Microsoft Security Essentials – Best Free Antivirus Software
If you are using Microsoft Windows OS then happy news for you! You are very lucky to have a top rated Antivirus Software Microsoft Security Essentials from Microsoft free.
So Simple and Easy
Spare, simple user interface. Insulates user from confusing details, while making details available if desired. Good ratings from independent labs. Free.
Technically the product name is still just Microsoft Security Essentials, but the About box clearly shows a version number beginning with 2.0. This version has a few new features. It can automatically ensure firewall protection by enabling Windows Firewall if necessary. In Windows Vista and Windows 7, Microsoft Security Essentials‘ new network inspection system adds specific protection against network-based attacks. The app also claims better malware-fighting skills, though in my testing it seemed little improved.
Installation and Cleanup
Installing an antivirus on my thirteen malware-infested virtual machines can be an arduous task. Some products take a long time to install and update; others won’t even install due to self-defense by malware. Microsoft Security Essentials didn’t give me any trouble; it installed quickly and smoothly.
In several cases, Microsoft Security Essentials‘ real-time protection system detected active malware right away and popped up a simple warning box with a button offering to clean the computer. There’s a link to get details; clicking it also offers a chance to change the disposition for the found threat. Another link opens a detailed description of the behavior and file/Registry traces for each threat. This is handy for experts and testers. Users who don’t want to be bothered with details can just click the button and let the cleanup happen in the background.
The real-time cleanup involves a mini-scan that frequently ends with a request to reboot. The product necessarily turns on automatic updates, so if for some reason you’ve been putting off updates you’ll be in for a lengthy session during that first reboot.
At installation, the product schedules a weekly quick scan. You can change the schedule and the type of scan, if desired. By default the scheduled scan restricts itself to using 50 percent of CPU resources. That doesn’t affect on-demand scans, though. In testing, a full scan took over 50 minutes regardless of the CPU setting, which is about twice the average of recent products. A repeat scan came in under 25 minutes.