The CNET Lounge forum

General discussion

Which antivirus utility protects your computer?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / January 14, 2005 4:01 AM PST

Which antivirus utility protects your computer?

AVG Anti-Virus (love or hate it?)
Kaspersky Anti-Virus (love or hate it?)
McAfee VirusScan (love or hate it?)
Norton AntiVirus (love or hate it?)
Panda Titanium Antivirus (love or hate it?)
Trend Micro PC-cillin (love or hate it?)
Other (what is it?)
I don't need no stinkin' antivirus app. (really, why not?)

Post a reply
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Which antivirus utility protects your computer?
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: Which antivirus utility protects your computer?
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 -
AntiVirus Purveyors Arent Doing the Job of Service /Support
by raybay / January 18, 2005 5:41 AM PST

I run a computer repair business covering three Arizona counties and much of Northern Sonora in Mexico. I bought one copy of Panda Titaniam AntiVirus and liked it so much I bought a case to sell to my clients. What a mistake. I have a very thick file of the problems with Panda and their inability to answer customer complaints. Their marketing people are good, though.

Only Norton/Symantec offers a worse tech support system than Panda. Never once Have I seen Panda Tech Support make any attempt to answer a problem from one of my clinets.

So far, I like Computer Associates PC Armor and PC AntiVirus, and I am very impressed by the free version of AVG.

I am stunned by how poorly Symantec runs Norton these days. I work in an area with a large number of elderly people... some pay over and over again online trying to get something to work. Norton makes it nearly immpossible to get their money back or their system corrected.

McAfee has gotten mcuh better in the past two years, but Trend Micro PC-Cillin has dropped in quality and support for their antivirus service.

Kapersky works well, but getting information is a real trick. Amd the price is right

Suprisingly, the free version of AVG seems to be among the best values for the money spent. Not the best on quick definitions, but works fine overall.

I am always amazed when I see a good media report on Symantec's Antivirus. How could this be when so many people have so many troubles. Norton Internet Security dropped them to the all time low. I have to say their 2005 versions work a lot better than anything since 2002. But I sure would like to talk to somebody in that company.

Collapse -
another vote for C/A
by gga / January 18, 2005 5:55 AM PST

I too run a support business (25+ years) and I field more calls for support problems due to Norton than any other app. Needless to say I am also surprised when I see the accolades for the latest versions of the top A/V vendors. I personally use EZ-AV and EZ-Armour and I have since Computer Associates first gave away their original AV product for free. It seldom finishes at the top of the rankings, but for a reason that I think is actually one of its strengths... lack of features. But what it does (and what I bought it for), it does well and unobtrusively.

Collapse -
Another CA Vote
by dcbadis / January 18, 2005 7:11 AM PST
In reply to: another vote for C/A

EZ Armour AV and firewall do run very snmooth on both of my systems (2GHz and 450MHz) without sucking system resources like other brands do. Well worth the $30 you can buy it for!

Collapse -
The EZ AV from CA is currently free for a year.
by martylk2 / November 25, 2005 11:49 PM PST
In reply to: Another CA Vote

If you search the web with specific search criteria..."free EZ antivitus" or something like that... you'll be able to find it. You won't be able to just go directly to the CA site and immediately find it.

Collapse -
HA! That's what YOU think
by rankoon / February 4, 2006 2:57 AM PST
In reply to: Another CA Vote

I have thought I was running iton my 3 systems (2 desktops and a laptop.) Suddenly updates were not happening, virus sigs didn't download and I got the error message that my subscription had expired. Yet on the Registration checking routine it showed my license was good for over 3 months on the oldest and 11 on the newest. Get support for that? Yeah!, RIGHT!! Talk about a Catch 22! A virus or bug or worm had to do that to me? Then it didn't work, did it?!

Talk to support people? Get serious! I don't speak Punjabi. I just want things to work when I pay for them. CA Internet Security nor any of their products I've tried to date have functioned as promoted. Its called NEVER GO BACK.

Collapse -
Another vote for Computer Associates EZ Armour (EZ Antivirus
by Sherwyn / January 18, 2005 12:01 PM PST
In reply to: another vote for C/A

I was a previous user of Norton Antivirus. My Norton subscription expired in Sept. 04. When I tried to renew, the process would not accept the renewal. I read many CNET reviews and decided to try the Computer Associate's products. Someone directed me to the free 1 year subscription of EZ Armour which includes EZ Trust Antivirus and Firewall. The firewall uses the Zone Alarm Pro program. Both Microsoft & PC World web sites offered the free 1 year trial. I began my trial in Sept. 04 and am very pleased with the antivirus program but am having lockup problems with the Zone Alarm Firewall program. The lockup problem has to be in the configuration of the firewall, but so far I have been able to locate or correct it. The computer just stops functioning. When I shut down the firewall, my commands are honored and the computer starts working again. I can also reboot and everything works.
Never had this problem with basic Zone Alarm. If I can not fix this problem, I may uninstall ZA Pro and go back to basic.

Collapse -
another vote for EZ Antivirus
by Derfred / November 25, 2005 5:44 AM PST

I have CA EZ Antivirus. My ISP offered it as a download for an extra $1.50 a month. It is simple to use, and updates are available far more frequently than McAffee which i had before. Sometime soon I will buy the latest version on disk. Half the price as McAffee or Norton.

Collapse -
Amen! Computer Associates EZ Antivirus is the best
by lkstew99 / November 25, 2005 9:02 PM PST
In reply to: another vote for C/A

This absolutely great program just does not get the mention it should. I've never had a virus, worm or trojan horse get through and have been using this for well over 4 years now. I've had McAfee and Norton and they are just a real pain in the posterior. Ez Antivrus gets an automated data file update almost every day. You can also use right click in Explorer to scan an individual file, selected files, a folder or any drive. Fast, thorough and NOT convoluted ever.

Larry Stewart
Ottawa, Canada

Collapse -
Thumbs up CA Sec. Suite / Thumbs down CA DNA Migrator
by CZBratBMW / May 31, 2006 2:18 PM PDT
In reply to: another vote for C/A

This software came free with rebate after purchase. It's only been a week but I love the added security! It's really great & fun. I love the bark with the k-9 feature. Although with the DNA Migrator, I found out I needed customer support which costs 29.99 per call. The difficulty was getting it to migrate in real-time with the ethernet crossover cable. The retail store's techs couldn't get it to work either. However the I-net security suite makes up for it 10 fold. I know I have never had this amount of security before with any other software.

Collapse -
Norton Anti Virus Program
by dean johnson / January 18, 2005 6:02 AM PST

Yes, I tried to get a hold of someone at Norton because my firewall was acting up and would not let one of my programs connect to the network. I stayed online for well over 30 min , just to have someone from India pick up the phone and then I could not hear them, so I hung up in frustration. We need company that has good local USA customer service not someone half way around the world.
I gave up Mcafee for Norton and next year I think I'll try AVG to see if they are better.Just my c2 cent worth

Collapse -
totally agree
by Reality Check / January 18, 2005 6:20 AM PST is hyper-frustrating to get help on the phone from India, and not be able to understand the person, or have a clear phone connection (since they are using VoIP with Tsunami affilcted underwater cables...what a combination of Non-Voice over the Phone - NVoP)!

When I keep getting lousy support like that, I am now switching companies. Maybe American Tech Companies will begin to get smart and higher real support people again, instead of minimaly trained and minimaly conversant people that unfortunately cannot help most of the time. The first tech company that catches this idea and runs with it will be a winner - advertise American speaking phone line support - at least for North America!!

Collapse -
Norton Antivirus
by harveygreen / January 18, 2005 7:13 AM PST

i appreciate your problem re: India. it is a sad fact that economically speaking, doing support through India is the cheapest way. i have had terrible experiences, such as yours, but i don't think we can do much about it. i found that after an awful lot of experimentaion i was back with Norton antivirus as i can do so much via the internet. the only other way round is to have that, plus a good quality router.
the customer is no longer right, and that is the way of the world.

Collapse -
I appreciate your problem too
by hairymon / January 18, 2005 11:02 PM PST
In reply to: Norton Antivirus

But I disagree about the customer not being always right. Obviously, too many people simply still use Norton; it is not a virtual monopoly like Microsoft with Windows and with Internet Explorer (though Mozilla/Firefox is starting to make some inroads), so if people just went to other products it may foster change.

Believe me, I read how Norton is VERY afraid of AVG and it's free solution down the line....

Collapse -
I appreciate your problem too
by texass / November 29, 2005 3:55 PM PST

Norton purchased Sygate and a month after they scraping sygate firewall.Which had a free and a pay version.Because it over shadowed their firewall line.

Collapse -
Norton Anti -Virus
by Masterherm / January 18, 2005 11:48 PM PST
In reply to: Norton Antivirus

Lets face it,Norton is the Best when it comes to Internet Security,Tested and Approved.My experience with other software has been more than Bad.For example,Imagine Using a software that claims Virus Protection only to have your Computer Infected.

The Best way To get The Most of Your Software is To Read Your Manual and Instructions Carefully.That Way, You can Keep Customer support To a Minimum.Customer support is only if you suspect your Software Is Non-functional,If software is damaged,you can Bring it back for an Exchange or re-fund.The Problem is,Most People Get into something without the Proper Knowledge or expertise.Technology in my Opinion,Is not really For everyone.It not like Buying a Television set.After all,The best consumer is the Most educated consumer.

Collapse -
I have already faced it twice, but do not believe it.
by elenaw / January 19, 2005 8:13 PM PST
In reply to: Norton Anti -Virus

I am a technical person and my job includes finding the suitable System Software (Operating Systems, Antivirus, Firewalls etc) for security for my clients. However, Norton does not fit the bill.

Imagine your computer is affected by a virus, and Norton (including the website) does not provide the latest virus definition on the web. The Internet security is worse. It can even allow attacks to your computer even with Internet Security enabled.

I have 3 computers at home. One of which is installed with Norton Antivirus and Internet Security. Double security? Not at all. This particular computer was down with virus for 7 times, thanks to the latest update of Norton Antivirus (which is not at all updated).

I have one PC specially installed for CA's EZArmor and this works better than the one with Norton installed.

The last Computer (actually a laptop) was installed with Trend Micro and it has blocked dozens of attacks since last Dec till now.

Take a look at the reviews.

My other review:

CNET Review:

Note for above review, out of 328 users for Trend Micro, only about 53 users complained it is bad. However, for Norton, out of 268 users, there 191 (more than 70%) complained it is bad.
Lab Tests Reviews:

Although in the early years Trend Micro failed the tests, but note from 2002 onwards, the tests showed 100% Pass. Not all software can get such great results.

Collapse -
Again, this is the problem with the anti-virus industry
by hairymon / January 20, 2005 3:27 AM PST

No one solution is perfect. Until a few months ago, I swore by Norton/Symantec and nothing else. But then for the first time ever I had some major virus problems on my home PC, and while Norton caught some of them, it did not catch all of them. AVG caught what Norton didn't, however, later on I had another virus and AVG didn't catch it but Norton did.

I normally hate things like Windows' uncontrolled domination of the market, but again I have to wish/wonder if that could be done with anti-virus. I'm always torn on this issue because having many competitors means more incentive for innovation so that more viruses can be caught, but it seems to wastefully take having 3, 4, maybe 5 anti-virus solutions to do really do it to the best extent possible.

Collapse -
multiple antivirus
by arunsoni / January 20, 2005 9:18 PM PST

You shouldn't use multiple antivirus. That is the cause of your problem.

I use Nortons, updated regularly, catches ALL viruses.

Collapse -
Multiple antivirus
by WisDomxxx / January 21, 2005 11:11 PM PST
In reply to: multiple antivirus

While I agree that one should not use more than one antivirus program, I cannot agree with using Norton. I have had more than my share of viruses get through Norton in past years. I even tried (again) Norton 2005 with no better results. I switched to AVG and had success with that program. A friend told me about Avast and now I wouldn't use anything else. It is the easiest program to use, it catches everything that has tried to get into my computer, and the cost is FREE! Norton has a lot of nerve charging for a program, charging again for updating a year later, and then the program doesn't do what it is supposed to do. Go to Avast and you won't be disappointed.

Collapse -
by moxie / January 21, 2005 3:34 AM PST

for your home computer try avg it is free and works better then norton or mcafee moxie

Collapse -
choosed other -> avast
by Tvoinpy3r / November 25, 2005 9:24 AM PST
In reply to: avg

I treid avg for a month. Didn't like the way you can do a manual update. First starting the program then you can update it.

At the end of the month I had 3 trojans in my pc. Scanned with mcafee online scanner. I installed my usual avast antivirus again and I am sticking to it.

Never had a virus in my pc for over 3/4 years now! Maybe avg has become better now but they are to late for me.

Collapse -
by dewey59 / November 25, 2005 10:04 PM PST
In reply to: choosed other -> avast

I too once had AVG but even with broadband access, updating it was a pain. So out it went and in came Avast. No problems so far.

Collapse -
which anti-virus program works with Win XP Pro x64?
by terenceA / March 6, 2006 12:52 PM PST

In the months since your post, have any NEW anti-virus
programs been availble that work with x64 ?

Collapse -
Time heals all Wounds..
by Mikepoppa / January 24, 2005 8:28 AM PST
In reply to: Norton Anti -Virus

Yes I too called India. Yes it was difficult to understand the person. We ended up spelling the problem and answer to each other. I got the System downloaded / upgraded and running. Just took some time and patience. No Virus yet in the 5 years I've been running it. At work they insist on McAfee and I've had some down days there because of viral infections. Then again I can't say what was downloaded at work or put in a workstation drive.

Collapse -
Take this to your employers
by NKFC-fireman / December 4, 2005 7:22 PM PST

I have been dealing with McAfee since buying my computer in early 2001. After the virus protection that came with that purchase expired I purchased McAfee Internet Security ver. 5.0. When that expired I began getting annoying and frequent pop-ups telling me to update my service. I went and purchased McAfee internetsecuritysuite 2005 ver. 7.0. After I installed it the pop-ups continued. McAfee support failed to provide the correct means of stopping them. I finally stumbled across something that looked promising in my Add/Remove and got rid of the pop-ups.
My ver. 7.0 was due to expire March 29, 2006 but something went wrong. It somehow expired a few weeks ago. I had to Add/Remove expunge all of it from my computer before I could get my internet service to be allowed to operate. Of course I could not get to McAfee's internet support site without doing this.
McAfee's Customer Support responded that I should go to its Technical Support. McAfee's Technical Support did not even verify that their response matched my computer's operating system. I have still not re-installed the software because McAfee has yet to respond to my response to their response to being informed that their first Technical Support response was useless to me. So if you have not learned to operate 4 networked computers and are concerned about more than virus problems, try to find something user friendly.

Collapse -
Strongly Disagree
by Zippy / November 25, 2005 4:06 AM PST
In reply to: Norton Anti -Virus

I have worked as a PC tech in the recent past. Systems with virus problems that I have repaired all had Norton AV or McAfee, all updated virus definitions also. After I scanned the system with Norton (if it was on the system), I always scanned with AVG afterwards to make sure ther ewere no viruses. About 3 times out of 4 I would find viruses with AV that Norton or McAfee missed. Also, Norton is such a resource hog (I know, beating a dead horse, bu it is so true!) that it is almost better to have a mild virus than to have Norton bogging your system down. I mean, really, isn't that what a mild virus does, bog your system down? So why would you install a program to protect against that sort of thing when the same program that protects bos down the system?

Conclusion: get AVG free. It works great and uses minimal resources.

Collapse -
by raven1 / November 27, 2005 6:24 AM PST
In reply to: Strongly Disagree

While I have never had major problems with Norton AV I can certainly agree on the resource useage. Recently a relative asked me to look at her computer that that was running EXtremely slow. I assumed I would find numerous ad/malware instances and maybe a virus or two. WRONG!! What I found was Norton AV. I disabled it and installed AVG. Problem resolved. Norton is an extreme resouce hog.

Collapse -
PC-cillin, Norton, McAfee, etc.
by hhdawrs / January 18, 2005 2:33 PM PST

I installed PC-cillin 11/12/04 and, so far, it has done far better than three early versions of Norton ( including SystemWorks 2004) and my last three years with McAfee.

I also use Ad-Aware, Disk Cleanup (part of Win XP Home), DisKeeper, Registry Mechanic, SpyBot-Search&Destroy, and Window Washer.

For my system, a winning combination.


Collapse -
Re: PC-cillin, Norton, McAfee, etc
by Themisive / January 18, 2005 11:40 PM PST

I agree, Trend PC-cillin, wins hands down rather than the others. CNET's poll suggest a low usage for PC-cillin, I happen to know it is one of the top three anti virus programmes - and for my money, by far and away the best.

Collapse -
Re: PC-cillin, Norton, McAfee, etc
by Sugie / November 25, 2005 12:59 AM PST

PC-Cillin wins hands down - cannot be outdone by other that received mmore votes. Problem is that name is not as well known as Norton etc. takes some longer to learn than others.

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 Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for great gifts under $100?

Trendy tech gifts don't require a hefty price tag. Choose from these CNET-recommended useful and high-quality gadgets.