A Review of Microsoft’s Windows Live OneCare

A few weeks ago, I wrote a critical blog about Windows Live One Care, an all-in-one service that includes anti-virus, antispyware, firewall, performance tune-ups, and database backup and restore.  You can run it online or download a trial version, after which time there is an annual fee.  I was irked because Microsoft is charging to protect our computers from problems they caused with buggy and unsafe code.

After ranting, I admitted that despite all that I would likely try it.  Well, I did and here’s what I found:

  • When you run the program online, a scan takes a couple of hours to complete.
  • If you want continuous protection, you need to download the trial version.
  • After the 90-day trial, a subscription is $49 a year — but is good for up to three computers (too bad I have four!)
  • The install program completely removed my existing anti-virus software and antispyware.  It was polite and asked first, but to complete the install, my only option was to grant permission.  In any event, I won’t have an easy path if I want to go back.
  • It also disabled Windows Defender and Windows Firewall.
  • It wasn’t hard to configure and there is a schedule to perform scans and updates on a regular basis, along with scan disk and defrag.
  • The only thing I haven’t yet used is the backup option.  (I think they want money first).  Since I have another backup program already paid for and running, I’m in no hurry to try out Microsoft’s version, but I will.
  • So, one program has indeed replaced six others, making the job of keeping my computers in good running condition oh so much easier.  Plus, I’ll save money, too, by paying only one fee and covering three units.

I currently have it running on my backup computer and my laptop, but am holding off on upgrading my main work computer.  After all, I have Norton Antivirus and Carbonite Backup paid up for a couple more months, so I might as well get my money’s worth.

But after that, I will go all out with Windows Live One Care, happy for a better solution, while still complaining that they are charging me for something that should be included as part of their operating system in the first place!

Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Visit to receive his newsletter, read his blog, or connect on social media.

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