Microsoft Security Essentials – Free Anti-Virus software that just works

Don’t kid yourself – we all need anti-virus software – and it would really help if it was free. Right?

In fact, I tend not to be too bothered about the “free” bit. What is important to me, is to simply get the best product for the job – and if it is free, that helps. 🙂

So why would you want this?

Well, trust me – everyone needs anti-virus software in order to protect your PC from the cretins out there and if you don’t think you need it – then good luck, you are on your own …..

I tend to find that most people ask me what Anti-Virus software to use when their existing licence runs out. You know how it is. You buy a new PC. It comes pre-loaded with Norton, AVG, Kaspersky or whatever – but the licence only lasts so long before it runs out and it is nagging you for money – and that’s reasonable, because these folks do a great job, but they can’t afford to do it for free.

So, how come that Microsoft can give this away for free – and is it any good?

Yes.

spyware protection

Microsoft Security Essentials is really the consumer version of the anti-virus software that they sell to Enterprise clients – so once it is written, and paid for by commercial users, Microsoft might as well spread the love (which they do quite a lot – despite what Apple fans may have you believe).

So, it is free and has a good pedigree – but is it any good?

Yes.

It is as good as all the other products out there – for one simple reason that not a lot of people know about:

Microsoft have a huge security division who work with security services that you have heard of and probably some that you haven’t and telemetry collected from their products distributed all over the world. Each time Microsoft collects evidence of a new virus, they update their antivirus software to detect that new virus AND put that virus and detection info in a large database that Microsoft share with the world by giving free access to all the major anti-virus vendors like, yes, you guessed it, Norton, AVG, Kaspersky etc. This is called the Microsoft Active Protections Program and you can read all about it by clicking the link.

So, this Microsoft Security Essentials is free and works as well as other anti-virus products out there – anything else I should know?

Yes.

The reason that I like it, is that it is “fire and forget”. That is, once you install it, it doesn’t do nagging pop-up messages that it needs to be updated or “why not buy the pro version” blah, blah, blah …. Microsoft Security Essentials just gets on with the job and updates its virus info at least once a day (as far as I can tell). That is why I find it really great for installing on the PC’s of folk that treat you like their own personal IT support team. You know who I am talking about – your Mum, your Dad, Aunties, Uncles and old uncle Tom Cobley and all.

Imagine a world where they don’t ring you up to ask what this funny pop up message asking about a “pro subscription” is all about…. trust me, Microsoft Security Essentials is your friend.

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