Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Devil Exorcised

I have exorcised the devil from my PC.

Has there been some malware, some virus, some keystroke detector interfering with my machine?

Yes. And No.

I have removed...



...Norton 360.

And not before time.

You may wonder how I happened to have it installed at all.

My initial mistake was installing Norton Internet Security 2006. It had topped the tests in terms of virus protection and even though it was known it would have an impact on PC performance I figured it couldn't be that much.

How wrong I was.

It was a disaster. The machine went like me on Sunday morning.

When the one year subscription was up I took advantage of the upgrade to the 2007 version hoping that Symantec had fixed the speed issue.

Wrong again.

It was terrible. But I still clung to hope that an upgrade would come and my machine could breathe again so I paid for another year's subscription.

At the end of the next year - now 2008 - I took off my head, put on a pumpkin and upgraded to Norton 360, which was meant to be the ducks guts and fix all previous issues, as well as adding in a whole bunch of new features.

Incredibly, given my history with the Norton product, I subscribed for two years to take advantage of the cheaper yearly price.

In chess that move would be annotated with a ?? meaning game losing blunder.

It is a shocking product. Truly shocking.

It is always stealing CPU time, scanning at seemingly random times but especially when I had a lot going on. It's as if it knew exactly when it could cause the greatest slow down. The impact on system boot time was remarkable; it would take 15-20 minutes before the bastard thing would stop its scanning and let me do something. I turned on every quick boot setting I could but to no avail.

While my life expectancy was greater then the men standing on the deck of the Titanic singing Near My God To Thee their spirits were higher than mine.

Until today.

For today I exorcised Norton 360.

I have installed the trial version of AVG Internet Security. My machine is ready to go within 2 minutes of booting up. I can load my 10Mb+ Excel files in no time at all. With Norton 360 I had to turn MS Office scanning off, as it would take over a minute to load the files.

All is good.

The devil is gone.

While my arse still points towards the ground I will never buy another Symantec product again.

You shouldn't either.

(Nothing Follows)

6 comments:

geoffrey s. mendelson said...

I can't speak for Norton 360, but Symantec Corporate Anti Virus, which is the "industrial strength" version of Norton, does a scan every time you boot up. This is why it takes so long to boot up.

AVG may be faster, but you lose a chance to catch viruses before they do any damage.

In reality you have traded boot time for security, a cost you may at some time in the future regret.

Gibbo said...

I've been around computers long enough to remember when Norton was the ducks guts. It's now worse than most viruses.
I had a version that did a virus scan every day that took longer than 24 hours. So the second day it would start again and I'd have two virus scans running. Then three on the third day and so on. Doesn't that chew some CPU!!
Crapware!

Jack Lacton said...

geoffrey,

I used to think exactly what you have stated but Norton 360 (of which the AV product is a subset) is worse than having a virus. AVG has established itself as a credible player in the market with a reputation for speed.

Stevo said...

I don't use an AV program at all on my home PC. Last used CA eTrust, but it didn't work on the latest box. Use a FW, MS Updates, and avoid dodgy sites. Do a MS online AV scan monthly. And backup. If I get hit by a zero day virus, so will you. Possibly a bit risky, but no infections so far in 18 months on that PC. Go figure.

Timm said...

I was a longtime Norton user as well. A couple years ago I found that Norton would no longer work on Windows 2000, so I went in search of another program. Kaspersky AV had the highest ratings, so I switched. What a revelation!

My wife's computer then started taking 15 minutes to shut down at night. After much research and cursing, I uninstalled Norton and put Kaspersky on hers as well. No problems since. I'll never go back to Norton!

Kaboom said...

Heh.

"It's now worse than most viruses."

It was waaaaaay back when I installed my first ever Norton program.

Without Googling, I can recall it may have been called Norton (or Symantic) "Disk Doctor", which I applied to get rid of some really serious problems with Windows 3.1 and internet viruses in 1991 or 1992.

Remember "winsock", which you had to insert in your ISP interface?

The Norton "Disk Doctor" completely took over your system, and utterly and comprehensively rooted "winsock".

Ever since then, I have been warning people about Norton software.

I hate Norton.