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Why The Bad Rap On Norton?


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#1 mightyvh

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 10:12 AM

Hi everybody, Ok I came to the bc from a diesel truck forum and it didn't take long to realize discussing AV/spyware choices here is quite similar to discussing oil choices over there. However as I'm new, I'm hopeful that you'll grant me some latitude in most likely asking a repeat question. So here goes.... there seems to be a general (maybe I should say genuine) dislike of Norton products here at bc. Is it more of a case of "why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free"? Or, as I have seen mentioned, a resource issues (I would be interested in a better explanation of the resource issue). For me, we have a number of computers in the household, half have Norton Int Sec and the others have McAfee's version. I also have installed various anti spyware programs on the computers but sticking to the AV. In all the years we have had computers, we have had only one instance that I know about. That was a porn redirect on our browser that Norton (at least stated) did away with instantly. Now, only being able to compare the two software(Norton & Mcafee), they both appear about the same although Norton seems to do a better job of blocking advertisements. Anyway never mind the new guy thing, I've spent enough time in off topic (you call it speak easy) so I no longer have any feelings to hurt. However, if you do hate Norton, I am hoping that it is for a actual reason and not "I once had a buddy w/ Norton installed and his dog died, etc etc......so let all those pent up anti Norton feelings out and I'm sure we'll all feel better...... thanks, Bill
I like my Dell Latitude w/ XP PRO but I love my Duramax

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#2 I_am_CanadianEh?

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 10:53 AM

Hello Bill and welcome to BC! :flowers:

I anticipate this is going to be a hot topic with many opinions (or rants) being put forth.

We know how much muscle Norton has in the Comp. Security industry. Just go to Best Buy, Staples, whatever and look through the software section. Regular, everyday people that don't know a lot about computers but know they need one in the typical home just take what is offered to them (in this case, an entire rack of Norton Antivirus at your BestBuy store), open up their wallets, take the product home, install it and feel secure that this software will take care of all their problems with viruses, spyware, etc.

Now, I would guess that Norton is on the majority of home & business computer systems throughout the world (I don't know the hard facts on this, but I'm just guessing), so with this many people using it on a very wide range of computer systems there is bound to be more critisism over it. Ever wonder why Microsoft gets so much critisism? They are HUGE! Also, speaking of security, Windows XP came out just before the big "malware strorm". Back before the XP release, an antivirus solution was pretty much all you needed to be secure. MS took a huge hit in exploits, security holes etc. Since the majority of computers around the world run Windows, the hackers have learned how it works, exploited all their vulnerabilities and made MS look really "bad".

Back to Norton
I think the main reason people knock Norton is that it is far more sophisticated than smaller antivirus programs (bloated). Also, it has been known to be very difficult to uninstall, depending on which version you have and whatever else you have on your system. Logic tells me that you would only want to uninstall a program for 2 reasons: 1) You are upgrading and that version is not compatible. 2) You dislike the product or it has given you problems. Logic also tells me that if 1 person complains and 9 others praise, then you can feel pretty confident that the product is good. However, with so many complaints out there on Norton, the complaints become very genuine and their is a real issue with the product's performance and "playing nice" with the user and computer resources. But, as I said, a big name is hard to knock down so Norton just keeps on the top as far as marketing share is concerned. I also think that with any large company, people just want to knock them....I think it's just human nature, IMO.

I am NOT a Norton user, since I am quite happy with other security apps that don't give me any issues. If it ain't broke, why fix it? Personally, I use McAfee and never had problems with it. But, it is also criticized by a lot of users. I also have a very new computer....and I'll bet you that the majority of the complaints come from users who have older computer systems (2 or more years) and using the latest software that is intented for newer machines. Eg: Try running Spy Sweeper 5.0 on an old machine, it will slow your computer to a crawl....but it's an excellent product and runs fine on newer machines.

That's my 2 cents. :thumbsup:

#3 mightyvh

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 12:46 PM

Thank you for the comments, I probably should have stated the reason for why I have Norton. That is exactly what you said, It was pre-installed on my machine (same with the ones that have McAfee) and I just stuck with them dutifully paying my dues each year. I have always shied away from freeware just because I had this feeling you get what you pay for. If something bad happened, you know...."well what were you thinking dummy, it was free". That said, AV or spyware software is kind of one of those items that we pay for (well except those running freeware of course) that as long as nothing happens "why its the best dang product on the market". However, once one issue occurs though, its rating can change rapidly (wether it was maintained or not). It wasn't until, I hooked up with bc that I really started seeing the bad press about Norton but not necessarily the why. Even though I use a computer daily, I am no expert on its inner secrets. Having a product that not only works but one that does not require me to live next door to Grinler to operate is what I need. No offense intended Grinler there was alot of admiration in that statement . As you said about Microsoft, when you are at the top of the food chain, you are going to be target. And if that is Norton's real issue I can live with that. But if there are legitimate issues with performance, results, etc. I want to make an informed choice. Just as with any company, Norton isn't going to broadcast that info, they probably wouldn't even say sorry if something bad happened. As I am no computer expert, I can't really tell if my good luck is due to something I'm doing right or just luck so I don't wish to change just because. Thanks Guys and Girls.....

On Edit: I hope my comments about freeware will not be misinterpreted as a slam. It is my own lack of knowledge in that regard and I didn't realize what was avilable until finding this site.

Edited by mightyvh, 02 May 2007 - 02:25 PM.

I like my Dell Latitude w/ XP PRO but I love my Duramax

#4 Jesse Bassett

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 06:41 PM

I am one of the few that uses Norton. Personally, its the best out there in Computer Security. I have tried literally all of the free security programs and none compares to Norton. Norton Internet Security in particular is a great software piece. The 2007 version is an improvement over the earlier versions. Its not a resource hog anymore and scans a lot faster than before.

Just my two cents,
Jesse
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 l McAfee Total Protection l Super AntiSpyware Free Edition l AdAware SE Personal l Spyware Blaster l Spyware Guard l Safe Eyes 2007

#5 oldf@rt

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 06:59 PM

I have been one of those who dont like norton and mcafee, for the moment. That could change at any time, depending on the independent reviews of various Security products. I think the reasons I dont like them are well founded.

1. The products are bloated, and slow down systems.

2. Both products must use special uninstall programs just to completely clear the leftovers.

3. Inadequate protection, Both programs have major issues with removal of detected malware.

4. Excessively long times to scan: Over one hour for a 36 gig Raid 5 array, only 65% used. Bitdefender scanned the same array in 31 min, and detected and removed virii that norton and mcafee missed. Kapersky Scanned in 17 min and detected nothing additional.

5. Every customer unit that I work on that has malware problems, always seems to be using norton or mcafee.

Of course, I always try to use the top rated programs, If norton or mcafee regain that level I will go back.
The name says it all -- 59 and holding permanently

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#6 BlackSpyder

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 07:30 PM

Im a former user of Norton. To ask why Norton or Mcafee have bad reps the answer is easy. If hackers and malware/virus/spyware designers want to get the most done with their little hijinks then the obvious thing to do is avoid being detected by the most used anti-whatever software. Those are Norton and Mcafee as they come pre- installed on DELL, eMachine, HP, and almost every other major manufactured PC and alot of people (like my mom) are willing to pay the dues and use these programs since they came on their PC. I hated uninstalling Norton and ended up having to Re-install Windows Xp because of it.

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#7 I_am_CanadianEh?

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 07:46 PM

Mightyvh,

There is a dedicated topic on Bleeping Computer on "How to Remove your Norton Products"....go figure and you be the judge. Find it here:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/34671/how-to-remove-your-norton-products/

You should try some of the other utilities mentioned on this site. You can find a wealth of information here including many useful tutorials. Also, don't be afraid of freeware, many of these programs are just as good, some even better than the paid versions. Take a look here:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic3616.html

Have fun, you'll learn a lot from this site.
:thumbsup:

#8 Pandy

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 09:16 PM

My own experience with Norton was not pleasant. My new Dell computer came with Norton. As a beginner it seemed great. Then after about 4 months or so my IE would not open anymore. It lagged. I had no idea what to do. I was lucky to find help. I personally feel.. at the time Norton did not update often enough. It was very difficult to remove it from my computer. The only good thing I can say about Norton was that it was an INTENSE learning experience for me. I did learn alot. I am no expert on Malware so I tend to listen to those people I have come to know and trust over time.. here at BC and elsewhere too. Most don't have any respect for Norton.

I use AVG Free for my antivirus, I use Kerio for my firewall. I use SpywareBlaster and Spybot Search and Destroy and Adaware SE for spyware prevention and removal. I am happy to say that the Spyware tools I have are rather redundant right now. I feel safe on the internet with what I have protecting me. My most used tool is Atribune's ATF Cleaner.

Edited by Pandy, 02 May 2007 - 09:18 PM.

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#9 Globe Roamer Jeff

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 02:02 AM

Why the bad rap on Norton?

I am a recent defector from the Norton camp. I think Norton's 'bad rap' comes mainly from Norton being unresponsive to "paying customer's" individual needs and because they have tried to be the "be all, do all, end all" security company.

I think, too, Norton and Micro$oft spend more time in bed together than we may ever know anything about. By that I mean Micro$oft saw Norton as the golden haired boy when it came to computer security mainly because Norton was one of the 'originals' when it came to developing programs to protect Micro$soft's vulnerable OS. The two may have had some issues, but generally Norton got a lot of especial consideration from Micro$oft particularly when it came to placing Norton alongside Micro$oft on new retail machines.

I used Norton Internet Security for years and years. Only once, back in '00, did I ever have a problem. Somehow a dialer program made it's way onto my system and when it activated upon reboot Norton couldn't get rid of it. Perhaps I did something wrong during the removal process. It was my first, and knock on wood, last infection and I ended up reinstalling Win98 / Norton and continuing on. In '06 I upgraded NIS 2003 to NIS 2006 and continued on quite happily until just recently. Generally speaking I think Norton is a very good, all around security program. NIS includes features that I didn't use, but it was nice having them there if I ever did have the need for them. Program updates and database updates always went smoothly and without a problem. Norton was that easy to use.

In the past when it was time for me to renew my subscription or upgrade my product Norton always covered both my machines with the one renewal or subscription. This year was different. I ordered a renewal and it took me ages to figure out how to install it to my computer. That never happened before. Norton has no forum or on-line help desk where one can get a simple question answered in a timely fashion. The user has to root around through pages and pages of fancy script searching for the answer and this can be very, very time consuming. Once Norton has "cashed your check" you are on your own. Good Luck!

The icing on the cake was when I fired up my second machine and went to apply the renewal. Norton told me that subscription key had already been used and I should purchase another. So without word of warning Norton changed the way they had done business with me in the past. I commenced packing my bags to leave. I immediately downloaded the free stuff, blew Norton off this machine, which, incidentally thanks to this forum's available information, was no problem and I installed the free programs.

Honestly, I can't tell any difference between the free to use programs and Norton except for three things.

1) My machine boots faster and is more responsive than it ever was with Norton onboard chugging along.

2) If I ever have a question I can go to the forums that support my free software choices and I can get a reliable answer in a couple of minutes. No telephone calls to Norton's disconnected numbers. No searching around through Norton's 'work of art' webpages seeking solutions.

3) My wallet is one $50 note thicker this year that it would have otherwise been. Next year I will be $100 better off.

In closing let me say too, when I am on-line I frequently check for updates to my security programs. It is just a habit I have acquired (even with Norton) because I do not believe any available updates should be hanging around on a server somewhere waiting for my security program to decide it's time to check for updates. I want those updates installed so they will do me some good if needed. If I am on-line for 6 hours I will usually get at least 1 and sometimes up to 3 updates for a specific program. With Norton I would sometimes go days without an update at all. Automatic or otherwise. Even with the modern dynamic security issues popping up right left and center Norton seemed to me now to still be following the same traditional pattern of infrequent updates. But of course I didn't know this until I eloped with the freebies.

#10 fozzie

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 02:09 AM

Well I have said it once and I will sa it again. There as many safety programs as there are opinions, and as along as you have both than it is ok.. :D..

My "safety set "has kept me ( and my sons) clean for the past two years and I am fine with it.

I would say it is a combination of common sence and programs. You can have the best programs you want, but by clicking away you make yourself vulnarable.

#11 Novitiate

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 07:39 AM

The "...new guy thing", the "...diesel truck forum" thing, the "...I no longer have any feelings to hurt" thing is interesting but irrelevant to the merits, or otherwise, of Norton products, as is your in-your-face rhetoric. I like it. It shows spunk, especially as you admit to being a relatively inexperienced computer user, who has used only two types of protection - Norton and McAfee (your comments re Grinler really deepen my dimples). But let's be serious, let's pretend we are talking about oil choices, something you imply you know something about. You frame your first position using an implicitly sexist argument, namely, why buy the cow (get married) when the milk is free (sex is already available)? Putting aside the obnoxious assumptions underlining this position, let me ask you a question: all things being equal, why pay money for unleaded when you can get high octane for free? You haven't questioned the veracity of freeware programs (thus making all things equal) yet you denigrate them because they are free. The only logical assumption to be made from such an argument is that dollar value equals computing value. A lot of people would disagree with you. Within the industry, open source ideology that promotes group activities of computing know-how to the benefit of all and the disempowerment of rapacious commerce is growing powerful. The key word here is "rapacious". No one who has benefited from somebody else's computer savvy would deny that person the right to benefit from their hard work (just look at all the "donations" that are made by people who download freeware) but everybody hates those that take advantage. Which brings us to your next argument. You argue from experience - I've used Norton and it's been good - but, having already admitted that this experience is limited - you've only tried two types of anti-malware - this is a poor argument that is easily answered by people such as myself who can say, me too, but I've also tried something else and it's much better. Better because these people wrote a good program and don't take advantage. Norton takes advantage both of your computer and your wallet and no sham blue collar rhetoric will change that, cheers, Margaret

#12 JohnWho

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 08:22 AM

Some free software is arguably as good as some payware.


mightyvh -

I believe if one researches various reviews and testing of the Anti-malware programs available, you'll discover that the comments here regarding the "big two" - Norton/Symantec and McAfee - are fairly representative.

I did have ocassion to remove the latest version of McAfee from a new Dell PC last week, in order to install a paid, licensed copy of McAfee's Enterprise program, and the current uninstall program seemed to work properly. Maybe the McAfee folks have finally gotten their uninstal routine under control?

Edit to remove possibly objectionable material - JohnWho

Edited by JohnWho, 03 May 2007 - 03:21 PM.


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#13 groovicus

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 09:53 AM

Let's quit with the personal comments, and try to remember this is a family friendly forum. It would be a shame to lose a good thread and/or members that forget our purpose, which is to help each other in a friendly and courteous manner.

#14 oldf@rt

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 01:38 PM

I did have ocassion to remove the latest version of McAfee from a new Dell PC last week, in order to install a paid, licensed copy of McAfee's Enterprise program, and the current uninstall program seemed to work properly. Maybe the McAfee folks have finally gotten their uninstal routine under control?


About two weeks ago I had to install F Secure for a customer on a Dell that had previously been using McAfee.

McAfee was uninstalled using the add/remove routine, restarted. F Secure immediately detected installed McAfee. Had to use McAfees special uninstaller to remove everything before F Secure would install.
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#15 mightyvh

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 02:03 PM

Within the industry, open source ideology that promotes group activities of computing know-how to the benefit of all and the disempowerment of rapacious commerce is growing powerful.

cheers, Margaret


I truly want to thank all of you for both your informative and constructive criticism. I like many would prefer my computing time to be carefree. Although I'm trying to become more adept at the inner workings of my computer, you will all agree that this entails a lot of work and know how. The truth is that I'm somewhat lazy, in that I've always wished to put more emphasis on what I could do with it rather then to it. My main concern is that there is so much to what makes a computer operate and as that seems to change constantly, I may never get it. Truthfully there have been times when I have experienced these same feelings when it comes to understanding my wife of 20 years. Just when I think I've got her figured out, BAM wrong again. But please believe me when I tell you, that no matter how many obstacles I encounter with either, I will not give up! Yes, I do have spunk. .....
I like my Dell Latitude w/ XP PRO but I love my Duramax




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