AVG Free Vs. Microsoft Security Essentials

The malady of computer viruses began as early as November 1998 when first computer virus – Morris worm was discovered. Since then to the present modern era, nobody has been able to run the computer running on Windows without adequate safeguards that are generally offered by antivirus software. After every 10 minutes a PC is getting infected by viruses or malware which highlights the requirement of antivirus program for all forms of devices and gadgets using Windows operating system (OS).

Choosing the right antivirus program from the long list of security programs is not an easy task. Companies like AVG, Kaspersky, Norton, Microsoft and others are offering advanced antivirus software to protect PC users from computer viruses. In this article we will compare two leading security suites offered by PC security giants like AVG and Microsoft.

These two security programs have been compared on the basis of various parameters such as setup convenience, work, performance and features etc. Lets look at these one-by-one.


Setup convenience

Both the Microsoft Security Essentials as well as AVG Free is free to download software for all currently used versions of Microsoft Windows OS. Security Essentials can be easily setup at PCs running on Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. The latest Windows 8 comes equipped with Windows Defender which contains all the improvements made with the Security Essentials.

AVG Free also comes with an easy to use installer which makes its setup simple. Both the security programs ask the user to run a full system scan once the download and configuration of the software gets over.

How they protect

Both of the security programs protect the system by scanning all existing files on the computer and finding match of virus definitions stored in their database. AVG has the option to add plug-ins to browsers so that the links in web pages and malicious software can be scanned. This facility has not been provided with the Microsoft Security Essentials but if installed, the Internet Explorer 10 (IE 10) will use the virus definition database and provide the same functionality.

Impact on the performance

Microsoft Security Essentials, Windows Defender and AVG Free are designed to monitor and check new files that match their list of virus definitions stored in their database. They keep on monitoring the threats constantly and protect the PC from any of these threats. The processes of these security programs consume substantial processing power and use the space in RAM. In case you are using a PC with low amount of RAM and slow processor, you may notice that the performance of the system goes down or it starts responding slower than before.

AVG 2013 has a smaller installer that has been designed to reduce the hardware footprint. So it can be said that it doesn’t affect much to the performance of the PC. At the same time, Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials disappoint the user with a considerable performance hit.


Both Microsoft Security Essentials and AVG Free are available to the users for free and offer decent protection to the PCs from viruses and malware. AVG has additional features for rootkit detection and other set of tools that can block rouge antivirus software and ransomware. These fake antivirus programs induce the user for the antivirus installation and then threaten the users to purchase the antivirus program if they want to restore their so called infected PCs to normal functioning.

Microsoft Essentials is equipped with a built-in firewall that keeps malicious mails, messages and attachments away from the PC. The firewall plays a crucial role in protecting the PC from online threats by erecting a security veil around the system.

On the basis of above discussed comparison of both AVG Free and Microsoft Essentials it can be said that both the security program have a set of useful features that can protect the system from variety of threats. Moreover, these two are available for free so even the budget-constraint users can easily avail their features without spending even a single dollar.

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AVG Free Vs. Microsoft Security Essentials
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