Question In 2022, is Windows 7 a secure operating system?

Sep 13, 2022
1
0
10
0
I'm considering purchasing a Windows 7-equipped Dell OptiPlex computer for $50. I love playing old PC games, therefore rather than downloading Windows 10, I want to utilise it as is (Plus the specs of the computer are unimpressive by modern day standards and Windows 10 might not run great). Additionally, I would use it for casual internet browsing and light job tasks (using programmes like Google Docs and Unity). The issue is that despite hearing a lot of individuals claim that using Windows 7 is extremely risky for security, I've also seen a lot of people say that it's okay if you apply common sense. Is it acceptable for me to use Windows 7 in 2022, or should I just upgrade to Windows 10?
 

Math Geek

Titan
Ambassador
yup it's still my daily driver with no plans to move onto any other windows version.

learning linux now to replace windows forever :)

or listen to the others who will follow and tell you, you already have herpes from it and it will only get worse.. lol

but seriously, new hardware is harder and harder to get win 7 drivers for and over time it will go away completely. do your homework before buying anything new to be sure you can even get drivers for your stuff. i usually can but i know a lot more than most it seems about how to locate them.
 
Last edited:

punkncat

Splendid
Ambassador
Are there possibilities of unpatched vulnerabilities that require nearly extraordinary access and reason? Sure. Most of it can be mitigated as mentioned above. Later down the road you may have to consider changing certain apps/programs to achieve the performance you desire. This will go hand in hand with the obsolesce of the equipment still capable of running W7 and the ever running wave of technology.

I would not suggest to the average unknowing user to stay on it.
 
The issue is that despite hearing a lot of individuals claim that using Windows 7 is extremely risky for security, I've also seen a lot of people say that it's okay if you apply common sense. Is it acceptable for me to use Windows 7 in 2022, or should I just upgrade to Windows 10?
Only upgrade to Win10 if you have at least 8GB RAM and a good SSD, otherwise you are likely to spend most of your time to listen the HDD grooming.
 
Unless you are stuck with some 32-bit apps, using Windows 32-bit in 2022 is a waste of hardware resources if you know that even the CPU made 15 years ago are capable of 64-bit and at least 8GB RAM can be installed on the motherboard.

I currently run Windows 10 64-bit (21H2) on my Q9550 (2008) with 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD, if I continue to use a 32-bit OS (RAM is limited to 4GB), the computer is likely to run out of RAM for some memory hungry apps.
 

punkncat

Splendid
Ambassador
Yes, if you're talking about home use. Go for it.
Hell no, if you're talking about business/work use.
Funny enough, in the long run almost assuredly the business uses will be the more common case in its continued usage based on tools and equipment that are paired with/can only work with 7. I am in the alarm business and many access control systems still utilize serial ports and require XP to talk to the hubs.
 

Tac 25

Commendable
Jul 25, 2021
865
207
1,290
9
to the OP, if you are careful in browsing. Win 7 can still work.

I converted the last Win 7 pc in the house to Win 10, because the trade off is losing a few old games that only work with Win 7.. but in return, the pc gained access to several newer games that need Win 10. Anyway, I'm currently rebuilding a Windows XP pc, so would eventually have access to those old classic games again.
 
Last edited:
Windows was made relatively secure by the UAC system introduced in Vista. Although arguably that might've made things worse because it conditioned people to just hit "OK" (and to be fair to those people, Microsoft was a bit gung-ho about it in Vista).

From that point on, as long as you are running with a standard user account and paid attention to what actually triggers a UAC prompt, Windows is relatively secure. The only issues then on where vulnerabilities that allowed for a malicious actor to gain admin privileges without a prompt and those have been rare. In fact, I recall a security vulnerability way back when that was labeled as "Critical" for Windows 2000 and XP, but less so with Vista and 7, simply because the malware needed elevated privileges and UAC blocks the malware from getting those by default.

Funny enough, in the long run almost assuredly the business uses will be the more common case in its continued usage based on tools and equipment that are paired with/can only work with 7. I am in the alarm business and many access control systems still utilize serial ports and require XP to talk to the hubs.
But is it connected to the internet?

I encountered the same thing at my last job. Computers that date back to the mid 2000s still being used because they just work on the equipment they're connected to. But only catch is they don't have outside network access.
 

Endre

Reputable
Apr 30, 2019
989
190
5,340
70
I'm considering purchasing a Windows 7-equipped Dell OptiPlex computer for $50. I love playing old PC games, therefore rather than downloading Windows 10, I want to utilise it as is (Plus the specs of the computer are unimpressive by modern day standards and Windows 10 might not run great). Additionally, I would use it for casual internet browsing and light job tasks (using programmes like Google Docs and Unity). The issue is that despite hearing a lot of individuals claim that using Windows 7 is extremely risky for security, I've also seen a lot of people say that it's okay if you apply common sense. Is it acceptable for me to use Windows 7 in 2022, or should I just upgrade to Windows 10?
Using Windows 7 in 2022 is OK as long as you unplug the internet connection!

Contrary to what some people believe, an antivirus won't protect you all that much.

I'd go with a Windows 11 compatible PC and install either Windows 10 or 11.
 
In my mind, any unsupported OS is only secure if the following criteria is met when used:
  • No LAN or WLAN connected (i.e. no internet)
  • No random software installed nor usb sticks connected (I know that XP was very vulnerable to malware on thumb drives)
  • No important personal on it (unless you use dedicated backup storage device not used for any other purpose).
At least, that is how one of the old computers on my workplace are threated (because of crap old equipment so old that only Windows-XP eara software can be used to configure).
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
159,304
12,651
176,090
24,402
It was a free upgrade for my Asus notebook that came initially with Win7, otherwise I wouldn't bother with upgrading.

I can't speak for other brands and regions though, but the point is that Win7 can be upgraded to Win8.
That may have been specific to that ASUS, and for a specific purchase time.

Generally, though...anything pre-Win 10 was a paid upgrade.
Either preinstalled OEM or a Retail license.

A Win 10 license being a free upgrade from 7/8 was a major change in how it worked.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY