When my sluggish 60 day trial of Norton Antivirus expired, I decided to hunt for a free antivirus program that was compatible with Windows 7 and wouldn't slow me down. Microsoft Windows Security Essentials is a free realtime, antivirus, antispyware program for computers that run Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7. This 4mb program installed quickly on my computer, and the user interface is very easy to navigate. Once installed, Microsoft Windows Security Essentials will update the virus and spyware definitions automatically, and will continue to download new definitions weekly before the next scheduled computer scan.
The first quick scan took about 10 minutes to complete while the program recorded all of the files on my computer. But the subsequent quick scan took less than a minute to complete, which is very quick compared to Norton Antivirus. In the settings, I have the option to exclude certain files to be scanned such as my .jpeg photos if I want the scanning process to complete even faster. When a suspicious file is detected, Microsoft Windows Security Essentials will alert me and tell me the level of threat to my computer, and from there, I can have the file removed, quarantined, or allowed. Microsoft Windows Security Essentials runs in the background and checks all of my downloads and e-mails for security threats. And that's really all I ever wanted or needed out of an antivirus software program: efficient, free, fast and easy to use.