Oct 30

First the condensed version: If you need quality, cheap(read “free”) and easy to manage Anti-Virus then download and install this – Link. With that done, here is the expanded version:

I get a lot of questions from family, friends and friends of friends on various computer/technical topics. Mostly because I either have experience on the subject and word gets around or, as some will agree, I’m just a geek and who better to ask then a geek, right? So I’ve decided to make some posts on software, hardware and anything that I can think of to regurgitate…..now on to Part 1.

One of the questions I get asked a lot is Anti-Virus software and if you don’t know what Anti-Virus software is head over to Wikipedia. One of the main reasons for me to start out this series with Anti-Virus is because Microsoft just recently released the Microsoft Security Essentials(or MSE). MSE is basically a free edition of an anti-virus program, which evolved from Windows Live OneCare and is based on their corporate version, Microsoft Forefront, which is a highly praised corporate security package.

mse_install

Now, a couple things before I go on. In the past if you were to ask me what to use, I would have recommended running down to Costco(cheapest) and buying a copy of Norton Internet Security. I have loved Norton for a while and they have been around for a long time. Except for a few versions(namely 2006 and 2007 versions), it has been a very good package of Anti-Virus and Firewall. However, with Microsoft Vista and the great firewall built in, the firewall in Norton was just kind of a bonus. And yes, there are other free Anti-Virus software out there, but I never really liked them as they seemed somewhat lacking and not easy for a noob(someone with little experience) to configure correctly.

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The software is fast and has a very light footprint, light footprint as in it doesn’t take a large amount of RAM to run so it doesn’t slow down your computer. It automatically scans your computer based on a schedule and has “Live Protection”, so if you download a bad file or one is emailed to you, then this will catch it before it has the chance to do any harm. The program has also ranked high on catching viruses as well. On the negative side, the program doesn’t come with a firewall. However, I’m a firm believer that the built-in firewall in Windows, especially Windows Vista and the new Windows 7 are great firewalls to protect your computer. Basically a firewall’s job is to block things that shouldn’t be there from getting to your computer and the Windows firewall does this well and is on by default so this is most likely protecting you now. One last issue I think that can be improved on MSE is the virus updates. Right now the updates are sent via Microsoft Updates, as this doesn’t provide “live” updates to new viruses, it does still give you the updates regularly. As this has also been noted by numerous reviews and consumers, Microsoft is usually pretty good with listening and we may see an update to MSE that may address this in the future. Oh, and watch out, the paid Anti-Virus companies are very scared right now because this program essentially puts them out of business and they will likely downplay this or make their programs even more bloated with things like online photo backup.

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I won’t go into a full review of this program, but if you would like to read more, you can visit this site, MSE review, to read an in-depth review of the program.

The program can be downloaded from here: Microsoft Security Essentials

I have some ideas for “Part 2″, but feel free to leave a comment with suggestions or what you would like some input on.

written by David \\ tags: , ,


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