Microsoft Security Essentials

A newer version of Microsoft Security Essentials is available.

This download is served from an external site


NOTICE: This link will open a connection to a third-party site. CNET cannot ensure the security of software that is hosted on external sites.

Continue to download

Sponsored Products

Or, Learn More About Microsoft Security Essentials
CNET Editors' Rating 4.0 stars


Average User Rating stars

out of 666 user reviews

Back to product review

Full user review

  • 5.0 stars

    "Underserving of Bad Reviews"

    November 8, 2012  |   By acerhater96


    Basically Microsoft Forefront Security for home, updates multiple times during the day, doesn't slow the computer down, VERY secure, easy to use for the not tech savvy person, FREE. NOTE: this is windows defender in Windows 8


    Scans can be long if not configured right, must have a backup like Malwarebytes


    I have been using MSE for about a year now. Previously during version 1, I had been using MSE but was unimpressed and went to back to AVG. After AVG I switched to Avast (when is was version 5) because AVG was SLOW, and had missed a couple infections. Once Avast updated to version 7, all of the PC's I had it installed on became noticeably slower. Avast also installed an annoying amount of crap like Google Chrome, Webrep, and a few extra shields. After I saw MSE 4.0 was released on CNET I gave it a try, and loved it. I have used it to remove viruses that Avast would have never caught, and even ones on friends and family members PC's who had Norton 360 (in fact it found 10 Trojans that Norton missed on the one.) Personally, I have had it block me and my immediate family from a few "severe" infections. MSE even breathed new life into an old Pentium 4 with XP that I couldn't figure out why it was slow. Since you should switch to MSE, be sure to also download Malwarebytes in case anything should get past MSE. A fix for the long scans is to uncheck limit CPU usage during a scan. Overall, I would not use any other antivirus program but MSE.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (2) (5)

2 replies to this review

  • Reply by ComputerLuvr on November 23, 2012

    Faster scanning isnot necessarily better. I prefer Avast 7. Longer scanning and more thorough in detecting and removing any trojans and viruses. I also remove any traces of any other AV program I have on all my test computers and my personal computer before installing an AV.

  • Reply by EricVonZipper on November 9, 2012

    MSE is noticeably faster than Avast 7. Many of the people having trouble with MSE need to first remove any AV program before installing MSE. Cheers.

Submit your reply


The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited.
Click here to review our site terms of use.


Add Your Review

Log in or create an account to post a review.
You are logged in as . Please submit your review for Microsoft Security Essentials 4.1
Add Your Review

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited.
Click here to review our site terms of use.

E-mail this review

Submit cancel

Report offensive content

If you believe this comment is offensive or violates the CNET's Site Terms of Use, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the comment). Once reported, our staff will be notified and the comment will be reviewed.

Select type of offense:

Offensive: Sexually explicit or offensive language
Spam: Advertisements or commercial links
Disruptive posting: Flaming or offending other users
Illegal activities: Promote cracked software, or other illegal content
Submit cancel




If you think this is an error, please contact CNET TechTracker Support for further assistance.


Running Request



Smart Install Software


CNET TechTracker will now automatically install software without requiring further action by you. (Note: This feature automatically accepts associated EULAs and third party applications on your behalf.)

You have selected the following software to Smart Install:

CNET TechTracker will attempt to install this software without interrupting you again. If an application requires manual installation, CNET TechTracker will download the installer and prompt you to take further action.

Proceed with Smart Install?

Confirm Standard Install Cancel