Norton Internet Security - Advice please

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Charmed, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    My renewal is now due, however, as always I have been given options, and not knowing much about security etc, I have no idea which to pick. The options are:

    Norton Internet Security 2006 Upgrade/Norton Ghost 10.0 Upgrade Bundle (recommended)

    Norton Internet Security 2006 (upgrade)

    Norton Internet Security 2005 (renewal)

    Reading down the page I have no idea what any of it means (ok, some limited knowledge)

    The following (sorry its long winded!) is what each package offers. 1 cross, the 1st package only, 2 crosses, the top two packages offer, and 3 crosses all 3 packages offer:

    Detects and removes spyware and unwanted monitoring software X X
    Inspects your computer for security holes with one click X X
    Prevents spyware programs from hijacking your home page and redirecting you to their download sites X X
    12 month subscription with LiveUpdate X X X
    Technical Support currently available X X X
    Automatic real-time detection and removal of spyware X X
    Protects your personal information on the Internet X X X
    Blocks banner ads X X X
    Notifies you about high-level Internet threats X X X
    Protects you from sending data to untrusted sites X X X
    Detects offensive email X X X
    Blocks Internet worms at the point of entry X X X
    Scans and cleans email and instant messages of viruses X X X
    Filters email coming to Yahoo! (TM) accounts as well as POP3 X X X
    Blocks email in selected languages X X X
    Defends against viruses, worms and Trojan horses X X X
    Hides your computer from hackers X X X
    Detects certain non-virus threats such as spyware and adware X X X
    Filters out spam email X X X
    Blocks inappropriate or distracting Web sites X X X
    Creates incremental backups X
    Schedules backups automatically X
    Creates back up images without restarting Windows (if needed) X
    Protects and recovers accidentally deleted files X
    Clones and upgrades your system easily X
    Blocks online intrusions X X X
    Allows different Internet access privileges for several users X X X
    Automatically enables the firewall after temporarily disabling it X X X
    Restores individual files and folders X
    Stores backup images on hard drives and removeable media X
    Downloads new protection updates automatically X X X

    Advice would be really appreciated.

  2. Di

    Di Active Member

    I'll get hubby to look at this when he comes home in a bit. My computer keeps popping up with a message telling me renewal is due in x days, so I'll be going through the same soon. :-?
  3. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    You should read other posts on this topic. Don't think any of them are too complimentary regarding Norton. You should seriously consider other alternatives such as McAfee, Sophos, AVG etc.
  4. tinytimp

    tinytimp Member

    Can you get any decent free antivirus software? (AVG maybe?) I got a McAfee package when I bought my computer last year but now it's due for renewal. It's a bit expensive for my measly student budget so I was just wondering if anyone has any other suggestions?
  5. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Check with your ISP or, since you're a student, with your school's computer department. Many ISPs offer free or reduced priced virus software, and your school may have academic pricing. I believe that all of the major vendors have academic programs.

    Anti-virus software is only part of good protection - you should also have a spyware remover (Ad-Aware or similar) and a firewall. And keep them updated - out-of-date anti-virus programs are sometimes worse than none at all.
  6. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    You see! I know nothing. What's this spyware remover and will I have it in the package I have got? :confused:
  7. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Spyware is a type of malicious program that installs itself, usually from visiting a web site, and then either records keystrokes or displays annoying pop-ups. Also called Adware. Because there are some legitimate programs that have similar code, not all adware is classed as a virus and therefore not all virus programs will remove it.

    The standard McAfee anti-virus package checks for "potentially unwanted programs", which is similar. Ad-Aware (made by Lavasoft, a Swedish company) has a free adware remover that is far superior to the one in McAfee's standard package, in my opinion.

    Some spyware programs are really difficult to get rid of, as they will get into the registry in your operating system and download new copies of themselves every time you connect to the net.
  8. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    OK, I make no claims to be an expert in this, but my work is supporting PC's, and we also have at work several forums such as this one, specifically for IT, and I hope I've picked up a fair goes...

    The number one cause of virus infected PC's is...opening dodgy e-mails from people you don't know. Software is no substitute for user education. That said it does help!

    You should really have as a minimum,:

    1. A "firewall". Basically a program (or a piece of hardware) that stops any programs conecting to the Internet, unless you say so. A good one should be able to distiguish between two different programs with exactly the same name (some viruses/trojans rename to attempt to disguise themselves as real software).

    Examples: ZoneAlarm (free) Agnitum Outpost (free trial): Norton, McAfee etc (cost)

    2. "Anti-virus" - If you look around the Internet you will find more reviews of anti-virus software than you can read in a lifetime, there are more arguments about which is best than there are about adjudication decisions at the Areas!
    Rule 1 is: no anti-virus software is perfect. Most are only as good as their latest update. Some include "holistic scanning" which means they look for things that may be viruses, or look like viruses, even though they aren't in their definitions. These are generally better, but usually aren't free.

    Examples: AVG (free): NOD32 (costs, but allegedly one of the best), Kaspersky (as NOD32), Panda (free), Avast (free), Norton/Sophos/McAfee/Trend Micro (cost), etc,etc.......

    3. "Anti-Trojan" detector - Bit of Greek history refers, a trojan horse hides on your PC, can send private data to dodgy people. In extreme cases allows another (dodgy) person to take over your PC and read anthing on it.

    Examples: a^2 [a-squared] (free), BOClean (free), Ewido (free, but XP only), Norton, McAfee etc (cost)

    4. "Spyware" detectors - Spyware is a generic term for anything on your PC put there without you knowledge to track either your surfing habits, your preferences or in extreme cases private data (such as bank details).

    Examples: Spybot (free), Ad-Aware (free), CCleaner (free) and many, many others.

    5. "Adware" remover - Adware is usually just plain annoying, as adverts are on TV, however some can install themselves without you consent, change your homepage, etc
    There are more adware removers than you can shake a stick at, but.....

    Beware any program that claims to remove adware/spyware, then when you run it finds loads of things you haven't seen before and don't understand, then tells you you have to pay £xx for the full program to remove them. 99.9% of the time they are lying just to get your money!

    Remember - none of these programs are perfect, they can all be bypassed if you decide you really want to open that e-mail, and the manufacturers do tend to overstate the risks somewhat in an attempt to get your business. That said, if you connect to the net with no firewall or anti-virus at all it's really only a matter of time before you get something. Just be sensible and don't be paranoid! My dad refuses to buy so much as a paper-clip off the Net, in case someone nicks his details and buys half of London with his credit card. If you're careful ( look for the little yellow padlock!) it's no more dangerous than giving you details over the phone. In fact it's less.

    Have a read of the websites of the major anti-virus companies, Symantec (who make Norton), McAfee, Sophos, Kapersky, etc, particularly the pages that describe the most common viruses (Netsky, for example). Then you'll be able to recognise a dodgy e-mail when you see it.

    I use AVG, A^2, Agnitum Outpost, Spybot and Ad-Aware. My PC hasn't has a virus or anything else in 2 years. Maybe I'm just lucky? (Mind you it is still on Windows 98SE, so handily avoids all the XP-specific ones!)

    Hope this is some help, I've tried not to be too long-winded (although it's a long and complex subject!).

    Oh, and a quickie about Norton, although it's reasonably good it does eat up a lot of your computer's power and resources just to run at all. Plus it's very hard to uninstall, to really get completely rid you have to go to Symantec's site and download their removal tool.
  9. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    Gosh! Still totally confused. :confused:

    Guess I will just have to go for the top one which seems to have most things (?) even though it does cost nearly £50. :eek:
  10. Di

    Di Active Member

    Steve says :

    If your programme is working ok and you are happy with it, and its a relatively new version, all you actually need is continued updates of the virus patterns. So go for the cheapest option which just continues to get th viruses updated.

    If you feel brave, the free virus checkers are probably 90% as good as Norton (AVG or Anti Vir).

    If your e-mail has a built in virus checker, you might feel that this is enough with something like AVG.

    Norton GHOST is a utiility to keep a back up of your disk. If you don't use this now, check out what disk requirements you would need to use it. You may be wasting your money.

    Whatever you do it is most important that you retain a good firewall. If you have XP, you can turn on the windows XP firewall if you uninstall Norton (unless you have a router with a firewall). If you don't XP or a firewall, you should definitely go for the renewal of Norton.
  11. paddo

    paddo Member

    buy a mac!:)
  12. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    Cheers Di and thank Steve for me. He has just saved me £25! I do have xp, but couldn't for the life of me tell you where/what the firewall is :confused: I have heard of them tho :biggrin:

    I will just opt for the renewal, everything seems to have worked fine over the last 12 months. You just hear so many 'scary' things, that for the computer 'illiterate' (that's me) you never know what's the best to do.

    Thanks again for all the advice. :tup
  13. Di

    Di Active Member

    You're welcome. :)
  14. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member


    Secrectly, for my son's 16th birthday this weekend we have bought him his own computer (yes, for those of you that know Tim, my husband, he is recovering well :eek: ).

    I was wondering about security, and whether or not I can use the security package I purchased for my computer on his. Do I have to buy a seperate package for another computer or can I use the one I have already on mine? I have bought the Linksys wireless internet connection but want to make sure his computer is protected.

  15. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    No - you'd need to purchase another license Sue. I know that with MacAfee VirusScan though you can use it on two PC's.

    The LinkSys router is just a method of sharing your broadband connection and you still need to protect each machine that connects to the internet through it.
  16. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    Most routers have a firewall built into them, but you still should have anti-virus/trojan/spyware software as well.
  17. andyh

    andyh Supporting Member

    My copy of Norton Internet Security 2005 expired earlier this year too - and I'd not had a single problem with it. I tried to follow up the prompts it gave me for renewal and ended up with NIS 2006. Now, I don't want to rubbish NIS 2006, but as a software professional I was not impressed and it gave me no end of problems. Suffice it to say I now use NOD32 as an antivirus tool and Sygate Firewall (the last free version).

    NOD32 I have found to be very fast and very light on system resources (others have noted in this thread that NIS is heavy on resources...). One thing I do appreciate with NOD32 is that annual renewals are very realistically priced - much less than the initial outlay.

  18. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    I've since discovered that my son's computer has MacAfee security on it. Not sure how much security there is, but does this mean I don't have to purchase another Norton system?

    Sorry to keep going on, but for those of us who have no idea about computers it can get really confusing!!!:eek:
  19. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    I wouldn't think so Sue, it really depends though on what MacAfee product you have. What one is it?
  20. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    It comes up 'MacAfee Active Shield'. After checking it states the computer is protected against Virus Scan, but doesn't have Firewall Plus, Privacy Service or Spam Killer.

    Do I need to get some more protection?

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