Windows Observer: Protect Your PC for Free

Note from PC Pitstop: We recently asked our TechTalk contributors to recommend a favorite FREE application or tool that they currently use. This post is the response from Windows Observer.

Protect Your PC for Free

By Richard Hay for Windows Observer

There is a saying that nothing in life is free however, I do believe that there are some very good free software programs that you should use on your system to help maintain it, keep it free of malware and viruses and even provide technical support to family and friends.

There are of course many other free offerings out there but these recommendations are based on a very personal experience the application.

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) by Microsoft

This recommendation should come as no surprise to anyone who is a regular reader of this site or listener to the Observed Tech PODCAST.

I started using MSE when it was first offered as a beta from Microsoft and have been using it ever since on all of the PC’s in our home. In all of that time we have not once suffered an infection or malware attack. Now it is not the sole job of the software to keep us free of those types of infections either. The gray matter that resides between your mouse finger and what you see on the screen is a very big part of keeping your system clean and free of infections and attacks. You must have good computing habits across the board. And yes, on a couple of occasions when my own gray matter has not been properly engaged, MSE has caught things for me and kept the system free of viruses/malware.

MSE can be downloaded from Microsoft at and is available for systems running Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

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14 thoughts on “Windows Observer: Protect Your PC for Free”

  1. Errol Sgt Maj USMC ret

    MSE has very little impact on performance which is good and one of the reasons why I switched. However, it’s ability to detect, block and clean threats is awful. Since switching from Avira, I have been caught twice over a 6 week period. Luckily, I was able to recover w some luck and cleverness. I’m switching back. I don’t understand anyone recommending MSE and maintain how important it is to protect your PC.

  2. We have used MSE on all our computers at home since it came out and it has always performed as promised. It operates itself and has kept our computers running clean and smooth. Great product!

  3. MSE is free; however, it relies solely on signatures. It has no behavior blocker, and it updates infrequently (through windows update). That being said, it is the simplest "set it and forget it" antivirus out there. If you are going to use this, I would pair it with Malwarebytes Antimalware Pro. It does have a behavior-blocker.

  4. Harold Orndorff

    My son put me on to this a couple of years ago. I use it on several PCs, and it works flawlessly.

  5. Desmond R. Call

    I ran the Protect Your PC for Free and was impressed with the speed. However, when I tried to use the fix all portion I got a sceen that provided purchase options. That is not free and your hype is missleading. I was not really surprised for I understand there are very few worthwhile programs for free. I am quite willing to pay for programs that I want but I resent being lied to.

  6. yeah, mse allowed an infected website to hijack (using ‘FakeSysUtility’ that auto installed) my entire machine without so much as a bleep. you get what you pay for.
    in desperation I got PCTools software running on my equipment. problem fixed, stayed fixed.
    the FakeSysUtility hijack became fixed by mse update/fix about 4 – 6 weeks later.

  7. I just recently switched to Mse, cause I got tired of the stupid pop ups that avira antivir is doing these days. I glad to see its working well for you. I hope to have the same success down the road with it. A couple of years ago I had a issue that caused my computers protection programs to not work, and all I had access was online versions of programs, and that's when I first came acrossed microsofts earlier version (microsoft one care) of security essentials. The online version saved my ass and fixed the infection.

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