Microsoft Antivirus’s Amazing Turnaround in Lab Tests


Windows-DefenderFor some time now, Microsoft’s antivirus has not scored well in lab tests. So much so that several labs have taken to using Microsoft’s performance as a baseline measurement – if you can’t beat the baseline, you’re essentially nowhere. However, with the latest round of tests, that trend appears to be changing.

In the latest test results produced by AV-TEST, Microsoft’s antivirus scored a very respectable 14 out of a possible 18 points – 10 points being the minimum requirement to pass the test. That’s a huge improvement over Microsoft’s previous test score of just 9.5. The only area where Microsoft didn’t quite meet the standard was in zero-day detection, all other areas are right up there with the best.

mse test results

Perhaps even more surprisingly, Microsoft’s antivirus has managed to claim Dennis Technology Labs coveted AAA rating in its latest round of tests. Dennis Technology Labs certifies antivirus products at a number of different levels: AAA, AA, A, B, and C. This is the first time Microsoft has achieved AAA certification, outperforming both Avast Free and AVG Free (the only two other free solutions tested).

dennis labs-AAA-2

Why the turnaround? Who knows! Maybe Microsoft got fed up with the embarrassment of continual low test scores and finally allocated sufficient resources to bring its antivirus software up to par, but that is pure conjecture on my part. One thing for sure, if it continues down this track, and with its already small footprint, unique simplicity, and zero nags, Microsoft’s offering will be a very serious contender among the free antivirus solutions.

*For the record: Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Defender are essentially the same program, just with different names


 

About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

5 Comments

  1. I have always felt like MSE/WD is more that adequate for most home users. For a business one might need a more robust virus program.

  2. Some time ago I uninstalled my AV based upon a tech newsletter. The author said he has not had AV for years with no problem. My computing is very conservative so I took a chance. To my surprise the boot time was very much faster. I have not had any problems. I didn’t realize that Defender was protecting me. I opened it and verified I was using it to its fullest.
    I’ve been a DCT newsletter subscriber for some years and have learned a lot. Thanks.

  3. They held their own years ago, but then dove to the bottom of the tests so I had to start using something else. I chose AVG Free, but i had to recently replace that since they were going to start selling my webpage views to advertisers. I’m now on panda free. I’d love to switch back to the MS solutions but need to see them near the top of the ratings for a year or so before I replace 6 computers anti virus again.

  4. I’ve always wondered why people will spend gobs of bucks to get the fastest/best video cards. memory, SSD’s and so forth, but will not part with a few bucks a year for truly superior protection from superior antivirus products. I’ve been using ESET plus Malwarebytes and a lot of common sense for many, many trouble free years.