Microsoft’s free new anti-virus / anti-malware realtime scanner is now available as a free download. Installing MSE, a traditional signature-based scanner, alongside IE8’s URL Reputation-based SmartScreen Filter yields comprehensive protection to help keep your computers safe from malicious software.

There are a few things I like about MSE over other scanners:

  1. You won’t see advertisements trying to “upsell” you to a professional version.
  2. You won’t see “scareware” style warnings trying to convince you that MSE is providing value-- “oh my gosh, we found a cookie! Panic!”
  3. Signature updates are free—there’s no “subscription” that will expire and leave you unprotected.
  4. The product doesn’t install a bunch of 3rd party toolbars or other such nonsense— unfortunately, a common business model for other “free” products.

The product has been getting some great reviews.  I’ll definitely be installing this on my parent’s computer the next time I’m home.  :-)

-Eric