Do I Need Antivirus Software If I Have Windows Defender

Microsoft’s Windows Defender is believed to be on par with many paid security solutions in fighting against virus, malware and other threats. Therefore, many computer users are asking this question to computer security experts that do they really need to spend money on an antivirus product now that they can get reliable antivirus protection for free. Are you thinking that do I need antivirus if I have Windows Defender? Then, keep reading because after reading this article you will get the answer of this question.

Windows defender Win 10

Comparing Windows Defender with other security solutions

The credibility of Windows Defender in protecting your computer can’t be determined in isolation. You will have to judge this application by comparing its performance with other reputed antivirus programs and then only you can decide on its usefulness.

The two most reliable websites that compare antivirus programs on a regular basis are: AV Test and AV Comparative. The tests we are sharing below are the most recent ones available whose results clearly show the performance of Windows Defender as compared to other antivirus solutions.

AV Test

This testing website rates various antivirus on three criteria: protection, performance and usability. These three criteria are rated in a scale of 0 to 6. The results we are showing in the picture below are for June 2020 tests.

AV Test results

In June 2020, Windows Defender is showing a score of 6 in all the three factors. This high level of performance is only matched by some other highly reputed antivirus programs, such as AhnLab, Bull Guard, F-Secure, Kaspersky, McAfee, Norton Life Lock and Trend Micro. All the other programs that got the same ratings as that of Windows Defender are paid programs and none of the free antivirus programs were able to match the performance delivered by Windows Defender.

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Therefore, it’s clear from the AV Test that Windows Defender delivers really good performance in protecting a computer against virus and other threats. The test results shared above are for home users and not business users.

AV Comparatives

This website uses automated tests that surf the web to find out malicious websites and URLs in an effort to recreate an environment which most home users encounter in their daily computer usage. The test results we are sharing from this website are of the February – May 2020 test period. You can see the results in the image below.

AV Comparative results

As you can see in the results that the performance of Windows Defender in fighting malware is really impressive. The best performance is delivered by Norton Life Lock and Trend Micro, both these programs ensured that zero malware could compromise the security of the computer. However, Windows Defender was not much behind. The level of compromise seen in Windows Defender is on par with other paid programs like Kaspersky and is much better than McAfee, Total AV, etc.

Therefore, it’s clearly evident from AV Comparative tests that Windows Defender is good in fighting malware attacks. The above tests are for Home consumers and not Enterprise users.

Should you opt for paid antivirus programs?

Computer experts tend to believe that installing multiple antivirus programs on a computer is not a good idea as it may create conflicts among these programs. However, Windows Defender gives you an option to install another anti-malware program on your computer, while allowing Defender to run periodic security checks.

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Now, most users will ask why should they install a paid antivirus when Windows Defender can do the needful, even if, there is an option to install two antivirus programs simultaneously? The answer to this question is that most leading antivirus solutions have moved beyond providing protection from virus, malware and other threats. These packages are offering high-end security features like VPN protection, file encryption, online vaults for passwords, synchronization and storage of files, file shredding for confidential files, parental control and many other features.

In present times, the realm of computer security has dramatically changed with the changing habits of computer users. It’s no longer only about protecting your computer from external attacks, now a days, a lot of sensitive information flows out of your computer that needs additional layer of security. This is where advanced security solutions offer value for their price.


Answer to the question, do I need antivirus software if I have Windows Defender, is clear. We have proven with most recent test results that Windows Defender is a reliable antivirus program that offers high level of security, which is on par with any other paid antivirus program. However, Windows Defender only offers basic protection, which is inadequate in the present times of increasing ecommerce, cloud storage and other online activities. Therefore, if you want to protect your privacy on the internet, expect total security of your confidential and sensitive data, then that convenience comes with a price. It’s up to you whether you want to pay that price or not.

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