Is Microsoft Security Essentials 4.0 A Solid Free Alternative?

Microsoft Security Essentials 4.0 is a rather mixed experience. I like the interface and the program is reasonably good at cleaning up after infections, but it’s not so good at stopping entirely new malware, and it’s scanning very slow.

The user interface of Security Essentials is quite straightforward. It is perfect if you do not want to use a lot of time fiddling with antivirus software. Microsoft’s program cleans effectively after infections: in our testing program MSE identified all active infections and disabled over 91 percent of them. It removed all traces of malware-files in 79 percent of the cases. It is better than any of the competitors in this test. In addition, Security Essentials is one of only two of the free antivirus software, which had not a single so-called false positive, in which the program by mistake identifies a legitimate file as malware.

Although Security Essentials was quite excellent in removing malware, it was not succeeding entirely in keeping away our PC free of malicious code. With the end result the program dis worse than the majority of competitors. Security Essentials does not affect system performance significantly, although the program is below average, with regard to copying files and software installation. Also with regards to Scan-speed, the program is relatively poor. On-demand scanning took three minutes and 56 seconds, which is slower than the average. Not even on-access scanner impressed with its six minutes and 43 seconds.

Microsoft Security Essentials has several good qualities, but you would be better served with some other options. PC Tools Antivirus Free is also a solid program, but it´s annoying that the program displays advertisements for the company’s paid software products.