What’s the Best Antivirus for Windows 10? (Is Windows Defender Good Enough?)
An article that recommends Malwarebytes. Who here doesn't like it?
The Windows OS now comes bundled with the built-in "Defender" - which seems to comprise 3 integrated but separate components:
- UAC (User Access Control)
- a firewall
- an AV (Anti-Virus) app.
The AV is/was an apparently highly-regarded commercial Microsoft product previously released under the name of MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials) for $FREE, for domestic and (if I recall correctly) SMBs (Small-to-Medium Businesses).
The engine in MSE is/was used by businesses and banks because it was apparently very good - or so I was told by a network systems engineer in a Kiwi bank. I wrote a review of MSE on the DC forum, starting after MSE was first released for $FREE, and following it up in ad-hoc fashion as the product evolved. It was and continues to be an excellent product, actively developed and supported by Microsoft, and has clearly become an integral part of their Windows OS today.
The McAfee/Norton/Symantec/whatever branded virus tools that come bundled as "FREE" apps with Windows on new OEM PCs seem to be largely targeted at the domestic/single-user market, and typically seem to start nagging for annual subscription payments after the first year, or something. Most consumers likely regard them as useful/necessary, not realising that they are actually redundant at the outset.
I noticed (and I think I have commented elsewhere about this on this forum) that Norton/Symantec aggressively even inhibited the start-up and/or installation of Defender (virus checker) and Malwarebytes in Win8/10, and so had to be expunged with prejudice before one could install/run them cleanly. I consider this cuckoo-like behaviour against competitive products on the customer's own ruddy PC
to be a predatory and unethical commercial practice, and I would argue that such AV vendors should be shunned for engaging in such sharp practice.
I have also written a review of MBAM (Malwarebytes Anti-Malware) on DC forum and followed it up in ad-hoc fashion as the product evolved. For the reasons given in the review thread, MBAM seems to be an excellent product - but that is for the $PAID version.
What I would point out is that:
- (a) MSE ($FREE in Defender) is a very good AV app (QED) and
- (b) MBAM ($PAID) as a very good AM (Anti-Malware) app, and
- (c) that the two things do not perform the same function, though they can at times seem to overlap in functionality - e.g., when it comes to detecting some PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs).
So, what this would seem to indicate is that the Windows OS has an excellent $FREE AV app (or at least, the cost is included in the OS cost) within Defender, and thus making use of other AV apps as an alternative could possibly be a WOT (Waste Of Time) - as they could be inferior, not necessarily any better, and certainly redundant and also would probably be NOT $FREE. So most informed users would probably not need to consider using them, except perhaps as (say) an academic exercise or a suck-it-and-see trial (as I tend to do).
However, MBAM has a lot going for it on its own - as an AM app to augment the defense of the system security, regardless of whichever AV app one uses.
MBAM can mitigate risks that might not necessarily be caught/treated by the AV app, and can also be used (by design) to clean up PC's hard drives that have already
been infected with a PUP/Hijack/virus or general malware, and it (the $PAID version) also has a very handy and effective real-time monitoring tool of user web-browsing activity. For most users, web-browsing, file downloads and reading of online email could potentially provide the most likely channels for a PC to become infected with a virus or other malware. MBAM can fill an important security gap here, and this could make MBAM valuable - if not essential - for that reason, in these malware-abundant times.
For example, having used MBAM with a vengeance and having experienced some of its capabilities whilst cleaning up other people's malware-infested PCs, I reckon my children's online browsing and game-playing is certainly that much more secure because of MBAM.
The reason why I use MSE and MBAM together is that they complement each other, overlap to a limited extent, and both have a precautionary approach - better-safe-than-sorry. Using them both together, nothing seems to have fallen between the cracks so far, over several years and several PCs.