Microsoft Security Essentials is rated as a good antivirus application by the independent testing laboratory Virus Bulletin, but it has been reported on The Verge that the software has failed to gain the latest certificate from the AV-TEST institute.
Should you be worried if you are using Microsoft Security Essentials?
We talked to John Hawes, Technical Consultant & Test Team Director at Virus Bulletin, and asked for his opinion about it.
While it might not be quite as good as the market leaders, Hawes says ‘it’s a decent product, given that it’s a freebie.’
‘It’s consistently shown good stability and low resource usage… Of course, it’s a fairly basic solution without many of the extra layers of protection offered by the premium suite products, so we’d expect to see it not quite matching up to them.’
Microsoft Security Essentials provides protection to people who might not otherwise install antivirus software, and it gives them a good basic level of protection. According to Hawes, without Microsoft Security Essentials, there would be many more infected PCs in the world, ‘pumping out spam, spreading infections and generally causing trouble for the rest of the world.’
In Virus Bulletin’s tests, Essentials has performed well, and hasn’t had any problems for sometime. This indicates how much work and resources Microsoft has put into their antivirus app. Hawes says Microsoft are ‘clearly thorough and careful’ with Essentials, so we can say it is a product you can trust.
So, you should be aware that Microsoft Security Essentials doesn’t offer the most powerful protection available, but it’s good for a free antivirus solution, and its fast and excellently integrated into Windows. We rated it in 2012 as the 5th best free antivirus, in a very close fought race.
If you are using Microsoft Security Essentials and are concerned you’re not getting the best protection you can, we recommend Avira Personal 2013, our top rated free anti-virus suite.