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 »
Because nothing says "I Love You" Like an open source app. Read More »Guarding your Data against Cyber Attacks
In this new era of heightened stakes comes an increased need for a comprehensive security strategy. Let's take a look at how cyber-threats have... Read More »The Great Data Storage Debate: Is Tape Dead?
Tape clearly is on the decline. But remember, legacy systems can hang for a shockingly long time. Read More »
A network is a group of two or more computer systems or devices, linked together to share resources, exchange files and electronic communications.... Read More »Computer Architecture Study Guide
This Webopedia study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »Webopedia Polls
The trend for the past two years has been for shoppers to spend more online during the holiday season. How do you typically shop for holiday... Read More »