Update: Unfortunately, since version 2 was released, Malwarebytes is no longer working properly. In fact I have seen on several computers where it is messing up other programs, including my clients’ online file backup software. I am recommending that Malwarebytes be uninstalled. The security software we now use and recommend is here.
I have been recommending AVG antivirus since 2004. A couple of weeks ago, AVG introduced the 2011 version of their free program. I downloaded and installed it with no problem, and I installed it on some of the laptops that I sell. In last Monday’s Computer Tip blog post, I recommended getting it.
Then I started hearing from some people that installed AVG 2011. Some were having a problem with the computer locking up after the installation was complete. Others, like me, had no problem. But I don’t really want to recommend a program that works for some and not others – especially since having an antivirus program is not optional, it’s required.
In researching alternatives, I kept hearing about one particular program: Microsoft Security Essentials. Tech friends, and trusted sources in the tech industry, told me pretty consistently that they liked it and it worked well. And like our previous choice, Microsoft Security Essentials is free.
So I installed it on a few computers, including mine, and used it for a few days. Here are some things I found that I like about it:
1. It is a small download
2. It is easy to install
3. It is easy to configure
Rather than type out a step-by-step tutorial here, I created a screencast video that shows how to install Microsoft Security Essentials, and how I configured mine. You might want to click to view it full screen; the detail is not all that great.
You can get MSE here: www.microsoft.com/security_essentials.
One thing to keep in mind: get MSE downloaded, installed and updated before you uninstall AVG (or whatever antivirus you are currently using). You might get a warning during the MSE installation that it’s not good to have 2 antivirus programs installed (which is true), but continue with the installation because the last step in the overall process is to uninstall your current antivirus software.
Also, I highly recommend that you use MSE in conjunction with a good antispyware program. The one I have had very good experience with is Malwarebytes. The paid version is just $24.95 (one time, not a subscription) and it runs all the time in the background to keep the bad stuff out (watch my Malwarebytes video review).
Questions, comments, etc – please put them in a comment below rather than emailing me directly. That way, everyone else can benefit from the information.