First Glimpse: Microsoft Security Essentials “Excellent Anti-Malware”

Microsoft Security Essentials

Couple of Months Back, Microsoft released their completely free anti-virus solution named “Microsoft Security Essentials.” It is a free utility that provides real-time high-quality protection against viruses and spyware, including Trojans, worms and other malicious identify and helps you to eliminate harmful viruses and other malwares from your PC. So, today i am gonna take a look at how it performs and the protection it has to offer for their users.

Microsoft Security Essentials is completely free Anti-Virus protection that replaces its previous “paid” utility Microsoft One Care.

Its not only simple in its looks, but it is very easy to use. Its effective and will barely slow down your computer system as compared to other big “suites” out there in the market.

In order to test it, I installed MSE in my Virtual Machine and started a real time test by downloading some nasty malwares from known shady sources. It Blocked 7 out of 10 Viruses which i have downloaded from Internet. I also opened some directories contains some pirated video games, Keygens, Patches and other nasty stuff’s and MSE blocked most of the detected threats and offered to quarantine/delete the files. It doesn’t have a 100 percent detection rate (that would be impossible, of course), but when i uninstalled it and scanned my Virtual Machine with other third-party software, they all came up with nothing

The above threat was detected while i was browsing the darker corners of the Web with Internet Explorer.

How to Install?

It’s very easy to install Microsoft Security Essentials using it is even easier than one might expect. Updates are automatic, so there’s no need to worry about having the latest protection. It’s also easy to tell if you’re protected – when Microsoft Security Essentials icon is green, your status is good. It’s as simple as that.

Before installation you should make sure that there is no other Antivirus or Spyware application running on your system.

You have to validate your Windows copy in order to install and use Microsoft Security Essentials.

Microsoft Security Essentials has one of the simplest and clearest GUIs i have ever seen in an anti-virus solution. This is not something i would call “obtrusive” or “bloated” like many other security products currently on the market. Some of you may not say that its the most elegant design, but that’s not what one should be looking for in a security solution product anyway.

After installation it will update the virus definitions right away. After that it will updates itself very quietly in the background.

When database is updated the computer status turns green…Updates are published three times a day to Microsoft Update.

There are 4 tabs/options at the top that will allow you to control different settings of Security Essentials.

Under these Setting Options you can choose what actions Security Essentials should take with malware based on its level of threat.

By default Real-time protection is enabled but if you want to disable it you can, but i won’t suggest you to do this. The Real-time protection is light on system resources and doesn’t slow down other processes at all.

It also shows a green icon in the notification area which will let you know that your system is protected.

MSE has a surprising number of settings to work with. Considering the simplicity of the product, it’s still very customizable. It doesn’t offer as many options as some other security suites, but given features, these settings can be adjusted in order to provide good level of protection.

Microsoft claims it designed Microsoft Security Essentials to run quietly in the background, only alerting users when there is an action for them to take, while at the same time limiting CPU and memory usage. The company includes three features in Microsoft Security Essentials to keep it light: CPU throttling (the system will remain responsive to the user’s tasks), idle-time scanning (scans and updates use a low-priority thread and only run when the PC is idle), and smart caching and active memory swapping (virus signatures not in use are not loaded into memory).

Its Dynamic Signature Service attempts to better identify malicious files by checking for updates if an application exhibits suspicious behavior. Before taking action against a suspect file, MSE prompts for user input. If no response is received in ten minutes, then the suspected malware is handled according to its default action, letting Microsoft Security Essentials determine what to do with the malware.
Beyond finding threats, if any other problems were discovered, Microsoft Security Essentials used Windows notifications to alert the user via the Security Center in XP/Vista, and the Action Center in Windows 7.


Although Microsoft Security Essentials might not have as many as features as other security products have, but it is a lot better at what it does do. It’s free, and it requires no registration, trial versions, or license renewals. It really does automatically stay up-to-date. Most core functions can be activated with a single click. It is also very lightweight. Based on what I’ve seen so far, i would that you at least give the product a download and try.


One response

  1. aigle

    Hi, nice blog. I really like it. It,s best to discuss basics of computer security.

    Take care

    February 1, 2010 at 21:32

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