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Windows OS

Do You Need an Antivirus Software for Your Windows 10 OS?

Do you remember using windows 95, 98, Vista, XP, etc. — the previous versions of Windows 10? I do! And one of the biggest concerns, and also frustrations were antivirus softwares. For me, it was a love and hate type of situation.

I loved it for one reason only: A feeling that I have some kind of protection against viruses. And I hated it, for several reasons actually:

  1. Occupied a lot of space.
  2. Slowed my computer/laptop down.
  3. Didn’t even know if it was helping or not.
  4. Scanning the system would further slow down my system
  5. Somehow, I still got viruses. I’ve also heard rumors that antivirus softwares themselves — while installing them, would insert something on your computer, so when you scan your system, it will catch something. Continuing with rumors, it was said that this practice gave a sense of security to consumers because it makes them think that if they hadn’t used their “antivirus” software, their system would have been compromised.
  6. They would somehow recommend you installing other nonsense softwares that you might not even need. By default, the check-boxes would be ticked, so a user who is not that savvy, will end up installing those other applications as well — slowing their system even more!

Luckily, came windows 10 — and with it, its proprietary “Windows Security.”

Current State of Affairs

I bought my laptop (if I am not wrong), roughly in 2017. There is a way for you to check what year your laptop/computer is. Search for “system information.” Screenshot below for reference.

checking laptop year
The BIOS line item should give you an idea.

Moving on, when I was setting up my brand new laptop, Windows was recommending that I use my Norton or McAfee (I forgot which one) trial for 30 days. I believe that’s still the case even now.

And surely, I used it for 30 days, but I didn’t purchase the software. The question to ask here is this: If windows has its own protection enabled, why would they recommend installing other antivirus software? The answer to that is plain and simple: Contracts or agreements. I obviously don’t know the full details on how that works. Still, any reasonable person can determine that either the manufacturer, and or Microsoft, has some kind of agreement in place with these antivirus companies. So, at the end of the day, they’ll recommend you install their software!

Plus doing that comes with its own drawbacks, one of the primary ones, generally speaking, being that two antivirus softwares cannot work together/a.k.a are not compatible. The second one being that windows security will still be present, just sort of disabled, since you’ll have another anti-virus software running.

What Have I Been Using?

As you already know, I don’t use an antivirus software. For me, Windows Security is more than enough. A couple of reasons as to why I think that is:

  1. No one knows Windows better than Windows itself
  2. The Windows Security, I believe, is lightweight compared to what other antivirus softwares. Additionally, it does comes with tons of features like any other antivirus softwares come with. See screenshot below:
windows security features
Source of the screenshot: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4013263/windows-10-stay-protected-with-windows-security. Each Individual feature provides you with tons of customization options. This even includes ransomware protection.

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Is It Enough?

As much as I appreciate how far Windows has come with its Windows Security, I do believe in getting one extra layer of protection. Therefore, along with the default, I also happen to use Malwarebytes. It runs about $60 a year, but it’s totally worth it! The best part? It is compatible with Windows Security!

Moreover, they can both be run in the background, protecting you in real-time. Depending on how you install it, you may or may not need to enable a setting that allows Malwarebytes to run as soon as your device starts.

malwarebytes security settings
Make sure this runs during startup

What Are the Features of Malwarebytes?

malwarebytes features

In my opinion, Malwarebytes specializes in real-time protection, and while doing so, it doesn’t take up a lot of the resources. It does its thing in the background, like a ninja! Further, they also have “Browser Guard,” which I believe is free for everyone to use.

I can vouch for the effectiveness of “Browser Guard.” It blocks access to websites that may seem malicious, blocks unnecessary pop-ups, trackers (if you like not to be tracked), and ads. Again, emphasis being on real-time. I have tried several ad blockers before, this in my humble point of view, is the best, because it goes even further than merely blocking ads and trackers.

Conclusion

I happen to use the three below in cohesion:

  1. Windows’ default Windows Security
  2. Malwarebytes for my laptop
  3. “Browser Guard” for browsing.

Between these 3, I don’t need anything else. I have been happily browsing around, and pushing the limits for about 3 years now! And yes, in case you were wondering: They do have regular free updates, and you can manually perform in-depth scans for your device.

Expert Resources

  1. https://www.pcworld.com/article/3434097/why-you-can-stop-paying-for-antivirus-software.html
  2. https://www.techradar.com/reviews/malwarebytes