Leslie asks about Windows Firewall after removing MSE
I have a question about Firewalls and Windows Defender. I have purchased Emsisoft and am running my first scan as I type. HOWEVER, I uninstalled Security Essentials as I read I should uninstall my current anti-virus program (also Malwarebytes) and I guess I’m now running without Firewall? I know that’s not safe after reading you all these many years.
And what’s this Windows Defender? Another name for the MS Security Essentials program or a part of it? I don’t want to run unprotected and would appreciate your telling me what to do so I’m safe.
Thanks, Leslie. First, Microsoft Security Essentials is an antivirus program; it does not contain a firewall component. Windows Firewall is part of Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1. It doesn’t matter what antivirus you’re using, Windows firewall is there. Most antivirus suites include a firewall and those suites normally shut Windows Firewall off. Stand-alone antivirus programs, like MSE, don’t include a firewall because Windows already has a firewall. And despite the all the things you read about how awful the Windows Firewall is, it’s actually pretty good and does what it’s supposed to do. And those of you who have wireless routers (most of you, anyway) also have a hardware firewall, and you probably didn’t know it.
Windows Defender on Windows 7 is totally useless. Windows Defender on Windows 8 is Microsoft Security Essentials. Windows Defender on anything other than Windows 8 is not very good and you should never trust your computer to it. Why Microsoft plays these kinds of name games we don’t know. But prior to Windows 8, Windows Defender was a pretty poor security program. On Windows 8 and 8.1 Microsoft Security Essentials is called Windows Defender, but it’s by no means the same program as the Windows Defender installed on previous versions of Windows.
Windows Defender doesn’t have anything to do with MSE. It does not need to be running. On Windows 8 and 8.1, Windows Defender is MSE. It’s sort of like playing Who’s On First. And even on Windows 8, Windows Defender is separate from Windows 8’s Firewall.