Microsoft’s built-in antivirus program known as Windows Security, doesn’t require the purchase of a subscription or installation thus it provides a lot of value for free. The software is highly rated by the top AV testing labs and delivers robust protection against malware, without affecting system performance. It also offers a variety of useful additional features, like security against ransomware and a password manager. However, it isn’t equipped with some important features found in more expensive antivirus programs, and isn’t the easiest of alternatives.

The virus and threat protection module provides quick scans as well as full scans and custom scans. It also has an offline scan mode that’s designed to get rid of even the most difficult of threats. The firewall and network module is simple to use, however it’s not quite as comprehensive as other products. The main issue, however is that it’s only compatible with Windows devices, so if you’re looking to protect an Android or Mac Mac or Android phone, you’ll have to find a different option.

Family options include parental controls as well as the possibility of monitoring the health of your family’s devices. There’s even a password manager hidden in the Edge browser, which is able to sync with other devices. The drawback is that you cannot control the features directly from the app, and you must use a web browser to manage them.

In contrast to other antivirus programs it doesn’t tie itself into the Windows kernel – a practice which could open new attack areas for black hats, and could possibly compromise your operating system. In addition, it offers an effective behavioural detection feature and prevents users from accidentally downloading malicious files.

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