Microsoft Defender Antivirus (more commonly called Windows Defender) is a free anti-malware software that you can now find in the latest versions of Windows.
Initially its name was Microsoft AntiSpyware and precisely it had anti-spyware functions, later antivirus functions were also integrated and to date it is for all intents and purposes a complete and free security suite integrated into Windows operating systems.
Windows Defender, before the arrival of Windows 8, performed precisely an antispyware function, while the antivirus component was handled by Microsoft Security Essentials. Back then, the two software were often criticized by some users for not being completely reliable in detecting threats or even for detecting blatant false positives. Famous is the case that happened in September 2011, when Google’s Chrome browser was recognized as a potential threat, removing it from systems where it was installed and precluding its reinstallation. In short, Windows Defender’s past has been somewhat troubled, so much so that at one point it was considered to be one of the weakest antiviruses on the scene.
The turning point came at the release of Windows 10. Microsoft updated Defender by making substantial improvements and fixing bugs. The improvement of Windows Defender is tangible, so much so that it scores more than decent results in AV-Comparatives tests in recent years.
The question that may arise in the face of this gradual improvement of Windows Defender over the years is:
💥Can we use ONLY WINDOWS DEFENDER to protect our computer?💥
The answer is: it depends. And now we will explain why.
It depends on your use of your device; if you use your computer for work and have very sensitive data inside it such as important documents, personal data of your clients, projects, and so on, Windows Defender may not be sufficient to provide you with total security, and it may be considered advantageous to turn to paid antivirus suites that integrate more advanced tools (just think of security suites that are particularly effective against ramsonware).
Otherwise, if you only use your computer basically for web browsing, entertainment, gaming without too sensitive data, streaming content playback, and ultimately DO NOT HAVE SENSITIVE DATA TO PROTECT, then Windows Defender might be a good enough free security suite to have good protection for your system.
If you fall into the type of users who might need paid protection, you can visit the AV-Comparatives site, from which you can evaluate according to tests which antivirus might be right for you.