Do You Need an Antivirus Program for Windows 8

One feature of Windows 8 that many PC consumers may appreciate is the additional efforts that Microsoft has made to incorporate built-in antivirus and anti malware protection. This isn’t a new feature that wasn’t around in Windows XP, Vista or 7, but Windows 8’s updated Defender software has taken some hints from Microsoft’s successful Security Essentials offering.

security essentials

In Windows 7, I used Microsoft Security Essentials, as it is a fairly decent antivirus program and it’s offered for free, with no yearly subscription charges. However, upon doing an in-place upgrade to Windows 8, I noticed that Security Essentials must first be uninstalled, as it wasn’t eligible for Windows 8 migration.

Upon doing a bit more research, I quickly learned that Windows 8 comes equipped with an updated version of Windows Defender, which is very similar to Security Essentials anyways…

windows defender

Notice the similar interface from Windows 7 Security Essentials (download) to Windows 8’s built-in Windows Defender program. With that noted, many consumers who will be updating to Windows 8 in the next month may ask, does Windows 8 need an antivirus program?

The simple answer is no. Windows 8’s built-in and updated Windows Defender software is Microsoft’s go at creating all-in-one virus and malware defense for the operating system. So, with Defender updated to a more Security Essentials like interface, Windows 8’s built-in software should be effective at detecting and removing the majority of viruses.

However, Security Essentials and Windows Defender are not exactly everyone’s preference; so installing third party antivirus software is still a great option also; but, isn’t running multiple antivirus programs counteractive and wasteful? Yes, but as arstechnica notes, Windows 8 Defender will automatically detect any 3rd party antivirus programs and deactivate in accordance to the 3rd party program. Thus, if you have a 3rd party preference for an antivirus solution, definitely use the software in Windows 8.

Antivirus Companies

If you prefer not to purchase a 3rd party specific antivirus solution, then you can simply use Defender, which Microsoft hopefully keeps up to date. Another smart feature of the new Windows Defender is a subscription detection mechanism that will automatically activate Windows Defender, should the 3rd party antivirus solution expire.

Those are just a few notes regarding Windows 8’s new Defender software and 3rd party antivirus programs. Thank you for stopping by the site for today’s post.

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Comments [1]

  1. Bradley Jones says:

    Unfortunately I have to disagree with you when you talk about decent protection from Microsoft Security Essentials. If you check around you will see that they lost their accreditation due to it failing so often. Free is great but it doesn’t provide the best and most consistent protection.

    What needs to really be done in my opinion is for companies to offer virus free guarantees it can be done especially by resellers and if the antivirus program is really that good then why wouldn’t they? Surely Microsoft has the manpower to offer this if they really believed in their product don’t you think?

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