Microsoft’s built-in antivirus program that is now known as Windows Security, doesn’t require an installation or subscription thus it provides many benefits for free. The product is highly recommended by the top AV testing labs all over the world. It offers solid protection against malware, without affecting system performance. It has some extras like ransomware protection along with a password manager as well as other useful features. However, it lacks some essential features found in premium antivirus programs, and isn’t the most user-friendly alternatives.

Protection against threats and viruses includes the usual fast, full and custom scans. It also includes an intense offline scan mode that tackles difficult-to-get rid of threats. The firewall and network protection module is easy to use, though it’s not as comprehensive as rivals. The biggest drawback, however is that it’s only compatible with Windows devices, so if you’re looking to secure an Android or Mac Mac or Android phone, you’ll need to find another option.

Family options include parental controls as well as the capability to monitor the health of the devices in your family. There’s even a password manager in the Edge browser that can sync with other devices. The drawback is that you cannot manage the features directly from the app, and must use a Web browser to do this.

In contrast to other antivirus programs it doesn’t tie itself into the Windows kernel – a practice which could open new attack opportunities for black hats. It could possibly cause instability to your operating system. Additionally, it offers an effective behavioural detection feature and protects users from accidentally downloading malicious files.