Sunday, December 19, 2010

Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0, still best anti-malware package around

After a four-month beta program, Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) 2.0 has been released. Since its initial release MSE has been my favorite anti-malware application for Windows—it’s free, behaves well when consuming resources, and with the release of version 2.0 it now adds network filtering, and heuristic scanning.

To me, MSE has always been really good at finding and removing malware, but with the inclusion of a heuristic engine it should make it more effective in finding malware not only located within its virus definition files—as with most heuristic engines there is a risk of false positives, so make sure to inspect files before sending them off to the Null Void1. So far I haven’t had a Windows box with MSE get hit with malware, and with MSE 2.0 I feel much more confidant that my computers will remain clean.

So what are these new features?
Here’s a list of the main features in MSE 2.0:
  • Heuristic Scanning Engine: Finds malware by scanning files for certain type of attacks allowing the detection of such even though they might not be in its virus definition files.
  • Network Traffic Inspection: Monitors Network traffic allowing it to detect threats before they actually get loaded onto the computer.
  • IE Integration: By integrating into Internet Explorer it is able to block scripts before IE get to execute them. The previous version would detect such scripts only after they were written to the IE cache—this is a big plus for IE fans

Where do I get MSE 2.0?

MSE is free for Home use and small businesses with 10 PC’s or less. Larger businesses will need to look at Forefront suite. You can download MSE 2.0 from the Microsoft Download Center. If you already have MSE, it should automatically update itself.

1 Null Void:

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