When we talk about safety, particularly computer protection, most of us fret a lot. From buying expensive antivirus programs to constant checks. What we forget at times is that there is a free antivirus program already present in Windows PCs, known to all as Windows Defender. In this blog we are going to talk about is windows defender good enough in 2021?
Windows Defender is the proprietary antivirus application for Windows PC. And it comes pre-installed on present day PCs, specifically Windows 8/8.1/10. However, the antivirus has been considered as rather “substandard”, in comparison to other outstanding AV applications. This, coupled with the latest tactics of cyber attackers, has raised questions over the reliability of the software program. Nonetheless, despite the tremendous assumption, WinDefender stays one of the best out there. And whilst this system has been below-par in the past, the latest improvements have drastically jacked up its overall performance.
Windows Defender: What Is It?
As mentioned earlier, Windows Defender, previously Microsoft Security Essentials, is the proprietary antivirus application from Microsoft; such that it comes integrated on Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10. What this suggests is that an average PC user these days has a free antivirus software program for his safety needs. The question then is: Is it sufficient or an extra advanced AV application is required?
Let us take a better look at what Windows Defender has, vis-à-vis what it’s lacking. Windows Defender is a free antivirus software program, designed for PCs. It hosts a unilateral engine, which detects and gets rid of viruses; similar to an average antivirus. Typically, you get to experience the subsequent offerings for free; virus & threat protection; network firewall; app and browser control; overall performance upgrade; system health optimization; and more. The above features sum up what is offered in different notable antivirus applications, with few exceptions nonetheless. And though it has fallen short of standard in the past, it remains one of the best these days.
In the past few months, WinDefender has gone through large improvements, and it’s common reliability score has become better than ever before. In April 2019, AV-Test conducted its reliability test at the newly upgraded Windows Defender. During the test, it was observed that this system is able to detect 98.8% zero-day assaults and 99.9% of malware. These metrics are more or less what is offered in different standard AV applications these days. In essence, in case you remember the proprietary benefits provided by WinDefender, you’d discover that it’s the most ideal antivirus application for you.
Is Windows Defender Enough For 2021?
Despite the latest improvements, which positioned Windows Defender on par with other popular AV applications, it’s still not robust enough. In fact, no stand-alone antivirus application is standard enough for your cyber/gadget safety needs these days. The question then is; why is it so? Over the past few years, cyber assaults have advanced from the conventional injection of viruses into host computer systems; today, malware, adware, spyware, ransomware and Trojans represent the principal attack elements. And maximum of those malicious applications, if not all, without problems pass the inflexible safety setup of maximum antivirus applications.
Furthermore, malware are enormously “deceitful”, in that they regularly hide themselves as normal apps, plugins or extensions. In fact, some malware are disguised as antivirus applications, or bloatware and add-ins of safety applications. This makes malware very tough to detect or prevent. And where there is infection, they stay hidden, such that you won’t understand what hit your PC. In a nutshell, Windows Defender is ideal sufficient for an antivirus application. However, because of its inflexible virus protection engine, which regularly fails to hit upon malware, it isn’t always sufficient these days.
Is Windows Defender Enough for Windows 7, 8, and 10?
Though Microsoft stopped providing support for Windows 7, the windows defender software will nevertheless run on it if installed. However, it is not an ideal antivirus that you should depend upon for the Windows version. The cause is easy; Microsoft no longer provides support, and also you won’t get any software program updates. If there are bugs or vulnerabilities in the software, it may be setting your PC at risk. For Windows 8 and 10, the windows defender will perform a lot better. As stated, the software is integrated in those versions, and by default, its real-time protection is activated. It is enormously rated in scanning and detecting viruses. The software additionally has the functionality of protecting these systems from ransomware and phishing on websites. Parents can take good advantage of the parental control function to screen their children who use Windows 8 or 10 PCs.
What about Virus protection?
The WinDefender application is an antivirus, so it is only reasonable for it to provide antivirus protection. Performing system scanning with Windows Defender in your PC can divulge viruses and other threats that can be present. Though the overall performance may not be good in comparison to what you get from major antivirus applications, it won’t disappoint. WinDefender already being a part of the Windows OS in your PC complements its overall performance. Some third-party antivirus software programs might slow or make your PC lag while operating, however WinDefender won’t. You can carry out a complete virus scan or a custom scan for specific documents and folders. The custom scans can be done through simply right-clicking and choosing the scan option, similar to other simple antivirus applications. However, Windows Defender can only fully protect your PC from viruses if it is up-to-date. As a result, you have to make sure that you install updates as Microsoft releases them.
Good Enough for Malware Removal?
At first introduction, Windows Defender could do nearly nothing towards malware. Currently, Microsoft has advanced on that, and it is able to now detect malware threats. If you wish to use the WinDefender software to remove malware out of your computer, it is good to use the offline mode. Typically, the built-in Windows Defender scans with the net, and while at this, a few malware like rootkits can hide offline within the OS. You can use the Microsoft Defender Security Center in an offline mode. If you choose the WinDefender software as the default protection app in your PC, it’s going to offer real-time malware detection if linked to the internet. Major antivirus programs will still perform better than Windows Defender in terms of malware removal, but what Windows Defender offers can be counted on.
Limitations of Windows Defender
Over the years, the Windows defender software has been improved several times through its developers. Despite these, some obstacles exist which would possibly affect user experience. First, it isn’t always very user-friendly. The dashboard looks a bit complex, and those who’re accessing it for the first time often commonly have issues with navigation. Microsoft attempted to make the interface look advanced and professional, but they went too far and made it difficult. Also, the technique of activating and deactivating the software whenever necessary is a perplexing one. Microsoft Defender Security Center detection consistency is also not impressive. Yes, it is able to scan for viruses, however it might leave out on a few threats. If your preferred browser is Firefox or Google Chrome, WinDefender won’t help much towards online viruses and phishing. In this aspect, it is very practical with the Windows traditional browser (Internet Explorer). Though you may install the add-on and extension for the third party browsers listed, it won’t be very efficient. The parental control protection function also has a similar limitation. You can use it to monitor only browsing activities on Microsoft browsers.
WinDefender might lag your PC whilst scanning, and customers complain that it scans relatively sluggishly. On a few excessive appearing PCs, its speed is somewhat improved, but still not fast when compared to different antiviruses. Finally, in case you would really like an antivirus with a password manager or a VPN, Windows Defender has none. There are not many extra features.
Do you need an external antivirus if you have WinDefender?
While you have Windows Defender on your PC, you may still set up different antivirus software programs. To set the facts straight, Windows defender is a great antivirus software program you may depend upon. But, from the limitations above, you can see areas in which the software performs poorly. Therefore, you would possibly want to install another antivirus software program to address those limitations, mainly if you want extra functionality and higher user experience. However, note that installing and activating another antivirus software makes Windows Defender automatically deactivated. Other antiviruses could be ideal in case you do lots of downloading on the net. Preferably, you should consider a paid antivirus software program.
Windows Defenders and Windows Firewall: How strong is the combo ?
To answer the question, you have to understand that both Windows Defender and Windows Firewall provide value. If they’re enough or not relies on the functions you desire to utilize. Microsoft Defender Security Center has the Windows Firewall (Currently Windows Defender Firewall) incorporated into Windows 8 and 10. Whereas a few fall backs can question the safety provided by Windows Defender, the Windows Firewall software is more than sufficient for your PC. You might want another antivirus but, you can completely rely on Windows Firewall. The function of the Windows Firewall is to shield you on the internet. It filters data and information you obtain to prevent the access of harmful files and applications into your PC.
Some applications try to communicate via firewalls, which is risky, and the Windows firewall is able to block them. Besides, other computers and networks that try to connect to you without permission are blocked. If you wish to create advanced rules, you may do so with the Windows Firewall. With this, you may decide which programs in your PC can get entry to the internet and which do not. You can do nearly anything a third-party firewall can do with Windows Firewall, which is why it should be sufficient for your PC. However, the Windows Firewall software has one similar problem to the Windows Defender, which is an unfriendly user interface.