March 26, 2023
Difference between Microsoft Defender, Windows Defender, Windows Security, Windows Defender Firewall
While surfing the Internet, your device may be vulnerable to various threats. Therefore, Microsoft has introduced Windows Defender antivirus on all Windows 11 / 10 computers. It is a free antivirus program pre-installed on all Windows 11 / 10 computers. But if you open your Windows 11 / 10 settings, you will see that Virus – threat protection has been added under Windows security. Some of you may be wondering what Windows security is. Is it different from Windows Defender or are they both the same? In this article, we explain the difference between Microsoft Defender, Windows Defender, Windows Security and Windows Defender Firewall.
Difference between Microsoft Defender, Windows Defender, Windows Security and Windows Defender Firewall
Windows Defender is a free antivirus developed by Microsoft. It continues to scan your system periodically and alerts you when a threat is detected on your system. Windows Defender also allows you to take action against threats.
Some of you may also have heard the term Microsoft Defender or use it interchangeably with Windows Defender. Are both the same or different? If Windows Defender protects users’ computers from threats, what is Dan Windows security?
Windows computers also have a built-in firewall called Windows Defender Firewall. You can access it through Windows Settings or by typing Windows Defender Firewall directly into Windows Search.
Difference between Windows Defender and Microsoft Defender
Let’s start our discussion with Windows Defender and Microsoft Defender. Windows Defender was first released by Microsoft as a free spyware program for Windows XP. It was later introduced in Windows Vista and Windows 7. After replacing Microsoft Security Essentials in Windows 8, Windows Defender evolved as a full antivirus program for Windows 8 and later versions of Windows.
A few years after the release of Windows 10, Microsoft decided to make its Windows Defender ATP (Advanced Threat Protection) service available to non-Windows devices as well. From then on, Microsoft changed the name from Windows Defender antivirus to Microsoft Defender antivirus.
Today, Microsoft Defender antivirus is a platform-independent application and is available for several platforms, including Windows. You can also download it on your Android and iOS devices. Microsoft Defender is available in the Google Play Store. You can search for it there and install it on your Android smartphone.
Now it is clear that the reason for changing the name from Windows Defender to Microsoft Defender was to make it available for different platforms. The name Windows Defender means that the antivirus is only available for Windows devices.
Difference between Microsoft Defender, Windows Security and Windows Defender Firewall
Now let’s look at the difference between Microsoft Defender, Windows Security and Windows Defender Firewall.
Windows Security is a complete security suite with Microsoft Defender antivirus and other security features. In earlier versions of Windows 10, Windows Security was called Windows Defender Security Center.
To see all the security areas of Windows Security, open Windows Security through Windows Search.
The Virus and Threat Protection section provides antivirus scanning from Microsoft Defender. You can run the following scans on your system with Microsoft Defender antivirus:
- Quick scan: scans folders in your system where threats are most prevalent.
- Full scan: checks files and the active programs on the hard disk. This scan may take more than an hour.
- Custom scan: here you can select which files and locations to scan with Microsoft Defender antivirus.
- Microsoft Defender Antivirus (offline scan): the offline scan helps detect and remove malicious software that is difficult to remove.
A firewall monitors incoming and outgoing traffic and allows and blocks data packets based on a set of security rules. Windows Defender Firewall is a built-in firewall in all Windows computers. It is also part of Windows Security. You can access it through Windows Security or directly from Windows Search by typing Windows Defender Firewall.
What is Microsoft 365 Defender and Azure Defender?
Microsoft Defender is delivered in two tailored experiences, Microsoft 365 Defender for end-user environments and Azure Defender for cloud and hybrid infrastructure. Organizations can use Microsoft 365 Defender to secure email, client endpoints, identity and apps. Azure Defender can add protection for server endpoints, containers, networks, managed apps and SQL Server.
Do I need a firewall with Windows Defender?
No, you do not need to install additional firewall software, the Windows Security app already has it. But if you install one, it is advisable to keep Windows Defender Firewall enabled, regardless of whether or not you have any other firewall installed on your computer.
Are Windows Defender and Firewall the same thing?
No, they are different. Windows Defender (now Microsoft Defender) is an antivirus program that protects your system from various threats such as malware, viruses, etc. On the other hand, Windows Defender Firewall is responsible for monitoring network traffic and blocking hackers to prevent unauthorized access.
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