Is Microsoft Defender good enough for your computer? Or do you need a better free antivirus?
Microsoft Defender was once considered a poor way to protect your computer from malware. However, that’s now a thing of the past, and Microsoft’s antivirus that comes integrated with Windows 10, once known as Windows Defender, has built itself a much better reputation lately.
The key question is how good is it? And is Microsoft Defender really enough of a solution to keep your system safe and free of malware? Or should you really download another free third-party antivirus app to further protect yourself from malware?
As mentioned, Microsoft Defender is seen today as a much stronger competitor in the world of free antivirus programs than was the case in the not-so-distant past, as clearly seen in the latest estimates of major independent labs that regularly test antivirus applications.
In the real-time protection test conducted between July and October 2020 by AV-Comparatives, Microsoft was very good, and Defender managed to stop 99.5% of threats, ranking 12th out of 17 antivirus programs (achieving a robust status “advanced +”). And there were better results in the AV test, where Microsoft Defender scored very well during 2020.
SE Labs also found that Defender had an overall accuracy score of 99%, ranking it an excellent 5th out of 13 in its fourth-quarter malware protection report for the fourth quarter of 2020 – a very respectable result.
So the overall picture is that Microsoft Defender is now more than solid in terms of defending against malware threats, which is great news, but also a warning that it’s still not as good as some free variants of antivirus tools.
In short, although Microsoft Defender is a very solid choice today, in fact more than solid, it is still not the best free antivirus option, such as Avira.
Still, another big advantage of Microsoft Defender is that it’s fully integrated with Windows 10. It’s a solution that’s already standard on Windows, and ready to protect you and provide robust defense for your computer.
For less technologically smart people who may not really be sure what antivirus is and how it works, Defender is a decent basic form of protection by default in Windows, which is definitely a very good thing, there’s no dispute about that.
But if you can easily get some better protection, by downloading a top-notch free third-party antivirus, you should definitely do it. Because, all free antiviruses more or less have a fast download process and a fairly simple installation, so why not do it?
A set of features
An antivirus program has, of course, more than a thorough defense against malware, and Microsoft Defender protects you in other ways. These include a basic firewall, some additional anti-exploitation measures, and a parental control system that has been further improved in recent times, so you can, for example, determine how much time your children are allowed to spend online.
However, some other free antivirus applications offer even more plugins, so Avira Free Antivirus, for example, boasts a password manager, and some other useful features. Some features are even more refined, for example, when it comes to Defender parental control, browser content filtering options are only available for Microsoft’s own Edge browser, although we all know that Chrome is the most dominant player in the world of web browsers. Avira Free gives you web protection for Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Opera.
Is Microsoft Defender good enough for your computer?
The short answer is, yes… to some extent. Microsoft Defender is good enough to generally protect your computer from malware and has been greatly improved in terms of its antivirus mechanism lately.
However, there are still free antivirus applications that offer a better level of protection or more features, with an improved level of search depth, and all in all they are a better choice. Since it is a simple task for most users to go through the process of installing another third-party antivirus, it is definitely worth doing, in order to take advantage of these benefits.
Probably the most difficult issue regarding using a third-party antivirus will be the choice to make, but there are professional labs that deal with this topic in detail and expertly, so it’s best to take a look at their tips and recommendations here.