Microsoft Security Essentials, which incorporates antivirus, antispyware and rootkit protection, all under one roof, was released by Microsoft as a free replacement application for the late, and unlamented, Windows Live OneCare.
I’ve been running Security Essentials for eight months, or so; first, as a beta tester, and now the final product, on my Win 7 machines. Backed up, of course, by my usual, on demand security applications, including Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware and SUPERAntiSpyware.
Testing this application under real world conditions, has reinforced my initial positive review of Microsoft Security Essentials.
So, I’ll just cut to the chase here:
Microsoft Security Essentials is a no cost viable alternative to overhyped, and often overpriced, more familiar security applications.
A simple, intuitive, and easy to use interface makes Microsoft Security Essentials straightforward to setup, customize, and run, for both less experienced and expert users alike.
Microsoft Security Essentials is a first class security application; fast, efficient, and effective.
Provides full real time protection against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. Very few “free” security applications, provide full real time protection which makes such an application valuable, only as an on-demand secondary scanner.
A simple command interface:
A simple settings/options screen:
A simple scan result screen – in this case a “clean” result:
Or, a potential threat warning screen – following an injection, in this case, of a malware file:
Easy to set up and run, particularly for new users.
The interface is positively simple offering Quick Scan, Full Scan, or Custom Scan.
Scans all drives including removable drives, and creates a system restore point
Full real time protection against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.
The Dynamic Signature Service (DSS), a technology that helps ensure users are protected by the most current virus definitions available, without having to wait for the next scheduled download, is a major positive step for the average user.
Using DSS, Security Essentials validates suspicious files in near real time – a huge advantage for average users.
Actions from unknown sources such as unexpected network connections, attempts to modify privileged parts of the system or the downloading of known malware, all trigger requests for updates from DSS – another major advantage for the average user.
Runs unobtrusively in the background with an easy to understand warning system. Green – you’re good to go. Yellow – caution. Red – action required.
Very lightweight in terms of system resource usage – as opposed to some security applications that are well known resource hogs.
Malware identification and removal, in my experience, has been much better than average in real time extended testing, and not just in a 30 minute wonder test!
Quick scans are very fast, but full scans are slightly slower than average. However, if I’m infected, fast or slow is not a personal consideration – detection and removal of malware is.
System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Vista x 64, Win 7, Win 7 x64
Download at: Microsoft
Microsoft Security Essentials is a first class security application; fast, efficient, and effective. I highly recommend that you take a close look at this program.
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