Microsoft has started bundling Windows Defender, their own antivirus, along with new versions of Windows. While this is a good step for users, is Windows Defender sufficient protection for our Windows machines?
Is Windows Defender sufficient?
The answer is not straight-forward. As Windows is the most popular OS around, it is also the most targeted. Further, due to lax piracy controls employed by Microsoft, quite a few people are running pirated, unsecured versions of the OS. This makes it easier for attackers to compromise Windows-based machines.
Thus, taking steps to protect oneself is imperative. This is why Microsoft has started bundling Windows Defender with their OS.
Now, you must know that Windows Defender is a very basic security software. It offers limited protection and is used mostly as a benchmark for other AV suites. And most of them perform far better. However, Defender has nearly 0 impacts on system performance and is so well integrated that you hardly notice it until a notification comes around.
Also Read: 10 ways to speed up Windows 10
There are 2 ways to proceed. The first is for advanced users. These users tend to know where most viruses come from (porn sites, torrents, cracks, pen drives etc.) and don’t use these services. For them, a combination of Windows Defender and a good malware scanner (I recommend Malwarebytes) is more than sufficient. Malware scanning is a major weak point of Windows Defender and even the most advanced users need an additional scanner. To know more about good practices to protect your PC, read this.
The second is for the majority of users or the common users. These guys are not very tech savvy or careful with their PCs. The bare-bones Defender is not sufficient for them. They require 3rd party AV suites for effective protection. These are much superior to Windows Defender at Real-time Monitoring and scanning and provide a host of advanced features in addition. Some even have a bundled Firewall, which provides further protection. Avast is the best free AV suite currently, while I recommend Kaspersky Internet Security for users looking for a paid solution. Please note that paid AV suites are consistently better than free ones, so prefer paid alternatives.
As I said earlier, the answer to this question depends on what type of user you are. For advanced users, a combination of Windows Defender and a reliable malware scanner is enough. For others, I recommend using 3rd party AV suites – Avast for free and Kaspersky Internet Security for paid software.
P.S- Please note that I have not written about the comparison between various AV suites. All suggestions that I have made are according to my own experiences and usage. If you wish to see such a comparison, please see here.
I am a student of Mechanical Engineering (Undergrad 6th sem). My interests lie in 3D modelling, technology, writing and football. Feel free to ask me anything !