If you are a long time Windows operating system user, you know what the Microsoft Windows Defender’s role is to your PC. If you thought that Windows Defender is anti-malware software then you are right. This means that when you bought your Windows machine, you already have free anti-malware software built-in your system. But do you think it is enough to protect your offline and online activities?
In this article, let us find out if the Windows Defender in your Windows OS can do what other popular antivirus and anti-malware can. There are many free antivirus software out there, but why do some people still use this Microsoft’s native software guard? Let’s find out why.
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Microsoft Windows Defender
The earliest versions of Windows Defender were with Windows XP, Vista, and 7. It was first released as antispyware only. So for those users who have used the earlier Windows versions, they will still have to download a separate antivirus software or Microsoft Security Essentials if you prefer Windows products.
And then the Windows 8 and later versions were launched and the Windows Defender spyware became an official Windows Defender antivirus. This replaced the Microsoft Security Essentials entirely and made it incompatible with later versions of Windows OS.
Pros and Cons
As a Windows OS user, we all need to feel safe whenever we use our computer. This safety feature should be applied whether the user is online or offline. But with emphasis on online activities, we need a tool or software that can actually protect us from malicious entities lurking around the web.
So with Microsoft Windows Defender, are we safeguarded properly? Are the features of this antivirus enough to keep our online browsing and file downloading safe for our system? Here are the pros and cons of this software.
Free and Built-in
Unlike most antivirus software, the Windows Defender is free to use.
Integrated with Windows OS
Natively available on Windows 8, 8.1, and 10 so no need to set up before use. Just connect to the internet and update. Note that the first update usually takes long but after that, it gets easier.
Improved Malware Protection
After it became a full-fledged antivirus, its scanning feature and have improved a lot. Making it a suitable antivirus for those uses are not typically using their Windows to access shady sites and file downloads.
Faster Boot Time
Because it is already integrated within the operating system, it does not affect much the performance when you boot up and shutdown. Giving you access to your Windows desktop faster than the ever before.
Protect from Ransomware
After the worldwide attack from ransomware, Microsoft made it a part of the Windows Defender signature to protect its system from these types of malware.
The Windows Defender is purely free without having to endure the ads that keep popping up in a schedule like from those other commercial and freeware versions.
Good Detection Rate
It can decently detect malware and viruses as soon as it hits your system and before it causes damage to your Windows OS.
There are only four tabs when you open the Windows Defender GUI. Everything is pretty much right in front of you as you use it and pretty much self-explanatory.
Easy to Update
If you want to update your Windows Defender, the tab button is just two taps away. And it is really hard to miss if you look for it.
Auto Scans on Idle
The Windows Defender scans the system as soon as you left your system idle. This makes the whole protection feature much convenient for its users.
While it can detect malware and viruses, some detection is not consistent. When you use the same infected files for a couple of times, there are instances that it fails to give warning.
With Windows Defender, you get only the basic necessities for your Windows machine. No other special features and fancy tools inside the software itself. Not even a decent gaming mode to keep the Defender silent and discreet when you play games especially online.
Since you only get the basic features, you will only see 3-4 tabs from the GUI. And that’s it. No more anything.
Slow Scanning Speed
This is much noticeable when you open a folder with many executable files are stored. As soon as you open the folder, you will not be able to click and run any of it until it finishes scanning all of them.
High CPU Usage
You may not see it directly but when you peek into the Task Manager, you will find that the Windows Defender is consuming a high percentage of your CPU.
Unsuitable for Gamers
If you are a gamer, the demanding nature of the Windows Defender will not be suitable for you. The embedded gaming mode inside the Windows 10 version does not do much compared with other third-party game booster applications.
As you have read from the pros and cons above, the Windows Defender is only good for a specific type of user. If you are a gamer or you download a lot of files, the performance will easily degrade considering user experience.
But if you are a typical user who pretty much visits the same sites each session, then this antivirus should be enough for you. Also, if you are not the type to install many niche software and apps, then Windows Defender will keep your system safe.
Now for the real question, is it enough to protect your PC? Yes and no. I’m sure you already know your answer to this before you reach this part of the article. If you belong to the heavy users, the Windows Defender is not enough protection for your system. Go find another antivirus with all the features that you actually need. But if you are like the rest of the world, the Windows native antivirus will do the job for you. Just keep it updated as often as you can.