Since time immemorial, Windows’ cleaning software has tried using any possible means to offer all-in-one services that let you review and correct most problems from a single tool to make doing any maintenance task as straightforward as possible. IObit Malware Fighter follows that same path, offering an all-in-one tool that can detect different types of malware on your computer and a real-time protection system for both downloads and web browsing on potentially malicious sites.

The program’s features work just as they should, and are presented in a breakdown of options that’s understandable to any average user. But still, keep one important thing in mind: the developer tries everything possible to get you to install the other tools from his catalogue using integrated recommendations and suggestions in the program. Keep an eye on this, as if, for instance, you click “Activate Now” in the program window it will install a string of tools like the popular Advanced Systemcare, Driver Booster, or Smart Defrag. But if you’re careful with this you can take advantage of an interesting protection tool that even in its free version offers everything necessary to analyze and safeguard your computer.

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The application is divided into three different setup elements. The smart analysis will do a scan of your critical system files and folders to offer a detailed report of the potential problems. By default it will only analyze executable files, but you can change aspects of the scan from Options > Analyze > Analysis options. The detected threats will be placed in quarantine and a report generated as a plain-text document. Although the threat database requires an Internet connection to update, there’s also the possibility to download it from another computer as an independent file to install offline if you need to. Although there’s no clear access to that database, its developers say it can detect more than a million malicious elements: ‘…spyware, adware, trojans, keyloggers, bots, worms, and ransomware…’.

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The other two setup blocks have to do with your permanent protection. The Browsing section lets you block webpages and even hide potentially malicious sites on its blacklist from your Google results. It can also show alerts when you try to install browser extensions or plugins, currently one of the main modes of infection. The other section, Security, lets you protect your system in real time and keep undesired changes from being made to your cookies settings or important files, and preventing interactions with suspicious networks. There’s also a Reinforce Security option (disabled by default) that runs a report related to your Windows security level, whether you have your firewall deactivated, a port open that shouldn’t be, or services enabled in the background that could permit remote access.

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What can lead to confusion is IObit’s aforementioned insistence on evangelizing its software. The fourth option on the main menu, for instance—the so-called Action Center—tells you you’re unprotected just because you don’t have another program installed from the developer’s catalogue. Likewise, even if the smart analysis hasn’t come up with anything and you have everything in order, you’ll still have a permanent notice in your toolbar telling you that your security level on your computer is incomplete. Even still, Malware Fighter could be an interesting complement to your normal antivirus (say, the one integrated into Windows from 8 onwards, for instance), which in conjunction with a smart use of your firewall can serve to safeguard your computer when it comes to protecting you from external threats.

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