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Windows 8: Free Security for Unlimited Computers

Ginny Mies

One of the advantages of Windows 8 is the inclusion of free security software. In addition to offering protection against spyware, malware, and viruses, Windows Defender software is built into Windows 8 and doesn't require a separate installation.

As a result, Microsoft's free security software is available to an unlimited number of Windows 8 computers within a nonprofit or library.  

The updated Windows Defender software uses the same anti-malware engine as Microsoft Security Essentials, which Microsoft offered for free with Windows 7. One of the differences between Windows 8's Windows Defender and Microsoft's free security offering for Windows 7 is that Microsoft Security Essentials requires a separate download and installation.

It also has its own licensing rule, which limits the software to only 10 computers within an organization. The licensing also prohibits use of Microsoft Security Essentials within certain locations, which includes public libraries.  

With Windows 8, however, organizations do not need to worry about restricting Microsoft's free security software to a limited number of computers (or in the case of a public library, no computers). Because Windows Defender ships with Windows 8, it does not have a separate licensing restriction. This is great news for both libraries and organizations with more than 10 computers.

For a rundown on Windows Defender's features, as well as other security features in Windows 8, check out Windows 8 Security: What's New, What's Different.

To learn about Windows 8's new features, read TechSoup Asia's Should You Upgrade to Windows 8: Questions to Consider.  

Image: Security button pic, Shutterstock