Security threats are becoming an anxious topic day by day. Everyone is now concerned about their cybersecurity. Microsoft is concerned about their users and that’s why they came with Windows Defender. But does windows defender give you enough security? You should know these stuff clearly, huh? If you are searching for windows defender review, then I am here for you. In this article, I will discuss windows defender’s pros and cons and then you can realize whether it is enough for your security or not. Let’s move on.
What is Windows Defender?
- When you install windows OS on your computer, then Microsoft gives you a built-in antivirus named windows defender. There is no installation process. It’s totally free with windows installation. As every user doesn’t have equal technology attachment, many of them get confused what is windows defender. That’s why in Windows 10, Microsoft named it as ‘Windows Defender Antivirus’.
- When you are running windows 10 on your PC, windows defender automatically starts to give you security in case you don’t turn it off. You can disable it permanently with registry editor, but there is no by default option to make it disable.
- Windows defender will be updated automatically if you turned on your system update settings.
Windows Defender’s Performance:
Now I will show you what windows defender can do with security matters. It’s not like it can give you each kind of security protections, but many of them. So let’s see its ability and lacking one by one in various security fields.
- Virus and Threat Protection: You can start a full scan, real-time protection or a scheduled scan to detect and remove malware from your computer.
- Device performance and health: Windows defender gives overall security status of your computer here. Your driver updates, system updates, and other security weakness will be notified here. If any driver is corrupted or needs to be updated, then you will be notified. Though windows defender cannot detect major security weakness of your computer, it is helpful for average users.
- Firewall and network protection: Windows defender works in the background while you are surfing the internet via Microsoft edge. It protects your computer from various online security threats. If any risky third-party app is going to be installed on your computer or any malware from any web page is going to attack you, then it warns you and you can prevent them by windows defender’s security guards. App and browser control section helps you detect phishing and malicious websites when you are browsing via Microsoft edge. You can do network troubleshooting and check firewall configuration through it.
- Family options: It manages parent control options like limited access to age-restricted apps for kids, screen time controlling etc.
This is a short briefing over windows defender’s activities. But if you want to know everything about windows defender, then you have to go a lil bit deeper. Now I will discuss every pros and cons of windows defender. Keep in touch for your betterment. Let’s go.
- Windows malware protection system has been improved a lot. Many lab tests emphases this fact. Windows defender uses the signature matching technique to identify malware from a database of some known variations. Recently, it has been seen windows defender can protect about 99 percent of ‘zero-day’ malware. A few years back, it protected about 80 and 88 percent of that malware.
- But how can we understand is it better or not? If we compare this performance with another free antivirus like Avast or AVG, then we can see those free antivirus can protect about 100 percent of this malware. So, windows defender needs to be improved a lil bit in malware protection. But its performance is satisfactory.
- One big problem is windows defender’s false malware detection. Many lab tests proved it detected many safe items as malware. In practice, many users faced this problem like installing a useful software from third party and windows defender vanishes them after installation. This is one of the remarkable lackings of windows defender. Many free antiviruses passed these tests successfully.
- When windows defender finds a corrupted file with malware detection, it tries to remove the whole file. This is not satisfactory compared to another free antivirus.
- You can start a full scan to detect malware or threats from your PC, but the performance is not good enough. It takes a long time and your computer will be slowed down. Many free antiviruses are giving better performance than windows defender. Though full scan is useful, windows defender’s performance should be improved.
Online activities are increasing day by day in these days. So you need a trusted protection when you are doing things over the internet. Let’s see what windows defender is doing to secure you from online attacks.
1. Phishing Protection
- What is a phishing website? Phishing websites are those looking like exactly some famous websites and when you are giving your login credentials, they are going to the hackers and you will be in trouble!
- When you are browsing the internet, you can see many phishing websites nowadays. If we think about average users, maximum of them cannot recognize a phishing website at a first glance as the only way to recognize them is to notice the address bar and then anyone can understand it’s not the real website. But it’s too late when they realize. So we need to recognize them in real time. So what windows defender is doing to secure their users from phishing attacks?
- Windows defender’s firewall and network portion has a security guard named SmartScreen filter which handles this phishing protection. But many lab tests proved the result in Microsoft edge browser is not satisfactory at all. SmartScreen filter cannot detect the phishing websites as expected. Many free antiviruses do a lot better than it.
- SmartScreen filter is detecting phishing websites when you are browsing via Microsoft edge browser only. So, what will happen if you are browsing via a third party browser? Though many browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox have their own security guards to detect phishing attacks, windows defender should give protection over all browsers running on Windows OS.
2. Email protection
- Windows defender can block any harmful email attachments. But the problem is it gives protection only for Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft office 365. If you are using a third-party email client, then you will get no protection from windows defender. This is not fair, Huh?
- Password management
- When you are browsing via Microsoft edge browser, you can save your login credentials like passwords. But this password protection is low. Windows defender has no password manager, file encryption method like another free antivirus. This is risky if you are using Microsoft edge for shopping or banking purpose over the internet. However, recently Microsoft has brought BitLocker disk-encryption technology for their users.
3. Ransomware Protection
- What is Ransomware attack? When you are facing a ransomware attack, the hacker takes control of an important file of your computer and encrypted it. Then you have to pay the hacker to find the decryption key if you want to get back your file. Many ransomware attacks can take control of your full computer or mobile access.
- Ransomware attack has become a major security threat in these days. So you have to be protected from these ransomware attacks, huh?
- Windows defender can protect against ransomware attacks. But you have to enable the settings manually.
Go to Settings→ Update & Security→ Windows Defender → Open Windows Defender Security Center → Virus & threat protection → Virus & threat protection settings and turn on ‘Controlled folder access’.
You can see a list of protected folders there. You can add other folders as protected if you want.
If an application wants to change the protected folders, then you will be notified instantly and if you want any application to make a change in any of those protected folders, then you just have to mark the application safe. If you want to mark an application safe, just click on Allow an app through Controlled Folder access and give the application located on your computer.
Many lab tests proved windows defender can protect against ransomware attacks, but you just have to edit the settings manually. But Microsoft should have to make it default as ransomware is not a sudden attack anymore.
So, Windows defender’s performance is enough for you?
We have seen the abilities and lacking windows defender. Let’s discuss its performance.
- Microsoft just wanted to give their users a basic protection. Windows defender can protect you from any kind of nonmajor attacks, eventually from many major attacks. But as you have seen already, Windows defender has many security holes, huh?
- Windows defender can protect you from malware attacks, but how much? Though its performance is satisfactory now than before, many free antiviruses is giving better performance than it.
- Windows defender protects you from online attacks, but only when you are using they’re built in products like Microsoft edge, office or outlook. But in case you need to use third-party applications, you are not protected anymore.
- Something is better than nothing, huh? Microsoft just wanted to confirm something free for you. Yes, windows defender has many lacking, but it gives you basic protection. If you are not using your computer for heavy usage, then windows defender is okay for you. But if you are using your computer for heavy usage, then you should have to look somewhere else for best protection. Windows Defender is good for you, but it’s not always enough or best option for you.
- If you have gone through my whole article, then it may seem I am giving you a just negative review of windows defender! But no, I am not. See, I have told you what windows defender can do for you. But you should know every security holes of windows defender as ignorance of this part can be the reason of major harms.
If you are aware of your security stuff, then you should think windows defender matters seriously. You should already get things clear whether windows defender is enough for you or not. Think twice of your computer’s usage and take decision likewise. But windows defender isn’t like anything, it can give you basic protection in every sector. No installation process, no billing! But don’t forget its security holes!