Windows is one of the popular OS and used almost in every home computer and also covers large in the professional field.On every system, security is the first priority even though Windows is not giving much attention to it and users used to be too much worry about their system related to various types of attacks and viruses. Microsoft has not given much attention to making their own powerful antivirus. Most of the third-party antivirus software does the work of securing the windows system. From a few years ago, Microsoft also has given much attention and work hard to build their own high secured antivirus. Here we are talking about Windows Defender Antivirus.
Nowadays Windows Defender protects your system from various flavors of malware and viruses. But saying so Some still use third-party antivirus software for protecting their system and some simply using Windows Defender Software according to the type of work they are doing their system.
What is Windows Defender Antivirus?
Windows defender was released on October 24, 2006, as a free anti-spyware program for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. This software was only designed to protect your system against spyware only. Later Windows Vista came with preinstalled windows defender and the same happens in Windows 7. But at that time windows systems used to have Microsoft Security Essentials, a kind of malware protectors, used to suppressed Windows Defenders. In Windows 8 and 8.1 Windows Defender is preinstalled with more upgrades with more antivirus-related features. Windows 10 also have this preinstalled.
Both Windows 10 and Windows Defender are Microsoft products and they understand their system in a better way. Today Defender does real-time protection against various forms of malware like viruses, spyware, and ransomware.
Some basic advantage of Windows Defender Antivirus than Third-Party Antivirus
- Lightweight: Windows 10 is lightweight than another third-party antivirus. Also, it takes fewer system resources and power than third party antivirus.
- Free of Cost: Windows Defender comes preinstalled in the Windows 10 operating system. Microsoft provides it free of cost and with no licensing issue. On other hand, third-party antivirus charges you.
- Auto Updates Features: Without user interaction, Windows 10 system automatically updates new features and virus definitions through windows updates in the background quietly. You don't have to restart your computer.
- Once set and Forget Features: Once properly configured, the user should not have to do anything with it.
- User-Friendly and Clean UI: The UI of Defender is user friendly. Its UI resembled close to windows application and program.
- Microsoft Product: Windows 10 and Windows Defender both are Microsoft products and they understand their system in a better way and bugs and viruses can easily be caught.
- No ads and banner: Another third-party antivirus may show ads and their own banner and may somehow try to do the conversion by showing new features and may say to use these features please upgrade your system.
- Ransomeware Protection: Windows Defender comes with inbuilt ransomware protection.So, it blocks unauthorized access to files like pictures, documents, videos, music, favorite, and more.
In windows, 10 version 1903, ransomware protection is turned off by default.
Windows Defender isn't the same windows defender which is before 4 - 5 years ago. It used to hang, takes more CPU, shows an unnecessary popup on startup but now it does not have that problem.
Some disadvantage of Windows Defender Antivirus over Third-Party Antivirus
- Scanning Speed: Virus Scanning Process in Windows Defender is slow as compared with another third-party antivirus. Especially scanning connected devices having large files.
- Specialization: Windows Defender is not specialization software. It is not specific to malware protection, spyware protection, virus protection. There are lots of third party antivirus which has a very specific task.
- Virus Detection Ratio: The virus Detection Ratio in windows defender is less than another antivirus.
- System Lag During Update: When there is an update in the system, then it will lag and slow down your system significantly.
When Windows Defender Antivirus is good for you?
Ans: If you are a general user, who use the computer only for doing basic things like web surfing, watching youtube videos, typing. Then you can go with Windows Defender.
Using Windows Defender only for windows is Okay if:
- You continually patch/update your system via windows update.
- Configure your windows defender correctly
- You are aware of your system.
- You don't click and open random links
- Downloading resources from official sites.
- Do not go to adult sites, hacking sites, fake news sites.
- Read email from a known source only.
When third party Antivirus is good for you?
Ans: If you are an advanced user who generally spends much of the time working on pirated tasks like downloading pirated software, download pirated movies, etc. In this case, it's better to go with advanced antivirus like Kaspersky.
Also, if you are too much worry about security and privacy can going with third-party antivirus will be the best option.
If you have a business and required security then instead of using windows defender and another freely available antivirus, use paid high quality paid version antivirus.
Also, go with specific software. If you want to do malware protection then go with antimalware software and if you want virus protection then better go with anti-virus software.
Now let's look difference between Antimalware and Antivirus
|Antimalware mainly works for protecting against malware.||Antivirus mainly works for protecting against virus|
|Eg. SpyHunter, Malwarebytes are antimalware||Eg. Norton, Kaspersky|
|Antimalware deals with new types of malware like zero-day attacks||Antivirus typically deals with well established and older threats.|
|It can identify threats that never exist before.||It can only identify the threats that already have their definition or already has before.|
Looking above we found that antimalware is better but actually we cannot say without looking at product performance. Also, antivirus is a popular terminology than antimalware in the public from historical times. So, antivirus software has "antivirus" attached at the last of the name. But actually, they are found to be performing better than the antimalware program.
Windows Defender vs Other Antivirus Test
According to AV-Test, here is the list of Top antivirus according to production, performance, and usability with max point 6 and min 0.
Protection: Protection test says that how well the antivirus protects the system from malware.
Performance: Performance test says that how well the antivirus performs while the system in ON state.
Usability: The usability test says that how well a specific antivirus in a specific context can use software to achieve a defined goal effectively.
Here the report of Windows 10: October 2020, we can clearly see that windows defender also successful in getting max point 6 in production, performance, and usability. So, we can see windows defender / Microsoft defender also performs well as another antivirus like avast, ahnlab, avg, Avira, etc.
Enabling Windows Defender Antivirus Security Features:
With windows 10, basic antivirus protection features are enabled in windows defender but there are some other features that seem to be useful.
1) By Enabling Ransomware Protection in Windows Defender
2) Add Anti-Phishing Chrome Extension for protecting from phishing attacks and safe browsing.
3)Enable Enhanced Features like Network Protection and most of Exploit Guard (ASR) Protection of Windows Defender using Powershell.
Why antivirus like Windows Defender, McAfee, Norton, etc required updates?
Ans: Antivirus will not act on that virus which to known to them. If a new virus is developed and your antivirus has not seen it before such a virus then the antivirus will not handle it. So, antivirus is necessary to always to the update so, in the update, new virus definition is already known to antivirus. And if the same virus attacks your system then the antivirus will easily catch those errors and the infected software is moving it to quarantine and sometimes directly removed from the system.
This information is from my side based on my experience and may help you to some extent but the user himself or herself should test the best windows defender and another antivirus for their system. Securing the system is based on knowledge and knowledge is from experience so, it's better to experience both of the products and stick with one according to your needs.