Do not pay for bad security softwares

  Sparrowhawk 19:21 27 Sep 2004

as free security softwares are often better.

I consider switching from my 56k modem to a 1MB broadband connection.

Until now, I did rely solely on a free Anti-Virus, a free Anti-Spyware and a free Fire Wall.
NEVER HAD AN ISSUE. Never experienced Internet Explorer being frozen by some underlying processes.

I did install a trial version of NORTON INTERNET SECURITY 2004 PROFESSIONAL.
I did spend my full day testing this piece of s....e (software).

I was shocked to find that the FREE SECURITY SOFTWARES are much better than NORTON INTERNET SECURITY 2004 PROFESSIONAL.



Best Anti-Virus: AntiVir Personal Edition click here (www.

BEST Fire Wall: Built-in Fire wall in Windows XP SP2
If not Windows XP SP2, Sygate Personal Firewall
click here
(http: //

BEST Anti-Spyware: Ad-Aware
click here


1- These free softwares are a compilation after asking advice to colleagues, relatives considered as expert.

2- I am not considering the price as the discriminating criteria.
It's just that -- I understand it comes as a shock -- that these free packages are better.

3- Only limitation of these free softwares: they do require manual intervention for updates and scan process.

4- Examples:
I found that NORTON products did (I uninstalled all of them) sllloooowwwww Internet Explorer.
Ad-Aware finds some tracking scans that NORTON does not find.

5- I am not defending free softwares.
I am usually okay to spend significant amounts on good softwares for my desktop, laptop and Pocket PC.
Not for NORTON products.

  Sparrowhawk 19:50 27 Sep 2004

Don't dare telling me NORTON INTERNET SECURITY does a proper job at scanning Anti-Spyware and intrusions.
Their main product, Anti-Virus is good.
The rest is pure marketing.

  Mr Mistoffelees 20:21 27 Sep 2004

Norton Internet Security is not, and does not claim to be, an anti-spyware program. I use Spybot for that, also free and well regarded. Whatever you may have found, although not problem free for everyone, Norton software is generally very well regarded and usually does very well in magazine reviews. The firewall is very effective, online testing showing my pc is locked up tighter than a drum. Norton Anti-virus and Norton Systemworks are among the very best anti-virus and utility software available for home use. I use Norton Systemworks and Norton Internet Security, 2003 versions, and am very happy with them. Although the free programs you advocate are mostly good as well, the Windows Firewall is most certainly not one of the best and should not be relied on on it's own.

  It's Me 20:31 27 Sep 2004

I couldn't agree more with all you say.

  Danoh 22:40 27 Sep 2004

Sparrowhawk, as per your posts on other threads on this and other forums, I beg to disagree with you as well.

I have also used Norton anti-virus of various releases, Internet Security 2003 and most recently 2005 (a/v and firewall combined).

You appear to have jumbled spyware-adware detection software together with a/v, software firewall products. Of necessity, they work on different aspects which you would be able to unearth if you research a bit more.

I would agree with you that Norton has deep, low-level "intrusive" installation. It needs this to be able to do its job properly. Poor understanding of the dependencies by someone who installs willy-nilly will cause some issues.

Other "lighter" products will not cause the same issues as they do not attempt to go so low down in the memory stack in certain instances which Norton does.

However, many consumers have bought and installed Norton a/v and the internet security bundle with zero IT knowledge, with no resultant problems nor operational issues.

So I don't understand what your rant about Norton products is based on.

You appear to have had one bad experience in installing a free trial version of Norton A/V.

I almost always avoid installing free demo software, trials, etc., as I find that these are often very badly coded and designed software, usually on free CDs that come with magazines. I have had endless problems with them in the past and their effect was cumulative on the PCs that I had. That is the price you pay when you are relying on getting as much free software as you can.

What significant amounts have you spent on software for the platforms that you mentioned?

  Jarvo 23:32 27 Sep 2004

The latest version of NIS 2005 you would have found it does not "sllloooowwwww" your computer or internet explorer.

I have had about enough of Norton bashing lately its seams to have taken over from M$ bashing and I would like to get a few facts strait.

1 At any point in time any one AV product will detect virus's that another will not, this is due to developers discovering a fix before sharing with the ether AV developers. If you keep any AV up to date then you will usually be no mare than a day behind all the others.

2 AV products are not really designed to detect and remove spyware (I can Highly recommend ad aware and spybot s&d for that)

3 Most free AV programs offer payed for upgrades to receive automatic rather than timed updates and the scanning of compressed files etc, this is why they are free to tempt you into upgrading if you like the product. Now if you are competent with a computer and can be bothered, you can use these products to your advantage, but if you want to install and forget then a paid for option is a better bet. To put it bluntly if a free av product had no one upgrading then they would soon go out of business, as the Yorkshire man once said "you don't get owt for nowt!"

4 Norton are very good at virus removal / file cleaning, it is amazing how many threads about virus infection point to Norton's free (Yes FREE) virus removal tools, that alone makes me feel happy spending my £27 a year for my NIS upgrades knowing I get that as standard. A recent article in PCA magazine on security pointed out that NIS and MacAfee (both paid for packages) where some of the best at virus removal/cleaning, so remember its not just about detecting (its no good if your av package tells you, "you have a virus but I can't fix it", and I ve seen that a few times with free av's)

5 support- many fee AV's do not offer support (unless you upgrade)

6 yes Norton got it wrong with NIS 2004 and AV 2004 the balance between good protection and use of system resources was wrong and made older machines (and some newer) run very slow, but hey we all make mistakes (M$ windows ME being a good example) but they have listened and put it right with 2005.

Now I am not going to lower my self into slagging off free AV's and firewalls some are very good (and I use them myself on some machines) but before you have a go at paid for packages just remember every product has its advantages and disadvantages and its up to the user to decide which suit them best. I am quite an advanced IT user but when it comes to security I like to install and forget, allowing me to spend more time on my computer using and developing other apps, some users like to tinker and a combination of free security products suits them down to the ground. The good thing about either user is that nether is likely to be spreading viruses!

I ve said this before its a little like cars some of us drive daewoo's and others BMW's, but spending an extra few grand on a BMW wont get you to work any faster just with a little more comfort ;-)



  Jarvo 00:31 28 Sep 2004

and just a last note just how did you test this software over a day did you have a computer pre loaded with a selection of viruses, trojans and spyware then re infected the machine to try with your freeware and if so how did you select them? ;-)


  Gaz 25 09:34 28 Sep 2004

for years has had a good name in the business, but it doesnt mean its the best.

The integral antivirus still performs well, and the latest 2005 version doesnt have adverse effects on system performance when benchmarking.

However, AVG free edition is cathing up, and at the price will offer good protection for the average surfer.

  Sparrowhawk 10:03 28 Sep 2004

AVG from Grisoft and ZoneAlarm are also often mentioned as the references for Anti-Virus and Fire Wall.

People who have effectively tested BOTH solutions - NORTON & Co or mentioned freewares or products other than Norton or McCafee - still won't convince the rest of the users who are more receptive to 'fear marketing' created by NORTON and other companies like McCafee.
You know, the ones that hire ... virus writers.

  Sparrowhawk 10:08 28 Sep 2004

NORTON is good at virus removal (I won't speak about Ghost, good software for backup/restore) and not bad for fire wall.

The other so-called functionalities included in NORTON Internet Security are only marketing jokes.

  Sparrowhawk 10:11 28 Sep 2004

FREE MSN Toolbar is way better than Ad blocking in NORTON.
click here (http://

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