Windows Defender

Windows Defender icon

Please note, this is not Albinos Defender. Albinos Defender is a different less-trusted program operated by a different company that does not have contact information. This site is not associated with Albinos Defender.

Windows Defender is built into Windows Vista, but a separate free download for Windows XP users.

I never thought I would have something good to say about a Microsoft product, but here it goes.

I am a user of both Spybot Search & Destroy as well as Ad-Aware. When I ran Panda ActiveScan, an online virus scanner, a number of spyware and adware pieces came up in the search that were not found by Spybot nor Ad-aware. However, ActiveScan does not delete spyware and adware so I was left to remove each one by hand. Some of the files would not even allow themselves to be deleted.

When I first heard that Microsoft was producing a spyware remover program, I didn't think much of it, since I basically swore by Spybot and Ad-aware.

Now it all makes sense. Only Microsoft knows their system files. Only Microsoft knows if their code is tampered with. Only Microsoft can properly make an anti-spyware program for their operating system.

After hearing about Microsoft AntiSpyware once again on ABS Forums, I decided I would install it. The scan ran reasonably fast, and has settings for quick scans and full scans. The program has real-time protection and scheduled scans. It gives detailed descriptions of the found processes and mentions if they are known or unknown. For those who are familiar with HijackThis, this is a blessing. Microsoft AntiSpyware has Advanced Tools that do everything from list your current BHOs, hosts file, startup and running processes to privacy tools for both Microsoft and non-Microsoft programs.

For me, it found four real pieces of spyware and adware that were not found in Spybot or Ad-aware and not removed by ActiveScan.