Does Avast Have an Edge Over Windows Defender?

With the proliferation of malware and viruses that pose security threats to computer systems, developers offered a solution in the form of antivirus and anti-malware programs. A myriad of free antivirus software is available for download which offers the same basic protection but with slight differences. Two of the most popular options are Windows Defender and Avast. However, you cannot have both versions running on your computer. So, if you are undecided on which one to choose, it helps to learn more about each one.

Windows Defender is a built-in antivirus and antispyware that comes with Windows 8, 8.1 and 10. It offers protection and scans for malicious software and it provides optional real-time protection. It also offers browser integration which means that does not support non-Microsoft browsers. On the other hand, Avast is free antivirus software that offers basic protection and it also has a paid version that is capable of full protection.

Windows Defender vs. Avast


Windows Defender scans your computer system on the background and tracks down spyware, among others but the upgraded version offers something more. Its home screen gives an overview of the protection status, including when your system was last scanned.  It also offers quick scans for viruses and malware. Moreover, it comes with a scan mode with advanced options that you can perform offline. For usability, it garnered at high score of 5.5/6.0 as performed by a security company that tests antivirus software. It also does not offer products unlike, other third-party antivirus software.

Avast, on the other hand, is free software that does not require registration. Other key features include the ability to create a bootable rescue disk and supports Windows XP and later versions, including Windows 10. It also notifies you via a status screen if your system is protected or not. The Online Security plugin designed with it scans for malicious websites and block ad-trackers. It also has a free SafeZone sandboxed browser that prevents attacks against data-stealing software for your web transactions. On top of these features is a built-in password manager. Additional features include an email alert, in case malware is detected, silent mode for pop-ups and game detection for uninterrupted play. But since Avast is third-party free antivirus software, it has advertisements.

Results on Performance and Protection

According to the tests conducted by two companies that rate antivirus software, Windows Defender has a high score for usability. But in providing protection and its performance, it was rated as average. Avast also underwent the same tests but got a better score. For its ability to provide protection, it was given perfect score since it was able to detect malware at 100%. Consequently, it was considered as the best antivirus software, for being able to track down 87% of malware during the test and for being 92% accurate.

With the tests conducted, Avast was favored over its counterpart but for basic protection, both are capable of providing it. But still, there are other Windows free antivirus choices out there. If you are using Windows 10, however, either of these two will do. But if you decide to go for Avast, you have to remove Windows Defender.

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