Microsoft’s built-in antivirus software which is now dubbed Windows Security, doesn’t require either a subscription or an installation and therefore offers a great deal of value at no cost. The product is incredibly well-regarded by the world’s most renowned testing labs for AV and provides solid malware protection without impacting system performance. It also includes ransomware protection along with a password manager as well as other useful features. However, it’s missing certain essential features that are found in more premium antivirus software, and isn’t the most user-friendly of alternatives.

The virus and threat protection module comes with quick scans as well as full scans and customized scans, as well as an offline scan mode that is designed to eliminate even the most difficult threats. The firewall and network module is simple to use, but it’s not quite as comprehensive as its competitors. Its biggest disadvantage is that it can only protect Windows devices. If you want to protect the security of an Android or Mac phone, you will have to look for a different option.

The family choices include parental control and the ability monitor the health of devices in your family. There’s a password manager which is hidden in the Edge browser that can be synced to other devices. The drawback is that you don’t control the features through the app and need to use a browser for managing the features.

Contrary to the majority of antivirus software it doesn’t tie itself into the Windows kernel – a practice that can open new attack surfaces for black hats. It could possibly cause instability to your operating system. It also provides good behavior detection and prevents users from accidentally downloading malicious files.

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