It seems that Microsoft Defender has yet again taken last place in an antivirus assessment. AV-TEST, a reputed antivirus assessment firm, recently tested numerous anti-malware products on the Windows 11 operating system. Microsoft Defender did not impress. In fact, the resident Microsoft antivirus barely scraped by and currently shares last place with Total Defense.
The fact that Microsoft Defender achieved such a dismal score would not be so alarming if not for the multi-billion dollar brand it represents. The fact that this AV software is what comes with every Windows device is what’s truly troubling. It is time to boost Windows 11 security.
The assessment firm graded each of the 17 antivirus products with its own score, known as the AVC or AV-C score. AV-TEST also used a PCMark score. In order to achieve a perfect score according to the AVC score, the software would need to achieve a score of 90. The PCMark score was out of 100. To determine each product’s total performance impact, researchers looked at the Impact Score. This value was obtained by adding both the AVC score results and those of the PCMark score and then subtracting the result from a possible total of 190.
As you can see in the table above, K7 scored the highest, with a score of 189.6 out of a possible 190. Microsoft Defender, regrettably, scored only 162.3.
Just in case you were curious about how the assessment firm determined the values for the AVC score, here’s how it was done: ‘For the AV-C score, we took the rounded mean values of first and subsequent runs for File Copying, whilst for Launching Applications we considered only the subsequent runs. “Very fast” gets 15 points, “fast” gets 10 points, “mediocre” gets 5 points and “slow” gets 0 points.’
The reasons that Microsoft Defender scored so low can be summed up by poor handling of file copying and archiving. App installations are another place that Microsoft Defender on Windows 11 was found lacking. In addition to that, it was discovered that the utility tends to slow users’ systems down considerably when these processes are performed. Luckily, Microsoft also has a PC Manager utility that should help you out if your PC is running a little slow.
However, the test didn’t just reveal that Microsoft Defender is one of the poorest-performing mainstream antivirus utilities in the industry. It also introduces us to the best-performing alternatives. According to AV-TEST, you cannot go wrong with K7, Panda, or Kaspersky. All three of these utilities, apart from achieving the three highest scores out of the 17 services that were put to the test, were given a three-star Advanced+ Performance badge in the October 2022 AV-TEST antivirus software assessment. If you’d like to read the full report, you can find that here.