Microsoft Security Essentials in 2020

Product name
Microsoft Security Essentials v4.10.209.0, virus definitions v1.311.1278.0
Installation (rating)
4.00 star(s)
User interface (rating)
5.00 star(s)
Accessibility notes
The interface is the easiest one I've seen so far. You can't get lost, you have all settings in one single tab, it's perfect.
Performance (rating)
3.00 star(s)
Core Protection (rating)
3.00 star(s)
Additional Protection notes
Protection isn't that effective. For example, out of 1128 scanned elements (64 Rogue AVs, but it scans files twice etc.), it only detected 20 threats. And out of ~10K scanned elements (1K viruses), it only detected 232 of them. This is a poor/average score. We've seen way better.
    • Freeware
    • Easy to use
    • Simple and non-intrusive
    • Virus signatures are updated daily
    • Effective malware removal
    • Well designed, clear and easy to use interface
    • Features are considered too basic
    • Advanced users may want more control
    • Short on configuration options
    • Noticeable negative system impact
    • Resource intensive tasks
    • Antivirus capabilities are average at best
    • Weak protection against zero-day threats
    • Limited web protection
    • Not as many features as some competitors
    • Scans can be rather slow
Time spent using product
Reviewed over a 30-day period
Computer specs
QEMU/KVM Virtual Machine (using virt-manager) on Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS.
VM specs :
Intel Core i7 9xx Nehalem, IBRS update
Integrated graphics
Windows 7 SP1 x64
Overall rating
3.00 star(s)


Level 22
Top Poster
Sep 5, 2017
agree with the most of review but cannot consider it a stand Alone AV anymore as it was dedicated for windows 7 environment which became non supported anymore (actually it became integrated in windows defender starting from windows 8 release and keep improving as it became great in windows 10 as AV test and our geeks here testing it and develop tools to make most out of it)
so to be fair the real one should be tested is windows defender not Microsoft essential as it suitable now for legacy OS (XP/windows 7 ) which also have better alternatives)


Level 28
Top Poster
Content Creator
Feb 10, 2017
I personally wouldn't use it.
The main argument for using Defender is it's integrated into the OS but Security Essentials integrates the same as any other 3rd-party AV while lacking almost all of the features that other vendors offer for free.

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