Who doesn’t know Microsoft Windows Defender Antivirus? Every copy of Windows has this piece of software (formerly known as Microsoft Security Essential). But interestingly enough, a lot of people are not sure or never actually used this antivirus. There is a certain myth or sentiment that believes that any Windows built-in software are bad. We believe that this myth started from Internet Explorer being infamously slow and unreliable. People often said that once you install Windows, the first thing you do is get a browser to replace Internet Explorer. But, is that the same case with Microsoft Windows Defender? We believe that if you answer ‘yes’ than you’re wrong.
Windows Defender got its name since Windows 8.1 and still the same until Windows 10. It was released as a downloadable free antispyware program for Windows XP and was later shipped with Windows Vista and Windows 7. And then it became a full antivirus program in Windows 8. So, now we know why it received such a bad reputation in its earlier phase. Since before the name change in Windows 7, Windows Defender received a lot of serious updates that increase its reliability and performance as antivirus software. Especially in 2019, this antivirus has risen to be on the list of best free antiviruses in the world. Despite its improvements, Microsoft wants to make users who want a third-party antivirus install their software of choice with no problems. Windows Defender will switch itself off when a third-party antivirus installation is detected.
In Windows 10, Windows Defender has its own set of dedicated settings in the Settings app. To make it more recognizable, Windows Defender is renamed to Windows Defender Antivirus and later removed in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update and transferred to Windows Defender Security Center.
Microsoft Windows Defender Antivirus for Windows 10
Probably the best thing about this antivirus is that, despite comes free with Windows 10 installation, there are no locked features unlike every free antivirus out there. You can use all of the features completely free and the updates will be handled by Windows Update in the background. You can access Windows Defender by pressing windows button + I, click windows security tab and click Open Windows Security.
As you can see there are a lot of features to be covered here, unlike free antivirus software which locked most their advanced features. On the Home tab, you will find all the essential features that will protect your device every single day.
Some additional features present are: Account Protection, Firewall and Network Protection, App and Browser Control, Device Security, Device Performance and Health and Family Options. This powerful software will cover almost everything you can do with your devices. Firewall and Network Protection will monitor your network types and activities. Alerting you when the network isn’t properly configured or has some kind of vulnerabilities. Device Performance and Health monitors your drivers’ usage and health. You can check the information of your drives and see if there are any problems. There is also an option to “fresh start”. Handy tool to reinstall Windows without losing all of your apps and settings.
The virus and malware database updates is handled by Windows Update. It runs frequently and released by Microsoft. The update is running on the background with very minimal resource and since the schedule already determined by Windows Update, you don’t have to do the work.
Microsoft Windows Defender does have a few flaws. For people who are willing to pay for the best antivirus they can find on the market, they might find this antivirus a bit lacking in performance and features. Windows Defender is sitting comfortably at the middle of the best antiviruses. Windows Defender has less important features, triggers false positive once in a while and doesn’t have a dedicated customer support.
Whether the antivirus is good enough for you or not, its for you to decide. It depends on your type of activities on the internet, what kind of user are you and your expectation and priority. We believe that Microsoft Windows Defender is good enough for most users.
Microsoft Windows Defender Scan
Probably the quietest antivirus program ever existed. It works on the background with no annoying pop-ups. It will disable any pop-ups if you open a full screen program. The antivirus will scan your entire system for malware and viruses and monitor your system at all time. It may not be the most secure antivirus but it has improved a lot. The biggest downside of the antivirus is it has a few false positive. In fact, that’s the biggest factor why this antivirus isn’t considered the best. When things got worse and any malware encrypt or delete your files, Windows Defender can access your OneDrive account to reload the original files as far back as 30 days.
AV-Test conducted two experiments on this antivirus back in May and June 2018. The results were great, 100% malware detection and one false positive. The score was similar to Kaspersky and Bitdefender and better than Avast, AVG and Avira. Windows Defender able to detect zero-day malware with no problems during those tests.
For the opposite result. Austrian lab AV-Comparatives also did an experiment from February through July of 2018. Antivirus blocked an average of 98.4 percent of malware (mostly online), that score is the lowest among other free antiviruses that they tested.
Virus & Threat Protection
Maybe this is the best feature of Microsoft Windows Defender Antivirus. There are many additional features that help secure your computer from malware, viruses, ransomware and others. The features they offer are 100% free. You can regularly scan device or your computer from viruses.
You may be able to choose several options from the scanning process such as: run a quick, full, custom, or windows defender offline scan. Each option has its own advantages. In this case the quick scan only checks in the folders in your computer’s system.
Full scan is a full scanning process where the antivirus checks all files, running programs, hard drives. The process takes a few hours.
Custom scan, you can choose which files you want to scan.
Windows defender offline scan is that you do a total scan on the computer. Sometimes some malicious software is difficult to remove from a computer. Windows Defender offline can help you remove them all only in the shortest time. But this will restart the computer taking about 15 minutes.
- 100% free
- No need to download third-party software, it comes with Windows 10 installation
- More features than every free antivirus on the market
- Great features tied to Microsoft’s built-in Windows features
- Tied to Microsoft account
- Plays nicely with third-party antivirus, it will turn itself off
- The quietest antivirus you can find
- Ransomware protection
- Dynamic lock
- Firewall and network protection
- App and browser control
- Device security
- Not enough for advanced users
- Does false positive
- Unstable results between good and bad according to antivirus lab testers.
It will be difficult for Windows Defender to be as popular as other famous third-party free antiviruses. A combination of bad history and moderate recognition by the community. We believe that Microsoft Windows Defender deserves more respect and it’s good for most users.