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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Very Awesome Tool # 2

Today I want to take a look at Microsoft Security Essentials.

In this day and age, viruses can’t be ignored.  I know some veritable IT support guys writing articles in certain PC magazines say that, if you only keep your PC up to date, you won’t have a problem, and that no problems are EVER caused by viruses.  This is NONSENSE.  I mean, it takes just one “cute little kitties”-email with a virus to disrupt your PC completely.

So in all honesty, yes, keep your PC up to date, but it’s also important to have some good anti-virus software installed.

I know some people who don’t believe that anything good can be free.  They would rather pay R300 for something that will only last them one year than to have free software installed on their PC’s.  I also know the other side of the coin; I know people who download pirated anti-virus software – I mean, how idiotic can you get?!  Those people who crack the anti-virus software, are the same people who infest every executable known to man with viruses!  So people, please don’t use pirated anti-virus software.  Definitely not when the most awesome package is free of charge anyway!

I’ve used many different packages over the years.  Starting in the DOS days I used Dr Solomon’s, and the old Norton Antivirus.  With Windows I used BitDefender, Norton, AVG, Avira AntiVir, NOD32, and a billion others I don’t care to remember the names of.  And they all have their advantages and disadvantages (yes even Norton, which has improved considerably over the last two years).


But none of these packages impressed me as much as Microsoft Security Essentials.  It is available free of charge to anyone with a legal (validated) copy of Windows (XP through to 7).  The download is very small, but then it has no virus definitions – this has to be downloaded manually or through an update after installation.  But still, it’s no larger than most of the others out there.

Two other things impressed me very much.  The first is that it has a very small memory footprint – smaller than AntiVir, AVG or BitDefender.  It hardly affects system performance, even while doing a virus scan!  It has the best performance I have ever seen in an anti-virus package.


The real clincher that set this piece of software apart from competitors in my opinion happened yesterday.  I was working on a customer’s computer, struggling to get a piece of software to install correctly.  Eventually I Googled the problem and found a blog stating that the problem was caused by viruses.  Well, the customer had an up-to-date copy of Norton 2010 installed, so I scanned.  It found three infected files.  Still the software wouldn’t install.  So I disabled Norton and installed MS Security Essentials.  Within 5 seconds after I started the scan it already found 5 infected files.  I let it continue with a full system scan, which took more than 6 hours.  I got the shock of my life – it found (and healed) over 2000 infections!  That’s AFTER a complete scan with an up-to-date Norton 2010!  Well, I restarted the PC and the software installed successfully.

So what do you have to do to get this piece of awesomeness?

I’m so glad you asked.  Simply go to this link to download it.  It will automatically install updates after installation (more than 50MB’s), or you can manually download the updates from this link (if you want to install it on multiple PC’s, for example, without downloading over 50MB’s each).

So there’s no reason NOT to be secure.  This little tool makes it simple.

Lourens, out.