Microsoft Defender Wins Top AV Rating Again

For the second time in a row Microsoft Defender, the antivirus software built into Windows 10, has ranked among the highest in lab tests performed by AV-Test. For those who may not be aware, AV-Test is a highly regarded independent organization based in Germany that evaluates and rates antivirus products.

Microsoft Defender (formerly known as Windows Defender) started life as Microsoft Security Essentials and in the early years was often regarded as a sub-standard product. However, with ongoing development in recent years, Microsoft has reversed that situation with Defender now ranked consistently among the top antivirus products available. In the latest (July/August) lab tests results from AV-Test, Microsoft Defender scored a perfect 6 out of 6 across all three categories:

Microsoft Defender AV-Test Perfect Scores

  • Protection: protection against malware infections
  • Performance: impact on computer speed
  • Usability: numbers of false positives (lower is better)

Microsoft Defender blocked 100% of all zero-day and prevalent malware thrown at it by AV-Test.

Microsoft Defender AV-Test Protection Score

Of 37 antivirus products tested during July and August, only eight scored a perfect 18 out of 18, including Microsoft Defender. Other perfect scores were: AhnLab Internet Security, Avira Pro, F-Secure, GDATA Internet Security, Kaspersky, McAfee Total Protection, and Norton 360. Microsoft Defender being the only free antivirus product to achieve a perfect score.

Many products missed out by a mere half a point here and there so, in reality, there is very little to pick between the total 16 products that achieved AV-Test’s Top Ranking stamp. A further six products achieved AV-Test Certification with 15 products failing to reach the necessary standard.

Check out all the results and see how your antivirus fared at AV-TEST Full Results. (click on the name of any product in the list to view a detailed report for that product).

There is no doubt that Microsoft Defender has come a long way since its formative days when earlier iterations were often scoffed at and considered sub-par. With ongoing investment and development, including regular new data definitions and expanding security features (such as Potentially Unwanted Apps protection introduced in the latest feature update v2004), Microsoft Defender has come of age and is now a serious contender in the antivirus stakes.


2 thoughts on “Microsoft Defender Wins Top AV Rating Again”

  1. So, in your opinion, are we safe to use just windows defender and windows firewall?

    1. Hey Steve,

      That’s a pretty loaded question but, generally, yes. I believe Windows Defender along with Windows Firewall provides more than adequate protection for those users who tend to practice safe surfing habits and follow common security guidelines.

      Bearing in mind that there is no AV or security program that can protect users from themselves.

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