Does antivirus really work

Virus protection put to the test: is Windows Defender really enough?

The Windows Defender has made an astonishing development: In the c't test a few years ago the conclusion was "better than nothing", but for about a year it has been in a league with the virus hunters of the established manufacturers Ask whether it is still worth installing a different virus protection system, even for a fee. C't tries to find an answer to this in the current issue 3/2019.

c't had eight virus protection programs compete against Windows Defender and experienced quite a few surprises. In the case of the free products, for example, Avira's Free Security Suite attracted attention due to its massive amount of advertising - the advertising pops sometimes even overlapped. The free version of Kaspersky, on the other hand, held back with advertising and is remarkably well equipped. Protection programs that are subject to a fee also had to hold their own in the test.

Almost always well protected

To assess the protection performance, c't consulted the test results of the independent test institutes AV-Comparatives and AV-Test. Almost all test candidates achieved at least a "good" rating in both institutes, while Bitdefender and Norton even achieved a "very good" rating in both cases. Windows Defender scored a "good" and a "very good" - when it comes to virus protection alone, you are well positioned. You can find the full test in the current issue 3/2019 of the c't.

Most of the antivirus packages in the test offer added value compared to the Windows Defender beyond the pure protection performance - be it configurability, speed or range of functions. Exceptions, however, confirm the rule: c't strongly advises against McAfee's Guard: The range of functions is even leaner than that of Windows Defender, as elementary functions are missing. If the product comes pre-installed on a ready-made PC, the recommendation is clear: Throw it down.

You can read the first article of the route online for free. It provides an assessment of recent past and present developments and helps with decision-making. Since virus protection is not everything when it comes to securing a Windows computer, the current c't also tells you what else you should pay attention to. Another article provides answers to the most common questions about virus protection.

You can read more about virus protection programs for Windows in c't 3/2019


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