connected to servers in our respective countries during testing.

Important. The vpnMentor team and I are firmly against any form of copyright infringement. Malwarebytes Privacy VPN claims it will never view your online activities. This means it’s your responsibility to use the VPN lawfully. We urge you to please follow the T&Cs of any streaming platform you engage with.

Works With: Netflix, Max, and Amazon Prime Video

From the US, I began my tests by trying to watch Netflix securely with the closest server to me (Dallas).

Screenshot of Netflix player streaming Baby Reindeer while connected to Malwarebytes Privacy VPN's Dallas serverThe show loaded in high quality, and it never buffered

My teammates in the UK, Italy, and Japan could also safely watch their respective countries’ full Netflix libraries. However, my colleague in Brazil could only access Netflix Originals. This reduced form of Netflix only lets you watch the content it owns outright.

Overall, the Netflix tests were a success. I was happy that I could also secure my connection and watch Max from the US without issues.

Screenshot of Max player streaming Wonka while connected to Malwarebytes Privacy VPN's Houston serverI could watch Max safely with several other US servers too

Unfortunately, during tests with Amazon Prime Video, many of us couldn’t stream securely. While a teammate in Spain could stream while connected to the Barcelona server, he had to wait 20 seconds for videos to load. Tests from the US and New Zealand on our countries’ respective servers were unsuccessful.

Doesn’t Work With: Hulu, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer

These platforms’ anti-VPN technologies prevented my global team and I from watching, even though we were in approved regions using local servers.

Screenshot of Hulu page displaying an error screen while connected to Malwarebytes Privacy's Dallas server Switching between different browsers and US servers didn't help

Disney+ loaded indefinitely during my final tests from the US. This happened no matter which US server I was connected to. My colleagues in Italy and the UK were also unable to safely stream Disney+ with their respective countries’ locations.

Finally, my correspondent in the UK got an error message while trying to watch BBC iPlayer videos with the Manchester server. The server in London wouldn’t even let her load the browsing menu.

To find a VPN that will let you encrypt your connection and continue to watch all your local platforms in great quality, check our list of the top VPNs for streaming.

Speed — Big Drops on Nearly Every Server Tested

5.0

My speeds fell significantly in most of my tests with Malwarebytes Privacy VPN. I tested a variety of Malwarebytes’ worldwide servers to observe its overall performance. However, I connected to these locations purely to assess their speeds. As stated above, my team and I are firmly against copyright violations and ask that you use your VPN responsibly.

To try and make sure our tests are fair, we test each server numerous times to create averages, which are displayed below. All tests were done with the WireGuard protocol as it was the fastest option available.

Screenshot of a speed chart showing results on various Malwarebytes Privacy VPN servers worldwideWe lost 34% on nearby servers and 62% on distant ones

The top VPNs generally only lower your speeds by 10-20% on nearby servers (around 5,000km away or closer). I’ve even seen some of the fastest VPNs maintain my rates by 40% on servers across the globe. Not only is Malwarebytes much slower overall, but it always lowered my speeds by more than 20%, no matter which server I chose.

Screenshot of Ookla speed tests done with no VPN connected and while connected to Malwarebytes Privacy VPN's Dallas serverAt less than 400km away, many VPNs only lower speeds by 5%

There’s also no way to tell how crowded the servers are, which makes optimizing speeds a chore. For example, the Osaka server was much faster than the one in London. That seems strange since it’s so much farther away, but this could be due to overcrowding. Unfortunately, this isn’t something the VPN displays.

Mullvad is not the fastest VPN, but it gets better rates out of its servers than Malwarebytes does. To see how these results compare to the top options, you can check out our list of the fastest VPNs.

Gaming — Didn’t Noticeably Affect My Gameplay

8.4

I was able to maintain low ping rates on Malwarebytes’ VPN to play online with minimal lag. Your ping lets you know how long it takes your data to travel, which affects how quickly your character can respond to your commands. You want a rate below 85ms for smooth gameplay, and the closest server gave me a ping of only 11ms.

Screenshot of Counter Strike 2 being played while connected to Malwarebytes Privacy VPN's Dallas server I could still run and shoot with the same responsiveness

Unfortunately, I was experiencing a “slow server frames” issue while playing. This was a problem on the server end with Counter-Strike 2. It did cause some lag, but I felt like my character was actually moving a bit more swiftly with the VPN connected oddly enough.

Overall, as long as you can find a nearby server, Malwarebytes Privacy is a good option to keep you safe while gaming.

Server Network — Small but Utilizes Mullvad’s Privacy-Friendly Infrastructure

6.4

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN offers 500+ servers in 40 countries. This is smaller than average, and it misses out on several heavily populated regions. Most locations are in Europe and North America (with 15+ cities available in the US). There are also a few options in Oceania, Asia, and South America, with only one server in Africa.

Screenshot of Malwarebytes Windows App highlighting the server list I do wish Malwarebytes Privacy let you search for locations

It uses Mullvad’s servers, and they’re partially rented. With Mullvad, you can directly choose which server you connect to. This is nice because the site tells you exactly which servers it rents and which ones it owns. That lets you avoid rented servers if you so choose. Unfortunately, Malwarebytes doesn’t indicate which servers you’re connecting to.

On the plus side, Mullvad (and Malwarebytes Privacy) don’t use any virtual servers. So, the lack of information won’t get you into trouble here. Mullvad’s servers are also RAM-based, and they increase your security by deleting all of their information with each reboot. Similar to Mullvad, you can usually connect quickly. It rarely took more than 3 seconds for me.

Malwarebytes VPN doesn't provide dedicated IP addresses. Many VPNs offer these for an added charge. I don’t normally make use of them, but they’re a nice option if you need a static IP address for running a website or similar purposes.

In the end, Mullvad provides Malwarebytes with secure servers, but the network is still limited. To find a VPN with a much larger server network, you can read this list of better options.

Security — Offers Most of the Top Safety Features

7.6

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN proved to be safe in my tests (including against WebRTC and IPv6 leaks). It’s only missing a few useful customization tools.

Screenshot of Malwarebytes Privacy VPN connected to Paris server while leak tests were performed on ipleak.net Tests were successful with all protocols and worldwide servers

On top of the features I’ll discuss below, it also has several auto-connect options. These come with most VPNs. It lets you program the VPN to connect as soon as you boot up, when the app is launched, or when you connect to new networks.

It also offers a multihop feature, although I rarely find these practical. This lets you send your traffic through 2 servers for added security. You can choose your own servers or have it pick the first one for you. This can only be done with Malwarebytes’ proprietary protocol. However, with the encryption level Malwarebytes’ offers, it shouldn’t be necessary.

Encryption & Protocols

The VPN utilizes AES 256-bit encryption, a level that’s nearly impossible to crack. It’s the same technology employed by many militaries and banks worldwide. This is expected as it’s standard with most top VPNs.

I recommend connecting through the WireGuard protocol, although it offers its own option too. WireGuard is a highly regarded protocol that’s known for being one of the fastest around, while still prioritizing safety. Malwarebytes’ protocol, like much of its app, is difficult to find any information about, and live agents are coy regarding it.

Kill Switch

Malwarebytes’ kill switch functions properly, but I wish it was more customizable. This is an essential feature that blocks your internet connections in the event that the VPN unexpectedly disconnects. I think of it as your last line of defense in case anything goes wrong.

The problem is the kill switch automatically activates Auto launch and Auto connect. Most VPNs let you configure all of these options separately. It’s all a bit annoying.

Split Tunneling

The VPN allows you to use this feature with its Connection rules setting. This can block certain apps, IP addresses, or ports from connecting without the VPN. But, it can also let you choose which ones bypass the VPN. Most providers call this split tunneling, and it’s nice if you want to keep something like your banking app out of the tunnel to avoid any inconveniences.

Unfortunately, just like with the multihop feature, you can only use this with Malwarebytes’ connection protocol.

Privacy — Logs More Sensitive Data Than Most VPNs

3.4

I don’t know if Malwarebytes is irresponsible with your data, but it stores more than I’m comfortable with. It’s also headquartered in one of the worst countries for a VPN company, and there have been no independent audits of its policies.

The biggest problem is how unclear its policies are and how difficult it is to get answers from its support staff, which makes them hard to trust. This is especially disappointing because its partner, Mullvad VPN, has quite possibly the best privacy policies in the game.

Does Malwarebytes Privacy Keep Logs? Yes

Malwarebytes’ support staff could never point me to a separate policy for the VPN. The only policy I could find on its site was for all of Malwarebytes’ products. I had no choice but to assume the VPN follows the same procedures as something like its antivirus software, which typically logs more data.

It states it may store an anonymized version of your IP address, and even your geolocation (down to the longitude and latitude). This is on top of the information it needs to keep its services running like timestamps, your operating system, your app version, and more.

It’s possible it stores less if you only use the VPN, but this isn’t clear. This is just one more instance where I wish Malwarebytes had much better customer support because it was impossible to get more information about this via email or live chat.

Was Malwarebytes Privacy Audited? No

The customer support agents would not answer questions about this. I also couldn’t find any evidence online that the VPN had undergone any third-party audits. These are very important to me because they show that a VPN truly follows its policies. So, this makes me even more uneasy about trusting the company with my data.

Based in the US

Malwarebytes is headquartered in a 5 Eyes Alliance country, a group that promises to share information gathered about their citizens. It’s never good when a VPN company is located in one of these countries, but the US is one of the worst. It’s well-known for its surveillance practices, and I’d be worried it could demand Malwarebytes to alter its policies.

Does Malwarebytes Privacy VPN Work in China? No

I have zero faith that Malwarebytes Privacy VPN can work in China after speaking with its staff.

Screenshot of a conversation via live chat with Malwarebyte's support team where they stated the VPN is not sold in China and probably won't work there They were vague, and most VPNs brag when they work in China

They didn’t offer any tips for using the VPN in the country and couldn’t share any evidence it has customers there. While several VPNs have been banned in the country, there still haven’t been any publicly-reported cases of individuals being punished for using them. My team and I don’t condone any illegal activities, so we advise you to read up on the laws before using a VPN.

If you choose to try one while in the country, you can read our list of VPNs that have been proven to work in China.

Torrenting — Works but It’s Slow

5.6

You can torrent with all of Malwarebytes’ servers, but you’ll wait longer for your downloads. I tested it by accessing a 700MB file, which takes me about 3 minutes to complete with no VPN connected. While on the nearby Dallas server, it took me about 20 minutes to finish. It’s not a huge wait, but if you have a slower connection this could be quite annoying.

It also doesn’t offer port forwarding, which allows you to seed and download torrents faster. The company doesn’t talk about torrenting much on its site, and it’s obviously not a priority. You can easily find a VPN that’s set up for fast and safe P2P connections if you look into this list of the best VPNs for torrenting.

Torrenting is legal in most countries, but downloading copyrighted content isn’t. My teammates and I stand against any form of copyright infringement. So, we ask that you please only download torrents within the public domain.

Installation & Apps

4.6

Installation & Apps — Only Offers Decent Apps for Desktop

The apps for desktop are pretty full-featured, but that’s not the case for any of the other devices.

Screenshot of Malwarebyte Privacy's Windows App displaying the settings menus The cog in the upper right corner takes you to the settings

Design-wise, I have few complaints about Malwarebytes Privacy. I do wish it could be untethered from the tray and moved around, but that’s a minor issue. It’s relatively simple to utilize all of the apps’ options, which is the most important thing.

Setup & Installation

Installing Malwarebytes Privacy is a quick and easy process. Like with most modern VPNs, you simply follow a few instructions that only take about 3 minutes to complete.

Screenshot of Malwarebytes Privacy VPN's download page for Windows There is no free download like there is for the antivirus

You’ll download the installation file from the website for desktop apps or through your phone’s proper store for mobile versions.

Device Compatibility

Malwarebytes Privacy is only offered for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. There is no way to set it up on a router. That’s an easy way to cover every device connected to your WiFi, including gaming consoles and smart TVs. It doesn’t even allow you to use smart DNS, which some VPNs offer to quickly switch locations on non-compatible devices.

There are also no browser extensions, and it doesn’t have any native apps for streaming devices like Fire Sticks or Rokus. Many of the top VPNs give you full apps for many smart TVs and routers. You can find some of the best VPNs with wide-ranging compatibility in this list.

Desktop — Apps for Windows and Mac

This wasn’t always the case, but you now get all the same features on Mac and Windows. This means you can use WireGuard, split tunneling, double VPN, the kill switch, and all of Mullvad’s servers. The UI looks slightly different, but otherwise they’re identical apps.

However, I was disappointed that there are no apps available for Linux. Most VPNs at least offer a limited version for this operating system or an option for manual connections. You can try a VPN with full Linux compatibility in this list.

Android and iPhone (iOS)

The mobile apps miss out on the kill switch, split tunneling, multi-hop, and all auto connect features. They do get a few of their own features like automatic blocks of malicious websites and malware. The iOS app also gets its own exclusive spam call protection.

However, these don’t make up for losing out on those options, especially the kill switch. To find VPNs that work just as well on your phones, check out this list of some of the best providers for mobile devices.

Simultaneous Device Connections

You can connect up to 5 devices with Malwarebytes Privacy at once. Unlike most VPNs though, it makes you pay a big price difference for this privilege. I had to opt for its most expensive plan to test it on my 2 Windows laptops, an Android phone, and an iPad.

I could stream YouTube videos without buffering while each device was connected to the same server. However, the price you have to pay is a bit much, especially with the VPN’s weak compatibility.

Pricing

5.6
1 Device
$ 3.33 / month per month
3 Devices
$ 4.17 / month per month
5 Devices
$ 5 / month per month

Pricing — Affordable, but Not Great Value

You can get this VPN for a decent price, but you have to choose a year-long plan. Unlike with the antivirus software, there is no free version. There are plans for 1 device, 3, or 5. With 1 device, the price is quite cheap although Surfshark offers a lower monthly rate with longer-term plans and you can connect unlimited devices.

The single plan Mullvad offers is about the same price as Malwarebytes’ 5 device term, with better performance. As I stated above, Malwarebytes is in a partnership with Mullvad. When you connect to Malwarebytes Privacy VPN, you’re connecting to Mullvad’s servers.

I’d definitely recommend using Mullvad instead of Malwarebytes VPN. Mullvad is faster overall, better for torrenting, and it offers OpenVPN in addition to WireGuard. Most importantly, its privacy policy is one of the best around and gives me much more peace of mind than Malwarebytes.

On the plus side, Malwarebytes Privacy VPN has a 60-day money-back guarantee with all its plans. I tested it myself to make sure it’s trustworthy.

Screenshot of an email confirming my money was returned by Malwarebytes Privacy VPNI requested it via the live chat and got a refund in 4 days

The payment methods are also quite limited. You can pay with credit cards including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover, or you can use PayPal. It’s especially disappointing that you can’t use cryptocurrencies or any other popular international payment wallets.

Reliability & Support

3.6

Reliability and Support — Long Wait and Poor Answers

The VPN has a 24/7 live chat for paying customers, but it’s not very helpful. For one, it’s quite difficult to find. There's a chat box on the website, but that will only connect you to its bot (ironically named Zero). It’s absolutely useless and will only send you links to its generic FAQs, no matter what you ask.

To talk to a live agent, you have to login and connect to the chat box on your account page. It still starts you with a bot, but you can request a human. Unfortunately, this always resulted in a long wait. Sometimes I’d have to queue for over 10 minutes to get someone in the room.

Screenshot of a conversation with Malwarebytes' support staff via live chat where exit without warning It was frustrating to have them leave after I waited so long

Even after I found an agent, there were times where they didn’t respond for 8 minutes or longer. The worst part was they almost never had answers to my questions. They would either tell me the technical department would respond to me later, or that I could read their FAQs.

It took over a week to get answers to the questions I sent via email. The first response I got was them telling me my email address wasn’t in the system (when I had a receipt from them in that same email account). However, eventually someone responded with brief answers to some of my questions.

Thankfully, you can get much better customer support from the top VPNs. My favorite VPNs offer 24/7 live chats that are easily accessible where you don’t have to wait long to get in touch with a knowledgeable agent. You can learn more about the best VPNs with excellent support systems in this list.

Compare Malwarebytes Privacy With The Top Alternative VPNs
Our Score: 9.9
Our Score: 9.7
Our Score: 9.5
Our Score: 9.4
Editor's Note: Transparency and impartiality are important to us when bringing you our best selection of VPNs. Some of the industry-leading products on our list, including Intego, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost, and ExpressVPN are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company. The VPNs we choose are derived from a thorough testing process.

The Bottom Line

Final Verdict — Can’t Compare to Mullvad or Other Top Competitors

Like its business partner Mullvad VPN, Malwarebytes Privacy has several bright spots. It’s no slouch when it comes to security (as long as you’re on desktop), and it’s great for gaming. Plus, its apps are well-designed and easy to install, and the price isn’t bad.

With that said, Malwarebytes Privacy VPN falls short in many areas, including poor streaming, slow speed, and below-par torrenting performance. Its mobile apps need much improvement, as does its customer support. In the end, I recommend you check out one of our highest-rated VPNs.

  • Good security features
  • Affordable price
  • Low ping for smooth gameplay

FAQs on Malwarebytes Privacy VPN

Is Malwarebytes VPN free?

No, there is no free app or trial period. This was a little surprising, since Malwarebytes is known for its free antivirus software. On the other hand, it does offer a generous 60-day money-back guarantee with all of its plans.

Is Malwarebytes Privacy VPN safe?

It offers great safety features on the desktop app, but its privacy policy makes me nervous. It passed all my leak tests, and you get a kill switch on Windows or Mac apps. However, it admits to logging a lot more data than most VPNs. On top of that, its mobile apps don’t come with a kill switch and several other important features, so I can’t call them secure.

Is Malwarebytes Privacy VPN the same as Mullvad VPN?

Malwarebytes VPN uses Mullvad’s servers, but there are many key differences. For example, Mullvad lets you use the OpenVPN protocol, which Malwarebytes Privacy lacks. Mullvad was also faster in our tests, and it offers a much more reassuring privacy policy. Malwarebytes Privacy is also headquartered in the US, which is one more reason we feel more safe using Mullvad.

Money Back Guarantee (Days): 60
Mobile app:
Number of devices per license: 5
We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
Malwarebytes Privacy User Reviews (User reviews are not verified)
6.0
Based on 10 reviews in 2 languages

Write a Review on Malwarebytes Privacy

Please rate VPN.

All Speed Streaming Security Сustomer service
JF
JF
4/10
Tend to agree with the review.

Fails to work on many popular sites as per the review here and for some reason I have found that it stops my network adapter from working properly. This has now happened on multiple laptop devices using Windows 11. Seems to be work better on mobile (iPhone). I stopped using Express VPN and started to use this service but am regretting that decision 100%. Basically, not worth it at all.

A.C. Taylor
A.C. Taylor
10/10
Works Fine For Me.

I've had Malwarebytes VPN for over a year now. Being that I've used their anti-virus suite for years now, I added it on because it was offered as an addon for only $1.98 CAD / month, for all of my devices. I've primarily used it when I was on public or open networks. About 3 months ago, I wanted to see something on Netflix that was only available in the U.S. I switched from a Canadian server to an American one and... It wouldn't unlock. So I closed my browser and then switched to another U.S. server and then opened my browser and voila! I had full access to the U.S. Netflix and have continued to use it for Netflix. That is the extent of my use and experience with a VPN. Aside from the initial hiccup, it has done what I wanted it to do thus far.

Sabrina
Sabrina
10/10
Excellent service

I have had no problem at all with Malwarebytes Premium bundle. (anti-virus and VPN). I have used it on 3 devices simultaneously since the VPN was introduced. I have tried other VPNs but this one is the absolute best. I have no idea why the person that wrote this article gave it a 5.4, other than they couldn't get on Netflix or Hulu. I don't watch movies on my devices. I watch them on my tv. Also, the article said customer service was non-existent. That's not true. I have actually talked ON THE PHONE several times to customer service. They helped me set up their service when I got confused. They even CALLED ME ON MY PHONE TO HELP ME. You have to know where to look to ask for their help. Malwarebytes is one of the top antiviruses, so I trust them with all their products. Go look for other reviews besides this one. Definitely don't take just this article into your decision-making. You will see what I mean if you look at other reviews. I give them a 10.

    About the Author

    Matthew is a writer and editor for VPNMentor with a proven track record of providing in-depth analysis of the most highly regarded VPNs, including ExpressVPN and CyberGhost. His unparalleled expertise has enabled him to consistently deliver cutting-edge insights on the most sought-after (and newest) VPN services.

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