The best AntiVirus? Is Windows Defender enough antivirus?


In times before Windows 10, the use of an own AntiVirus program was necessary to run the PC reasonably safe.
Initially, Microsoft did not offer a solution here at all, later, in Windows 7, the Microsoft AV could be installed under the name Microsoft Security Essentials and
since Windows 8, an anti-virus protection is integrated in Windows, the "Windows Defender". Windows Defender can be found in the settings under"Virus & threat protection". To make it appear that the firewall works in conjunction with the virus scanner, Windows Firewall has been renamed Windows Defender Firewall in Windows 10.

But how good is the integrated virus protection? Is Defender the best AV or is Windows Defender just enough to protect the PC?

Is Windows Defender good enough?

Originally, Windows Defender couldn't quite keep up with other anti-virus programs in AV tests, but this fact has changed over time, as evidenced by recent AV test comparisons, where Defender is usually in the middle of the pack.

Windows Defender, which is integrated into Windows, offers real-time protection against viruses and malware, but does not provide 100% security, just like other manufacturers. Windows Defender is probably not the most accurate and best virus scanner, but it is still better than some commercial products.

Which virus scanner is the best?

In general, virus scanners are getting better and better, manufacturers of antivirus software are constantly working on improvements, so it can also happen that certain products do not always cope equally well with viruses.

A current comparison of virus scanners can be found, among others, on the sites: and, here is a current list of tested virus scanners from these sites and the current position of the Microsoft virus scanner:

AV-Comparatives März 2024:
AVTest April 2024:

  • F-Secure/Norton
  • Avast/AVG/Avira
  • Microsoft/TotalAV/Total Defense
  • ESET/G Data
  • Bitdefender
  • McAfee
  • Kaspersky
  • Panda
  • Quick Heal
  • Trend Micro
  • Avast Free Antivirus 24.2 & 24.3
  • AVG Internet Security 24.2 & 24.3
  • Avira Internet Security for Windows 1.1
  • Bitdefender Total Security 27.0
  • ESET Security Ultimate 17.0
  • F-Secure Total 19
  • K7 Computing Total Security 16.0
  • Kaspersky Plus 21.16
  • McAfee Total Protection 1.14 & 1.16
  • Microsoft Defender Antivirus (Consumer) 4.18
  • Norton Norton 360 22.24
  • PC Matic Application Allowlisting 3.0
  • Trend Micro Internet Security 17.8
  • MicroWorld eScan Internet Security Suite 22.0
  • Total AV 5.24.38
  • Quick Heal Total Security 24.00
  • EnigmaSoft Spyhunter 5.16
Ranking refers only to overall online protection rates in "Malware Protection Test from März 2024", without considering false positives or performance.
List last updated: 2024-04-17
Ranking refers only to "Protection" of test from April 2024, without considering performance or usability
List last updated: 2024-05-29

Windows Defender: a simple solution

It is definitely convenient to trust Windows Defender: After installing Windows, Windows Defender is automatically active and does its job.

This already eliminates the hassle of organizing and installing an alternative software. In addition, any thoughts about a license and its renewal are obsolete.
Windows Defender automatically downloads the update definitions via Windows updates.
Since Windows Defender is a fixed component of Windows, the probability of complications occurring during installation and subsequent operation is as low as possible.
So, from the user's point of view, nothing has to be done to use Windows Defender. On the contrary, if you don't want to use Defender, you have to explicitly disable it.
The administration is done via the Windows settings: Windows Security, Virus & Threat Protection:


All those whose highest priority when choosing a virus scanner is simplicity will probably find a good solution with Windows Defender. However, if you still want to choose another product, you can find a selection of alternative virus scanners in the list above.
In general, it should also be mentioned at this point that a virus scanner cannot protect against all possible threat scenarios today. Accordingly, it is also important to think about a functioning backup, see: Backup strategy.
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