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Just come across this site:

www.windowssecurityessentials.net/the-shortcomings-of-microsoft-security-essentials/

It's saying that Windows Security Essentials should only be used as a secondary anti virus program. Is this true? It sounds like a legit URL and I'm not really too sure what they're trying to sell otherwise. It's also the first result returned by google when I search for "Windows Security Essentials"

I always thought having two anti virus programs running at the same time on your computer would be a bad idea as they would conflict with each other and also be bad for performance.

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It's not a legit site. 1st clue is the ads on that page to random downloads/site. The legit site is www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/ –  Windos Jul 29 '11 at 3:35
    
2nd clue is the fact that it you click on the link to the download section it tries to download a suspect exe. –  Windos Jul 29 '11 at 3:38
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2 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

That is not an official Microsoft website. The name of the product is "Microsoft Security Essentials" and this marketing page unfortunately seems to have managed to hijack the valid-looking misname "Windows Security Essentials". Also notice that the website is trying very hard to push a download that does not originate from the Microsoft Download Center, the only official place to obtain Microsoft's free software.

The advice on the website is dishonest and intended to market a shady sounding sound. In general,

  1. You should not run two antivirus programs at the same time. This frequently results in poor performance due to each accessed file being scanned multiple times, and it can also result in performance-killing loops when the two scanners think each other are suspicious (virus scanners behave in ways that look odd to other virus scanners) and attempt to scan each other's processes and file accesses repeatedly.
  2. You should not trust websites that provide downloads for a product that are not the website of the manufacturer of the product or linked to from the manufacturer. This is true in general but especially true of security software, because scam security programs are very common.

And, in specific to your question, Microsoft Security Essentials is a competent primary anti-virus program.

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The abilities of any Anti-virus can be debated since none of them are perfect. In this case, if you look at all the links at the very bottom, the site is clearly skewed against Windows Security Essentials, so I would hardly trust it. They clearly have an ax to grind, at least, and they may be up to real no good.

As far as your second point, I agree, I would not normally run two anti-virus programs simultaneously as it would indeed slow performance.

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Agreed. If you are gonna punish yourself with two concurrent antiviruses, might as well just surf the internet inside a VM. –  surfasb Jul 29 '11 at 4:14
    
@surfasb That is not a half-bad idea really. –  KCotreau Jul 29 '11 at 4:22
    
That's how I get away without an antivirus. . . Don't try this at home :) –  surfasb Jul 29 '11 at 5:29
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