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Microsoft Defender has come a long way since its inception. Once criticized for its reliability, this free antivirus from Microsoft has metamorphosed into a robust security tool. Today, it ranks among the best antivirus products on the market.

What is Microsoft Defender?

Microsoft Defender is a free antivirus integrated into Windows operating systems. Designed by Microsoft, it offers real-time protection against malware, ransomware and other online threats. Thanks to its native presence, it is a practical solution for securing your PC without the need for additional installation.

Is Microsoft Defender the right antivirus to protect your PC?
  • Real-time protection: Microsoft Defender constantly monitors the files, applications and websites you visit, instantly detecting and neutralizing viruses, malware, ransomware and other cyberthreats to ensure ongoing security.
  • Automatic updates: Virus definitions and protection are regularly and automatically updated.
  • Seamless integration : Perfectly integrated with Windows, Microsoft Defender runs unobtrusively in the background.

Microsoft Defender protects against 99.94% of malware

The results of AV-Test’s March 2024 malware protection test highlight the outstanding performance of Microsoft Defender. With an effectiveness rating of 99.94%, Microsoft Defender ranked among the market leaders, rivalling established solutions such as Bitdefender, Avast and Kaspersky.

ProductOnline protectionFalse device
Avast99.95%10
AVG99.95%10
Avira99.95%12
Bitdefender99.92%8
ESET99.93%10
F-Secure99.97%33
G DATA99.93%10
Kaspersky99.90%3
McAfee99.91%19
Microsoft99.94%18
Malware Protection Test March 2024 AV Test

Although Microsoft Defender showed a solid performance with a detection rate of 99.94%, it is important to note the 18 false positives reported during the test.

Although these false positives may be perceived as an inconvenience, they do not compromise the overall effectiveness of protection. Indeed, it’s better to have a few false positives than to miss the detection of real threats.

Greater impact on performance than other antivirus products

Windows Defender still seems to be dragging its heels in this area. Despite Microsoft’s best efforts, its antivirus is still significantly below average, and even at the bottom of the pack in comparative performance tests.

ProductImpact Score
McAfee2.8
Kaspersky4.1
ESET8.3
AVG9.2
Avast9.3
Avira9.4
Panda9.5
Bitdefender9.7
Quick Heal9.9
Trend Micro11.3
Norton11.5
Microsoft13.8
Performance Test April 2024 AV Test

Users naturally seek to reconcile security and efficiency. But with Windows Defender, this is often a difficult compromise to accept. Tests consistently place it at the bottom of the league in terms of responsiveness and performance impact.

An excellent antivirus for home users

Microsoft Defender has achieved the highest level of recognition attributable to an antivirus product. With improvements in the categories of protection, performance and usability, Microsoft Defender stands out as a pre-eminent choice for keeping your computer and data safe online.

Microsoft Defender Endpoint Security (EPS): Home 2024 Q1
SE Labs Endpoint Security (EPS): Home 2024 Q1

Microsoft Defender has been awarded the highest possible score by AV-TEST and SELabs, a distinction reserved for top security solutions, with a perfect score of 18/18 points by AV Test and 100/100 by SE Labs.

What is computer malware?

Computer malware is a type of software designed to damage, disrupt or access a computer system without the user’s consent. Malware can take many forms, including viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware and ransomware.

Their aim may be to steal personal information, corrupt files, disrupt system operation or even demand ransom to restore access to data.