Microsoft’s free solution, Security Essentials, is a mere 4.7MB download at most, and installation is straightforward and painless. However, it seems that Security Essentials doesn’t feature many of the features other suites consider to be ‘essential’, such as parental controls and system tune-up tools.
Pros: It’s a free and very small download.
Cons: Malware detection and removal fairly mediocre in comparison to other suites. It lacks many of the more advanced functions and some of those taken for granted in other security solutions.
Verdict: It’s much better than no security at all and it’s at the perfect price. But Microsoft Security Essentials simply can’t compete with the dedicated security-suite developers that have been doing it for years.