Windows Defender Good Enough?

ritaweeda

I've been told it's good enough on Windows 10. I have a new laptop with Windows 10 and an old desktop with Vista which is no longer supported by Windows. I have Norton installed on both. I would keep my existing Norton on the desktop but I'm wondering if I can shut it down on the laptop and use only Windows Defender. And please note I'm not tech savvy so if you get too technical I won't understand your answer.

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azinoh

Is there as reason to not continue using Norton? Is Norton causing a problem?

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Steve J

rita, here is a good link to read. Windows Defender is a pretty darn good anti-virus program, but that's all it really is. You want to couple it with a good anti-malware app as well, such as malwarebytes. Many techies I know prefer a dedicated anti-virus and and dedicated anti-malware because they tend to do a better job for their specific purpose. But, that also means you have two products to manage.

Assuming your Norton product is their full suite, it's a better product than just Windows Defender in that it protects againts more things than just anti-virus.

Personally, I have Comcast, and they offer Norton for free, so I use that. Before that, I used McAfee, also free from Comcast. I know I could find a better product... but in the 15+ years I've used the free Comcast offerings, I've not been infected on any of the 12+ computers I've had or managed for my family.

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mikie_gw

Disable Adobe Flash, which is on its way out anyways, use an ad-blocker & windows Edge combined with Windows Defender and you have good protection. But the guy at the keyboard or mouse, no matter what anti-virus program they have, needs always to be thinking and on the alert of where they are, where they are going & what they click.

I've used windows defender for a long time, even before it was called defender. Have tried probably most other anti-virus programs over the years and always go back to windows defender.

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harry_wild
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millworkman

Is it necessary to look both ways before crossing the street? No, but it is advisable if you want to live. No, Anti-virus is no necessary either but depending on ones browsing habits it is highly recommended if you wish to avoid issues with your computer.

Is there a particular reason you brought this up Harry?

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acraftylady

Since 1 Norton subscription is good on up to 3 computers why not keep it until it expires then switch to something else? I use Norton and have never had issues with it. I use it on 2 computers and son uses it on a 3rd. Mary

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kudzu9

In contrast to your experience, I used Norton for several years and it screwed up every one of my home computers, mainly by hogging resources and slowing them down. Then, the de-installation was a pain because you needed to use the special uninstaller tool from their web site and it didn't always do a complete job. Never again....

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acraftylady

A lot of people say It slows their computer down. I have used it since windows 98 and have never experience that. Works flawless for me and does it's job so I stick with it. I really like the identity safe feature. Most of my friends use Norton and have a good experience too. Mary

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kudzu9

Compared to what? Maybe your computer is slowed down a bit, just not as horribly as mine... ;-)

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acraftylady

Nope my computers have always been fast running with or without Norton. Tried something free once and had a bad experience. I tend to not buy the cheapest bargain computer so don't know if that matters. Also I don't have a lot of clutter on my computer and store files and lots of photos on an external drive. I scan every so often with malewarebytes and that's it. Mary

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dadoes

All AV software actively running in the background causes a drag of some degree compared to having none.

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ritaweeda

I have the Norton contract paid for until the end of this year. Also I just bought a new laptop this year that came with one year's free McAfee. I guess I'm just wondering why I should be paying for something that I don't need. I'm not up on tech stuff so I get nervous about something getting into my computer. What really scares me is that once in awhile I click on a website and I get warnings about them with these antivirus programs and I'm afraid that if I don't have them I might do something to get infected and won't know that I did it or what to do about it. Heck, I'm so clueless I don't even know the difference between anti-virus, firewall and anti-malware. The biggest problem I have with Norton is of course the price and also they are constantly bugging me about Lifelock. They could be causing slowdowns but it's not affecting me with what I do.

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acraftylady

Weird, Norton doesn't bother me about lifelock that I see. Mary

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kudzu9

ritaweeda-

You do need an antivirus program, but you should not have two on the same computer as they interfere with one another. I used paid antivirus software for years (Norton or McAfee). Some versions slowed down my computer and some seemed to "improve" it every year so that I had to keep re-learning a new appearance/interface. I finally decided to go with a free antivirus 5 years ago and have had none of these problems and no infections. And the one I chose -- Avast -- is simple to understand and use: once it's installed, it just runs in the background and about all you have to do is download updates to it when prompted. However, if you want to periodically check everything, you can always open up Avast and have it do a compete scan. You do have to renew it each year, but it's free and takes just a few seconds.


Like you, I just got a new computer and the first thing I did was download Avast. Then I removed the free trial McAfee antivirus that was on the computer using the Windows uninstaller followed by the McAfee removal tool. Once the computer was clean, I installed the Avast antivirus that I had downloaded. (McAfee makes a lot of changes to your computer when it's installed and does not always cleanly uninstall: it can leave fragments of code on your system that can slow down your computer even if you have "uninstalled" it, so that is why it's a good idea to use the uninstaller that McAfee provides, too.)


There are several good and free antivirus programs available that get ratings that are just as good as, if not better than, McAfee and Norton. I use Avast because it's reliable and has over 400 million users. If you are interested in removing and replacing McAfee, here is a link to the McAfee web site where they discuss exactly how to uninstall their product:

McAfee uninstaller


And here is a link to download the free Avast program:

Free Avast


As for your confusion about different forms of protection, here is an overly simplified attempt at distinguishing them:

1. The firewall monitors incoming and outgoing traffic on your computer and looks for suspicious patterns that might be, for example, someone trying to get access to your computer. Windows comes with a firewall and it is turned on by default and you should leave it turned on.

2. Antivirus software looks for specific types of code that could be trying to get on your system to infect it and/or damage it.

3. Anti-malware overlaps a lot with what antivirus does, but these programs can usually be running in the background with your antivirus and not cause problems. I have the free version of Malwarebytes, which does not run in the background, but is available to me on my computer Desktop on demand. When I want to do a really thorough scan I'll use Avast, and then when that's done I open up the Malwarebytes program to do a second scan. My experience has been that Avast has pretty much caught any virus, but Malwarebytes will pick up some things that aren't true viruses, like PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs: spyware, adware, and dialers, that are often downloaded in conjunction with a program that the user wants and doesn't realize came along with the install).

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ritaweeda

WOW Kudzu, I have never gotten such complete and simplified answers on this forum as you supplied above! Even a tech dummy like me can understand it! I hope you earn your living helping others in this area, you are truly golden!!

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kudzu9

Your welcome. Good luck with whatever you decide to do. Just remember to always keep any antivirus continually updated. It's like an arms race where the hackers keep coming up with more sophisticated weapons and the antivirus folks respond as soon as they find a new threat and write code to detect and stop it.

Despite the fact that I've never had a truly bad virus attack in the last 30 years of using computers, no antivirus is perfect, and I have had a few bugs slip through that had to be removed. That's why you run periodic full scans of your computer. However, what I mainly worry about are things like ransomware that can lock and encrypt my hard drive. The way I deal with this is to make sure that there is nothing important stored on my computer that I don't have a backup copy of on an external hard drive, and that hard drive is only connected to the computer when I want to update it. Even if one never has a bad computer infection, it's inevitable that your hard drive will die, so an external hard drive is your insurance policy.

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Ryan Harris

for general uses, Windows defender is better. Norton and other third party anti virus apps often indulge themselves with the rest of the applications. I often find it stopping few of my emails from getting received in Outlook. I am better without it.

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Elmer J Fudd

Ryan, the experts who test products disagree with you. Win Defender is getting better but it still is middle of the road and falls short in effectiveness compared to many others. Your comment about Norton seems random and is inconsistent with my own experience of using it successfully on no fewer than 4 home machines over the last 5+ years.


Here's one article about independent assessments of WIndows Defender



Win Defender review

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acraftylady

Only 1 time did Norton stop an email on me. Several years ago my brothers computer got infected and he didn't know it had sent out emails with a virus attached. Went to open it because it was my brother and bam Norton blocked it and wouldn't let me open it. Other than that all legit mail comes through fine for me but I don't use outlook either so who knows. Mary


If one disables flash then what do you do when a website needs it enable it? Mary

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ritaweeda

Just the other day I got an email from "Norton" that said my protection would run out that day and that I needed to extend my subscription. I knew that was bogus so I backed out of that email and checked my subscription status and I still had until Feb. I called Norton and the guy said there are all kinds of bogus emails going out from scammers and not to open them and then he turned around and said he was going to send me an email verifying the date of my subscription's last day. Duh - you just said don't open them!!! Anyway, Norton is constantly trying to get me to buy extra products like Lifelock and some WiFi protection. It's true I've been using Norton for years and not too much problems but money is getting tighter with fixed retirement income and DH retirement looming, so if I can find just as good and either free or cheaper I will.

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acraftylady

I don't get bugged to buy anything from them. Don't know if it's a setting or what is why. Mary

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Elmer J Fudd

Many internet providers offer customers free subscriptions (via download from their sites) for multi-seat installations of a top antivirus security system. Sometimes it's for Norton, sometimes it's McAfee or others. Check with your provider, you might have a pleasant surprise coming. For me, after many years as a satisfied Norton user, I found when I switched to Comcast that indeed they offer 5 seat licenses to customers for free. It's quiet, it's effective, and I never get pinged from Symantec (Norton).

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Ryan Harris

Hi Elmer, I have tried Norton for two years. Don't know about others, but i did face the issue. Norton often scammed my important emails. if a named brand does that mistake, I suspect the functionality of the rest.
Doing it best without an Anti virus.

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kudzu9

Ryan- I am not a fan of Norton either, but I hope you're not saying that you use no anti-virus at all....

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mtvhike

Is Norton the same as Symantec? My employer supplies Symantec Endpoint Protection.


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harry_wild

Since writing my comments, there have been many different malware and antivirus that have been created. Windows Defender is now obsolete. I used SpyBot Professional myself along with RegMaster to fix the registry. It been a mad house if you Bit Defender/ Defender.

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Elmer J Fudd

"Is Norton the same as Symantec? "

Yes

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Elmer J Fudd

"Norton often scammed my important emails. "


What does this mean?

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Lars/J. Robert Scott

I've been using Kaspersky for several years, and for one subscription, I can protect my phone and tablet as well as my computer, but I don't know how much protection my phone and tablet need, especially since I do not use them for email. I use my phone mainly for driving directions from Google maps.

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acraftylady

That's all i use now is my phone and tablet for several years and never needed extra orotection and never any troyble with the email apps I use. I don't go on questionable sites or do bit torrent downloads. Mary

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Elmer J Fudd

Both Android and the Apple operating systems for phones and tablets aren't 100% safe (nothing in life is) but they're both sitting on customized versions of Linux (which has pretty tight security features). I've never heard of anyone having a problem with either types of devices but I'm sure it happens, however rarely. The best security is a careful user, no matter what device is involved.

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Kerem Labero

I continue to use Norton. If you look at the rating of antiviruses https://bestantiviruspro.org it has better reviews.


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