In the computing world, it can be dizzying trying to pick the right software for our needs. Everyone knows we need to have anti virus software loaded on our Windows work stations but trying to find the right one out of hundreds can be daunting to say the least. Luckily for us, some companies offer free alternatives that offer some of the features we are looking for. Once in a while, we actually come across a piece of software, at no cost, that works the way we would hope it works. Enter Microsoft Security Essentials, a Virus, Malware, and Spyware software package at NO COST!
“About Microsoft Security Essentials
Microsoft Security Essentials provides real-time protection for your home PC that guards against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.
Microsoft Security Essentials is a free* download from Microsoft that is simple to install, easy to use, and always kept up to date so you can be assured your PC is protected by the latest technology. It’s easy to tell if your PC is secure — when you’re green, you’re good. It’s that simple.
Microsoft Security Essentials runs quietly and efficiently in the background so that you are free to use your Windows-based PC the way you want—without interruptions or long computer wait times.”
Microsoft does something interesting here by introducing us to a product that is lightweight, effective, and best of all FREE, something Microsoft is not used to doing. We saw the first coming of this with Windows Defender and later with Windows Live OneCare (to which I still have a subscription). Unfortunately, OneCare is no longer for sale, but with the introduction of Security Essentials I am not really missing it all that much. Well, I do miss the automatic Tune-Up.
Security Essentials is a lightweight package that does some heavyweight detection and cleaning with more features than you would expect to get with a free AV solution. The interface is clean and organized with an almost minimalistic approach to the user interface. The installer weighs in at a tiny 8.6MB for the 32-bit Windows XP version, 4.3MB for the 32-bit Windows Vista / Windows 7 version, and 4.7MB for the 64-bit Windows Vista / Windows 7 version. This makes for a thumb stick approved installer for you geeks out there with family that is tight with the wallet.
The installer is straight forward with the necessary “I Accept” clicks and the normal series of “next” and “continue”. However, if you have a pirated version of Windows remember that you must pass Windows Validation to continue installation. There is always a catch to free software, eh?