Microsoft Security Essentials rated best free antivirus software

November 1, 2009

Microsoft Security Essentials rated best free antivirus softwareWhen Microsoft announced Microsoft Security Essentials, its new free antivirus software designed to replace Windows Live OneCare, it was treated with contempt by the vendors of both other free antivirus software and the paid-for security suites. But a recent testing of the most popular antivirus products placed MSE on a par with the paid-for products and above its free competitors.

A free antivirus product from Microsoft was touted for a year before it finally appeared. Originally codenamed Morro, MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials) was officially announced in June 2009. After a brief period of public beta testing, in which the product gained a resoundingly positive reception, it was finally released as a full product late September.

A couple of weeks later came evidence that MSE had already proved its worth, with 2.6 million people having downloaded the product and it making four million infection detections in the first week. And it isn’t just users who are impressed with the software Microsoft is offering, with a new study into the effectiveness of several antivirus products rating MSE very highly.

According to Ars Technica, AV-Comparatives tested 16 security products, both free and paid-for. The test focused on the malware removal/cleaning capabilities of the products rather than the detection and prevention capabilities.

Antivirus Results

The results, as seen above, were divided into ‘Removal of malware’ and ‘Removal of leftovers’, with the antivirus software then giving a rating based on their performance in the test.

Symantec, eScan, and Microsoft Security Essentials were the only products to get Good ratings in both categories. And those three, along with F-Secure, Kaspersky, and Bitdefender were awarded Advanced+ ratings. ESET, Sophos, AVG, McAfee, Avast, AVIRA, and Trustport were rated Advanced; Norman, and G DATA were rated as Standard; Kingsoft was Tested.

This is a great result for Microsoft because it puts MSE on a par with the best paid-for products and ahead of both paid-for and free alternatives.

Microsoft Security Essentials is still not perfect but it’s clearly a solid product that will do as good or better a job at protecting your system as a host of other security suites. Meanwhile, the beta testing program continues, with new builds continually being sent out. So Microsoft is continually looking to improve the product to keep Windows-based PCs healthy and working.

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6 Responses to “Microsoft Security Essentials rated best free antivirus software”

  1. Ralph:

    Well, though I am a Linux and XP fan. Congratulations Microsoft on doing something really good.

    I think this is even more important than the release of Windows 7. The only criticism I have, is that this should have been done Ten Years ago. But better late than never.

  2. Bert:

    Next thing you’ll find, is someone saying they have a monoply and they’re taking business from others.

  3. aquaadverse:

    The EU should put a stop to it any minute now.

  4. jonky:

    I like BitDefender and how it works on w7; no offense, all I want is to have good malware protection and a computer that isn’t slow; and I have all this with BitDefender 2010.

  5. John:

    I just had a virus infection in my system and my Norton 360 v3.0 recognized it, but left some spyware. The effect of the infection was a injection to my search engine. Anytime I did a search and clicked on any of the result links. IT would direct me to advertisement sites. I ran 2 full scans with Norton and nonthing. I then downloaded spybot search & destroy and nothing. I remmeber having windows defender before and restoring IE settings. So I downloaded and installed and as soon as it was installed, no lie. Bam it detected the spyware trojan. It did this in the first minute of installation. I the ran a full system scan and detected another spyware infection. In total I just had 2 infections. In conclusin, microsofts windows defender does a great job at detecing spyware, I’m not sure about hte whole suite, but you bet that Im going to recommend it. I have friends that use the AVG, but they are always getting their PCs infected and this program does a terrible job at detecting the infections (AVG that is) I Will try the MS suite on their PCs and see how it goes.

  6. irene:

    I was attacked by malwares that none of those programs could cure. I tried many, but not all. AVG, trend, avira, avast, spybot, microsoft, bit, and others like malwarebytes, stringer,… many … the only service that looked like was able to help was reanimator which deals with registry issues usually created by trojans or worms. Virii are nasty. These guys are nastier. Anyway, unhackme and reanimator were more effective and DrWeb was used to ascertain whether my machine was clean. At this point the Mbs of temp files being created has stabilized to 2 Mbs from 5 Mbs (system restore is turned of). Not sure if 2 Mbs of temp files (from all my users) is normal when I do a quick boot and quit sequence. Of course, I will try to ascertain that at a later time before I start using the internet as this is the raison d’etre of those malwares. Anyway, the list is good, but far from thorough and does not address what is usually a major problem for trojan sand worms (which most of these guys don’t fix well, from my experience): removal and fixing the registry. BTW, I am slowly but surely moving away from Windows and using linux to minimize issues. BTW, I believe I got these malwares by downloading free games to help a poor family learn English (3rd world country). I also made a huge mistake and downloaded them from my admin account. People, please, do not run your machine as admin (sole user of your machine). This piece of advice is worth all of those anti-virus programs help.

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