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Norton v. McAfee...that is the question?

by blksmk605 / March 23, 2005 9:52 AM PST

Hello...I just wanted to know a few opinions about which is better against virus protection and removal - Norton or McAfee. Right now I have both on my computer just in case if one misses an attack, I hope that the other catches it! Could someone tell me which one I should choose, or if I could keep the both of them...

Also, I wanted to know if there were any dangers/troubles from having both installed on my comp, what would they be?

Thanks a bunch...
(I am running Windows ME, if that helps... Happy )

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You need more than those two
by Cibeen / March 23, 2005 12:54 PM PST

since both product can not catch anything out there..

you might also want to read http://reviews.cnet.com/5208-6132-0.html?forumID=32&threadID=1313&messageID=15002

Just as good practice... use only one antivirus... and disable the other (use it to scan manually)

Like you said, you are running windows ME, you might as well running from it and upgrade your hardware and software to use windows xp pro or other OS.

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by 6MONTAGE / March 24, 2005 8:19 PM PST

Neither Norton nor McAfee are tops. Further, there are a number of reasons not to use them. Norton, particularly, embeds itself in your system in such a way that it it is nasty to try to rid yourself of it.

The top antivirus program, according to lab tests, and according to ease of use as well, is Kaspersky 5.
Solo Antivirus is also very good, and consumes fewer system resources. It's best, in fact, to use more than one, because no one antivirus program catches all viruses. However, one and only one should be used as a resident (real-time) program; the other scheduled at regular intervals as a second test.

Then you'll also want a firewall; Kerio (free version) is better than Zone Alarm (free version).

Finally, you'll want an anti-spyware/hacker/malware program, and good choices are: SpywareBlaster, Spybot, Ewido, or MicroSoft AntiSpyware.

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I agree - Neither!
by tek-ed / March 25, 2005 7:25 AM PST
In reply to: Neither.

I would stay far away from these consumer level virus scanners! They make their money on annual subscription fees...and they quite honestly aren't worth it. Plus, here is something to consider...Mind you, I'm not saying anything, just consider...these companys rely on virus's and the FUD surrounding them...it is in their best interest that new virus's are introduced at regular intervals...Just something to think about.
As to what to use? I would recommend a virus scanner that costs nothing, zero, nada, zip, zilch!
Avast virus scanner!
Go to avast.com and download the free homeuser version and get free virus protection that is better than the name brands! FREE! Then get ZoneAlarm and Adaware. Plus, if you can find it, you should use BHOCop, or some other BHO (Browser Help Object) maintenance system...these are those IE things that track where you go and pop up pages without your interaction.
web/gadget guru

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Neither - Go free
by Cooper-V / March 28, 2005 1:52 AM PST
In reply to: I agree - Neither!

Like others mentioned, use 2 anti-virus software. One resisdent and one that you run manually from time to time. I use Grisoft's AVG free as resident with AVAST as manual verison. I have Zone Alarm (free, not the Pro version)for a Firewall (always had it, never had a problem) and Microsoft's Free anti-spyware beta for XP (since it came out a couple months ago).

My kids browse freely, chat and eamil and I never got a virus on this system. If you can, get a router as well, even for only one computer, it costs the same as an Anti-virus commercial package and adds a layer of proteciton with a physical firewall (not only software like Zone Alarm). Go to GRC.com to test your "openness to invaders". Also free and full of resources.

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Why not use two AV's?
by 1timberwolf2 / June 19, 2005 8:59 PM PDT
In reply to: Neither - Go free

I find no reason not to use two AV's, as long as you choose the right ones. AVG works well with most other AV's, such as Norton, McAffee, Avast, etc. So, why not use them together?

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CAUTION: I tried Avast and was nothing but burned!!!
by YosarianCat22 / July 2, 2012 6:13 AM PDT
In reply to: I agree - Neither!

I was tired of Norton's constant hassles so I tried to download Avasti for my internet watchdog.

I paid the money, downloaded the program but when I tried to download my User License it was provided in a format that was not recognized by Windows XP Professional.

I contacted both the Avasti Sales site and Avasti Support and was told to just open the file to get the code. DAH!

Yes, the same file Windows XP Profession could not open.

I did a screen shot and sent this to both offices.
That was early in the morning and by 14:10 Mountain Standard Time they still had not responded nor would they credit my account when I requested this.

CAUTION! I still have not received my reimbursement

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Avast is Free... Not Sure Why You Paid....
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / July 2, 2012 11:47 AM PDT

I'm not sure whether you've seen the post at the link below, but according to the article, Avast Free is currently the most popular AV out there..


I'll guess you tried the "Pro" version, or possibly something else... I also note that you typed the name of the program as AVASTI (with an "i" at the end). The correct name of the antivirus program is AVAST, with no "i". Hopefully, you weren't scammed by a fake AV seller.

Hope this helps.


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Agreed, except for the following...
by rmazzeo / April 1, 2005 10:57 AM PST
In reply to: Neither.

I do feel that neither Norton nor McAfee should be used at all. Both take up system resources like there's no tomorrow, & both can be tricky to get rid of should you not like them. Not to mention the subscription/renewal hassles...but I mentioned them anyway. Personally, I have used V-com SystemSuite (formerly Ontrack SystemSuite) for years & have nothing but praise for this great software. It comes with both AV (powered by TrendMicro, long touted as one of the top AV programs) & NetDefense firewall, not to mention the other great utilities included in the suite (I won't mention them here, it's off-topic). Anyway, reasonable price, never had a virus, automatic updates, never been attacked successfully by hackers, can't say enough good about this product. Try it if you get the chance...it's worth it...

Now on to my (slight) disagreements with this particular post. I do agree that one should not have more than one resident AV (or SW firewall), since they can conflict with each other & render your system vulnerable to attack. However, while you should have only one resident (that is, installed) AV program, you should also periodically run one of the online AV scanners (again TrendMicro Housecall is excellent, & I'm sure there are others as well). That should be enough to keep you out of trouble.

You also mention a few excellent firewalls, but I don't agree that Kerio is better than ZoneAlarm. However, try both, they are both good & free. Another that isn't mentioned often enough is Sygate Personal Firewall...I recommend this one highly as well, & it's free for personal use. Try them all, see what you like better. For what it's worth...

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Removing NORTON completely
by riderchicky / May 11, 2010 3:51 AM PDT
In reply to: Neither.

I am getting rid of Norton in the next 2 weeks and would like to know HOW to remove it from my three computers (WinXP). I know it embeds itself so how can I make sure it's gone. I'm currently researching which AV and Firewall to use next. Thanks to your post I have options now!

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Re: Removing Norton COMPLETELY ..
by Carol~ Forum moderator / May 11, 2010 4:53 AM PDT


After going to the Control Panel, and using Add/Remove, download and run the Norton Removal Tool. It should remove all the files which "hook" themselves into your system/s.

I don't know how comfortable you are working in the registry. If you are, you might also want to consider doing a search for anything "Symantec" or "Norton" related, after backing up the registry first.

Best of luck..

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virus scan
by clearway / March 24, 2005 9:14 PM PST

i would do neither. Norton was a great product, about 10 years ago. it has turned into bloatware. takes too many resourses an as a corporation they care not a whit about the end user. MCafee would put you in danger of being sued if you were not happy and decided to post it somewhere on the net. i personally use clamwin, open sourse and it seems to work very well.very easy to use. low resourse use and nobody will sue me if i decide to post a bad review. avg is free and i have heard nothing but good things about it. clamwin if free also. sorry i have not put a link in. oh, and dump win me. get xp.

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Norton or McAfee
by gymnast / March 24, 2005 9:20 PM PST

I have had two machines loaded with the latest Norton software, reguarly updated, and both were virtually destroyed by big-time virus attacks.

I now have McAfee running on four systems, all on XP Pro, all of them are on BT Broadband, running 18 to 24 hours a day. The software updates itself when it wants to, (except the Spyware package which needs human assistance every couple of days). I check the firewall stability once a week on each system, useing the McAfee test routines built into the package. I have the software updated automaticly by McAfee every time they renew or update the packages, and I pay, automaticly, in US dollars. The cost is peanuts comapred to losing a system. My systems have had regular attacks made, and so far, in two years, nothing has got through, and as for spam, what's that? If IBM insist that every employee, worldwide, must use McAfee at all times, there has to be a good reason. I have tried other packages, probably around thirty in all, and I am still useing McAfee and will continue to do so for a long time....

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Definetly Norton
by decjenson / March 24, 2005 11:23 PM PST
In reply to: Norton or McAfee


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Norton Internet Security 2005 is the one for me
by Denise Neve / March 25, 2005 1:13 AM PST
In reply to: Definetly Norton

I have been using NIS products for 5 years and they have never let me down yet. The latest is by far the best, and very easy to use. I just don't understand all those groaners out there. It does what it says it does supremely well. Of course you need a good anti spyware as well, and I run on my Windows XP Pro machines, both Spybot and AdAware which is fine. However it is definitely not a good idea to run two different Anti Virus programmes on the same machine as it causes conflicts. Stop moaning you lot!

Chris (UK)

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security Norton
by aj6a / March 25, 2005 11:08 AM PST

I agree with you 100%
I have no problems with my pc.
I have the software for 8 years. it is excellent for my

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Norton vs McAfee - I vote for McAfee
by ncshelton / March 25, 2005 3:13 AM PST
In reply to: Definetly Norton

I have been using McAfee for several years, and am satisfied with it's virus interception. A few weeks ago I got a phish email asking me to "verify my bank account info". When I moved my cursor over the subject, a screen opened for me to enter the information, and McAfee immediately intercepted it as containing a virus and quarantined it. As soon as McAfee quarantined the message, another one would open, and McAfee would catch/quarantine it. As I watched, dumbfounded at what I was seeing, I could not figure out how to stop it. I could close other applications running - just couldn't stop this message. After closing everything else, I shut down the computer, hoping McAfee had not let one slip by. When I restarted my computer, I did a virus scan, and found nothing. I checked the quarantined viruses, and McAffe had quarantined 26 files, one right after another. To me, that's a good job of guarding my emails. I have used Norton on company computers, but have not had any experience with it such as I've had with McAfee.

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Dump Norton, like the shops
by 1timberwolf2 / June 19, 2005 9:08 PM PDT
In reply to: Definetly Norton

Norton is not the program it used to be, apparently because of corporate neglect. Many computer shops that formerly used Norton to scan customer machines have dropped it because it started missing too many viruses. I quit using it and recommend that everyone use something else.

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Used to use Norton
by jrhilton / January 29, 2007 7:30 AM PST
In reply to: Definetly Norton

I used to think the same, that Norton was better, however I now think differently.

My machine until last week had Norton 2006, and my subscription has now run out, so its no good. I installed a trial version of McAfee VirusScan Enterprise 8.5 on the same day that Norton ran out as I had downloaded it and obtained the manual updates in anticiptation, as a stop gap measure, and the machine was not connected to the router etc, and on its first full scan though the HDD it found (IIRC) 32 viruses! And I have to say I was surprised! (Must point out that my computer is 3 years old and never needed an XP reinstall so is as you can imagin, is full of junk!)

Though thinking back maybe I shouldn't have been, Norton never seemed to be able to clean a virus out of the windows temp folder, they always seemed to come back quickly.

But the biggest, and for me, the best thing to report, is the speed, my computer now runs as fast as it used to before I put Norton 2006 on it, and yes I have upgraded it over time so it is still a fairly high spec machine. I have to say i'm impressed with VirusScan so far, as Norton always seemed to really really slow down my system, and it apears that VirusScan is better to.

Though I am hearing lots of reprots that both McA. & Norton are in face not the best now......check google out for some comparisons between software avalable, there are lots of sites

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Enough of the bloated Norton Talk already
by stocker340 / September 17, 2009 9:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Used to use Norton

Enough of the Bloated Norton talk already folks.
I will agree with you on the bloat up until the NIS 2009 and now 2010
The older stuff was BAD and may take awhile to get that behind them but please do a little checkling on this stuff before you post on it.
Things change folks and sometimes even for the better.
You can complain about some software but it all depends on the situation and the computer you are putting it on.
If the PC you install it on has all kinds of problems virus or non virus problems nothing is going to be a fix all and you will probably blame the software.
Give the new Norton products a try you will be surprised!
You can buy it for much less then $20 these days for a 1 user 3 pc

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Norton or McAfee
by rkmsr / March 25, 2005 10:46 PM PST
In reply to: Norton or McAfee

I.ve run both on several comp. and I have too say I love NAV Systemworks.
For people who say it's hard to remove,just isn't so!! Go to the symantec site and download the removel tool.
The utilities are great. I have "NO" problems with nav.It automaticaly updates and I set it too scan monday and friday.I'm on line 8-10 hour's a day.
I'm retired and do a trmendous amount of searching and reading.


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Norton removal
by 1timberwolf2 / June 19, 2005 9:16 PM PDT
In reply to: Norton or McAfee

There are not one, but several removal tools that must be downloaded and used if you want to remove Norton completely. It is time consuming and not nearly as easy as it should be. What is wrong with Norton? Well, how about the fact that it takes over your Internet connection? If you, like me, frequently shut down services to make your system more responsive, you will find that if you shut-off CCAPP.EXE you lose your ability to connect to the Internet until you restart it by performing a reboot.

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Norton vs McAfee
by coldiniowa / March 24, 2005 10:41 PM PST

The last 2 computers I purchased came with Norton preloaded. I am a McAfee user and subscriber for many years, (My employer used McAfee before I retired) but I figured why not be doubly safe at least for the introductory period of Norton. Wrong! There was an ongoing conflict between the 2 programs. So I decided to just disable Norton. Wrong! Even disabled it caused a conflict! Finally after 2 days of trying to fully remove Norton, the conflict seems to be resloved. Have been running for about 10 months now with no problem on system one and for about 6 weeks on system 2.

For spyware/adware I run Spybot, Ad Aware and the Microsoft beta version. Each finds things that the other 2 don't. I like the automatic run feature of Microsoft and let it run every night at about 2:30 AM. I am DSL with a 3 system wireless network. 2 systems are for my kids and I manually run their systems about once a week. So far so good!

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RE: Norton v. McAfee...that is the question?
by stephcraw / March 24, 2005 11:26 PM PST

As a former Symantec employee and as the former "anti-virus" guy at Microsoft (I was responsible for testing all anti-virus apps for Windows Me, Windows XP, XPSP1, XPSP2, Server 2003, etc.), I am extremely familiar with both, as well as pretty much every other anti-virus software out there.
Let me say unequivocally that you couldn't pay me to put either Norton or McAfee on my computer. Both are garbage. What most people don't understand is that the heart of anti-virus software, the background scanner, the manual scanning engine and the updater, is fairly small.
Both Norton and McAfee are huge, bloated monstrosities because, first, the programmers are hacks who can't write tight code and, second, they jam the apps full of junk that nobody wants or uses.
I use AVG Anit-Virus on my computer. It is free and is limited to exactly what I need an anti-virus app to do.
I understand that as a former Microsoft employee most people will think that I have no right to rip on any other software company. However, in my five years as a Software Test Engineer there I was able to become very intimate with a lot of apps and their vendors.
The real fact is that you couldn't pay me to put anything made by Symantec or McAfee on my machines (OK...I admit, I do use Ghost and Partition Magic...but I am just waiting for Symantec to screw both of those up).
Also, it is somewhat popular to say that it is good or even necessary to have two virus scanners. This is false. Only one is necessary. Again, this is based on years of testing anti-virus software.
My suggestion is to uninstall both Norton and McAfee and install AVG from www.grisoft.com. I know that I sound like a grouchy old man (I'm only 35) but I have seen enough of both of those apps to know what works well and what doesn't.


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Slow AVG
by 1timberwolf2 / June 19, 2005 9:24 PM PDT

I have used AVG for a while now, very happily, but with their latest version (1.7?) it has changed behavior completely. It used to be a fast AV program to use, now it is slower than Norton. It is a shame that Grisoft screwed up a good thing, due to this I will no longer consider buying any product from them.

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I've had fewer problems with McAfee and it seems to work
by cscoder / March 24, 2005 11:36 PM PST


I use McAfee because in the last 20 years I've wasted time and money trying to fix problems caused by Norton/Symantec. Most recently they at some unknown point in time they discontinued a version of anti-virus that came installed on one of my computers. The scheduled virus signature updates kept occuring, but the second time I needed to renew the subscription, the renewal was for palm OS (I'm on a PC running XP Professional). I tried to send an email to the link that came up, but the address was no longer valid. I was never able to get in touch with support. So on this one issue Symantec:

1. Discontinued a product without notifying the user base.
2. Used the same product number for a new product.
3. Continued virus updates, probably with the wrong signatures, so at some point my scans were useless, probably.
4. Supplied a non-working email address for problems.

Last but not least, After uninstall failed. I had to download a special tool to uninstall Norton antivirus. In the process of trying to find out how to un-install, I found this is a common problem.

Starting about five years ago, before this last fiasco, I would not use a Norton/Symantec product unless it came installed. Now I will not use one under any circumstances except if there is no substitute (I don't know of any cases).

So I use McAfee, which works ok, in spite of having a completely ignorant interface. For instance in version 8.0:
1. If you're scanning the system, you have to scan the whole system or a single drive. You cannot select multiple drives.
2. If you're scanning file(s) or a directory, the interface comes up and, while scanning the boot sector and memory, it appears as though it's preparing to scan the entire system. When you're just about to cancel, it starts scanning the selected files... maybe.(see #3).
3. After you have scanned a file or directory, it just says, 'no viruses' found, with no indication of which files, or even how many files were scanned. I've sometimes dones scans twice just to make sure I scanned what I thought I did, because the disply goes by so fast you can't see what's being scanned.

The next time I need an anti-virus I will check out the alternatives to Norton and McAfee, but if you don't want to do that, I grudgingly recommend McAfee.

I don't think you can install both. I could not install McAfee until I was able to get Norton unintalled.

As far as effectiveness in finding viruses, I doubt there is much difference.

I think both companies concentrate on corporate accounts so retail consumers get the benefit of the antivirus engine and nothing else, especially in the case of Symantec. I once spent hours trying to find out how to buy an anti-virus product to use on a single web server. I searched the site and I spoke to sales people endlessly before I could buy it. The alternatives were products only avaiable with no less than 10 licenses.

Anyway, good luck.

Rich Waddell

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Read User Reivews of Norton
by cscoder / March 24, 2005 11:49 PM PST


Forgot one point. If you need any more convincing of how awful Symantec/Norton is, go to CNet review of any Norton products and then go to the User Reviews links and read the horror stories. You can also evaluate for yourself how accurate the CNet ratings themselves are. Hint: Only trust the user reviews.


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Norton or McAfee
by sp325ret / March 24, 2005 11:55 PM PST

I wouldn't have either one shoved up my nose. I've used both and both turned out to be a great disappointment to me. They both let viruses into my computer(s). I use AVG (Grisoft) now. I think that is a very effective program AND it's free!


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Norton or McAfee?
by harmar / March 25, 2005 12:46 AM PST
In reply to: Norton or McAfee

Neither. Used McAfee years ago and did not like its updating hassles. A brother uses it now and still complains about its updating. Reviews of it by "experts" are generally unfavorable compared with the competition. Used Norton for years after McAfee, but never without hassles. At first, it installed over 1000 vacant files that had to be deleted manually! Later, it developed glitches and had to be uninstalled and reinstalled numerous times. Later still, its LiveUpdate refused to work and updates had to be gotten manually from another site. Lately, it, too, has had less that sparkling reviews by "experts." I now use AVG free. A friend in Scotland alerted me to it. Never a hassle since I began using it. It's updated regularly. Scans quickly. Does not slow my system (Win Me). Kim Komando says she uses it on her home computers, and if it's good enough for her, it's plenty good enough for me.

Previous posts are correct, though, in warning against assuming one product can catch everything. I also run Zone Alarm Pro and Webroot's SpySweeper, and scan weekly, if not more often, with Ad-Aware SE and Spybot Search and Destroy. SpySweeper, Ad-Aware and Spybot seem to catch different items.

There does come a "point of diminishing returns," though. I could run 25 different programs if that's all I wanted to do. I keep my eyes open for new and better things (Thanks CNET Newsletters!), but replace something I'm using with something better rather than just adding on.

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Norton... Nah... not my choice
by GBTrevor / March 25, 2005 1:49 AM PST

I would certainly not recommend the latest Norton on anything other than a new PC. I find that any of my clients that have installed it on older Spec machines suffer with loss of speed. That said when it is running well it is good.
It does, as previously said, use alot of system resources and does embed itself deeply in Windows and when it screws up it does so majorly.
I must admit the latest version (v7) of AVG is excellent and I have found that it can find infections that Norton misses.
As for a Firewall, I use and recommend Sygate personal firewall, its free, and has never let me down for many years.

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Okay What would be a good alternative to Norton Systemworks?
by blksmk605 / March 25, 2005 3:48 AM PST

I want to uninstall the Norton Antivirus becuase I do have problems with slow performance and frequent crashes, but what would be a good alternative to the Norton System works program? I love how it fixes some of the problems my comp has....


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