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Is Norton Internet Security the real deal?

Hi guys,
I was about to upgrade to norton Internet Security 2004, until a friend of mine started having problems with it. I've used the 2003 version without any problems,,but the complaints his been making are quite frightening, esp the uninstallation issue of it.
I was going to ask, has anyone had problems with Nis2004,,or is it just him?. Also, is there a better alternative that someone can recommend, eg Blackice, zone alarm etc. I havnt used the latter before, so i was hoping for some recommendations.
Thanks heaps.

Peter Paranoid
Saturday, April 17, 2004

I absolutely LOVE ZoneAlarm Pro. I've never used the free version, though, but I expect it's probably quite good as well.

Also, don't forget that Windows XP Service Pack 2 will come will a full-featured ZoneAlarm-like Firewall. You can download XPSP2 RC1 now, all 270 MB of it, and try that out instead. The increase security is probably a good thing, anyway.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Saturday, April 17, 2004

Wow, i didnt know service pack 2 was out. I thought it was still in beta. Have u tried it out Brad?. any comments on it?.
Thanks mate

Peter Paranoid
Saturday, April 17, 2004

Ite's not out. I suggested downloading RC1 (Release Candidate 1). It's been perfectly stable for me.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Saturday, April 17, 2004

Zone Alarm Free edition is fine.
So is AVG anti-virus free edition.

Stephen Jones
Saturday, April 17, 2004

And unless I'm mistaken, ZoneAlarm Free won't protect a Windows host used as a router. If you're sharing your Internet connection using a Windows host, either upgrade to ZA Pro, or use Kerio Personal Firewall (2.1.5 recommended, not the newer stuff which is a rewrite and doesn't seem as good), free for personal use and does run on a router.

Fred
Saturday, April 17, 2004

Nothing drives me nuts more than enterprise services acting like enterprise services on desktop (reboot everything 2 days, everyone with less than admin rights) machines.

So what's a person to do? You gotta have all the instant messagers, you must install all the P2P and Windows Media Player plug-ins, and all those cool sharewares. So you have to 1) run ZoneAlarm and Norton Internet Tax and Windows 2000+ and 2) relogin as Administrator every 2 hours to install updates for everything you have on the computer. (these upgrade pop-ups will drive your family insane).

I wish there's a way we get get all the updates centralized and explained and scheduled in some way so that the regular users aren't bothered, the admins are notified, etc etc. Pay some company $50 a year or one-time to have all these things taken care of when you can't figure whether to click okay on this potential trojan.

Can you imagine a service that sits at your computer with a giant MD5 digest database that does nothing but tell you what the software you are trying to install has known to do? (like install spyware, show nags, show ads, is difficult to manage license wise)

I think I just found a great shareware idea :-)

Li-fan Chen
Saturday, April 17, 2004

Windows update does that Li-Fan, we have Windows SUS server running at our office and all the guys who run as non-admin get all the updates installed automatically. All they do is get a prompt at about lunch time on a wednesday saying "that updates have been installed" and to reboot soon and so they reboot, go to lunch, come back and it is all updated.

I believe the normal windows update can install updates when running as non-admin too (although I am probably wrong on that?).

Chris
Saturday, April 17, 2004

Yeah please correct me if I am wrong, there are a lot more network gods out there on JOS than little me. I really don't know if updates will work for everyone, but yes I know about the update servers and they are great for solving this kind of problem.

Li-fan Chen
Saturday, April 17, 2004

A friend of mine installed Norton Internet Security 2004 on an old laptop (I guess about 3 - 4 years old) running Windows98.

Anyway for some reason my friend had to uninstall the product. I can't remember the reason. I think it was either because the install didn't go to completion or her computer didn't have enough RAM memory to properly run the product.

Anyway after the uninstall her computer was wrecked. Everytime she tried to launch an application it would complain memory was running low. The computer was completely unusable. The memory problems happened before the uninstall and after the installation of Norton Security 2004.

It looks like the uninstall didn't work as the memory gobbling bit of Security 2004 was still hanging around messing everything up.

I have a new laptop with much more memory and WindowsXP. I was thinking of installing Internet Security 2004 in the next couple of months. Before I read the post above I assumed the problems my friend had with Security 2004 were due to her having an old laptop with less physical memory. But now I'm thinking I shouldn't install the product after all.

What do other people think? Most of the previous replies haven't been about whether this product is any good or not.

S
Saturday, April 17, 2004

Thats right S. I'm trying to figure out if this product was a one off incident, or a pattern of distasters. I've had a alot of faith in symantec products over the years. I've read reviews on the product at cnet, pcmag etc.. The websites give excellent reviews for the software, but customer reviews at the same site tell a different story, many of them negative. It makes me wonder if Symantec has bought out the reviewing department of these "respected" websites.

Peter Paranoid
Sunday, April 18, 2004

I've used it as I wanted a combined Anti-Virus and Anti-Spam solution. All the other features are turned off, as for example, I have a hardware firewall.

It did seem fine for a while, but now I keep getting timeout errors when I try to download my email (Outlook 2003), or newsgroup messages (Outlook Express 6).

I spoke to my ISP about it and they reckoned that these errors are caused by the Norton software. I don't want to disable it and have no A-V protection, but now I have to use the web-based email, which is annoying.

Norton also stopped me from using Newsgator too, which I was looking forward to using.

On balance I wouldn't recommend this product.

Steve Jones (UK)
Sunday, April 18, 2004

I found a reviewer on ePinions who made what seemed to me a pretty convincing case that unless you're running XP, you should stick to the 2001 edition of NAV.  His main point is that after the 2001 editions of the Norton products, Symantec rewrote everything for XP, making the compatibility of the 2002 and later editions with any pre-XP Windows highly questionable at best.  Based on his advice I found a reseller unloading NAV 2001 CDs for about $8 and installed it without any trouble on my & my parent's W2K machines (and yes it's still supported; I just downloaded updated virus defs from Symantec last night)

If you're researching this stuff, this guy's reviews are well worth reading, IMHO.  Too bad he hasn't posted anything new in a while, but these are still relevant:

http://www.epinions.com/content_89072635524
http://www.epinions.com/content_68130279044

- former car owner in Queens
Monday, April 19, 2004

I've had problems with NIS 2004, but never any problems with previous releases.  Installation went smoothly, but the firewall would start in disabled mode and any attempts to start the application (i.e. clicking the item on the task bar, desktop, windows explorer...) would not bring up the configuration interface.  More specifically nmain.exe loads up then immediately exits.  I uninstalled the program after numerous attempts to get it to work.  I also found others with the same problems on the net.  Yesterday, I tried it again on a different computer, with the same results.  This time I tried uninstalling, and the uninstaller crashed.  Attempts to rerun the uninstaller or installer bring up a dialog that I need to be logged into NIS with the correct permissions, to run and log into NIS if it is not running.  Of course, NIS was never able to run, so it looks like a manual uninstall for me.  The strange thing is that LiveUpdate worked twice after the crashed uninstall, but not before or subsequently.  Previous to this experience, I have not been hesitant to recommend running Norton.  I've had good experiences with previous versions of Norton AntiVirus and NIS.  But now, for some reason, it appears that their software has problems with certain configurations, so the best I can say is to try it out (I think they have a trial) and I hope it works for you.

Al
Monday, April 19, 2004

I Run Norton Internet Security on my Dell 8600 laptop and it's saved my bacon lots of times.  No troubles except a few too many warnings about problems it already avoided for me.

Warren
Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Hi Have got a friend who sells a lot of pc's. Anyway after about the 4th time of installing NIS2004 he has gone back to using NIS2003. Had numerous problems with xp on new pc's from apps not opening from either hdd or cd. Also word & excel doing funny things. Well I thought he was having me on until I installed NIS2004 on my next door neighbours PIII with xp running on it. Doing the same thing as the pc's my mate installed it on. I've decided I will also be going back to NIS2003.  He also had problems with a couple of them coming up saying that the registration code had been used by someone else.

Torben Nielsen
Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Two days ago I upgraded my NAV to a Symantec package that included Norton Internet Security 2004.

I had just returned after 12months away. Utterly jet lagged and  totally paranoic  'cos someone had been hacking all my emails during while I was away.

I  did not research the package: I just t purchased the upgrade, downloaded and installed it onto my PC.

I was CRAZY!!!

After installing Norton Internet Security 2004 my PC refuses to network with my laptop through a home LAN connection. (the connection was working perfectly before the installation)

Assistance/help from Symantec/Norton is non-existent.

I understand my problem is compounded because I have Windows XP Pro  on both the laptop and the PC.

Is there anyone out there who can tell me how  I can network my laptop with my PC if I am using  Norton Internet Security 2004 (short of uninstalling it)?

Paranoic Pete
Thursday, May 06, 2004

I have been using Norton Internet Security 2003 for a year on an old Pentium II eMachine 400ix with 192 MB RAM and Windows 98.  It had been working fine, including the automatic updates and the occasional alert that someone was trying to access my computer.  Both NIS and the included NAV were a bit slow to open when I double-click the icon in the system tray, and also took a little time to refresh, but for the most part they worked well

But a few weeks ago, with my one-year NIS subscription ending, I installed Norton Internet Security 2004.  It's noticeably slower, both in opening up and refreshing.  But the frustrating part is that I can not ge NIS 2004 to start automatically in enabled mode.  It is always disabled.  I followed the advice in Symantec's support website, but it did not help.  I'm thinking that I should have stayed with NIS 2003, and just upgrade NAV (don't know if that's really possible).

If someone finds a solution to this problem of NIS 2004 always starting in disabled mode, please let me know.

David
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

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