Is Windows Defender free and included with Windows?

Yes, Windows Defender is a free anti-malware software included with all versions of Windows operating systems since Windows 8. Windows Defender was first released as a part of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 as Microsoft Security Essentials, and then later it was renamed as Windows Defender with the release of Windows 8.

Windows Defender provides effective malware protection against viruses, spyware, rootkits, and other malicious software. It works in the background and automatically scans files that you access or download, recognizing and neutralizing threats before they can cause any damage to your computer. Windows Defender also runs regular system scans to detect and remove any suspicious activities.

Windows Defender offers real-time protection for your computer, which means that as soon as a virus or any kind of malicious software is detected, it will be instantly blocked from entering your system. It also provides protection from emerging threats, using cloud-based analytics and machine learning technology to detect and block new malicious programs as they appear.

Windows Defender also offers a wide range of additional tools, such as a malware scanner, browser protection, network protection, firewall, parental controls, and more. These additional tools allow users to customize their protection and keep their computers safe from all kinds of online threats.

Overall, Windows Defender is an excellent choice for anyone who needs reliable internet security. It is one of the most popular anti-malware solutions available and it is absolutely free.

If you want even better security, you can upgrade to Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), which is a more advanced version of Windows Defender. ATP includes features such as threat intelligence, machine learning, and behavioral analysis to keep your computer safe from modern attack techniques. However, it does come with a price tag, and is not included as part of the Windows operating system.