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Microsoft Defender Officially The Worst Antivirus Program For Windows 11

Test results published by a well-known cyber-security analysis firm suggest Microsoft Defender could be among the least effective antivirus solutions on Windows 11. Originally released as an anti-spyware program for Windows XP in 2004, the app was known as Microsoft AntiSpyware before being christened Windows Defender in 2005. It remained an anti-spyware program for several years before becoming a full-fledged antivirus application with Windows 8. It also went through multiple name changes during this period before Microsoft finally settled on Microsoft Defender.


Malware is a massive issue across all platforms, including Windows. However, users can choose from dozens of different antivirus programs to keep themselves safe on the internet, and many of the most popular ones come for free. Some of the most well-known Windows AV-makers include Avast, Avira, AVG, Kaspersky, BitDefender, Malwarebytes, and more. However, the Moscow-based Kaspersky has come under the scanner recently for its alleged ties with the Kremlin. Earlier this year, the U.S. added Kaspersky Lab to its list of national security threats and warned users that its AV software could be used by Russia to spy on Western targets.

Related: Fake Windows 11 Upgrade Has Data-Stealing Malware

Tests conducted by cyber-security assessment firm AV-TEST suggest that Microsoft Defender could be one of the worst AV programs for Windows 11. The tests, which were conducted in July-August 2022, placed Microsoft’s in-house AV dead last among 19 tested products. The software received 16 points among a possible 18, failing to get a full score on either Protection or Performance. On the former, it received 5.5 out of 6, while on the latter, it received just 4.5. The only category where it got 6/6 was usability. This is the first time the test was carried out on Windows 11, while the other recent tests were all done on Windows 10.

Microsoft Defender On Windows 11

Windows 11 logo pictured over a blurred background image of a person gaming on a computer

Microsoft Defender’s performance on AV-TEST’s evaluations has often fluctuated. While the company has received some high scores from time to time, it has also sometimes fallen short of the expected levels. However, this is, by far, the worst showing by the AV, meaning something must have gone wrong with the program in the past few months. It is worth noting that Microsoft Defender shared the last spot with PC Matic, but the latter still received better scores than Defender on the Protection and Performance fronts.

On the other side of the spectrum, the AV programs that did very well and received full scores from the AV-TEST comparison include Avast Free Antivirus and One Essential, AVG Internet Security, Avira Internet Security, AhnLab V3 Internet Security, BitDefender Internet Security, G Data Total Security, Kaspersky Internet Security, K7 Total Security, Malwarebytes Premium, and Norton 360. It remains to be seen whether Microsoft Defender will be able to get back to its glory days and earn full scores from the next AV-TEST evaluation.

Next: Mobile Malware And Phishing Scams Are Huge In 2022 — Here’s How To Stay Safe

Source: AV-TEST

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