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Windows 7 / Windows Vista
Microsoft Security Essentials is a suite of programs that includes anti-virus, firewall and anti-spyware protection all wrapped up into one software package. This free program offers features and an ease of use that are superior to many commercially available security products. Here's a brief look at the packages' main features.
Installation couldn't be easier; simply following the install wizard's prompts will get you up and running in no time. The software can - and should - be set to automatically update itself daily, so that it remains current with any new potential threats. Beyond that, it simply sits in the background doing its job. The term "set-it-and-forget-it" could have been coined just for it.
The anti-virus features are robust, yet take up noticeably fewer computer system resources whilst running. This is an important consideration, even with today's more powerful computers. Anti-virus software is often one of the heaviest drainers of computer memory and can discernibly slow performance in many cases.
There are different levels of scanning that can be done, either manually or automatically. "Quick Scan" is just that. It's a relatively fast check of the system's core operating system, program files and user documents. It's noticeably quicker than many other AV programs, including most paid versions currently available.
Ne advised, though, that running a custom or complete system scan can tie up you computer for several hours. The thoroughness of the process is great, and is still faster than other software out there. However,there's no denying that it's a time-consuming one.
The firewall component adds a new layer of network protection and integrates smoothly into the built-in Windows firewall. Many under-the-hood tweaks have been made to ensure frustration for any would-be web-based hacker. Likewise the anti-spyware component works in the background, quickly and efficiently analyzing threats in real-time.