In today’s world of advancing technology and cyber security, do you still need antivirus software? If so, are the included tools in Windows enough to protect your computer?

As with many questions involving technology, there’s no one straight answer. The answer is often a matter of opinion, so different sources will also give you different answers. However, it’s 2017 and while security has improved there’s a lot more to worry about than just viruses. Most of the infections distributed across the internet today are actually considered to be Malware, but the term virus stuck so we continue to use it. In addition to viruses and malware, there’s also things like ransomware, spyware, and PUPs.

Ransomware is an infection that encrypts the files on your computer and then essentially holds them hostage and makes you pay to retrieve them. If you don’t pay, the ransomware will delete all of your pictures, documents, and files.

PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) are programs or software that is often bundled in a download with other software. Think toolbars, browser add-ons, weather apps, changing your default search engine, etc. You can find PUPs most commonly in free software downloads (even free antiviruses often include PUPs!). Many free software makers have to find a way to recoup the money they’ve spent developing and supporting their software, and sometimes they will partner with other companies that are looking to increase the reach of their software. Companies will pay other companies to include their software in each other’s downloads and this results in you having unwanted programs installed on your computer. PUPs are also the reason we don’t recommend using free antivirus because the vast majority of them included PUPs.

So, in short our answer is yes. We believe with all the threats out there and all the new ones being developed every day, antivirus/antimalware software is absolutely necessary. Even if you consider yourself to be more fluent with technology, there are still many threats can find their way on to your computer. Recently, a very well trusted computer maintenance program (CCleaner) that is used by many IT professionals was found to have malware hidden in some of its software downloads. So, even software that is well known and trusted could be hiding malicious software that you would never know was there by downloading it.

 

Is windows defender enough?

We won’t go in to detail about this because a very well trusted blog, tom’s guide, already did an excellent article on this of which the answer can be summed up by its title “Is Windows Defender Good Enough? Not Yet“.

 

So which antivirus should you choose?

While we believe there are several good paid antivirus options out there, we recommend Malwarebytes above all others. We believe running Malwarebytes premium along side Windows Defender is the best combination out there. Malwarebytes premium is competitive with other paid antivirus/antimalware software running just $39.99/year. You can buy Malwarebytes from their website directly or buy it from us for a discount off the retail price. Just visit our Antivirus page and click “ADD TO CART”, then select the number of licenses you want at checkout (1 license per computer), then enter coupon code “BestCombo” for a 10% discount. You’ll receive an email within 24 hours with download instructions for Malwarebytes and your license code.