Is Windows Defender Good Enough In 2023?

by Homer Dennis

Windows computers come with a lot of software pre-installed when it was built. They ensure the computer runs or to enhance and improve its performance. One of this software is Windows Defender.

Windows Defender is an antivirus software whose sole job is to block a virus from invading and corrupting your system. it is your computer's main security shield against malware and virus. it comes pre-installed. In fact, until you download third-party antivirus software, it is your PC's only protection. Windows Defender on older Windows computer was named Microsoft Security Essentials. On a newer Windows computer, it is more advanced and ready to protect your computer.

Whether you rely on Windows defender as your main antivirus or get a more powerful antivirus software depends on how you use your computer. So how do you decide if you should keep using your computer's built-in antivirus software or go for the top guns in the antivirus market?

Windows Defender Overview

There are a lot of good things about Windows defender. It is free to start with and you don't need any extra software to use it. When you have a new PC, Windows Defender will come pre-installed. Also, if you upgrade your windows version, Windows defender automatically comes with it. It will install its latest version. A lot of bugs have plagues older versions of Windows Defender. A lot of the powerful antivirus available have both free version as well as premium version. All the free versions are available without you paying. the only catch is you won't use them with full features. With the premium version, you have to pay for a subscription plan monthly or yearly.

Another thing worth mentioning about the tool is that it uses very small system memory. Compared to other antivirus software, Windows Defender is very light. It will continue to run in the background as long as you enable it. It does this without disrupting your system's speed when handling your tasks. There are no visible lags when you have Windows Defender as your only antivirus software. Win Defender is decent, to say the least.

Windows defender is actually a standalone software. You don't have to download some other software if you want to use it. Software like registry cleaners, browser extensions are not needed when using Windows defender. only third-party antivirus need it. They also use a lot of system memory.

How good is Windows Defender?

Taking only Windows Defender into consideration won't give us a clear picture of how good or bad it is. We have to compare it against other antivirus software and see how it holds up. There is no denying that antivirus comes with different strength and features. it is safe to say we have all used some antivirus program on our PC.

We don't have to go through the process of downloading tons of antivirus programs on our computer to compare against Windows Defender. There are lots of websites that focus on doing that. They compare the biggest and most powerful antivirus on the market. They do this review every month which meansthe reviews are always updated. One of such websites is AV-Test.


AV-Test has been reviewing antivirus software for years now. A lot of people consider them one of the best at what they do. A lot of people use it to access two antiviruses before deciding the one they want to pick.

AV-Test rank selected antivirus program based on three different factors. They are:

- Performance

- Protection

- Usability

On each of the factors above, the antivirus is awarded scores from zero to six. The best score an antivirus can have is six and the worst is zero.


There is one important talking point about the results of the review by AV-Test. Windows Defender has improved and evolved over the years. As of this year, Windows Defender currently has the most score in protection i.e. 6 compared to its 3.5 score in 2015. It also has a score of 5.5 in Usability and Protection. Tested against malware created by AV-Test, Windows Defender receives a score of 99.6%.


AV-Comparatives is another site tester that reviews antivirus programs. Its approach of ranking Antivirus is not completely different from other AV-Test. AV-Comparatives tested Windows Defender to see how it handles malicious URLs, downloads, and other credible URLs that redirect users to malicious websites or malware.


Windows Defender earned a 99.1% score in the rate at which it blocks malware. It got 0% compromise rate and had 106 positives. Compared to the previous year (2015), where it only managed 80.5% in its ability to block malware attacks. Also, its 0% compromise rate is better than Avast's 0.5 percent. This shows how much Windows Defender is improving.

One aspect Windows defender lags behind its rate of blocking user-dependent malware. In 2018, it has a rate of 3.6%. User-dependent malware is malware that your computer gives you the option to execute. It allows this even though it warns you that it can harm your system. A lot of the powerful third-party antivirus in the market block these type of malware. Stats in 2023, show that WindowsDefender has improved in this department. Now its score has dropped to about 0.8%.

The only aspect that influence one's verdict about Windows Defender is its ability to detect false positives. This is the only area Windows defender is very bad at. As a matter of fact, it has the highest rate when compared with all the other third-party antivirus we have now. It had 106 false positives in 2018. The score means it has double the score of the popular antivirus in this aspect.

The best way to improve Windows Defender is by fine-tuning its ability to detect false positives. This will not only go a long way in improving its security, but it will also increase the rate at which people use it.

Microsoft continues working hard to provide Users a strong antivirus tool. An antivirus they don't have to pay for. Also, Microsoft also aims to reduce the number of extra software users add to their computer. If Microsoft can fix an issue without creating new ones, Windows Defender can develop into a very powerful antivirus. Windows Defender is definitely capable of protecting your computer from most of the threats youare exposed. The threats might be online or offline. We will provide some insights on how other third-party antivirus programs subjected to the same test as Windows Defender hold up. This will give you more information on how good Windows Defender is.

How does third party antivirus hold up?

It is obvious Windows Defender works well and is a pretty standard antivirus. Microsoft still has a few things to set right if Win Defender is to be considered as one of the best antiviruses for PCs. The good thing is that the developers are also improving it. for instance, review on February 2023 did not rank it among the top products on AV-Test's best antivirus programs. Its results based on Usability, Protection and performance earned it a score of 17. Other antivirus software got scores in the range 17.5 to 18.

How does third party antivirus hold up?
How does third party antivirus hold up?

As at the time of this writing, the last review report on AV-Test for June 2023 showed that Windows Defender can be relied upon to protect your computer. In the review, it earned a score of 18 which is the highest any antivirus can get. In fact, a few of the best third-party antivirus lots of people use could only manage 17.5 total scores. Avast Antivirus and AVG security are two of the antivirus who got o.5 score less than Windows Defender.

One thing that gives other antivirus programs the edge is the other features they have. Windows Defender is a security tool and nothing more. A lot of the popular antivirus programs offer more than security. For instance, Avast Antivirus comes with a password manager feature. This feature allows you to save all your passwords in a single encrypted vault. some come with registry cleaners. Others come with storage vault. Some even have syncing features.

Conclusion of Whether Windows Defender Good Enough In 2023?

Windows Defender is a good antivirus you can have on your PC especially based on recent results. As long as you have its latest version or build, you don't have much to worry about. it is free to use and very light on computer resources. It only needs little time to become perfect but it does not mean you can't rely on it.

However, it does not hurt anyone if you use the third party antivirus programs. The offer better solidity and protection. This is because they deliver every year since they were developed. There are lots of free ones you can use including Avast, Bit defender, and McAfee. Using them gives much better security. You do get lots of features from them. Truth is, Windows Defender is not far behind.

Windows Defender has evolved and improved. A few years back, nobody would even bring up Windows Defender when talking about programs to protect a PC. Now, it is certainly making new impressions. Apart from not offering extra features, Windows Defender is good. In fact, unless you are not in love with the tool itself, it is a viable tool you can trust to protect your computer!

About Homer Dennis

Born and raised in an environmentally conscious family, Homer developed a strong awareness of the impact of human activities on the planet from a young age. This early exposure to eco-friendly practices and sustainability principles inspired her to pursue a career focused on promoting renewable energy and advocating for a more sustainable lifestyle.

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