This topic usually draws from the deepest of emotions from the tech field due to intense personal experiences we’ve all had. Some of us like McAfee, some swear by Norton, others by AVG or Kaspersky. Anti-virus while all moving towards the same goals, get there in completely different fashions. The following is NOT fact based in any way shape or form, so consume my views and opinions with a grain of salt. 🙂


     I have used a plethora of Anti-Virus apps in my days. Ranging from One care (/shiver) , McAfee, CA, PC-cillin, AVG, Kaspersky, Norton 360 and even the new kid on the block – Microsoft Security Essentials. Some of these apps have tried (and failed) at being an "all-in-one" solution, * cough, cough – Norton 360…Cough * and have failed miserably. I fall on the side of the fence where I would rather prefer multiple dedicated and specialized products than a single massive or suite of solutions from one provider. The McAfee and Norton’s of the industry try to do this. I feel personally they are positioning themselves to the home consumer as a silver bullet or one stop shop solution for the basic, non-tech savvy consumer. The end user feels heavily protected by all the interfaces and pop-ups and warnings… but at what cost? I’ve found these total solution style packages to be resource robbing and they themselves should come up in a scan for mal-ware! I regularly joke that Norton’s suites are a virus themselves.


     Some of the more dedicated providers may lack some of the development back end that larger companies can forego. AVG (since it’s free) and Kaspersky yes your ears should be burning by now. I have experienced they have done little to nothing on my system other than take up real estate in my notification area (system tray for you old schoolers!) So what I was looking for was a best of both scenarios between them. A free product with a big enough company to really dedicate a team and dollars to make sure the product stays relevant and up to speed with emerging threats. Microsoft my old buddy has come through! Microsoft Security Essentials.


     "Oh dear Lord, we don’t need another One Care in these parts!" Yes I too shared your lack of optimism when I heard they were coming out with a new anti-virus app, so soon after washing their hands and admittedly throwing up the white flag on the one-care product. I tested it, for about 8 hrs. It slowed my Vista box down so much I thought it was a massive tumor in the OS. has recently compiled the 5 best anti-virus apps voted by the community and guess which one was in there. MSE. AVG was in there too. Seeing a commonality amongst the top vote getters? Dedicated apps, low to no cost. Do you see any of these on the shelf at Best Buy or Wal-Mart? Um, no.


     I was part of the Microsoft Connect Beta for this product and was very early on impressed with the ease of install, config and navigation of its tools. Now that the final product is RTM and on the streets, I have been telling anyone with a spare minute about this great product. I use it exclusively on all my systems.


     One drawback… not supported on server OS’s. Sorry Charlie, you can’t have your cake and eat it too!