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Windows 7: MSE or Paid AV?

26 Mar 2011   #1
Windows 911

Windows 8 Pro
MSE or Paid AV?

Hello Everyone,

I just recently reformated my computer and it is running great! Right now, I am using MSE, and I love it! Practically no resource use, it's quiet, and from what I heard, a very good AV. However, my ISP is offering Norton 360 v4 for free, and I am wondering if I should use that. The only thing I am hesitant about is the resource usage. I used Norton on my old setup and sometimes it would slow my cpu down to a crawl. I have seen other threads on the forum saying that people have installed a paid AV over MSE, and found all sorts of bad things that weren't found before. Is it worth it to switch? (Also consider, my old setup had a bunch of old bloatware on it from Dell, and I never did a full reinstall when I upgraded from Vista to 7, I just used the Upgrade option.) Any experience from Norton?

Thanks guys!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


A lot of people on this forum recommend MSE. A lot of people also recommend Norton. Since they're both free, why not give Norton a try and see how your computer responds? Norton from a few years ago was a real dog and slowed systems down. Norton in the past year or two has improved greatly. Whichever one you decide to keep, I'd augment your weekly or monthly scanning with either Malwarebytes or Hitman Pro (both free.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1

If you are happy with MSE then I say stick with it. FYI, MSE is not light on resources. On any machine I have ever seen it run on, it uses over 60mb's. Norton will be lighter
My System SpecsSystem Spec

26 Mar 2011   #4
I be he

Win 7 64 premium

Add Sandboxie to your system and it wont matter what A/V you have.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2011   #5

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

Many seem to like MSE but I had problems with it so just paid my money and bought a Norton NIS 2011 3 license pack. I have no complaints so far but run Malwarebytes from time to time as a check. Malwarebytes hasn't disgraced Norton so far.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64


I have experience with both MSE and NIS2011. NIS is very good, but I found it to be a resource hog, especially at boot-up - I changed to MSE and halved my boot-up time.

In addition to MSE, I also use the paid version of Malwarebyes. Both are resident and "play nicely" with each other.

I suggest trying Norton seeing as it won't cost you, and see how you go wiith that. If you find it to be too resource hungry for your needs, you can always switch back to MSE.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2011   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Just one caution I forgot to mention in my earlier post. If you decide to try Norton, and if you later decide to uninstall it, don't try to uninstall through Control Panel > Programs and Features. Norton has a history of leaving behind partially deleted files, registry entries, etc that could prevent you from installing another anti-malware program. It's best to use the Norton Removal Tool:

Download and run the Norton Removal Tool to uninstall your Norton product | Norton Support
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2011   #8

Win 7 Ultimate SP1 x64

My experience with MSE has been good. No errors, lagness whatsoever since the 1st day i installed it. I personally would recommend it. Seeing that you have 4GB ram, i don't see a problem with that. Anyways if you're not satisfied with MSE, you could always switch to other AV.

Do add MBAM & SAS for extra protection. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2011   #9

Arch Linux 64-bit

I had an almost opposite experience. Microsoft Security Essentials 2 was the CPU hog, while Norton Internet Security 2011 only had a noticeable effect on log-in time.

I suggest installing Norton and seeing how it likes your new computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2011   #10

Windows 10 Pro x64, Arch Linux

MSE is good but it is not advanced as other AVs, it won't protect you against most online attacks and won't be a good choice if you download a lot...
Use Norton 360 since you got it for free

The new versions of Norton are light on system resources
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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