Aura Antivirus vs. Microsoft Defender 2024: Robust Cybersecurity Features vs. Powerhouse Windows Protection

Aura Antivirus — from the makers of Aura Identity Theft — offers extra features with its antivirus software but doesn’t submit to third-party testing. Microsoft Defender offers advanced Windows protection, but you need a Microsoft 365 subscription.
We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Best for Bundled Security Features

4.9
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Aura Antivirus's website

Antivirus Software
Aura Antivirus
Save up to 53% per year
  • Anti-ransomware, spyware, adware, worms, trojan, and rootkits protection
  • Real-time protection scans, phishing and scam site prevention, and ability to quickly isolate dangerous files
  • Choice between 3 plans, all of which include a VPN, Safe Browsing, and 24/7 customer support
  • No third-party testing is available

Best for Microsoft 365 Users

4.0
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Microsoft Defender's website

Antivirus Software
Microsoft Defender
  • Enhances the free Windows Security product
  • Includes a firewall, parental controls, identity theft protection, and a VPN
  • Available on Macs and PCs, along with iOS and Android devices
  • A Microsoft 365 subscription is required to use Microsoft Defender

Bad actors continue to get more creative when it comes to accessing your devices and personal information. One of the best ways to protect yourself is through an antivirus solution that can be on the lookout for any suspicious activity to protect your devices.

Many antivirus programs also include other solutions to help keep you protected, such as a virtual private network, password manager, ad blocker, and more. Two solutions that are effective first lines of protection include Aura Antivirus and Microsoft Defender.

To help you choose the best solution, we compare Aura Antivirus and Microsoft Defender prices, features, compatibility, and more.

In this article
Aura Antivirus vs. Microsoft Defender review at a glance
Aura Antivirus vs. Microsoft Defender: prices
Aura Antivirus vs. Microsoft Defender: features
Aura Antivirus vs. Microsoft Defender: test results
Aura Antivirus vs. Microsoft Defender: compatibility and customer support
Aura Antivirus vs. Microsoft Defender FAQs
Aura Antivirus vs. Microsoft Defender: Which is better?

Aura Antivirus vs. Microsoft Defender review at a glance

Both Aura Antivirus and Microsoft Defender offer a robust solution to keep malware, ransomware, and more off of your devices. Both solutions offer various additional features, including VPN access, identity theft monitoring, and restoration insurance. At the end of the day, it’s most important that the antivirus protects you and your devices.

You can use either antivirus software on mobile devices and computers. However, each solution has unique compatibility requirements. Microsoft Defender is available only for those with a Microsoft 365 account. Once you have a Microsoft 365 subscription, you can get access to Microsoft Defender. Aura’s antivirus solution is available on Windows, Android, and macOS. You can use Aura Antivirus and its safe browsing solution on an iPhone browser, but per Apple restrictions, there is no designated antivirus app.

  • Aura Antivirus: Best for Bundled Security Features
  • Microsoft Defender: Best for Microsoft 365 Users

Aura Antivirus vs. Microsoft Defender compared

Starting price $35.99/first yr $6.99/mo
Free version
Max number of protected devices Up to 10 devices Up to 30 devices (5 per person)
24/7 customer support
Compatibility Windows, macOS, Android, Chrome, Edge, Firefox Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Chrome, Edge
Real-time protection
Phishing protection
Ransomware protection
Learn more Get Aura Antivirus

Read Aura Antivirus Review

Get Microsoft Defender

Read Microsoft Defender Review

Aura Antivirus vs. Microsoft Defender: prices

Our Pick
Price range $35.99 - $59.99/first yr $6.99–$9.99/mo
Best value plan Ultimate plan for $59.99/first yr Family plan for $9.99/mo (billed annually after 1 month free)
Money-back guarantee Yes — 60 days Yes — 30 days
Learn more Get Aura Antivirus

Read Aura Antivirus Review

Get Microsoft Defender

Read Microsoft Defender Review

Comparing the cost of Aura Antivirus and Microsoft Defender isn’t apples to apples. With Microsoft Defender, you’re purchasing a subscription to Microsoft 365, which includes its well-known suite of apps: Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, and more. If you’re already a Microsoft 365 user, Microsoft Defender may be a viable solution for you, and it won’t cost you anything additional. The annual Microsoft Defender plan includes the first month of Microsoft 365 for free. And you won’t be billed until after the first month.

If you don’t use Microsoft 365 and you’re not planning on it, Aura’s Antivirus solution is a better option. Aura’s ultimate plan will cover your devices for as low as $35.99/first yr. You have a 60-day money-back guarantee when purchasing any Aura annual plan.

Winner: When it comes down exclusively to price, Aura Antivirus offers the best deal. You’ll gain access to antivirus protection with Aura for a lower cost than subscribing to Microsoft 365.

Aura Antivirus vs. Microsoft Defender: features

Manual and scheduled scans
Real-time protection
Phishing protection
Ransomware protection
Firewall
Parental controls Not included
Password manager
VPN
Ad blocker
Device optimization tools
Identity theft insurance Up to $1 million Up to $1 million
Learn more Get Aura Antivirus

Read Aura Antivirus Review

Get Microsoft Defender

Read Microsoft Defender Review

When deciding between two antivirus providers, it’s important to understand which features are most important to you and select the solution based on those priorities. Microsoft Defender and Aura Antivirus both offer a robust set of antivirus tools along with additional solutions. With both solutions, you get real-time protection against malware, phishing attacks, and ransomware.

Microsoft Defender offers a more high-level view of your overall device security, and it can help you have peace of mind about other devices in your family as well. Microsoft Defender also works well with other solutions, so if you’re using another antivirus software, you can see the status of that software inside Microsoft Defender too. Overall, Microsoft Defender is a good solution.

Microsoft Defender uses reputation-based detection to help it spot malware.
Microsoft Defender features overview

Aura offers various additional features to help you stay protected, including a virtual private network, password manager, and ad blocker. By combining several online security features, it’s less likely that your information will be compromised or your identity stolen.

Aura Antivirus overview of security steps taken
Aura Antivirus advanced security steps

Both Microsoft Defender and Aura Antivirus include identity theft insurance. Microsoft Defender offers up to $1 million in identity theft insurance with your Microsoft 365 subscription. With Aura’s Ultimate plan, you can also unlock up to $1 million in identity theft insurance.

Aura doesn’t include its parental controls or offer insights into other devices like Microsoft Defender does, but you do gain access to a password manager and ad blocker in addition to a VPN.

Winner: Overall, Microsoft Defender and Aura Antivirus offer similar features to help keep you safe. We’d call it a tie.

Aura Antivirus vs. Microsoft Defender: test results

One way to understand an antivirus solution before testing it out yourself is through third-party test results. AV-Test.org is one of the sources we look at when evaluating software. We typically review test scores for Windows, Mac, and Android.

Unfortunately, Aura Antivirus doesn’t have any results on AV-Test, and Microsoft Defender has results only for Windows devices. But when tested by AV-Test, Windows Defender scored 18 out of 18. It also scored well across other third parties like AV-Comparatives and SE Labs.

Determining the EICAR score is a manual way to evaluate the effectiveness of an antivirus platform. The EICAR test evaluates the antivirus solution based on five categories, including:

  • Manually downloaded malware
  • Drive-by malware downloads
  • Compressed malware
  • Potentially unwanted application detection
  • Phishing pages detection

Both Microsoft Defender and Aura Antivirus failed to detect the phishing pages, and Aura didn't block the compressed malware. In fact, nothing happened when we tested this malware component, whereas Microsoft Defender was able to detect the file.

Aura Antivirus vs. Microsoft Defender malware protection scores

Our Pick
AV-TEST Windows 10 score N/A 18/18
AV-Comparatives Windows Performance score N/A 2/3
SE Labs Windows Protection score N/A 100%
EICAR score 3/5 4/5
Learn more Get Aura Antivirus

Read Aura Antivirus Review

Get Microsoft Defender

Read Microsoft Defender Review

AV-TEST Windows 10 test from Jan/Feb 2024.
AV-Comparatives Windows Performance test from Apr 2024.
SE Labs Windows Protection text from Jan - Mar 2024.

The Microsoft Defender dashboard redirects you to Windows Security for any antivirus-related features. Both dashboards were intuitive and easy to use.
Microsoft Defender works with Windows Security to offer advanced antivirus protection

Winner: Microsoft Defender wins by default since Aura hasn’t submitted its antivirus for any third-party testing. Microsoft Defender has top-notch performance and protection scores for Windows across several third parties and a higher EICAR score.

Aura Antivirus vs. Microsoft Defender: compatibility and customer support

Our Pick
Windows
macOS
Android
iOS
Browser extensions Yes — Chrome, Edge, Firefox Yes — Chrome, Edge
24/7 customer support
Customer support options Phone, live chat, Help Center, online guides Chat, online training, community forums
Learn more Get Aura Antivirus

Read Aura Antivirus Review

Get Microsoft Defender

Read Microsoft Defender Review

Both Aura Antivirus and Microsoft Defender are available on various platforms, making it easy for users to protect all of their devices. Microsoft Defender is available on Macs and PCs, along with iOS and Android devices. Aura Antivirus is also available on macOS, Windows, and Android. Although it doesn’t work with iOS, this decision was intentionally made. According to Aura, Apple doesn’t allow mobile antivirus security.

Even though there is no designated Aura Antivirus app for iOS (as explained above), you can still access Aura via a mobile browser. Aura’s safe browsing feature allows users to block malware, ads, and unwanted content through a browser extension while using an iPhone.

From a support standpoint, Aura Antivirus provides a more approachable experience for customers. With Microsoft Defender, you get access to many valuable resources through online forums and support documents, but it was much more difficult to find support resources via chat or phone. Aura’s support options were easy to find, including a user-friendly Help Center, live chat with an agent, and 24/7 phone support.

Winner: Aura Antivirus is the winner for us. When we needed to talk to customer support, Aura seemed more approachable and easier to contact.

Aura Antivirus vs. Microsoft Defender FAQs


+

Is Aura Antivirus better than Windows Defender?

Both Aura Antivirus and Windows Defender (now called Microsoft Defender) are both good antivirus solutions. Microsoft Defender is a viable option only if you are subscribed to Microsoft 365, so if you don’t need that subscription, Aura would be the better choice.


+

How good is Aura’s virus protection?

Overall, Aura provides very good virus protection. Just because the antivirus software isn’t verified through third-party testing doesn’t mean it's not trustworthy — or effective. In addition to real-time protection against malware, ransomware, and phishing, Aura Antivirus includes robust digital security features like a VPN, password manager, ad blocker, spam call and message protection, a privacy assistant, and fraud protection.


+

What are the pros and cons of Aura Antivirus?

Aura has several pros, like the inclusion of a password manager, VPN, and an ad blocker. Plus, it can protect up to 10 devices. Aura is also affordable with plans starting at $35.99/first yr. As for cons, Aura’s antivirus is not available on iPhones but you can still be protected by using the VPN on that device. Aura also doesn’t have any third-party test results available to show its effectiveness.


+

Can Aura be trusted?

Aura can be trusted. Aura Antivirus has been reviewed by countless companies and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.


+

Is Aura really worth it?

Aura provides more than just antivirus protection. When you couple the antivirus solution with its VPN offering, password manager, and identity theft insurance, Aura’s solution is worth the cost.

Aura Antivirus vs. Microsoft Defender: Which is better?

When choosing which solution would provide a better experience, it comes down to whether you use Microsoft 365. If you do, Microsoft Defender can help keep you protected without any additional cost. If you’re not using Microsoft 365, then Aura Antivirus may be the right option.

Aura’s additional features can help you protect more than just your device. And if your identity is compromised, Aura’s premium identity protection, with its white-glove fraud resolution, can make the process easier.

Aura Antivirus and Microsoft Defender both offer antivirus protection, but picking the right one will depend on what software you’re using every day. Aura Antivirus offers a more plug-and-play option if you’re not using Microsoft 365 already. And if you’re wondering if you need antivirus protection, these solutions can be a first line of defense to keep your devices and your personal information safe.

Multiple Threat Protection with $1M Identity Theft Insurance
4.9
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Aura Antivirus's website
Antivirus Software
Aura Antivirus
Save up to 53% per year
  • Anti-ransomware, spyware, adware, worms, trojan, and rootkits protection
  • Real-time protection scans, phishing and scam site prevention, and ability to quickly isolate dangerous files
  • Choice between 3 plans, all of which include a VPN, Safe Browsing, and 24/7 customer support
  • No third-party testing is available

Aura Antivirus vs. Microsoft Defender alternatives

While Aura Antivirus and Microsoft Defender are both solid antivirus solutions, you may need more coverage across operating systems and devices. Some of the best antivirus programs we’ve tested bundle advanced security features with their antivirus software. These recommendations offer robust device protection and comprehensive security tools:

  • TotalAV: TotalAV is another antivirus solution that can help keep your device protected. It offers three different plans, each protecting up to eight devices. The most robust plan also includes a password manager and a VPN. TotalAV Total Security is $49.00/yr (first year only).

    Get TotalAV | Read Our TotalAV Review

  • Bitdefender: You gain access to an antivirus solution plus a VPN, a password manager, and identity theft protection with Bitdefender’s Ultimate Security plan. With Bitdefender, you can protect up to five devices. The Total Security plan is $49.99/first yr.

    Get Bitdefender | Read Our Bitdefender Review

  • Avast: If you’re looking for a free antivirus solution, Avast is a reputable option. However, Avast also offers a premium solution that includes more advanced features for detecting ransomware and the newest phishing scams. You can purchase Avast Premium Security for $34.68/first yr, which protects up to 10 devices.

    Get Avast | Read Our Avast Review

No Fuss, Real-Time Online and Mobile Protection
4.8
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On TotalAV's website
Antivirus Software
TotalAV
First year discount on paid plans
  • Real-time protection from viruses, malware, and online threats
  • Blocks tracking cookies and ads, proactively monitors for data breaches, and option to schedule smart scans
  • 100% compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS operating systems on up to 3 devices
  • Lacks firewall protection

Author Details
Andrew Strom Adams is a freelance writer focused on online privacy and digital security. He writes on various topics to help individuals protect themselves on the internet. Andrew has worked in legal marketing, technology, and startups. He has more than 12 years of experience in marketing and communications. He holds an M.B.A. from Westminster College and a B.A. in journalism from Oklahoma Baptist University. When he’s not writing, he’s playing with his two kids or watching reality TV.