Microsoft Security Essentials still the preferred free AV?

I’ve been using Avast for quite awhile and have been happy with it, but ever since the last program update, it’s been acting funky. It seems to slowly be getting more bloated, added some feature where it rates “safety” of website (based on user feedback) even though I told it on installation to not enable that feature, and worst of all, seems to occasionally disable itself for reasons I can’t fathom.

I’m fairly certain I haven’t got a virus, and in fact the only time I’ve seen it happen is when I’ve been gaming, and I’ll quit a game and notice an “X” on my Avast icon in the systray. Mousing over it tells me my system is unsecured. Trying to manually restart the services never works, and I end up having to kill the entire program in the services menu and restart it.

Anyway, I’ve basically decided that I don’t trust Avast anymore, so I uninstalled it and put Microsoft Security Essentials on. I’m already using it on my laptop and it seems fine, but my laptop doesn’t get nearly as much use as my desktop.

I’ve heard (and read in this very forum) that MSE is a really good choice… is that still the case? Also, is there anything else I should be running? I already have assorted plugins that protect me from malware on webpages, and they have yet to let me down (knock on wood). I prefer to not have dozens of processes constantly running if I don’t need to.


Yes, and pay once (no subscription needed) for MalwareBytes Anti-Malware to have its real-time scanning.


MSE and MalwareBytes cover you. The only other thing you might consider would be an ad blocker, but I don’t bother with that, since Tom gets revenue from the ads.

You can whitelist sites for adblockers, which is what I do, so Tom still gets his revenues but random site #123981923130 won’t slam me with something.

Yes, I would consider adding Privoxy and/or Ad-Blocker to the mix. Privoxy’s nice as it’s a system-wide proxy, rather than being bound to your browser.

I will definitely check out MalwareBytes. I already have an adblocker that has a whitelist so I should be good there. I’ve not heard of Privoxy, but I’ll look into it.

In general, the set up I’ve been using has served me well, so I’ve basically swapped out Avast for MSE, so as long as it’s every bit as thorough as Avast has been, I’m comfortable.

Thanks for the feedback, all!

just be sure to whitelist mse in mbam and mbam in mse.

I’d strongly recommend using something else, I’ve twice had viruses go through a fully active MSE in the last 3 months. Using Avast again.

(I have better things to do than reinstall windows)