In the tech-driven age of 2022, cyber crimes are at an all-time high. Hackers, spammers, and phishing-oriented viruses are all doing their best, trying to invade the privacy of millions of people around the world. In dire times such as these, a Windows user has to keep the security of their PC intact to ensure the best results. Thankfully, Microsoft Windows already comprises a robust security system that goes by the name of Windows Defender.
It comes with plenty of features, both basic and advanced. Still, being a Windows user in 2022, when a plethora of antivirus software is roaming popularly, one cannot help but think about the other online options. This is where Avast Antivirus comes in, offering extra features and a streamlined user interface. However, is using Avast any better than the already well-established security system of Windows Defender? This article will cover just that.
Avast Free vs. Windows Defender
Continue reading if you want to see Avast Free vs. Microsoft Defender and find out which one is better for you. We’ll be sure to compare the essential features of both software, so you can quickly come to a firm conclusion. Let’s begin.
- Suggested Read: Avast Driver Updater review.
What is Windows Defender?
Microsoft Windows Defender, or simply Windows Defender as most people like to call it, is Windows’ in-built antivirus security system that takes up the hefty responsibility of protecting the operating system from all types of cyber threats. Whenever you download a program through any source, Windows Defender scans it thoroughly for anomalies and determines whether it’s safe to proceed with the installed application or not.
It’s the default antivirus software for all Windows PCs and promises high-end security in most cases. Unless your needs are enterprise-grade and you want to purchase a premium-end anti-malware software solution, Windows Defender is the go-to security system for individuals and people who want a suitable protective mechanism concerning personal use. It doesn’t cost anything and comes natively installed in the most up-to-date iterations of Microsoft Windows, including Windows 11.
Windows Defender is part of the Microsoft Security Essentials program that includes many other features and software, such as Windows Hello, a secure sign-in platform. The defender also nicely integrates with the Microsoft ecosystem by sending diagnostic reports and asking for troubleshooting feedback. Most of the time, users don’t have to cling to other antivirus software when they’ve already got Defender.
However, that is until Avast Free came into the picture. Let’s talk about this program in the following section.
What is Avast Free?
Avast is undeniably one of the most popular software developers in the world. This company has been running since 1988, so it’s also a veteran in this industry. Avast thrives because of its vast array of successful products, such as the Avast Driver Updater, Avast Secure Browser, Avast Cleanup Premium, and Avast SecureLine VPN. Each software offers a dedicated role and is highly practical in doing its jobs.
The same can be said about Avast Free, which is the company’s antivirus software responsible for protecting a Windows PC against malware, viruses, and other threats. As the name depicts, Avast Free isn’t a paid tool, but the company offers multiple premium plans for users to purchase and revamp their antivirus experience like never before. This article focuses on Avast Free, however, so we won’t be getting into any of the purchasable editions of Avast.
Doing so would defeat the whole purpose of this write-up since both antivirus software is meant to be free for them to have an equal comparison. Now that you’re aware of the entire concept surrounding Avast Free let’s get into the golden section of this article and talk about the significant differences between the latter and Windows Defender.
Major differences between Windows Defender and Avast Free
The following is our round-up of the major differences between Windows Defender and Avast Free.
The first major difference between Windows Defender and Avast Free concerns the main graphical user interface. Avast Free is installed as a separate application, while Windows Defender is already present on Windows PCs natively. It’s worth noting that Avast Free uses a more refined and highly user-friendly working interface.
It opens up in a window where all the elements are arranged properly. This makes it easier for the most beginner of users to consolidate their system and navigate around Avast Free effectively. You can trigger the application to kick into effect with just the click of a button, which will be for your system’s profound protection.
On the other hand, Windows Defender also features a visually pleasing and beginner-friendly user interface. Still, it can often get confusing to first open the right section of the antivirus system in the “Settings” app, proceed to the threat protection area, and run a scan.
These extra steps can take up a lot of time, especially if we’re looking at things in the long run. Therefore, we have a clear winner in terms of the user interface, simply Avast Free.
Windows Defender is free for personal use. If you want to opt for a Windows-ready solution that will accommodate you in business settings, Microsoft offers paid versions of Windows Defender to revamp your enterprise. On the other hand, we have Avast Free, which is also eponymously free of cost and boasts premium-grade plans for interested users to purchase.
Microsoft Business will set you back for $3 per user, while Avast Antivirus employs a different payment mechanism. It costs about $40 per year, so pretty reasonably priced given the number of features the software has. However, when it boils down to the free versions of Avast Free and Windows Defender, you don’t have to pay anything to utilize the respective basic and advanced features. Speaking of which, let’s compare the functional capacity of these programs next.
When the battle between Windows Defender and Avast Free wages in terms of the number and quality of features, it’s only fair to say that Avast Free is a much better option for those looking to use free-of-cost antivirus software. It is loaded with functionality, and we’re pretty surprised while looking at this scenario.
Most other free-to-use antivirus software doesn’t come to this well-developed. On the other hand, Avast Free is simply a class apart with the number of high-grade features it brings to the table. First off, it’s a highly tested product that has managed to get excellent threat protection scores from the most popular publishing magazines across the planet.
One feature that gives us even more reason to prefer Avast Free over Window Defender is its technical ability to protect against the vast majority of phishing scams. Phishing is prevalent in the interweb that we live in today. You receive purported attempts to get you to reveal your private information, mostly credit card or other important bank details.
However, when you get Avast Free, you don’t have to worry about any of that, given its exceptional capacity to seek out phishing scams right from the get-go. In addition to all that, Avast Free allows you to implement multiple types of scans and not just a singular one like Windows Defender does.
In the following screenshot, you can see how there is an assortment of scans that Avast Free can offer to its users. Our favorite is the “Custom scan,” which allows us to schedule the scan before time so we don’t even have to open the Avast Free application to analyze our system. This is well above the functioning capability of Windows Defender.
Moreover, with Avast Free, you also get the opportunity to download the Avast Online Security browser extension, available for Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Mozilla Firefox.
It serves to strengthen your browser’s security by implementing a range of security-oriented features and analytics to help you surf the internet safely.
It’s pretty detailed, offering you full-fledged statistics concerning a specific website and describing to you the number of advert trackers on the site.
Which antivirus is better for you?
When it boils down to the major decision of choosing between Windows Defender and Avast Antivirus, people are initially confused since each option boasts its pros and cons. However, after going through the nitty-gritty aspects of both software, it’s safe to say that Windows Defender and Avast Free are both desirable according to particular situations. Let us explain how.
Suppose you don’t want to bother yourself with installing another application and would only prefer basic protection levels from your Windows PC in a native manner. In that case, Windows Defender probably seems like the right choice for you. It operates just fine for end-users who do not have advanced requirements and don’t meddle around installing many applications on their device.
With that being said, though, Avast Free offers a much more premium experience, all within a friendly user interface. It regulates top-tier protection levels, is highly tested to work effectively and reliably, and even offers robust protection from phishing scams, which is simply out of the domain of Windows Defender. Another functionality that lets you have one breeze at a time on your PC is the variety of scans introduced.
From a full virus scan to a boot-time scan that examines your system before it even wakes up, there is multifold functionality in Avast Free. We believe that if you’re after a feature-rich antivirus software that will keep you hooked for the days to come, it’s worth placing Window Defender at the second spot and letting Avast Free take the number 1 spot.
Windows Defender and Avast Free boast their features and advancements. Where one falters in one facet, the other excels. The same is the case with both of these antivirus programs, so it boils down to you regarding what option you’d like to go with. In this guide, we have outlined the major differences between Avast Free and Windows Defender, so you should be able to pick out the variations yourself.
We recommend users at least try Avast Free. It’s worth that if nothing else. What it brings to the table for security-concerned Windows users is exceptionally commendable and high in functionality over Windows Defender. Do let us know down in the comments section what you think of this comparison.
We’d love to read your feedback!