Operating System

Is Windows Security Reliable Enough? A Comprehensive Analysis

Microsoft Windows Defender is the built-in system for detecting viruses and malware, and it brings decent cloud-based malware detection 100% free of charge. But is Windows Security enough? Can Windows Defender handle all types of malwares? Is it fast enough to delete threats? In this article, we are going to tell you whether you need extra protection for your system or windows security enough.

Is Windows Defender Good Enough?

In a product review by AV-TEST during the first two months of 2022, Windows Defender scored 6 out 6 on all of the three assessments, including a 100% detection rate. During this test, it showed that when you use Windows Defender, there is a slight chance of false malware detection.

After several tests, we can honestly tell you that Microsoft Defender is not good enough. You need an extra antivirus for more protection and customer support. For instance, a brand like Norton offers more effective malware scanners, more intuitive Windows applications, and more advanced cybersecurity protections.

There are some reasons that you may like Windows Defender that are mentioned below:

  • Firewall and network protection.
  • Hardware security.
  • Real-time threat detection.
  • Parental controls.
  • System performance reports.
  • Protection against phishing sites.

Because of these features, users think that they can rely on Defender alone to protect their computers. After testing we conclude the following items:

  • Malware detection ability is less than many third-party competitors.
  • The main interface is awkward and it is hard to navigate. 
  • Content filters are limited to the Microsoft Edge browser.
  • Not having additional tools that third-party antiviruses have, for example VPN, password manager, dark web monitoring and identity theft protection.
  • Health report of the system is basic, which means that no performance-boosting or system cleanup.

Microsoft Defender is really close to compete with third-party antivirus, but still, it is not good enough. Still, it is not comparable with antivirus software like Norton and Bitdefender since they concentrate on malware protection, blocking latest internet security threats and improving the performance of your system. So, you may not find everything you want on Windows Defender.

What Is Windows Security and What Does It Offer?

Windows Security is a pre-installed antivirus application which is installed in Windows 10 and 11. As Microsoft asserted, if you have an installed antivirus application on your system, Microsoft Defender will go off automatically.

Select the Windows logo in the bottom left of your screen or center of it if you use Windows 11, type Windows Security. After that, you will find yourself on the Home dashboard. These Key features divided the application into different sections that we mentioned below: 

In the menu of Virus and Threat Protection, you can have a scan with high speed, or select Scan options to run a full scan, but it takes longer time. In the same list, you can find a list of Allowed Threats and a history of the latest protection activities, which are done by Windows Security.

In the tab of App & Browser Control on the left, you can see whether any apps on your computer can steal your personal data or not. If you use a computer that other family members use, the option of Family Options tab allows you control user access. As an example, you can create an account for your children to limit their access to certain websites, or you can set good screen time habits and restrict the amount of time that others use your system.

Windows Security will let you know automatically if it finds threats, or if files or activities are blocked.

What Are the Features of Windows Defender?

Windows Defender has some features that you should know, and if you have children, some options are specifically for it. These features are mentioned below:

Detecting Malware Files

One of the features of Windows Defender is you get a built-in malware scanner that looks for harmful ransomware, spyware, or other malware programs and files. It scans applications, the cloud, emails, and the internet.

Providing Protection from Internet Hackers

Some hackers can get control of your device remotely. Others may use codes to guess your network password. Microsoft gives protection to keep your data safe from intruders. When a hacker decides to attack, you can put your device in a mode to lock down your data.

Having More Control of Parents on Their Children

Some parents want to control what their children see. Microsoft provided this feature to manage the digital features your family can access to. You can use options to keep your devices free from malware and protect your children when they want to be online.

Unfortunately, they don’t have webcam protection with Windows Defender, and many families like to have that for more peace in their mind.

Accessing to Research-backed Protection

Microsoft also provided in-depth research to protect your system from emerging viral threats. It combines machine learning, data analysis, and cloud infrastructure to protect your system. Some users want a product that runs without having check that. Windows Defender should set up to perform scheduled scans in Windows Task Scheduler.

Being Compatible with Other Antivirus Products

If you choose the best antivirus for your system, you can have the best protection. Some antivirus products work with alongside Windows Defender. A good antivirus software manufacturer should illustrate compatibility options for Windows. Microsoft offers that you can take advantage of added security software when you run Windows Defender.

When you install another antivirus in your system, Windows Defender will go into inactive mode. But if you like to use both antivirus software and Windows Defender, you should turn Windows Defender on again.

Also, you are able to turn on periodic scanning in the Windows Security settings, under Virus & Threat Protection, and then select Microsoft Defender Antivirus options.

Which Features Are Missing from Windows Defender? 

Although Windows Defender latest version comes with many security features, but it lacks some features. Here, we provided a short list of key features below that Windows Defender don’t have:

  • Dark web monitoring.
  • Identify theft protection.
  • Anti-theft protection.
  • A virtual private network (VPN).
  • Password manager.
  • System optimization tools.
  • Webcam and microphone protection.

Windows Defender doesn’t have a VPN because it can protect you from online privacy from trackers and lets you securely access public networks. Some antivirus software like Norton, Bitdefender, McAfee, and TotalAV have VPN.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Microsoft Defender?


  • Easy to use
  • Built-in Windows security solution
  • A lot of device security features
  • Strong firewall
  • Cloud backup storage


  • No VPN
  • No password manager
  • No live support for home users
  • Unattractive interface
  • Poor zero-day threat detection
  • Heavily tied to Microsoft account

What Is the Downside of Windows Defender?

The interesting feature with Windows Defender and the other built-in security tools and features in Windows is that you should stick to Microsoft products, which means that using Edge instead of Chrome and Firefox as your default browser, Microsoft Office 365 instead of Google Workspace or LibreOffice and Microsoft Teams instead of Slack or Zoom.

Therefore, if you use Chrome and Firefox browser to visit a malicious website, it is better to rely on the browser’s protection not Microsoft’s protection. If we want to be fair, the protection of Chrome and Firefox is very good on its own.

Microsoft has extensions for Chrome and Firefox, but they are limited to machines and running the Pro, Enterprise or Education versions of Windows 10 and 11.

If you want that your parental controls work correctly, your kids must use Edge, not other browsers. Also, you can put Microsoft Family Safety Apps on Android or iOS devices of your kids, but you should pay for Microsoft Office 365.

Is Microsoft Defender Safe?

Microsoft Defender antivirus is safe, and it provides 100% real-time protection rates according to independent tests. Also, it provides features for device protection against malware, like scanning, app and browser control, and account protection. But the scan is sometime not accurate and it fails to detect malicious files and potentially unwanted programs.

Microsoft Defender is a safe antivirus solution; however, it is not as good as some antivirus programs in the market.

Use Other Microsoft Products for Full Protection

Making the most of Windows Defender just considers using Microsoft-based products. If you want to use some browsers like Google Chrome and Firefox, they provide less protection.

You just rely on the antivirus, when you work with other products. Many users are not aware of it before they face a malware problem.

If you like parental control feature of Windows Defender, you should know that your children will not be protected when they use other browser or applications, so they need to use the Microsoft Edge browser and not anything. Moreover, if you want to have more Microsoft security features on your kids’ Apple and Android phones, you need to pay for subscription.


In this article, we presented all you need to know about Windows Defender, and whether it is enough for your system protection or not, and if you need extra antivirus for your system or not. Do you have any antivirus on your system or not? What is the brand of it? Share your ideas with us.

Reyhane A

Reyhane is an author and technology enthusiast who has a passion for writing about Windows tips and tricks. Born and raised in Tehran, Iran, Reyhane always had an interest in technology, which led her to pursue a degree in computer engineering from the University of Tehran. After completing her studies, Reyhane began working as a software engineer, where she gained a wealth of experience and knowledge in the field of technology. She soon discovered her love for writing, and began sharing her knowledge with others through her blog. Reyhane's blog quickly gained popularity, and she became known as an expert in the field of Windows tips and tricks. Her articles are known for being clear, concise, and easy to understand, making them accessible to everyone, regardless of their level of technical expertise. Today, Reyhane continues to share her knowledge with the world through her blog and YouTube channel, where she provides tips and tricks for Windows users to help them optimize their computer's performance and get the most out of their technology. In addition to her passion for technology, Reyhane enjoys traveling, photography, and spending time with her family and friends. She is also an avid reader and is always on the lookout for new books to add to her collection. Reyhane's dedication to her work and her love for technology have made her a respected figure in the industry, and she continues to inspire and educate others through her writing and online content.

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