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Microsoft Security Essentials version 2.0 is out

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) version 2.0 is out of Beta after about 4 months.  It is a big upgrade and it is free to folks with a legitimate copy of Windows 7, Vista or Windows XP.  Microsoft improved the heuristic scanning engine and there is integration with the Windows Firewall.  For Windows 7 and Vista there is network traffic inspection.

Some of MSE’s popularity is due to the unobtrusive way that it protects your PC.  It quietly and effectively does its job while many other antivirus products constantly interrupt with warnings and unnecessary notifications.  MSE doesn’t bog your PC down like other bloated security products (Norton, McAfee, etc.).  Now MSE is more effective.

The network inspection feature inspects traffic as you browse using features built into Windows 7 and Vista.  Windows XP doesn’t have this so that feature is not available in MSE for XP.  Previously MSE detected malicious web scripts after they downloaded — probably too late.

So if you get a new PC for Christmas, get MSE.  Uninstall whatever antivirus software that comes with the PC (most of the time it is only a trial version anyway).

MSE is free for home users.  It is also free for small businesses (10 PC’s or less).  Microsoft has the Forefront Suite for larger companies.

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