Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0 was announced as the new successor to the original Security Essentials suite found on many Windows computers.? Microsoft was aiming to develop a more comprehensive piece of software that was lighter, faster and easier to use while cutting out some of the unnecessary features from the original security suite

While I was a fan of the old suite due to its integration with the Microsoft operating system, I never found it to be one of the best options out there in its class.? The new Security Essentials 2.0 however is taking Microsoft’s name in security to the top.

Microsoft designed the new free Security Essentials suite to run faster and lighter.? They took out some of the old features that caused the suite to be a bit bloated and added some new inspection engines and program integration to round out what was missing from the old package.

Some of the new features of the Essentials suite include Firewall Integration, Network Inspection and Improved Protection Engines.

Firewall Integration with the new Security Essentials pays close attention to your firewall settings.? Most users barely pay attention to their firewall or malware protection, so Microsoft took care of the need to worry by informing you if the firewall is disabled.? During the installation process, if it detects the firewall is not enabled, it will prompt you to turn it on for security reasons.? It allows for third party firewalls, so you may disable the notifications that the Windows packaged firewall is not in use without being harassed by a barrage of notices.

Network Inspection is a great feature for those users on a home or business network.? If everyone is connected to the same router and sharing files, its very possible to spread one virus from a computer to the next from the network!? Clean software that utilizes the network have holes that are targeted by viruses and malware, and patches with security updates may not be released by the software manufacture until it is too late.? Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0 helps bridge that gap by providing real time protection from network intruders.

The improved protection engines are great at handling known viruses and malware, as well as unknown viruses.? “If it barks like a dog, smells like a dog…it probably is a dog.”? Microsoft took that approach when it determined to quarantine and examined unidentified pieces of files or viruses it has never seen.? It leaves the actual decision to remove it entirely up to the user, but I like its new proactive approach.

The new Essentials package integrates with more protection for Internet Explorer.? Internet Explorer has been on the rise with the new features such as tabs, slices…etc. but the protection of internet vulnerabilities were weak.? The Security Essentials 2.0 release provides more integration to protect against Internet based threats.

Why: Why upgrade to Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0?? Not only is this product a much better protection suite than before, it’s currently one of the best out on the market.? It has become a lighter, faster and easier to use product with the same interface you remember before.

There are no fancy buttons or settings to sift through, updates are automatically updated and your system resources are left untouched!? Not only that…the download for the entire product is only 10 MB for a 64 bit version.? Oh, have I mentioned the product is free without ads.

This is a no-brainer installation for Windows PC’s everywhere.? The Security Essentials suite offers protection (32 bit only) for Windows XP and has 32 and 64 bit versions for Microsoft Vista and Microsoft Windows 7.

Some helpful links:

Download Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0

Videos on How to Install/Scan/Addressing Threats once Found

Help from FAQ’s and How To’s (such as updating definitions and databases or changing settings to customize your PC)