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14 May, 2012

You Don't Have to Pay For Antivirus on Windows

About 2 weeks ago, my antivirus subscription (Kaspersky) of 3 years expired. It has served me well over these past years of keeping viruses or malwares out of my Windows system. Then came the question:

Should I, or should I not, continue with the subscription?

After some thoughts, I decided to discontinue renewing my Kaspersky antivirus license and here's why.

I Wanted To Try Out A Free Alternative
Sure, Kaspersky is a good antivirus program. But it is not free. It's about 30 AUD per PC per year if you get the 3 PCs license for 2 years (Kaspersky Internet Security 2012).

For me, that is money I don't really need to spend on.

Prior to the license's expiration, I came across a LifeHacker article that listed Microsoft's own antivirus solution as the best antivirus app for Windows. It is called Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE). Best of all, it is free.

People don't know what they don't know.

And before that, I don't know that Microsoft have its own free antivirus offering. I have tried the free AVG antivirus years before but the user experience is not satisfactory.

Being listed by LifeHacker as the best really tells you something about the app. It means a peace of mind. You can't go wrong with their recommendations. So it is decided.

Microsoft Security Essentials Screenshot

The Experience Has Been Good So Far
It is simple to use and unlike the McAfee antivirus (13 months) that came with my Dell Inspiron 1420, it is lightweight. So it is responsive. Another big plus.

Another reason that lead me to stop paying for antivirus programs is that I simply don't download questionable files. There is a big chance of that pre-release copy of the latest movie/drama/anime/music/video game that you get from a torrent being infected with a virus. So I stay away from them. In fact, I can't remember when is the last time I downloaded a movie.

Plus, I can always scan for virus with an online scanner like VirusTotal before installing/opening a file.

Summary
  • Free
  • Simple
  • Lightweight—its installation file is only 9.81 MB
  • Responsive
  • Rated Advance+ by AV-Comparatives

What are you waiting for? It can be downloaded at windows.microsoft.com/mse.

What about you? Have you used MSE before? Let's hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Additional resource:
http://www.av-comparatives.org/en/comparativesreviews/summary-reports