Using Windows Defender? An Easy Way To Get A Second Opinion.

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If you're running Windows 10, you probably decided that its built-in free antivirus software Windows Defender would be sufficient to protect you from malware.  And to a large extent you'd be absolutely right.  Windows Defender is a pretty good product, and it's free, and it's built right into Windows so it seems to have much less of an impact on performance than other full-fat security suites do.
 
But if you're like me, there might still be a lingering doubt.   Maybe you've read stories on some techie websites which seems to suggest that Defender's detection rate isn't quite up there with the market leaders.  And that Microsoft had consciously decided not to try to beat the major players at their own game.
 
So while Windows Defender is a good choice, especially if you don't want the overheads and expense of a full security suite, you may also wish to get a second opinion by scanning your PC with another antivirus product.  Just to make sure, you understand.  
 
The problem, though, is that you can't generally run 2 antivirus products at the same time.  They each work at a very low level within the operating system, intercepting all of your file and disk access in order that the data can be checked before you get to see it.  And if there are two programs fighting over who gets access to the information first, Windows generally gets upset. 
 
Which is where the Sophos Virus Removal Tool comes in.  It's a stand-alone scanner which runs purely on-demand.  IE, when you actively tell it to scan your PC.  It doesn't try to intercept anything in real time, so it'll happily work alongside your existing scanner, whether that's Defender or something else. It's from Sophos, which is a major player in corporate security software, and it uses the same database of malware signatures that the main software does.  
 
It's free, too.
 
You can download Sophos Virus Removal Tool from https://www.sophos.com/en-us/products/free-tools/virus-removal-tool.aspx and the installer runs to around 134 MB.  Which is too large for VirusTotal to check, but my own antivirus software finds no issue with it.  Web of Trust, too, is happy.   Give it a try, and you will be too.  Simply run it every week or so, to give your overall PC security a boost without affecting performance.
 
 

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Comments

Is it portable? Can I install it on a flash drive for use when I need it?

If Microsoft consciously decided to try to beat the major players at their own game it would be an embarrassment of epic proportions. Windows defender is something I would only use as a temporary fallback if my anti-virus and spyware software stopped working.