Security Essentials comparrison to other Free Antivirus

     I have not been able to find any comparisons of how Microsoft Security Essentials stacks up to other free downloads - i.e. Avira, Avast, etc. Is it because it is Microsoft or what? I have had good results with Microsoft Security Essentials.

     I have a 1+ year old Toshiba Satellite L745 Laptop with Windows 7 that came with McAfee in it & it (McAfee) created several problems & program conflicts as well as I got a Virus because of McAfee & the Toshiba Technician suggested I remove the McAfee Antivirus Program. As I have Security Essentials in 2 older desktops & had gotten along very well with it I installed it in the Laptop. 

    I have not had any real problems until about 3 days ago & got a really nasty Virus that completely locked up the Computer. I took it to a local computer service company that removed it (took most of the day) but they removed Security Essentials & put in Avast Free Antivirus, CCleanr & Malwarebyte which they felt from Consumer Reports was the best Free Antivirus. 


I'm not employed by Microsoft and have no interest in defending MSE other than to try and answer your question. 

No antimalware program can provide 100% protection. All AV vendors (whether free or paid versions) fight a constant battle to stay ahead of the authors of malware and keep their databases updated and current...some of the malware is programmed to change every few minutes to help it avoid detection.  And we sometimes receive complaints on these forums regarding failure of other AV programs to adequately protect computers…see these threads:, and MSE is not perfect but it seems to be doing as good a job against malware as any of the AV programs.

Antimalware Products

See the following compliments of quietman7: Choosing an Anti-Virus Program


Your computer tech recommended Avast.  There is really no need to change unless Avast is causing problems.  I think Avast is a good program but the ads wanting you to upgrade to their paid product can be annoying - but at least Avast Free is a good alternative to a paid product that may not work any better than Avast, AVG, Avira or MSE.


MVP Consumer Security 2014-2016
Windows Insider MVP 2016-2018

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Last updated January 21, 2019 Views 2,428 Applies to: