Windows Defender has a rocky history of being praised or despised.

This seemingly proven antivirus arouses fierce excitement like nothing else. But there are many antiviruses on the market, so what to choose to stay safe in 2023?

Microsoft Defender is a good antivirus software, especially since it has received many new updates in recent years. But can its features match the impressive arsenal of tools offered by other paid antiviruses? As you know, safety is an absolute priority.

So if you know you want to replace this program with something else or are wondering if free antivirus from Microsoft will prove itself – keep reading this article.

How good is Windows Defender?

Windows Defender offers comprehensive real-time protection, featuring defense for system settings, browser add-ons, downloads, programs, and drivers. Although it started as a valuable addition to Windows XP, it became an integral part of Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, and Windows 11.

Its significant pro is that it is entirely free and offers several essential tools to protect your computer with the system from Microsoft. In addition to real-time protection, Windows Defender guarantees parental control, a firewall, and high security when browsing online.

During various performance tests, its malware detection scored 98%, which is an excellent result for free software. It also allows manual scanning to help your computer defend itself from viruses at any time.

And that’s not all, because Microsoft has introduced several completely new features to the proven antivirus formula. Now, Windows Defender encourages you to check device performance and health, supports protection against phishing sites, and automatically downloads the necessary updates via Windows Update. Sounds perfect? Unfortunately, it turns out that in times of increased hacker attacks and online scams, such protection may not be enough.

Is Windows Security enough?

Windows Defender is a powerful free antivirus program and will be perfect for starting your computer for the first time. But it definitely won’t serve as standalone threat protection, so if this is your only antivirus – consider purchasing Defender alternatives. Its massive weakness is the irregularity of virus database updates.

Unlike retail antivirus programs, which can introduce several updates per day, Windows Defender does not update its databases as frequently. It means weak protection against increasingly frequent ransomware attacks and all new advanced viruses. It is a massive con because up-to-date virus databases are the fundamental basis for the antivirus programs’ proper operation.

Another problem with Windows Defender is the noticeable lack of additional security features during computer and Internet use. With paid antiviruses, extra tools like email protection, ad blocker, VPN, and website verification are standard.

Meanwhile, Windows Defender trusts the user, assuming he knows which websites pose a threat. It proves that its creators treat antivirus software rather poorly, focusing on developing other software and tools from Microsoft. Paid antivirus sellers are focused solely on getting better at providing the most solid protection to potential users of their innovative software.

Proven alternatives to Windows Defender

As you can see, Defender is just the foundation for protection against malware and online dangers. But that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to live with the constant stress of using your PC. Now you can buy many advanced antivirus programs at reasonable prices and enjoy the ultimate protection for your device right away.

So if you’re looking for a feature-rich antivirus with 24/7 customer support, consider Norton. In addition to the essential tools, this program offers a password manager, protection for several devices, and a fast VPN.

Bitdefender will also be a brilliant choice, delivering easy configuration of program settings for beginners. Bitdefender features advanced cloud scanning, an intuitive interface, and the protection of multiple devices simultaneously.

There is also something for those who want to save! The free Avira program can be a perfect addition to Windows Defender because it offers many additional tools but does not protect against ransomware. You can also choose Avira Prime and enjoy advanced and complete protection for your computer and safe browsing of everything the internet has to offer. What if none of these programs captured your heart?

Is it worth still using Windows Defender?

It is imperfect but Defender is still an integral part of Microsoft systems. It ensures active cooperation with other software and does not threaten hardware overload. It’s also free and self-updating, so you can be sure it’ll run smoothly forever.

So if your antivirus somehow fails or you forget to renew an antivirus subscription, for that brief moment, Defender will be your guarantee of basic computer security. Our ultimate verdict is – don’t get rid of it, but don’t rely solely on it either.