Windows Defender is a free program from Microsoft that as its name implied, helps to defend and protect your against spyware and adware in order to avoid and stop pop-ups, slow performance and security threats caused by spyware, adware and other potentially unwanted software. There are a lot of reviews on Windows Defender which currently in Beta 2 phase and previously known as Microsoft Antispyware, among others are by PC Magazine and Spyware Confidential. Others are listed below.

Windows IT Pro (dead link) concludes that overall, Windows Defender Beta 2 simplifies and improves the experience, for most users, of working with Microsoft’s antispyware tool. Some administrators might miss the fine grained capabilities of the previous version. Windows Defender Beta 2 also omits the management capabilities that third-party enterprise antispyware scanners provide. Thus, Microsoft’s antispyware tool is clearly targeted to and best suited for the consumer market. Of course, Microsoft could make Defender much more manageable by simply incorporating Group Policy support for configuring Windows Defender, as the company has done for Windows Firewall.

Sci-Tech Today (dead link) gives Windows Defender rating of 3.5 out of 5 and concludes that Defender is one of the most intuitive and least obtrusive antispyware solutions that we’ve used. Microsoft has left out a few features, like checking for tracking cookies, but on the whole, Defender provides effective real-time protection. If you back up Defender with frequent spyware scans using another product or a free online spyware scanner from a reputable site, your PC should be adequately protected.

SuperSite for Windows (dead link) also reviews Windows Defender Beta 2 and concludes that Windows Defender Beta 2 combines the best-of-breed spyware detection and removal functionality from the old Giant Antispyware product and turns it into a stellar application that all Windows users should immediately download and install. Lightweight, effective, and unobtrusive, Windows Defender is anti-spyware done right, and I still consider this to be the best anti-spyware solution on the market. Highly recommended.

CNet (dead link) tests Windows Defender on system with spyware and writes that in testing performed by CNET, Windows AntiSpyware beta 1 ended in the middle of the pack for overall performance. A full system scan required only 6 minutes, 55 seconds and identified many of the big-name spyware programs. Each trace was assigned a threat level, making it easy to identify particularly malicious threats. Microsoft AntiSpyware beta 1 also offered thorough definitions for spyware found on our system (something that remains true in Windows Defender beta 2). However, Windows AntiSpyware beta 1 left traces behind on our test machine for BookedSpace, eXact SearchBar, and Search Exe.

Adware Report (dead link) however rates Windows Defender just 1.5 stars out of possible 5 and says Windows Defender, currently in beta 2, has become a major disappointment. The current version contains no signatures, the update feature doesn’t work, and the user interface has been completely rewritten, introducing major usability problems. Unless you are an expert computer user who can make use of the additional system diagnostic tools, there’s no point in downloading this program at this time.

TechBuilder (dead link) meanwhile concludes that “all in all, though, I consider Windows Defender to be an improvement over Microsoft AntiSpyware, and it continues to be the only real-time anti-spyware protection running on most of the machines in my care. I’m sure Microsoft will work out the glitch I’m currently experiencing in the latest beta.”

PCMech (dead link) also reviews Windows Defender and concludes that “overall, Windows Defender (Beta Two) looks to be a promising spyware removal and real time protection software from Microsoft. A few bugs and known issues make Windows Defender slightly intimidating, but it is still ‘Beta’ and under development. I would recommend trying out Windows Defender; who knows, maybe it will detect a strain of spyware hidden on your computer that no other AntiSpyware program detected. I give Windows Defender an 8.5/10 and I am very impressed with the highly detailed Software Explorer. Like I said, give Defender a try, maybe you will like it too.”