Microsoft Security Essentials review
Dire test results mean we advise you to steer clear
True to its name, Security Essentials covers only the bare basics of malware protection. You might think that means less bloat slowing down your system, but in fact Security Essentials added 13 seconds to boot time and 125MB to our system’s RAM usage, making it heavier than some fully featured suites. See also: best free antivirus 2014.
The package’s simplicity does make it easy to use. There’s pretty much nothing to configure: when malware is discovered, a pop-up gives a warning and deals with it automatically. You can check the details and unblock detected items from the main program interface.
Security Essentials updates its signature database only once a day, while many paid-for packages run to an hourly schedule. This may partly explain why it stopped only a shocking 67% of zero-day threats in AV-Test’s detection tests, and even missed 10% of more established threats. This isn’t what we’d call peace of mind.
If you’re looking for free protection, consider Avast Free Antivirus instead: it’s a more lightweight program and provides much better protection.
|Price ex VAT||£0|
|Price inc VAT||£0|
|Ease of Use rating||5|
|Features & Design||2|
|Value for Money||6|
|Software subcategory||Internet security|
Operating system support
|Operating system Windows Vista supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows XP supported?||no|
|Operating system Linux supported?||no|
|Operating system Mac OS X supported?||no|
|Other operating system support||Windows 8|