Spybot and Microsoft Security Essentials
I'm waiting for my new laptop to arrive (I'll be using it to supplement my desktop PC, not to replace it) and in the meantime exploring the security measures I might put on it. Of course I want to put Spybot on it but I'm entitled to a free upgrade to Windows 7, and I want to ask if there is anything special I need to know or do about Spybot and Windows 7.
Also, Microsoft is eliminating Windows Defender and replacing it with Microsoft Security Essentials. I was on their website the other day, and from the way the forum officials describe it, it looks like MSE is very aggressive about being in sole charge of the computer's security. Not only do they warn you against having two antivirus programs running at the same time, I even found a post recommending against using something like Spybot on an on-demand basis!
On my PC I've been running Norton 360 alongside Spybot with resident SDHelper and TeaTimer (but not Immunize) since I bought it in December -- without any problems or conflicts. I use Windows Defender on-demand as a third layer of defense. On my new laptop I can keep the same setup, except for replacing Defender which apparently they're getting rid of, but I am loath to rely on just one program as the MSE folks want.
What's the view like from this side of the mountain? Can I run Spybot alongside Microsoft Security Essentials, or is MSE so selfish and demanding that I should just stay away from it?
Last edited by JorgeA; 2009-10-15 at 18:18.
Reason: changed reply notification rule
I will preface this by stating that I am a Moderator and frequent poster on the Answers Forums for Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE). I have been involved with Spybot Search and Destroy since about 2003 and Windows Defender, Windows OneCare and MSE since their respective public beta releases.
Like many others using Spybot Search and Destroy, you mis-understand the reasoning behind the recommendations made in the Microsoft Security Essentials forums. These are not 'requirements' nor are they even absolutes, but they reflect the level of support you can expect from the Microsoft Answers forums and in fact to some extent Microsoft themselves relating to running multiple real-time security with MSE.
The reason is simple, cost of support for a product being given away entirely free. There is no conspiracy to deny competitors a fair shake or even attempt to make products not interoperate properly. However, that said there is no specific attempt to design MSE to interact perfectly with any third-party security products, since that could be difficult if not impossible in some cases, expecially other antivirus products which are known to conflict.
The reason for the specific recommendation to disable all other real-time anti-malware applications is simple, user confusion. When something is detected by one security application it's highly likely it may also be detected by the other. Unfortunately, though the two programs may be able to withstand this situation, the typical PC user often isn't, especially where children are involved. MSE is specifically designed with quiet, simple operation in mind for exactly these kinds of users, so having another application causing additional pop-ups about the same event can remove this advantage.
So if you should choose to leave Spybot Search and Destroy installed and especially if you continue to use Teatimer, do not expect aid from the MSE Answers forums. Instead, come here and see how others are faring with the same issues and determine if what you have is a conflict or simply your own confusion. Also remember that you can easily turn off the Spybot Search and Destroy protection to determine where the problem might lie. Then, if a true conflict is discovered it will be up to Patrick and the Spybot Search and Destroy team to determine if the problem is theirs to fix or they need to contact MSE development to discuss it.
Just please realize that this isn't a war, though it can easily turn into one. MSE is specifically designed for the typical home user who has no understanding of security and doesn't wish to, so it automates and removes much of the knowledge required by other more user dependent tools. The fact that more technical users find it to be effective is testament to its design, but leads to situations like what we're discussing here.
So just don't expect any direct support from the MSE Forums/Microsoft if you use both, come here for that since this is where those using both actually congregate.
Thank you for your post, but I'm still looking for answers to my questions, which were, in a nutshell:
1) Is there anything special I need to know or do with respect to Spybot and the upcoming Windows 7?
2) Can I use Spybot (either with TeaTimer, or at least without it on an on-demand basis) smoothly with Microsoft Security Essentials?
(As an aside, Norton 360 works alongside Spybot without a hitch, at least for me. And Defender does fine for me as an on-demand third line of defense for those times when I've ended up on a dubious website.)
To the above two questions I might now add a third one, which is:
3) When I install Windows 7, will MSE be installed as part of the process, or can I skip the MSE installation altogether (and if so, how)?
Thank you in advance for your help.
1. See the following thread for discussions of Windows 7 compatibility:
Test Windows 7 compatibility
2. You should be able to use Spybot S&D as an on demand scanner without incident. I know of no specific problems using Teatimer with MSE, but I have not tested it as I avoid using them together on a daily basis. I use Spybot S&D as a tool and for systems which don't support MSE, so I would use Spybot S&D to attempt removal on any infected system no matter what else was installed.
3. This is really a question for the MSE forums, but to reduce confusion I'll answer here. Windows Defender still ships installed on Windows 7 as it did with Vista. MSE should disable Defender when it is installed since it includes the same antispyware database, so it replaces that function.
MSE will not be shipped installed with Windows 7, it is a separate download as Defender was with Windows XP.
Originally Posted by bitman
Thank you for all the information. This is exactly what I was looking for.