Is Windows Defender really of any use?

Discussion in 'other anti-malware software' started by qwerty12345, Nov 2, 2010.

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  1. qwerty12345

    qwerty12345 Registered Member

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    Hello, as you can see I am new to this forum. I'm not trying to start an argument with this thread, I would genuinely appreciate your advice.

    Is there any point to having Windows Defender installed and running? Does it really achieve anything? I ask this for two reasons, partly, I suppose, because I think as a general rule of thumb, surely any half-decent 3rd party software will be as good as, or even better than, the software that comes bundled with the OS?

    Mainly though, I wanted to ask this question because Windows Defender has never ever detected anything on this computer, despite having been installed for years, with the realtime protection enabled and a full system scan sheduled to run every day.

    I'm beginning to think that it is simply taking up resources and slowing down my system, using memory, scanning every file accessed and downloading and installing (apparently) pointless updates.

    Again, I'm not trying to insult Microsoft or promote their competitors in this field, I would really like some information or advice from people knowledgeable about these things; is it just pointless?

    Thank you.
     
  2. Sherlock_Holmes

    Sherlock_Holmes Registered Member

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    I dont know if its useful or not ... it hasnt detected on my pc too
    but why would u schedule wd which is an anti spyware and not an antivirus for full time scans
    av's are meant to be used for full time scans
    these are my opinion
    other's opinion may vary
     
  3. Brocke

    Brocke Registered Member

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    it works with IE8 to scan files and such at download.
     
  4. SIR****TMG

    SIR****TMG Registered Member

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    I use it on my vista, runs all the time.:thumb:
     
  5. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    i'm not sure but i think i might have seen it pop up once in all the years i've been using it.

    it doesn't use much resources but i disabled it anyway.
    no sense having this thing idling around.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2010
  6. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    It's one of the first things I disable in a fresh Win 7 install. For me it's useless overhead.
     
  7. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    I like your style. :thumb:

    Sul.
     
  8. m00nbl00d

    m00nbl00d Registered Member

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    It's not actually just a matter of style, to be honest. It's a matter of what one needs it or not. And, it doesn't just go for Windows Defender.
    I'm pretty sure wat0114 doesn't need it; you don't need it; I don't need it. But, when someone asks if they need this or that, then they're not sure whether or not it will provide them an additional security, and if they ask such, then they don't feel secure with what they have in place. ;)

    Anyways, if anything to be used, I'd rather use Microsoft Security Essentials, because it provides the protection Windows Defender does and more. I do like additional features of Windows Defender, like what runs on start-up. Sure, I have other ways of knowing it, still is something I think MSE should have as well.

    By the way, qwerty12345, telling you whether or not it would be of use for you, without knowing what other security you've got in place, including what operating system and what web browsers you make use of, is a shot in the dark, I'm afraid.
     
  9. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    If I were to install Win 7 for someone else on their computer, I would consult with them first whether they wanted it or not, and try to help them in their decision, which would of course be based on other security measures that might be put in place on the pc as well. If I figured they had enough other measures in place to cover the bases, I'd no doubt recommend disabling Defender :)
     
  10. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    I have always disabled it :rolleyes:
    Kinda useless, only on demand
    And signatures aren't updated frequently
     
  11. ExtremeGamerBR

    ExtremeGamerBR Registered Member

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    It is useful if you use IE8, if not use IE8 can forget it.
     
  12. m00nbl00d

    m00nbl00d Registered Member

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    I have tried that approach more than often. In all times I'm told "Install the O.S. and an antivirus and good to go." :D

    Most people really have no idea of the danger once they connect to the cyber world. If they don't see it, they don't fear it; they may cry it, if their bank accounts get empty, but it will be too late by then. ;)

    If they ask what we advise, they don't have any clue of what they should or shouldn't have.

    Quite recently, I've installed Windows 7 Ultimate to a family member, and applied most - if not all, yet - of the SAFE-Admin concepts; but I've also created a safety net like different accounts for different tasks, because I do know my family member actions: everything is a joy in the Internet. lol

    Windows Defender is disabled though. I've installed MSE, instead. With the SAFE-Admin concept and with the safety net I've created around it, only stupidity would infect the system. It's light, it's as secure and safe as it can be. Anything coming from the browser has low rights. By the way, I've applied the SAFE-Admin concept to a LUA (that's one extra safety net ;))
     
  13. Triple Helix

    Triple Helix Webroot Product Advisor

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    I do also and the same with UAC! ;)

    TH
     
  14. Boyfriend

    Boyfriend Registered Member

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    I also disable it when tunning services :)
     
  15. Fad

    Fad Registered Member

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    One of the first things to go here also....never even tested it.
     
  16. Espresso

    Espresso Registered Member

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    You may as well install MSE instead.

    I remove WD from my install DVD with VLite/DISM so I never have a chance to use it.
     
  17. Boost

    Boost Registered Member

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    One of the first things I disabled on a new Dell that a co-worker of mine bought.

    The co-worker has never had any issues as a result either :thumb:
     
  18. Ibrad

    Ibrad Registered Member

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    On some malware removal sites I have seen it be the one to warn people to come ask for help. They had no idea they were infected till WD alerted them. So it may not come in handy to any of us here but with the everyday use it is a good backup.

    In fact it alerted me as I was updating my family laptop to the Panda Toolbar with webguard. It alerted me a new file was adding settings to IE and asked if I would send it to MS for analysis which I did. I actually have it on my todo list to add to my old family XP desktop.
     
  19. Kernelwars

    Kernelwars Registered Member

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    thats very true..:thumb:
     
  20. HAN

    HAN Registered Member

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    Is it really worthwhile? IMO, it's only real benefit is the active monitoring it provides for some key areas of a PC. The manual scans it does seem to be pretty useless. That said, I prefer and use WinPatrol Plus instead. I think it's more useful...
     
  21. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Registered Member

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    Sounds like for advanced users it may not be very helpful, but for the novice / uneducated user it may be very helpful. That would make sense to me.
     
  22. qwerty12345

    qwerty12345 Registered Member

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    Well, thanks for all the responses; this place is as lively and helpful as I hoped it was.

    So, would I be right in thinking that Windows Defender is just an anti-spyware app like all the others and there's nothing special about it?

    In which case I'd like to ask all the people who do use it: Why do you use it?

    Is it superior to any of the alternatives, or is everything else better than WD?

    Thanks again for the advice.
     
  23. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    let's put it this way:
    if you could hold Windows Defender in your hand the only thing it would be useful for is to be used as a doorstop. ;)
     
  24. wtsinnc

    wtsinnc Registered Member

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    About Windows Defender.

    My feeling is that WD acquired undeserved cache because it was by default integrated into Vista and Windows 7.

    If Windows Defender had been released as an independent stand-alone freeware application competing on even terms for acceptance with Superantispyware, Malwarebytes, and all of the other good and not so good AS/AM choices, I believe it would have already been declared dead.

    Still, according to Softpedia, WD has been downloaded from their website in excess of 650,000 times. o_O
     
  25. m00nbl00d

    m00nbl00d Registered Member

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    That sort of question will never give one consensual answer. I no longer use WD, but when I used it, I used it for the information it would provide of stuff running in the system; something I'd like Microsoft Security Essentials to provide as well.

    If you would like WD, then you would be better of with Microsoft Security Essentials, which includes antispyware as well, plus other components. I'd even go for the current version 2 beta. Very stable (more than final versions from other vendors, I must add).

    Define what is better and what is worse? If WD detects something XYZ doesn't, is it better? What if it doesn't detect? Is it worse? What if the malware it detects at some point is a severe one? Is it great, then? What if XYZ fails at the same severe malware? Does it make them worse?

    -Edit-

    Imagine the following scenario: A random person buys a new computer, which comes with a trial version of some security product, due to agreements between the security vendor and the manufacturer. This person has no idea. The trial version runs out. This person has no idea. WD spots something and alerts this person. Bad or great?
     
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