Microsoft Security Essentials (beta)
This is set-it-and-forget-it software that handles the basic dangers, but doesn't try to compete with big-boy security suites
- Free, easy to use, none of the software bloat and slow performance that bedevilled OneCare
- Still only in beta, yet to be put through its paces by antivirus labs
Microsoft Security Essentials — even in beta form — appears to be a success. It's exceedingly simple to use, takes up few system resources and doesn't cost anything. Those who want fuller-featured security suites that do backups and other functions, or who want to be able to tweak their protection levels in more detail, will look elsewhere.
How safe does it keep you?
Until Security Essentials is put through its paces by antivirus labs, there's no definitive way to know how it stacks up against other applications. However, it shares the same engine and signatures as other Microsoft anti-malware products, including OneCare, the enterprise-focused Forefront and the monthly Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool. Therefore, looking at how OneCare compares should give some kind of guidance.
In its earliest days, OneCare did not perform impressively in anti-malware tests, but over time that has changed. It now ranks near the top of security software, according to the independent AV-Comparatives website. The site regularly tests antivirus tools, and its latest tests of 16 applications, done in May, ranks OneCare as only one of three tools given the top Advanced+ designation (the other two were Kaspersky and ESET NOD32). It also tied for second place for its proactive detection of new malware and was the only software rated as giving very few false alarms.
The bottom line
In its reviewer's guide, the Microsoft says that "a surprising number of consumer PCs remain unprotected" against malware, although it offers no numbers. There are several reasons that consumers don't protect themselves, according to Microsoft. They are confused by the trial offers that come pre-installed on their PCs and by annual subscription fees. Heavy security suites slow down PCs and so people don't want to use them. Finally, some people simply aren't willing to pay for security.
Microsoft also notes that in "emerging markets," credit isn't always easy to come by, and so people can't pay for annual subscriptions using credit cards the way they do in countries such as the United States.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung's Galaxy Alpha review: A peek into the Galaxy S6
- 2 Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro hybrid Ultrabook
- 3 Bose SoundLink on-ear Bluetooth headphones
- 4 Apple iPhone 6 Plus: An in depth review
- 5 Medion Akoya P2214T (MD99430) hybrid laptop
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- Why is Microsoft updating Windows PCs for a security bug on the server?
- Prices for 4K monitors sink below $500
- Apple's $450 million e-books settlement gets final approval
- Reports: EU taking first step towards breaking up Google
- US man sentenced for hacking POS systems at Subway
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTChief Information Officer - CSIROACT
- FTSEO Content ExecutiveVIC
- CCWeb / Mobile Developer - Magento - HTML5, CSS - Excellent CMS SkillsNSW
- CCStrategic Partner ManagerNSW
- FTMarketing Solutions ManagerNSW
- FTStudio Design ManagerVIC
- FTPartnership Manager - MediaNSW
- CCTech Support | IT Services Firm - Ad hoc Projects - Port Augusta / Whyalla AreaSA
- CCTech Support | IT Services Firm - Ad hoc Projects - Echuca AreaVIC
- FTDigital Account ManagerNSW
- FTProgram Manager - Integration & SolutionsNSW
- FTAccount ExecutiveNSW
- FTStudio Design ManagerVIC