Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Microsoft Security Essentials and me

New kid on the antivirus block, Microsoft Security Essentials, is silently flexing his muscles and attracting some people over to his yard. Folks are going to it and for good reason because 1) It does a very good job 2) It really is anti-annoying and 3) It's lightweight. Plus, the layout is user-friendly and very attractive because of its simplicity.

1. It does a very good job
Recently, before running a malwarebytes scan on an allegedly malware infested system, I'll run a scan on the pc with the system's currently installed antivirus agent. One particular example I can think of was an AVG 2012 protected system. The system had all of the indicators of a malware infestation. I ran a scan with AVG and it returned a "no infections found" report. I uninstalled AVG 2012, installed MSE and on the initial quick scan, MSE found a few trojans and some adware. I ran a full scan in safe mode just to be safe and the scan was clean. I then ran a Malwarebytes full scan, still in safe mode, and the report was clean. I couldn't believe it. I then started using MSE myself and I install it on client systems. MSE obviously doesn't find infections every time on the first initial quick scan after install. Sometimes, the infestation is deep in the system and something more powerful like Malwarebytes would need to be used, but for general protection I'm learning that MSE is better than others like AVG, Avast, and Panda. It's at least better than their free versions. 

2. It's Anti-annoying and anti-expensive 
"It's true. It's true," said Kurt Angle when asked if MSE was anti-annoying and anti-expensive. I'm just kidding. To my knowledge Angle hasn't been interviewed on MSE (it was funny though, right?). No, but MSE is very silent, lean, and doesn't annoy you unless it has protected you from a threat. It doesn't even tell you when it's been updated like other antivirus programs. 

I received a call from a client last week about a problem. He told me his computer was acting funny, i.e., Internet Explorer was crashing every few seconds. When I arrive at this site, he gives me free reign. Before I do anything, I check to see what is running (down close to his clock) and I see that Avast! and MSE are both running. I remembered installing MSE on his pc a while back, but didn't remember Avast! being on his pc. I asked him if he installed Avast! and he said he did just a week ago because he didn't think he had antivirus running on the system since he wasn't getting alerted every day about something. I laughed and showed him MSE was on his system and that was his protection from threats. He mentioned that he remembered me giving him an overview of that, but thought I didn't install it because he couldn't tell it was even on there. That's one thing that makes MSE better than the rest. It's anti-annoying.

3. Lightweight 
MSE isn't resource intensive. You don't even notice it updating, scanning; you forget it's even there. Compared with Avast! and AVG, it's very skinny.

The only complaint I have is with scan scheduling. You can either schedule a quick scan or a full scan, but not both. Personally, I would like to have the scan schedule be a quick scan Sunday through Friday, then a full scan on Saturday, but MSE (as far as I know) won't let you do schedule like that. It's a very minor flaw. I have my schedule for quick scan 6 days a week, then do a manual full scan once a week. It's no problem.

Download MSE here

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