Windows Defender is an antivirus software bundled with Windows 8 and Windows 10 to essentially protect computers again malware attacks.
Windows Defender was first released in 2006 as an antispyware program for Windows 7 and Windows Vista users. Its primary role by then was to protect systems against spyware. This kept the systems safe from spy programs but on the other hand vulnerable to malware attacks.
As a solution to the malware attacks on the systems, Microsoft developed an antivirus software called Microsoft Security Essentials which was made available for download at the Microsoft official site.
Microsoft Security Essentials performed all Windows defender tasks and much more. This made it much better than Windows Defender.
Later in 2012, an improved version of Windows Defender was released with Windows 8 with enhanced features including protection against spyware, virus protection and firewall for network security.
The new Windows Defender came with an easy to use dashboard called Windows Defender Security Center where configurations can be changed from.
- 1 But Is Windows Defender enough for virus protection in Windows 10?
- 2 How effective is Windows Defender?
- 3 Windows Defender has the following features
But Is Windows Defender enough for virus protection in Windows 10?
How effective is Windows Defender?
These are two questions that many Windows users ask. I also had these same questions. So I decided to make some research and I managed to put together got some helpful information which I think would get these two questions answered. I believe by the end of this article, you’ll have an understanding of how Windows Defender works and whether or not it is enough for security in Windows 10.
Most of Windows users out there just have a mindset that they should always install third-party antivirus programs after a fresh Windows installation. Well, this was the case back in the days but days have changed. With the new Windows Defender technology, You got to think before rushing into unnecessary installations of additional antivirus programs.
As I told you earlier, starting with the 2012 release with Windows 8, Windows Defender came with enhanced security technology and features that you can just be good without installing additional antivirus programs as long as you have the proper configurations.
However, if you’re that person who’s always downloading torrents and every other little thing from the internet, I recommend pairing the Windows Defender antivirus with Malwarebytes an anti-malware program.
The reason I recommend Malwarebytes is that Windows Defender has proven to be so great at detecting and eliminating viruses but when it comes to malware at large, its a little bit reluctant. This is what Malwarebytes is great at
Malwarebytes provides a free version of the program which can later be upgraded to a premium version. But even with a free version, you can do just fine. Personally, I have used the free version for some time and have got no issues.
Windows Defender has the following features
Virus and threat protection.
This provides the Scan feature which allows the user to scan the computer for potential threats and then clean them up.
It has the Real-time protection feature which locates any kind of malware running either from a downloaded file or from an external storage device and then eliminates it. This same feature ensures that external storage devices are scanned before performing any operation with them.
The cloud-delivered protection feature ensures up to date information of Windows Defender. This includes accessing the cloud database for newly discovered viruses and then updating the local Windows Defender database.
The automatic sample submission feature makes it possible to update the Microsoft virus cloud database for newly discovered threats.
Note: All the above features should be turned on for best results from virus protection
Virus and threat protection also allows the user to exclude files that should be excluded during occasional scans
The protection Updates feature allows the user to update virus signatures manually. However, there is no need to manually update since Windows frequently updates when the computer is connected to the internet.
Device performance and health
This performs health and performance checks on the system and then gives a report on the performance and health conditions of various components which include storage devices, battery, and device drivers.
It also provides a Frest start feature which allows the user to perform start fresh with a clean and up to date information and to also remove suspicious programs and settings.
Firewall and network protection
This feature ensures that the computer is fully protected while it’s connected to a network. This involves blocking of potentially harmful domains, protection from malware attacks from computers connected on the same private and public networks.
In the next section, I managed to put together the pros and cons of Windows Defender that you should know
- Simple user interface. The Windows Defender interface is simple enough for a user to use since there is no much customization needed.
- Free access. All windows 10 and 8 versions are pre-installed with Windows defender and so there is no need to purchase or upgrade to a premium version as the case with most of the antivirus programs.
- No distractive pop-ups. This is one of the most irritating behaviors in most of the antivirus programs out there. Windows Defender performs everything in the background and in case of any message, a notification only appears in the notification section rather than abrupt pop-ups on the screen. This makes it user-friendly.
- No need to perform manual scans. Windows Defender is configured to automatically scan the computer and eliminate any threats without any user intervention.
- It uses fewer resources compared to other antivirus software. Resources are measured in terms of how much of the computer’s memory and storage it uses. Windows Defender does not utilize much memory nor space.
- No adverts displayed. Windows Defender displays no adverts as the case in most of the other antivirus programs.
- Provides both malware and virus protection. Some security programs offer one of the two capabilities.
- A full scan of the system is often slow and worse with a computer having limited resources like less memory. This, in turn, may slow down the whole system.
- The malware protection is not as much good as the virus protection. Its why I recommend pairing Windows Defender with Malwarebytes.
- Sometimes blocks installation of threat-free programs.
Having looked into the features, pros, and cons of Windows Defender. With this information, I believe you realize how efficient Windows Defender is and I believe Windows Defender is enough for virus protection in Windows 10 and Windows 8 computer.
Other antivirus programs I recommend to those of you are still not convinced with the effectiveness of Windows Defender are Kaspersky and Bitdefender.
While installing a third-party antivirus program on your Windows 10 PC. Keep in mind that this automatically disables Windows Defender.