Microsoft Security Essential Free Antivirus

Can someone explain if the Microsoft Security Essential Free Antivirus is really working and can protect my PC.

Many friends say that works and it' sufficient to stop viruses and spyware many other told me that I need to pay McAffe or Symantec to have a valid product ?

Which way should I go?

Does anyone use the Free Microsoft Essential Antivirus ? and Can tell me if it is really enough to protect a PC ?

Thank you
ItaliabellaAsked:
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RizzleConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I would advise you to download and use AVG Anti-Virus, AVG also have a product called AVG-Internet Security which has protected me for over 3 years with no infections.

The free version of AVG can be downloaded here http://free.avg.com/gb-en/homepage

I never really trusted MS Security products!

Also you can use AVG Internet Security 2015 which is their paid version for a trial period of 30 days to see if you like it or not.
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aadihConnect With a Mentor Commented:
MSE will do if you practice safe browsing as a habit.  Otherwise, a free antivirus program is needed. They are: avast, avg, avira ...  I recommend Avira or Panda (cloud-based, hence low on resources).

Enjoy safe surfing.
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John HurstConnect With a Mentor Business Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I agree with the above. I have MSE on my virtual machines and it works very well.

ALL Anti-Virus solutions (ALL of them) are rear-guard applications that protect AFTER zero day exploits have surfaced.  

Your best defense against viruses is strong common sense. In this light, MSE is fine. If it is updating, it is working.
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bominthuConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I use Microsoft Security Essentials. In Windows 8 , it is renamed as Windows Defender .

I have tested Microsoft Security Essential with various type of Virus, it really protects.

Of course Mcafee and Symantec is also good. The difference is it can centrally manage like pushing client installation, pushing policy globally from Admin console.

For protecting PC, Symantec, Mcafee, MS Essential works the same way. If you don't need management features as mentioned above, just go for Microsoft Security Essentials.

No Antivirus in the world can protect your PC 100 % . It is just for preventive measure .
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Joe Winograd, EE Fellow 2017, MVE 2016, MVE 2015Connect With a Mentor DeveloperCommented:
Hi Italiabella,

I don't consider myself to be an anti-virus expert, so take this as just one EE member's opinion. I use MSE and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) on my computers and I think they have done a good job. MBAM comes in a Free version and a Premium version. I use the latter, which is not free, but provides real-time protection, which the Free version does not.

I think the more important aspect of not getting infected is to employ safe computing practices. For me, that means essentially three things — do not open an email attachment (unless I can determine that it is absolutely safe), do not click on a link in an email (unless I can determine that it is absolutely safe), and do not visit an unknown website (unless I can determine that it is absolutely safe).

As I was about to send this, I noticed John's comment about "common sense". It reminded me of a recent "Ask Leo!" newsletter with an article that attempted to define "common sense"
http://askleo.com/just-what-is-common-sense/

It's not comprehensive, but it's a worthwhile read. Regards, Joe
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ItaliabellaAuthor Commented:
Ok, I have received a lot of great info, Thank you everyone.

I feel comfortable to keep using MSE and once in a while I will run Malware bytes.

Thank you again.
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ItaliabellaAuthor Commented:
I forgot I have many friends that are also using AVG and they are ok with that product too :)
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Thomas Zucker-ScharffSystems AnalystCommented:
I'll second all of Joe's comments. I also use a combination of MBAM Pro, MSE, winpatrol plus, an alternate hosts file, and chrome browser. Now the last item.  Chrome just recently saved my computer when my wife, while using or home laptop, clicked on a link in an email from a person she knew but whose account had been hacked. Chrome stopped the resulting page from loading due to the malware contained therein. A perfect example of the need for user training (btw, she knows not to click on any links in an email but does so anyway).
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ItaliabellaAuthor Commented:
Thank you Thomas I will make treasure of your worlds...
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Thomas Zucker-ScharffSystems AnalystCommented:
The alternate hosts file is MVPS hosts at http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm.
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