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 Post subject: AV roundup in Holiday 2011 issue
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:06 pm 
Willamette
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 12:17 pm
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I just felt like putting this out there... my concern for the roundup in the Holiday 2011 issue.

I noticed that Norton NIS 2012 got a 9 and a Kick Ass award, whereas ESET (the one that i decided to use this time) got a lowly-rated 6... I guess this will be more of a complaint....

I know that everyone has their own preferences, and that just because MaxPC says a program gets a 9 and a Kick Ass doesn't mean its the best for everyone, but I've noticed a bit of a trend here, though, lately with Norton products. In my view, I don't care much for them. Microsoft even has a few KB technical articles on crashes that Norton products cause (particularly on XP machines where a BSOD might occur, which ends up being caused by Norton products).

Yes, they have gotten better over the years, but also they are probably one of the major targeted AV apps/suites that is targeted by hackers and virus developers I think in part because so many people trust Norton because of the name.

Then there's the impact on the system as well. I've noticed, and even with the newer version, there is still a decent amount of slowdown from Norton's products. AVG is somewhat the same too. Not that the faster products neccesarily do any better, but I think that this is also a point that needs considering (and it may be in the reviews).

All in all, I guess I'm starting to see a little bit of a pattern here. I mean, I'm a very careful person when it comes to stuff on the Internet (I run NoScript for Firefox, and such). It's just that I don't quite know what the hype is over Norton products. They're OK in my view, but I don't know if I'd trust them with my machines especially after reading these notes regarding the random crashes and restarts (although, I haven't seen one on my Windows 7 machines yet, but the again. I haven't run Norton products on my Windows 7 machines yet either). I guess I'd hope that people would take the reviews wit ha grain of salt and use what they feel comfortable with. I hear form many friends that tell me (Well MaxPC gave it a 9 or an 8, so I'm going to use it."

I mean, I like the magazine, and overall I feel it's a valuable resource and an informative resource. There have been some things from time to time that I have gotten based on a review from MaxPC, but I also went the extra step and did a lot of other research online. I think that what people need to realize here is that a review is just that, and is somewhat bias (even in the slightest amount) to the person writing the review, and that there will always be 50% that hate the product/service, and 50% that love it, and that a review or even a few reviews shouldn't determine what products you buy. Unfortunately, I think people (maybe not here but) tend to make purchases based primarily on a review they see or hear, and not on personal experience by themselves or by others and other sources for reviews.


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 Post subject: Re: AV roundup in Holiday 2011 issue
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:08 pm 
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Hi cbassett01,

Regarding Norton in particular, which seems to be at the heart of your complaint, we call 'em like we see 'em, or more precisely, like we test 'em, and Norton earned its 9-verdict/Kick Ass award in this year's roundup. For some (and I'm not saying this is the case with you), it's hard to fathom Norton receiving a high score or praise from an enthusiast magazine when for years it was regarded as a bloated, sub-par AV program. That was a fair assessment prior to 2009, but when Symantec rebuilt Norton from the ground up back then, it was transformed into a lean and capable AV, and has stayed on that path ever since. Even still, it hasn't always been the best option -- we scored Norton a 7 in 2010 and withheld a Kick Ass award from its 2011 suite, giving one instead to BitDefender, which we felt was a slightly superior product that year.

As for random crashes/restarts or general performance issues, we didn't experience any of that with NIS 2012, albeit the impact on boot-up was heavier than most. Once Windows loaded, however, we saw almost no impact on system performance.

With ESET, we had high expectations based on how well version 4 performed, but couldn't ignore how poorly it handled our malware tests. Failing to protect against a fake AV is a rookie mistake, and it wasn't the only threat ESET failed to stop. On top of that, we weren't impressed with the hit to our PCMark Vantage and PCMark 7 benchmark runs with ESET installed.

All that said, I agree that research is the key in making an informed purchasing decision, and that's what we're here to help with, even if our conclusions don't always mesh with people's expectations or personal preference.

-Paul Lilly


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 Post subject: Re: AV roundup in Holiday 2011 issue
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:14 am 
8086
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Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 6:29 am
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I too have concerns with Norton, but I have to admit after several bad past experiences with it, I have been unwilling to try it again.

Thank you for the informative article, but I feel there was a very big omission when you stated in the article:

"We test 10 of the most popular AV programs......"

and that omission was Microsoft Security Essentials. Being a computer builder for more than 20 years and Tech Support for the entire family and some friends (meh - don't get me started)(usually free too - double meh), I have used or tried most of the programs you have mentioned at one time or another. I realize that you only included 3 free programs but I really would be interested to know how MSE stacks up. This is my program of choice now to put on all the systems I work on for people who want free ones. I have used Avira, Avast, and AVG free programs in the past, when free was needed, but I like MSE the best now and it does seem to work well.

In addition I have every one of the people whose systems I service to run and update for Malwarebytes AM and run a scan once weekly with that program. So far this strategy has been sufficient, unless someone does something really dumb, like override the warnings and give permission to something they have downloaded off of a fruitwire service or something similar, and still the security catches it most of the time.

I have read your articles on MSE in the past, and would really like to know how it stands up today against the others, paid and free.

Thomas T. (been with you guys since Boot)


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 Post subject: Re: AV roundup in Holiday 2011 issue
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:38 am 
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Tgard wrote:
Thank you for the informative article, but I feel there was a very big omission when you stated in the article:

"We test 10 of the most popular AV programs......"

and that omission was Microsoft Security Essentials[...]

I have read your articles on MSE in the past, and would really like to know how it stands up today against the others, paid and free.


That's just the thing, we already reviewed the last major update to MSE in last year's roundup, along with version 1.0 in 2010. Both times it received an 8 verdict. If we chose to re-review what's essentially the same program as last year (I think it's in version 2.1 now), we would have had to bump one of the other free AVs off the list to make room. :-/ I understand what you're saying though.

On a related note, Microsoft is seeking out beta testers for the next release of MSE, which is expected to be ready for the general public by the end of the year. It looks like it will have some new capabilities that might make it worthy of another review, whether it's a standalone evaluation in an upcoming issue or as part of next year's roundup. In the meantime, our positive impression of MSE remains.

-Paul Lilly


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 Post subject: Re: AV roundup in Holiday 2011 issue
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:36 pm 
Willamette
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 12:17 pm
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I think I may do the NIS 2012 trial on one of my "test" machines (not my primary computer ,but a computer that is imaged and is used for testing purposes) and we'll have to see how it turns out.

It's not just that Norton is the primary concern, but I guess it's more of a surprise because many people (that I know of at least) who are avid computer users, would never touch a Norton product. But then again ,I guess you could say that about almost any product. There will be people that love it, and people that absolutely hate it.

I will say, though, that Norton has gotten much better over the years from what I've seen in reviews (including the one with MaxPC). I remember using it back in 2005, and it was horrible. Of course, this was before the "rewrite" in 2008/2009. It does seem to play better on older machines with less RAM (P4's with only 1GB of RAM or so... Yes I still find myself fixing them for people... and they have some Norton product installed in many of the cases).

I'm not totally against Norton, but it just seems a bit odd for me to see it as pretty much getting a 9 or a 9+Kick Ass 3 years in a row. Yes, I think Norton (Symantec) has turn themselves around, but until I do this test myself, I don't know if I will use them or not. The one thing that bugs me about Norton is that it doesn't always scan all files. This bothers me. ESET and others, though, do scan all files (if you tell it to) regardless of if they've been updated. Unless Norton has come up with some tactic to see if a file's been tampered with but the date/size/timestamp not changed, this still bothers me about Norton (and many other AV products that skips "unaltered" files). Virus programmers are quite clever in how they go about doing things.... I mean, ten years ago, you only had to worry about executables and other types of runnable code. Now, we even have to careful with text files and music, or pretty much every type of file from the Internet.

IS there a way to turn on full scanning in Norton, so you can force it to scan ALL files ,regardless of if they've been altered or not since the last scan?


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 Post subject: Re: AV roundup in Holiday 2011 issue
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:45 am 
8086
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Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:39 am
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I know that you tested the 10 most popular AV programs and I have tried most of your 10 choices but I have settled on using COMODO for quite awhile now and was just curious on where it stacks up in comparison. I think its by far the best I have ever used and its free as well for home users and it does pretty much anything any of the big name ones can do.


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 Post subject: Re: AV roundup in Holiday 2011 issue
PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:23 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:29 am
Posts: 11
i was using eset 5 and went back to eset 4... much better. I have tried n2012 and I dont like it... it still slows down everything quite a bit. I have even tried the current enterprise version... it is worse. Then again, I dont own an sandy bridge machine... just a lowly 1090T hexacore. I have tried MSE and i like it for all the systems but my gaming... hence the eset.



I have subscribed since boot and I am starting to doubt you are calling them as you see em. The only reason i keep buying the mag, is the "no bs". You used to have no qualms with slamming a product even if they advertised. But I am hoping this is still the same. I plan to keep subscribing as long as that continues. Please dont give me a reason to doubt.


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