Perhaps you’ve recently bought a new device that has been pre-installed with the Windows 10 operating system. Or maybe you’ve recently decided to make the upgrade. You may even just be trying to decide whether Windows 10 could be the right choice for you. In any of these cases, you’re probably wondering whether or not investing in antivirus software is really worth it.
Technically, there should be no need for Windows 10 users to download a separate antivirus program. After all, Windows Defender has already been built into this operating system. This is already a legitimate protection plan to guard against security threats and viruses. However, it isn’t always that simple to make a decision, so here you can read more about whether or not Defender is up to the task in hand.
Comparing Windows Defender With Other AV Options
More of us than ever before understand the importance of cybersecurity and look for tips about how to make their devices more secure. Yet, there is still some confusion about the quality of AV software. Not all antivirus programs offer the same level of protection, and so users of Windows 10 must look carefully at studies that compare Defender with other options to see where it falls down on effectiveness.
The AV Comparatives study has revealed that Windows Defender is falling behind when compared with other AV software providers in terms of performance, usability, and protection. It also lacks some of the most popular consumer-friendly features like an inbuilt VPN or password manager.
Falling Behind With Overall Protection
All AV software requires a strong protection rating, and spotting and eliminating threats is the main consideration. It’s therefore important to choose your antivirus program based on whether it is capable of defending against emerging and growing threats. Defender’s rating for overall protection comes in at 99.5% in studies – behind no less than 7 other software providers.
Most importantly, Defender also falls behind other types of AV software when it comes to preventing malware zero-day attacks. These happen on the day that the vulnerability is spotted by developers, and they’re a growing problem. Defender has been shown to be only 97.0% effective, and this is 2.5% below the industry average.
Defender’s Usability Issues
All types of antivirus software will impact the way a device can be used since it will scan all the files, software, and websites the system interacts with. Consumers, therefore, want their AV software to offer maximum protection with minimal interference, and unfortunately, Defender fails on this account.
Defender also has quite a high rate of false positives when compared to other major AV software packages. When AV software scans websites and files for possible threats, some will be mistakenly flagged as dangerous. These are known as false positives and they can be irritating since they block the user’s access to sites or prevent legitimate software from being installed. In short, these issues slow users down and can be distracting. Defender has a particular problem with flagging up legitimate software as malware. Yet, if users lower the program’s protection settings, they risk making their device more vulnerable should a real malware attack take place.
Defender And Its Performance
Of course, every AV program will slow a device down a little. Computer power is necessary to scan the information that runs through the processor. However, an inefficient or bulky AV package means slower loading websites and sluggish launching of software. Defender has been shown to score below the industry average when it comes to standard launches of software applications, with a performance score of 4.5 out of 6.0. As a result, programs run more slowly when using the device.
Leaving Computers Vulnerable
There will always be some users who extol the virtues of Windows Defender. They say that it is supplied as standard with the Windows 10 user system software. Therefore, there is no need to download additional software and install it onto the device. Yet, while pre-installed software is certainly convenient when it comes to usability, it can also leave the computer more likely to be attacked.
Defender is often made a top target by cyberthieves since it works in the same way on every computer. If there is a single standard way of doing things, it is simpler to predict then circumvent, and Defender isn’t any exception to this. Hackers simply ensure they have designed malware that is capable of avoiding Defender’s own basic detection systems and that can take advantage of the program’s inherent vulnerabilities. Meanwhile, other less standard AV software takes a more unique approach to detecting and eliminating viruses, and this makes it hard to predict their behavior.
It’s clear that optimal protection is, therefore, necessary for devices at home and in the workplace. Although some users will always think Defender will be a viable option to suit their needs, they are compromising on effectiveness for the sake of convenience. This could have serious financial and personal costs.