Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Windows Defender is an anti-spyware tool. Security Essentials is both an anti-virus and anti-spyware tool. You'll want both functions, but not both programs on your machine.
I use Microsoft Security Sweeper on a flash drive both at home and at work. All computers are still Windows XP. Sometimes, the screen says Microsoft Security Essentials and other times, it says Windows Defender. I forgot to check if the Windows Defender has Microsoft Security Essentials installed. Does it really matter which one shows up?
In this excerpt from Answercast #7, I discuss the functions of Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Defender and give my recommendation on which you should run.
So, I'm going to assume that you mean ... which is installed on the machine that you're scanning? Microsoft Security Sweeper should come up the same way every time.
The difference might be which of Microsoft's Security Essentials or Windows Defender is installed on the machine that you're scanning.
Windows Defender is an anti-spyware tool only. That's fine as long you have another anti-virus solution installed. Microsoft Security Essentials is both an anti-virus and anti-spyware tool that happens to also then replace Windows Defender.
So, as long as you've got both anti-virus and anti-spyware covered somehow, you're good either way. I don't really think it matters. The solution that I tend to recommend is Microsoft Security Essentials just because it's one package that works and works well. It's simple enough for most anybody to install, run, and maintain.
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