Symantec Norton Antivirus Renewal = Time to dump?

I have Norton Internet Security / Antivirus thingy, whatever. It’s time to renew the subscription.

I hear bad things about Symantec (e.g., Memory Hog)

Should I dump Symantec in favor of another? AVG?

I don’t want to spend a lot of time messing around with a huge software switch though. Is switching simple? I hear there’s an effective Norton Removal Tool.

Does AVG or others cost the same with subscriptions? Looks like AVG Internet Security is $52.95 to install.


I have the basic AVG anti-virus which is free to personal users. Check the sticky in GQ on computer stuff for a link.
I love AVG it has a small footprint, it updates quickly and seems to work just fine.
What do you get with their internet security that you don’t get with just the anti-virus? Firewall? use zone alarm (free) or I have Sunbelt Kerio which I think was $29.95.
What else is included?

Being a big fan of AVG I would be the last to discourage someone purchasing the pro version. FYI thats $52.95 for 2 years.

IMHO Norton does a good job, but it does it by being so restrictive that it causes other problems on many small networks.

Another vote for dump the Nortons, go with AVG. Or even Avast. I’ve heard good stuff about that, as well as Nod.

I’ve been using Avast! for over a year now, and it’s worked as well as Norton ever did. Besides which, it doesn’t use up all the system resources that Norton does. And it’s free.

Depends what OS you are using I think. On Vista, AVG would not let me access Windows Mail. <shrugs> I got Penicillin.

Two weeks later I set up another computer with Vista and Penicillin and it totally screwed it. May have been an old version of Trend or whatever. Anyway, configured Norton to work and it is really non intrusive.

Make what you will of that.

Avast! user for 3 years. Good stuff.

AVG used to be da bomb but it started being sneaky about how to get it as a free version. Less than a year ago, Avast released a hugely imporoved version and leapfrogged anything that AVG ever had. It is free and better than all of them IMHO. I recommend going with Avast.

Why do so many businesses use Norton? Seems like AVG or Avast should work just as well? Yet, all the corportate IT guys seem to be committed to Norton.

BTW, I have a middle-manager who’s wanting to dump Norton for her office because of the cost. What do you all recommend for a business environment that’s cheaper, as good or better for protection, and user friendly? (We don’t really have an IT department.)

To provide different option to AVG or Avast, take a look at Kaspersky . I have been using it for about a year and a half now.


Anytime is a good time to dump Norton. :smiley: It can, and often does, cause all sorts of problems. The difficult part will be getting rid of all vestiges of the thing, but you should before installing any new one.

Do the “Add or Remove Programs” in Control Panel and reboot. Then go to Win Explorer and delete any of their folders. Then do a search for “Norton” and delete all instances. Then do another search for “Symantic” and delete those. Reboot. If you are lucky, it will be mostly gone.

Unfortunately, there will probably be a mess of Norton entries in the Registry. You can remove those also, but ONLY if you are experienced in messing with the Registry, back it up before (and also do a Restore point), and know what you are doing.

As has been mentioned, AVG, Avast and Kaspersky are all very good free programs. Yeah, you do have to search hard on the website now to find the free version of AVG, but it is worth it.

Finally, if you want to buy a program, I’ve used Trend Micro’s PC-cillin for several years and it is very good without taking over your whole computer. You have a lot of choices in tweaking it and picking what features you do or do not want to use.

To paraphrase an old saw, “Nobody ever got fired for buying Symantec.” (used to be “Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM.”)

Whether they’re good or bad, Symantec/Norton and to a somewhat lesser extent, McAfee are “household names” that nearly everyone recognizes. Also there is a general fear of inexpensive or free things - probably playing on “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

One thing to the favor of Symantec and McAfee is that they have enterprise-level applications that are actually enterprise-level. We’ve got roughly 200,000 computers here, and we need to manage antivirus policies, signature updates and application updates centrally, rather than hoping individual users remember to update their PCs regularly.

AVG has something that they call “Enterprise” but they only seem to support up to 100 users. To us, that’s a workgroup. I suspect they’d faint if we called them and asked for a 200,000 user license and an SMS-based push update mechanism. Avast maxes out their corporate support at 199 users. Again, that’s not enough. So, we use Symantec, who has no trouble at all doing what we need.

FWIW the last time I tried to renew Norton online, all I got was a three hour headache - and some of my computer savvy friends had the same experience, saying that on about half of machines for some reason you just have to go down to the store and buy it on a CD.

Peter Norton was an enjoyable book author, though, I thought.

Subject to consent from the computer owner, I will seize any and every opportunity to remove Norton/Symantec security products from computers - in my (fairly extensive) experience, it is consistently a system resource hog, can be buggy and unstable and sometimes prevents other programs from working properly.
I have heard people say they have Norton and their machine runs just fine, but I think very often all that’s happening there is that they’ve never known any different and they don’t realise how much better it would work without it.

Ditch Norton and use something else. AVG is a good product.

I dumped Norton and McAfee and went with TrendMicro.

I’ve been doing AVG’s free antivirus for a few years, and have been quite happy with it. That, and ZoneAlarm free firewall, and AdAware and SpyBot. And not using Microsoft’s web browser (IE) or email (Outlook).

That’s the basic computer security suite.

It’s worth noting that for the above-average home user (which, I assume, many of the SDMB patrons would presume to be) who is using a hardware firewall (i.e. router - again, something pretty common), there really isn’t that much of a need for an anti-virus application on your computer. Heresy, I know. In 30 years, though, we’ll look back at this era and say something like, “Geez, they didn’t KNOW what a virus was back then! The only “Internet Security” they needed was a “Don’t Be Stupid With Clicking The Install Button!” sticker on the edge of the monitor!”

If circumstances are such that you must have an antivirus installed - and there are MANY such circumstances, don’t get me wrong - then I also like the current version of Avast.

This is a link to the "Norton Removal Tool provided by Symantec, which may prove useful.

If you do dump Norton (and I agree that you should), watch out – that isn’t too easy to do.

Besides the problems of removing it from the registry, etc., you may actually have problems dropping it.

If it’s “time to renew”, you may find that Norton has been ‘helpful’ and automatically renewed you for another year, and charged that to your credit card. Buried in the fine print of their license is your approval of them doing this, and you clicked “I accept” on that when you installed Norton.

And you may find it real hard to get them to reverse this credit card charge. (They seem to have been taking lessons from AOL!) They will say you agreed to it (in that license fine print). They will say you had to object in a timely manner (within 10 days) of the time they automatically renewed you, without any prior notice. They will say you need to mail in a written request to end your subscription (though all it took was one click online to start it). And better mail that registered, because many people hear from Norton that they never received that request, it must have been ‘lost in the mail’.

If you look online, you can find all kinds of horror stories about this.

To me, a company making such efforts to ‘lock in’ a customer makes it clear that they don’t think their product is good enough to compete in a free market.

Another good alternative is BitDefender, although you’d have to purchase it. I’ve had it on my machine for over a year now and am quite pleased with it.