Windows Defender vs Kaspersky

Windows Defender vs Kaspersky - The Ultimate Comparison

Written by Ria du Plessis - Web Developer

Updated on August 12 , 2021

These days, there are many antivirus solutions available for your desktop and mobile devices, striving to keep them free from malware and other malicious content. Some offer extra tools, such as password managers, parental control, and more. In this article, we perform a detailed comparison of Windows Defender vs. Kaspersky.

  • Free antivirus protection
  • On-demand scanning
  • Firewall configuration
  • Simple user interface
  • Threat detection from sophisticated malware
  • Encrypted online browsing and transactions
  • Encrypted online browsing and transactions
  • Recovering damaged files

Overall Comparison

Our verdict on overall best antivirus program is Kaspersky Antivirus

Windows Defender Pros

Kaspersky Pros

  • Free antivirus solutions
  • Excellent built-in support
  • Clean, elegant interface
  • Covers most malware
  • Includes cloud backup
  • Monitors devices for rootkit viruses
  • Install across several platforms
  • Provides a virtual private network
  • Contains extensive functionality
  • Perform safe banking
  • Safeguard your passwords
  • Optimal gaming performance

Windows Defender Cons 

Kaspersky Cons

  • Browser extension not connected to desktop client
  • No banking tools
  • No VPN
  • Doesn’t include gaming modes
  • No performance optimization
  • Only priced subscriptions are worth considering
  • No dark web monitoring
  • No identity theft protection
  • More expensive to add devices
  • Top features cost you more

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While both antivirus solutions offer great malware protection, you need to weigh the cost of Kaspersky over the free Windows Defender. You can add the latter to as many devices as you want, but it’s mostly limited to Microsoft operating systems. This factor gives Kaspersky the upper hand when it comes to flexibility.

Kaspersky also offers more when it comes to performance and overall features. You can optimize your device for gaming, and add a VPN if you want to access international content. With so many functions available on a sleek interface, it’s clear who the ultimate winner for Windows Defender vs. Kaspersky is.

Overall winner: Kaspersky

Key Features


Windows Defender


Virus Scanner



Threat Protection



Malware Removal



Phishing Detection



Spyware Protection



Ransomware Protection



Cloud Backup









Browser Protection



Webcam Protection



Password Manager



Identity Theft Protection



Parental Control



Safe Banking



Performance Optimization



Cleaning Tools



File Shredder



Game Mode



Mobile App



Key Features Compared

Windows Defender has robust protection against most malware types, including phishing, ransomware, and spyware. Its top benefit is that it comes pre-installed with Windows 10, so all the antivirus functions are activated by default

Kaspersky regularly updates the latest malware and virus lists, providing a strong defense against even the most robust malicious programs and files. 

Both software solutions have firewalls included, but Kaspersky offers a few features that Windows Defender lacks, such as parental control, a VPN, a file shredder for terminating documents permanently, and a gaming mode.

As you can see, Kaspersky takes the win when it comes to the overall features. 

Windows Defender Features;

Windows Defender Features

Kaspersky Features;

Kaspersky Features

Best for antivirus features: Kaspersky

Malware Protection Capabilities

Both of these antivirus solutions have strong rootkit removal tools. To determine which antivirus solution is better for protecting your computer against malware, we looked at third-party testing done by AV-Test.

Windows Test Results;

Windows Test Results

Kaspersky Test Results;

Kaspersky Test Results

Both of these tests showed that Windows Defender and Kaspersky detected all malware samples. We do choose Kaspersky as the winner in this category because of the extra features it has and the fact that you can run scans in the background.

Best for malware protection: Kaspersky

System Performance

If you need better system performance from your PC, Kaspersky has a wide variety of tools available, for instance, you can use Unused Data Cleaner, PC Cleaner, and Privacy Cleaner.  It’ll assess both your local system and browser, ensuring that you don’t have unnecessary files or programs on either end.

Windows Defender also has some cleanup tools you can use, but they provide a basic service. Since there is no file shredding, it feels rather limited in functionality.

To be sure about the system performance impact of both solutions; we looked at third-party testing done by AV-Test;

Windows Defender Results;

Windows Defender Results

Windows Defender does not have a significant impact on systems as it is a built-in solution. Windows Defender got a 6 out of 6 in the AV-Test.

Kaspersky Results;

Kaspersky Results

Kaspersky had a little more impact on systems while testing the solution.

Best for system performance: Windows Defender





Top features

Kaspersky Essential Suite

$59,99 per year

3 PCs

Antivirus, anti-phishing, performance optimization

Kaspersky Advanced Suite

$79.99 per year

3 Devices

Payment protection, VPN,  ad blocking, webcam protection

Kaspersky Premium Suite

$99.99 per year

5 Devices

Child locator, file protection, password manager

Windows Defender



Antivirus, anti-phishing, anti-ransomware, and more

While Windows Defender is free, it only comes pre-installed with Windows 10 and not with other operating systems. You’ll also have limited features when compared to Kaspersky. It’s better to evaluate what you need for your device and whether it will truly benefit you in the long run. 

Best Price: Windows Defender

Ease Of Use And User Friendliness

The user interface is the user’s gateway to all the functions you’ll use for scanning and optimization so users should be able to navigate easily without confusion. 

Windows Defender has a sleek design with the main menu options on the left. To access it, you can find the shield in your Task Bar. You can right-click on the icon to run a quick scan or check for any updates. 

The Windows Defender Platform;

The Windows Defender Platform

Kaspersky has an open frame with panels for each tool. The top of the screen shows you the protection status, while the bottom contains your subscription details. It’s a neat interface that gives you quick access to the functions you’ll need the most.

The Kaspersky Platform;

The Kaspersky Platform

While most users would prefer Kaspersky's clean interface and buttons, we prefer Defender’s advanced settings and functions. When you select an option on the left, the main panel gives you more items. You won’t have to go back to see the first window, as you can simply pick a new choice on the left section. It’s more user-friendly in our opinion.

Most user-friendly provider: Windows Defender

Customer Support

When you run into problems with an antivirus solution, you’ll want to quickly get responses from a support team asap. 

Windows Defender has a virtual agent built into the platform with some answers waiting to be questioned. If it can’t assist you, then you’ll have to email the Microsoft support team via an online ticket. While the agents provide helpful, friendly service, there aren’t many other options available. 

Kaspersky, on the other hand, has a live support chat system and phone support. You can also submit a ticket if you prefer that option. Whichever method you select, you’ll receive friendly support as quickly as possible, and the agents won’t rest until your issue is sorted. It takes the win for having more choices available to contact the team.

Best customer support: Kaspersky


At the end of the day, it boils down to price against features when comparing Windows Defender vs. Kaspersky. If you have a Windows operating system, you’ll have Windows Defender as the default antivirus program with no need to look further. 

However, you may want some extra tools like VPN, parental control, and password manager. If that’s the case, a better option would be Kaspersky. 

Which antivirus do you think is for you? Choose Now!

Windows Defender ButtonKaspersky Button