I cannot believe the arrogance of some posters, one in particular, in this thread ??!! I have been reading along on Wilders for the last 7-8 years, often been about to register a user here to join in on some of the interesting threads here. However, the amount of fanboys that this site holds, has always kept me off joining. These fanboys can destroy any thread when they fill it up with posts that usually just says “product A is crap” or “product B is a miracle” repeatedly. The original subject of the thread drowns. This thread shows it perfectly. Nevertheless, I decided to join today, since the subject the OP posted also has had my attention for a long time. And to give “Garrett76” some constructive feedback, I will say that in my experience Windows Defender can keep you perfectly safe. I would also like to mention how I have come to this conclusion. A friend of mine and I have always had a strong interest in security. He even makes a living of it. For some time we had been talking about testing if we could keep a Windows installation safe with only using what is built into Windows. In February, we took a laptop of his, wiped it clean and did a clean installation of Windows 8.1 Pro x64. We set it up using only available options in Windows settings. No registry hacks or anything fancy added. Setting used are : - Windows Defender are of course enabled, and set to scan in archives, scan removable drives, automatically upload samples and MAPS membership set to advanced membership. - Windows Updates set to install automatic, plus also installing recommended updates. - We added an hourly check for updates to Defender signatures in Task Scheduler. - Network set to Public. - Windows Firewall set to block all incoming when on Public network. - File and Printersharing disabled. - SmartScreen enabled and set to require admin approval. - UAC set to maximum. - IE 11 has the following: all zones set to medium-high except Restricted zone which are of course set to high. All zones with Protected mode enabled. Cookie control set to Medium-High. Popup blocker set to block all. Enhanced Protection mode enabled and also 64-bit processes for Enhanced Protection Mode enabled. SSL2.0 and SSL3.0 disabled. TLS 1.0, TLS1.1 and TLS1.2 enabled. Block unsecured images with other mixed content set to enabled. All setting to check digital signatures/certificates enabled. And finally is IE11 set to always run as InPrivate. These are the Windows settings in use. Last thing was to add a Standard account that was to be used consistently (and of course have a password on the Admin account, that only my friend and I know) All of this takes 30 minutes to set up and it´s a one time job. Only Windows built-in tools and settings used – meaning there are zero problems and zero need for reconfiguring things afterwards. It just works. This was in February and the laptop has been passed around in both of our families. Myself, my girlfriend, the kids and their friends as well as other relatives of ours and my friend, his wife, their kids and the rest of their family. It has been brought on three vacations, hooked up to hotel WiFis and it has hooked up to countless hotspots in all kind of places. I will say it has seen a bit of everything. The laptop has been scanned with on-demand scanners regularly. Usually HitmanPro, but also with MBAM and EEK on occasion. These three on-demand scanners has NEVER in the 8 months and 1 week that we did this test, shown ANY infections !! At least to me, this shows that Windows Defender can keep you safe. More than 20 different people using a laptop for more than 8 months – and no infections that slipped into the system. I´m not saying it´s impossible to get infected. Any system or protection can have a thing slip through, no matter who programmed it and no matter how much money you paid for the protection. What I am saying is that when so many people over such a long time can´t seem to get infected during daily normal activity on that laptop, then I think it´s fair to conclude that the security in Windows 8.1 can keep you safe – if you actually use what is available in the OS. Now, three weeks ago, we wiped the drive again and installed the Windows 10 Preview. Plans are to do the same with Windows 10, once we are finished playing around with Windows 10 and testing it out for new fun stuff. I hope this gives you, “Garrett76”, an idea on how this can be done. You could for example, take a spare pc/laptop and try out the setup I described above for some time. I must say that it has changed a lot of my view on things and it´s very pleasant in use – light and trouble-free.