Microsoft Security Essentials hard to beat

Why pay for antivirus?

Microsoft Security Essentials has protected my desktop computer from viruses, spyware and other malicious software for more than nine months. I’ve had no security problems in that time – and I’m a heavy-duty internet user spending hours online each day working in my freelance writing business.

It does the job so well, I barely notice the application. There have been a few occasions when I’ve seen warning messages, but dealing with them means a click or two and the problems go away.

Microsoft Security Essentials beats rivals

Microsoft Security Essentials is free, but that’s not the only reason I think it beats paid-for security applications from companies like Symantec.

When I first looked at Microsoft Security Essentials in October 2009, I described it as “barely there” saying the software sips system resources so sparingly there was no noticeable effect on the computer’s performance. This contrasts with  Norton Internet Security which slowed my computer down from the moment I installed the application – then proceeded to get worse over time.

Better still, Security Essentials is unobtrusive. It never gets in my way. There’s no work full stop, no set-up, no tweaking and no worrying.

In my earlier report I said I wasn’t yet certain if Security Essentials was better than Avast. Since then, I’d say the results are in, and Microsoft Security Essentials has the edge.

We’ve run Avast over the same period on one of the family computers and the applications works just fine – although there is an annoying database update message.  I’m planning to install Security Essentials on that machine too because independent tests show the Microsoft tool beats Avast on detection.