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Microsoft Windows Defender 1.1

Free
Reviewed
February 2011
by ConsumerSearch
Microsoft Windows Defender 1.1

Pros
  • Free
  • Decent malware detection
  • Scans can be scheduled
  • Real-time protection
Cons
  • Not effective at malware removal

Reviews say Microsoft Windows Defender -- which is included in the Windows 7 and Vista operating systems and is available as a free download to validated Windows XP owners -- is decent at detecting adware and better than nothing at catching spyware. But reviews say it's not effective at actually removing spyware. Experts say free anti-spyware downloads like Windows Defender are best used as supplements to better, paid protection. You can run manual and scheduled scans, and real-time protection is the default setting.

Reviews say Microsoft Windows Defender -- which is included in the Windows 7 and Vista operating systems and is available as a free download to validated Windows XP owners -- is decent at detecting adware and better than nothing at catching spyware. But reviews say it's not effective at actually removing spyware. Experts say free anti-spyware downloads like Windows Defender are best used as supplements to better, paid protection. You can run manual and scheduled scans, and real-time protection is the default setting.

Our Sources

1. Softonic

Softonic.com gives Microsoft Windows Defender a 9 (out of 10) rating, but the accompanying analysis is too brief to be helpful.

Review: Windows Defender 1593, Editors of Softonic.com, As of May 2010

2. PC World

PC World and AV-Test.org test six anti-spyware applications, two of which are free. Microsoft Windows Defender places fourth, and the gist is that it performs well on adware but poorly on spyware.

Review: Die, Spyware, Die!, Ryan Naraine, Aug. 22, 2007

3. ConsumerReports.org

ConsumerReports.org tests a dozen free and paid anti-spyware programs in a lab, ranking them in a chart. Windows Defender is among them, but the latest version isn't tested. You must be a subscriber to view this report, which has now become a little too dated to be terribly useful.

Review: Microsoft Windows Defender, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, September 2007

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