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Windows Defender

Aspiring Legend
Posts: 11,105
Thanks: 2,459
Fixes: 17
Registered: ‎02-08-2007

Windows Defender

Using windows 7 along with windows defender.

Advice is not to run 2 antivirus programs at the same time which makes sense but is it ok to rely on windows defender for everything or is it wiser to add a firewall or use some other free  alternative to windows defender ?

Key word here is 'free program'

What do others do ?

We are born into history and history is born into us.
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 4,927
Thanks: 145
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Registered: ‎14-07-2009

Re: Windows Defender


They should shoot the Microsoft Marketing Department.  They recycle names, causing great confusion.  The free antivirus program you want for Windows 7 is called Microsoft Security Essentials (in the context of Windows 7).  Windows Defender is a defunct anti-spyware program that does not deal in viruses (in the context of Windows 7).

You have a built-in firewall with Windows 7 - and another one in your router, probably.  As a supplement to Microsoft Security Essentials I recommend you install the free version of Malwarebytes (which requires you to install a trial version of the paid-for Malwarebytes then switch to free).  Run this manually about once a month and remove any Potentially Unwanted Programs it finds.  

Posts: 1,564
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Registered: ‎22-10-2015

Re: Windows Defender

I used to always try and use free stuff and still have Malwarebytes on the PC but as it says, Web realtime protection comes with the Premium version only.

I also run it about once every month or so but to be honest it's a bit late to find out after a month that the PC is infected with whatever malware etc. Even more so if you use said device for banking etc.


I note the key word 'free' but even full blown AV protection isn't that expensive nowadays. You can get 2 years protection for £27 at the moment. I sleep much better at night knowing it's running.

Ever helpful. Grin Sure, I’d love to help you out. Now which way did you come in?
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 4,927
Thanks: 145
Fixes: 25
Registered: ‎14-07-2009

Re: Windows Defender

I think you missed my point @idonno.  Typical security software is lax on the sort of malware that worms its way onto your computer then tries to sell you stuff you don't need.  Malwarebytes is particularly good at identifying and removing such Potentially Unwanted Programs.  But I was only recommending Malwarebytes as a supplement  to your normal security software.  And as such you need it to be inactive except when you want to use it, so it does not conflict.

Thus your standard security software will deal with the viruses as they arrive and Malwarebytes mops-up the irritants when you choose to run it..  


Community Veteran
Posts: 22,132
Thanks: 3,756
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Registered: ‎06-11-2007

Re: Windows Defender

@gleneagles  As @ReedRichards points out.... Defender is a "mis-nomer... and the antivirus part is NOT shipped with Windows 7 .... it must be downloaded and installed separately as Microsoft Security Essentials.

Scroll down this page a little bit to the "download" box in green...  You may have the option of choosing 32 or 64 bit version later on in the download...

Once you have it installed, and updated, you should get a small icon looking like a green circus tent with a flag on the top, and a white tick mark in the lower task bar area.   it changes colour if it is out of date or not "active".. to red....


taskbar area.png


and you will have a user interface such as this....


microsoft security essentials.png