How good is Windows Defender to protect my computer?

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
CEO & Founder
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  • Windows Defender is an integrated and therefore free antivirus software for Windows 8.
  • If you don't know how good Windows Defender is, then find out that it offers great protection with minimal system demand.
  • It is one of the best free antivirus for Windows 8.1 with ransomware protection and browser control features.
  • Use an alternative antivirus solution that won't worry you and keeps your PC data safe.
how good is windows defender
ESET Antivirus comes with all the security tools that you may ever need to protect your data and privacy, including:
  • Anti-theft support
  • Webcam protection
  • Intuitive setup and UI
  • Multi-platform support
  • Banking-level encryption
  • Low system requirements
  • Advanced anti-malware protection

An antivirus program needs to be fast, efficient, and cost-effective, and this one has them all.

If you are looking to install a reliable antivirus on your Windows 8 PC, but don’t know which is the best free antivirus, the built-in Windows Defender could be the best solution for you.

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 8 devices for free.

This antivirus software has received several improvements in the last few years, but read more about it below.

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Windows Defender protects my Windows PC great

is windows defender good

Microsoft has done an excellent job adding new features and 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.

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

Third-party antivirus software that can replace Windows Defender

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

Similarly to Windows Defender, our suggestion 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.

In addition to the features offered by Windows Defender, using our suggestion, you can benefit from more specialized tools that incorporate functionality obtained by using several programs.

You have a top-notch anti-malware protection, also a webcam protection, and all this with low system requirements.

Also, keep in mind that you can try out this antivirus for 30 days, completely free, and with full functionality.

ESET NOD32

ESET NOD32

Enjoy the protection your data and your Windows PC with this reliable antivirus solution. Take advantage of all its features and try it for free!
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For more suggestions, please access the comments section below. Also, let us know what do you prefer: Windows Defender or third-party security software?

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  • Webcam protection
  • Multi-platform support
  • Low system requirements
  • Top-notch anti-malware protection

Frequently Asked Questions

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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While I cannot argue that Microsoft shipping some type of security of is the box beginning with Windows 8 is a good idea (it is!), the issue is actual protection rate versus resources consumed. If one has CCleaner, the ‘Windows Defender’ checkbox will show just how many complete scans of one’s system was performed over a few hours of usage, as well as logs, if opened.

Yet Windows Defender has never blocked known Malware loaded pages in my experience, and have tested time after time. I’ll have Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (Pro Lifetime Edition) installed as a backup, which is now considered a complete AV+AM solution (although always wasn’t the case). To get to my point, Defender allowed me to roam freely w/out intervention & let MBAM do all the work, was visiting non-family friendly sites right & left, many of which infects untold millions of computers per year, and Defender (nor MSE on Windows 7) didn’t so much as block a page.

This is sad, because when MSE was released around the same time as Windows 7, was an excellent no-cost security choice & drew many positive reviews by Tech writers, only to be watered down badly by the time Windows 8 shipped in 2012.

While Defender may be OK for a student performing their homework (although not on social sites), it’s not OK for those who travels widely all over the Internet (other than the ‘dark Web’ which I don’t dare visit). a true anti-Malware app needs to be installed alongside to ensure maximum protection, and if traveling, a VPN won’t harm either.

Remember, Windows Defender (not related to the spyware app for XP/Vista/W7 with same same) is only baseline security, meaning while it’s better than none, won’t be racking up awards on sites such as AV-Comparatives, which uses Defender as a measuring stick for the rest of the pack.

If one cannot afford to pay for security & can put up with a few popups, some of which may be controlled in the UI, Avast is untouchable, fully featured & now offers a boot time scan that can catch things that can’t be while Windows is running (same applies to defrag). The pagefile cannot be defragmented while in use, so some defrag tools will offer the ‘boot time’ choice that will. I suspect that these aren’t the only software choices that offers a boot time run & the list will grow. While Avast first offered boot time scan many years back, as well as not a Rescue CD (for Free users also), they likely won’t be the last.

To be honest, I prefer the boot time defrag over the bootable Linux Rescue CD, some of these has been known to flag false positives & render the system unbootable. I’ve never had that issue with Avast with over a decade of use.

Final thoughts & conclusion, if one truly values their security, perform Full drive backup images often, store files of importance off of the computer onto any other media, and replace (or add an anti-Malware layer alongside of) Windows Defender.

Cat

will never use Norton or avg again. both messed up my pc and got worse after I removed them. also as a parting gift from Norton it completely disabled my windows defender beyond repair and disable my pc to the point I had to reinstall system and programs.

i know im a little late on commenting but i feel when i run norton or avast or avg with my defender, it slows my computer down sooo bad!

If running any 3rd party security, Defender should be shut down. Normally this is automatic, sometimes will remain on & has to be manually shut down. Doesn’t have to be disabled, just stop the service & set to manual. That should free a lot of resources, as Defender is indeed heavy.

Cat