Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is available for free download for Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. MSE is an all in one real-time security tool which can detect malicious software (malware) and potentially unwanted programs (PUP/PUA). MSE is not built into every version of Windows so you need to identify which Windows system you are using i.e. 32-bit or 64 bit of XP, Vista and Windows 7.
NOTE: If like me you use Malwarebytes, then you can still use this program, but I suggest switching off MSE > Real-time protection, while you run Malwarebytes full scan. Don’t have any other security tools running in the background either.
MSE runs with little or no user input and you can feel safe and secure knowing that it is continuously protecting you in the background.
NOTE: When you install MSE it will automatically disable Windows Defender (which is pre-installed on XP, Vista, Windows 7 and 8).
To manually update MSE with the latest security definitions, I suggest you visit this page: http://www.microsoft.com/security/portal/definitions/adl.aspx You will need to scroll down to ‘Latest Definitions’ and click either 32-bit, 64-bit or ARM to download the latest definitions.
How to find out which version of Windows you are running:
- Open Start menu or Start screen, type > Computer and press Enter
- On the left side of the > File Explorer that appears, right click or tap and hold > Computer, and then click or tap Properties. The version will be shown under > System type
If you know what you are doing and don’t read Windows security warnings, then MSE might not be for you. Why? If you allow a security warning you could inadvertently allow a file to install malware onto your Windows PC. Other notable concerns with MSE includes Windows slow boot-up/shut down times prior to the sign-in prompt/logging off and inconsistencies in flagging ad installers as malicious/adware, when in fact they are not (we are involved with the ad networks so know about this well). That said I’ve not experienced these issues (apart from the ad installer issues), but know others who have – possibly affected by other installed AV security software/possibly adware on the PC.
We use MSE as part of our Windows security suite, and do recommend it for the more experienced users. Novices to Windows are best advised to use an established AV product (no name dropping here). On last point worth mentioning is you should download Network Inspection System (NIS) definitions, which is an integrated MSE component, can be downloaded and updated on a regular basis. This security feature will protect you from exploits and network infections.
Here is the link again to download MSE http://www.microsoft.com/security/pc-security/mse.aspx
Safe surfing folks!