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Windows Defender vs Avast: In-depth antivirus comparison




Windows Defender or Avast, which is a better antivirus for your PC? In this guide, we’re going to compare the two and answer this question.

Windows Defender comes preinstalled with Windows 10, and it offers you great protection as soon as your PC boots.

Avast Antivirus has a long history and it offers great features and a wide array of settings that you can customize.

Is Windows Defender enough to protect your PC? Keep on reading this guide to find out.

Windows 10 comes with its own antivirus software called Windows Defender, but is Windows Defender good enough to protect your PC?

Many are wondering how does Windows Defender compares to other antivirus software, and in this guide, we’re going to compare it with Avast.

Both applications offer similar features, but which one offers better protection and which one is easier to use? Keep reading to find out.

Windows Defender vs Avast, which one is better for your PC? A quick introduction

Windows Defender: A built-in antivirus software for Windows

Windows Defender is a successor to Microsoft Security Essentials, and the first version of the software was released in 2006 for Windows XP.

The software was a part of Windows Vista and Windows 7, but it only offered anti-spyware features. That changed with Windows 8, and Windows Defender finally became a full-fledged antivirus.

Windows Defender is now the default antivirus software for Windows 10 and Windows 8, and it’s not available for any older versions of Windows.

Avast Antivirus: A security veteran

The first free version of Avast was released way back in 2001, which makes Avast one of the older antivirus applications on the market.

Ever since its release, the software offered a freeware version while keeping certain features available only to premium users.

Nowadays, Avast Antivirus is available on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS making it one of the most used antivirus applications on the market.

User interface and ease of use

Windows Defender: A core component of Windows 10

Windows Defender is a core component of Windows Security on Windows 10, and you can access it from the Settings app.

The look is identical to any other section in the Settings app, and all antivirus categories can be easily accessed from the menu in the left pane.

As you can see, Windows Defender has a simple and friendly user interface that is identical to other sections of the Settings app, so you won’t have any issues using it.

Avast Antivirus: Simple to use with a modern interface

The first thing you’ll notice about Avast is its simple and clean interface. All features are neatly organized in the left pane, and you can access all of them in a matter of seconds.

The right side of the application is reserved for notifications, so you can have a quick overview of the latest notifications, detected threats, etc.

On the right side, you can also find a menu that you can use to open settings or check your statistics. Overall, the interface is simple and friendly, and even first-time users should be able to navigate through it.

Security features

Windows Defender: Solid basic protection for any PC

Windows Defender comes with real-time, behavior-based protection that should be able to detect any malware threat on your PC in real-time.

It’s also important to mention that cloud-delivered protection is available for instant detection of new malware threats.

With Windows Defender, you can perform a quick scan, or see the list of files that have been whitelisted by you. You can also modify the scan settings and choose 4 different scan types.

The quick scan will scan only system folders in which malware tends to reside after an infection. However, you can perform a full system scan or select a specific directory or file that you want to scan.

Lastly, there’s the Microsoft Defender Offline scan that will restart your PC and perform the scan without starting Windows. This is especially useful against persistent malware, such as rootkits for example.

Anti-phishing support is available thanks to the Windows Defender SmartScreen feature, and with it, you should be able to detect suspicious websites with ease. Sadly, this feature only works with Microsoft Edge.

On the other hand, SmartScreen can also protect your PC by scanning all downloaded apps and files. You can even use SmartScreen to block apps that aren’t malicious but which have a bad reputation.

Speaking of files, Windows Defender can also protect your files with built-in Ransomware and exploit protection features.

The software also offers Device security features that can protect core parts of your device and prevent malicious code from accessing high-security processes.

To use this feature, you need to have suitable hardware, which usually refers to the TPM 2.0 chip, so keep that in mind.

Lastly, the software also lets you have a quick overview of your device’s health and performance, which might come in handy to some users.

Overall, Windows Defender offers great features, and it should provide solid protection to all Windows 10 users.

Avast Antivirus: A highly customizable security solution

Avast comes with real-time protection and several scan types. You can perform a smart scan, a full system scan, or just scan specific directories and files.

It’s worth mentioning that Avast supports boot-time scanning, so it can scan your PC for threats before Windows starts.

If you want to scan your system outside of Windows, you’ll be pleased to know that you can create a rescue disk on a DVD or USB flash drive and use it to scan your PC if it won’t boot.

The software also has a custom scan feature that lets you create your own scan and schedule it. You can choose how sensitive the scan will be and the type of threats the scan should detect.

With the Core Shields features, you’ll be able to scan any new files and detect any suspicious app activity.

It’s worth mentioning that you can configure how each Core Shield works, allowing you to fine-tune your settings for the best protection.

Wi-Fi Inspector is also a welcome feature that will scan your network and show you all devices that are connected to it and warn you about protentional vulnerabilities.

Ransomware Shield is also available, and it allows you to choose between Smart and Strict modes. With the former, only regular and trusted applications will be able to modify your files.

With the Strict Mode, you’ll have to give each application permission to modify your files, which is great if you’re heavily concerned about your security.

The feature will automatically protect common system folders, but you can add any other folder to the list in a matter of seconds.

Expert tip:

Although Avast Antivirus offers great features and in-depth configuration for scanning and core shields, the Free version misses several features.

The biggest feature that is missing is the Firewall, but you can always rely on Windows Firewall instead. Other missing features include the Sandbox feature, Remote Access Shield, and Real Site.

As for the privacy features, the following are missing in the free version: Data Shredder, Webcam Shield, Sensitive Data Shield, VPN, Password Protection, and AntiTrack Premium.

These features aren’t essential, and even without them, Avast will provide you with top-level security on your PC.

Windows DefenderAvast Antivirus

Real-time protectionYesYes

Ransomware protectionYesYes

FirewallNoOnly in Premium version

Scan schedulingNoYes

Boot scanYesYes

Rescue discNoYes


Core isolation, Memory integrityYesNo

Wi-Fi InspectorNoYes

Webcam protectionNoOnly in Premium version

AntiTrackingNoOnly in Premium version

SandboxNoOnly in Premium version

Malware protection

Windows Defender: Great protection for your PC

According to the latest AV Test report, Windows Defender achieved a 100% detection rate for 0-day malware attacks and a 100% detection rate for prevalent malware.

The software also had zero false warnings when visiting websites and just 1 false detection when scanning the system.

In addition, there were no false warnings or blockages while installing or using legitimate software.

Windows Defender achieved maximum rating according to the AV Test report, which means it’s perfectly safe and one of the better antivirus solutions on the market.

Avast Antivirus: All around perfect protection

AV Test report for Avast Antivirus states that the software had a 100% detection rate for both 0-day malware and prevalent malware.

Avast has zero false warnings or blockages when visit websites, and there was just one false detection during a system scan.

Lastly, there were no false warnings or blockages while installing or using legitimate software. This means that Avast earned a maximum rating according to the AV Test, which makes it one of the better antivirus applications.

Overall, both Windows Defender and Avast achieved similar results, with just a single false detection, which makes them both pretty reliable in terms of malware detection.

Performance and system impact

Windows Defender: You won’t even know it’s running

Windows Defender is a core component of Windows 10, and in most cases, you won’t even notice that it’s running on your PC.

During our testing, we didn’t notice any slowdowns or performance issues. However, during the manual scan, the CPU usage went up to 50%, but that didn’t cause any issues. As for the memory usage, it remained around 150MB.

Overall, we were pretty pleased with the results and didn’t have any issues while using the software in real-time scanning mode.

If you choose to perform a quick or full scan, you might encounter some slowdowns, but that applies only on low-end PCs.

Avast Antivirus: Low CPU usage during scans

While being idle, Avast used around 320MB of RAM and less than 1% of CPU power, so we didn’t even notice that it was running.

Regarding the scanning process, the memory usage went up to 334MB. As for the CPU usage, it varied between 20% and 40% or a bit more at times.

Although Avast used a bit more RAM than Windows Defender, it made up for it with its CPU usage. While Windows Defender kept CPU usage around 50% at all times during the manual scan, the CPU usage varied with Avast.

Overall, it seems that during our testing Avast used less CPU power on average, which makes it a perfect choice for low-end PCs.


Windows Defender: Comes with Windows 10, completely free

Windows Defender is a part of Windows 10, so it doesn’t have any additional fees. You just need to purchase Windows 10, and Windows Defender will be there with all of its features, free of charge.

All future updates are also free, so there’s no need to renew your license, meaning that you continue to use the software as long as you’re using Windows 10.

Avast Antivirus: Free, but with certain limitations

The free version of Avast Antivirus offers great protection from all online threats, including ransomware, while offering impressive customization options.

However, certain features are available only in the Premium version. The few features that we missed the most are the ability to run apps in Sandbox mode as well as firewall protection.

Webcam spying protection, file shredding, and protection against malicious websites are also available in the Premium version, but we managed to get by without them.

Keep in mind that the Free version might give you a reminder from time to time asking you to consider upgrading to the Premium version. While these reminders are harmless, some users might find them annoying.

⇒ Get Avast Antivirus Free


Windows Defender: Great basic protection available on any device

During our testing Windows Defender proved to be reliable and simple to use. Being a default antivirus on Windows 10 has its benefits, meaning that you’ll be protected as soon as you boot your PC.

Windows Defender improved a lot since the release of Windows 10, and except for minor and rare slowdowns, we didn’t have any issues.

Pros Free Comes with Windows 10 Simple to use Protects from all types of malware Ransomware protection Cons No scan scheduling Not many configuration options

Avast Antivirus: Secure and highly configurable

We were pleasantly surprised by the number of features that Avast offered, even in the free version. The interface is intuitive and simple to use, so even first-time users will be able to use it.

Configuration is a big part of Avast, and at times we felt overwhelmed with the number of settings that you can change, but that’s something that security experts will surely appreciate.

Certain features such as Software Updater, Driver Updater, and Cleanup felt a bit unnecessary, but you don’t have to use them if you want, and most of them are available only in the Premium version.

Pros Simple and friendly user interface Free to use Highly configurable Offers protection against all modern threats Ransomware protection Cons Some features are available only in Premium version Some features felt unnecessary

Comparing Windows Defender and Avast Antivirus isn’t an easy task, but if you’re going for the free option, both are great choices when it comes to available features.

However, we found Avast’s interface more engaging, and the level of settings that you can change is also a plus if you’re a security expert.

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Top 5 Ways To Disable Microsoft Defender In Windows 11

One of the quickest methods to disable the Microsoft Defender service temporarily in Windows 11 is to toggle it off using the Settings App. However, rebooting your system will enable it again. Follow these easy steps to achieve the same.

Press the Windows key and search for the Settings app to open it.

Toggle Off Real-Time Protection from the available options.

That’s it. You’ve temporarily disabled the Microsoft Defender service on your Windows 11 system.

Another effective method to turn off the Windows Defender service on your Windows 11 system is to turn it off using the service app. Follow these steps for an easy fix.

Open the Run Window in your system by simultaneously pressing the Windows key+R.

Type services. msc and hit the enter key.

Inside the Services window, scroll down to locate Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection and Windows Defender Firewall services.

That’s it. You’ve successfully disabled the Microsoft Defender service running on your system.

Before turning off Microsoft Defender with the help of the Group Policy Editor, you need to disable Tamper Protection in your Windows 11 system. Follow these steps to disable tamper protection and then use the group policy editor to disable Windows Defender.

To disable the tamper protection feature on your Windows 11 system, press the Windows key and search for the Tamper Protection feature to disable it.

Scroll down to locate the Tamper Protection section and toggle it off.

Now, press the Windows key+R to open the Run window in your system.

Type gpedit. msc and hit the enter key to open the Group Policy Editor Window.

Inside the Group Policy Editor window, navigate to the following path:

That’s it. You’ve successfully disabled Microsoft Defender on your Windows 11 system.

Another working method to disable the Windows Defender service on your system is to turn it off using the Windows Registry Editor tool. Follow these steps for an easy fix.

Press the Windows key and search for the Registry Editor tool to open it in administrator mode.

Navigate to the following path inside the Registry Editor window:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows Defender

That’s it. You’ve successfully disabled Windows Defender on your Windows 11 system.

Another effective workaround to disabling the Windows Defender service is to prevent it from starting automatically in your system. Follow these steps to achieve it using this working trick. For this method to work, you need to disable the tamper protection on your system as listed in the second method above.

Open a new tab in your web browser and download Autoruns for Windows.

Search for the WinDefend service and uncheck it from the list to prevent it from starting automatically.

That’s it. You’ve successfully prevented Windows Defender from running automatically inside your Windows 11 system.

So, that’s a wrap for the best ways to disable Microsoft Defender in your Windows 11 system. If this 2-minute read has helped you to fix your existing problems with Microsoft Defender then hit the Like button and share this read among your friends to assist them as well. Stay tuned for more awesome troubleshooting guides.

You can also follow us for instant tech news at Google News or for tips and tricks, smartphones & gadgets reviews, join GadgetsToUse Telegram Group, or for the latest review videos subscribe GadgetsToUse Youtube Channel.

Windows Defender Security Center Service Missing Windows 11/10

In today’s digital age, cyber attacks are becoming increasingly common and sophisticated. With the rise of malware and viruses, it’s more important than ever to have a strong and reliable antivirus program to safeguard your computer. However, after a malware attack, you may find that the Windows Defender Security Center Service is missing in Windows 11 or Windows 10, which can leave your computer vulnerable to further attacks.

In this article, we’ll delve into the causes of this problem and provide you with practical solutions to restore the missing Windows Security Center Service and get your computer protected again.

The problem arises when you try to enable Windows Defender after a malware attack, and you encounter an error message that says, “Security at a glance – Page not available” when you open the Windows Security settings. When you check the chúng tôi you find that the Windows Security Center Service is missing, which prevents you from enabling Windows Defender.

In some cases, you may see a pop-up that says “You’ll need a new app to open this windowsdefender link” when you try to open the Windows Security settings.

This issue can occur due to several reasons, including a virus or malware that targets the Security Center service or an update that interferes with the service. In some cases, it may be a simple glitch that can be fixed with a restart. However, if the service is missing from the chúng tôi you’ll need to take other steps to fix the issue.

Related issue: Windows 11 Security Tab Missing in Properties

Fortunately, there are several ways to fix the Windows Security Center Service missing issue. We’ll discuss some of the most effective methods below.

One way to fix the problem is to reinstall Windows Defender. Reinstalling Windows Defender can bring back all the necessary services for Windows Defender and Security Center. This can be done with several methods, including running a simple PowerShell command. We recommend trying this method first to see if it resolves the issue. If it doesn’t, try the next solution below.

If reinstalling Windows Defender didn’t resolve the issue, you can restore the Windows Defender Service in Windows 11 or Windows 10 using a registry file. However, before you can import the registry key, you need to start the chúng tôi as TrustedInstaller.

Also see: Windows Registry Key “Access is Denied” Error

Download Advanced Run from Nirsoft and extract the contents to a folder on your computer.

Under the “Run As” section, select “TrustedInstaller” from the drop-down menu.

Now that you’ve started chúng tôi as TrustedInstaller, you can import the registry file to restore the Windows Defender Service.

Warning: Editing the registry can be risky, and if you’re not familiar with it, it’s best to seek professional help. Before making any changes to the registry, we recommend creating a system restore point or backing up the registry in case something goes wrong. It’s essential to take these precautions to avoid any potential damage to your system.

Download our restore Windows Defender service registry fix.

Extract the downloaded zip file (we recommend extracting it to C: drive).

Navigate to the registry file that corresponds to your Windows version. For example, if you are using Windows 11, select the chúng tôi file.

When prompted for confirmation, select Yes.

Close the Registry Editor and restart your computer.

After restarting your computer, check if the Security Center Service has been restored. If it’s functional again, we urge you to immediately run Windows Update to update Windows Defender to the latest version. Keeping Windows Defender up-to-date with the latest security definitions is crucial to ensure maximum protection against potential security threats.

If the Security Center Service is still not working, you may need to try resetting or clean reinstalling Windows 11/10.

If reinstalling Windows Defender or restoring the Windows Defender Service using the registry file didn’t work, you may need to consider resetting or clean reinstalling Windows 11 or 10 to fix the issue.

Resetting Windows enables you to keep your personal files and settings while removing any apps and drivers that were installed, while a clean reinstall erases everything on your hard drive and installs a fresh copy of Windows. Either of these processes may take some time, but they should fix any issues related to missing Windows Defender or Security Center services.

However, it’s important to note that a clean reinstall should be considered only as a last resort after exhausting all other options. Before proceeding, make sure to back up your files and create a system restore point to avoid losing any valuable data.

In addition to the solutions outlined in this article, we recommend running repair command tools such as SFC (System File Checker) and DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) to ensure that your Windows operating system is functioning correctly. These tools can help fix corrupted or missing system files that may be causing the Windows Defender Security Center Service to disappear.

To run SFC, open the Command Prompt as an administrator and type in the command “sfc /scannow” (without the quotes) and press Enter. The scan may take some time, but once it’s complete, you should see a message indicating whether any issues were found and whether they were successfully repaired.

To run DISM, open the Command Prompt as an administrator and type in the command “dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth” (without the quotes) and press Enter. This scan may also take some time, but it can help repair any issues with your system image.

If the Windows Security Center service disappears again after restoring it, it may indicate that your computer is still infected with malware or a virus that is disabling the service. In this case, it’s important to act fast and take additional measures to protect your computer.

Instead of trying to restore Windows Defender, which may not be reliable if the service keeps disappearing, we recommend using a trusted third-party antivirus or anti-malware software to perform a full system scan. It’s essential to choose a reputable software that is known to be effective in detecting and removing malware and viruses.

If the third-party software detects any threats, it’s important to take immediate action and follow the software’s instructions to remove the malware or virus. Once the threat has been removed, you can try restoring the Windows Security Center service again.

We hope this article has been helpful in resolving your Windows Defender Security Center Service missing issue, and we encourage you to take the necessary steps to protect your computer from future threats.

Avast Secureline Vpn Review: Pros, Cons, Verdict (2023)

Avast SecureLine VPN

Adrian Try

Effectiveness: Private and secure, poor streaming

Price: Starting $55.20 per year (up to 10 devices)

Ease of Use: Very simple and easy to use

Support: Knowledgebase, forum, web form

Ever feel like you’re being watched or followed? Or someone’s listening in to your phone conversations? “Do we have a secure line?” You’ve probably heard that said a hundred times in spy movies. Avast offers you a secure line to the internet: Avast SecureLine VPN.

A VPN is a “Virtual Private Network”, and helps protect your privacy and enhance your security when you’re online, as well as tunnel through to sites that have been blocked. Avast’s software doesn’t try to do more than it needs to, and is fast, but not the fastest. It’s easy to set up, even if you’ve never used a VPN before.

Why Trust Me for This Avast VPN Review?

I’m Adrian Try, and I’ve been using computers since the 80s and the internet since the 90s. I’ve been an IT manager and tech support guy, and know the importance of using and encouraging safe internet practices.

I’ve used a number of remote access applications over the years. In one job we used GoToMyPC to update our contact database on the main office’s server, and as a freelancer, I’ve used a number of mobile solutions to access my iMac when out and about.

I’m familiar with Avast, having used and recommended their antivirus program for many years, and making it my business to keep up to date with the best security practices and solutions. I downloaded and thoroughly tested Avast SecureLine VPN, and researched the testing and opinions of industry experts.

Avast SecureLine VPN Review: What’s In It for You?

Avast SecureLine VPN is all about protecting your privacy and security online, and I’ll list its features in the following four sections. In each sub-section, I’ll explore what the app offers and then share my personal take.

1. Privacy through Online Anonymity

Do you feel like you’re being watched or followed? You are. When you surf the internet, your IP address and system information are sent along with each packet. That means:

A VPN can help by making you anonymous. That’s because your online traffic will no longer carry your own IP address, but that of the network you’re connected to. Everyone else connected to that server shares the same IP address, so you get lost in the crowd. You’re effectively hiding your identity behind the network, and have become untraceable. At least in theory.

The problem is that now your VPN service can see your IP address, system information, and traffic, and could (in theory) log it. That means if privacy is important to you, you’ll need to do some homework before choosing a VPN service. Check their privacy policy, whether they keep logs, and whether they have a history of handing user data over to law enforcement.

Avast SecureLine VPN doesn’t keep logs of the data you send and receive online. That’s a good thing. But they do keep logs of your connections to their service: when you connect and disconnect, and how much data you’ve sent and received. They’re not alone in this and delete the logs every 30 days.

Some competitors don’t keep any logs at all, which may suit you better if privacy is your biggest concern.

Industry experts have tested for “DNS leaks”, where some of your identifiable information may still fall through the cracks. In general, these tests have indicated no leaks in Avast SecureLine.

Another way you can be identified is through your financial transactions with your VPN service. Some services allow you to pay by Bitcoin, and that way they have absolutely no way to identify you. Avast doesn’t do this. Payment must be made by BPAY, credit/debit card, or PayPal.

My personal take: There’s never a guarantee of perfect anonymity, but Avast does a pretty good job of protecting your online privacy. If online anonymity is your absolute priority, look for a service that keeps no logs and allows payment via Bitcoin. But Avast provides privacy sufficient enough for most users.

2. Security through Strong Encryption

The traceable information that normal browsing broadcasts isn’t just a threat to your privacy, but to your security as well, especially in certain situations:

On a public wireless network, say at a coffee shop, anyone else on that network with the right software (for packet sniffing) can intercept and log the data sent between you and the public router.

Maybe the coffee shop doesn’t even have wifi, but a hacker can set up a fake hotspot to make you think it does. You end up sending your data straight to the hacker.

In these cases, they don’t just see your data—they could also redirect you to fake sites where they can steal your accounts and passwords.

A VPN is an effective defense against this type of attack. Governments, the military, and large corporations have been using them as a security solution for decades.

They achieve this by creating a secure, encrypted tunnel between your computer and the VPN server. Avast SecureLine VPN offers users strong encryption and pretty good security in general. Unlike some VPNs, though, it doesn’t offer a choice of encryption protocols.

The cost of this security is speed. First, running your traffic through your VPN’s server is slower than accessing the internet directly. And adding encryption slows it down a little more. Some VPNs handle this quite well, while others significantly slow down your traffic. I’ve heard that Avast’s VPN is reasonably fast, but not the fastest, so I decided to test it.

Before I installed and activated the software, I tested my internet speed. If you’re not impressed, I live in a part of Australia that’s not too speedy, and my son was gaming at the time. (The test I ran while he was still at school was twice as fast.)

When connected to one of Avast SecureLine’s Australian servers (according to Avast, my “optimal server”), I noticed a significant slow-down.

Connecting to an overseas server was even slower. When connected to Avast’s Atlanta server, my ping and upload speeds were significantly slower.

My speed through a London server was a little slower again.

My experience is that download speeds may be 50-75% of unprotected speeds. While that’s fairly typical, there are faster VPNs out there.

If security is your priority, Avast offers a feature that not all services do: a kill switch. If you’re unexpectedly disconnected from your VPN, SecureLine can block all internet access until you reconnect. This feature is turned off by default, but is easy to enable in the settings.

I continued testing Avast’s speed (along with five other VPN services) over the next few weeks (including after I got my internet speed sorted out) and found Avast’s speeds in the middle of the range. The fastest speed I achieved when connected was 62.04 Mbps, which was a high 80% of my normal (unprotected) speed. The average of all the servers I tested was 29.85 Mbps. If you’d like to wade through them, here are the results from every speed test I performed:

Unprotected speeds (no VPN)

2023-04-05 4:55 pm Unprotected 20.30

2023-04-24 3:49 pm Unprotected 69.88

2023-04-24 3:50 pm Unprotected 67.63

2023-04-24 4:21 pm Unprotected 74.04

2023-04-24 4.31 pm Unprotected 97.86

Australian servers (closest to me)

2023-04-05 4:57 pm Australia (Melbourne) 14.88 (73%)

2023-04-05 4:59 pm Australia (Melbourne) 12.01 (59%)

2023-04-24 3:52 pm Australia (Melbourne) 62.04 (80%)

2023-04-24 3:56 pm Australia (Melbourne) 35.22 (46%)

2023-04-24 4:20 pm Australia (Melbourne) 51.51 (67%)

US servers

2023-04-05 5:01 pm US (Atlanta) 10.51 (52%)

2023-04-24 4:01 pm US (Gotham City) 36.27 (47%)

2023-04-24 4:05 pm US (Miami) 16.62 (21%)

2023-04-24 4:07 pm US (New York) 10.26 (13%)

2023-04-24 4:08 pm US (Atlanta) 16.55 (21%)

2023-04-24 4:11 pm US (Los Angeles) 42.47 (55%)

2023-04-24 4:13 pm US (Washington) 29.36 (38%)

European servers

2023-04-05 5:05 pm UK (London) 10.70 (53%)

2023-04-05 5:08 pm UK (Wonderland) 5.80 (29%)

2023-04-24 3:59 pm UK (Wonderland) 11.12 (14%)

2023-04-24 4:14 pm UK (Glasgow) 25.26 (33%)

2023-04-24 4:17 pm UK (London) 21.48 (28%)

Notice that the fastest speeds were on the Australian servers closest to me, though I did have one good result on a Los Angeles server on the other side of the world. Your results will vary from mine depending on where you are in the world.

Finally, while a VPN can protect you from malicious files, I was surprised to discover that one reviewer discovered some adware inside the Avast SecureLine VPN software. So I scanned the installer on my iMac with Bitdefender Virus Scanner, and confirmed it does indeed contain adware. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised—I remember the free version of Avast Antivirus being ad-supported. Not ideal in an app designed to make you more secure!

My personal take: Avast SecureLine VST will make you more secure online. Other VSTs may offer a little more security through additional features and options, and Avast’s inclusion of adware is disappointing.

3. Access Sites that Have Been Blocked Locally

Businesses, schools, and governments can restrict access to the sites you are able to visit. For example, a business may block access to Facebook so you don’t waste your work hours there, and some governments may censor content from the outside world. A VPN can tunnel through those blocks.

But do so at your own risk. Using Avast SecureLine to bypass your employer’s filters while at work may cost you your job, and bypassing a country’s internet censorship may end you up in hot water. For example, in 2023 China started to identify and block VPNs—call it the Great Firewall of China—and in 2023 they have started to fine individuals who circumvent these measures, not just the service providers.

My personal take: A VPN can give you access to the sites your employer, educational institution or government are trying to block. Exercise caution when deciding to do this.

4. Access Streaming Services that Have Been Blocked by the Provider

Some blocking comes on the other side of the connection, particularly when service providers want to limit the content to limited geographical regions. Avast SecureLine can help here, too, by allowing you to decide which country it looks like you’re in.

We’ll cover this in more depth in a separate article, but Netflix and other streaming content providers don’t offer all shows and movies in all countries, not because of their own agendas but because of the copyright holders. A show’s distributor may have given one network exclusive rights in a particular country, so they can’t sell Netflix the rights to show it there as well. Netflix is obliged to block it from anyone in that country.

A VPN can allow you to choose which country it appears you are in, which may help you bypass Netflix’s filter. So, since January 2023, they’ve been proactively trying to block VPNs, and have had a fair amount of success.

This is a concern—not just if you want to access another country’s shows, but even if you just use a VPN to enhance your security. Netflix will try to block all VPN traffic, even if you just want to access local shows. When using Avast SecureLine, your Netflix content also has to go through the VPN. Other VPN solutions provide something called “split tunneling”, where you can decide what traffic goes through the VPN and what doesn’t.

So you need a VPN that’s able to access the streaming services you use, like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, and the BBC. How effective is Avast Secureline? It’s not bad, but not the best. It has servers in many countries, but only four are “optimized for streaming”—one in the UK, and three in the US.

I tested whether I could access Netflix and the BBC iPlayer (which is only available in the UK) while Avast SecureLine VPN was enabled.

Streaming Content from Netflix

Notice the different ratings for “The Highwaymen” depending on the location of the server I had accessed. You may find that Netflix does block you from a certain server. Just try another one until you’re successful.

Unfortunately I didn’t have much success streaming content from Netflix. I tried eight servers at random, and only one (in Glasgow) was successful.

Random servers

2023-04-24 3:53 pm Australia (Melbourne) NO

2023-04-24 3:56 pm Australia (Melbourne) NO

2023-04-24 4:09 pm US (Atlanta) NO

2023-04-24 4:11 pm US (Los Angeles) NO

2023-04-24 4:13 pm US (Washington) NO

2023-04-24 4:15 pm UK (Glasgow) YES

2023-04-24 4:18 pm UK (London) NO

2023-04-24 4:20 pm Australia (Melbourne) NO

It was then that I noticed that Avast offers four special servers that are optimized for streaming. Surely I’ll have more success with them.

Unfortunately not. Every optimized server failed.

2023-04-24 3:59 pm UK (Wonderland) NO

2023-04-24 4:03 pm US (Gotham City) NO

2023-04-24 4:05 pm US (Miami) NO

2023-04-24 4:07 pm US (New York) NO

One server out of twelve is an 8% success rate, a spectacular fail. As a result, I can’t recommend Avast SecureLine for Netflix viewing. In my tests, I found it to have the poorest results by far. To compare, NordVPN had a 100% success rate, and Astrill VPN wasn’t far behind, with 83%.

Streaming Content from BBC iPlayer

Unfortunately, I had a similar lack of success when streaming from the BBC.

I tried all three UK servers but only had success with one.

2023-04-24 3:59 pm UK (Wonderland) NO

2023-04-24 4:16 pm UK (Glasgow) YES

2023-04-24 4:18 pm UK (London) NO

Other VPNs have more success. For example, ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and PureVPN all had a 100% success rate.

Streaming content is not the only benefit you get when using a VPN to appear that you’re in another country. You can also use them to save money when purchasing tickets. That’s especially helpful when you’re flying—reservation centers and airlines offer different prices to different countries.

My personal take: I don’t want to have to turn off my VPN and compromise my security every time I watch Netflix, but unfortunately that’s exactly what I’d have to do when using Avast SecureLine. Are you curious about which VPN is best for Netflix? Then read our full review. So was happy to see I can still access it. I wish that more “streaming optimized” servers were offered and that I had more luck accessing the BBC’s content.

Reasons Behind My Ratings

Effectiveness: 3/5

Avast includes the essential features to make your online activities more private and more secure and offers an acceptable but average download speed. However, it is my tests when trying to connect to streaming services were very poor. If this is important to you, I cannot recommend Avast SecureLine.

Price: 4/5

Avast’s price structure is a little more complex than other VPNs. If you need a VPN on multiple devices, then Avast is in the middle of the range. If you only need it on one mobile device, it’s relatively inexpensive.

Ease of Use: 5/5

Avast SecureLine VPN’s main interface is a simple on and off switch, and easy to use. Selecting a server in a different location is simple, and changing settings is straightforward.

Support: 4.5/5

Avast offers a searchable knowledgebase and user forum for SecureLine VPN. Support can be contacted via a web form. Some reviewers indicated that technical support could only be contacted by phone and that an additional fee was charged. That no longer seems to be the case, at least in Australia.

Alternatives to Avast VPN

ExpressVPN is a fast and secure VPN that combines power with usability and has a good track record with accessing Netflix. A single subscription covers all your devices. It’s not cheap but is one of the best VPNs available. Read our full ExpressVPN review for more.

NordVPN is another excellent VPN solution that uses a map-based interface when connecting to servers. Read our full NordVPN review for more.

Astrill VPN is an easy-to-configure VPN solution with reasonably fast speeds. Read our in-depth Astrill VPN review for more.

You may also check out our roundup review of the best VPNs for Mac, Netflix, Fire TV Stick, and routers.


If you’re already using Avast’s popular antivirus product, you may want to stay within the family when choosing a VPN. It’s available for Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android. You can protect up to ten devices for $55.20/year. But if streaming content from Netflix or elsewhere is important to you, give Avast a miss.

VPNs aren’t perfect, and there’s no way to absolutely ensure privacy on the internet. But they’re a good first line of defense against those who want to track your online behavior and spy on your data.

How To Manually Scan Individual Files And Folders Using Microsoft Defender

Every Windows 10 machine comes with Microsoft Windows Defender Antivirus pre-installed. Windows Defender is a capable antimalware and antivirus software that offers real-time system protection and data security functions on demand.

This application can take care of your security needs and it also works perfectly with other antivirus and antimalware software. The background protection is robust enough, but in some situations, you may need to scan specific files and folders for malware or viruses.

Even though Microsoft Defender continuously monitors your computer system, for ransomware and similar risks, you can still ask it to scan individual files. This post will show you three ways to scan specific files and folders with Microsoft Defender.

Scan individual files & folders using Microsoft Defender

I’ll walk you through the three best ways to scan individual files and folders with Microsoft Defender. The three ways include the following:

Using File Explorer.

Using PowerShell.

Using Command Prompt.

Those are the three methods we’ll treat. Continue reading for the complete steps for carrying out these processes.

1] Scan a specific file or folder with Microsoft Defender using File Explorer

This is the most straightforward way to scan a file or folder with Microsoft Defender.

Press the Windows key + E key combination to open File Explorer.

Navigate to the directory in which the file or folder is located. You could also get here by searching for the file or folder from the Start menu.

This page shows you the progress and results of your malware scans. You’ll also find other scanning modes.

A Full scan takes the longest as it checks every file on your system, as well as running processes.

The Quick scan option is quicker because it only scans the most common malware locations.

You can add the locations to scan manually using a Custom scan, but this option doesn’t work for individual files, only folders.

2] Scan a specific file or folder with Microsoft Defender using PowerShell

To scan a folder, input the command that follows in the PowerShell window and hit the ENTER key:

Start-MpScan -ScanType CustomScan -ScanPath "C:THEFOLDERDIRECTORYPATH"

NOTE: Change theTHEFOLDERDIRECTORYPATH part of the above command to the actual path to the file for scanning.

Hence, the command will look like this:

Start-MpScan -ScanType CustomScan -ScanPath "C:THEFILEDIRECTORYPATH.extension" 3] Scan a specific file or folder with Microsoft Defender using Command Prompt

You also need to run Command Prompt as an Administrator to scan files or folders with Microsoft Defender. Therefore, press the Windows key and search for cmd.

cd c:ProgramDataMicrosoftWindows DefenderPlatform

The above command takes you to the Platform folder of Windows Defender. The next step is to determine your latest version of Microsoft Defender.

Type in the following command and press ENTER.


On running the above command, the Command Prompt displays the version number of the antivirus. Take note of this number.

The next command to run in Command Prompt will use the version number from the above step. Type cd, paste the number you copied, and press ENTER.

So, it will look like this:

cd 4.18.2011.6-0

Next, type the following command in Command Prompt and hit ENTER. This command scans the specified folder:

mpcmdrun -Scan -ScanType 3 -File "C:PATHTOFOLDER"

NOTE: Change the C:PATHTOFOLDER  area of the above command to the path to the folder you want to scan. If you wish to scan a specific file, not a folder, change the path to that of the file. In this case, the command will end with a file extension and be in the following format:

mpcmdrun -Scan -ScanType 3 -File "C:PATHTOFILE.extension"

Hope this helps.

Chrome Os Vs Windows 11: Which Is Better & Why?

Chrome OS vs Windows 11: Which is Better & Why?




Windows 11 vs Chrome OS, which one is the better OS? Join us while we take an in-depth look and compare the two.

Windows 11 is a successor to Windows 10 that comes with a fresh user interface and a lot of new features that are waiting to be discovered.

Chrome OS is the default OS on Chromebooks that has gained massive popularity over the years.



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Windows 11 has been announced, and it’s coming soon to all Windows 10 users around the world. The new version of Windows comes with a new interface that resembles Chrome OS in several ways.

Windows 11 will be optimized for tablets, so it’s no wonder that Microsoft took a couple of pages from Google’s book in terms of visual interface and design.

That leaves us with an important question, how similar is Windows 11 to Chrome OS, and how does Windows 11 compare to it? In this guide, we’re going to find that out.

Windows 11 vs Chrome OS, how similar are they? User interface

Windows 11 and Chrome OS share many similarities in terms of visual appearance, and with the new Taskbar that is positioned in the center, Windows 11 does resemble Chrome OS more than ever.

Although the Taskbar is centered in Windows 11, you can move the Start menu to the left if you want to do so. However, the Taskbar is locked in the bottom position, so you can’t move it like in order versions of Windows.

Although Chrome OS lets you pin apps to the Taskbar, it doesn’t have a Start Menu and instead it relies on the launcher that works similarly to the app drawer on Android.

Windows 11 Start Menu has a pinned apps section that allows you to pin your most-used apps, but there’s also a Recommended section that shows recently used applications, files, and recent apps.

Although we like the new Start Menu, many users prefer the classic look, and you can still change Windows 11 Start Menu to the classic view if you don’t like the redesign.

These aren’t the only similarities, and the notifications and Quick Settings on Windows 11 look quite similar to the ones on Chrome OS.

What used to be Action Center is now replaced with quick settings, so you can easily adjust brightness, volume, turn Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Focus Mode on.

Notifications in Windows 11 have their panel, and they are separated from Action Center and your Settings. This isn’t the case with Chrome OS, and notifications are grouped with quick settings.

We like the design choice on Windows 11 better since it allows you to have your notifications and settings separate, but some users might not like that.

The biggest change in Windows is represented by the rounded corners, and you can find them on all windows and panes. This is quite reminiscent of the Chrome OS user interface, and it’s definitely a welcome change.

All these elements are from a canceled Windows 10X that was intended for touchscreen devices, most notably tablets and laptops, so it’s no wonder to see that Windows 11 and Chrome OS have a couple of similar design choices.

However, Chrome OS does lack certain features, one of them being widgets. Windows 11 is bringing back the widgets, but they aren’t like the widgets that were present in the older versions of Windows.

New widgets are here to replace Live Tiles, and they have their separate pane, so they won’t take up any precious space in your Start Menu like before.

Window snapping is another feature that is being improved with Windows 11, and now you can choose between up to six snap layouts to organize your open windows better.

A new addition to Windows is the Snap groups feature that will memorize your snap layouts and the applications that were in it. With this feature, you can restore all applications that you had open in your snap layout.

Chrome OS does support window snapping, but it allows you to align apps only horizontally, and you can only set apps to take 50% or 25% of your screen.

Overall, Windows 11 offers a better snapping feature, and with snap groups, you’ll be able to take multitasking to a whole new level on Windows 11.

However, keep in mind that Windows 11 Snap feature won’t work on older monitors, so make sure that your monitor meets the hardware requirements to use this feature.

In terms of design, Windows 11 is surprisingly similar to Chrome OS, but it has its touch of unique features such as window snapping and widgets, and it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

Application support

Chrome OS started humbly, and in the beginning, the operating system was very web-centric and it worked only with Chrome extensions and web apps.

However, the operating system got native support for Android apps, and now many Chromebooks can download and run apps from the Play Store.

This was a giant step forward for Chrome OS and Chromebooks, and now many models, even older ones, can run Android apps.

Chromebooks can also run Linux apps, but for that to work, you need to install a virtual machine. Once the Linux app is downloaded, you can use it like any other app alongside Android apps.

Unlike Android apps, the support for Linux apps is somewhat limited, and only the models that meet the hardware requirements can run them.

We also have to mention that can run Windows apps on Chromebook with Parallels Desktop, but the results might vary depending on your Chromebook model.

All this sounds pretty impressive especially when you remember how limited support for apps the Chromebooks had in the past.

Overall, it seems that Chrome OS is slowly by surely becoming a full-fledged operating system, but how does it compare to Windows 11?

Windows is a much larger platform with more users worldwide, so it’s no wonder that most applications are specifically developed and optimized for Windows.

While Windows 11 offers support for Win32 and Universal apps, a brand-new feature is the ability for Windows 11 to run Android apps natively.

However, there are few drawbacks, and if you want to use Android apps natively on Windows 11, you’ll need a processor that supports Intel Bridge technology.

We’re not sure how this will affect compatibility with other processors or older hardware, and we hope that older devices will be able to run Android apps as well.

Expert tip:

Meanwhile, the number of Chromebooks that can run Android apps natively is increasing, and even devices that are released before 2023 can run Androids apps.

Lastly, we need to mention the number of available apps. Windows 11 uses Amazon App Store, which means that there are fewer apps to choose from than on the Play Store.

Amazon App Store has almost 500,000 apps to choose from, which is impressive, however, Google Play has 3.5+ million apps available.

Although you should be able to find almost everything that you need in Amazon App Store, you might miss out on certain applications.

As for Linux applications, there are plans to bring Linux GUI apps to Windows, and Windows already has Windows Subsystem for Linux, so we expect to see Linux applications available on Windows 11.

Windows 11 is a superior platform since it supports Win32 applications, and if you’re planning to run mostly Windows software, Windows 11 is an obvious choice.

With the addition of support for Android apps, Windows 11 will compete with Chrome OS, however, Android apps on Chrome OS have been present for years, so Chromebooks should be better optimized Android apps.

Lastly, Amazon App Store offers less variety when it comes to the list of available apps, which can be a problem for some users. On the other hand, Chrome OS uses Google Play Store, so you’ll get access to a greater variety of apps.


Chrome OS utilizes sandboxing technology, which means that each software runs independently from one another. In case of malware infection, that software can’t affect other software on your device.

Chromebooks have a security chip that encrypts your sensitive data, as well as a Verified Boot feature that prevents malware from running during the boot.

To top it off, there’s built-in virus protection, so you can rest assured that your Chromebook is safe at all times.

Windows 11 doesn’t have a native sandboxing feature like Chrome OS, but Windows 10 has a Windows Sandbox feature, and we expect to see this feature in Windows 11 as well.

With the requirement for a TPM chip, Windows 11 will protect your PC similarly to Chrome OS by encrypting sensitive data.

Windows already has a Secure Boot feature, but Windows 11 will force you to use it, thus keeping your bootloader free from any malware.

As for antivirus software, Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender that is pretty reliable antivirus software, and we’re positive that Windows 11 will continue this practice.

Although these are similar features, there’s still one major difference. Chromebooks can only run Chrome extensions and Android apps, and in most cases, these are perfectly safe.

On the other hand, Windows holds almost 75% of the market share, and with such a large user base, there are bound to be more malicious users, more malware, and more security risks.

On the other hand, Chrome OS holds just 1.5% market share, so it has a lot smaller user base, meaning less malware and malicious users.

Windows can also run almost any type of file, and since malware is usually hidden as a .exe file, it’s a lot easier to get malware on Windows 11 than on Chrome OS.

This doesn’t mean that Windows 11 is unsafe, but it’s less safe than Chrome OS. However, with good antivirus software for Windows 11 and some precautions, you won’t have too many problems with malware.

What are Windows 11 hardware requirements?

Windows 11 hardware requirements have been announced and they are the following:

CPU: 1GHz+, 2+ cores, compatible 64-bit processor


Storage: 64GB+

Firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable

TPM: Trusted Platform Module 2.0

Graphics card: DirectX 12 compatible with WDDM 2.0 driver

Display: 720p 9-inch display or larger

Keep in mind that not all processors will be compatible with Windows 11, so be sure to check the list of compatible processors and make sure that your CPU will work with Windows 11.

TPM chip is another requirement, and if you don’t have it, you might have to consider buying a TPM chip.

Can I run Windows on Chromebook?

For more information, be sure to check our guide on how to run Windows on Chromebook.

Which Chrome OS devices can run Android apps?

All Chrome OS devices launched in 2023 or after can run Android apps. As for the older devices, not all of them support Android apps, and you can find the list of compatible devices on the Chromium Project page.

If you want to try running Android apps, you might want to consider getting one of these affordable Chromebooks.


Windows 11 and Chrome OS do share a couple of similarities, most notably in terms of visual interface, however, they do have major differences.

Due to its nature, Chrome OS is more secure, however, Windows 11 is more powerful and it should be able to run any application or game that you think of.

Chrome OS has support for Linux applications, but we expect to see that on Windows soon. Even with this feature, the software market caters to the Windows platform, so it’s expected to see more applications available for Windows.

The main difference comes to Android apps, and this is the biggest strength of Chrome OS. Many Chromebooks, even the older models, can download and run apps natively from the Google Play Store.

Android apps have been present on Chrome OS for years, while Windows 11 is just starting to implement native support for Android apps.

Hardware requirements and the reliance on Amazon App Store are the biggest drawbacks when it comes to running Android apps on Windows, and we’re eager to see how will Microsoft tackle this issue.

If you want to run Android apps and maybe a couple of Linux applications, then Chrome OS is a better choice. On the other hand, if you want to run Win32 apps, the latest games, and consumer software, Windows 11 is the only choice.

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