Microsoft is betting big on Windows Defender for protecting users running the latest version of Windows, but the company is also recommending those who are still on Windows 7 to install its very own security product to stay secure.
And while the company doesn’t put the same effort into making its antivirus solution more efficient on Windows 7, third parties do it, and this becomes obvious when checking out the results of antivirus tests like the ones performed by AV-TEST.
While Kaspersky is currently the top antivirus on Windows 7, Microsoft’s security software is lagging behind rivals in a substantial manner, as it scored poor in all three major tests for protection, performance and usability.
Microsoft’s Security Essentials was the last but one in the tests, getting 5 points for protection, 4.5 points for performance, and just 4 points for usability. The only solution that scored worst was Comodo’s, which got an overall rating of 12.5 points due to particularly disappointing results in the performance test were it received just 1.5 points.
According to AV-TEST, Microsoft Security Essentials reached 99 percent protection against 0-day malware attacks, including web and email threats in the July testing, while the rating dropped to 97 percent a month later. Detection of widespread and prevalent malware discovered in the last 4 weeks was nearly perfect (99.8 percent), with MSE also returning 0 false warnings or blocks when visiting websites.
On the other hand, there were 13 and 15 false detection warnings of legitimate software as malware during a system scan, AV-TEST shows.
Microsoft Security Essentials slows down the system the worst when installing frequently used applications on both a standard and a high-end PC, with the testing institute determining an impact of 56 and 78 percent, respectively.
All in all, Microsoft Security Essentials is an application to avoid, the AV-TEST research shows, as the majority of well-known security products perform substantially better, including tools that are available with a free license.