Avast vs Windows Defender: Which antivirus is best among the two

Abeerah Hashim  - Security Expert
Last updated: November 12, 2023
Read time: 13 minutes

Read this in-depth Avast versus Windows Defender comparison to decide whether it's a good idea to ditch Microsoft's inbuilt antivirus or not.


Avast is one of the oldest antimalware available in the market that became popular among users for its free availability. But later, Microsoft’s Windows Defender surfaced online as a rival service offering similar protection at no cost. Avast’s strengths include free availability with other paid options, low-cost subscriptions, multiple scan functions, and low resource consumption. But it lags behind Microsoft Defender in that it has a low detection rate and shows ads – both of which are absent with Defender, making it a preferable option for regular Windows users. This guide tells a head-to-head comparison between Avast and Windows Defender.

If you use Windows as your regular operating system, you know that antivirus software is not optional. Seriously, unless you keep the device in question offline permanently (which is unthinkable), the lack of a good antivirus suite will take away your ownership over the system in a matter of hours or less. That brings us to the next problem, of course: what is the antivirus software that you should choose?

You can choose between free versions or paid ones. Microsoft provides Windows Defender pre-installed, as you probably know already. However, very few users consider that Windows Defender alone can keep their systems safe enough without the help of additional software.

Consequently, most users will search for options in the antivirus market. The market includes free versions as well as paid ones, and Avast is prominent among them. In this in-depth Windows Defender and Avast comparison, we help you decide which antivirus is better for you today.

Avast versus Windows Defender, head to head

Microsoft introduced Windows Defender as a comprehensive antivirus solution for Windows, starting with Windows 7. In the latest Windows versions, it’s an inbuilt feature. Obviously, Microsoft didn’t add this feature just because it had spare engineers to keep busy. Nevertheless, it forces a few questions to mind.

Is Windows Defender good enough to keep you safe from malware? Do I need antivirus software other than Windows Defender? Are there better options out there?