Microsoft Security Essentials
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Full user review
"Extremely fast, simple, and just works!"
Very easy to use. NEVER needs to be re-licensed after install. Extremely fast, and doesn't slow down even my 4 year-old Pentium 4 3.0 machine. Perfect for putting on grandma's machine to keep it virus-free automatically.
Could do better at catching script viruses, compared to the paid products (see AVComparatives, VBTest, and Av-Test comparisons). Not the fastest at catching the newest malware/viruses, but catches up within a while (see below).
I love MSE so far. I've been running it for several months, and have even submitted two confirmed viruses caught by another product. I run multiple versions of different free and paid products on test machines at my university, and sometimes one company will miss something new that another company catches. When this happens, I submit the virus/malware to the companies that missed it (after a check on Virustotal). Once and a blue moon, when a virus comes our way that was missed by MSE, I'll submit it to their engineers using their online submission service, along with a copy of the Virustotal scan results. Twice, they've recognized the virus and updated signatures, letting me know I had found a new virus for them. Usually takes them 6 to 36 hours or to get back to me.I wanted to add that some reviews have faulted MSE for scanning slowly. This has improved dramatically over time. It now does a "Quick Scan" quicker than most products out there. I set up my machines to do a Quick Scan daily, before which it will automatically update the signatures. It scans 75,000 items in under 45 seconds on my Windows 7 machine during a Quick Scan! Full Scans take a good hour, though. The nice thing about both is that, you don't feel ANY distruption on your machine while they are running! Set it for a daily scan and just forget it.
Updated on May 3, 2010
One more important note is that I feel much more comfortable knowing that it's a Microsft Windows product, and more likely NOT to have damaging "false positives" like other vendors sometimes have. In all honesty, I've seen more damage done by false positives than viruses on my machines over the years. That is why I most like MSE.
Updated on Jun 12, 2010Just wanted to add an update. I still love this program. I keep trying others, but find myself coming back because I LOVE how snappy it allows me to surf the web. MSE is really a great thing. In fact, I try to help them out by submitting malicious viruses and malware from sites that share such finds. I'm happy to play my part. I hope I am helping them to raise the protection level.