Is the default Windows 10 Anti Virus good enough?
In this article we will discuss the features of the Windows Defender program that comes with Windows 10 by default, and if it actually provides adequate enough protection for your computer or not. Unlike with previous Windows 7, you are not prompted to install a third-party antivirus program anymore, as it comes with Defender, also previously named Microsoft Security Essentials.
Is Windows Defender good enough for my PC?
Without having to do anything, Windows 10 automatically installs and runs Windows Defender for you, and automatically scans programs that you open, scans files you download from websites, updates its database of definitions via Windows update, and gives users a program interface to allow you to manage more deeper virus scans. Unlike some other bigger antivirus programs, Windows Defender doesn’t seem to slow your computer down either, and doesn’t bother you too much unless it’s important.
Before Defender came along, it’s predecessor Security Essentials wasn’t quite as good as all the then available paid antivirus programs out there, i.e. AVG, Norton etc. But in more recent times, Defender has increased it’s performance and is currently nearly just as good as some of the paid alternatives.
So you can be confident, that Windows Defender will at least protect your PC well enough if you haven’t through about which Antivirus to use, or feel like it’s too complicated to install a new one.
But Is Defender the Best Antivirus?
According to this recent comparison from December 2018, Defender didn’t make it into the top ranks of the best protection scores. This doesn’t mean it’s not good – in fact according to it’s stats, Windows Defender still caught 99.9% of the most popular malware, and 98.8% of zero-day attacks – this is excellent for a free solution.
However it doesn’t include more advanced features that other paid versions include, and it also doesn’t help protect any other device other than the PC it runs on – meaning you can still get viruses on your phones and other devices. The paid alternatives usually include protection for all your devices, so it’s always good to consider this when choosing your antivirus protection.
What about malware?
Whilst antivirus is definitely important, malware can not only be dangerous but it seems to also be the most annoying for users. Antivirus programs like Windows Defender does moderately protect you from Malware, but we recommend a dedicated program to tackle current and future malware issues. A free solution we use a lot is Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Unlike traditional antivirus programs, Malwarebytes is great at finding “potentially unwanted programs” or otherwise knows as “PUPS” and other junkware that may been unknowingly download and installed when browsing websites.
The latest version of Malwarebytes also has a paid version that includes anti-ransomware that helps blocks exortion attacks like Cryptolocker, and a few other advanced features, at a very reasonable price of $60 per year.
Whilst the paid version of Malwarebytes does claim it does everything traditional virus programs does, we tend to recommend a combination of a good antivirus program like Defender with the additional of an anti-malware program like Malwarebytes as the best way to protect your computer.
It uses completely different strategies for protecting you: antivirus will block or quarantine harmful programs that find their way to your computer, while Malwarebytes attempts to stop harmful software from ever reaching your computer in the first place. Since it doesn’t interfere with traditional antivirus programs, we recommend you run both programs for the best protection.
If you need help installing and setting up any Antivirus or Anti-Malware programs to protection your computer, or feel like you may have been infected and need assistance cleaning up your PC, the friendly team at Get A Geek will be happy to book an onsite visit or remote session to get your devices clean again!