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.

Discussion:
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:
http://www.av-comparatives.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/avc_per_201304_en.pdf

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.

Conclusions:
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.