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Recent antivirus testing found Windows Defender to be a top performer

I stopped using third-party antivirus software a long time ago, in part because I've found that a combination of common sense computing habits and Windows Defender, the free AV software that is built into Windows, is good enough. That might be underselling things a bit—AV-Test, an independent testing lab, has determined that Windows Defender is one of the best antivirus options.

AV-Test publishes updated reports every two months, and Windows Defender has mingled among the elite since at least October of last year (I didn't check further back into the archives). However, for the month of June, Windows Defender received a perfect score in all three categories AV-Tests uses, those being protection, performance, and usability.

Only three other AV products scored the same, including F-Secure Safe 17, Kaspersky Internet Security 19.0, and Norton Security 22.17. All three of the cost money once the free trial period expires.

Microsoft was quick to celebrate the achievement, further noting that Windows Defender is the most deployed AV software in the enterprise.

"We’ve been working to make our antivirus capabilities increasingly more effective, and in 2015 our results in two major independent tests (AV-Comparatives and AV-Test) began to improve dramatically," Microsoft stated in a blog post last year.

In AV-Test's evaluation, Windows Defender detected all 307 zero-day malware samples, compared to an industry average of 97.1 percent. It also detected all 2,428 samples of "widespread malware discovered in the last week," though that is a slightly less impressive metric—the industry average is 99.8 percent.

What AV software are you using these days?