Download Free Microsoft Security Essentials – You’ll be Glad You Did!

Today is the last day of a holiday weekend (Victoria Day – a celebration of our British heritage), here in Canada. So that yours truly can relax to the max, this article is a reposting of a previously published article.

image 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 Zemana AntiLogger, GeSWall, Immunet Protect,  and 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:

MS Security Essentials

A simple settings/options screen:

MS Security Essentials 2

A simple scan result screen – in this case a “clean” result:

MS Security Essentials 3

Or, a potential threat warning screen – following an injection, in this case, of a malware file:


Fast facts:

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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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Anti-malware Software, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Microsoft, Software, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

31 responses to “Download Free Microsoft Security Essentials – You’ll be Glad You Did!

  1. abhijit

    from personal experience….MSE real time engine is far better then most of popular paid internet security products…………..thanx Bill.
    Security made simple…………..

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Abhijit,

      I like that “Security made simple”. Very cool.

      Good to hear your personal experience mirrors mine.


  2. Liam O' Moulain

    Hi Bill,

    I downloaded MSE the last time you rated it, and I love it – it’s just so easy to use!


  3. Dave Curtis

    I have to agree with you too Bill. Have used it since beta. I also use, ThreatFire, PC Tools Firewall Plus, and Malwarebytes on demand. Never have had anything (YET) get in. As always your site rocks. I love coming here. Thank You. Dave

    • Bill Mullins

      Hi Dave,

      Thank you for the VERY kind words.

      MSE is definitely up there with the best, and “free” definitely does it for me.

      Good to hear from you.


  4. Mal

    Hey Bill,

    Have been using it for a few days now, no problems with it, easy to use, and I GOT THE SCHEDULER WORKING lol. All I did was unclick the setting “Scan only when system is idle etc” and it updates and runs its scheduled scans. So all is good with the world. It will be staying on my system, it’s a great app.


    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Mal,

      Congrats – well done. Glad to hear you’re finding it useful.



  5. This has become my AV of choice for free installs. I like Vipre and NOD32 if someone needs something a little more intrusive but still lightweight.
    I’m very impressed with the Microsoft product, but I still feel you need a couple of good anti-malware apps as well though. Most AV’s still don’t catch many trojans or other non virus threats.

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Mark,

      I’ve been using Immunet Protect as a live backup to MSE, so I hear where you’re coming from.

      Just finishing off a long weekend up here (yours is coming up this weekend, I hear), and I’m over-relaxed. Can’t wait to get back to work (never thought I’d say that!)



  6. kingpin

    Hi Bill,
    Yes MSE is really a nice free AV,I have ever seen.Too bad it doesn’t play along well with MBAM Pro or else I would have installed it by now.I am also waiting for the new Immunet Protect version.But I must say even though Prevx 3.0 full isn’t free,it’s definitely worth a look and it’s affordable too 🙂

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Kingpin,

      I haven’t tested Prevx in a very long time. Thanks for the reminder.


  7. Adrian

    If you really want a break, you might want to stop posting for a day or two – we won’t mind. 😉

  8. Adrian

    Also, Paul at Tech for Everyone is offering a license drawing for 10 ESET NOD32 4 licenses. It is a great offer, and I would recommend other readers of this site to enter the contest.

  9. Owel

    Excellent post as always Bill. MSE is my 1st choice for free AV on my PC security suites for myself, friends and clients.

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Owel,

      It’s great that you look after your friends and clients in this way – it really is a terrific app.


  10. I installed MSE on the PCs of the seniors that I support but, on my father’s XP system especially, it’s a major resource hog. I actually killed the process at one point to let another job complete (Secunia PSI scan). It restarted itself after a while, which was quite nifty.

    The other day, MSE’s graphical interface process (msseces) was using all the system’s resources. I do remote support via LogMeIn, which adds to the load quite significantly. So next time I visit him in person, I’m going to switch him to either Panda or Avira.

    Dave K

  11. Cappydawg

    Hi Bill,
    I have been using this on two of netbooks with great success, not bad on resources as far as I can see. I think Microsoft finally got something right with this one.

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Cappydawg,

      Totally agree with you – “Microsoft finally got something right with this one”.


  12. Andy

    I don’t use MSE myself but I have put MSE on both my Sons PC’s. The one thing I like about MSE is Microsoft Security Essentials will share information with the cloud-based Microsoft Dynamic Signature Service which should allow the software to always be aware of the latest threats as well as whitelist information in order to prevent false positives.I like this idea of using DSS. I think you picked up on this Bill in the article above.Oh by the way my two sons PC’s have had no trouble but I do run their browsers in a sandbox just in case.Layered security is the only answer 🙂

    • Bill Mullins

      Good to hear from you.

      Couldn’t agree more especially this year – sandboxing is the only way to go.

      Really glad to hear you’ve had good success with MSE.


  13. Mister Reiner

    This malware research report will be an eye opener for some people. No real surprise that none of the products tested scored 100%. It’s too bad that MSE is not included in this report.,2817,2357347,00.asp

    There is some other info about MSE posted here:

    • Bill Mullins

      Thanks Mister Reiner.

      I agree, most users would be shocked to see that AVs do not block 100% of malware.

      What I found surprising, when I first read that report was, the *high*detection rates. I admire the methodology used, but I’m a skeptic. I’ve seen this methodology used before, and since, where it produced much lower rates of detection. I’m not convinced that testing labs are truly at arms length.


  14. Fred

    Windows Defender any good? that comes with the Vista.
    Avira 10 is, according to comments I’ve just read on CNET, not what it used to be.
    Is Panda, mentioned above, a good alternative to say, AVG?
    Avast some say is hard to uninstall and that would be a consideration.
    This is all fascinating I just wish I started reading this blog from its inception.
    I realized today that I can’t afford to be an “innocent” point and click person any longer. How far can one go in educating oneself about this topic that Mr Mullins so ably covers, by reading online?

    • Bill Mullins

      Hi Fred,

      I’ll leave it up to other readrs to comment, other than to answer your question regarding Avast. While it’s true that many AVs (not only Avast) can be difficult to uninstall, there is a terrific application designed to deal just with this. Take a look at Delete Stubborn Security Applications With Free AppRemoveron my site.


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