Perhaps the longest-running native and free Microsoft Windows anti-virus solution, Windows Defender has its fair share of detractors. However, no one can deny that the recent iterations of the anti-virus is not only better but offers more functionality. While a couple of years ago Windows Defender used to be the baseline test for most third-party anti-virus solutions, today, it outperforms a number of them.
You Could Be Paying for an Underperforming Antivirus
Recent antivirus benchmarks ran by AV-test.org show Windows Defender outperforming commercial malware protection solutions like F-Secure, Panda, and ESET. Considering that most of these antivirus solutions charge you a premium for protection, the fact that the Windows Defender outperforms means you’re paying for bottom-drawer computer security. That would be like paying for all the accessories for a car only to find out that the base model offers all these accessories, with no extra charge.
Windows Defender Performs Decently
Considering it is a free antivirus solution with a long history of quirks, Windows Defender performs decently. Results published by AV-test.org show that it catches prevalent and widespread malware 96% of the time. What’s more, the AV managed to spot 97% of “zero-day” malware. That means 97 times out of a hundred, Windows Defender was able to spot malicious ransomware even if it had no previous experience with it.
You’ll Still Need Another AV Solution Though
While Windows Defender’s recent statistics are impressive, it still struggles to keep your computer protected from malicious programs. It will catch most of them, but even AV solutions that ranked below Windows Defender in AV-test.org results like F-Secure still caught “zero-day” malware 100% of the time and 99% of the time, they caught prevalent and widespread viruses and worms.