How good is Windows Defender to protect my computer?

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
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  • Windows Defender is a built-in Windows 10 antivirus software.
  • As a free antivirus, Windows Defender offers good protection with minimal system strain.
  • If your Windows Defender is not working as it should, check out the guides on our Troubleshooting Section.
  • To learn how to protect your computer against viruses and other online threats, visit our comprehensive Antivirus Section.
how good is windows defender

If you are looking to install a reliable antivirus on your Windows 10 computer but don’t know which is the best free antivirus, you might be overlooking the fact that the built-in Windows Defender could be the best solution.

Even though many users swear by third-party antivirus solutions, Windows Defender should not be cast aside, as the software comes pre-installed on all Windows 10 devices for free and has received several improvements in the last few years.

Windows Defender does a swell job protecting my Windows PC

is windows defender good

Microsoft has done a really good job upgrading a lot of the functions that Windows Defender comes with. Now having included ransomware protection, browser control, and device performance, the built-in antivirus can hold its own against most other antivirus utilities.

In the battle for the best free Windows antivirus between Windows Defender and Avast, Maximum PC choose Avast, but here’s what they said about Windows Defender:

Avast wins this bout by taking three of the five categories and tying in another, though it’s not quite as lopsided as it appears. Windows Defender, while not as fully featured as Avast, is capable of blocking common threats, and it doesn’t put a drain on system resources. Avast’s army of defenses is just bigger and better trained to spot danger from more places, like IM clients. It also has a bigger arsenal of weapons.

Of course, if you want extra protection or more features like email scanning, parental controls, or machine learning to automatically block malware, then you might be better served by a third-party antivirus solution.

Antivirus that can replace Windows Defender

BullGuard Antivirus

As a third-party antivirus solution to replace Windows Defender, we recommend a tried and tested alternative: BullGuard.

Similarly to Windows Defender, BullGuard has little to no impact on your system and it will quietly work in the background to provide the best level of security one can hope for.

On top of the features that are offered by Windows Defender, by using BullGuard, you can benefit from more specialized tools that encompass functionalities topically obtained by using several programs:

  • Antiphishing
  • Advanced Machine Learning
  • Game Booster
  • Parental Controls
  • PC Optimization

Of course, the list doesn’t end there. For a more complete overview of the benefits of using BullGuard, read our comprehensive review. Also, keep in mind that you can try out BullGuard for 30 days, completely free , and with full functionality.



If you want to replace Windows Defender with a better antivirus solution, look no further than BullGuard!

Let us know in the comments what do you prefer: Windows Defender or third-party security software?

FAQ: Microsoft Defender

  • What is Windows Defender?

Windows Defender is the built-in antivirus software for Windows 10.  Our analysis will tell if it can protect you from malware.

  • Is Windows Defender enough?

Whilst Windows Defender is a free antivirus for Windows, some think that a third-party solution is better. We’ve gone over both of these approaches in our guide to see which is the better option.

  • How to turn on Windows Defender?

Sometimes Windows Defender can stop working and therefore leave you unprotected. This guide will show you how to turn it back on and fix it permanently.

  • How to turn off Windows Defender?

There are several ways to turn off Windows Defender. You can either stop some of its functionality or completely turn it off. The steps to do this are listed in our step-by-step guide.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.