So I’m sure that many of you have heard of Microsoft’s new Security Essentials program. According to Microsoft, MS Security Essentials is virus, spyware and malware protection for free.
When I first saw this I was blown away. I thought that there is no way Microsoft is going to release a program, for free, that others have paid big bucks for in the past. That is why I just had to test it out for you.
Like I mentioned above, MS is claiming that this is high quality AV software that will fully protect your computer. After my review, I’m not sure that I would go that far. Overall, the program does provide basic protection, but not the full featured security you would find in any other security software you would buy at a store or with us.
I installed this on a couple systems here in the building. Installation was generally quick and the program was unintrusive, overall. After installation, the program does an update and a quick scan. These didn’t seem to slow the computer. After the quick scan, MS Security Essentials told me that my computer was protected. That’s all there was to setting up the program.
From there, the program has remained quiet. It checks for updates automatically, runs regular scans and monitors the system for changes that are unwelcome. That’s pretty much all there is to it.
And… that’s the main issue.
While this program does provide basic protection, it is important to realize that it is very basic. It is very similar to many other free A/V programs that I have written about before. It will monitor the system for viruses and malware, but it does not do any proactive monitoring. This means that it won’t warn you ahead of time about possibile issues. It basically waits until you have a virus and then handles it appropriately.
So, let me get down to the bottom line. If you do not have protection on your computer or if you don’t want to spend money on a more advanced security package, MS Security Essentials will help to protect your computer. Overall, it provides the basic protection that everyone should have on their system. On the other hand, if you are looking for the best security for your system, you should look into the traditional, subscription based, A/V package that will provide you with protection that MS Security Essentials misses.
If you want to check it out for yourself, MS Security Essentials is available for free download here: http://www.microsoft.com/Security_Essentials/
Until next time, stay safe out there!