Microsoft Windows Defender Review

Has good detection rates, is low on system resources, doesn't interfere or hamper workflows, and it's easy to use


What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case centers around blocking viruses on my personal laptop.

How has it helped my organization?

I'm working as a private contractor. In this regard, you can say this tool ensures I'm working with a product that gets updated regularly without me having to remember to do it. Since it's a Microsoft product, I'm confident that it requires a low use of system resources. The benefit of that being that my computer isn't constantly being drained.

What is most valuable?

One of the most valuable features of this product is the ability to "set it and forget it." I don't go in and make any changes to the settings. Another value add is the size of the user base, which is fairly large because it's a free MS product. I would imagine that it would be quite competitive since a blacklisting solution such as this is only as good as the threat intelligence it receives. I'm pretty sure that if the tool discovers something foreign and malicious it will upload that information back to Microsoft. The value of the tool is inherent within the size of the user base, which is fairly large because it's a free product by a trusted company.

What needs improvement?

I'm sure the premium product has extra features, like listing questionable websites. Defender is just an antivirus product. It would be nice to have a paid upgrade that would provide additional screening of the day-to-day activities.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?


I haven't had any noticeable issues with it. It's quite stable.

How was the initial setup?

It's very easy to set up. With admin rights, it really is very straightforward. All you need to do is install the tool and then download the definitions. 

Deployment was just basically downloading from Microsoft. It was very straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I'm currently evaluating the performance of Defender against third-party antivirus software products to see if I should continue with third-party products or just use Windows Defender.

What other advice do I have?

My additional advice would be to create a test user group, deploy the software to those test users and then monitor those users as part of a log management operations center and run comparisons over several months. Comparing those users, against other users perhaps using a third-party product, like Symantec, would allow for calculation of performance and progress metrics. Based on that, a decision can be made as to whether to deploy the software across the organization or not.

I'd give this tool a rating of 8 out of 10. It's got good detection rates, low on system resources, doesn't interfere or hamper workflows, and it's easy to use.

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