Do You Need Antivirus for Windows 7? (How to Go about It)
Microsoft released Windows 7 in 2009 and soon grew popular with users. Windows 7 follows Windows Vista and comes with new graphical features and smooth operation. Microsoft had also upgraded their security features in this version making the platform safer and easy to use.
Unfortunately, Windows 7 doesn’t turn to be as safe as Microsoft claims. Many viruses, malware, spyware and phishing attacks on Windows 7 have left a question on its security level.
As you will learn, Windows 7 is not immune to virus attacks and hackings. Both Experts and Microsoft suggest not to depend on the in-built security features as they are not effective against many threats. You should use an antivirus for real-time security and protection from advanced threats.
So let’s check out the essential features you should have in your Windows 7. Also, do you need to pay for an antivirus? Let’s find out!
Free Antivirus Software for Windows 7
Should you go for a free antivirus?
There’s no harm in trying out a free antivirus, but it’s a market where you get what you pay for. You can certainly try out a free trial which enables you to know the software and decide its pros and cons.
You can always upgrade to a pro version or buy a license for a year to enjoy additional security benefits. But free programs don’t come with a telephone or chat support so you can’t expect help when you need it.
Some of the features to look for in your antivirus include-
Timely detection of threats and abnormalities keep your PC protected. You should be able to nullify a threat before it causes harm to your computer. That means tracking all your downloads, activities and files proactively.
Multilayered Malware Protection
Multilayered malware protection scan all the URLs you visit for malicious codes and malware. Some antiviruses also provide ratings of each URL to determine the level of safety.
Secure Browsers and VPN
Secure browsers go a long way to protect sensitive information and personal details for activities like online banking and online shopping. Surely, you don’t want your card details to fall on the wrong hands!
Firewalls and Spam Filter
Blocks suspicious inbound requests and auto-downloads to prevent unauthorized access and spam.
Backup with Encryption
Many antiviruses will help you take backup of your critical data and files on the cloud. The process should be encrypted to prevent any possible leak of information.
Should You Use Paid or Free Antivirus?
Some paid antivirus brands offer free versions of their solutions. It doesn’t hurt to try them out, but you can’t expect reliable protection. Let’s see what considerations come up when choosing between paid and free antivirus.
Free and paid products both are capable of identifying infections and viruses. But paid antiviruses are more effective against new and advanced threats because of their expansive system-behavior monitoring system.
So free programs miss out on some threats which can turn fatal for your system.
Many users experience false warnings from free antivirus. The programs can’t make sure whether a file is safe or not and generates a warning in return. The best way to tell if a file is infected is to upload it on a virus check site.
You will get a detailed report after multiple antivirus engines scan the file.
Paid antivirus’s come with additional essential features like firewall and active protection to safeguard you from phishing and ransomware. You get an easy-to-use interface with customizable security settings.
Does Windows 7 has Virus Protection
Microsoft claimed that Windows 7 would be more secure OS than Vista and included some in-built security features like Microsoft Security Essentials and anti-malware scanning tool. But the security features aren’t enough to defend your system against the latest threats.
An antivirus brand introduced 10 new malware to a Windows 7 computer and 8 of them ran without any problem. Only 2 of the malware wouldn’t execute properly.
Windows 7 is designed to offer backward compatibility to run programs and applications of earlier versions like Vista. So it only makes sense that viruses and malware that worked on older versions of Windows will work on Windows 7.
Some of the other security features in Windows 7 include a malware blocker for Internet Explorer, An IT tool to white list applications on corporate networks and data encryption for flash drives. But even with all features, Windows 7 falls short of its promises.
Microsoft released a statement saying that they never recommended users to depend on a specific feature in Windows 7. That means you should install a top antivirus that offers protection on multiple levels.
- Comprehensive scanning options
- Lots of security features
- Available for different platforms
- VPN and safe site for online protection and anonymity
- Device performance and optimization tools
- Comes with advanced two-wall firewall
- One account for all devices
- The renewal rates are quite high
- No free trial
- iOS app doesn't have antivirus
- No email protection
- Powerful and effective antivirus engine
- Bonus features at zero cost
- Can be customized according to your security preferences
- Network inspector, VPN mode, password manager
- Good scores from testing labs
- Comes with dedicated gaming mode
- Can impact the system performance for slower and older devices
- Contains advertisements to upgrade to pro version
- Secure browser collects search history and web behavior for selling to third parties
- Strong malware protection and system boosting tools in free version
- Works across multiple devices and operating systems
- Wide selection of antivirus solutions
- Light on system resources
- Simple and intuitive interface
- A limited number of devices covered in the free version
- Only Chrome and Firefox is compatible with Web Shield
- Doesn't have a free trial
- Limited choice of VPN servers