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Windows Defender review

Convenient, free and pre-installed software that nearly matches the performance of top paid competitors

Windows Defender is the most convenient option for people on Windows, and it performs comparably to many free and paid programs. Most users will get the protection they need from Windows Defender without downloading third-party software.

Windows Defender has been one of the most common antivirus programs since its general release in 2006, and it’s built into Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10. While early versions offered relatively weak protection, later updates added a number of features for more robust security.

The antivirus is automatically installed in Windows, so the question is whether Windows Defender is enough on its own. Although some alternatives perform better in certain areas, Windows Defender comes with decent security features and strong ease of use.

Want to try Windows Defender? Check out the website here

Costs and what’s covered

Windows Defender is completely free and runs natively on every Windows operating system since Vista. While it can’t be uninstalled, you can disable it manually through the Local Group Policy Editor. It will also be turned off automatically if you install third-party antivirus software.

Antivirus Protection

Windows Defender has come a long way in recent years and now provides excellent protection. The program checks for malware automatically, but it also gives the user control over a wide range of settings.

Windows Defender provides parents with an easy way to monitor their child’s activity online when using a Windows computer (Image credit: Microsoft)

Parental Controls

Windows Defender allows parents to monitor and control everything from overall screen time to online behavior. Parents can fine-tune a variety of settings for each child and connect user profiles to a Microsoft account.

With Windows Defender you can perform a full scan, custom scan or even an offline scan on your Windows 10 PC (Image credit: Microsoft)

Scans

The program offers quick scans as well as customizable advanced scans. It’s easy to schedule a scan for a specific time or date or configure recurring scans once per day, week, or month. You can manage scheduled scans by opening Task Scheduler and selecting Windows Defender.

A website with known threats blocked by Windows Defender

Online Protection

In addition to scanning local files, Windows Defender protects your computer from online malware. You’ll receive a notification when the program identifies a potential threat. Certain behaviors, such as automatically scanning downloads and attachments, can be toggled on and off via “edit group policy” in Control Panel.

Antivirus Performance

Windows Defender was considered unreliable for most of its history, but it has performed effectively in a variety of tests over the last few years. Its zero-day attack protection rate rose from 80.5% in the September and October 2015 AV-Test Home User report up to 99.9% in the report for November and December 2018, doing better than many of its top competitors.

On the other hand, Windows Defender didn’t do as well in the AV-Comparatives’ Real World Protection test conducted from July to November 2018. While its 99.1% protection rate might look good on paper, it ranked just 14th among 18 antivirus programs.…

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