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It’s one of the greatest comeback stories in PC antivirus software history.
Windows Defender – which was once at the bottom of the pile in terms of antivirus software rankings – is now officially better than half its competition according to a new antivirus test.
That antivirus test was released this past week. AV-Test.org published its latest findings and gave a surprisingly good rating to Windows Defender, which is built-into Windows 8 and Windows 10 and works in a similar way to the old Microsoft Security Essentials from Windows 7 and Vista.
Here’s what AV-Test found:
-Each software is ranked on three metrics: Threat Protection, Performance (system slowdown and speed), and Usability (ease of use, false positive detection).
-Each metric is awarded a score out of 6, which means the best possible ranking is 18 points.
-A minimum score of 10 is required to receive an AV-Test certification rating
A few years ago, Microsoft’s security software scored poorly on a regular basis. Around the release of Windows 8, Defender received scores of 9.5 and 11.5.
-This year, Microsoft improved by leaps and bounds, scoring a 14.0 on Windows 10 and Windows 7 and a whopping 15.5 on Windows 8
-In the rankings below, you can see the scores for all popular antivirus software. Please note that Windows Defender is at the bottom because it’s considered baseline. That bottom ranking is not an indication of performance.
As you can see, Windows Defender doesn’t actually bet any companies in terms of Threat Protection aside from Comodo and ThreatTrack. On Windows 8, however, Windows Defender beat those two software products and matched ESET.
When compiling the overall scores, Microsoft ranked 10th out of 20 vendors.
Microsoft Doesn’t Claim that Windows Defender is World-Class Antivirus Software
The important thing to remember with these rankings is that Microsoft has never advertised Windows Defender as a world-class antivirus tool. Instead, the antivirus software is sold as “baseline” protection.
The platform is designed to protect you against obvious security threats while having a minimal impact on your computer’s performance.
And when it comes to that, Windows Defender apparently does very well.
You can view the full results of the AV-Test findings here.