PC Tonic > Windows > PC Security > 2 Reasons Why You Might Want To Ditch MS Security Essentials, And Why Shouldn’t

2 Reasons Why You Might Want To Ditch MS Security Essentials, And Why Shouldn’t

mse Combined with a capable firewall, Microsoft Security Essentials is currently the best and most hassle-free solution available for Windows. If you don’t agree with me, one of us is a monkeynut.

However, it has a few quirks (two, to be specific) that may drive you to using another security tool (a cracked Kaspersky or Norton, maybe?). So we’ll see what these two quirks are, and why you should rather ignore them and keep using this awesome tool.

#1 Revoltingly long first update

Microsoft Security Essentials takes a ridiculous amount of time to update for the first time (just after you install it). On a slow connection, it can be as long as an hour or more! Since future updates are all automatic and silent, this is likely the only time you’re gonna notice the update, and naturally you feel pissed off. People assume it’s always gonna take that long to update (which would be outrageous), and uninstall it without thinking twice. This is not true. The subsequent updates are small and fast as any other antimalware program. So why the gigantic first update? Lets see.

You must have noticed that the MSE installer is surprisingly small (about 8 MB) as compared to other antimalware tools. However, this is because the installer simply installs the core MSE program. Absolutely nothing that’ll protect your computer – the scanner, real-time engine and the malware definitions – come with this installer. After MSE is installed, it downloads and adds these components during the first update. Hence the huge, long update. The solution is just to be patient the first time.

Also, you can simply minimize or close the MSE window when its updating without stopping the update itself, and let it do its job.

#2 Revoltingly long time to remove malware

If you’ve ever been in a situation where MSE detects anything over 10 infections on an external drive or something, you must be knowing it takes just too much time to wipe those out. Most other antimalware that I’ve used suspend/quarantine/kill malware in a matter of seconds. But MSE will often take more than just a few minutes to get the task done. Sometimes it can take upto 20 minutes, or might pretend to just plain hang (while it clearly hasn’t). This can lead you to falsely assume that MSE can’t remove malware effectively.

Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about it. For now. Remember that MSE is still very young (not even a year old, to be exact) and the upcoming version 2 might very well take care of this issue. For the time being, just put MSE in the background, leave it to do its job, and get back to your own work. Be assured that it will remove the malware it detects, no matter how long.

————

MSE is a really, really good security product that doesn’t deserve to be ditched for these minor quirks. If you’re currently paying for your PC security, you should seriously stop now and get MSE instead. Lifehacker tries to explain why.

  • Anas

    i really am feeling pissed of updating it
    but i’ll wait to check it out

  • Anas

    i really am feeling pissed of updating it
    but i’ll wait to check it out

  • http://www.kirk-f.com Kirk F.

    Still updating….lol. Glad Ifoudn this post, or else I was thinking of chucking it into the Recycle BIn.

    Regards,
    http://www.kirk-f.com

  • Lord Nishant

    Glad i found this post, i was getting pissed off really bad. I just hope that the next time it updates it dosent take as long as the first, because if it does I will trash it and use my old Vipre AntiVirus.

    • http://ashutoshmishra.org/ Ashutosh Mishra

      It won’t take this long everytime. But then, I have also heard good things about Vipre. :)

    • http://ashutoshmishra.org/ Ashutosh Mishra

      It won’t take this long everytime. But then, I have also heard good things about Vipre. :)

  • guest

    My MSE started the scan at 11:29 last night and it just finished the scan-nearly 10 hours later!

  • guest

    My MSE started the scan at 11:29 last night and it just finished the scan-nearly 10 hours later!

  • Jo J

    Glad I found this post – a question however. Your opening statement says “Combined with a capable firewall” – what would you consider a capable firewall?  I’m in the process of trying to streamline my pc by getting rid of mcafee which has been a resource-pig for far too long. We do alot of online gaming so is there anything else security-wise you would recommend?

    (I’m now sitting about 1/4 of the way through the MSE first update after 45 mins with broadband connection – I very nearly cancelled so thanks again! )

    • http://ashutoshmishra.org/ Ashutosh Mishra

      A capable firewall is something which provides effective inbound and outbound protection – basically it checks everything that’s coming into and going out of your computer through the Internet, and blocks anything that it deems suspicious. Since Windows 7′s firewall does that and it is turned on by default (unless McAfee turned it off), I don’t see any reason for using something else. Of course, you can try ZoneAlarm’s free firewall if you want more control and flexibility, but it’s mostly unnecessary. Lastly, you should use WOT in your browser so that you can be warned of shady websites. :)

      As per that MSE update thing, it’s very annoying and I really hope that Microsoft will fix it in the next version. 

  • Jo J

    Glad I found this post – a question however. Your opening statement says “Combined with a capable firewall” – what would you consider a capable firewall?  I’m in the process of trying to streamline my pc by getting rid of mcafee which has been a resource-pig for far too long. We do alot of online gaming so is there anything else security-wise you would recommend?

    (I’m now sitting about 1/4 of the way through the MSE first update after 45 mins with broadband connection – I very nearly cancelled so thanks again! )

    • http://ashutoshmishra.org/ Ashutosh Mishra

      A capable firewall is something which provides effective inbound and outbound protection – basically it checks everything that’s coming into and going out of your computer through the Internet, and blocks anything that it deems suspicious. Since Windows 7′s firewall does that and it is turned on by default (unless McAfee turned it off), I don’t see any reason for using something else. Of course, you can try ZoneAlarm’s free firewall if you want more control and flexibility, but it’s mostly unnecessary. Lastly, you should use WOT in your browser so that you can be warned of shady websites. :)

      As per that MSE update thing, it’s very annoying and I really hope that Microsoft will fix it in the next version. 

  • Lane

    Microsoft Security Essentials also takes a long time for a full system scan.

  • userJ

    The issue of the software hanging while attempting to remove (or even allow) suspicious software is borderline unacceptable considering the company that produced the software.
    I’ve also noticed that on Win 7 pro 64bit that sleep/hybernation is not canceled by scan activity, thus half an hour into a scan, my system will do the normal partial shutdown for power saving, and the scan will pause. I’m sure there are work-arounds for this, but it’s something people might want to look into if it appears to be taking abnormally long to do a full scan.
    Outside those problems the software is pretty much invisible, which I like.

    • http://ashutoshmishra.org/ Ashutosh Mishra

      Honestly, MSE (Windows Defender on Windows 8) is barely decent these days. Its detection rates have gone down the drain, and all it does is provide basic inbuilt security in Windows 8. I have personally switched to Avast!, which is both light on system resources and very effective at catching malware.

  • userJ

    The issue of the software hanging while attempting to remove (or even allow) suspicious software is borderline unacceptable considering the company that produced the software.
    I’ve also noticed that on Win 7 pro 64bit that sleep/hybernation is not canceled by scan activity, thus half an hour into a scan, my system will do the normal partial shutdown for power saving, and the scan will pause. I’m sure there are work-arounds for this, but it’s something people might want to look into if it appears to be taking abnormally long to do a full scan.
    Outside those problems the software is pretty much invisible, which I like.

    • http://ashutoshmishra.org/ Ashutosh Mishra

      Honestly, MSE (Windows Defender on Windows 8) is barely decent these days. Its detection rates have gone down the drain, and all it does is provide basic inbuilt security in Windows 8. I have personally switched to Avast!, which is both light on system resources and very effective at catching malware.

PC Tonic | 2014 Frontier Theme