Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0.1611.0 - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Microsoft Security Essentials

CNET Editors' review

The successor to Microsoft Live OneCare, Security Essentials (full review here) takes a different approach to securing your computer. The program is free with core security features intact, but abandons the additional heft of a firewall, performance tuning, and backup and restore options. Under a clean and uncluttered interface, Security Essentials wraps antivirus and antispyware engines, rootkit protection, and real-time detection courtesy of Microsoft SpyNet, the unfortunately named cloud-based service that compares file behavior across computers.

There are four tabs, each with a concise, understandable label: Home, Update, History, and Settings. From Home you can run a Quick Scan, Full Scan, or Custom Scan, and a link at the bottom of the pane lets you change the scheduled scan. In the Settings window you can schedule scans, toggle default actions, adjust real-time protection settings, and create whitelists. An Advanced option here is still fairly basic, allowing you to set Security Essentials to scan archives, removable drives, create a system restore point, or allow all users to view the History tab. Security Essentials uses labels imported from OneCare: green for all good, yellow for warning, and red for an at-risk situation.

Independent test numbers for Security Essentials weren't available at the time of writing, although OneCare scored high detection rates. On a real-world machine, the Quick Scan completed in less than 30 seconds. Benchmarking tests from CNET Labs reveal that Security Essentials actually makes starting up and shutting down faster, but the Full Scan is much slower than many competitors. RAM usage was not insignificant, with 85 to 90MB used during a full scan, but it felt lighter. Security Essentials is basically a good set-it-and-forget-it security program, but if you want more options, you should look elsewhere.

Microsoft Security Essentials beta:

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    4.0 stars

    out of 655 votes

    • 5 star: 370
    • 4 star: 120
    • 3 star: 42
    • 2 star: 47
    • 1 star: 76
  • Current version:

    4.2 stars

    out of 276 votes

    • 5 star: 184
    • 4 star: 38
    • 3 star: 15
    • 2 star: 13
    • 1 star: 26
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 276

  • 5.0 stars

    "Award winning AV"

    May 16, 2012  |   By c0ded

    Version: Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0.1611.0

    Pros

    Excellent easy to use set and forget Antivirus ,tested by many independent testing organizations such as virusbulletin avcomparatives which test most popular AV programs against thousands of viruses,trojans and other malware.
    MSE is as good if not better than the so called best paid antivirus programs it has great detection rates and rated the top antivirus program with the lowest false postives (this is when some AV programs detect good legit files and delete/quarantine them as virus/ malware ).

    Cons

    None my desktop computer and x2 laptops are clean ,used free online scanner from other AV companies such as ESET nothing new detected

    Summary

    Bought paid antivirus programs in the past tried MSE when the 1 year licences expired on my computers and it is doing just as good of a job detecting removing malware viruses even found malware on 1 computer another popular for paid AV programs missed when i installed this than done the first scan.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "wow, this really slows down the computer."

    August 28, 2011  |   By wcwillis

    Version: Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0.1611.0

    Pros

    caught some trojans

    Cons

    I restored computer to before security essentials, and it really was a fast computer. With security essentials, the computer speed was unacceptable.

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Lets in rootkit malware"

    December 22, 2010  |   By red1232

    Version: Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0.1611.0

    Pros

    Easy to install, seems to catch a lot of attacks.

    Cons

    This software failed to detect two different rootkit attacks on two separate occasions. I had to go to very advanced software to do the removals.

    Summary

    OK, but don't think you can visit every site you want and not worry about attacks.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "POOR DETECTION"

    December 15, 2010  |   By kitjai888

    Version: Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0.1611.0

    Pros

    GOOD FEATURE
    BASIC BABY PROTECITON
    USE LOW MEMORY

    Cons

    SLOW UPDATE
    SLOW REMOVING THREATS...............AND EVEN CRASHED MY COMPUTER!!!!

    Summary

    YOU WILL DISLIKE THIS PRODUCT WHEN YOU SEE YOUTUBE ,( SEARCH :FREE AV COMPARISON), YOU WILL FIND THAT THIS IS SUCK PRODUCT......

    HATE IT!!!!!:(

    Updated on Dec 16, 2010

    it can be improve.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "It's not worth the price you pay for it and it's FREE!"

    December 13, 2010  |   By ikiwago

    Version: Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0.1611.0

    Pros

    Free but so is sewage water.

    Cons

    The fact that it's so vulnerable to a COMPLETE SYSTEM HIJACK. My system was hijacked & I lost complete control of everything. Only thing that saved me was having a secondary windows signin that allowed me to do a System Restore from another account.

    Summary

    Lots of virus writing Microsoft haters out there. After having my computer turned into a paperweight by some kind of virus on a malicious website. MSSE didn't catch a thing and yielded complete system control to this virus. I couldn't bring up the Task Manager or any other program. All my browsers stopped working too. I've never had a virus on my computer that completely took over until I trusted my system to MSSE. Big mistake that I won't be making again and suggest that you find something not so vulnerable. I'm NOT Microsoft hating here... I'm just talking from experience.

    Updated on Dec 13, 2010

    I don't get it. All the reviews that talk bad about this HORRIBLE antivirus program has been given a bunch of thumbs down. Who is so PRO MSSE that they thumbs down those who are telling the truth about how HORRID it truly is?? Microsoft undercover agents? (But it's free and they don't really have anything obvious to gain.)

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  • 3.0 stars

    "OK antivirus"

    December 11, 2010  |   By justice99

    Version: Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0.1611.0

    Pros

    Good compatibility

    Cons

    Takes more resource than what I expected.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Good Product"

    December 9, 2010  |   By aussieranger

    Version: Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0.1611.0

    Pros

    Caught a few bugs

    Cons

    I think some updates recently slowed my i7 laptop down

    Summary

    Worked well. Like other products, its hard to know if it's working actively unless it pops out and warns you. In my case, MSE did it's job. I wish future updates will not slow down my system too much.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Best Antivirus!!! It's free!!!"

    December 7, 2010  |   By thebigg512

    Version: Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0.1611.0

    Pros

    Realtime Protection!
    Low memory usage!
    Best Antivirus!!! It's free!!!

    Cons

    None!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Summary

    Best Antivirus!!! It's free!!!

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  • 5.0 stars

    "All you need"

    December 5, 2010  |   By robpaulg

    Version: Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0.1611.0

    Pros

    Hassle free. You won't notice this running.

    Cons

    They should have come out with this a long time ago.

    Summary

    This is all you need to protect your computer.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "VERY BAD SOFTWARE"

    December 2, 2010  |   By AdamWentzell

    Version: Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0.1611.0

    Pros

    Fast to scan you computer and uses very little memory or CPU usage that is the only thing good that I found with this software.

    Cons

    Very weak Anti-virus software use at you own risk!!!!!!!

    Summary

    I just installed this thinking it was good by looking at the reviews and found out I was wrong my computer started running slow about 4 days after installing this so I removed this software and installed AVG Internet Security 2011 and as soon as I restarted my computer AVG found 5 Trojan horse agent 2 viruses and 1 Win32 agent malware that this software didn't pick up or remove. I didn't even do a full system scan yet with AVG so there might be more more this software missed. Microsoft should have better software then this. I am running Windows 7 32 bit with all the updates now I might need to do a fresh install thanks to this software if you want good free anti-virus try AVG anti-virus 2011.

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Results 1-10 of 276

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