Does Windows Defender have Malware Protection? The answer is yes. Though it is often underestimated, it has the ability to detect viruses and other malicious software. Before, it was called Microsoft Security Essentials, but this was before. Today, it is called Windows Defender. This is the Microsoft security solution integrated directly into Windows 10. Often underestimated, we wanted to try it to see in the Microsoft home antivirus that it’s worth it. A few years ago, we tested Microsoft Security Essentials and the results were disappointing. Will this test allow us to discover a free quality antivirus with Windows Defender? This is what we will discuss.
Installing Windows Defender
As we said in the introduction, Windows Defender is integrated with Windows 10. If you have no other antivirus software installed on your computer, which protects your computer and you can check with your icon in the notification area.
Windows Defender has its own space in Windows 10, but it is not necessarily easy to find. To find your menu, you have to go to the start menu, then to “settings” and finally to “update and security”. In this window, in the menu on the left, there is a tab called “Windows Security”. Finally, on this page, click on “Open the Windows Defender Security Center” and go to the antivirus control panel.
Alternatively, to go faster, it is also possible to search the start menu by typing “security center” or by right clicking on the antivirus icon and clicking on “display security dashboard” .
Windows Defender Interface
The Windows Defender interface moves away from traditional antivirus to look like a true security center. Here, we do not have color explosions; the antivirus is sober like the other menus in the Windows 10 configuration.
You can access the different tools through the main page, but also through the shortcuts in the menu on the left. With the green buttons, it is very easy to see if Windows Defender detects problems in the computer.
In the lower left, the “Settings” button allows you to manage all notifications that Windows Defender can display.
Windows Defender Features
At the time of Microsoft Security Essentials, Microsoft only offered antivirus software. With Windows Defender, the user benefits from a product that is complete enough for something free. So we found an antivirus with real-time protection, OneDrive account protection module, a firewall, a network protection, an application control tool and even a parental control. In other words, for a free product, Windows Defender is quite rich in features. Now, we have to see what the software has in mind.
Windows Defender Performance
Now, in order to find an answer to the question – Does Windows Defender have Malware Protection, we have checked it with real malware. If Windows Defender seems interesting on paper, now it is necessary to check if it is effective. As always, we have prepared a well-equipped malware file to observe the antivirus reaction. And Windows Defender was not long in coming. In a matter of seconds, a first window indicating an infection appeared in the lower right corner, proof that the antivirus was lurking.
Next, we launched a contextual analysis on the infected file, which was very successful. Windows Defender has started to list all the detected threats. Some were immediately placed in the quarantine zone, but a large part required user validation to permanently delete them.
We have noticed some instability in Windows Defender. The antivirus window was closed without prior notice and navigation through the menu slowed down, probably due to the large amount of viruses and malware that had to be processed.
The threat neutralization phase was quite long but effective: Windows Defender eliminated, one by one, all the threats detected, as well as those that were present in the quarantine zone. For security reasons, we have relaunched a new full scan to verify that there was no malware dross left. The few remains were removed immediately.
In the antivirus options, we found that the ransomware protection was not enabled by default, which we fixed immediately. This protection allows you to tell Windows Defender which folders have important documents to protect against the rescue software. Several folders are already specified by default (documents, images, videos, desktop …) but it is very easy to add others if necessary.
The “Account Protection” tab provides tools to protect user information. If you have a Microsoft account, you should connect it to benefit from seamless integration with Windows 10.
The Windows Defender firewall seemed efficient and simple. By default, the latter will notify you as soon as an unusual connection is detected. If you want to authorize one, a dedicated button is available. By default, a public firewall is enabled, very convenient when connected to an unprotected Wi-Fi network.
The “Application and Browser Control” tab contains options to improve user security: for example, SmartScreen, the famous dark veil that identifies the editor of an application to ensure its protection. SmartScreen is also available for Microsoft Edge to protect against malicious sites. We were able to verify its effectiveness successfully by going to questionable sites. However, it is a pity that the tool does not work with other browsers, forcing the user to go through Edge.
We will move quickly to the tab “performance and integrity of the device”, which allows us mainly to know if the system detects problems related to the integrity of the device to focus on parental control. This page shows information about the capabilities of the program and links directly to a web page to manage the rest of the configuration. And here, you must have a Microsoft account to continue.
After logging in (or creating an account), you have access to a control panel with a tile on the right called “family”. It is the latter that allows you to establish the accounts of family members and, in particular, that of the children. You need to create an account for them with an email address or an associated phone number. The operation can be fast and long since it is necessary, every time, to connect to the child’s account to validate the changes of the parents.
After the account creation phase, the father can finally handle what the child can and cannot do. It is possible to select certain actions that will require validation by the parents (for example, download an application from the Microsoft store), restrict access to certain content; block certain applications or sites … etc. It is also possible to define a computer usage time or give some pocket money to spend in the Microsoft store. Finally, parental control is quite complete and effective. However, we found that the configuration phase of the account should be easier.
We believe you have already got the answer to the question Does Windows Defender have Malware Protection? Windows Defender is a free, convincing and quite complete antivirus on paper. It must be said that it has privileged access to the Windows 10 options and integrates perfectly into the system. The service interface is very sober, maybe even too much: some additional icons would have been welcome. In terms of performance, the antivirus is well done: the threats presented have been eliminated although Windows Defender took their time and asked to restart several times. There is nothing to report on the side of the firewall, which is very easy to use but also very complete. Parental control is a good surprise for a free product. On the other hand, who better than Windows Defender to offer a feature so well integrated into the system? Maybe we can blame him for his many configuration steps that could discourage some users. In addition, the use of a Microsoft account is more than advisable to take advantage of all the features of the product. In any case, if you do not want to install additional antivirus software, you can rely on Windows Defender to ensure your security.