Antivirus

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What can VPNs be used for?

VPNs  – or Virtual Private Networks – are incredible popular and extremely handy. They help you remain anonymous and secure online, this is due to their encrypted tunnels and zero logs policies. So if you’re working from home for a while or want to log onto your online banking safely – they’re pretty ideal!

In addition its their versatility that makes them so attractive and perhaps an even better choice than traditional antivirus. Because they allow you to spoof the IP address of your laptop or phone (or even your router) it means you can bypass blocked websites and geo-restricted TV and sports coverage, too. And lots of people also use them to watch their country’s Netflix catalogue while abroad or use the VPN for BBC iPlayer.

Read more:

  • Our dedicated guide to all the best VPN services
  • Stay entertained with today’s best Netflix shows to binge on
  • Go cost-free with a free VPN
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6
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60
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Antivirus

Is Windows Defender good enough for your PC?

Windows Defender is the antivirus solution which comes built-in with Windows 10. In other words, Windows Defender provides antivirus defenses right out of the gate after installation – which is obviously very convenient.That’s all fine in theory, but if you’ve come to read this article, you’re doubtless wondering about the quality of Windows 10’s integrated…

Windows Defender is the antivirus solution which comes built-in with Windows 10. In other words, Windows Defender provides antivirus defenses right out of the gate after installation – which is obviously very convenient.

That’s all fine in theory, but if you’ve come to read this article, you’re doubtless wondering about the quality of Windows 10’s integrated antivirus protection.

Windows 10 antivirus app to keep your PC safe from all the malware out there?

  • Our definitive list of today’s best antivirus software
  • Looking for even more protection? Grab the best VPN
  • See why we rate Bitdefender so highly in our testing

Past history

Now, in the past, the answer to this question has been that you shouldn’t rely on it. Common wisdom used to be that Windows Defender might be better than nothing, but only just – and you should replace it with a third-party antivirus alternative as soon as possible. But we’re happy to report that’s no longer the case.

In fact, things have turned around so much, that Windows Defender was actually rated as the best antivirus solution around by an independent testing lab in 2019 (although AV-Test ranked it joint top with three other products, but those solutions were paid-for suites, not a free antivirus like Microsoft’s effort).

Let’s not get carried away here, though. The most recent independent test lab reports on Windows Defender aren’t quite so glowing, but broadly speaking they are still average-to-good, and there’s no disputing that it provides a solid level of protection from all the viruses floating around out there. Defender offers anti-ransomware protection these days, too, and even has basic parental controls to help keep your kids safe online.

Windows 1src problems

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Reputational hangover

So that’s all good, but part of Microsoft’s antivirus solution’s problem today is the hangover from its past reputation, and the perception that it’s somehow still a bit of a wobbly anti-malware app – despite these impressive recent results.

Sadly, there is still very much a reputation-related problem here, although it’s not with Defender’s anti-malware abilities any longer. The issue lies with Microsoft itself, and its bad habit of breaking things constantly with Windows 10; mistakes which have at times reportedly had the knock-on effect of throwing spanners in the Windows Defender works. Or we’ve seen straight-up cases of Microsoft simply breaking things with Defender updates themselves, and none of this particularly instils confidence.

Also bear in mind that there are drawbacks with Windows Defender’s features not being too well fleshed out. For example, those parental controls we mentioned aren’t all-encompassing – the browser filter only works with Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer, but unfortunately not with alternative browsers like Chrome or Firefox. Generally speaking, configuration options are somewhat lacking with Defender, too – as explained in our most recent Windows Defender review.

Weighing this all up

On balance, Microsoft’s antivirus gives you a robust level of protection from malware – it’s done very well in some independent testing – and there’s nothing wrong with using it as your main line of defense. It’s very convenient to have it integrated in Windows 10, and it’s definitely a good thing that Microsoft provides this protection by default for less tech-savvy users who might know very little about protecting themselves online.

Windows Defender is now keeping pace with the better options in the free antivirus pack, but that said, it still isn’t the best option in terms of functionality, plus issues remain around its reputation – or rather Microsoft’s broader bug-ridden reputation of late.

And there’s the rub: those who are willing to put in a bit of effort to change and install an alternative will find better cost-free protection – and more features – from the leading free antivirus providers.

Is Windows Defender good enough for your PC?

Windows Defender is good enough to defend your PC and uphold the promise of its name, and there’s nothing wrong with it as such. But in all honesty, the leading free antivirus alternatives like Bitdefender or Kaspersky are better, and it really isn’t all that much effort to install another app to replace Defender. Which is why our answer to the titular question ultimately has to be: yes, but no.

  • Read more: grab yourself a free VPN download, too
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Antivirus

Turla malware uses Gmail to issue commands to infected machines

One of Russia’s most advanced state-sponsored hacker groups has added several devious new tools to its arsenal, security researchers have warned.Although the Turla group is still using the v4 version of the ComRAT malware, ESET researchers warned that this has since been updated to include two new features: exfiltration of victim’s antivirus logs, and the…

One of Russia’s most advanced state-sponsored hacker groups has added several devious new tools to its arsenal, security researchers have warned.

Although the Turla group is still using the v4 version of the ComRAT malware, ESET researchers warned that this has since been updated to include two new features: exfiltration of victim’s antivirus logs, and the ability to control the malware via a Gmail inbox. 

Zloader malware makes a sudden resurgence

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    Antivirus

    Malware turns Discord client into password stealer

    Hackers have updated the AnarchyGrabber trojan to a new version which is capable of stealing passwords and user tokens, disabling 2FA and spreading malware to a victim’s friends as well.This is the second update the trojan has received this year as it was also updated back in April to modify Discord client files in order…

    Hackers have updated the AnarchyGrabber trojan to a new version which is capable of stealing passwords and user tokens, disabling 2FA and spreading malware to a victim’s friends as well.

    This is the second update the trojan has received this year as it was also updated back in April to modify Discord client files in order to evade detection by antivirus software and steal user accounts every time someone logs into the popular chat service. 

    Discord who claim it is a game cheat, hacking tool or copyrighted software. Instead it modifies the Discord client’s JavaScript files to turn it into malware that can steal a victim’s Discord user token which is then used by an attacker to log into the popular chat service as the victim.

    • Fake Discord software could steal your account, infe

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    Antivirus

    Windows 10 May 2020 Update’s best new feature will help keep your PC secure

    Windows 10 May 2020 Update is imminent, and it’s shaping up to be a fantastic upgrade that brings numerous new features to Windows 10, but perhaps its best addition is a new security tool that will help prevent unwanted or malicious apps installing themselves on your PC.The Windows 10 May 2020 Update adds the new…

    Windows 10 May 2020 Update is imminent, and it’s shaping up to be a fantastic upgrade that brings numerous new features to Windows 10, but perhaps its best addition is a new security tool that will help prevent unwanted or malicious apps installing themselves on your PC.

    The Windows 10 May 2020 Update adds the new tool to Windows Defender, the built-in security app in Windows 10. It’s called Reputation-based Protection, and it will allow users to block unwanted applications that are bundled in with genuine app installers from installing.

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    antivirus software.

    Hopefully the Windows 10 May 2020 Update will be made available to Windows 10 users soon, as May is quickly drawing to a close.

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