Alternatives to Microsoft Security Essentials for all platforms with any license

  • Avast! Free Antivirus icon

    Avast! Free Antivirus

    The world’s most popular antivirus software. Space demand on the hard disk: 153 MB. Our avast! Free Antivirus often outperforms our competitors paid-for products and is the minimum protection anyone should have against viruses and...

    Free Mac Windows

  • Avira Antivirus icon

    Avira Antivirus

    Avira Free Antivirus offers basic protection for your computer against dangerous viruses, worms, spy-ware, trojans and costly dialers. Premium version includes MailGuard (POP3 and SMTP) and WebGuard for safe surfing.

    Free Personal Mac Windows Android

  • Clam AntiVirus icon

    Clam AntiVirus

    Clam AntiVirus is an open source (GPL) anti-virus toolkit for UNIX, designed especially for e-mail scanning on mail gateways. It provides a number of utilities including a flexible and scalable multi-threaded daemon, a command line...

    Open Source Windows Linux

  • COMODO Internet Security icon

    COMODO Internet Security

    Comodo Internet Security is a free, very voluminous and multi-layered security application that keeps hackers out and personal information in. If you prefer a smaller solution with Antivirus Protection only see...

    Freemium Windows Linux Android

  • AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition icon

    AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition

    AVG AntiVirus Free, provides basic antivirus and antispyware protection for home users. Virus database updated every day. Includes innovative LinkScanner for web-protection.

    Freemium Mac Windows Android

  • ESET NOD32 Antivirus icon

    ESET NOD32 Antivirus

    ESET NOD32 Antivirus is an innovative host-based intrusion prevention system that offers a comprehensive scanning solution. Most importantly, it will not slow down your PC, it's easy to use, and easy to install. ANTIVIRUS AND...

    Commercial Windows Linux

  • Windows Defender icon

    Windows Defender

    Windows Defender is built into Windows to help guard your PC against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software in real time. Windows Defender features Real-Time Protection, a monitoring system that recommends actions against...

    Free Windows

  • Kaspersky Anti-Virus icon

    Kaspersky Anti-Virus

    Kaspersky Anti-Virus offers protection from a range of IT threats and provides the basic tools needed to keep your PC secure. Kaspersky lets you surf the web safely and keeps your PC free of viruses, Internet and email worms, and...

    Commercial Windows

  • ClamWin icon

    ClamWin

    [Please note that ClamWin Free Antivirus does not include an on-access real-time scanner. You need to manually scan a file in order to detect a virus or spyware.] ClamWin Free Antivirus comes with an easy installer and open source...

    Open Source Windows PortableApps.com

  • Hitman Pro icon

    Hitman Pro

    Hitman Pro is an on-demand malware scanner and removal tool. It will usually do a full-system scan significantly faster than other (traditional) solutions due to its cloud-based scan technique. It does not offer a real-time component...

    Freemium Windows

  • ESET Smart Security icon

    ESET Smart Security

    A Great time online with even better technology! Safer online begins with our proven Antivirus and Antispyware. Inside you find a number of unique anti-malware technologies. Foiling web browser attacks is a job for Exploit Blocker....

    Commercial Windows

  • 360 Total Security icon

    360 Total Security

    360 Total Security offers your PC complete protection from Viruses, Trojans and other emerging threats. Whether you are shopping online, downloading files or chatting with your friends you can be sure that 360 Total Security is...

    Free Mac Windows

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  • Panda Antivirus icon

    Panda Antivirus

    Panda Antivirus offers real-world protection and a USB drive cleaner. Just install it and forget about viruses, spyware, rootkits, hackers, online fraud and identity theft. Chat, share photos and videos, bank and buy online, read...

    Freemium Windows

  • Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition icon

    Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition

    Bitdefender Free Edition uses the same virus detection engine found in other Bitdefender products. It comes with real time scanning that is called Virus Shield and an auto-scan mode that checks your system when the computer is idle....

    Free Personal Windows Linux

  • ClamTk Virus Scanner icon

    ClamTk Virus Scanner

    ClamTk is a graphical user interface (GUI) for using the Clam AntiVirus program. It is designed to be an easy-to-use, on-demand scanner for Linux systems.

    Open Source Linux

  • Dr.Web Anti-virus icon

    Dr.Web Anti-virus

    Dr.Web Anti-virus is an efficient tool for constant monitoring of system health that blocks attempts of viruses, Trojans, mail worms, spyware and other malicious programs to get into a protected system from any external source. Dr.Web...

    Commercial Mac Windows Linux Android

  • Dr.Web CureIt! icon

    Dr.Web CureIt!

    Do you have anti-virus software installed on your computer, but still worry about its effectiveness? Run Dr.Web CureIt!® (no need to install it) to quickly scan your computer and cure it of any malicious objects. How will I...

    Free Personal Windows

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  • BitDefender Antivirus Plus icon

    BitDefender Antivirus Plus

    Antivirus BitDefender - award winning virus protection software for your computer security. Protect your business and secure your PC from the latest viruses now!

    Commercial Mac Windows Linux Web / Cloud

  • COMODO Antivirus icon

    COMODO Antivirus

    Comodo Antivirus eliminates viruses, spyware, and other malware from desktops and networks. Obliterate viruses and malware without hogging your PCs resources: Detects, blocks, and destroys viruses, immediate feedback on suspicious...

    Freemium Mac Windows Linux

  • ClamXav icon

    ClamXav

    ClamXav is a virus scanner for Mac OS X. It uses the very popular Clam AntiVirus open source antivirus engine as a back end and has the ability to detect both Windows and Mac threats. ClamXav can be setup up as passive or active:...

    Commercial Mac

  • Avast! Pro Antivirus icon

    Avast! Pro Antivirus

    Avast! Pro Antivirus - better protection during web surfing. Full-featured antivirus software. Better than our free antivirus, especially for web surfing, but without the firewall and antispam included in avast! Internet Security....

    Commercial Windows

  • Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ icon

    Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+

    Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ combines the legendary Anti-spyware engine with a super fast, free Antivirus. It now features download protection (blocks malicious files before being written to disk), sandboxing (keeps unknown apps running...

    Freemium Windows

  • Baidu Antivirus icon

    Baidu Antivirus

    Baidu Antivirus is a professional antivirus and ultrafast cloud security software. Baidu Antivirus protects your computer against malware, phishing and malicious websites. Free download and permanently free in future use. Baidu...

    Free Windows

  • F-Secure Anti-Virus icon

    F-Secure Anti-Virus

    F-Secure Anti-Virus provides advanced protection against viruses, spyware intrusions and infected e-mail so you can surf the Web without worrying about security issues. Its automatic updates and powerful DeepGuard 2.0 cloud computing...

    Commercial Mac Windows

  • Sophos Antivirus icon

    Sophos Antivirus

    Sophos Antivirus offers protection for your laptops and desktops running on Windows, Mac, Linux or virtual platforms. Get everything you need in a single high-performance agent and keep your users safe without getting in the way of...

    Commercial Mac Windows Linux

  • Winpooch Watchdog icon

    Winpooch Watchdog

    Winpooch is a watchdog for Windows (2000, XP, 2003, but only 32-bits). It detects modifications in your system, so as to detect a trojan or a spyware installation. It also includes a real-time anti-virus.

    Open Source Windows

    • Discontinued As of 2008-06-13, this project is no longer under active development. Winpooch can be still downloaded from SourceForge.
  • Dr.Web LiveDisk icon

    Dr.Web LiveDisk

    Dr.Web® LiveDisk is an anti-virus solution which enables restoration of a operating system when high virus activity has rendered it inoperable. To prevent such situations, do not disregard the need to protect the operating...

    Free Windows Linux

  • Zone Alarm Antivirus icon

    Zone Alarm Antivirus

    Scan and remove viruses fast - Removes viruses others miss. Prevent Viruses before they infect your PC - Online updates mean no more worries. Free Upgrades & Online Customer Support - Stay protected all year. One-Click Fix It -...

    Commercial Windows

  • Clam Sentinel icon

    Clam Sentinel

    Clam Sentinel is a system tray application that detects file system changes and scans modified files using ClamWin . It also detects new devices (like USB flash drive) and monitors them until the...

    Open Source Windows

    • Discontinued The program is no longer updated. Last version, 1.22, released in July 2014, can be still downloaded from the official website.
  • AVG Rescue CD icon

    AVG Rescue CD

    The AVG Rescue CD is essentially a portable version of AVG Anti-Virus supplied through Linux distribution. It can be used in the form of a bootable CD or bootable USB flash drive to recover your computer when the system cannot be...

    Free Windows

  • McAfee AntiVirus Plus icon

    McAfee AntiVirus Plus

    McAfee Antivirus Plus protects your computer against viruses, malware, spyware, and other online threats. McAfee anti virus software includes virus scan, spyware removal, and firewall protection. Complete Anti-virus...

    Commercial Windows

  • Roboscan Internet Security Free icon

    Roboscan Internet Security Free

    Roboscan Internet Security is an integrated anti-malware program for protecting your computer from outside online threats. Roboscan uses two award-winning engines, the BitDefender Engine and ALYac Tera Engine, to defend your computer....

    Free Windows

  • Ashampoo Anti-Virus icon

    Ashampoo Anti-Virus

    With powerful automated real-time protection and frequent updates, Ashampoo Anti-Virus 2014 offers reliable protection against all common Internet security threats, known and unknown. And it does so in a very discrete and unobtrusive...

    Commercial Windows

  • G Data AntiVirus icon

    G Data AntiVirus

    Anti-Virus solution for protection against viruses, spyware and phishing attacks:24.95 USD; Features: Protects all communication channels (e-mail (POP3 /IMAP), instant messaging (MSN, Yahoo, AOL, etc.), protection from viruses, worms...

    Commercial Windows

Microsoft Security Essentials Comments

It's easy and fast

Positive Comment by realnabarl
about Microsoft Security Essentials Nov 2012

I don't want to config an anti-virus application a lot to make it work well so MSE is my choice.

Reply

Mixed feelings

Comment by joshas
about Microsoft Security Essentials Jul 2011

I've tested MSE on several computers for over two months - is seems to be a bit lighter on resources and interface is decent (why does every antivirus MUST have some custom interface with ludicrous colors and interface styling?).
On the other hand, to complete removing a virus from USB flash drive - you have to reboot (this is not very convenient). And finally, one of the computers caught some bogus fake antivirus malware, which somehow bypassed MSE and removed it from startup.

Reply

Real-time protection seemed to hog a lot of CPU for me (up ...

Comment by bjornhallberg
about Microsoft Security Essentials Jun 2011

Real-time protection seemed to hog a lot of CPU for me (up to 20-25% on a Q6600) while scanning. RAM usage was also high (70-80 MB).

Reply

By far the best free anti-malware program available.

Positive Comment by JonM33
about Microsoft Security Essentials and Avira Antivirus, AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition, Avast! Free Antivirus Jun 2011

By far the best free anti-malware program available. It's easy to use, a single interface, virus signatures updated daily and very light weight on system resources. I cannot recommend this highly enough. Better than AVG, Avast and Avira.
Also, this software wasn't made by Microsoft. It was made by some security software companies that Microsoft acquired.

Reply

Lightweight, ad-free, free and easy to manage

Positive Comment by Furgelnod
about Microsoft Security Essentials and Avira Antivirus, AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition Jun 2011

Lightweight, ad-free, free, and easy to manage oh, and it has rootkit protection. Frankly, Security Essentials beats AVG and Avira in my opinion, despite it being created by Microsoft (possibly the only drawback).

Reply

Fast, free, and gets out of your way.

Positive Comment by newmania
about Microsoft Security Essentials and Norton AntiVirus Jun 2011

Fast, free, and gets out of your way. It's the polar opposite of Norton/Symantec. Wonderful app.

Reply

Seems to be a decent light on the resources Anti Virus.

Comment by Elmernite
about Microsoft Security Essentials Jun 2011

Seems to be a decent light on the resources Anti Virus. If you want a whole suite of tools, this isn't for you. If you need something to put on your Grandparents computer who don't understand Anti Virus software and don't want to spend the money, then it's perfect.

Reply