Do you need an antivirus in 2021

The security of a personal computer is constantly threatened. In recent years, miner viruses and encryption programs have been added to classic viruses and Trojans. But protections are improving, and modern Windows offers built-in protection. For which, by the way, you do not have to pay separately. Will it be enough to protect against all threats in 2021? Or is your PC better than classic antiviruses anyway?

What is Windows Defender
Even ten years ago, it was impossible to work safely on a personal computer without antivirus. One random flash drive or optical disc of dubious origin – and your computer turned into a breeding ground for annoying Trojans. Some viruses hid folders and created shortcuts, others limited the user’s rights and did not allow, for example, to start the task manager. There were also more terrible viruses – for example, those that overwrote user files. Antiviruses were the salvation from these misfortunes. However, already in the “noughties” Microsoft started developing its own built-in Windows software to protect against malicious software. This is how Windows Defender, or Windows Defender, was born.

The distribution of this software product began in 2006, together with Windows Vista – Defender was already included in the distribution of the operating system. For Windows XP, the program could be installed independently. At the time of its release, it provided only basic protection functions, and was more an anti-spyware than a full-fledged antivirus.

In 2009, following the release of Windows 7, Microsoft introduced a successor to Defender called Microsoft Security Essentials. This product became a full-fledged antivirus – but was no longer included in the operating system by default. It had to be installed separately. When installed, the program replaced Windows Defender and worked in the same way at the system level. As a result, Security Essentials consumed a minimum amount of system resources. At the same time, the program was not perfect, but it coped well enough with viruses and had a simple interface. Most importantly, it did not require a purchase – it was enough to have only an active Windows license to work.

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In 2012, with the release of Windows 8, Microsoft combined the capabilities of the old Windows Defender with Security Essentials, introducing the new Windows Defender – now a real antivirus that has incorporated the functions of both predecessors and changed the interface. The program is built into the operating system and does not require a separate installation. In a slightly modified form, it reached the current Windows 10, along the way, improving the efficiency of threat recognition. Today the program is familiar to almost every user of the operating system.

Pros of built-in protection

Defender does its job quite well – and for many users it has become an alternative to antivirus. This is by no means an irresponsible approach to security. PC The built-in Defender has many advantages.

Defender protection is sufficient for the average PC user
If you use your computer mainly to access trusted sites and do not follow suspicious links, basic protection is more than enough for you. It is likely that you don’t really need all the advanced features of modern antiviruses. Trojans and viruses Defender recognizes and removes without problems.

Less use of system resources
Modern Defender inherits minimal resource consumption from Security Essentials. The program is optimized for Windows as much as possible. This difference is especially striking compared to such heavyweights as Kaspersky. For not very powerful computers, Defender protection is one of the best options. It has little or no effect on system performance.

Defender does not require a separate board
Defender is free for licensed Windows users. Third party antiviruses require a purchase and license renewal every year. For an inexperienced user, the choice of protection becomes obvious – if you don’t see the difference, why pay more?

Is a standalone antivirus better?

Despite improvements in Windows built-in virus protection, third-party antiviruses are not going to leave the market and are still very popular. Avast, Bitdefender, McAfee, Norton, ESET, Kaspersky are just the most famous of the many existing antiviruses. Why is third-party protection better than built-in protection?

Third-party antiviruses are better at dealing with threats
Professional antiviruses combine more components for threat analysis and detection. In general, third-party antiviruses provide better protection. They detect and remove rare types of threats more effectively than Windows Defender.

Built-in firewall
Many third-party antiviruses come with a built-in firewall. It allows you to control unwanted traffic and protects against network threats. Defender does not have this component, and Windows Firewall is poorly suited to the role of a full-fledged firewall.

Customization flexibility
Third-party antivirus software is more configurable than a Microsoft product. You can easily configure protection in connection with your goals and wishes. Or even disable some specific part of it altogether – heuristics, detection of adware or unwanted software, anti-spyware or firewall. Defender allows you to disable only a small part of the functions. In addition, in some cases it turns out to be too aggressive towards hacked or adware.

It will also not work to completely suspend the protection of the “Defender”. The built-in Defender can be disabled through the program itself, but only for a short time – which cannot be considered a complete shutdown. Previously, you could completely disable the program through the registry. But a year and a half ago, Microsoft deprived users of this opportunity, and now disabling is available only through group policies, and is highly discouraged for inexperienced users. If you are still going to do this, then remember – at your own peril and risk.

Other antiviruses are devoid of such drawbacks. They give the user a lot more freedom.

After Windows Defender entered the market, third-party antiviruses moved up, giving it a place, but they are not going to completely go anywhere. And all because these programs still have different target audiences. Defender is sufficient for most modern PC users. However, for those who want better protection and more control over it, third-party antiviruses are essential. Moreover, the choice is great, and each has its own advantages. ESET, for example, consumes a small amount of resources and is comparable in this characteristic with Defender, Kaspersky has a Free version, free for residents of Russia and some other countries.

So you can always choose protection to your liking. The main thing is not to be completely unprotected. Users who claim they have no problems without any antivirus are making a survivor’s mistake. Problems can appear at the most inopportune moment and deprive you of important files and the operability of the operating system. Protect your PC from viruses and do not let it “hurt” – after all, the disease is easier to prevent than to cure.