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Is Windows Defender good enough for your PC?

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  • 3 min read

When it comes to anti-malware software, Windows defender is the inbuilt anti-malware suite for Windows 10 (previously known as security essentials) You might be tempted to leave it as it is and call yourself secured, Right?

But is Windows’ built-in tool good enough to save your computer from malicious threats? Or should you go for a third-party antivirus program? Read on to find out.

This analysis is based on Windows Defender version 4.18 and the tests were carried out in October 2018.

Competition check

Here we pit Windows Defender against popular third-party tools to illustrate how it stacks against its competitors.

Thankfully, there are many websites such as Av-Test and AV-Comparatives, ICSA labs which test antivirus software and publish results on a monthly basis.

Also read: How to secure a folder on Windows with a password?


AV-Test is an independent research organisation based out of Germany with 15 years of experience in helping users make educated decisions about what antivirus they should use.

They rank each antivirus on three factors using a scale from 0 to 6, where 6 is the best. The three elements they test for are Protection, Performance, and Usability.

So, how did Windows Defender fare?

Is Windows Defender good enough for your PC? 5 alternatives
Source: AV-Test

Pretty good, right?

As per the results of October 2018, Windows Defender scored 5.5 with both protection and performance and a 6 on usability which is pretty good for a built-in free antivirus program it even surpasses some notable third-party programs such as G-data, Malwarebytes premium in the performance and usability elements.

Online and offline protection rates:

Is Windows Defender good enough for your PC? 5 alternatives
Source: AV-Test

Windows Defender also secures a near perfect 99.99% online protection rate but does lag behind in offline detection rate. So, as long as you have an internet connection, you have a better detection rate.

As you can see Windows Defender does have what it takes to hang around with other third-party security giants who often charge a fee for their services.

If you would’ve told us a few years ago that Windows Defender is enough to secure your computer we would’ve laughed it off but now times have truly changed, Windows Defender is now a well-proven viable antivirus option by itself.

It doesn’t slow down your PC as it’s baked into the Windows experience but if you check out AV-test’s research, there are quite a few anti-virus software that do better than Windows Defender.

Also read: What is Keylogging? 6 ways to protect yourself

But it’s not just Windows Defender that has evolved over time; the practices of those with a malicious intent to harm people over the internet have evolved too. Trojans or worms aren’t really the threat of the day, but sophisticated malware and ransomware are increasingly becoming a growing threat to internet users worldwide.

While Windows Defender gets a good score overall, there are better alternatives to it and if you still aren’t convinced — and we don’t encourage complacency — there are other alternatives for your consideration.

Also read: 9 ways to secure your PC against ransomware attack

Mani Maaran

Mani Maaran