For Gamers: Avast Free or Windows Defender?

  • Avast Free

    Votes: 14 51.9%
  • Windows Defender

    Votes: 13 48.1%
  • Total voters
    27
Products to compare
Windows Defender
Avast Free 19.1.2360
Compare
Usability
Performance and System Impact
Computer protection (Antivirus engine, Heuristic engine)
Internet protection (Web Guard, Anti-Phishing, Antispam, Browser extension)
Proactive protection (Behavior blocker, HIPS, Sandbox)
Network protection (Firewall, Botnet protection)

Raiden

Level 9
Content Creator
Verified
Both are great, so I would give them both a try and see which one you like most.

Personally while Avast is pretty good on the protection front, I am not a huge fan of the company anymore. They have been caught numerous times doing questionable things when it comes to data mining and leaving some processes on your system after you uninstall it. While it's free you will be subjected to ad's, but apparently you can stop that by blocking a process within Windows firewall. Performance wise, it seems to be fairly light on the system. Again, this is my opinion, but protection wise it's a fairly capable product.

WD is free, no ad's, not in your face and protection wise has come along ways. There are some additional settings that you can tweak to make it stronger, but it's not very user friendly when it comes to making these changes. You have to make the changes either via Registry, Powershell or Group Policy Editor, which can be a little confusing and time consuming, however, there is a solution, it's called Configure Defender! :emoji_clap: Its a tiny program created by @Andy Ful , who is a member here and basically he created a GUI to make these changes very quickly with just a few mouse clicks.(y)

On the performance side of things, WD is for the most part not very noticeable, however, if you are installing/uninstalling and or transferring large files very frequently, it tends to have an impact on the system during these tasks, due to the way it scans. Aside from that, you don't even notice it. Furthermore it's built in to W10, never expires, pretty much guaranteed to work with every major release of W10 and usually has the least conflicts with other programs, at least in my experience.

Personally I would suggest WD, I use it on my gaming system and I haven't noticed any impact on gaming performance when using it. I can run all my games maxed out without any issues.

In saying all of this, as I mentioned above, try both of them out for a few weeks each and decide for yourself. You will probably get a lot of opinions one way or another, but keep in mind going with the one with the most "votes" doesn't mean it's the best one for you. Not saying that my fellow members here are wrong, or don't know what they are talking about, but at the end of the day they are all opinions, just like my post is. After all it's your system, so you have to be happy with it.;)

Keep in mind that no product is perfect and no product can protect you 100% every time. Pick the program you like the most, practice safe habits and chances are you will be fine. Your computing habits are just as important, if not more important than the security program you decide to use.:)
 
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Right Understands no product is perfect, and yes am trying out which one seem to like the best, am slowly getting tired of Avast, so removed it the other morning, and setup Defender, configured with ConfigureDefenderx64

So far so good for the most part, not too many noticeable performance issues as yet, though Laptop so far still running Avast Free for the moment, depending on how it goes on desktop, might switch Laptop as well (Laptop similar specs to Desktop, minus a little less memory)

Anyhow thanks for the very informative reply there
 

Captain Awesome

Level 21
Tester
Verified
I suggest you to go with Bitdefender free av+OSArmor+Windows10 firewall+Some Google Chrome extension or Firefox extension like Bitdefender TrafficLight+emsisoft browser security+uBlock Origin
 
Reactions: Kuttz

Raiden

Level 9
Content Creator
Verified
Right Understands no product is perfect, and yes am trying out which one seem to like the best, am slowly getting tired of Avast, so removed it the other morning, and setup Defender, configured with ConfigureDefenderx64

So far so good for the most part, not too many noticeable performance issues as yet, though Laptop so far still running Avast Free for the moment, depending on how it goes on desktop, might switch Laptop as well (Laptop similar specs to Desktop, minus a little less memory)

Anyhow thanks for the very informative reply there
No problem and sorry I didn't realize that you switched to WD on one of your systems. Seems like you are following the journey many of us here have had. We've all used 3rd party AV/suites though out the years, but like you have slowly, or officially have gotten tired of them and have come to rely more on the built in security within W10, rather than using a 3rd party AVs/suites. Especially since MS has really upped their came on this front.

TBH, I'm very happy ever since I switched to WD tweaked with OSA and Syshardener. No major conflicts, overall performance very good, great protection and simply, it just works with no fuss, for me at least. Aside from my gaming system I also have the same setup on my laptop, which by comparison to my bigger system is much more under powered, but even with that I haven't had any issues with performance and or conflicts.

Either way let us know what you decide after you've had more time with both.


I suggest you to go with Bitdefender free av+OSArmor+Windows10 firewall+Some Google Chrome extension or Firefox extension like Bitdefender TrafficLight+emsisoft browser security+uBlock Origin
Nice config, but please don't take this the wrong way, I mean this in the absolute friendliness of ways :), but can you elaborate why you would recommend this setup over the ones the OP asked about? I'm not saying its a garbage setup, but I think these discussions would be more fruit full if there were detailed explanations as to why, rather than posting a list of programs/extensions.;)
 
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Captain Awesome

Level 21
Tester
Verified
Nice config, but please don't take this the wrong way, I mean this in the absolute friendliness of ways :), but can you elaborate why you would recommend this setup over the ones the OP asked about? I'm not saying its a garbage setup, but I think these discussions would be more fruit full if there were detailed explanations as to why, rather than posting a list of programs/extensions.;)
First of all i think "No AV" is needed for gaming i personally use NVT ERP(Lockdown) but if i have to pick i would like to pick Bitdefender free over avast and WD(No hate for Avast or WD) because it has lightness and good virus signature+Heuristic engine just set and forget.

OSArmor:Basic Anti-Exploit to analyze parent processes and child processes blocking exploit payloads prevent Regsvr32.exe or Mshta.exe from loading remote scripts and last lightweight and free.

Windows10 firewall:Windows firewall(OS10) advance is best if you config it right(My personal opinion)

Bitdefender TrafficLight+emsisoft browser security+uBlock Origin extensions:Scans the pages for threats, phishing and fraud attempts.Identifies trackers that report on your browsing behaviour.
uBlock Origin extension:You can load and enforce thousands more filters than other popular blockers out there.
 

KonradPL

Level 3
If You need a basic protection both will be good choice but for performance in games I think windows defender is pretty good and You can stick with it
 
Reactions: plat1098

Spawn

Administrator
Staff member
Verified
windows defender is pretty good
It lacks in certain features compared to more comprehensive suites, but then again security software is only as effective as the end user.

For example: IDS/HIPS
- User runs a program downloaded from the Internet.
- An alert to prompt user of suspicious activity.
- If user allows = Risk / Malware.
- If user blocks = No Risk / Crashes program.
 

LDogg

Level 27
Verified
WD vs Avast.

WD is not noticeable UNLESS you're transferring large quantities of files. During a gaming session you won't see any drawback at all. With Avast it's the same only with the no noticeable drawback. You could even use Comodo Firewall with cs settings that would be suffice for your gaming needs. You won't get many prompts either and you have the option to whitelist files if any issues occur.

The best thing I could say is test WD, Comodo, Avast and maybe some others you like and see what the advantages and disadvantages are. It's all ok taking some advice from people like me on the internet, but we do not know what impact or issues that could arise from giving you that sort of advice, so take this as you needed. If you wish to follow and see where is goes, be my guest :p

The best learning curve is sometimes by oneself and their journey.

~LDogg
 

Evjl's Rain

Level 40
Content Creator
Trusted
Malware Hunter
Verified
almost none of the AVs affects gaming experience unless they update during gaming or consume too much RAM
Avast and WD are both good for this purpose but you MUST add your gaming folder to exclusion so they won't monitor your games
all of the AVs I have used never decrease any FPS

sometimes, WD updating its signatures made my games laggy

except emsisoft made my gaming crash + BSODs
 
Well So far only been 3 days trying out Defender on my most used Desktop, Intel I7 7700 Desktop, so far so good it appears, still more time needed to make a final decision if I shall stick with it. Some of the games are on the SSD drive, and some on the Secondary storage drive--no issues with loading the games, or false positives so far---Game is excluded per the instructions for the one particular game. (Rest isn't excluded and so far so good)

Eventually replacing Secondary storage drive (maybe for birthday) with a WD Black 1TB, as think that will be enough space, as i got 1 Western Digital 2tb external, another 1tb, another 500gb, and a Seagate 8TB (won via a twitter CES contest) as for large file transfers not many of those, off and on most of the time.

Laptop used a few hours each day, but different games on that system, smaller bootup SSD currently, unless i upgrade that one too eventually lol with a larger m.2 drive
 
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voyes

Level 3
Antivirus with gaming machines sounds like regular gas for a Ferrari. You should be very careful. Don't just drop an antivirus solution and leave. If you have enough experience I'd recommend SRP.
Or use ShadowDefender Or RollBack RX Home (FREE Alternative)
 
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