Today I am doing a review of an anti-malware software called Bytefence. There are a lot of anti-virus and anti-malware products out on the market these days, so how does ByteFence stack up? Let’s find out together. Here is my Bytefence review 🙂
Why Do I need Anti- Virus and Anti- Malware Software?
You might be wondering why software such as Bytefence is needed? As a geek, I have been using such software for many years, for very good reason 🙂
Malware and trojans have become major concerns in our modern digital world, I am sure that you have all heard stories of people’s computers being attacked by ransomware. If they don’t pay a fee to the ransomware creator all their files will be shredded! Even big companies have had their computers infected by such things. The most famous was the WannaCry ransomware infection of 2017, that demanded $300 million in ransomware fees from all kinds of organisations across the globe (including the National Health Service in the UK!). So, yeah, this is why we need some kind of malware and virus protection on our computers 🙂
What is a malware or trojan?
Basically, it is an unwanted piece of code that installs itself on your computer without your knowledge. Sometimes they even disguise themselves as popular programs or windows functions. A ransomware will take your files hostage and demand that you pay a fee to release them. Other malware might mine bitcoin in the background without your knowledge or access your key strokes to find out passwords etc. scary stuff, right!!
What is ByteFence? What are the main Features?
Bytefence calls itself the ‘ultimate protection against malware, spyware and crapware, for free’, which is certainly a bold statement to make!
In terms of features, there isn’t really much to talk about, this is a bog standard anti-malware software. Please note, this is not the same as an anti-virus software, and Bytefence themselves suggest on their website running their program alongside anti-virus software for the best protection.
Bytefence will scan your computer for malware and crapware (their cute name for adware) and, as long as you have a pro licence, will then remove any unwanted files. Simple as that. I often see other companies proclaiming all kinds of unique and special features, not ByteFence. This is about as bog standard as you can get. With Bytefence not wanting to tell me about any special features, I did some digging around and found a few.
This mode will disable some of the features of Bytefence to make sure they don’t interfere with the performance of your game. You don’t want Bytefence starting a scan when you are about to win a game of Counter Strike 🙂 Although this is called Gamer Mode, Bytefence also suggests this might be a good option to use whilst watching movies. There is not much information about this feature, but it would seem it will automatically start and stop when you play games.
File Explorer Scanning
Bytefence has an option to allow you to enable a context menu in file explorer, meaning when you right click on it you can scan the file with Bytefence right there.
You can run Bytefence through a proxy server.
If you can’t tell already, I am really struggling here to come up with any interesting or unique features for Bytefence. Everything else is pretty typical anti-malware stuff, such as:
- Real time protection (scan and protect in the background)
- Scan scheduling
- Whitelist folders you don’t want Bytefence to scan
- Stats page to show software activity and number of threats blocked and removed.
There you have it, the exhaustive list of Bytefence features 🙂
How Much is Bytefence?
As you can see below, the Pro version of Bytefence (that can be used on 3 machines) is $3.33 a month if you sign up for 6 months, up to as little as $1.39 a month for a 3 year commitment. So it is not exactly expensive. Note that the free version of Bytefence is useless, as it only detects unwanted files and doesn’t actually help you remove them. They do however have a 14 day free trial. This is not really featured on their website, but after downloading and installing their software, the trial was automatically applied. On a side note, Bytefence claim they are protecting almost 63 million users at the time of writing, a claim that I find hard to believe…..but who knows 🙂
What do we like about Bytefence?
You can’t deny that Bytefence is cheap as far as anti-malware software goes. When you compare with another popular anti-malware suite MalwareBytes Premium, you would have to pay $59.99 a year for use on 3 machines. Bytefence would be only $24.95. Although Bytefence aren’t saying this themselves, I see the software as a stripped-down and budget version of anti-malware software.
The Bytefence user interface is clean and modern looking. It’s not award winning or anything, but it does provide a sleek and easy piece of software which is easy to navigate.
What don’t we like about Bytefence?
The main job of an anti-malware software is to….er….detect and delete malware! I wanted to do some tests on a virtual computer to see if any malware would go undetected by Bytefence.
I used a handy website WICAR.org to allow me to quickly run some malware and see how Bytefence reacted. I clicked on all of the malware processes on offer and amazingly only one of them got a reaction from Bytefence, a crypto mining script!
I then went to URLhaus to click some recent links with malware attached to see how Bytefence reacted to this. Again, not very well. Most were not detected by Bytefence but were by Malwarebytes. Zero day protection is pretty much non existent here. I was still rather tense even I was running this on a virtual machine!
This is almost laughable protection in my eyes for a product that claims to be anti-malware. I would love to know what kind of engine they are attempting to run here on the back-end 🙂
I don’t like some of the marketing tactics used by Bytefence. The fact that the free version only detects malware but requires a paid licence to remove is ridiculous. It’s a bait and switch tactic to make people that are scared to have malware on their PC pay up. If they want to do this type of marketing, they need a separate tool that clearly states it is only for scanning purposes. And the fact they then say on their homepage that they offer ultimate protection for free is simply misleading.
Bytefence is also commonly used as bundle ware. What is bundle ware? You know when you go to install a free software and it asks you to install another two or three ‘bonus’ software along the way? This is bundle ware. The software makers are hoping that users in a hurry will install their software without realizing. This is why you see a lot of users online saying that Bytefence installed itself on their computer or that it just appeared on their by magic. In fact, this is just because it was installed alongside other software without you realizing.
I don’t like any of these marketing tactics, and they give Bytefence a bad reputation in the online world. Go look at any other online review platform and Bytefence will often get a lot of negative reviews. Often, these are not saying the software is bad, just comments related to shady marketing tactics.
This has to be the most bland piece of software I have ever seen. It really is the most basic and cut down paid anti-malware software I have ever seen. Instead of engaging in shady marketing as described above, they should be putting more effort into coming up with a unique selling point of their software. At the moment, the only one they have is the fact it is cheap!
The Bytefence software crashed multiple times on our system and at one point disappeared and had to be re-installed. I think the default Windows anti virus had returned some false positives on part of the software and removed them, resulting in the program breaking.
Would I recommend Bytefence?
Any anti-virus or anti-malware program is all about their virus/malware detecting engine (I am sure there is a more technical term for that!) Put simply, Bytefence has one of the worst I have ever seen. I clicked on so much malware in my virtual machine running the software and only a handful were detected, especially the recent zero day ones. This is the first time I have actually felt scared doing this, even when contained within a virtual machine! This is setting off alarm bells in my head. It is so bad, I am wondering if it is vaporware! The very basic website does seem to back this up!
Bytefence is so bad that I don’t want you to even consider buying it, and instead direct you over to a top quality malware software instead. Click HERE to go take a look at Bitdefender Total Security 2020. Bitdefender are one of the oldest and most trusted virus and malware software providers. Yes, they cost more than Bytefence but they……actually work…and well 🙂
Bytefence seem to be preying on people that are not tech savvy to buy their software, don’t be one of them……
Frequently Asked Questions about Bytefence
Is Bytefence Legitimate? Is it a Virus?
A lot of people say that Bytefence is a scam or some kind of Trojan laden fake software. Personally, I wouldn't go this far. Yes, some other virus software does detect unwanted files within Bytefence, but these could be false positives. I think the reason people have this impression of them is because of the bundle ware aspect i mentioned above. People simply don't realise they accidentally installed Bytefence along with other software. Yes, it is bad! Yes, it might be bordering on vaporware, but I wouldn't say it has any malicious intent to infect your PC.
How Do I get Rid of Bytefence Anti-Malware?
I would highly recommend a program named 'geek uninstaller'. Using this program to uninstall Bytfence would make sure that all traces of the software are taken out too. You simply find Bytefence within the Geek Unistaller software and right click it and choose uninstall. When the uninstall process is done, it will then scan for leftover files and ask you to select whether to delete any that are found! Easy!
Thanks for reading our Bytefence Anti-Malware review 🙂
Disclaimer: My reviews are always full and honest. Yes, they may have affiliate links in where I can earn a small commission, but this never influences my rating. I want you to trust and come back to my reviews!