Many Windows 10 users run a third-party antivirus software, preferring to avoid Microsoft’s own Windows Defender. This is has often not been without problems as third-parties have normally offered more features and protection. However, according to leading antivirus testing firm AV-TEST, Windows Defender is now in the big leagues.

For the first time, AV-TEST is finally deeming Windows Defender a top-rated antivirus product. In the past, Microsoft’s Windows protection suite has often been viewed as a basic substitute for a third-party. The most consistent lapse when comparing was Defender would sometimes miss threats.

The evidence for this is obvious. People have historically sought out third party antivirus tools like AVG, Avast, Norton, or any other of the myriad excellent options available.

These services would often have more advanced screening tools to find malware and then have better software for blocking attacks.

AV-TEST says this is no longer true as Windows Defender has evolved to become a true rival to third-parties.

In an evaluation of antivirus services, the company showed Windows Defender achieved a top score of 17.5 points out of 18. This was the same score as third-party giants like Avast Free, AVG, and Bitdefender Internet Security.


Breaking down the results, Defender achieved 6 points for protection, 5.5 points for performance, and 6 points for usability.

This shows Microsoft’s features like Runtime Attestation for System Guard, GPU-based malware scanning, and On-Demand feature have paid off. It also shows that Windows 10 users can choose Microsoft’s integrated service and not download a third-party.

Windows Defender got 6 points for protection, 5.5 points for performance, and another 6 points for usability.