Operating System

Do You Really Need Antivirus on Windows 10? Here’s What You Should Know

If you run Windows 10 on your system, you should protect it from any malware, so this might raise the question that does Windows 10 need antivirus. If malicious software like malware makes home in your Windows, for sure you will be in trouble. Windows 10 users have to immediately run an antivirus for their system or their system would be infected with malicious software.

Does Windows 10 Need Antivirus?

Based on Microsoft report. There are almost over 1.4 billion monthly active devices running Windows 10 or 11. There are a lot of attackers who threat your system for instance modern cybercriminals are clever and they attack system without any viruses, and on the other hand, viruses don’t do anything except corrupting your data, and they use more complex malware that they can do the following actions:

  1. Spy on you through your camera or microphone
  2. Empty your bank accounts
  3. Steal your confidential information
  4. Hijack your system’s resources for brute force attacks
  5. Hold your computer for ransom
  6. Inquire on your browsing activity
  7. Secretly use your system to mine cryptocurrency
  8. Log your keystrokes

So, of course you need an antivirus to protect your system and keep you safe from all kinds of attacks and viruses.

Do You Need Additional Antivirus?

To be clear, the answer is yes. It can be helpful if you get another antivirus because some malware and viruses are blocked and you need another antivirus to protect your system.

Why You Should Run Antivirus in Your System?

For sure, there are good reasons to run antivirus in your system. Operating system of Microsoft is well-known, so it will be a suitable target for malware authors to spoil your system. Therefore, antivirus will enhance the protection of your browser, and also it will protect you from malicious websites, infected ads, credit card skimmers, scams, hacks and other attacks.

Another reason is that antivirus defend your computer, files, photos, and sensitive data from dangerous malware. Moreover, it will protect you from brute forces by blocking hackers who want to steal your login credentials. By removing viruses and malware, you will gain more space to run games, movies, music or other software.

What are the Features of a Good Antivirus?

Although there are many antivirus protection programs are available in the market, they aren’t created equally. If you are searching for a good antivirus software for your Windows 10, the following options are those essential ones that you need to consider:

  1. Adaptability to different operating systems: If you have a Windows PC, use an iPhone or tablet to run Chrome. It will help you to have an antivirus software which works on different operating systems. McAfee Total Protection is suitable for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. If you use it, you can enjoy your device without losing protection.
  2. Protecting Your System Against Different Online Threats: For more security, your antivirus software should defend your system against different online threats such as viruses, spyware, and ransomware. McAfee Total Protection will provide you all these features, and it will help you avoid different attacks like fake messages to trick you providing information or clicking on a malicious link. The software will give you a warning when it finds a risky link, website, or file.
  3. Easy to Use: Another option that you need to consider as a feature is this.  McAfee Total Protection allows you to manage all your computers and mobile devices easily.
  4. Real-time and Scheduled Scanning: You can scan your files for threats if you want to keep your devices free from any online threats like malware, good antivirus software. McAfee Total Protection provides protection with real-time, on-demand, and scheduled scanning of files and applications. 
  5. Scanning of File Downloads.
  6. Excellent Protection Against Zero-Day Attacks.
  7. Privacy Features.
  8. Automatic System Scans.
  9. Customization Options.

There are a lot of highly-rated free antivirus programs that provide great features. When you install antivirus on your system, Windows Defender recognizes it and put it into the overall protection scheme for your system.

If you choose Windows Defender Antivirus, you let the it to scan your system periodically for any threats.

Does Windows 10 Come with Antivirus Software?

For many years, Microsoft offered anti-malware protection, but the latest version provides security against viruses. Windows Defender is a free antivirus tool which is built into the Windows operating system. Although it is the best free antivirus software programs, it doesn’t have any extra feature, so if you are searching for a good antivirus software, Windows Defender is can do the job for you.

Is Windows 10 Built-in Antivirus Enough?

Of course, Windows 10 has an excellent security tool, which includes an antivirus and firewall component, it will not offer comprehensive protection. Thus, many people have to install third-party software.  Based on a study, which is conducted by AV Comparatives, Windows Defender antivirus for Windows 10 can perform, but it will fall short in a few areas.

  • It caused more false positives.
  • It has no password manager.
  • It fell behind the industry in preventing zero-day attacks.
  • It slows down legal software more than other applications.
  • It limits customization compared to other antivirus software.

How to Check Whether Windows Defender is on?

When you want to know whether Windows Defender is working on your system or not, follow the instruction below to check it:

  1. Enter Control Panel.
  2. Select System and Security.
  3. Select Windows Defender Firewall.
  4. A window will pop-up telling you if the firewall is on.
  5. If you need to turn on Windows Defender, go to the Menu.
  6. Close all browser windows.
  7. Restart your computer.

Follow the steps below to make sure your Windows security is running:

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del.
  2. Click on Task Manager.
  3. Look at the tabs and select Services.
  4. Scroll down to Windows Defender, and check if it is running or not.

Why You Still Need Antivirus Software?

Everyday we can see new malware and online threats. Generally, malware has more problems than PUAs, which makes 90 percent of the total threats in 2020 versus the 12 percent from PUAs. Some operating systems are so sensitive to viruses than others. According to managed service providers (MSPs), 87 percent of ransomware targeted Windows of computers by January 25th, 2021.

Operating SystemPercentage Targeted by Ransomware as of 1/25/21 according to MSPs
Windows tablet11%
macOS X7%

Data from AV-Test showed that had the newest malware and PUA in 2020 and January of 2021, which is followed by Androids and Macs. All in all, an antivirus software is necessary.

Operating SystemNew Malware in 2020New Malware in January 2021New PUA in 2020New PUA in January 2021
Windows91.9 million11.4 million5.38 million802,370
Android3.2 million434,1055.61 million807,452

How Antivirus Protects Your Device?

Antivirus software scans your device for all viruses, malware and other threats, and if it detects anything, it will remove it.

What Are the Arguments Against Antivirus?

Those people who say that antivirus software isn’t essential, aren’t completely wrong. For example, antivirus is not needed for iOS devices. Another argument is that antivirus software is expensive. On average, antivirus software costs almost $40 a year. On the other hand, some free antivirus software exists, but they usually limit the number of devices you can connect or the time that you will use them. Some devices like Windows and Macs have built-in antivirus software, so they think that additional third-party software is unnecessary.

What Are the Differences Between Built-In and Third-Party Antivirus Software?

In the case that devices come with virus protection, antivirus software is useless. We provide some examples of this below:

Microsoft Defender Antivirus

Microsoft Defender Antivirus, which is known as Windows Defender, gives a real-time protection against threats, malware and viruses via apps, Cloud storage, email, and web. Only Windows 10 and later come with Windows Defender, so it will not work for all business-users in particular. It is because Windows Defender doesn’t have endpoint protection and automatic investigation. Therefore, Microsoft provides another software called Defender for Endpoint, but usually users use third-party application.

MacOS Big Sur Antivirus

Mac computers with the operating system of Big Sur come with XProtect. This built-in antivirus software runs in the background without having to lift a finger. Although these features are the necessary part of any antivirus software, this built-in protection doesn’t block adverts or any PUPs that they installed without the user’s knowledge. It means that some malware could destroy in the past. The report of Malwarebytes in 2020 showed that threats against Macs compared to 2019 rose by over 400 percent. If you only use the Mac build-in antivirus, when it comes to digital security, redundancy is always good.

Free vs. Paid Antivirus Software

As we mentioned before, there are many free antiviruses on the market, but they have limitations which we present them below:

  1. Device Compatibility: Free antivirus might not work for different operating systems. As an example, Kaspersky free antivirus doesn’t work on Macs, some Windows, iOS and Android devices.
  2. Lack of Firewalls: All the best free antiviruses don’t have firewalls. Some of them need to pay for network security.
  3. Number of Devices to Connect: In free antivirus software, only one device they can cover, though some people have more than one device which needs to be protected.
  4. Time: Some of these free antiviruses have a limitation of time to use them like 30 days.

For sure, free antivirus is better than nothing, but for protection of all of your devices, you should invest some money to pay for more protection.

Do You Still Need an Antivirus If You Use a VPN?

Well, the answer is yes. Since VPNs and antivirus software are completely different. It like comparing apples and oranges. VPNs and IP address can help you encrypt your device, but antivirus software protects your system from viruses and malware, however, some of the antivirus options can be used by VPNs.


Some users of Windows 10 think that they might not need any antivirus for their system. In this article, we presented whether you need an antivirus for your system or not. What do you think about having an antivirus? Do you think it is necessary or not for your system with Windows 10? Share your ideas with us.

Reyhane A

Reyhane is an author and technology enthusiast who has a passion for writing about Windows tips and tricks. Born and raised in Tehran, Iran, Reyhane always had an interest in technology, which led her to pursue a degree in computer engineering from the University of Tehran. After completing her studies, Reyhane began working as a software engineer, where she gained a wealth of experience and knowledge in the field of technology. She soon discovered her love for writing, and began sharing her knowledge with others through her blog. Reyhane's blog quickly gained popularity, and she became known as an expert in the field of Windows tips and tricks. Her articles are known for being clear, concise, and easy to understand, making them accessible to everyone, regardless of their level of technical expertise. Today, Reyhane continues to share her knowledge with the world through her blog and YouTube channel, where she provides tips and tricks for Windows users to help them optimize their computer's performance and get the most out of their technology. In addition to her passion for technology, Reyhane enjoys traveling, photography, and spending time with her family and friends. She is also an avid reader and is always on the lookout for new books to add to her collection. Reyhane's dedication to her work and her love for technology have made her a respected figure in the industry, and she continues to inspire and educate others through her writing and online content.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button