Windows Defender is sufficient

Windows Defender Test 2021 - Does It Really Work?

Windows Defender is an anti-malware and firewall tool built into Windows and may not come first to mind when looking for premium protection against threats like spyware and Trojans. Does this built-in tool have enough functionality to protect against such threats, or should you look elsewhere? Here's what I found in my test.


Windows Defender Security Center offers one Basic protection against viruses, Trojans, ransomware and other types of malware. It is preinstalled with Windows by default, so that Your system is always protected from these threats, even if you don't want to install a third-party solution. The program also recognizes automatically other antivirus systems that you have installed. This makes it easy to remove old scanners if you want to implement Windows Defender as the only protection against online threats.

Strong advocacy from testing laboratories

After testing Windows Defender for three days, I was pleasantly surprised of the many functions of this free standard tool. Also, I'm not the only one who has a high opinion of it: Defender has always been in the top ten for virus detection in independent AV testing, and so has the program scored the highest score for malware removal (my test samples were all recognized).

The only drawback: the tool does not detect or remove so-called “low-risk” malware vectors, such as adware, as most users can live with them. While adware can flood your system with annoying popups, the overall experience isn't as bad as having your system hijacked (or your identity stolen) by ransomware.

Speaking of ransomware, there is also a nice integration on the cloud platform, OneDrive, that offers protection from this growing threat. Users can copy important personal folders to OneDrive through Defender, so they can still access them in case they are blocked by a virus requesting payment. The protection Microsoft offers includes cloud protection—So that the users both protection for the known vulnerabilitiesfor which signatures have been created as well as for new threats. There is nothing wrong with here. However, it does not protect against actual ransomware threats, only an AC integration into other (paid) Microsoft products.


In addition to protecting against viruses and threats, Windows Defender also offers a Windows Defender Firewall with advanced protection. This tool isn't particularly beginner-friendly, but it allows you to Manage comprehensive firewall provisions for internal and external protection. Firewalls are incredibly important in protecting your local network, so I was impressed with how comprehensive the Microsoft tool is.

There is also a Phishing protection, which is integrated as standard in Microsoft browsers: Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer. I've tried some well-known phishing urls from and they were all successfully recognized by the system—Unfortunately, I can't say the same thing about Google Chrome. This browser let me access the URLs without marking them as suspicious (and yes, I had the “protect from dangerous sites” option enabled). Anyone looking for protection for Chrome must install the Windows Defender Browser Protection Plugin from the Chrome Web Store.

Functional parental controls

What really impressed me was the fact that Defender offers a comprehensive filter for parental controls. These settings are configured online in the cloud and the Windows accounts of the individual family members can be added and thereby their access can be monitored and controlled by the admin. Microsoft even allows you to create special Windows accounts for children and the protection settings are automatically applied when you log in and surf with Microsoft Edge (you should block access to other browsers). In addition to the whitelist and blacklist functions administrators can configure time limits and download reports on browser activity.

Parental controls aren't bad for a free antivirus, but nothing compared to Norton or Panda.

user friendliness

Windows Defender is preinstalled on every Windows PC and if no other antivirus programs are installed, it is activated automatically. This of course means that no installation is required. The program offers preconfigured protection. The settings are divided into two areas: the Windows Defender Security Center, which offers virus scans, parental controls, a basic firewall and system health dialogs as well as a Windows Defender firewall with advanced protection. The latter is reserved for professional use, however the security center itself is incredibly quick and straightforward.


Windows Defender is a pre-installed component so that Microsoft solves any problems that might arise. The Online Help and FAQ Center provides instructions on how to set up scans and solve common problems. If the problem cannot be solved, the users can "talk" to the Microsoft Virtual Agent (who immediately understood my question and led me to exactly where I could configure my scan). also users have access to the global Microsoft support network, which offers both telephone and ticket-based support. If you have a problem with Windows Defender, Microsoft really has enough resources. to help you.

Apart from that, Microsoft explicitly states in its terms of use that you are not responsible for protecting your computer in the event of a malware infection. There are much better antivirus programs like McAfee or Norton, both of which offer a "virus protection promise".


Windows Defender and its components are included in the Windows operating system. The tool has some really impressive features and I think it's great that Microsoft isn't trying to sell something to users within the tool.

The reason they don't try upselling is because they don't have more to offer! In short, it is basic protection and if you use your PC for important things, such as work, online shopping, data storage, communication, etc., Windows Defender will not protect you. Other free antivirus programs for Windows work well, but generally speaking, free antivirus programs are not designed to give you complete protection. To do this, you need a premium antivirus program. Fortunately, many of them are inexpensive, powerful, and 100% safe.