Microsoft Security Essentials - Comments Page 1

Category: Security

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Posted by:

27 Oct 2009

MSE is indeed a very light utility. It takes up 11.5MB on my laptop with all the latest signature updates. By comparison, other "suites" I've tried such as AVG 8.5 used 45MB, Avira 70MB, McAfee over 90MB. But MSE will not install if your system doesn't pass the WGA validation test which is required during the installation process.

MSE also has a very user friendly interface and settings can be customized with just a few clicks. I'd also have to agree that scans are pretty fast. My first quick scan took about 8 minutes and a full scan just over 30 minutes. Of course scan time depends on hard drive size and how much "stuff" is on the hard drive. :-)

One possible negative: you'll automatically be enrolled with a basic membership in the Microsoft SpyNet Community which was originally started under Windows Defender.

If someone wants to run MSE but not have to join SpyNet, it might be possible to edit the registry. I have not tried this work-around and would caution people to proceed at their own risk.

Personally, I don't mind if Microsoft or any other antimalware provider can thwart a new problem I might have found by receiving data from me. In the short time I've been using MSE on my laptop running XP Pro, I've been very satisfied. One other added benefit is my boot time had gone from about 20 seconds to 10 seconds. Not too shabby!

Posted by:

27 Oct 2009

Unfortunately, at least on my fully-patched XP box when MSE discovers a nasty, it hangs while taking the "recommended action" (normally to delete the item). It can only be stopped by CTRL-ALT-DEL or a reboot. After this point, it may or may not give you a green icon. There's not much help as yet on the web for this annoying, endless loop of futility.

Posted by:

Sharron Field
27 Oct 2009

Hey Bob

I was using Avast! free edition for quite some time, until I got infected by ASX.Winmad.AN and ASX.Winmad.CJ, which slipped in past Avast! unseen. These programs are Trojan downloaders, and they must have been on my system for quite some time before they were activated. - Suddenly my LAN-connected network was crawling with malware and sending spam emails.#

A scan with Avast! showed a couple of these malware infections, a scan with AdAware showed up even more, including a backdoor Trojan, but as they were eradicated they just returned where the unseen downloaders were re-downloading them.

I'd heard from another tech site that MSE had just been launched and was free; so I decided to install it on my 32-bit XP box and see if it could flush anything else out. (I uninstalled Avast first.)

I isolated the box from any other possible source of infection and ran a scan with MSE: It got the lot, including the spam-sending Trojan, which nothing else I'd tried could see. Subsequent scans with Avast!, AdAware, and Symantec online scan were negative. Installing it on my Windows 7 RC 64-bit box gave the same result, and subsequent scans by the aforementioned products were once again negative.

I can't praise this software enough, and I now run it on both comps.

It hasn't had any conflicts with AdAware, which has been running happily alongside it on both boxes.

Posted by:

27 Oct 2009

I've been using Windows Live One for two and a half years now, and been happy with it for 48 bucks a year. Is this new MSE better than Live One, or just a re-naming of Live One?

Funny I never see Live One advertised or even mentioned online, since it seems to do the job pretty well for 4 bucks a month.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I was under the impression that the paid-for Live One Care service had been discontinued, and that the free MSE was the replacement for it.

Posted by:

Joe M
27 Oct 2009

I wouldn't settle for an "average" product from a company whose bread 'n butter isn't security. Yes, Microsoft has the resources to make a top notch product in any market, but it would seem they don't have the interest. Why would they put out an "average" product?

I use Vipre from Sunbelt Software and am very satisified. I am disappointed that I didn't see it in the comparisons at

The only downside I've found to Vipre is it's lack of integrated firewall, which they say is going to change at the end of the year to a "complete" suite.

Posted by:

28 Oct 2009

I've been using Microsoft Security Essentials on my Vista x64 SP2 desktop since the day MSE came out of beta. It replaced avast! because a full scan MSE found a virus and Trojan not detected by avast!. Further research proved to me these ware not false-positive detections.

MSE has to be manually updated by me for signatures, as I have Windows Update intentionally set to download and notify me of updates, but not install them automatically. However the weekly complete scan I have scheduled does first download and install updates, as I have that option checked. Microsoft offers another signature update solution. Downloading mpam-fex64.exe to get the latest updates also works for me using Vista Business x64 and MSE x64.

Posted by:

Murray W
28 Oct 2009

For years, many of the users and admins in PC Tech on Paltalk have recommended the use of Spywareblaster, Spybot, Iobit 360, AVG or AVira or Avast but the consensus now is to replace all of these with MSE and just keep Malwarebytes and SuperAntiSpyware as a "spare tire". So far MSE has found and cured anything that users coming into the room with spyware problems etc has had thrown at it.

Posted by:

Charles Friederich
29 Oct 2009

Bob, your useful article on Microsoft Security Essentials said that other security programs should be removed before installing MSE. Does the same advice apply to CC-Cleaner?

EDITOR'S NOTE: No, CCleaner would not need to go. Only anti-spyware and anti-virus programs that are "always on" would need to be removed.

Posted by:

13 Nov 2009

Bob, does it make a difference which browser is being used? I wouldn't put it past MS if MSE only works if IE is the browser of choice. I would like to give MSE a try but I'm a Firefox user and I would like to keep it that way. TIA for helping me out.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I'm sure MSE will work regardless of your browser choice.

Posted by:

11 Jan 2010

Hi Bob, I have been using Norton 360 for last 2-3 years.

It does everything for me and I have no problems,except it costs about $ 100 in Canada per year. In a few months I will have to renew it. Should I stop using it and use MSE which is free? Or if I can afford $ 100 per year I should continue with Norton? my OS is Windows 7, 32 bit.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I just installed MSE on a machine that had been infected with dozens of viruses and spyware. It did a great job of cleaning it up. I honestly don't see any reason to buy anti-virus software.

Posted by:

25 Mar 2010

Yes, I agree with most of the other comments, Microsoft Security Essentials is a great piece of software. It is so easy to use, and the quick scan takes less than two minutes. So far, nothing has got through it, and I can easily say it's the best anti-virus program I've ever had.

It surprises me Microsoft is offering this for free, and it also surprises me that they have made this program in the first place, given they are partners with Symantec and McAfee.

Posted by:

23 Apr 2010

I just had a clean install and opted for windows 7. My XP had a nasty virus that I could not clean. After reading about the fiasco that McAfee caused by omitting an essential file on their updates, I trashed it and downloaded MSE. So far, no complaints.

Posted by:

10 May 2010

I'm in IT, so i get to hear everyone's PC problems. Countless times since MSE has been out I've recommended they give MSE a try when they have some virus their current AV solution isn't solving for them.

I can honestly post that 100% of them have returned the following day successful, or i don't hear back from them (always a good sign) and bump into them days later and it's a complete after thought, as it immediately cured the problem once installed.

The only other thing i hear back is how much faster their machines run after removing their current av and installing MSE.

Posted by:

13 May 2010

I used quite a few packages over the years. As a speed freak, I can tell when something isn't right and I recently suspected something was up. So, I downloaded SpyBot SD and scanned. It found nothing. So, thought I would try Microsoft Essentials and it immediately found a Trojan. Not only that, the next day it intercepted another Trojan which was attached it a software program I downloaded. Essentials will be my choice for the foreseeable future.

Posted by:

22 May 2010

i have been using MSE since the start of this year, and to be honest it hasn't let me down once since i first started using it. Am a student and at my university, they have this other Anti-virus program but my usb still gets infected at school any way, so i installed MSE on both my desktop (windows 7 64-bit) and my laptop (windows 7 32-bit) and both my computers have never been cleaner in years. I definitely give it a thumbs up and you should definitely give it a try. you won't be disappointed.

Posted by:

29 Jun 2010

My computer came with McAfee and Defender. I was thinking of switching Defender to MSE, but while investigating, learned (on your site) that Defender is only anti-spyware. Maybe this is why it doesn't conflict with McAfee. You say not to have 2 AVs, but many people commenting on your topics talk about having 2 or more products running successfully. What's the deal? I would like to replace Defender with MSE if this would be OK. A MS tech. told me on the phone it would be OK, but I don't think I can trust his knowledge. Can you clear this up? Thank you.

EDITOR'S NOTE: It's not a bad idea to replace Defender with MSE, since MSE includes the Defender component. Just get rid of your other AV program, because it's not good to have two.

Posted by:

Glenn P.
25 Jul 2010

QUESTION: I have Windows XP Pro SP3 and am thinking of obtaining Microsoft Security Essentials.

One problem that I have heard of concerning this program is that it automatically sets Microsoft Updates to Automatic, whether the user wants this or not.

Now, I don't particularly mind this behavior, provided, of course, that I am allowed to reverse it after MSE is installed.

So, could someone please check and see whether, in fact, one is able, under Windows XP Pro SP3, and post-install of MSE, to de-select Microsoft Updates from Automatic? (Check it after a reboot in case it resets itself.) Or, does MSE somehow render this setting "permanent"?

--”Glenn P."

Posted by:

11 Oct 2010

I like MSE...

Its does a pretty good job and certainly beats symantec hands down.

I have see trojans now targeting it directly, like other antivirus programs so the hackers know its out there.

I saw one that disabled your antivirus and it would alter itself ever time and stop the MSE update.

Posted by:

09 Nov 2010

Hi, I just read all your recommendations & decided to install windows defender x 64, malwarebytes, & avast.
Is this an o.k combination?

I'm worried I may have to many things installed(or to few).

Thanks so much for your time... :0)

Posted by:

17 Nov 2010

You'll notice that MSE is recommended for home use only. For a business you should upgrade to Microsoft Forefront Client Security. If you don't want to do that, stay with GOOD commercial Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware programs.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I really don't accept the premise that the average small business with a few employees needs anything different than what a home user would need for security.

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