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Windows Live OneCare – desktop application, web safety and web scanner

October 9th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Here I am trying to explain what “OneCare” actually is. Google doesn’t have a definition for it, so I’m going to define it right here.

 OneCare™ – noun [whon-khare]: The service name for providing security and protection  facilities to Microsoft® Windows® operating systems.

The thing is, at the moment there are three different products under the “OneCare” title. These do different things and run in different ways and hopefully this quick guide will actually explain what each product does and you’ll realise that they’re all rather marvelous in each individual way.

Currently the 1.5 client version is in beta, but don’t let this fool you! Windows Live OneCare is a desktop application product of which provides you with real-time anti-virus protection, anti-spyware protection (with help from Windows Defender) as well as an advanced firewall to protect your incoming and outgoing Internet traffic. It also provides you with useful facilities such as in-built operating system protection (such as in Windows Vista, it’ll help implement and manage the advanced security features of the new platform), and tune-up services which allow you with one click to clean up unnecessary files, defrag the hard disk and scans for viruses as well.

Windows Live OneCare runs as a series of background system services, and stays in the bottom right of your screen in the notification area near your clock; it’ll either be shown as green for “good”, amber for “there’s something not quite right” and red for “oh my God something bad has happened”.

Download Windows Live OneCare (free trial, paid annual subscription)


Windows Live OneCare Family Safety Settings (the longest Windows Live service name, but sometimes just called “Family Safety”) is a web controlled, web controlling and system application. Confused? Don’t be! The parents can set up Windows Live ID’s to login with, and then their children can be added using their credentials, and then after that – the children’s Internet usage and the pages they visit can be customised by the parent in many different ways to stop them seeing what they shouldn’t see.

You can block out whole categories of websites ranging from bomb-making to pornography, to chat rooms and even web-based email services. You can block specific websites and all the subdirectories and pages from that domain – and although it’s mainly web based, only a small “client” application needs to be installed onto each computer you want your family to use. This enables you to easily turn off Family Safety for a set period of time or for good until you turn it back on using a parents password; you can also allow websites using a parents password. However the great thing about this – is that each time a child logs in then it picks up their settings and applies them immediately.

If the child doesn’t log in, they can’t use the Internet and they’ll just get an error page asking them to log in. So it’s either log in and use a limited and protected version of the Internet or don’t use it at all.

Signup for Windows Live OneCare Family Safety (beta)

The Safety Center (previously known as “Safety Scanner” has just come out of beta, and it’s a scaled down version of the Windows Live OneCare application to download, except this is free and very easy to use. Available from the website, it uses ActiveX controls to gain secure access to certain parts of your computer so that it can clean up unnecessary and temporary files, a virus scan of your selected drives, a defragment of your selected drives as well as a port scanner to ensure that your firewall is secure.

There is no strings attached – the only one is, is that once you download and install the ActiveX control which attaches itself to Internet Explorer, it means you don’t have to download and install on that computer again, enabling you to run the OneCare Safety Center immediately from the main page button.

Use the Windows Live OneCare Safety Center for free

Do hope that clears things up a little bit – if anyone wants to leave questions in form of a comment, I’d be happy to reply

Posted in Online Safety, Security, Windows Live | 5 Comments »

This entry was posted on Monday, October 9th, 2006 at 8:09 pm and is filed under Online Safety, Security, Windows Live. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

5 Responses

  1. Encarta Says:

    I have the problem to activate OneCare and always pop up the message when I Login to windows,I think need to go back previous version ,cause no activate require for previos version.

  2. Jabez Gan [MVP] Says:

    OneCare 1.5 gives me a 180 days trial. Did you do a clean removal of your previous OneCare build before installing this?

  3. Encarta Says:

    Tnanks for your reply,According the onecare team feedback at newsgroup ,they still need perpetual beta tester feedback bug for V1.1,I will continue to use
    previos beta at XP until update require,and only testing V1.5 at Vista.

  4. vista user Says:

    I have problem with activate OneCare too. Know somebody how to fix it?

  5. Patrick S Says:

    have you installed onecare previously? make sure you completely un-installed it.