Today, Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender, a native, comprehensive antivirus solution already integrated into Windows 10’s settings. When Windows Defender first made its appearance as part of the Windows operating system back in 2007, however, it was basically just an anti-spyware tool and Windows users had to have a separate antivirus (AV) program to complete their protection. Since that time, Microsoft has steadily improved Defender so that it now offers more features and advanced malware detection methods.
What it offers
Windows Defender offers the standard protection against all forms of malware that most antivirus programs offer such as real-time protection, automatic updates, and an anti-virus scanner. In addition, it now also offers some special cybersecurity features and new technologies similar to those offered by some of the more powerful antivirus programs. These include the following:
- an integrated firewall that controls and automatically scans new files downloaded from the Internet
- phishing protection for Microsoft’s browsers, Microsoft Edge and Windows Explorer (and soon to be available for Chrome with the Windows browser protection extension)
- behavioral analysis malware-detection technology, which enables Defender to detect and block zero-day threats as well as existing threats
- cloud-sourced protection, which means that Windows Defender can submit data regarding malware found on your computer to the Microsoft Malware Protection Center and thus continually update and refine is protection capabilities
Not to be overlooked, as well, is the fact that by being included for free with Windows 10, Windows Defender has a greater degree of ease and convenience as compared to antivirus solutions that are downloaded separately.
But is it enough?
Just knowing what antivirus software comes with Windows 10 isn’t the only question to ask; the real question is whether Windows Defender is enough. In spite of the impressive strides Windows 10 has made in its antivirus solution, it still falls behind other solutions when it comes to stopping zero-day threats as well as serves up a lot of false positives, flagging many programs as threats when they aren’t.
Deciding whether Defender is enough protection really depends on your Internet activity, what you will be using your system for, and your security expectations. If, for example, you feel you need a password manager, camera and microphone protection, and the ability to protect more than one device, then you’ll likely want an additional antivirus solution to cover all your needs. Ultimately, for the most robust antivirus protection, it’s best to rely on more than one AV solution.