Microsoft Defender comes pre-installed at no cost on all Windows 10 and 11 systems. Is a strict name and provides decent protection against most malware. However, he wanted to know if it was enough to protect his laptop against every possible threat on its own. I put it through rigorous rounds of testing to find out.
In my tests, I found that Microsoft Defender can protect you against more than 99 threats while providing only a few false positives. I also found it easy to use and was happy with its helpful support. Unfortunately, its protection is not as reliable as the best antivirus is currently available. Also, it falls behind in terms of options and doesn’t come with a VPN or parole manager like other top antiviruses.
Overall, Microsoft Defender is good enough to offer basic protection. But I wouldn’t consider it to protect my system against all threats. If you want a very capable antivirus that will defend your system against all threats on its own, I recommend looking at Norton. It’s a 100 percent malware detection rate and it even comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee that will let you check it out safely.
In a Rush? Here’s a 1-Minute Summary
- Impressive Malware Detection Rates – Microsoft Defender will detect and remove most malware with only a few exceptions.
- Mediocre Feature Set – Unlike other mainstream antiviruses that are feature-rich, Microsoft Defender largely only offers the basics.
- Extremely Easy – Microsoft Defender is easy to use and get the hang of, even for novice users.
- Responsive and Helpful Customer Support – Microsoft Defender Support is incredibly reliable with its helpful online mindset, responsive live chat, and more.
- Completely Free: Microsoft Defender is pre-installed on all Windows 10 and 11 devices with all its options.
Microsoft Defender’s security isn’t the simplest, but it’s adequate for a free antivirus that comes pre-installed on your system. To determine how smart its security is, I tested its temporary virus detection, virus scan, phishing protection, and ransomware protection.
Microsoft Defender is an adequate line of defense against most threats. Even if it can’t guarantee 100% security against all types of viruses and malware.
Virus Scan — 4 Kinds of Scans With Impressive Detection Rates
Microsoft excels at policing most types of viruses, Trojans, ransomware, and malware. It offers four completely different scans that you can choose from. The quick scan is absolutely fast and took just a couple of minutes to scan thirty-eight. 151 files on my system and successfully remove most of the threats. In contrast, the full scan took one hour and fourteen minutes to scan over three 166,221 files and remove every single threat. Also, it only gave a false positive after the full scan.
If your laptop still has viruses after quick and comprehensive scans. You can continually protect it through Microsoft Defender offline scanning. This scan reboots your system and runs before your software system, therefore increasing your chances of finding any stubborn malware. Finally, there’s a custom scan that you can use to find viruses in certain areas of your system if you’re sure you recognize them wherever they are.
Real-Time Protection — Reliable Real-Time Protection With Few False Positives
Microsoft Defender provides adequate protection over some time as a free antivirus. It caught just over 99 of the threats over some time with several false positives, that’s good but not premium antivirus quality.
If you want the simplest protection possible, you’re at an advantage with Norton. it’s a 100 percent period protection score in all of our tests and never returns false positives. This makes it one of the easiest ways to install impenetrable security on your system.
Phishing Protection — Effective Phishing Protection on Chrome and Edge
Microsoft Defender is a good choice for phishing defense. This functionality is included in Microsoft Edge, and you can also add it to Google Chrome via an extension. Every well-known phishing website I visited during my tests on both browsers was effectively reported, and the US state was advised to discontinue using them.
Unfortunately, Microsoft Defender phishing protection is barely available, and Chrome is. If you use other browsers like Firefox or Opera, you won’t have access to the current feature and will have to watch out for suspicious sites on your own if Microsoft Defender is your only style of antivirus.
Firewall — Customizable Firewall to Keep You Safe Online
Microsoft Defender includes a comprehensive firewall to keep your network secure. The good thing about this firewall is that it is easy and you will be able to combine it on your domain, private, and public networks with one click.
Although it’s hard to ask to suspend, Microsoft Defender has advanced settings that you can access and combine according to your preferences. This setting allows you to specify rules for each incoming and outgoing connection. I only recommend adjusting them if you have AN experience because it’s possible to leave your laptop exposed to threats with misconfigurations.
Microsoft Defender Firewall may not be the simplest out there, but it’s effective and gets the job done. However, if you want the simplest firewall possible with advanced settings that anyone can mix and match, a premium antivirus like McAfee may be a much better alternative.
Ransomware Protection — This Lets You Protect Files and Folders From Any Unauthorized Changes
I was happy to learn that Microsoft Defender offers inexpensive ransomware protection. is a controlled folder access feature that will allow you to specify certain folders, so unauthorized applications cannot create any changes to them. I contacted customer support regarding this and was assured that these specific folders would remain safe, even if your system gets infected with ransomware.
Setting up ransomware protection is extremely simple in Microsoft Defender. simply go to “Ransomware Protection”, change the access button to “Controlled Folder” and add the folders you want to specifically protect against ransomware.
Overall, Microsoft Defender offers reliable protection as a free antivirus. However, it is not a single resolution to protect you against all threats. I highly recommend you check out these top antiviruses if you want complete protection against every possible threat.
Microsoft Defender just isn’t that smart when it includes additional options. Except for cloud backup and some parental controls, it doesn’t have much else to offer. Alternative top Windows antiviruses offer a much wider range of options, as well as a VPN and positive ID manager, while also providing top-notch security.
Cloud Backup and Recovery — Backs up Your Files on OneDrive Cloud in Case of Ransomware Attacks
In addition to having controlled folder access to protect against ransomware, Microsoft Defender also backs up necessary files to the OneDrive cloud. you just have to access OneDrive and specify which of your files and folders to copy.
In the event of a ransomware attack, this cloud backup and recovery feature can be a lifesaver, allowing you to instantly restore the necessary files.
Parental Controls — Provides Multiple Ways to Safeguard and Manage Your Children’s Online Activity
I was glad to learn that Microsoft Defender comes with a lot of useful parental controls. You can use them to manage various things like your kids’ screen time, their online activity, what apps they’ll get, and more.
You can simply find these parental controls by clicking on the “View Family” setting within the “Family Options” tab. This opens a browser tab where you can easily customize and find these tools. One problem here, however, is that everyone wants a Microsoft account for these controls to work. Therefore, you cannot use these good options if your relationship area depends on alternative operating systems and devices.
Ease Of Use
I found Microsoft Defender to be one of the simplest antiviruses available. Aside from the marginally sophisticated advanced firewall settings, its menu area unit is easy to navigate. Plus, almost every menu has a “Get Help” button that you can simply use to ask for help at any time.
One of the main drawbacks of Microsoft Defender is that it is only for Windows devices. Unlike other high-end antiviruses that offer apps for several different platforms, you can only use Microsoft Defender on your Windows laptop.
Desktop App — Easy to Use and Comes Pre-Installed With Windows
The Microsoft Defender desktop app comes pre-installed on all Windows 10 and 11 systems. What I like most about it is that it is very easy to request suspension, even if you don’t know the antivirus. All of its option area units are easily accessible and configurable via a switch, so you can easily adjust them to your liking.
The only drawback here is, of course, the fact that it’s only Windows. You can’t use Microsoft Defender on UNIX, macOS, and alternate operating systems. However, I would like to say that Microsoft Defender comes with a paid commercial setting that protects mechanical, iOS, macOS, and Windows devices, but that is a completely different product that comes with a set of various features.
While not the most effective antivirus in terms of protection, features, and device compatibility, simply using Microsoft Defender ME weighed a lot for a free choice.
Microsoft Defender support is one of its greatest strengths. Your live chat got ME all the support I needed in just minutes. Plus, it’s beneficial content, how-to videos, and even phone support if needed.
Responsive and Helpful Live Chat
Microsoft Defender offers responsive live chat support that is easy to support. To speak with a partner agent, click “Get Help” in one of the Microsoft Defender menus, type your issue, press Enter, and click “Contact Support.” this can open a browser tab and place you in a queue to speak with a live chat agent.
I was quite happy with Microsoft Defender’s live chat support. He connected me with a partner agent within two to three minutes. And they provided quick and helpful answers to some or all of my queries. Additionally, the ME agent provided links to helpful content resources that covered my issues in great detail.
Phone Support Is Available if Needed
One factor that hit me hard with regard to Microsoft Defender support is that the live chat agent asked me to provide my flag initially. I asked what this was for and was told it was absolutely to urge you to bear with me in case the chat goes offline.
All of my live chat sessions went smoothly with no disconnections. So there was no need to follow up with me via phone call. However, I appreciate that support takes this extra step to contact you if the live chat session doesn’t calculate.
Online Resources & FAQs — Lots of Useful Information to Help You Out
You will see multiple results once you type your question. Just click on the one closest to your question, and you’ll find lots of information about it. Also, it’s nice that all of this can be done from the desktop app, and you don’t need to open the cognitive content in your browser.
It’s worth noting that Microsoft takes no responsibility should your system get infected, which lowers my confidence in Microsoft Defender. High-performing antivirus alternatives like McAfee and Norton come with a Pandemic Protection Promise/Pledge, thereby ensuring complete protection against threats.
Overall, I’m happy with how reliable Microsoft Defender support is. Cognitive content has information on each topic you would like to understand. However, even though the cognitive content doesn’t have the information you want, just ask AN agent via live chat for help.
Microsoft Defender is completely free and, as mentioned above, comes pre-installed on Windows 10 and 11 devices. There is no premium plan that gives you access to innovative new options. So what you see is what you get with this antivirus. I want to be offered additional options. Most advanced antiviruses, for example, come bundled with a built-in VPN and useful alternative options. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with Microsoft Defender, so you’ll have to accept its comparatively basic level of protection.
After intensive testing, I have come to the conclusion that Microsoft Defender can be a reliable antivirus, but it is not capable of fully protecting your system on its own. It offers good support, detects most malware, and provides multiple types of scans, however, it is outperformed by the most effective antivirus out there today.
Microsoft Defender is also restricted when it includes options. Apart from some parental controls and cloud backups, there are several alternative options that you can use to increase your security. Also, it is only available on Windows devices so you cannot use it on your alternative devices.
All thought, although Microsoft Defender offers strict protection, I just can’t trust it to protect my system. It’s a good second line of defense, but I’d rather use a full security answer like Norton as my main antivirus. Not only will it provide greater protection through its 100% detection rate, but it also provides other useful options that you simply won’t find with Microsoft Defender.
Is Microsoft Defender Good Enough on Its Own?
No, although Microsoft Defender has improved a lot over the years, it’s not good to protect it on its own. it’s a powerful detection rate, however, top-tier alternative antiviruses outperform it. So while Microsoft Defender provides adequate protection for some uses, and is certainly among the best free antiviruses out there, it’s just not a top-tier, full-featured security suite.
How Do I Turn off Microsoft Defender?
Open Microsoft Defender on your Windows 10 or 11 computer, go to Virus & threat protection, click Virus & threat protection settings, and turn off protection by time period, protection provided by the cloud, protection against manipulations, and the automatic shipment of samples.
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