Windows Defender is a built-in antivirus program you get for free with Windows 10. The program is basically a new version of Microsoft Security Essentials, the free antivirus program Microsoft offered to Windows 7 users.
The program automatically downloads new antivirus definitions, scans files and programs you open, and comes with an interface for more in-depth scans.
How good is it?
Windows Defender is already built-in, saving users from the hassle of choosing, buying, and installing a third-party antivirus program. It also doesn’t annoy users with pop-ups and payment requests, and doesn’t consume too much of your system’s resources, like many antivirus programs do.
More importantly, it does a solid job of protecting your computer from viruses and malware attacks. Recently reported, Windows Defender detected 95% of widespread and prevalent malware, and 85% of all zero-day attacks. Good but not quite as good as other programs. BitDefender registered a detection rate of 100% on the same test samples, with Kaspersky following closely behind with 100% and 99%. Certainly these tests can be subjective depending on what samples are used.
Is it dependable?
As long as you keep your Windows and your web browser versions up-to-date, and use good security practices, your computer should be fine. Oh ya, don’t forget a good dose of common sense. Don’t click on those suspicious links and don’t open unknown file attachments!
The good news is Windows 10 also includes other security features such as the SmartScreen filter, which helps defend against malware attacks even if you have a third-party antivirus program installed. Popular browsers like Chrome and Firefox also run Google Safe Browsing, which is very useful for thwarting malware downloads.
All of these features combined with Windows Defender should provide sufficient protection for your PC. And it’s included at no additional charge with Windows 10!
However if you’re the type who regularly visits many different sites and installs unknown third party applications, you might want to opt for an antivirus program that does a better job of protecting against more obscure malware types.