What Antivirus Should You Install on Your Windows?
If you are running Windows 10, Windows Defender is built-in and runs out of the box to protect your PC, but it may not be the best choice for you. It matters not what you use your PC for, you do need anti-virus software on it, irrespective of how careful you are. But it isn’t enough on its own. It must be teamed up with anti-malware software to be anywhere near effective. So, what do you need and how much will it cost? Let’s start with the anti-virus software.
Windows Defender – Is It Worth it?
This comes as standard with Windows 10 and it will scan your open programs automatically. It is updated with virus definitions every time a Windows update is done, and you can run in-depth scans when you want to. It does not interfere with your system and pretty much stays away until it is needed.
It is a decent solution as long as you add a malware software to it. And it is free. A recent test found that it caught 99.9% of prevalent malware and 98.8% of zero-day attacks.
Security is about far more than protection scores though. You may find that other softwares score better some months than Defender, but they may also be packed with bloatware – browser extensions that are not safe, registry cleaners that don’t work, junkware, etc.
Windows Defender is clean, and it doesn’t get in your way. But, if you really don’t want to use it, there are others, such as Avira. This has a free and a paid version, works the same as Defender but does have the odd popup ad and you may find that a browser extension is installed, although you can delete this.
There are plenty to choose from, but you do need to do your homework well and make sure you are downloading genuine anti-virus software.
What About the Malware?
As well as anti-virus, you need anti-malware and the best has to be Malwarebytes. This will protect your system, your web browser and any plugins you may have. Malwarebytes is one of the best at detecting unwanted programs, malware, adware and all sorts of other undesirable stuff as well as blocking exploits in programs. It has an anti-ransomware feature that blocks extortion attacks and, provided you are prepared to pay for the Pro version, you get real-time protection thrown in as well.
It cannot replace anti-virus though some may claim that it does. Anti-malware software stops the harmful software getting on to your computer while anti-virus software blocks any that makes it through. Neither interferes with any other processes on your computer and both are worth installing
A good antivirus combined with a good anti-malware will protect your system from pretty much all threats provided you keep them up to date and follow good practices. Don’t download dodgy software, don’t open unknown email attachments and always keep your system completely up to date. System and application updates are issued for a reason – use them.