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Is It Necessary To Use Antivirus If I Have Windows 10?

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Joseph Steinberg
Is It Necessary To Use Antivirus If I Have Windows 10?

The latest version of Windows’ operating system, Windows 10, features a built-in and comprehensive antivirus solution that you can rely upon.

You gain access to many value-added features with no extra cost, but many users still inquire if they need additional antivirus software to secure their devices.

Read on to see if you really need an additional solution on top of Windows Defender.

All About Windows Defender

With Windows 10, it is much easier to keep your PC up-to-date by reviewing the new updates automatically. 

You receive a lot of new features to ensure that your device and data are kept safe. 

The updated version boasts great features like real-time protection from all types of malware, and it has a firewall, parental control, hardened browser, device finder, and more.

One of the best things about this embedded solution is that you don’t need to install anything. All you need to do is go to the Windows Defender Security Center to access all of the functions and tweak them per your requirements. 

The solution offers cloud-delivered threat protection and if you’re worried about the level of security, know that this product received a solid 17.5 out of 18 during the February 2020 Real-World Threat Test organized by AV-Test.

Is Windows Defender All I Need?

One of the biggest advantages of Windows Defender is that it doesn’t cost a penny. Besides this attribute, there’s no need to install anything.

Although earlier versions encountered problems, the recent updates and 3rd party lab test results prove that Microsoft has finally been able to deliver an effective antivirus with adequate features for regular users.

With it, you’ll receive real-time cloud-based threat detection from ransomware and other malware in addition to parental control and firewall features.

Still, if you demand enhanced functionality, you might want to consider an additional solution. Some extra features that aren’t available with it but are bundled with most other paid solutions include:

  • Cloud storage and data back-up
  • Password manager
  • Webcam and identity theft protection
  • VPN, browser extensions, virtual keyboard
  • File manager, file shredder, multi-device coverage, and more

How Does Windows Defender Compare to Free AV Software?

Given Defender is free, it’s the right approach to compare it with the features of other free industry-leading solutions including Kaspersky and Bitdefender.

Here are the major differences:

  • Features & Protection - You get all of the advanced features with Kaspersky and Bitdefender, but Defender comes with just the essential features. Kaspersky also performed better in the February 2020 AV-Comparatives Real-World Protection Test after blocking 100% of threats with zero false positives, while the latter blocked 99.7% with five false positives. Bitdefender, on the other hand, was able to block 99.5% with just two false positives.
  • Performance – The October 2019 Performance Test conducted by AV-Comparatives, pointed out that Defender had the highest system-impact score of 17, while brands like Kaspersky and Bitdefender recorded exceptional scores of 2 and 3.5 respectively.
  • User Interface – You’ll find the user interface of both Bitdefender and Kaspersky more intuitive and easier to access in comparison to Defender.

Some Weaknesses to Keep In Mind

No matter whichever solution you use, none are perfect. This is also true with Defender.

Although recent updates have brought huge improvements, there are still some notable drawbacks of this antivirus:

  • Internet security features need to be installed separately on browsers other than Microsoft Edge
  • Parental Control features are limited
  • It doesn’t feature a VPN or password manager
  • It doesn’t come with advanced features like webcam protection, file locker, or a file shredder
  • The interface is complicated and takes many clicks before you can arrive at the settings page
  • It isn’t as frequently updated as other antiviruses

Bottom Line

As mentioned, no antivirus can guarantee 100% protection. Windows Defender does a reasonable job of safeguarding your device and data from ransomware and other threats, but doesn’t offer advanced features that are available with most solutions. However, the good thing is that it works seamlessly with other security suites.