Myce.com Latest Updates

Microsoft releases free virus scanner

Posted at 29 September 2009 19:27 CEST by Jared Newman

Microsoft’s new virus scanner aims for simplicity, but most importantly, it’s free.

Dubbed Microsoft Security Essentials, the software removes some of the functionality of Windows Live OneCare, which cost $50 and featured firewall options, performance tuning and system restore tools. Security Essentials, by comparison, is a stripped-down virus scanner, performing regular checks of your computer and updating virus definitions daily.

MSE_main_610x475

Reading over CNet’s report on the software, it’s refreshing to see Microsoft offering a light, non-intrusive virus scanner. Running on Windows XP, Vista or the upcoming Windows 7, Security Essentials presents users with four simple navigation tabs. On most occasions, users will only need the “Home” tab to initialize a scan, assuming that they need to open the software at all with automatic scans happening behind the scenes.

Security Essentials has performed pretty well in benchmarks so far. PC Advisor notes that the software successfully fended off 3,200 common viruses, Trojans and worms, in testing by AV-Test GmbH. The software also consumes less memory than paid competitors, such as Symantec and McAfee. On the downside, CNet benchmarks found Security Essentials to be slower than the competition, taking more than twice as long for a full scan.

However, Microsoft could be competing more with free virus scanners, such as AVG, than paid subscription-based software. Even if that’s the case, it’s not direct competition. With no apparent way to upgrade to a paid Microsoft service, as AVG does, I’m thinking that Microsoft sees this more as a bullet point for its operating systems.

The real pressure, then, might be on Apple to offer a free virus scanner of its own. Apple has insisted that Macs have built-in anti-virus, but could install extra software for “additional protection.” Mac threats aren’t unheard of, after all, so Security Essentials could provide more fodder for the fanboys.

Click to share

There are 29 comments

toaddub
MyCE Resident
Posted on: 30 Sep 09 21:40
    Here's a comparison among free antivirus software:

    Free Antivirus Software Side-by-Side Comparison
    MysticEyes
    MyCE Resident
    Posted on: 30 Sep 09 21:52
      Quote:
      Originally Posted by toaddub
      Here's a comparison among free antivirus software:

      Free Antivirus Software Side-by-Side Comparison
      Yikes. I've been using Comodo on my Vista laptop.
      Hemispasm
      Retired Senior Moderator
      Posted on: 30 Sep 09 22:11
        I was reading somewhere that Norton has been pissed with this move, making a statement about how inadequate all these free antivirus programs (MS included) are..
        toaddub
        MyCE Resident
        Posted on: 30 Sep 09 22:26
          I used Comodo Internet Security before on my XP. Its firewall protection is excellent, very configurable, but its antivirus engine really sucks. On every routine scheduled scan, there are lots of false positives on well known programs, including Dvd Rebuilder registration key. Also, it scans extremely slowly and slows down my PC a lot.

          I uninstalled it and used Norton Internet Security 2009 (and have the automaticac free upgrade to 2010 which I haven't installed yet), after reading many great reviews over it. Scanning is fast, no false positives, and no resource hog on XP desktop and Vista laptop.

          Together with NIS, I also have Threatfire, Malwarebytes, and Spywareblaster installed. I think these should be enough to protect the system. But these are just too much on my very old PC with 512MB RAM, so I just have Avira, Malwarebytes, and Spywareblaster installed.

          Avira is great if you can put up with its annoying popups.
          MysticEyes
          MyCE Resident
          Posted on: 30 Sep 09 22:45
            Quote:
            Originally Posted by toaddub
            I used Comodo Internet Security before on my XP. Its firewall protection is excellent, very configurable, but its antivirus engine really sucks. On every routine scheduled scan, there are lots of false positives on well known programs, including Dvd Rebuilder registration key. Also, it scans extremely slowly and slows down my PC a lot...
            Thanks for the heads up.
            alan1476
            Senior Moderator, Software Editor and Head of Promotions
            Posted on: 01 Oct 09 00:16
              Quote:
              Originally Posted by Hemispasm
              I was reading somewhere that Norton has been pissed with this move, making a statement about how inadequate all these free antivirus programs (MS included) are..
              What are they supposed to say? That's a typical response from a vendor who just isn't needed anymore. I will wait until the program is reviewed by an independent source, then I will make my decision on whether to use it or not. I have a 2 year license with KIS now but who know MSFT might have a good product. I for one will follow and see what the outcome is before making any claims. Many of the big companies lease the anti virus engine from Kaspersky or Norton or McAfee, then use it with there own name. This could be one of those instances. Who knows?
              Hemispasm
              Retired Senior Moderator
              Posted on: 01 Oct 09 01:05
                Quote:
                Originally Posted by alan1476
                What are they supposed to say? That's a typical response from a vendor who just isn't needed anymore. I will wait until the program is reviewed by an independent source, then I will make my decision on whether to use it or not. I have a 2 year license with KIS now but who know MSFT might have a good product. I for one will follow and see what the outcome is before making any claims. Many of the big companies lease the anti virus engine from Kaspersky or Norton or McAfee, then use it with there own name. This could be one of those instances. Who knows?
                My personal opinion is that MS Windows have come a long way (compared to XP and before times) with respect to security, and I feel they are quite safe per se. I also believe MS has no other option than to take up the task of assuring the best possible security for its product from now on, partly through the addition of this software security suite, to cut down on the final end user cost of its products in these troubling economic times.

                MS has already done so by cutting almost half the price for OEM Windows 7. Hence, I strongly believe that companies into the software security business will suffer lots in the near future...

                edit: btw I am totally satisfied by the free version of Avast.. all you need more than that is some common sense
                alan1476
                Senior Moderator, Software Editor and Head of Promotions
                Posted on: 01 Oct 09 01:16
                  Well said Hemi, whenever I build a machine for a friend I always put the free Avast on it before it leaves my house.
                  BitRate
                  MyCE Senior Member
                  Posted on: 01 Oct 09 02:26
                    I wouldn't trust this junk from Microsoft. It's probably loaded with malware and aggressively triggers false positives on competitors software.
                    beef barley
                    MyCE Resident
                    Posted on: 01 Oct 09 02:30
                      Been using it for a while now on Windows 7 x 2 machines, so far, so good.
                      Dr. Who
                      MyCE Resident
                      Posted on: 01 Oct 09 02:51
                        Running it since beta it is very nice for free better than avg I think less bloat. But that's my opinion. There is some banner adblock features in kaspersky that MSE doesn't have and there's no addon in firefox that can get them either.
                        shaolin007
                        MyCE Resident
                        Posted on: 01 Oct 09 06:19
                          I use Avast and like it. I use to buy into Norton but Avast does just as good IMO. Also, it is best to use a Sandbox for trying out questionable software. Sandboxie is great for basic web browsing stuff. I heard Returnil is good and I am thinking about trying it out for size since it allows you to boot your system into a "virtual" state.
                          AmiWolf
                          CD Freaks Junior Member
                          Posted on: 01 Oct 09 18:42
                            All in all, M$ is jumping into another territory that it hadn't tried before. bing is a testament to that. Just need to see how it does before jumping ship from our regular software usage.
                            MysticEyes
                            MyCE Resident
                            Posted on: 01 Oct 09 21:10
                              Quote:
                              Originally Posted by AmiWolf
                              All in all, M$ is jumping into another territory that it hadn't tried before. bing is a testament to that. Just need to see how it does before jumping ship from our regular software usage.
                              I don't know if 'jumping' is the correct term. As usual it's others who innovate and eventually MS assimilates.

                              Resistance is futile.
                              Mr. Belvedere
                              MyCE Resident
                              Posted on: 01 Oct 09 22:35
                                Quote:
                                Originally Posted by toaddub
                                Here's a comparison among free antivirus software:

                                Free Antivirus Software Side-by-Side Comparison
                                How on earth did they test this new virusscanner of ms on this part:

                                Heuristic detection with four-week-old signatures

                                The product isn't even four weeks old!
                                Hemispasm
                                Retired Senior Moderator
                                Posted on: 01 Oct 09 22:38
                                  Maybe they had a pre-official release version?
                                  Womble
                                  Retired Administrator & Reviewer
                                  Posted on: 02 Oct 09 06:50
                                    Have to take alook.

                                    Been using AVG Free on most things.
                                    Nemesys
                                    MyCE Resident
                                    Posted on: 02 Oct 09 13:19
                                      Quote:
                                      Originally Posted by Mr. Belvedere
                                      How on earth did they test this new virusscanner of ms on this part:

                                      Heuristic detection with four-week-old signatures

                                      The product isn't even four weeks old!
                                      Mr. B, the MSE listed in the tests was a Beta version.
                                      Obviously it has been around for a while.
                                      brokenbuga
                                      MyCE Resident
                                      Posted on: 02 Oct 09 21:47
                                        Yep, beta invites went out mid June and lasted for all of about 12 hours from what I recall before they took the server down and said thanks for playing all, we have enough testers.

                                        The software was available on bittorrent and other means, as usual.

                                        I've been using it since beta in June, I think it's great, small footprint, doesn't pester, scans quickly. Good product and one less thing I have to concern myself with anymore.
                                        rexroach
                                        MyCE Member
                                        Posted on: 02 Oct 09 23:43
                                          Bitrate SAid [I wouldn't trust this junk from Microsoft. It's probably loaded with malware and aggressively triggers false positives on competitors software.]
                                          It does none of these things
                                          Mr. Belvedere
                                          MyCE Resident
                                          Posted on: 03 Oct 09 16:22
                                            Quote:
                                            Originally Posted by Nemesys
                                            Mr. B, the MSE listed in the tests was a Beta version.
                                            Obviously it has been around for a while.
                                            So they're testing a beta.. Oh well, better than nothing i guess.

                                            I think it's a solid product. Windows OneCare was rock solid as well (and took a lot of cpu power). I just wonder what MS thinks it will gain from all this.
                                            beef barley
                                            MyCE Resident
                                            Posted on: 03 Oct 09 16:38
                                              Quote:
                                              Originally Posted by rexroach
                                              Bitrate SAid [I wouldn't trust this junk from Microsoft. It's probably loaded with malware and aggressively triggers false positives on competitors software.]
                                              It does none of these things
                                              It's a keeper, so far.
                                              rexroach
                                              MyCE Member
                                              Posted on: 05 Oct 09 21:50
                                                Quote:
                                                Originally Posted by Mr. Belvedere
                                                So they're testing a beta.. Oh well, better than nothing i guess.

                                                I think it's a solid product. Windows OneCare was rock solid as well (and took a lot of cpu power). I just wonder what MS thinks it will gain from all this.
                                                It has a much lower footprint than Onecare which on older machines made them unusable
                                                rlittle66
                                                MyCE Rookie
                                                Posted on: 10 Oct 09 19:26
                                                  The most important thing about Microsoft that everyone seems to forget is that it's free now, but after a bit Microsoft will start charging an arm and a leg for this free product.

                                                  Yes, it is a new product and yes you are the guinea pigs right now.
                                                  How soon you all forget. LOL
                                                  beef barley
                                                  MyCE Resident
                                                  Posted on: 10 Oct 09 19:34
                                                    Quote:
                                                    Originally Posted by rlittle66
                                                    The most important thing about Microsoft that everyone seems to forget is that it's free now, but after a bit Microsoft will start charging an arm and a leg for this free product.

                                                    Yes, it is a new product and yes you are the guinea pigs right now.
                                                    How soon you all forget. LOL
                                                    If they do, I will uninstall & go back to Avira.
                                                    Hemispasm
                                                    Retired Senior Moderator
                                                    Posted on: 10 Oct 09 20:14
                                                      Quote:
                                                      Originally Posted by rlittle66
                                                      The most important thing about Microsoft that everyone seems to forget is that it's free now, but after a bit Microsoft will start charging an arm and a leg for this free product.
                                                      I sincerely doubt it, but hey everything is possible.
                                                      Quote:
                                                      Yes, it is a new product and yes you are the guinea pigs right now.
                                                      This is the same with all new software we use, be it Windows or a linux bistro.. Thats life
                                                      Lipsync
                                                      New on Forum
                                                      Posted on: 16 Oct 09 19:23
                                                        AVIRA was rated better than the other "freebees" anyway.
                                                        tgbyhn10
                                                        CD Freaks Rookie
                                                        Posted on: 18 Oct 09 15:50
                                                          Thanks for the heads up
                                                          LifesGood
                                                          New on Forum
                                                          Posted on: 24 Oct 09 14:57
                                                            Been using it on Windows 7 since it's release and so far I'm impressed.

                                                            Just try it.

                                                            Post your comment

                                                            You need to register before you can comment

                                                            Like us

                                                            Most popular headlines

                                                            Windows 9 Enterprise has no Metro interface, upgrade to Windows 9 free or $20

                                                            The Enterprise version of Windows 9 will come without the Metro interface, accor...

                                                            Gmail is down - Google confirms mail service disruption (updated)

                                                            Many users around the world complain about issues with Google's free email servi...

                                                            WZOR: PC manufacturers unhappy with Microsoft's Windows 9 plans

                                                            The Russian group or individual that leaks confidential Microsoft information to...

                                                            Microsoft releases fixed Windows 8.1 August Update - urges to delete old one

                                                            Microsoft has released the Windows 8.1 August Update again, the company withdrew...

                                                            Java.com and TMZ served malware due Java, Flash and Silverlight exploits

                                                            Dutch security researchers discovered that the Java website has been used to dis...

                                                            See all headlines
                                                            Follow Myce.com