Spyware, Viruses, & Security forum

General discussion

Avast <vs> Norton Internet Security >> Speed on NetBook?

by bobwords / April 25, 2012 5:57 AM PDT

I used Norton/Symantec products for years, until they got too cumbersome, creating VERY sluggish systems. Then came Kaspersky, which I used happily for several years -- though I did wonder about its contribution to bogging down my otherwise quick NetBook. On a whim (BAD idea!) I'm trying Norton Internet Security 2012 on all my systems. It appears to be nearly equal to Kaspersky on my "big" systems, but I am NOT happy with Norton's effect on my NetBook's performance. SO THE QUESTION IS THIS: HOW DOES AVAST 2012 COMPARE TO NORTON INTERNET SECURITY 2012 in terms of its effect on performance (general-use SPEED) on "small" systems such as the HP-NetBook?

Post a reply
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Avast <vs> Norton Internet Security >> Speed on NetBook?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Avast <vs> Norton Internet Security >> Speed on NetBook?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -

I can say it is "light", after all, Win2k users still use it. It might help if you gave a little more info than "HP Netbook", like your operating system/service pack number, what kind of processor, and how much RAM you are working with.

Collapse -
Also for clarification ...
by CharleyO / May 1, 2012 12:43 PM PDT
In reply to: Well....


There is no such thing as Avast 2012 from Avast Software.
Their versions are Avast Free, Avast Pro, and Avast Internet Security.
So, if you are looking at something named Avast 2012, it is a fake.

Please let us know for sure what it is and also answer the questions from Poultrygeist above.


Collapse -
Clarification for Clarification's sake
by bobwords / May 3, 2012 5:46 AM PDT

Well, actually there IS an "Avast 2012" -- its full name is "Avast 2012 for MAC" -- so if somebody tells you "There is no such thing as Avast 2012 from Avast Software", perhaps that somebody is a fake, yes? Wink

The product I was considering is "Avast Free, version 7." And yep, I should have included that info, since a helpful answer from you guys would have required that info. So what I'm asking your opinions about is the system-loading, sluggish-performance-making characteristics of Avast Free v.7" compared to Norton Internet Security 2012. Clearly the Norton product, being a "comprehensive security solution," claims many more "features" than the Avast Free v.7, but careful program design can minimize the negative effects of "many features" to some degree. "More" is often "slower" -- but not always.

Also: most of my computers stay "up" (running) most of the time, so relative boot-up times of the two software packages isn't a big deal for me, within reasonable limits. Sure, my HP-210 netbook is the most portable of my computers, so it does get shut down and rebooted fairly frequently. I typically have other odds and ends I need to do when I "plant" myself somewhere with my netbook (getting coffee, checking voicemail, etc.), so an extra 60 sec. or so added to boot-up time is no biggie for me.

My Netbook system:
HP Mini-210 1032CL
1.66G Atom N450
512KB L2 cache
2G DDR2 system memory
160G 5400rpm HDD
Windows 7 Starter

> I'm not sure what relevance that info has to my question -- except perhaps the Windows version -- since what I'm asking is your opinions regarding the RELATIVE effect on system performance of two different software packages; I am NOT expecting any cross-system comparisons, since such a question would require consideration of so many different variables. A careful re-reading of my original question should clarify that I was asking specifically "HOW DOES AVAST 2012 COMPARE TO NORTON INTERNET SECURITY 2012 in terms of its effect on performance (general-use SPEED) on "small" systems such as the HP-NetBook?"

And poultrygeist -- with all due respect (and with thanks for your choosing to respond), your initial answer baffles me. Your answer to the question
"I can say it is 'light', after all, Win2k users still use it."

OK, you're saying that "it" is "light" -- "it"-what? Do you mean that Avast's effect is "light" compared to the effect of NIS-2012 (which by implication might be assumed to have a relatively "heavy" effect), or what?

Collapse -
by Poultrygeist / May 3, 2012 10:25 AM PDT

Well, my response is vague mainly because I have not tried Norton lately, so I have no real world experience to give there. The Win2K reference is just for the purpose of a light comparison, being as the large bulk of Win2k users still left are running on a pretty strict "resource budget". As if to say, "If they can do it, why not you?". As for the hard facts as to the minimum hardware requirements, they are a Pentium 3 Processor, 128 MB RAM, 200 MB of free hard disk space. You probably know "minimum" means "barely crawling along", but your specs are well beyond those, I can't see you having any problems.

Weirdly enough, Avast!'s overall resource usage has actually dropped from older versions (4.8/5/6). Also, it has cache features to improve performance, so it will actually speed up (or rather, slow you down less) the longer it sits on your system.

There is one "netbook" problem that has happened before to some Avast! users, and will probably happen again....sometimes the maximized UI can be a bit to big for the screen, but not in any way that makes it unusable. Also, if you use a lot of little-known software (or make your own) the Autosandbox in ver. 7 might get on your nerves. Neither of those have much to do with your original concern, just a heads-up.

Collapse -
by bobwords / May 4, 2012 5:03 AM PDT
In reply to: RE:

Thanks, Poultrygeist.

Anymore these days, I'm pretty much running box-stock software, so I haven't gotten crosswise with the v.7 Autosandbox. And you're right -- "adequate" system specs does usually translate into "barely crawling."

A good chunk of my problem is my own computer-use habits: on my larger, faster systems I tend to use the right-click "Open Link in New Tab" option when browsing, progressively slowing the system when I'm chasing one or another research topic. Needless to say, that is VERY BAD PRACTICE when I'm using the Netbook. That system is adequate for basic functions (planning, scheduling, communication, light browsing), but sometimes I get carried away ... at an increasingly slower pace.

It was mostly during those "carried away" (over-use) times that the Norton product seemed to be overly slow. My 2011 Kaspersky AV product was significantly faster on the Netbook than is the 2012 Norton, so that's the subjective comparison standard for perceived speed. The Kaspersky 2011 installation "expired" after NIS 2012 was out and "reviewed"; since NIS 2012 was supposedly faster than the 2011 Kaspersky set, I decided to try Norton.

Collapse -
It's trivial but .....
by CharleyO / May 5, 2012 1:13 PM PDT

As I stated above, there is no official version of Avast titled as Avast 2012 ... not even for Mac.

It is titled as Avast Free antivirus for Mac. Unofficially, we refer to it as the Avast Mac version.
Please see the link below from the official Avast website.


And no, I am not a fake. I have been associated with Avast since 2002 as a forum member (rated as an evangelist for the past 6 years) and as an official Avast spokesperson since late 2010.
While I do not know everything, as an official Avast spokesperson I have to be familiar with all current Avast versions. Avast does not put years in the title of their products because quite often their products run for more than one year with only minor updates (4.0, 5.03, 6.4, 7.01, etc.) and having a year in the title might make people think it's completely different when indeed it may only be a little different/updated.
That year in the title is a trick used by some other companies to make users think they are getting something new ... and used by some fake products.

Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions


CNET bought a house!

Take a look inside the house where we will be testing connected locks, thermostats and other smart home products so we can tell a complete story.