The simple answer is YES. Windows 11 needs antivirus software. However, there may be more you need to consider. When you acquire a new computer, you usually want to consider safety and data security. This thought often culminates in the decision to use or not use an antivirus. The good news is that Windows 11 has a built-in security system; however, the real question is whether it suffices or needs a third-party alternative.

In this guide, we provide a comprehensive education on protection for Windows 11 to help you make a more informed decision about antivirus. Let us get to it.

Understanding the Threat Landscape for Windows 11

The threat landscape for Windows 11 is evolving, and in many ways, we are seeing similar patterns with earlier editions of the Windows operating system, especially as cybercriminals develop sophisticated and new attack models. This simply means you must stay up-to-date in other not to fall victim.

Some common threats that Windows 11 may be prone to include the following:

  • Ransomware: These attacks encrypt your files, holding them until a ransom is paid. These are often a very costly price to pay in terms of finance and productivity time lost.
  • Phishing attacks: These are attacks that users are often tricked into, making them give up valuable, sensitive information like passwords or credit card details. The attacker often imitates legitimate organizations and sends you emails that they may use in capturing your data.
  • Supply chain attacks: These are an increasingly popular form of data theft used by cybercriminals. They target third-party suppliers or vendors, gaining access to their systems.
  • Zero-day attacks: These are among the hardest attacks to spot because they are usually targeted at vulnerabilities in software that are not yet known. At the time of these attacks, there usually are no patches to these vulnerabilities.

Native Security Features in Windows 11 and Limitations

Windows 11 has several native security features, but the question is whether they are adequate. While they would suffice in most cases, they have their limitations. Let us now consider some of these features.

Windows Defender Security Center

The Windows Defender Security Center is a suite of programs that includes a firewall, antivirus, and other security features. It is enabled by default on the OS and offers basic security protection against a spectrum of threats, but it may not provide as comprehensive protection as some third-party solutions.

Device Encryption

Here is another native security feature of the Windows 11 OS. This feature means that the content of your drives can be encrypted. Encrypting your drives makes it extremely hard for unauthorized users to gain access. This feature is also enabled by default on the operating system. You should note that this feature will make it difficult to regain your data if you lose the password or encryption key.

Secure Boot

The Secure Boot feature ensures that on startup, only trusted software can run on your computer. This feature guards against malware loading when you boot a Windows 11 computer. Like the other discussed features, it is enabled by default. While this is a great security feature, it may stop you from installing some legitimate software.

Virtualization-based security (VBS)

VBS uses virtualisation to isolate specific critical and sensitive processes from the rest of your operating system. This helps prevent malware from accessing these processes or operations. Unlike the other security features discussed, VBS is not enabled by default. Before enabling it, you should remember that you may notice some performance issues.

Windows Hello

Windows Hello is the password screen you get when you turn on your computer. This security feature gives login options, including using your face, fingerprint, or iris. These options are more secure than using a password.

Why Do You Need Third-Party Antivirus Software?

Antivirus software is essential because it protects against many threats Windows 11 may be prone to.

However, although we have discussed many great security features on Windows 11, you may still need to employ a third-party tool since Windows 11 Security has limitations, as discussed above. Third-party protection often comes with the following benefits:

  • Enhanced Protection
  • Specialized Protection
  • Personalized Protection
  • Improved Performance
  • Additional Features

Key Features to Look For in Antivirus Software

Not all antivirus software gives the same level of protection. So before making a choice here are some key features to look out for:

  • Real-time Protection: This feature means that the antivirus will keep you safe from constantly evolving threats, scanning emails, files, and web traffic to identify and shut out any threats.
  • Automatic updates: You must consider how frequently the threat database and the antivirus are updated. More updates will often translate to better security.
  • Low System Impact: Your antivirus will run when you boot your system. A resource-intensive solution will negatively impact system performance. You should go for a lightweight solution.
  • Additional Features: Basic protection should only be the starting point. You should consider how much more they offer. Consider features such as password managers and identity protection tools.
  • Multi-Device Protection: If you intend to use your antivirus on multiple devices, then this is a feature you must consider. Some solutions offer protection on tablets, PCs, mobile phones and more.

Best Antivirus Software for Windows 11

With this in mind, here are some antivirus software we recommend:

1. ESET NOD32 Antivirus

ESET NOD32 Antivirus for windows 11

For Windows 11, ESET NOD32 Antivirus is a great utility. After extensive testing by independent testing labs, it performs well compared to competing Windows 11 antivirus programs. In addition to having sophisticated virus protection, it has a game mode that enhances Windows device gaming.

2. McAfee Total Protection

McAfee Total Protection for windows 11

For Windows users, McAfee Total Protection offers strong real-time protection against malware. It includes a strong VPN, integrated anti-identity theft, real-time virus defense and analysis, and encrypted file storage. It also contains a firewall, an extra security layer to monitor network activity.

3. Norton 360 Deluxe

Norton 360 Deluxe antivirus for windows 11

For Windows 11 users, Norton 360 Deluxe antivirus offers strong malware protection at a great price. You receive real-time virus and ransomware protection features.

The firewall and effective VPN in the antivirus system guard against unwanted access and improve user privacy. We adore its user-friendly interface as well.

Although this antivirus for Windows 11 is pricey, with a single subscription plan, you can protect many devices.

Closing Thoughts

That’s the bit we share in this guide. Now, you should know how to keep your Windows computer safe and what tools you may employ. If you have any questions on the subject, we love to read them in the comment section.

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