Antivirus: Is MSE still a top option? Any supplemental software you can recommend?

I think the subject pretty much says it all.

I am wondering if Microsoft Security Essentials has been supplanted by anything better and if there are any holes that might be patched with other (preferably free or very low-cost) solutions. I am willing to run manual scans on my computers when necessary, it doesn't have to have scheduled scanning or anything fancy like that.

MSE is still very good and it's what I recommend to most of my customers. It's not top dog right now but it's still relatively light and has very good accuracy for a free product. I have a couple of clients who prefer the new version of Avast and while it's UI still drives me mad, it's also very good and much improved from previous versions. For commercial products, Kaspersky Internet Security has been pretty awesome for a few years now. We're looking at it's enterprise product to roll out at work. If you can stomach some hardcore tech stuff, AV Comparatives does some fantastic, independent reviews of everything on both performance and accuracy.

MSE is still the best free option as far as I'm concerned. Official stats show it isn't the best choice for catching every virus. However, I'm not exactly visiting sketchy sites all day long (only in the evenings), and any time I try one of the higher-rated alternatives, the increased intrusiveness and gigantic leap in false positives turns me off of keeping them.

and gigantic leap in false positives

That is MSE's #1 feature. It has the absolute lowest false positive rate of any AV that AV-Comparatives tests (in fact, the false positive test score was: 0. No false positives, only AV tested where that was true).

MSE has an awesome false positive rate, and achieves it legitimately (not by just ignoring lots of bad stuff).

I use MSE at home and we switched to Kaspersky at work. A few click-happy employees made us move to the more aggressive protection and more robust cleaning tools in the Enterprise suite Kaspersky offers. MSE was just a little too happy to quietly allow destructive programs to run once a user had unwittingly clicked an Okay button.

I used to put MSE on all my friends and families computers, until my father in law was able to get malware with it not once, but twice. I switched him over to avast and haven't had any problems since.

I've read a lot of places that recommend Malwarebytes to pair up with MSE for a pretty tight AV and anti-malware combo. That's what I'm running on my 2 computers at home.

Carlbear95 wrote:

I've read a lot of places that recommend Malwarebytes to pair up with MSE for a pretty tight AV and anti-malware combo. That's what I'm running on my 2 computers at home.

I just came here to suggest this. Keep MSE updated, and run Malwarebytes every couple weeks just on general principles, particularly if you have kids who have a penchant for going to manga/anime websites.

momgamer wrote:
Carlbear95 wrote:

I've read a lot of places that recommend Malwarebytes to pair up with MSE for a pretty tight AV and anti-malware combo. That's what I'm running on my 2 computers at home.

I just came here to suggest this. Keep MSE updated, and run Malwarebytes every couple weeks just on general principles, particularly if you have kids who have a penchant for going to manga/anime websites.

Yep that's my system, and has been for a while now. Not the anime kids part of course.

I run MSE with a monthly Spybot scan. Old habits die hard but I think I have Malwarebytes waiting in the wings as well.

Avast and Spybot paired for me, which has been my setup for years now, and I haven't had anything nasty since.

Spybot won me over when it found a WoW keylogger on my computer before anything serious happened.