Last Updated: January 28, 2023
When it comes to choosing antivirus software, there are many different options to choose from. In this blog post, we will compare Avast and Windows Defender and determine which one is better for you.
Avast, being a well-known name in the world of antivirus software, is a quite popular choice among Windows users particularly. Windows Defender, on the other hand, is a more recent addition to the market and a preloaded Windows antivirus solution.
Should you take a step further and install Avast, or should you just rely on your already-there convenient antivirus? So, Windows Defender vs Avast — which one should you choose?
Windows Defender, also known as Windows Security, is a Microsoft antivirus program that was first released in 2006. It comes preinstalled in Windows 10, Windows 11, and versions of Windows Server. The latest version has improved malware detection rates and new updated features that are common in other antiviruses, such as parental controls and device health tools.
Although previously considered meagre, Windows Defender is now evidently on par with other industry leaders when it comes to the level of malware protection. Namely, the latest Windows Defender malware protection test conducted by AV-Test showed above average results — full marks (6.0/6.0) on all three categories.
More specifically, aside from performing flawlessly on the performance and usability tests, it also excelled in the protection part — 100% on protection against 0-day malware attacks and detection of widespread and prevalent malware.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Windows Defender
- It is a Windows preloaded antivirus, which means no installation is required
- Free to use
- It runs automatically when Windows starts and scans your computer regularly
- Cloud-based malware database
- Automatic updates
- Many users complain about the lack of features in the Microsoft defender antivirus, especially compared to other premium antivirus programs.
Avast is a veteran among antivirus programs on the market and was developed in 1988. It is one of the most popular names in the industry and offers robust protection against viruses, spyware, and other threats without taking up much space on your computer’s hard drive.
It offers three antivirus packages — Free Antivirus, Premium Security, and Avast One, which is the newest addition to Avast. This package is available as of September 2021, comes in a free and paid version, and features comprehensive malware protection plus a VPN.
Even the Avast antivirus free packages offer robust malware protection, the same as its premium packages, which is why it is a common choice among many users. That being said, the latest AV-Test of the free Avast antivirus shows good results. However, not as good as Windows Defender.
Namely, it gained full marks in the usability part of the test, but slightly lower protection and performance-wise. More specifically, the tests show a slightly below-average result on protection against 0-day malware attacks and some issues concerning the program’s impact on the system.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Avast Antivirus
- Well-known and trusted brand with a long history of providing quality antivirus software
- Offers a wide range of features, including anti-spyware and anti-phishing protection, as well as a firewall
- Multiple scanning options
- Numerous extra features
- Available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android
- Some extra features require a separate purchase
Avast vs Windows Defender — Comparison of Features
Premium Version: £39.99–£54.99/year
|Malware Detection Rate||100%||100%|
|Protection Against 0-day Malware Attacks||100%||99.3%|
|Performance and System Optimisation Tools||Device performance and health reports — Storage Capacity, Battery Life, and Apps and Software||DND Mode, Software Updater, Driver Updater, Cleanup, Battery Saver|
|Additional Security and Privacy Tools||Reputation-Based Protection, Isolated Browsing, Exploit Protection, Core Isolation, Security Processor||Core Shields, Quarantine, Wi-Fi Inspector, Remote Access Shield, Real Site, Sandbox, Hack Alerts, Webcam Shield, Sensitive Data Shield, Data Shredder, Secure Browser, AntiTrack Premium|
|Scanning Speed||15–30 minutes||Less than 1 minute|
|Supported Systems||Windows 10, Windows 11, and versions of Windows Server||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS|
How to Decide Between Avast and Windows Defender?
When deciding between Avast and Windows Defender, the main thing to consider is what features you need. In case you’re wondering, is Windows Defender enough for robust malware protection — you can rest assured that this antivirus will keep your information and device safe.
So if you just want a straightforward antivirus program with robust malware protection, you can stick to the basics and let the preinstalled Windows Defender antivirus do its job.
Although Windows Defender offers a few additional security and privacy tools, they’re not really interactive and customisable. So, if you want comprehensive additional features like system optimisation tools or a VPN, Avast would suit you better. It has more advanced security features, so it’s better suited for people who use their computers a lot.
Another factor to consider is how much money you want to spend on antivirus software. Avast’s premium features might cost money, but even its free version offers a lot of features that Windows Defender does not have.
So Windows Defender vs Avast — which one will you go for?
Hopefully, this article helped you decide between these two antiviruses. However, if you’re still unsure, why not try out both free programs and see which one works best for you?
Yes, Avast is one of the best and most well-known antivirus providers on the market. It scores great on independent antivirus lab tests, and even its free version provides excellent malware protection for most users.
Yes, Windows Defender is a good enough antivirus solution for users that only need basic malware protection. This Microsoft antivirus is straightforward to use and doesn’t require any user customisation.
Yes, besides its premium antivirus packages, Avast also offers a free version of its software. The free Avast antivirus provides strong protection against online threats and multiple additional privacy tools that any user would find handy.