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  1. #1
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    MS Security Essentials: Poor showing in new test




    LANGALIST PLUS

    MS Security Essentials: Poor showing in new test


    By Fred Langa

    Recently, a steady stream of reader mail shows concern about Microsoft's consumer antivirus software's decertification by a third-party AV testing site. It's important to put AV testing results into context before deciding whether it's time to switch security tools.


    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/langalist-plus/ms-security-essentials-poor-showing-in-new-test/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

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

  2. #2
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    It's probably time to look at building a Windows 8 safety net, especially for those of us with the home edition that doesn't seem to have reasonable backup tools.

  3. #3
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bret.miller View Post
    It's probably time to look at building a Windows 8 safety net, especially for those of us with the home edition that doesn't seem to have reasonable backup tools.
    What would your ideal safety net consist of? I would think that two of the essential elements of said safety net would be (1) a satisfactory AV product, and (2) a satisfactory backup tool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    What would your ideal safety net consist of? I would think that two of the essential elements of said safety net would be (1) a satisfactory AV product, and (2) a satisfactory backup tool.
    Well his original safety net article talked about creating a system image, backups, and a recover disc. Just wondering if there are free ways of doing that on Windows 8 Home Premium which apparently doesn't come with Windows Backup... Can't believe Microsoft would do that to home users, but then they apparently did. They do include a "Windows 7 recovery image" tool, but that refuses to work, probably because Dell includes a non-NTFS partition on the drive. Dell includes their own limited backup software which when you try to make a system image politely tells you that you must pay to upgrade the software first. In other words, it's not enough that you pay us for the computer, we want you to pay us again to protect you in case it fails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bret.miller View Post
    It's probably time to look at building a Windows 8 safety net, especially for those of us with the home edition that doesn't seem to have reasonable backup tools.
    I believe all the backup tools (reset, refresh, recimg, file history, backup/restore and system image) of Windows 8 Pro are also available in Windows 8 (non-Pro).

    I think you can even backup to a network location with Windows 8 (non-Pro), which required the Pro version of Windows 7.

    Bruce

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    You do have other free backup options: Macrium Reflect Free, EaseUS Todo Free. Maybe they will work where the native Windows 8 backup is failing.

    To be honest, after investing money in a PC, I think a few tens of dollars for software that will make sure you won't lose data or have to waste endless hours re-installing your software in case something goes wrong, is well justified, so I use a paid imaging software, Acronis True Image. The paid options for the two previous ones should work for you too.

  7. #7
    New Lounger frapper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    I use a paid imaging software, Acronis True Image.
    Ditto on Acronis. It has never failed me. I use the boot CD to make and restore my images outside of Windows (Win7).

  8. #8
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I'm still comfortable using MSE, or in the instance of Windows 8, Defender.
    It's still a lightweight and minimally invasive product, and that is what is just as important to me as high detection ratings.

    Fred is saying that the best safety net is still the guy, or gal, sitting in front of the computer making the decisions.
    So if you fancy visiting dirty Nancy, it would be highly advisable to sandbox your browser as well as maintaining a decent AV/AM product.
    You'll still not be 100% safe because the porn sites (best breading ground) play host to most of the innovative malware you're likely to encounter.

    Having a comprehensive backup regimen is NOT Microsoft's responsibility, it's 100% yours. So if you value your personal data, make it happen.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
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  10. #9
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Many folks have added the paid version of Malwarebytes on top of MSE/ WD for better proactive protections. The two programs do not conflict, by all reports. Note also that Avast Free is the first free AV product to be offered as a download from the Microsoft Online Store. This means that Microsoft believes this product to be fully compatible with Windows 8. Given Avast's very good reputation in previous Windows versions, I would trust it in Windows 8. During this week I may try installing Avast into Windows 8 Pro on my own laptop.

    But really folks, MSE/WD does still have the certification from West Coast Labs and a few other AV test labs. The AV-Test decertification is not the first time MSE has been marked down by the German testing lab for not being proactive enough in catching Zero-Day exploits through the use of predictive heuristics. How you feel about the value of Proactive Defenses has always separated those who like MSE from those who prefer something more aggressive.

    Last time this issue arose between MSE and AV-Test, Microsoft came out with a new version of MSE which become certified. I expect the same thing to happen this time around. Meanwhile, if you're concerned, consider the alternatives or enhancements I've recommended here.
    -- Bob Primak --

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    With Windows 8, it appears that Microsoft set up Windows Defender to turn off when another anti-malware app is installed. With Win XP and Win 7, I ran MSE and SAS Pro simultaneously with minimal or no conflict (occasionally MSE would show that it hadn't scanned a few days after a scan or SAS Pro would uncheck the real-time protection after an update, but I really don't know if these had anything to do with them running simulataneously). Something else about Win Defender in Win 8 is that scheduled scans and updates require the Task Scheduler rather than settings within, as with MSE. It's like they decided to take everything out of the hands of the average user.

  12. #11
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Windows Defender may not tolerate SAS, but I was discussing Malwarebytes Pro, which Susan Bradley says she uses on top of MSE in Windows 7. Whether or not this applies to Windows 8, I haven't read, but I think some Lounge folks have had this combo running since the Beta versions, without adverse impacts on WD. I use SAS Free, which does not have active antispyware features, except protecting my browser Homepage settings.
    -- Bob Primak --

  13. #12
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    I completely uninstalled SAS Pro and Comodo Firewall (free), including clearing all mentions from the registry, but Win Defender still cuts out completely in short order, anywhere from a few minutes to twenty or thirty.
    Last edited by highstream; 2012-12-30 at 23:48.

  14. #13
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highstream View Post
    I completely uninstalled SAS Pro and Comodo Firewall (free), including clearing all mentions from the registry, but Win Defender still cuts out completely in short order, anywhere from a few minutes to twenty or thirty.
    With MSE, this was only a matter of downloading and reinstalling MSE. But with WD built in, downloading and installing WD from scratch seems not to be an option in Windows 8.

    By the way, Avast 7 does work in Windows 8, and it completely replaces Windows Defender. No need to ever go back, IMHO.
    -- Bob Primak --

  15. #14
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    I chose Comodo CIS, kiept SAS Pro and put off resintalling Win 8 to find the problem for another time.

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