While Microsoft is busy improving the built-in antivirus capabilities of Windows 8, Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0 continues to be an excellent choice for customers looking for a free and basic security solution.
MSE 2.0 was certified by AV-Test.org in the latest series of benchmarks which involved Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1), and a total of 25 products, from suites to free AV.
Microsoft Security Essentials scored 11 out of a possible 18 points, and delivered a satisfactory performance, especially when compared to paid security suites.
“During July and August 2011 we continuously evaluated 25 home user security products using their default settings. We always used the most current publicly-available version of all products for the testing,” AV-Test said.
“They were allowed to update themselves at any time and query their in-the-cloud services. We focused on realistic test scenarios and challenged the products against real-world threats. Products had to demonstrate their capabilities using all components and protection layers.”
In terms of usability, MSE 2.0 had one of the highest scores, consistent with UX delivered by the free antivirus from Microsoft. With a score of 5.0, Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0 is on par with Avast: Free AntiVirus 6.0, Panda: Internet Security 2012, Kaspersky: Internet Security 2012, F-Secure: Internet Security 2011, ESET: Smart Security 4.2, Trend Micro: Titanium Internet Security 2011, Symantec: Norton Internet Security 2011, and AVG: Internet Security 10.0.
Usability wise, only SecurityCoverage: SecureIT Plus 2011, Panda: Cloud Antivirus Free 2012, AVG: Anti-Virus Free Edition 10.0, and BitDefender: Internet Security 2011 & 2012 scored higher than MSE 2.0.
When it comes down to Protection, Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0 scored just 2.5 points, the same as Total Defense (CA): Internet Security Suite 2011, placing in the last five products.
Kaspersky: Internet Security 2012 with 6.0 and BitDefender: Internet Security 2011 & 2012 also with 6.0 with top scores offer the best security to end users, according to AV-Test.
Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0’s repair capabilities were also quite modest, with a score of only 3.5, compared to F-Secure: Internet Security 2011, Panda: Internet Security 2012 and BitDefender: Internet Security 2011 & 2012 which all scored 5.0.
Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) 2.1 is available for download here.