I'm awfully sick of bulky security products. You know, those do-anything-anti-everything products from Symantec, McAfee and the others. Over the last 6 months, my client call volume increased dramatically with complaints of slowing computers. My customers were not be assaulted by spyware and adware. They were under assault from their trusted security vendors raising pigs - bloated anti-everything products. If you have a 3 year old PC with a 2 GHz processor and 1GB of RAM, you may find the machine nearly useless overnight due to the latest antivirus update.
So, I began a quest to find a great security product based on new criteria – it must be small and use limited system resources. As well, it must install in under 5 minutes. Anything that takes longer is such a dead giveaway that it’s bloatware. I started looking at the options and spent time with a number of products including Kaspersky, Viper from SunBelt Software, and ClamWin, an open source antivirus program. I started installing Kaspersky on a number of client PCs with good results.
However, there was a downside to this choice. Most PC users now have access to ‘free’ antivirus software from their internet service providers. Comcast and AT&T, my 2 providers, offer McAfee to their users at no additional cost. It’s quite a tempting offer until it renders your PC somewhat useless.
Now enters Microsoft to offer Microsoft Security Essentials. I have been testing the product on 4 of my PCs, and I must admit, Microsoft has done a decent job on this product. So far in my testing, I have not seen any problems. In fact, it’s proving to be a great product. I'm especially pleased with its performance on my netbook. Most netbooks are optimized for long battery life – the opposite of performance. Most antivirus suites kill any remaining performance in a netbook. But Microsoft Security Essentials' small profile is perfect for these low performance computers.
Here is what I like about Security Essentials:
- It’s readily available at no cost
- It installed very quickly
- It’s small and doesn’t have much overhead
- It installs on Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7
- It can catch most common virus and malware problems
If you are interested in trying it, you can download it here: http://www.microsoft.com/Security_Essentials. Just remember to remove your old bloated antivirus software in the add/remove programs section of the Control Panel before installing it.
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