Technology has its pros and cons. Even if you are a cautious internet surfer, malware can compromise your system’s safety. This is where efficient security software play an important role. While Windows 10 uses Windows Defender anti-virus, you can also look at the third party alternatives.

What to expect from anti-virus?

Any anti-virus system’s heart is its threat detection system. This is a combination of database of identified threats and algorithms for analysis of any unknown program’s behaviour. This analysis is called “Heuristic Analysis”.

The detection engines are the heart of the anti-virus systems and key to company business. The free security products by a company use same engines for their paid counterparts. The difference lies in the additional features such as firewalls and system optimization settings offered in the latter. These features boost the performance even further.

Windows 10 comes pre-installed with Windows Defender. There is, however, no restriction on trying out third party installations.

Read on to find out if you should go for Windows Defender or look for its alternatives:

The Key Features of Microsoft Windows Defender for Windows 10

  1. Ability to run on any device running Windows
  2. Built into Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 and available as Microsoft Security Essentials for Vista and Windows 7.
  3. The bootable rescue disk is available as a separate download.

Defender gives you decent protection without installing any third party security applications. The recent version is more up-to-date with extra protection against boot sector viruses and root kits. Defender provides security in both scanning and real-time protection. Sounds cool!

But wait! How does Windows Defender compare with other anti-virus programs?

Using a comparative analysis called as AV-TEST, Windows Defender succeeded in filtering out 99% of the commonly prevalent malware, as well as 95% of zero day attacks. In the real world protection tests, Defender was able to identify and prevent 94.5% of threats. However, it is interesting to note that Defender’s ratings are lower than a majority of other security software based on the same AV-TESTS.

For instance, Kaspersky and BitDefender have a remarkable 100% rating in zero day threats. They also scored 99% in real-world protection tests.

What does all of this mean?

Should I use Windows Defender for Windows 10?

If you keep your system and browsers updated, and proceed with caution when it comes to installing plug-ins, Defender is worth its name. Combine standard security practices you should be following with Defender’s security measures and your system is safe.

If you regularly frequent the pirated torrent sites or applications with high risk behaviours, then opt for a stronger protection against obscure malware.

For the absolute best, go for Kaspersky. Consistent top ranking, clean interface and robust performance allow Kaspersky to provide the best protection for your system as well as value for your money.


Do try Avira if you want the best for free. Its interface has the best semblance between malware protection and non-intrusiveness. You can always uncheck the installation of Ask Toolbar and ignore the occasional pop-ups.

If you have absolutely no patience for passive marketing, go for Defender. You will never be asked to install something you don’t wish to and there are absolutely no ads – ever!

Final Verdict

Windows Defender is not at all bad to use, but you might want to try other options before you finally settle down to this. It is by far the least annoying and intrusive security systems. Most free anti-virus programs come bundled with cumbersome add-ons, problematic browser extensions and occasional pop-up adverts.

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