Microsoft Windows Defender Review

Easy to manage, updated frequently, and comes included with Windows

What is our primary use case?

We are a consulting company and we use this product for endpoint protection across the company, as well as for our clients.

How has it helped my organization?

Windows Defender makes it easy to streamline the updates so we don't really worry about managing it.

What is most valuable?

The patch management is very easy, as it can be done automatically or added to a schedule. This will update all of the virus signatures.

We have a hook from our on-premises application to the cloud services for advanced threat protection, so the management is in the cloud. Centralized management allows us to schedule malware scans.

When you hook it up to the cloud's advanced threat protection, it gives you more than protection from ransomware. It covers different types of malware and allows you to see what malicious software is being executed on the machine.

The product allows you to manage your machine through it, similarly to the way SCCM does.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see better integration with their other security products to give better visibility from a higher level. Integrating with email, Azure, identity management, and other security applications, putting them all together, would be very good.

The first level of technical support is not very useful and it sometimes takes time to escalate to somebody more knowledgeable.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Microsoft Windows Defender for years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This product is pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have had no issues with scalability. We deploy it anywhere from a small environment with a hundred users, to a large environment with 15,000 to 20,000 endpoints. The majority of our clients are small to medium-sized, with 3,000 to 4,000 users in the mid-range.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate Microsoft's technical support an eight out of ten. At the first level, the support is very limited. You have to escalate it to the more senior team to get good value.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Some of our clients have used different products from vendors such as Symantec and McAfee, and they were not happy with them. We steered them towards Windows Defender and they switched because of the ATP hook to the cloud.

With other products, you have a management console, so you have to push the signature updates. We still do that now, but it's all in the cloud.

Both Symantec and McAfee come at an additional charge because they are not included in the operating system.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We are using the version that is included with Windows 10. If you don't purchase the advanced threat protection then there is no additional charge.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is implementing Windows Defender is to purchase the ATP, which is in addition to the version that comes with Windows 10. This will allow you to really get the benefits and manage your organization's endpoints as a whole. This requires a presence in the Microsoft environment, such as a subscription to Office 365 or Azure.

I think that people should explore Windows Defender before looking at third-party products. While they are not a pioneer in anti-malware and anti-virus software, they are attacking it and they have a good budget. The advanced threat protection has a large cloud presence in Azure that we can take advantage of, and they update their product frequently. As soon as there is a new threat, they act on it right away.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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