While Windows Defender can't be downloaded or used on versions of Windows prior to Windows 8, Microsoft does offer a predecessor to Windows Defender called Microsoft Security Essentials that can be freely downloaded and used on Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems.
Windows Defender vs. Microsoft Security Essentials
Both of these Microsoft Security Software tools offer real-time protection against viruses, rootkits, spyware and other malicious software as well as features like online and offline system scanning and cleaning. One key differentiating feature, though, is that only Windows Defender offers enhanced protection against rootkits and bootkits.
Windows Defender primarily runs in the background, only notifying users when a specific action needs to be addressed. Users can also run scans on demand if desired or manually update the tool with the latest security definition files.
What Is Windows Defender Offline?
Microsoft also offers a version of Windows Defender called Windows Defender Offline that can be used via a USB flash drive or CD/DVD to help detect and remove specific types of malware that are designed to prevent users from being able to access Windows Defender and other types of anti-malware software.
- Watch Datamation's editor James Maguire moderate roundtable discussions with tech experts from companies such as Accenture, Dell, Blue Jeans Network, Microsoft and more »
The following compilation of small business marketing tips highlights some of the expert advice published over at Small Business Computing. Read More »Taking Ownership through Digital Governance
Taking ownership of our own misjudgments or simple forgetfulness takes a healthy amount of humility and some honest self-assessment. Yet sometimes... Read More »Have We Become a World of Addicts?
It's hard to imagine our lives without smartphones. But people who suffer separation anxiety when they don't have their phones nearby may be in... Read More »
With cost and security in mind, we look at five cloud storage options that will suit the needs of most home and SMB owners. Read More »Windows 10 Tips for Desktop PC
Five basic tips to help you customize Windows 10 on your desktop PC. Read More »29 Free Android Apps for Cash-Strapped Students
From wacky alarm clocks to lecture hall tools and after class entertainment, these Android apps are a good fit for a student's life and budget. Read More »