Windows Defender vs Avast: Which One Is Best For Me?

Windows Devender vs Avast antivirus solutions

With the rise of threats to security, every PC user needs to save their Windows from Viruses and Malware. Having a good antivirus solution is of paramount importance to scan and remove viruses from your system and protect your data and privacy from Hackers and Attackers.

The Windows Defender is an in-built application to protect the users from viruses and malware in Windows OS. So, going for another antivirus seems like a wasteful idea. However, many experts suggest that it is good to get other antivirus software and not rely on Windows Defender to make your systems more secure. 

Avast antivirus seems like a good solution. And it performs well as a competitor to Windows Defender. However, making a wise choice between these two antivirus solutions seems a bit difficult.  

While making a good choice for antivirus solutions, we advise that you, as a user, understand your requirements. Both Windows Defender and Avast are reasonable antivirus solutions. Thus, a good understanding of their respective features, advantages, and disadvantages, along with your own requirements, will help you make the right choice. 

Windows Defender

Windows Defender

Windows Defender (also called Microsoft Defender) comes preinstalled in the Windows operating system as anti-malware software. It was launched on October 24, 2006, as a free antivirus for Windows XP. 

Later, it evolved into a comprehensive antivirus program replacing the Microsoft Security Essentials in the subsequent versions of Windows like Windows 10.   

Windows Defender provides real-time threat protection against viruses and other malware attacks. As a background running process, it provides you with the security of a basic level against intrusions, network attacks, and other harmful actors that harm your device.

Windows Defender cannot be removed or uninstalled from your computer. However, it will turn off and become passive in case you install an external antivirus product.  

Features of Windows Defender. 

  • Provides a good level of protection from viruses and threats
  • Protects the user accounts of Windows users
  • Helps in the control of apps and browsers
  • Provides the function of network protection and firewall
  • Provides device security measures to safeguard your device. 
  • Checks the health and performance of your device
  • Provides family options and parental controls for a secure digital family experience. 

Along with its features, it would help if you understand the pros and cons of Windows Defender.

Advantages of Windows Defender: 

  1. It is entirely free. As an inbuilt software for Microsoft Windows operating system, Windows Defender’s most prominent advantage over other antivirus software is that it comes at no cost at all. You do not need to spend a single amount of money to get this antivirus protection software. 
  2. It has an automatic update feature. This means that Windows Defender has a centralized control process for any updates where the updates happen automatically, and you do not need to restart your device after the updates. 
  3. The firewall of Windows Defender is excellent. The Windows Defender firewall helps keep your device safe from malware attacks and keeps a close watch on all network connections while restricting any unauthorized entry through your network. 
  4. Windows Defender has a feature called “Find My Device.” This feature is very advantageous as not only it helps you track your device in the case of it being lost, but it also helps you lock access or remove your sensitive data in case your device got stolen. 
  5. It consumes fewer system resources. As a built-in feature, Microsoft has made Windows defender consume much fewer system resources, thus keeping it from making your device run slower. 
  6. It has a user-friendly interface. You do not need to set it up manually, as it is automatically set up on your Windows system. Moreover, you can navigate through its features quite easily. 

Along with its advantages, there are also several disadvantages of Windows Defender. 

Disadvantages of Windows Defender

  1. It has a narrow malware detection scope. Windows Defender cannot provide a strong enough protection against the ever-increasing and ever-advancing ransomware attacks. Although Microsoft has continually upgraded the features of Windows Defender, compared to other third-party antivirus solutions, it is still considered weak against advanced malware. 
  2. Users cannot get the details of past scans. This drawback makes Windows Defender face a much more significant disadvantage than other antivirus applications. Users cannot identify which threats have been previously detected and removed by Windows Defender and cannot come up with any plans to solve the future threats. 
  3. Windows Defender does not have the customization option. It has far less variety compared to other solutions. Hence, you cannot customize the software to suit your particular needs. E.g., if you want to have all-around protection or any specific protection option for a single application, it is not possible in Windows Defender. 
  4. Windows Defender has a slower scanning speed than its other competitors. Although it can still scan for the viruses comparatively fast, however, compared to other antivirus solutions, it lags far behind. 

Avast

Avast antivirus

Avast is an antivirus solution developed by Avast Software and is available for Operating systems like Windows, Android, and macOS.

Avast has various antivirus software solutions that are available for free as well as paid. This antivirus solution comes with a considerable range of features. So, it can compete (and in some cases win) a comparison between the different antivirus solutions available on the market. 

Apart from its free antivirus solution, Avast has various premium solutions for your device’s malware protection and data security. Let us look at the different features of the various Avast antivirus solutions. 

Avast free antivirus

The free version of Avast antivirus has the following features. 

  • Real-time detection of viruses, malware, and threats. 
  • Scan for network security breaches and find and remove any intrusions. 
  • Extra- ransomware security layer to protect your data and information from ransomware attacks and hackings.
  • Sandbox environment to provide a secure environment for running internet apps on the device system.  

This software version is free of use, and it has limited features compared to some of the other paid versions of Avast antivirus solutions.  

Avast Premium Security (for a single device)

The Avast Premium Security contains all the features of the Avast free antivirus solution along with some other features such as: 

  • Feature to filter out scamming and malicious e-commerce websites and safeguard your information. 
  • Advanced firewall feature to prevent hackers from accessing your device
  • Feature to stop webcam spying where others can spy on you through your webcam. 
  • Permanent deleting of sensitive files to prevent loss of sensitive information. 
  • Feature to automatically update your other applications to reduce security risks. 

The price for this version of Avast antivirus is US$ 69.99 per year

Avast Premium Security (for multiple devices)

This version of the Avast antivirus solution has the same features as Avast Premium Security for a single device. 

However, one additional key feature of this version is that it can be used by up to 10 devices like the PC, Android, macOS, iPad, etc. 

This version of Avast antivirus costs US$ 89.99 per year

Avast Ultimate

The Avast Ultimate has all the features of Avast Premium Security except for the one where you can install it on multiple devices. Moreover, it also has some additional features, such as: 

  • Password Managers to help manage your passwords. 
  • A VPN service to help you access internet content from any geographical location. 
  • An advanced cleanup option that helps you clean all your junk, trash, and spam files. 

The Avast Ultimate costs US$ 99.99 per year

Advantages and disadvantages of Avast antivirus software

The advantages of the Avast antivirus solution are: 

  1. It has a free version of the antivirus software for users to enjoy. Even though the free version has limited features, it is still one of the best anti-malware solutions out there. 
  2. Avast antivirus software ranks high in terms of its user-friendliness. Compared with other third-party solutions, Avast has a pretty good user experience. 
  3. The antivirus software package offers a wide range of protection against security threats like malware, ransomware, and other intrusions. You can also customize the solution for a specific purpose. 
  4. Avast has multiple levels of scanning. It has multiple scanners that help the software scan for viruses and other threats consistently.
  5. Avast also has an Internet Security Package where your device is kept secure from any threats from the internet. 

The disadvantages of Avast are: 

  1. It has a low virus detection rate. Mainly, the free version of the Avast antivirus solution cannot detect many threats compared to other third-party applications. 
  2. Constant requests for upgrades. Avast constantly displays pop-ups to its users with its request for software updates. These constant pop-ups become a major annoyance for many of its users. 
  3. The free Avast version gives very little protection. It only gives you a primary level of shield to protect your device from any harmful actors. For better protection, you need to upgrade to the paid version. 
  4. Avast has been found selling its consumer data for seven years through its subsidiary called Jumpshot. So, it has had a bad reputation in the industry. 

Comparison between Windows Defender and Avast Free

As Windows Defender is completely free software, it would be unwise to compare it with a premium version of the Avast antivirus solution. A better comparison would be when we compare it with the free version of Avast. 

So, the table below shows a neck-to-neck comparison between the Windows Defender and Avast free in different points of contention. 

Point of ContentionWindows DefenderAvast FreeWinner

1. Features


Consists of all the basic features required to protect your device from threats.Contains all the required features for a basic level of threat protection.Tie
2. Malware ProtectionAs per the real-world protection test data from AV-Comparatives, Windows Defender proved one of the best solutions for malware protectionThe same test by AV-Comparatives also gave the highest award to Avast for malware protectionTie
3. System PerformanceImpacts the performance of the system and makes the system slow compared to Avast.The impact on system performance is very less and does not make the system run slowerAvast Free
4. User-friendlinessIs user-friendly, but not as much as the Avast free.Is much more user-friendly than Windows Defender.Avast Free
5. AdsNo ads or pop-up requests for upgradesConstant ads and pop-up requests for upgrades.Windows Defender
6. CompatibilityOnly available for  Windows OSIs available for Windows MacOS, Android, etc.Avast Free
7. Email and Wi-fi protectionEmail protection is offered only for Microsoft services like Outlook. 
No Wi-fi protection
Email protection is available for all email clients  Provides Wi-fi protectionAvast free
8. InstallationIs installed automatically and ready to use just as Windows is installed.Needs to be installed manually by following the installation processWindows Defender.

From the table, we can see that Avast Free has an advantage over Windows Defender. Moreover, if you get the Avast premium solutions, it will have an even bigger edge over the Windows Defender as the paid version will consist of many advanced features. 

One of the main factors for choosing a good antivirus solution is having the answer “how much does the software help me protect against malware?” In this regard though, both Avast free and Windows defender perform well. 

But if we consider the overall protection and customization issues, the Avast is the better option. 

You do not need Windows Defender if you already have Avast installed. However, you may need Avast if you have Windows Defender

Which one is best for you?

Although we have seen that comparing Windows Defender and Avast head to head resulted in the win of Avast antivirus, it may not necessarily be the best choice for you. 

There is no absolute answer for which solution (Avast or Windows Defender) is the best for you. 

The best possible choice for you depends on your circumstances and what you desire for protection. So, it is necessary that you consider the following cases seriously before making a choice. 

  • Do you want to spend money to have a good antivirus solution? If your answer is ‘yes, then go for Avast. However, if you want to use suitable antivirus software without paying a single penny, Windows Defender is the best choice. 
  • Do you have any highly sensitive information on your device that needs protection? If your answer is yes, then choosing the paid version of the Avast antivirus solution is best. 
  • Are you spending a considerable amount of your time on internet browsing? If so, then Avast is a better choice and is advisable as the better antivirus solution. 
  • Are you constantly annoyed by antivirus advertisements and upgrade pop-ups? Then, you can either opt for Windows Defender or a paid version of Avast antivirus. 
  • Do you want your antivirus solution to run on multiple platforms? As Windows Defender only runs on Windows OS, Avast is the obvious choice for you in this scenario.  

All in all, it depends on your current device status as well as financial status while choosing the best one among the Windows Defender and Avast. 

Also read: How to Detect Spyware on iPhone.

Conclusion

In summary, this article presents you with a comparison of Windows Defender and Avast antivirus solutions. We have discussed each of their features along with their advantages and disadvantages. 

We have also compared the Windows Defender against the Avast Free antivirus. In the end, we have presented you with various scenarios with which you can relate and make the best choice for your device security.

Hope this article is helpful to you in making the right choice between these two antivirus solutions. And, for any queries, comments, or suggestions, you can put them in the comment section below. 

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