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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    Is it really worth a subscription?

    I'm coming up to subscription time on Norton Antivirus 2002 and I'm not sure whether it's worth
    a) paying for another year's subscription?
    [img]/forums/images/smilies/cool.gif[/img] paying for a more recent version of Norton AV
    c) paying for another AV package
    d) use a freeware AV program (probably AVG as it seems to be "good enough")

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Is it really worth a subscription?

    I am using AVG (used Norton until a recent new computer). I've never had a virus.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Is it really worth a subscription?

    Almost certainly there are significant differences between 2005 and 2002 versions that make it worth switching rather than buying another year of updates. What to switch to is a matter of opinion, and you already have a few of them. If you're interested in PC-cillin Internet Security, there usually is a $25 "competitive upgrade" offer available (either on Trend Micro's web site or in the box).

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Is it really worth a subscription?

    And I just now checked this link (Special Offer for Microsoft Customers) at Microsoft which you recommended awhile back and it seems to be still valid @ $25 bucks.

  5. #5
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    Re: Is it really worth a subscription?

    I have gone to F-Prot $29.00 USD and can be used on 5 home run computers.
    http://www.f-prot.com/

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  6. #6
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Is it really worth a subscription?

    On your last point, it's worth noting that the free AV programs use the same virus definition files as their commercial counterparts. In other words, you get the same level of protection (at least detection-wise) but less features at the interface. I've been happy with AVG free for a long time; in fact I prefer it to NAV because it grabs less of my (precious Win98) resources.

    Alan

  7. #7
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: Is it really worth a subscription?

    I used to have Norton on all my systems for years, but as each subscription expires, I move to AVG free, so far with no ill-affects. I agree with Alan that there was a noticeable (maybe just my imagination but I don't think so) performance BOOST uninstalling NAV (no minor feat, mind you!).

    I think Norton (Symantec), along with McAfee, AOL and MS, think their excrement don't stink - all 4 have been known to change "standards" and expect everyone to follow suit. And once installed, they so ingrain themselves into your system, they are harder to remove than many a virus!

    Of course, companies are able to get away with that when their products, in general, excel at what they do - and certainly all 4 companies' products do that. Having NAV installed WILL give you outstanding AV protection - if kept updated and you are what I call, Security Aware. The big guys have the deep pockets to fund and staff their labs with top people.

    My last system to have Norton is this one. I was actually happy and surprised when my Norton SystemWorks 2002 allowed me to upgrade "only" the NAV2002 to NAV2005 - seamlessly integrating NAV2005 into NSW2002 and the 2002 "One-Button" control panel!

    I do not mind paying for the program, but feel I am being ripped off to have to buy new signature subscriptions every year. This last one expires this October and I will go to AVG then - maybe give them some support and put Pro on one machine anyway.

    I think the NAV2005 upgrade cost is about $5 more than another year's subscription, and includes a year's worth of updates. If you really like Norton and feel safe with it, and are hesitant to try something else, I recommend you upgrade to 2005 and have the peace of mind knowing you have excellent virus protection.

    But I am certain you would also feel comfortable with the others mentioned here - as long as you keep each product upgraded, and remain "Security Aware" - that is, XP is on SP2 and all critical updates and patches are installed, your AV is running and current, you scan frequently with "several" updated anti-spyware applications, you are behind at least a good software based firewall, preferably behind a NAT router too, you take necessary precautions concerning attachments, downloads, and spam, and you stay away from bad places (porn, P2P, gambling, etc.).

    -bill
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
    Freedom is NOT Free!
    Heat is the bane of all electronics!

    ─────────────────────

  8. #8
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Is it really worth a subscription?

    > the free AV programs use the same virus definition files as their commercial counterparts

    Even though the vendors share some information and all try to recognize the same malware, this statement is not completely correct. AV vendors' signature/pattern files are not simply fingerprints of malware executables that any program can access. These program/data files have to be written to work with the other program components in a manner that minimizes the size of the regularly updated file, as well as protecting the vendors' IP. Accordingly, there is no way to compare what is inside these files other than to test them with their associated components to see whether they work.

  9. #9
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Is it really worth a subscription?

    Good for you, Dave! I've used F-Prot for years and really like their updater and their notifications. They even notify you when you try to update the signature files and there is a new program file available. Rock solid program that sometimes updates several times a day when a new nasty is found. <img src=/S/thumbup.gif border=0 alt=thumbup width=15 height=15>
    Charlotte

  10. #10
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    Re: Is it really worth a subscription?

    "try to update the signature files and there is a new program file available"

    Like today, there is a new version that needed to be installed.

    I am even pushing my clients to it as their other programs expire.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  11. #11
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Is it really worth a subscription?

    The only correction is that it's what Alan meant, not Bill. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> I think this is true for F-Prot free & commercial products as well. I was certainly not trying to do an "across the board" comparison. I've had situations where one AV product detected a virus that another didn't... and on at least one occasion a free one has beaten a commercial one to it!

    Alan

  12. #12
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Is it really worth a subscription?

    The F-Prot engine has been used in a number of antivirus apps over the years. I didn't know they still had a free version. Last I saw, it was a free trial only.
    Charlotte

  13. #13
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Is it really worth a subscription?

    Sorry I misread you... I wasn't aware that any particular vendor offered both free and paid versions of their product, so I read "counterparts" rather more broadly.

  14. #14
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Is it really worth a subscription?

    Oops - Bill should be Alan. Sorry!

    I think that Bill meant - he will correct me if I'm wrong - that Grisoft, for example, uses the same definition files for the free version of AVG as for the paid version, not that Grisoft uses the same definition files as any other AV software manufacturer.

  15. #15
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Is it really worth a subscription?

    Sorry about the confusion, Alan.

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