Microsoft Defender excels overall in Antivirus Tests, but falters in file handling

Two leading anti-malware testing organizations, AV-TEST and AV-Comparatives, have recently released their latest evaluation reports which show the performance of antivirus software when they come across a bug or virus. Each antivirus product was ranked on the basis of its performance.

According to AV-Comparatives' October 2023 Performance Test, Microsoft Defender performed well overall, but it wasn’t good in archiving and unarchiving (compressing and decompressing) files. The tests were conducted on Windows 10 64-bit systems. McAfee seems to be the worst according to its system performance, while Kaspersky, ESET, and Avira appear to be better.

AV-Comparatives also conducted benchmark tests using the PCMark suite and combined the results with its own AV-C scores to calculate an Impact Score. Microsoft Defender’s performance was poor, with a score of 18.6. Only Total Defense was the worst, with a score of 27.0. ESET was the top antivirus program, with an Impact Score of just 1.4. AV-TEST also conducted tests on Windows 11 systems. Their results showed that Microsoft Defender's performance was not as good as some other antivirus programs as it scored 5.5 out of 6.0. The detailed scores show that Microsoft Defender's performance went down in the frequently used apps category, from 34% to 29%. Defender also showed a decline in the "launching popular websites" category.

Despite sharing the same engine, Avast and AVG had different scores in the AV-TEST Performance category: 6.0 for Avast and 5.5 for AVG. The performance of AVG and Avast was similar overall, except when launching popular websites. AVG seems to have some issues with web browsing, resulting in a 34% performance impact, while Avast's impact is closer to 19%. This doesn't match AV-Comparatives' findings, which could be due to the difference in operating systems used for testing. Another antivirus program that AV-TEST found poor is Norton. Similar to Microsoft Defender, it performs badly in the installation of frequent apps. This finding is also opposite to AV-Comparatives' data.

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