Emsisoft Anti-Malware (EAM) Pro vs. MSE + MBAM Pro

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Offline joe53

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Emsisoft Anti-Malware (EAM) Pro vs. MSE + MBAM Pro
« on: October 13, 2013, 03:50:37 PM »
It has been several years since I last used any EAM paid product. At that time, I believe it was just an anti-spyware (called a-squared). Nowadays EAM has changed to include a  full-fledged Anti-Virus (from BitDefender) partnered with EmsiSoft's own Anti-Malware product. Both products perform very well at protection in independent tests, and have low false positive detections in recent tests. Costs about $45/yr.

While I still champion free over paid security products, I jumped at the chance to test the latest version of this paid product (especially since I didn't have to pay for it). I wondered how well EAM would compare to MSE + MBAM Pro, in usability on a Win 7 system. (The latter choice involves a one-time only expense for MBAM Pro of about $25). MSE alone hasn't fared too well in recent AV protection tests, but I have confidence in the MSE/MBAM Pro tag-team combo.

Test platform:
- ASUS eee 1015 PE notebook, Win 7 Pro/sp1 (an infrequently used, fully patched, and squeaky clean system).
- RAM: 2 GB
- no other real-time programs running during tests, except MBAM Pro
- Fast cable internet connection

With MSE 4.2 installed as real-time AV:
- Memory usage: MsMpEng.exe: 26, 324k, msseces.exe: 3,000k
- MSE Update check: less than one minute
- MSE Quick scan time: 45 seconds
- MBAM Pro on-demand Quick Scan: 8 min 57 sec.

MSE uninstalled cleanly.
EAM Pro (version 8.0) downloaded/installed quickly and easily, with no unwanted bundled software.

With EAM (default installation) as real-time AV:
- Memory usage: a2service.exe: 1,896k, a2guard.exe: 272k
- EAM Update check: less than one minute
- EAM Quick scan time: 75-90 sec.
- MBAM Pro on-demand Quick Scan: 7 minutes, 29 sec.

Wi-Fi connection speeds with both AVs were similar, and met my ISP advertised speeds.

Re-enabling real-time protection of  MBAM Pro and WinPatrol Plus did not result in any conflicts, or significantly prolong any scan times noted above.

Clearly both AVs perform well on this system, and neither conflicts with my other security programs. I can't comment on their relative protection, or detection rates against zero-day malware. The latest "Real World Dynamic Test" report from AV-Comparatives (AV-C) found that EAM provides better protection than MSE (99.4% vs. 92.5%) on Win 7 Pro: http://www.av-comparatives.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/avc_prot_2013a_en.pdf
Whether a system protected with both MSE and MBAM Pro real-time protection would score as poorly as MSE alone is moot, but I suspect not. I have used this combo for a few years now with no infection on several systems.

When it comes to the impact of these AVs on system performance, my results generally agree with AV-C, in that it is minimal and similar with both:

As to the GUI of these AVs, clearly EAM is more configurable, and MSE more simple. Both will auto-update their signature definitions. In practice, I have used both with no troubles for a long time, even on older systems.

I will continue to use EAM Pro on this notebook until my license expires in a year (or until it gives me grief). I'm not convinced it is worth $45/yr. or offers better protection or value than MSE+MBAM Pro. Clearly MSE/MBAM Pro is cheaper in the long run, with no yearly fees. I still endorse having the free version of EAM as an on-demand scanner in any event. It is a reputable and (in my experience) a trouble-free product.

As always, YMMV.