Microsoft Defender safest but not most efficient antivirus solution for Windows

The built-in Microsoft Defender protection in Windows keeps your computer as safe as it gets. Many other (paid) options fare worse, although Defender does come with a slightly greater impact on performance.

Microsoft Defender is the safest option to protect your Windows computer. This is evident from the latest tests of AV Comparatives. In doing so, Defender was confronted with 260 realistic malware attacks. Think of drive-by downloads or links to malware such as you would find in a phishing email. Defender was able to stop them.

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Microsoft’s built-in antivirus protection isn’t alone. Avast, AVG, Bitdefender, F-Secure, G-Data, Kaspersky, Trend Micro and Total Defense performed equally well. False positives were quite numerous at F-Secure and especially at Trend Micro. For its part, Defender almost only spoke up when it was really necessary, just like Kaspersky and Bitdefender.

Less secure with Norton

It is striking that Norton and McAfee could not present a flawless report. However, both of these solutions are rammed ad nauseam down the throat of consumers like bloatware on many brand new laptops. According to this recent test with malware samples from February and March, those who responded to a laptop vendor’s advertisement and, for example, turned on Norton instead of Microsoft Defender were less well protected than users who had immediately removed Norton. TotalAV is the most unsafe solution in the test.

The figures are in line with the tests of AVTest, which, like AV Comparatives, frequently publishes objective test results on antivirus solutions. We previously wrote in more detail that you are more than well off purely in terms of antivirus protection with the free built-in Windows Defender. Those who opt for a different solution will at best pay more money for equivalent protection, or, as the tests indicate, invest in a less watertight antivirus solution at worst.

Heavier load

That’s not to say that Windows Defender is completely perfect. Both AV Comparatives and AV Test note that Microsoft’s solution puts more strain on PCs than the competition. That is, things like program startup times are slowed down more by Defender than other solutions. You won’t notice it on a somewhat modern system, but on older computers or PCs with a very modest hardware configuration, the impact can be felt. In such a case, a solution like Bitdefender or Kaspersky Endpoint or Small Office Security provides equivalent protection with a slightly smaller system impact.

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2023-05-15 08:06:30

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