The version of Windows Defender that came with Windows 10's release in 2015 used to be considered terrible due to its inability to detect malware and unwanted software, but over the years, Microsoft has made some welcome changes that improved their antivirus and gave users convincing reasons to opt out of third-party antiviruses.
Paying for a third-party antivirus seems excessive given that Windows already offers an in-built one, but users may not be certain if it's good enough to carry out all the protection by itself. On the flip side, a third-party antivirus usually takes up more RAM and CPU usage in the background, but Windows Defender works efficiently.
Windows Defender has improved enough to be your only antivirus
There are many options for antivirus software in the market, such as Norton Security, McAfee, BitDefender, and Kaspersky, that offer a lot of additional features such as password management, file shredder, Wi-Fi network scanner, webcam protection, parental controls, VPN, online storage, and more.
These are great choices for users who are looking to be completely protected from online attacks and who need a ton of features from a single application. The companies do offer a trial period, but users will have to pay up to $99 for a year's subscription after the trial period ends.
On the other hand, Windows Defender is quite barebones and does not offer any of the additional features listed above. It offers run-of-the-mill threat protection that keeps all sorts of unwanted files out of the system. Because of its cloud-delivered protection, the software also keeps up with the latest types of viruses on the internet and can provide effective and fast protection.
Microsoft's antivirus has turned its reputation around over the years. It has since become one of the highest-rated software and received a 6/6 score in the May-June 2022 A-V test report, which analyzes the performance of IT security products. This makes Windows Defender the best free anti-virus on the market.
If you are looking for software that combines a wide range of sophisticated features and keeps your device healthy without much effort, going for a paid third-party software may be the best option, even if it puts a dent in your wallet. However, such software usually takes up a good chunk of your RAM and CPU usage, slowing down other applications and affecting in-game performance.
However, if you don't want to put effort into finding and installing anti-virus software, Windows Defender is a great choice that is already built-in. It will carry out timed PC scans, keep your PC clean of any unwanted files, and delete any suspicious software. Although it does not have the best features, it will provide sufficient protection for a computer and won't take up too much RAM and CPU while it runs in the background.