MSE 2.0 released with heuristics, network inspection

By on December 17, 2010, 5:29 PM
Microsoft has released a new version of its popular free antivirus software, Microsoft Security Essentials. The update adds several features that enhance MSE's offering as a complete security package, including heuristics, network traffic inspection, and improved integration with existing Windows software.

Download shortcuts: Windows XP, Windows Vista/7 32-bit, Windows Vista/7 64-bit.

Instead of relying on a virus database for detections, MSE 2.0 has a heuristic engine that can detect previously undocumented malware, so you're safer against new variants. It's worth noting that this is often a double-edged sword, as heuristic technologies can also increase the likelihood of false positives.

MSE 2.0's network inspection feature is as straightforward as it sounds: it watches for suspicious traffic and protects your system from network-based attacks. Unfortunately, this isn't available for Windows XP users as it requires the Windows Filtering Platform in Windows Vista and Windows 7.


Microsoft has also improved the way MSE works with other Windows software. The application is better at protecting IE users from Web-based exploits such malicious scripts. Additionally, the MSE installer prompts users to enable the Windows Firewall, which can now be configured from within the antivirus.

MSE is arguably the best free antivirus available for Windows and it remains free for both home users and small businesses with 10 computers or less. Enterprises can look forward to the new Forefront suite, which utilizes the same engine is MSE and should be available for volume licensing customers in January.




User Comments: 19

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TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

LOL...I've been in the IT industry for about a thousand years and this is the first time I've ever heard of a "heuristic engine." Had to look it up.

PaulWuzHere PaulWuzHere said:

TomSEA said:

LOL...I've been in the IT industry for about a thousand years and this is the first time I've ever heard of a "heuristic engine." Had to look it up.

Doesn't Nod32 use the same tech?

j05hh j05hh said:

never heard of the term either.. lol

Guest said:

Oh no....Hope this isn't becoming bloatware..I don't want everything...Just an antivirus thank you

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

The first time i read about heuristics was with Avira and NOD32 a few years ago. I don't personally remember seeing many false positives from personal and a k-12 environment. Avast! 5 uses heuristic analysis for email. I have no real complaints about Avast! free but I'll be giving MSE 2.0 a shot.

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Guest said:

Heuristics have been around for a while. It is mostly used to detect small changes to a virus. Used nod32 for a good amount of time while it had it and didn't have a problem with false positives.

fpsgamerJR62 said:

I tried version 1.0 for a while before switching to Avast. It's quite good actually. Now with version 2.0 available, Windows users no longer have a reason to run their PCs with antivirus protection. I wonder how much version 2.0 of MSE will impact system performance. MSE 1.0 was recommended by some writers as being ideal for gamers due to its light impact on system performance.

Jibberish18 said:

I've known about Heuristics for a while now. I THINK the first time I found out about it and had to look up what it was on the net was when I installed NOD32 about 3 years ago.

Puiu Puiu said:

I believe only kaspersky is better than this. I've worked with almost all of the important ones and i can say that my order is:

1. kaspersky (not free)

2.mse

3.avast

4. the rest.

HaMsTeYr HaMsTeYr said:

A lot of good Virus engines uses Heuristics based detection, to detect new viruses not in the database, so saying that its some MS mumbo jumbo isn't true, plenty of AV's have it.

Its interesting to see MS have such a good AV, reducing the need to pay for external software. I use MSE and Comodo Firewall on most of my machines, Ultimate Free protection if you ask me

Guest said:

'Symantec Endpoint Protection' and the older 'Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition' have heuristic scanning options (Bloodhound heuristic virus detection)

Off-course neither of these are free...

So if you have Windows Vista or Windows 7, then MSE 2.0 with the new features is a pretty good option

supertech supertech said:

TomSEA said:

LOL...I've been in the IT industry for about a thousand years and this is the first time I've ever heard of a "heuristic engine." Had to look it up.

What IT industry are you in? Are you doing IT support?

Heuristic engines have been in use for many years now due to ever changing threats and the need to be caught before they can cause serious damage.

Symantec uses the Bloodhouse (TM) engine which is one of the best out there.

Ahmed90 Ahmed90 said:

MSE is really good for advanced (careful) users who know whats going around in there PC and know how to be safe online

TJGeezer said:

I wrote about shareware when John McAfee was still driving around in his VW, trying to convince corporations he visited that viruses were a problem that was about to get much bigger. He'd show them an infection in their system, and they sometimes accused him of introducing it himself to sell his software. As I recall it took about 10 years for the corporate world to admit the new idea and not much longer for some corporate empire builder to buy the name and the tech so McAfee himself could go off to... Tahiti or wherever he went from there. No idea if the corporate world is where TomSEA has been supplying tech, but that might account for his not hearing of heuristic AV engines before now. Symantec/Norton has had it for years.

Guest said:

I first looked up "heuristics" when I started using Malwarebytes.

Lurker101 said:

You say it isn't available for XP yet still provide an XP download shortcut?

Guest said:

There are many that have this functionality antivirus: AVG, Avast, Avira, Comodo, PC Tools... even products like Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware ... is not new ... and all these can be found for free.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Lurker101 said:

You say it isn't available for XP yet still provide an XP download shortcut?

The program itself is available, with one feature non-functioning on XP. Reposted for your convenience:

MSE 2.0's network inspection feature is as straightforward as it sounds: it watches for suspicious traffic and protects your system from network-based attacks. Unfortunately, this isn't available for Windows XP users as it requires the Windows Filtering Platform in Windows Vista and Windows 7.

jgvmx said:

Good news, i hope MS improved speed a little. Not that it was slow to begin with, but certainly the overall system performance felt a little more sluggish than with other products like Avira and Avast, at least in the machines where i have tried it.

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