Best Antivirus software for Windows?

My daughter just purchased a new HP computer because she also must use Windows at work. She is asking me for a recommendation for the best antivirus software for Windows.

Any suggestions you can give will be appreciated as I have not used Windows for at least 15 years.

This might help, but I think Microsoft Defender (included with Windows) might be sufficient for the average user:

PS: a bit off-topic for the MPU forum perhaps?


It could be off-topic for the MPU forum, except that I trust the input here, and I know that many in this forum also use Windows at work. :slightly_smiling_face:


I think Windows Defender is considered to be a good choice. That’s what my organization uses for all company owned PCs.

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I did a bunch of research on this recently. Another vote for Defender. It’s not the best, but good enough for most people. More risky users should invest in something like Sophos or Malwarebytes paid version. Stay away from the big names (Norton/McAfees), they are garbage.

Risky users: Download lots of free games, porn, etc. When my sister had young kids it was a never ending battle trying to keep her computers free of all the crap.

I have 2 PCs, I run Defender on them. I used to do the occasionally scan with Malwarebytes free edition, but don’t bother anymore. I don’t really do anything on them that puts me at risk.

Some of us even use it because we like it!

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I likewise only use Defender. Adding anything else is harmful for individual users.



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I’d agree with others on Microsoft Defender. I believe that there is a subscription cost for it now (it used to be free) but it’s also from a trustworthy entity.

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Yes, thank you, fixed.

No, but they added a bunch of stuff like identify theft prevention to the Microsoft 365 account, so if you already pay for that, you get the added “features”. I use it, it’s fine. It seems to be much the same as 1Password’s tower thingy. It warned me the other day of a detection of my info on the dark web, but it was outdated info (like a decade outdated).

The antivirus stuff is still free to all, and Windows 11 does some other security scans to advise on settings that is also free. It is annoyingly telling me to fix something on my home-built desktop, but the option to fix it is missing. Apparently it’s a long standing bug.

Anything that does regular scans is going to be more resource intensive, but the average user will never notice a good one. I definitely notice McAfee on my work computer and I cannot say enough bad things about it. From what I read and saw on YouTube security videos, there are a bunch of good programs now if you need the added protection (just must of us don’t need that added protection). Kaspersky is supposedly really good, but…Russia.

Defender will miss things others do not, but that kind of goes for all of them.

Not that I am any expert on this, I just did a lot of reading/watching on the subject earlier this year.

The built-in Windows Defender used to be mediocre, but it’s gotten much better and it appears to be fine for most people, and it’s light on system resources. I’d still also run a weekly scan with the free version of Malwarebytes, though.

If you want to look into alternatives, check out AV-TEST | Antivirus & Security Software & AntiMalware Reviews and the reviews on

It’s still crucial for your daughter to educate herself about how to avoid phishing and scams, clicking on shady links, downloading software, fonts, images, etc. from the wrong places, etc.

Indeed. I have many conversations with her about this, and I often send her articles about certain types of scams and phishing attempts. She’s a married adult and has learned to be careful. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Safe computing is the best defense against viruses. AV software has caused issues everywhere I was required to use it. Using MS/DOS (yes, there were viruses then!) through Windows from the mid 1980’s until 2016, never got infected. Frankly, I saw more viruses on the Mac my department had in the 1990’s than anywhere else.

Also, don’t download LimeWire. :joy::joy::joy:

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