As geeks, we’re often asked for help with choosing and installing antivirus software for friends & family members. We all have our favorite “packages” and we all trade thoughts on the latest/greatest free AV offerings.
For instance, until this week I’d settled on the free version of Avira AntiVir coupled with Microsoft’s Windows Defender. Those two together seemed to do a reasonable efficient job without bogging down the system too much. The Avira “hey I updated would you liked to buy me?” daily banner can get annoying, but seemed a small price to pay for effective coverage.
However, I had been beta-testing a product for the last couple months and it was released this week: Microsoft Security Essentials. Kinda like Defender, but with antivirus coverage too. Free, low-impact and hey — no banners. What’s not to love?
It didn’t hurt that ars technica doesn’t hate it.
I’m switching the rest of my home machines over to it and plan to start working on extended family machines next week.
I should point out I don’t really expect the software to do all the work (or do it all perfectly). I also spend some time training (aka lecturing) a bit on safe browsing habits. That helps bridge the gap between antivirus/antimalware software not covering 100%.