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Why pay for computer security?

by Thusemag / March 7, 2010 5:05 AM PST

I've decided to rely on the free Microsoft ("MS") Essential Security Suite, after bad experiences with two other products provided by third parties. When I talk to my more sophisticated buddies they sneer at this MS free stuff, and infer that if I knew anything at all I'd be on the non-free (or sometimes free but non-MS) system they use. When I press them for reasons on why their choice is better, the only consistent theme is that they really, really don't like MS, to the point where they'll buy an inferior product rather than let Gates "win" again by using his stuff when there is an alternative. I acknowledge that MS has dropped features from Essentials that formerly were in MS's "One Care" suite, no longer available. However, there are free ways to get things like automated backup and management of several computers for the casual user, and industrial-strength products available at commercial rates.

If your needs are covered by MS Essentials is there any non-emotional reason to pick another system? I will acknowledge that some of those systems have features that Essentials doesn't, but for me they are more featureitis than a pressing need of mine. Are all the third-party suites fated to disappear, like Netscape, or is the market broad enough for both?

And then there's the topic of why doesn't MS market Essentials more aggressively, but I suspect that question belongs on a blog on legal issues rather than this one.

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by rafe CNET staff / March 9, 2010 6:37 AM PST

I highly recommend Microsoft's Security Essentials for PCs. Paid anti-virus apps do more, but unless you're constantly engaging in reckless behavior online, MSE should be perfectly adequate. Plus I've found that it's a light user of system resources and it doesn't constantly barrage you with unnecessary warning pop-ups.

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Must not be an interesting subject, no other replys
by Thusemag / March 10, 2010 12:41 PM PST
In reply to: Use MSE

Thanks for anwering this, Rafe. After I posted it, it occurred to me that I was biting the hand of the main providers of advertising to this site, the security suite providers. I wasn't really trying to be provocative, just naive. The fact that a bunch of them haven't jumped on me indicates that no one is reading your blog yet, or else they'd rather just let this subject die.

I hope your blog succeeds. One thing you should consider is that there is no way to send email to you privately. This is a useful feature when one has a controversial topic, and wants to check with you first before springing it on the world. Most of the other writers for this site have a web-based email icon next to their bio. If I want to talk to them privately I can send things that way. I looked all over the site, but couldn't find any way to email you. I did ask one of them for a way to send email to you, but he never responded. If you get one of those icons please check for the email it gets occasionally. 'Thuse

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Advertising and email
by rafe CNET staff / March 31, 2010 7:10 AM PDT

I don't care what the advertisers think. I write for readers, not advertisers. And the advertisers know this, which is why they want to reach our readers -- because it's an environment of trust. Everyone can win. Except the scammers. And screw them.

The CNET rescue email box is It comes straight to me.

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Use another operating system which is more secure.
by white-bread / March 18, 2010 10:51 AM PDT

This means a BSD system or some other Unix derivative

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use another operating system which is more secure
by Brechan / April 25, 2010 3:05 AM PDT

Why is it that when someone asks a perfectly good (honest) question about security for their computer; that one of the first responses, is for that person to change to another O/S ?

Why should someone have to change the operating system that they're comfortable with (and have probably used since the the days of DOS), in order to have security?

All computers that are connected to the internet will (at some time) get infected, nobody is immune...doesn't matter if you're running with Windows, Mac OS.X, or Linux.

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Added Layer of Protection
by rhabdomantist / April 24, 2010 1:07 PM PDT

I dumped my Norton after MSE. Already had full version of Malwarebytes for second line of defence. Don't know if they were false positives but blocked three different websites MSE didn't, maybe MS Defender would have. Only problem I've had is several times on boot it has been disabled seemingly until it's updated. Certainly agree that it's easy on the reources compared to some of the other freeware. MS One Care is still available (XP) minus the security feature, used it two weeks ago, but if you have automatic Windows Update I assume those missing issues should be addressed.

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I have recently purchased a new HP MS225 PC with Windows 7 professional (64bit). It has Webroot Anti-Virus with Spysweeper (free for 6 months test) plus Windows Firewall, and Windows Defender. When the 6 month free Webroot App expires, I intend to go to the MS Essential Security Suite. I will "assume" this will give me "adequate" protection. But I am concerned about the interim between the Uninstall of Webroot, and the Install MSESS. How do I go about doing this whithout the danger of being "unprotected" for the time of the procedures?
Thank you for any and all assistance in this matter.

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