Microsoft Security Essentials review

Microsoft Security Essentials, released in 2009, is quickly becoming one of the most popular malware protection security package on the market - the second most popular in the world, in fact. Microsoft Security Essentials is available for Windows XP (providing service pack 2, or higher, is installed), Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Microsoft Security Essentials - Overview

Microsoft has often been criticised for its vulnerable systems and lack of security with its products. However, Microsoft Security Essentials seem set to change that. The malware protection tool is only available for genuine Microsoft consumer products and is only available to run on up to ten computers for small businesses.

Microsoft Security Essentials can be downloaded at 9MB for 34-bit machines and 11MB for 64-bit; as well as being quite a small download, the programme doesn't take up a significant amount of CPU when running in the background and doesn't slow down any normal PC functions, which can often be a problem with Microsoft's other recommended malware protection programmes (e.g. McAfee or problems with beta service packs).

The malware protection programme is available for free and offers a number of different scan levels - basic, quick scans which are recommended when you're using your PC and should be ran at least once a week, deep full computer scans for all files, folders and directories which benefit being ran every month and customisable scans for removable drives and other devices, which can be ran at your discretion.

The programme initially runs a quick check on your system for any malware and runs a weekly scan, but the programme interfering with normal PC function it's recommended schedule scans when your computer will be switched on but not in use.


  • Microsoft Security Essentials is small, relatively easy to download software and free.
  • Regular updates from Microsoft, unobtrusive and keeps CPU usage to a minimum.
  • Ability to choose how much CPU the programme uses.


  • Customers need to join Active Protection Service to receive real time protection which is not required from other competitive malware protection programmes.
  • No browser integration except for Internet Explorer.
  • No default setting to automatically scan removable drives.

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