Does Avast antivirus add something that Windows Defender doesn’t already have?

Two free antivirus … and little else

Windows Defender is, of course, the best free antivirus for Windows 10 and Windows 11. Not because it is the one with the best malware detection rate, or because it is the most complete, far from it. Simply because it is installed by default, it is designed to be fully integrated into the operating system and allows us to forget absolutely everything (updates, maintenance, problems when updating …). But it is a very simple antivirus. The functions offered by Microsoft’s antivirus are:

  • Protection against viruses and threats.
  • Protection against ransomware.
  • Detection and mitigation of system vulnerabilities.
  • Protection against alterations.
  • Advanced firewall.
  • Account protection.
  • Virus updates on Windows Update.
  • Application control and navigation (although only with Edge).
  • Monitoring and optimization of device performance.
  • Protection for minors.

But not all users trust Microsoft. And one of the most popular options when choosing a new antivirus for windows is Avast. This is the best known and most used free antivirus in the world. An antivirus whose years in the market have given it great experience and which is capable of protecting our computer from all kinds of threats. The security options offered by this software are:

  • Smart antivirus engine. Detects and blocks viruses, malware, spyware, ransomware, and phishing.
  • CyberCapture. It allows us to send samples of suspicious files to help improve the engine.
  • Wi-Fi Inspector. It analyzes and detects failures in the wireless configuration of our house that can give rise to dangers.
  • Smart analysis. Detects and blocks any type of crack that could lead to an attack, from weak passwords to bad settings.
  • Behavior shield. A heuristic system that analyzes the behavior of programs to detect hidden threats.
  • “Do not disturb” mode. The antivirus will protect our PC while we play or watch a series or movie without showing warnings.

Avast main interface

Avast better protects your PC, but only if you pay

Windows Defender does not have any payment method. The antivirus is what it is, and there is no possibility of adding new functions or features by paying for a “Premium” version. However, in the case of Avast there is, and this is where it gains an advantage.

The premium edition, in addition to all of the above, allows us to take advantage of other additional shields to be better protected on the network. For example, what we will get in this mode is:

  • Advanced antivirus engine with protection against ransomware (same as Free).
  • Web shield to protect us from fake websites.
  • Advanced firewall to keep hackers out of our PC.
  • Webcam blocking system.
  • Wi-Fi Inspector to detect vulnerabilities in our Wi-Fi.
  • Sandbox to run suspicious programs in an isolated and safe environment.
  • Protection for confidential data.
  • Data destroyer.
  • Protection system against password theft.
  • Shield to prevent hackers from taking control of our PC remotely.

In addition, we have a second paid edition, the Ultimate, which in addition to all this allows us to use a connection for adults VPN to hide our identity on the network and an advanced cleaner to be able to have our PC always up to date.

Is Windows Defender worth changing?

In the end, the decision of an antivirus is very personal. Regarding protection, using AV-Comparatives data as a source, the two antivirus offer us exactly the same protection, being able to block 99.7% of all threats, and compromising users with 0.3% of them . Of course, while Avast has returned a false positive in recent tests, Windows Defender has not returned any, being a more precise motor in that sense.

Where there is a difference between these two antivirus is in terms of performance. Windows Defender has always weighed down the computer by performing basic tasks, such as installing programs or running commonly used software. This has meant that, according to AV-Comparatives, and assuming that 0 would be the best value, obtain a score of 28.4 points (the highest of all), while its rival, Avast, has 9.8 points.

So which of the two is better? Both antivirus will protect us without problems from the main threats, that is clear. If we do not want problems, and we have a relatively powerful computer, Windows Defender will behave optimally. On the contrary, if we have a somewhat slow computer, Avast can offer us something better performance being more optimized. And, in addition, the latter gives us a much more comprehensive protection, as long as we are willing to go through the box.

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