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Thread: Windows Defender - Is it really that good?

  1. #1
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    Question Windows Defender - Is it really that good?

    I was just browsing through my Add/remove Programs list this afternoon, and thought to myself - Do I really need Windows Defender?

    I have used it, since it was released, and have NEVER found anything in the way of malicious bodies on my system whilst using it, but have nearly always found something, whilst using a different spyware/Virus-type program.

    If I deleted it, would it really be missed? I have read in various PC magazines that it is "essential", but im not so sure personally...

    What do you think?
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  2. #2
    WebProWorld MVP wige's Avatar
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    Re: Windows Defender - Is it really that good?

    It was a great program, for the first few months it was in Beta. Since then, however, it has been rendered pretty much useless. If you have Windows XP, I would suggest removing it in favor of something better. It does have some nice tools for checking the processes running on your system, however it can be a resource hog. On Vista, it is integrated into the operating system. I haven't seen any issues with the program, but I also have not seen much benefit.
    The best way to learn anything, is to question everything.
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  3. #3
    Rest in Peace 1946 - 2013 deepsand's Avatar
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    Re: Windows Defender - Is it really that good?

    The original program, GIANT AntiSpyware, was an excellent application. However, following its being acquired by MS, and subsequently substantially altered, it has become of dubious value.

    Most disturbing are the reports that MS has neutered it, so as to not have it report potential problems that have their origins with their affiliates, such as ad partners.

    While it's still better than nothing at all, not only is it not "essential," there are many better anti-spyware applications to be had for little or no cost.

    For more info., see Windows Defender - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia .

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  4. #4
    WebProWorld MVP mikmik's Avatar
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    Re: Windows Defender - Is it really that good?

    Along with this:
    Advanced features

    Windows Defender is shown here blocking Hotbar, a known adware bundler.

    [edit]
    Real-time protection

    In the Windows Defender Options you can configure the Real-time Protection options:
    Auto Start - Monitors lists of programs that are allowed to automatically run when you start your computer
    System Configuration (settings) - Monitors security-related settings in Windows
    Internet Explorer Add-ons - Monitors programs that automatically run when you start Internet Explorer
    Internet Explorer Configurations (settings) - Monitors browser security settings
    Internet Explorer Downloads - Monitors files and programs that are designed to work with Internet Explorer
    Services and Drivers - Monitors services and drivers as they interact with Windows and your programs
    Application Execution - Monitors when programs start and any operations they perform while running
    Application Registration - Monitors tools and files in the operating system where programs can register to run at any time
    Windows Add-ons - Monitors add-on programs (also known as software utilities) for Windows
    You get 'Software explorer' It is way better than msconfig, or even proccess explorer fron winternals.

    You still need reg monitors, but that is to much. Windows Defender is pretty good because it has much more than a firewall.
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  5. #5
    WebProWorld MVP mikmik's Avatar
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    Re: Windows Defender - Is it really that good?

    Excuse me, I did not ask basic questions.

    Nefrit,
    I have used it, since it was released, and have NEVER found anything in the way of malicious bodies on my system whilst using it, but have nearly always found something, whilst using a different spyware/Virus-type program.

    If I deleted it, would it really be missed? I have read in various PC magazines that it is "essential", but im not so sure personally...

    What do you think?
    Show me an examle of what you have found with other programs.
    This is an interesting poimt.
    Post your results from any program, we will see if they are legit.

    I assure you, Windows defender is good but I also assure you that it is not enough. Not by any means.

    It is still good, thought, one of the best.
    Babies don't need a vacation, but I still see them at the beach... it pisses me off! I'll go over to a little baby and say 'What are you doing here? You haven't worked a day in your life!'
    Steven Wright

  6. #6
    WebProWorld MVP wige's Avatar
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    Re: Windows Defender - Is it really that good?

    Not that I would know from any sort of personal experience, but Windows Defender has become what a malware developer would consider "low hanging fruit" in the same way the largest antivirus applications have. Because the program is free and one of the most commonly used anti-spyware applications available that provides real time scanning, malware developers specifically target the application to ensure that their malware is not detected. The same method is employed in zero-day viruses, where the virus code is tested against the most common anti-virus applications to ensure it is not detected. This renders the scanning component of the application almost useless.

    The real benefit to the program, as mentioned above, is that the program offers pretty powerful system explorers. These applets are built into Vista to provide an under the hood view of applications on the system. However, because of certain resource issues, I would generally advise against using the program on XP. On Vista, I would suggest augmenting the application with another program.
    The best way to learn anything, is to question everything.
    WigeDev - Freelance web and software development

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