Microsoft Security Essentials (64-bit) 4.1 - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Microsoft Security Essentials (64-bit)

CNET Editors' review

If you're in the market for a capable antivirus, firewall, and Internet security solution for Windows, would you consider one that consistently ranks at or near the top in tests against the big names in antivirus protection? A lightweight app that's frugal with system resources? One that offers timely, automatic updates, an effective firewall that integrates with Windows, and user-friendly operation that's mostly in the background? Suppose we added the fact that it's free and that you might even have it already, and if not, it's a few clicks away? Sounds great! What is it? Microsoft Security Essentials, that's what -- one of the best-kept secrets in Windows software. We tried Microsoft Security Essentials for 64-bit Windows.

Microsoft Security Essentials actually works well with many other programs, but the installer advises removing your existing antivirus software, if any. The program checked for (and found) updates even before the installer had finished. Security Essentials is designed to work mostly in the background, with minimal user input, though some of its components require configuration, including the Windows Firewall. The program's interface is plain but efficient in a way that, if it doesn't scream "Microsoft," certainly uses its outdoor voice. When activated and up-to-date, Security Essentials displays a green system tray icon, indicating our PC's Protected status. As with any antivirus tool, Security Essentials needs an initial scan to ensure that your PC is free from infection. We changed the scan settings from Quick to Full accordingly, and ran the scan, which happily turned up no threats. Subsequent scans are much quicker. The Windows Firewall isn't as effective as some freeware firewalls out there, but it's way better than nothing, and you can disable it individually if you prefer to use another program.

We've always thought that many people assume that they need a third-party antivirus program because there are so many of them, including lots of freeware. That would seem to explain why more people don't take advantage of Microsoft Security Essentials. It's the easiest choice, so it can't be convenience. Microsoft Security Essentials 64-bit isn't flashy on purpose. But it offers effective protection with minimal fuss, for free.

Microsoft Security Essentials (64-bit) - Protect your PC securily - Download Video Previews:

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    4.0 stars

    out of 30 votes

    • 5 star: 15
    • 4 star: 7
    • 3 star: 3
    • 2 star: 2
    • 1 star: 3
  • Current version:

    3.3 stars

    out of 9 votes

    • 5 star: 3
    • 4 star: 2
    • 3 star: 1
    • 2 star: 1
    • 1 star: 2
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-9 of 9

  • 5.0 stars

    "One Of The Best Antivirus Ever Tried"

    October 28, 2013  |   By BookOfLike

    Version: Microsoft Security Essentials (64-bit) 4.1

    Pros

    I give it a five star with no discussions. The performance is a plus for a totally free antivirus

    Cons

    installed in my computer with no much effort or registration with any tricks like others. I can't find any better online.

    Summary

    Why It Is One Of The Best Antivirus Ever Tried?
    http://www.bookoflike.com/thewire/owner/webhosting#sthash.egsywoqu.dpbs
    Because since 1990 I have been using computers and I never seen something so quiet like this software.

    Updated on Oct 28, 2013

    Thanks Microsoft for Understanding Your Customers and Windows Users Worldwide. I Hope Your Corporation Have Lots Of Prosperity and Your Internet Browser Becomes The Only One People Use To Surf Online.

    Reply to this review

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Keeps turning itself off"

    June 30, 2013  |   By itsonlyme2

    Version: Microsoft Security Essentials (64-bit) 4.1

    Pros

    Have used it for several years but don't trust any one program to do it all so I still run Malwarebytes periodically.

    Cons

    The sucker keeps turning itself off. (SysInfo = Vista Home Premium 64bit) Not sure what to do. Out of frustration have (temporarily?) uninstalled it while I test AVG, Avast and others. (BTW - AVG seems kind of bloated but I can deal with that if it doesn't turn itself off like MSE.)

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  • 5.0 stars

    "powerful antivirus app"

    December 27, 2012  |   By ultamaterev123

    Version: Microsoft Security Essentials (64-bit) 4.1

    Pros

    virus detection 5/5 3rd
    user interface 4/5 6 th
    simple 4.5/5 2nd

    Cons

    firewall none 0/5

    Summary

    the best free antivirus ranks a must see score. mse scores 4th in my opinion.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Fail To Protect."

    December 25, 2012  |   By neilgonzales10

    Version: Microsoft Security Essentials (64-bit) 4.1

    Pros

    No advantage.

    Cons

    Once MSE is installed, it turns off Windows Defender automatically and then if you did not scan manually, the message appear on the status: Potentially unprotected. and if you disable the real time protection, the message appear on the status: At Risk. as well from the taskbar.

    Summary

    Do I want this antivirus? No because of its slow defense.

    Updated on Dec 25, 2012

    Fail to protect on zero-day attack.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Does not install, does not update, does not protect."

    December 2, 2012  |   By mongo546

    Version: Microsoft Security Essentials (64-bit) 4.1

    Pros

    None. It was rated as "inadequate" by recent independent antivirus labs as of December 2012. Even being free, it is dangerous because of the false sense of "Microsoft Security" it doesn't provide.

    Cons

    Plenty. See above for it's recent failure to pass AV lab testing (64% blocking of malware vs 90+% for other free AV programs). Finally, with the most recent Microsoft Update, it won't update, and then shuts down. Following all steps to uninstall and reinstall using the MS Fixit site failed. This thing stinks.

    Summary

    Do. Not. Use. This. Program. It almost qualifies as malware itself.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Error Message From Microsoft Website"

    November 19, 2012  |   By njteddy

    Version: Microsoft Security Essentials (64-bit) 4.1

    Pros

    Could not load on computer running Windows 7 64 bit

    Cons

    Could not load from Microsoft web site on computer running windows 7 64bit pro. Received error message that download was for 32 bit windows version only. Could not find download for 64 bit even with using search on Microsoft Site.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "I love it!"

    October 25, 2012  |   By marisbeen

    Version: Microsoft Security Essentials (64-bit) 4.1

    Pros

    No noisy notice.

    Cons

    need to scan everyday

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

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  • 5.0 stars

    "A must have"

    October 20, 2012  |   By acerhater96

    Version: Microsoft Security Essentials (64-bit) 4.1

    Pros

    Uses the same antivirus updates as Microsoft's Forefront, made by Microsoft so they won't break your PC, finds things that paid Antivirues miss, MINIMAL TO NO SYSTEM IMPACT, free, and its not annoying.

    Cons

    You need other backup utities like Malwarebytes and SuperAntispyware (as with all antiviruses) because they sometimes find what MSE misses.

    Summary

    Will not use any other antivirus program besides this. Have used it to remove viruses that paid competitors (like Norton also known as Spymantec) failed to miss. I went from using Avast and the difference in PC speed is amazing. It does its job well and has saved me a few times. If you install this or any other antivirus, please update Windows, update your browser and flash, and most importantly use Malwarebytes and SuperAntispyware too. Trust me, it just works.

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Slams the barn door shut after the horse already left."

    October 6, 2012  |   By Poppypbr

    Version: Microsoft Security Essentials (64-bit) 4.1

    Pros

    Free and decent interface but not as many options, features and protections as others.

    Cons

    Doesn't react to immediate threats. Lets the computer get infected and then it tells you its infected!!!

    MSE is a small department in a great big software and operating system Company that benefits economically when you upgrade to their newest, allegedly "more secure" platforms. Hackers consider hacking all things Microsoft, including their Antivirus, to be a worthy challenge and abundantly available for hacking.

    Summary

    The real test of an antivirus is if you can confidently access websites that are known to be high risk and can get away unscathed. Microsoft Security Essentials will get you away, but you'll be scathed and then you better have some good computer skills to get the system back to where it should be before the threat does more harm. Appears to be lacking in features that render an infection powerless. Otherwise, why would there be the need for such an alarming warning? Just fix it and tell me about it, not tell me about it and tell me to fix it.

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Results 1-9 of 9

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