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  1. #1
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    Just How Good IS Windows Defender Today?

    There is another thread where people weigh in on what antivirus they are using and several experienced people mention using Windows Defender as their primary. That surprises me, because most reviews I'm seeing put it about 5 out of 10.

    I definitely do NOT want to turn this into another "what's the best AV software" discussion - the other thread is already at about 5 pages. I just want to know who is using Defender rather than one of the various free programs available and why. IOW, how good is it?
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    I use it because I feel it is good enough with my browsing habits and it is by far the least intrusive AV I've found. I supplement it with periodic Malwarebytes scans and the pair has worked well for me. Ratings of Windows Defender have improved but they are not near the top.

    Jerry

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    Silver Lounger lumpy95's Avatar
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    +1 to Jerry's answer. It works for me.

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    5 Star Lounger Lugh's Avatar
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    Similar to Jerry and Lumpy, WD works well in the background for me while Malwarebytes is my main real-time protection. I also have WoT in my browsers and abide by its rankings.

    Mostly though, I'm careful--ie I don't need very strong tech protection to have a good chance of staying safe, so I'm not concerned about AV ratings.

    Then of course there are my backups if I do get caught out. So all-in-all, my main requirement for anti-malware is that it plays well with others--ie OS and programs.
    Lugh.
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    +1 for Jerry's answer. Additionally, I periodically will use a free online scanner from one of the major A/V vendors and rotate between them.
    Joe

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    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Graham,

    I use WD with MalwareBytes Premium (active protection). I also use EMET, WOT, NoScript, Watchdog (Paid).

    Paranoid maybe, Malware Free DEFINITELY!

    HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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    Quote Originally Posted by gsmith-plm View Post
    There is another thread where people weigh in on what antivirus they are using and several experienced people mention using Windows Defender as their primary. That surprises me, because most reviews I'm seeing put it about 5 out of 10.

    I definitely do NOT want to turn this into another "what's the best AV software" discussion - the other thread is already at about 5 pages. I just want to know who is using Defender rather than one of the various free programs available and why. IOW, how good is it?
    That was probably the thread I started. I was an enthusiastic avast user until a recent update that was causing BSOD issues on my machine. I uninstalled it and now use Windows Defender and the commercial version of MBAM. Windows Defender might not score the highest rankings when it comes to detection but it's built into Windows and isn't loaded down with bloat. As long as you're somewhat reasonable in your Internet habits and don't go looking for trouble, I think Windows Defender coupled with MBAM is all you need.

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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    +1 for Windows Defender and MBAM Premium. I have Task Scheduler setup for a daily WD quick scan in addition to the automatic scan, as well as a weekly full scan. In addition to its live protections, I have scheduled MBAM do an hourly threat scan. May sound like overkill, but the scan is fairly quick and unobtrusive.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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    Here's why I ask... Several years ago, I had a client who's network expert insisted that MS Essentials was good protection so they didn't use anything else. They kept using it until they were hit with a nasty trojan twice in one month.

    I fear that I still think of Defender as Essentials with a new name. Apparently it's gotten better.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

  15. #10
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsmith-plm View Post
    Here's why I ask... Several years ago, I had a client who's network expert insisted that MS Essentials was good protection so they didn't use anything else. They kept using it until they were hit with a nasty trojan twice in one month.

    I fear that I still think of Defender as Essentials with a new name. Apparently it's gotten better.
    Bear in mind that no amount of security will protect us from ourselves. On occasion I get an email with an attachment that looks quite innocent, "Here's the update on your recent order". I delete the email without opening the attachment. Some folks can't resist. Email is a common vector for Trojans.

    Drive-by attacks on web pages also happen from time to time. That's where MBAM comes in handy; it will stop any package from opening. Many click-bait sites are loaded with short video ads and such, and on occasion one of those ads is malware. MBAM stops them from opening and gives the url of the item it has just blocked. It's seldom the main url, it's one of the ads along the margins.

    Regardless of our armor, we still have to use good judgement in what we do and where we do it to hold up our end of the protective shield.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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  17. #11
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    Drive-by attacks on web pages also happen from time to time. That's where MBAM comes in handy; it will stop any package from opening. Many click-bait sites are loaded with short video ads and such, and on occasion one of those ads is malware. MBAM stops them from opening and gives the url of the item it has just blocked. It's seldom the main url, it's one of the ads along the margins.
    The above only applies to the Premium version of MBAM, it uses a (passive?) block which prevents access to/from many known bad sites plus the active protection which kicks in if anything does get through.

  18. #12
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    also +1 for Jerrys post. I have been using that combination for years and never had a problem.

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    It sounds like those who use Defender also tend to use something like MBytes as well. So would it be fair to say that Defender still isn't a do all package like commercial AV programs are?
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    No av package is a "do all". I would supplement any AV with periodic MalwareBytes scans.

    Jerry

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  22. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsmith-plm View Post
    It sounds like those who use Defender also tend to use something like MBytes as well. So would it be fair to say that Defender still isn't a do all package like commercial AV programs are?
    Graham: I'd say that's a fair statement. The problem is that the "do-all" commercial AV products are incredibly bloated. They've gone way beyond AV and perhaps a firewall. The product I just uninstalled (avast Internet Security) had all kinds of gizmos attached to it that have nothing to do with security. Ironically, it's virus detection ability is very highly rated but the software became unstable with all the garbage they piled onto it. Just my opinion.

    Rob

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