Microsoft Windows Defender Security Center gets new features with the Fall 2018 Creators Update, but the best third-party antivirus tools still provide better protection

Not so long ago, the venerable Windows Defender got a new name—Microsoft Windows Defender Security Center—and a leap in functionality. In addition to antivirus, it manages Windows Firewall, SmartScreen Filter, and Microsoft’s parental controlsystem, and also helps with PC health and performance issues.

That doesn’t mean it’s now a security suite, by any means. In fact, while its lab test scores have improved, it still doesn’t come close to challenging the best third-party solutions—even the free ones.  Microsoft has put a simple kind of ransomware protection right into Windows Defender. It’s not turned on by default, however, and it’s hard to find. Dig into the antivirus settings, find the setting called Controlled Folder access, and turn it on.

Windows Defender’s antivirus lab test scores are improving, but they’re coming up from dismal. All four test labs that I follow include it, as well as Avast, our Editors’ Choice product for free antivirus. Microsoft’s aggregate lab score is 8.8 out of 10 possible points, a marked improvement. However, Avast and AVG earned 9.6 and 9.5 points, respectively. Kaspersky and Bitdefender routinely float at the top, with 9.9 or 10 points. When you’re defending against malware that can destroy your data, invade your privacy, and empty your bank accounts, you want the best.

Windows 10 – Defender Security Center in-depth review,2817,1926596,00.asp