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Windows 10 won't bother

 Windows 10 won't bother you to introduce an antivirus as Windows 7 did. Since Windows 8, Windows currently incorporates an underlying free antivirus called Windows Defender. Be that as it may, is it actually the best for securing your PC–or even sufficiently great? 


Windows Defender was initially known as Microsoft Security Essentials back in the Windows 7 days when it was offered as a different download, however now it's incorporated directly into Windows and it's empowered naturally. Numerous individuals have been prepared to accept that you ought to consistently introduce an outsider antivirus, yet that isn't the best answer for the present security issues, as ransomware. 


So What's the Best Antivirus? Kindly Don't Make Me Read All This

So What’s the Best Antivirus? Please Don’t Make Me Read All This

What you need is a great team: Malwarebytes + Windows Defender

We definitely recommend you read the entire article so you fully understand why we recommend a combination of Windows Defender and Malwarebytes, but since we know that tons of people will just scroll down and skim, here is our TL;DR recommendation for how to keep your system secure:

  • Use the Built-in Windows Defender for traditional antivirus – the criminals have moved on from regular viruses to focus on Ransomware, zero-day attacks, and even worse malware that traditional antivirus just can’t handle. Windows Defender is built right in, blazing fast, doesn’t annoy you, and does its job cleaning old-school viruses.
  • Use Malwarebytes for Anti-Malware and Anti-Exploit – all of the huge malware outbreaks these days are using zero-day flaws in your browser to install ransomware to take over your PC, and only Malwarebytes provides really excellent protection against this with their unique anti-exploit system. There’s no bloatware and it won’t slow you down.

Editor’s Note: This doesn’t even mention the fact that Malwarebytes, the company, is staffed by some really great people that we really respect. Every time we talk to them, they are excited about the mission of cleaning up the internet. It’s not often that we give an official How-To Geek recommendation, but this is our favorite product by far, and something we use ourselves.

A One-Two Punch: Antivirus and Anti-Malware

You need antivirus software on your computer, no matter how “carefully” you browse. Being smart isn’t enough to protect you from threats, and security software can help act as another line of defense.

However, antivirus itself is no longer adequate security on its own. We recommend you use a good antivirus program and a good anti-malware program. Together, they will protect you from most of the biggest threats on the internet today: viruses, spyware, ransomware, and even potentially unwanted programs (PUPs)—among many others.

So which ones should you use, and do you need to pay money for them? Let’s start with the first part of that combo: antivirus.

Is Windows Defender Good Enough?

When you install Windows 10, you’ll have an antivirus program already running. Windows Defender comes built-in to Windows 10, and automatically scans programs you open, downloads new definitions from Windows Update, and provides an interface you can use for in-depth scans. Best of all, it doesn’t slow down your system, and mostly stays out of your way—which we can’t say about most other antivirus programs.

For a short while, Microsoft’s antivirus fell behind the others when it came to comparative antivirus software tests—way behind. It was bad enough that we recommended something else, but it’s since bounced back, and now provides very good protection.

So in short, yes: Windows Defender is good enough (as long as you couple it with a good anti-malware program, as we mentioned above—more on that in a minute).

But Is Windows Defender the Best Antivirus? What About Other Programs?

If you look at that antivirus comparison we linked to above, you’ll notice that Windows Defender, while good, does not get the highest ranks in terms of raw protection scores. So why not use something else?

First, let’s look at those scores. AV-TEST found that it still caught 99.9% of the “widespread and prevalent malware” in April 2017, along with 98.8% percent of the zero-day attacks. Avira, one of AV-TEST’s top rated antivirus programs, has the exact same scores for April—but slightly higher scores in past months, so its overall rating is (for some reason) much higher. But Windows Defender isn’t nearly as crippled as AV-TEST’s 4.5-out-of-6 rating would have you believe.

Furthermore, security is about more than raw protection scores. Other antivirus programs may occasionally do a bit better in monthly tests, but they also come with a lot of bloat, like browser extensions that actually make you less safe, registry cleaners that are terrible and unnecesary, loads of unsafe junkware, and even the ability to track your browsing habits so they can make money. Furthermore, the way they hook themselves into your browser and operating system often causes more problems than it solves. Something that protects you against viruses but opens you up to other vectors of attack is not good security.

Just look at all the extra garbage Avast tries to install alongside its antivirus.

Windows Defender does not do any of these things—it does one thing well, for free, and without getting in your way. Plus, Windows 10 already includes the various other protections introduced in Windows 8, like the SmartScreen filter that should prevent you from downloading and running malware, whatever antivirus you use. Chrome and Firefox, similarly, include Google’s Safe Browsing, which blocks many malware downloads.

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