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    Is Windows Defender The Right Choice In 2020?

    Windows Defender is free antivirus software by Microsoft. People have been debating whether this software is the right antivirus solution for their PC. While many people feel like Defender is not doing enough, others insist that it is far better than the other antivirus software released by Microsoft in the past. 

    There are many features, such as the Anti-Spyware attribute and added protection against software threats, that have given this product a much-needed facelift. Considering the fact that it is entirely free, we must agree that it offers decent security against all types of threats in real-time. In addition, add-on options include features to manage privacy, limit online activity, and secure files - using a single solution without the hassle of finding different software for each functionality. 

    Recent Improvements

    Some of the new features of Microsoft Defender 2020 enhance its reliability and ensure improved efficacy. 

    • The new ATP feature of this software supports an array of functions that will ensure the overall security of your system.
    • The original purpose of IP address indicators and domain/URL indicators will enable you to block specific domains and URLs.
    • If you feel like you do not have enough knowledge about the threats that are posed to your PC, you can get a consultation from Microsoft Threat Experts.
    • The Azure AD apps connected to the ATP module can now be viewed on the Connected Applications page. This page provides comprehensive information about related applications on an organizational level.
    • Several API queries can now be constructed and performed using the API explorer. 
    • The new risk-based approach helps in discovering and prioritizing possible threats in the best way possible.

    The Pros

    Some of the significant advantages of this antivirus software are as follows:

    • The primary advantage of this software is that it is entirely free, and you do not have to pay for add-on functions. This works perfectly for small businesses that cannot afford to spend a lot of money on computer security, or for personal use.
    • It is beneficial as it comes from the makers of the Operating System itself. It can be undoubtedly said that the Defender causes less strain on your Windows system than most of the other antivirus solutions. Thus, the overall performance and memory consumption of your system will not get bogged down.
    • Defender provides adequate protection against malware, viruses, and spyware. It works best for people who are looking for a simple solution without a lot of clutter. With a varied feature set, this product serves its core purpose as a comprehensive antivirus solution.
    • This module is ad-free, which is a fantastic trait. Most free security solutions will show repetitive ads, which can agitate users and disrupt their workflow.

    The Cons

    Alongside the striking advantages, there are some disadvantages to note:

    • This module does not offer much room for customization. The primary reason behind this is the fact that this product is on the simpler side, focusing on basic features and ease of use, rather than being over-packed with utilities. 
    • Threat detection capabilities of the Defender are not as sophisticated when compared to other specialized solutions.
    • There is a severe lag when it comes to scanning speed, which means you might face performance issues on your device.

    Compare Windows Defender With Other Free Antivirus Software

    • Real-time malware protection
    • Advanced security features
    • Cross-platform compatibility
    • Value for money
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    • Enhanced ransomware and malware detection
    • Multiple devices (up to 25)
    • Cross-platform compatibility
    • Pocket-friendly pricing
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    • Multi-layered malware protection
    • Fast system scans
    • Secure web browsing
    • Enhanced security suite and advanced features
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    Here are some key differences between Windows Defender and other free versions of antivirus software solutions:

    • Avast Free - Avast is known to offer a very strong defense against malware when compared to Defender. It is user-friendly and has a solid user interface which is superior as well. The major disadvantage of Avast over the Defender is the ad-support. This attribute might be off-putting for many users.
    • Avira Free - Avira Free offers better malware detection capability than Defender. There is a free VPN module that can handle open data of 500 MB for a month. There are also custom scanning options in Avira, which is not available in the Defender. However, the USB-scanning feature is not available in Avira, but Windows offers it.
    • Bitdefender Free - This software provides comprehensive protection against most of the known threats out there today. The RAM requirement is a little too much when compared to Defender, which is a major disadvantage. It is safe to say that malware detection and mitigation properties of Bitdefender are among the best in the industry.

    Bottom Line

    Windows Defender is not on the top-end when compared to the plethora of antivirus software available in the market. However, it can solve the bulk of significant security issues and provide protection against most threats. Thus, one can certainly claim that it does the job pretty well - and at no cost. Overall, Windows Defender is a worthwhile all-around antivirus solution in 2020.