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Default Microsoft Security Essentials

September 30th, 2009, 00:20
Microsoft just released the MSE:

Last year, Microsoft announced that it was halting development of its highly regarded Windows Live OneCare product …and would instead release a free anti-malware solution codenamed Morro by the end of 2009. Morro, of course, became known as Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE), and as promised it is absolutely free and available to all genuine Windows XP, Vista, and 7 users, and will come in both 32-bit and 64-bit variants (32-bit only on XP).
Check up the review here
And the MSE ranking among free anti virus programs done last month here

It is available on http://www.microsoft.com/Security_essentials/
I will try it out later. What is your impression, comment or review of the MSE?
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October 5th, 2009, 15:11
Tried for several days and one clear advantage compared to other similar programs is it run silently in the background. It won't bugging you with ads or upgrading to full version as some free anti-virus program do, not even pop up balloon noticing you that it updated spyware and virus definitions. The program seems very light of system resource.
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October 5th, 2009, 15:27
I'm not so sure about system resources. The scanning engine seems to be very slow, which is for example very noticeable when saving downloaded files or when explorer is trying to display application icons. I'm not sure about what data MSE is sending over to Microsoft, is there any info on that?

I'm still using it, however. I have the free Comodo Internet Security package, but only for its Firewall. Disabled the Antivirus part of it now because it found lots of false positives.

"Mystery is important. To know everything, to know the whole truth, is dull. There is no magic in that. Magic is not knowing, magic is wondering about what and how and where." ~ Cortez, from The Longest Journey
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October 5th, 2009, 15:33
Is there any reason not to run Avast ???
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October 6th, 2009, 08:32
Been testing it tonight on my "frankenstein" test-pc, and so far… well it's ok.

For one, it's not a real quick scanner in my opinion. The test pc is basically a windows xp install with a bunch of programs on it that i check out before installing them on a pc that matters. So it's not a lot of files to scan, 18 gb w/ 5g free to be exact, and it's still chugging away after just about 30 minutes. 2.4 ghz p4 btw, 1GB of ram, no real powerhouse but adequate

Secondly, i hit it w/ my test virus and got so-so results. I have a virus, zipped up in an archive that i use for testing purposes. Avira detects it as soon as I hook up the flash drive, and throws a complete fit if i try to even copy the folder to disk. My other recent test program, Comodo, would catch it when i tried to copy it over. MSE doesnt detect it on the attach, lets me put it on the desktop, and only when i try and unzip it does it detect.

has scheduled scanning, and appears to have system restore integration option, where it creates a restore point when it scans. Personally not a fan of restore point thing, plus it can harbor malware from an earlier time. The SpyNet thing, where it basically sends reports of it's detections sounds like a good thing, but the name is an unfortunate choice tho. Surely not going to win any fans when it comes to privacy advocates and the paranoid, naming a program of sending out information from people's computers "Spy net". Good one, fellas

The main program and it's command-line tool surprisingly do appear to be killable processes, but it does also install a service, which looks to average around 40-50k and cant be killed from task manager. You can kill it from services panel.

edit - the test wrapped up around 40 mins, and it detected pretty much every instance of the virus that I placed on the pc, zipped or not. Deleting some stuff to get it down to 10gb content on the hd, i got the second scan down to 25 mins.

My initial experiments w/ this program have me feeling like this is something that's good to use when youre dealing w/ the non-tech types, and people who just dont care about it that much, or dont already have something that they already use and are happy with. It's easy, integrates w/ windows firewall, auto updates, sys restore, and is a good background thing that very well may just leave them alone, instead of the nagging of other products. For more experienced users, the picky, and those who are already satisfied w/ their current products I dont see a reason to suddenly abandon them for MSE.

Great thing to put on tech support customers and mama samhain's pc tho..
Last edited by xSamhainx; October 6th, 2009 at 09:47.
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October 6th, 2009, 11:12
Thanks for your report, Sam. That's the thing though. While I'm not exactly computer illiterate, I have an allergy against popups of any kind. I don't want to be nagged at all. I know that anti virus scanners and stuff like regularly backups etc. are important, but I want them to be totally quiet and in the background. The slow scanning speed of MSE does disturb me because it makes some aspects of using the computer slightly sluggish, and if I change to something different again it will be for this reason (and maybe the SpyNet thing, that's indeed a very poor choice of a name).

I used to have Avira installed, but found it very annoying after a couple months, even if it's engine is apparently very good. I think I have never tried Avast or AVG but heard that one of them is too bloated and the other has the same problem as Comodo's, reporting too many false positives. Also, update speeds of two of them was supposed to be (possibly) very slow (Avira), which can be a disadvantage for zero-day threats.

I'm only talking about free anti-virus solutions, I'm not interested in the commercial equivalents, which I realize may be a lot better.

"Mystery is important. To know everything, to know the whole truth, is dull. There is no magic in that. Magic is not knowing, magic is wondering about what and how and where." ~ Cortez, from The Longest Journey
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October 6th, 2009, 11:36
I do not have any problem with Avast, very queit very fast, updates very smooth, I would recommend that one to anyone. I also ran Avira before, but too annoying with all the popups.. especially about german lottery…..
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October 6th, 2009, 15:50
my Avira experience has been of a popup asking you to buy the full version when it updates. Since I update manually, every few days or so, it's not an issue. Plus, you can also hack it disabled. Avast, Ive quite frankly never tried anything but their standalone "avast virus scanner", and it's never really detected anything. Im curious now since GG keeps talking it up.
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October 10th, 2009, 13:05
Very happy with the MSE so far. I used to have Avira installed but never used its real-time guard function, auto-update or the scheduler because I found all of that stuff to be too intrusive. I think I can safely claim to be a pretty responsible PC user so I don't really need any Fort Knox kind of protection (hopefully ). I used to manually scan downloaded files and then run a full system scan manually every few months. I've never had any serious security issues or if I did I wouldn't know because Avira never found anything.

With the arrival of the MSE I thought I'd give it a try to change my habit of not running any background processes. So now I got MSE running in the background at all times using its real-time protection and monitoring the file & programs activity on my computer. I've disabled scheduled scans. MSE is set to auto-update.

So far it's been a great experience. In the beginning it seemed like there was more hard drive activity than normal but that has stopped now (I don't know… does MSE "secretly" flag/"vaccinate" certain files on the computer?).
MSE is now doing its job exactly like I prefer it: Unobtrusive, inconspicuous, silent, without attracting any attention.
The definitions are up to date all the time but I honestly haven't even noticed when MSE updated or downloaded new definitions and I'm usually very sensitive to anything that seems to affect my system's performance.

Going to have to use it longer to make any real conclusions but so far I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a "lightweight" system protection tool.


My "test" system: Core 2 Duo E8500, 4096MB RAM, GeForce GTX 260, 640GB hard drive, Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit (with the latest service packs and updates installed).
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October 10th, 2009, 17:04
And I have actually uninstalled MSE again. I liked that it was hidden so much, but it noticeably slowed down my file downloads and other things. Well, not the actual downloading was slowed down, but the actual saving and relevant dialog windows. I think it was also responsible for locking down King's Bounty for 30 seconds or so shortly after starting the game. So in essence, while it appears very lightweight like driving on a highway with no traffic, using it feels more like cruising into occasional speed bumps with one or two brick walls thrown in.

Maybe they'll make it faster eventually, but like this it was unacceptable. Trying out Avast now …

Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
With the arrival of the MSE I thought I'd give it a try to change my habit of not running any background processes.
I changed that habit with the arrival of Win7, because it lets you chose which tray icons to show and which to hide. The bulk of background processes I don't notice at all.

I have these important resident programs running (plus two or three unimportant ones that don't matter)…
  • Comodo Internet Security (but only for its Software Firewall, Antivirus is disabled as I'm checking out other solutions — it was nice, but there were too many false positives).
  • avast! home edition (trying this out)
  • Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI; this very useful tool warns you about out-of-date and thus insecure programs on your computer. It was amazing how many old Flash versions it found that were bundled with various software packages but NOT updated by the flash installer).
  • GFI Backup - I use this for simple daily backups of my most important files (synchronization) and monthly backup of some more data
Don't know enough about avast! yet, but all of the others feel very light.

Oh, and my system: Core 2 Duo E6600, 3.25GB RAM (I think my main board doesn't allow for more, alas), GeForce 8800GTS, 2 x 500GB hard drives in Raid 0, Win7 Prof. 64-bit.

"Mystery is important. To know everything, to know the whole truth, is dull. There is no magic in that. Magic is not knowing, magic is wondering about what and how and where." ~ Cortez, from The Longest Journey
Last edited by Arhu; October 10th, 2009 at 17:37.
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October 10th, 2009, 20:45
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
And I have actually uninstalled MSE again. I liked that it was hidden so much, but it noticeably slowed down my file downloads and other things. Well, not the actual downloading was slowed down, but the actual saving and relevant dialog windows. I think it was also responsible for locking down King's Bounty for 30 seconds or so shortly after starting the game. So in essence, while it appears very lightweight like driving on a highway with no traffic, using it feels more like cruising into occasional speed bumps with one or two brick walls thrown in.
It's funny how experiences can differ because that has not been my experience at all. I've been playing Risen for many hours with MSE running in the background and it has not interfered with anything at all as far as I could tell. The little stuttering I get in Risen occasionally is probably due to the fact that I'm playing at 1920x1200 on the highest detail settings plus forcing 2x2 supersampling transparency AA via nHancer.
As I said, I don't even know when MSE auto-updates because I have not taken notice of the updates so far.

Strange. Maybe we are totally different types of users. I usually never turn on my PC and play straight away. I always check my mail first and/or surf the web. If MSE updates during that time, i.e. right after booting up, then I wouldn't notice because MSE would only use a fraction of the bandwidth I have available (I'm currently on a ~11MBit ADSL line).
And I don't know if it matters in this context but I have Vista's superfetch caching enabled because I actually want to make use of (or of as much as possible of) my 4 gigs of RAM. For the record: My system is using ~1.4GB of RAM right after booting to the desktop.

Well, I have yet to play King's Bounty (and many other games) and as I said MSE hasn't passed my long term testing yet (naturally due to the short time it's been freely available) but my first impression remains exceptionally positive. I sincerely hope it will stay like this. If not then it's no big deal either because once again as I've said I've never had any real security issues anyway . So if MSE starts getting on my nerves I'll just disable the real-time protection and go back to manual scanning.
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October 11th, 2009, 09:25
I been using DownThemAll! plug-in with Firefox didn't notice any download and saving slow-down. Maybe it happens with particular programs.
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January 16th, 2010, 13:02
So far it's been a great experience. In the beginning it seemed like there was more hard drive activity than normal but that has stopped now.I also ran Alvira before, but too annoying with all the pop-ups.. i have not problem with this.
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January 16th, 2010, 16:28
When I upgraded my Desktop PC from Vista to Win 7 I installed MSE since the Win 7 upgrade was complaining about my TremdMicro being incompatable. From what I've experienced using MSE for 3 Months is no System Intrusions, the only Popup I ever see is a reminder to do a weekly scan. No Slowness downloading files at least on a 64bit environment.

It gets my recommendation and I've worked with a lot of commercial Virus checkers.
The worst being Norton, followed by McAfee.

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