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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
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    TOP STORY

    The 120-day Microsoft security suite test drive


    By Fred Langa

    Frustration with most commercial antivirus suites launched a long-term, real-life test of Microsoft Security Essentials, Microsoft's free anti-malware application.

    In one of the rare extended tests outside a lab, Microsoft's software has quietly kept two Windows 7 PCs free of infections, even in dangerous public environments.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/2010/05/06/01 (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.


    Last edited by revia; 2011-01-19 at 15:47.

  2. #2
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    I have been using MSE for around three months now. It is easy to install and has provided 100% protection using very few resources. - potentially the recipe for a winner.

    My only quibble is its updating through Windows Update. There seems to be two and often three updates released daily, but although I have Windows Update set to notify me of any updates, it is tardy at doing so. (Note that I usually put my computer to sleep when I leave it and it hibernates after 2 hours.)

    I seem to be forever launching MSE and using the manual update button. I suppose I could set Windows to do this for me automatically everytime it restarts.

  3. #3
    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
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    In my experience with MSE. its updates appear in w/updates as optional with no warning that its not up to date. To make sure all was ok, I ignored them and on checking next day found MSE had been updated.
    -
    During the tests carried out by Fred Langa, he never mentioned what router or other he was using. I ran firewall tests at 'Gibson Research Corporation' with my firewall disabled and still got a 'pass' for all tests. I use a Netgear DGN2000 router.
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us!

  4. #4
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    I think my issue with this article is that it didnt sound like it was really tested in anger. I have to say that I am not a Microsoft Advocate but having seen Windows Defender to be a poor relative to other programs such as Spybot, Search and Destroy, and having seen many laptops 'protected by' Windows firewall compromised, I can't say I have a high opinion of Microsoft in the security field. Where I draw exception to the article is that we are not really in a time of high or mass security risks as in the days of Blaster or WSNPoem when malware went through businesses or organisations and brought them to their knees. My feeling would be that you should try giving one of those machines to a student, preferably an IT-illiterate chinese one, for a month or so. That would be a real test of Security Essentials.

    Rob

  5. #5
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    I, too, have been on WIN7 on a brand new machine for about 90 days & using the Microsoft Security products. It's quietly been running in the background.

  6. #6
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    I tried MSE on my new Windows 7 computer after dumping the bundled McAfee, but it seemed to slow everything down considerably. Access time for files on a flash drive was horrible and I stopped scanning a 2 GB flash drive when it wasn't done after 30 min! Got rid of MSE and went with free AntiVir and Threatfire. Everything is much more responsive now.

  7. #7
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    While Fred's "test" is interesting, I would have welcomed his doing the same thing with an unprotected PC, as a control. I've never experienced any malware in all of the years that I've had PCs and developed software. I've used Norton and am now using AVG. I've had more false alarms than I've had real attacks. I wonder how much his system was actually threatened during his test period.

    Our company sells some software that is currently being mistaken for malware by many of the PC security software systems on the market, because we use the same database manager as was selected by one of the malware authors. We need to instruct customers how to modify the behavior of their anti-malware scanners, so that our software can work properly. Black box, unconfigurable anti-malware solutions will certainly fail to be sufficient for some people.

  8. #8
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    Generally and a bit @rde@ceh.ac.uk
    and @Roderunner

    "Not in a time of high security risks..."? I am sorry but that's exactly where we are! How many home PCs of Facebook users and Farmville players have you cleaned yet?

    Almost all of my customers call themselves "computer illiterate" an many actually are.

    The absolute ease of use of MSE + Win firewall IMHO is unsurpassed. That alone makes it a #1 candidate for my customers. On top of that it's at least solid performance makes it my AV tool of choice for my customers.

    From my experiences with MSE (since August 2009!): When MSE seems to use excessive cpu (which btw I see rarely and on XP only) just re-install and it's okay! I have never seen excessive cpu on Vista or 7.

    Long scan times? No, just to the contrary if you stick with the default settings! If you want a clean base line I'd never do that with a product I want to evaluate, I would always use one, two or three different proven programs like Malwarebytes, Avira and SuperAnti or the like to do that full scan for the base line.

    Fred Langa talks about public WiFi hotspots. What's the question about the router got to do in that context? Us "professionals" seem to forget that the average home user has their computer mostly directly plugged into the DSL or cable modem. Most of my customers can not even fathom the idea of working with the router after typing 192.168.x.y.

    Dear "professionals": Please realize that the home computer "world" is completely different than the the corporate or managed office environments we may be used to!

    Just for the record: I clean about 10 different home user PCs every week - and I have 46 years of professional IT under the belt. You may call me a dinosaur but hey, them critters ruled the world for longer than humanity exists
    Eike J Heinze
    What I am about
    SE Wisconsin

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon bondy View Post
    ... I've used Norton and am now using AVG. I've had more false alarms than I've had real attacks. ...

    Our company sells some software that is currently being mistaken for malware by many of the PC security software systems on the market, because we use the same database manager as was selected by one of the malware authors. We need to instruct customers how to modify the behavior of their anti-malware scanners, so that our software can work properly. Black box, unconfigurable anti-malware solutions will certainly fail to be sufficient for some people.
    And you consider that fact to be an argument in favor of what you have used and against MSE? (edited upon request by moderator)

    Man oh man, black box is exactly what Joe Average and Granny Boo need, they can't or don't want to handle more.

    I apologize for the rant, I do that rarely but sometimes my buttons do get pushed
    Eike J Heinze
    What I am about
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  10. #10
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    hi Fred i to use MSE with Online Armor Pro & ThreatFire & a cloud base AV, Immunet (in Beta now with final coming soon) that runs along side MSE with no interference i'm happy with the combination & have found no slowdown with the machine as said in another post, looking forward to your update in coming months i'm happy with my set up thou would like to see a faster full scan with MSE as you said

  11. #11
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    Haven't seen it mentioned yet;Consumer Reports just tested Security software and Microsoft's Security Essentials was rated highly (#2 in the free anti-malware category) You have to subscribe for the complete report but the introduction is free here: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/m...view/index.htm

  12. #12
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    I'd like to see some real testing done on MCE. Wifi hotspots are hardly dangerous if 1)you dont have shared files 2)you have password protected sharing or any permissions set properly or 3)have virtually ANY firewall on default settings. Also a computer professional using a computer for daily tasks is hardly a high risk environment. It's likely that most computer professionals could run with no firewall or antivirus and get infections. Put that software on your "average user" and see if MCE stands up against malicious facebook addons, limewire downloads and free poker sites or deliberate attemps to infect the PC.

    Since 2009 we have been recommending Norton antivirus because of its easy of use, optional settings for more computer-literate customers, constant updates and extremely low resource use. by far the best pay-to-use AV on the market. Software firewalls are generally rendered obsolete if the user is behind a router because of their built in firewalls and most people are these days.
    Richard Chase
    Technical Support
    E-mail me
    Gadget's Computers

  13. #13
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    Smile

    For a while I was recommending MSE for my home-user clients, but I took it off my list when Microsoft "pulled a fast one" and slipped the installation of "Windows Activation Technology", or WAT, into several Windows 7 machines of mine where I had explicitly declined WAT in Windows Updates. This was discussed here:

    ================================================== ==============
    MSE Users: Check for Updates, Piracy — Krebs on Security
    http://krebsonsecurity.com/2010/03/m...k-for-updates/
    ...
    "It took a little digging, but here’s Microsoft’s account of what’s new in this updated version of MSE:

    The latest version of Microsoft Security Essentials includes improved messaging on the Update tab,
    improved scan reports on the Home tab, performance improvements, and enforcement of runtime
    Windows Activation Technology (WAT) in Microsoft Security Essentials.

    More here. "
    ================================================== ===============
    From the horse's mouth:
    How to upgrade Microsoft Security Essentials to the latest version
    http://support.microsoft.com/default...kb/2019198?p=1

  14. #14
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    I have been using MSE on two machines since last fall. The only quibble is that it will interrupt games to do its auto scan so the auto scan must be disabled. Also, with MSE installed I notice a delay when accessing the Start Menu (in WinXP). The menu is blanked out for more than a few seconds before the menu items display -- this even slows down restart and shutdown commands. I was using Avast and reinstalled Avast during my testing and the Start Menu problem vanished.

  15. #15
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    Just to let some know, i am a it Consultant, and the fact is that i have only two weeks ago, just fail MSE, why, a customer of mine call me up one evening i went into their office to find that the MSE protected PC is infected with a rogue Anti-spyware, security Tools to be the one, and i have a hard time of Two hours to browse the web for solutions and trying to remove the spyware, and only with the help of Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, we manage to remove it and my customer on the spot purchase a kaspersky anti-virus from me.

    So How good is MSE, is really still a question to be ask?

    thanks

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