Can anyone explain about Norton?

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by bradzx, Aug 6, 2012.

Aug 6, 2012
  1. bradzx
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    Member bradzx x-Darkie-x

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    One of friend of mine on facebook won't believe me about Norton. Most people told me Norton is bad *** antivirus. That why I won't buy it at store or anything. So can anyone explain to my friend about Norton? Thank.
     
  2. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvertâ„¢

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    Well there's some truths about why it's not the best choice... but there's also a lot of bullshit being slung around (especially in the "it didn't catch this IE adware toolbar" category, stuff most AVs don't even go after, things that aren't viruses).
    To clarify, using that reason to recommend a different AV is misguided, since the majority of AV ignore things in the spyware/malware category anyway.

    As for why it's not a good choice...

    1 - It costs, whereas you can get protection for free.

    2A - It's overprotective and will often stop good stuff from working just so they can advertise that they stop more things than competitors. False positives are high.
    2B - There's no "is this a false positive?" dialog box by default when something is blocked with a heuristics result. Norton will often silently block something, so users will try to run something (say, a homebrew minecraft launcher), Norton will stop it, but won't tell you, so all the user sees is the program not running. This is pretty shitty behavior for a client-side program, and causes all sorts of headaches.

    3 - The program sticks it's neck where it doesn't belong, filtering traffic from all sorts of sources it doesn't need to (such as inspecting packets of IM protocols). Again, mainly so they can claim "more protection".

    4 - On the flip side, AVs like Norton DON'T do shit they morally SHOULD. Most AVs (and this is not just a Norton issue) ignore the spyware/malware category, because they're not viruses. They don't work the same way so they require a different set of tools and techniques to filter out and remove. AV companies don't like this, it seems, and don't want to add this type of protection to their mainstream products for varying reasons (too much work, want to sell it in another product, etc.).

    5 - Lately Norton's been adding detection and filtering of shit it has no reason to. I've seen two friends using it where Norton would pop up for them while they were playing a game, complaining that the game was using up a large amount of resources and should be terminated to keep the computer running fine. This is not the job of an AV, this is bloat.
     
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  3. bradzx
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    Member bradzx x-Darkie-x

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    Thank you Rydian, for explaining. I told them many times and they won't believe me.
     
  4. RupeeClock

    Member RupeeClock Colors 3D Snivy!

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    From personal experiences I can tell you that Norton does little to offer protection and does more to rely on marketing to make you think you need it.
    You do need protection against viruses of course, but Norton does a number of things to try and get you to buy into it, common tactics like including a months free trial on OEM PCs bought in stores, offering family packages of one purchase, three installs in your household, etc.
    It also will regularly nag you to renew your subscription when it's a month away from expiring, which may or may not include actually updating the anti-virus to the newest version.

    Now for the actual program, in my experience it actually causes more problems than it would resolve. In particular it is quite a heavy resource hog, from booting up to doing any sorts of tasks, from browsing to gaming, Norton is a considerable burden on your system.
    Its actual detection rate is not very good, where free scanners like MalwareBytes or free AV like Avast would detect things in a quick scan, Norton could easily miss in a full scan.
    In my experience using Norton, a weekly full scan would only return a mere tracking cookie at best. The time that I would actually get a virus that screwed with my Google search results, Norton did nothing to help me. GBATemp helped me to resolve this issue and introduced me to Malwarebytes and Avast.
    What's more is that Norton will intrusively install itself all over your system, in places you didn't know it was going to install itself. It will happily slap a gadget on your desktop or install itself as a toolbar into Internet Explorer or even Firefox! Removing the desktop gadget is easy enough, but there is no option to actually uninstall or disable the toolbar.
    Efforts to manually uninstall the toolbar by deleting the .dll file installed into your Firefox folder would result in Norton re-installing the missing piece when you rebooted. To actually stop it required making a blank .dll file to overwrite the actual file.
    In another experience with Norton Anti-virus, a friend of mine was having some serious issues with her computer. Only a basic media center PC, her hard disk was continually losing more and more space no matter what she tried to free up, and performance was dreadful. Ultimately I decided to uninstall Norton anti-virus, and this somehow freed up 20gb of space from her system, and also resolved most of the performance issues. I think the 20gb of space may have been months of LiveUpdates that were being installed but not removed after they were no longer needed.

    This is all personal experiences with the program, although they were with the program a few years back, I still would not trust Norton Anti-virus.
    As a free solution it would be bad enough, but as a paid solution it itself is more of a detriment to your system than some of the viruses it would fail to protect you from.
    Don't be fooled by their marketing tactics, microsoft's own anti-virus, Microsoft Security Essentials is all you really need, it's unobtrusive, effective, light on resources and free.
     
  5. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvertâ„¢

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    ^ - Not a virus, AVs won't touch it, that's why you needed Malwarebytes.
     
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  6. bradzx
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    Member bradzx x-Darkie-x

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    Yeah, I got those anyway.
     
  7. RupeeClock

    Member RupeeClock Colors 3D Snivy!

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    Malwarebytes identified it as a Trojan. Isn't a Trojan a kind of virus or does the likes of Norton actually turn a blind eye to these?

    Besides that, Norton usually goes by the term "Internet security" which is a broader term than just anti-virus, and as I said, full system scans were removing tracking cookies, which are not really viruses.
     
  8. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvertâ„¢

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    No, "virus" is a classification of program and how they reproduce, whereas "trojan" is about what a program does.

    It's race and job (in the infection world). The two are not directly linked, though certain combinations are pretty common.

    Most AVs do, since they're not technically viruses (and would require a whole new system to find and remove). This is why it's important to have both an AV and anti-malware.

    Most of what's added is useless shit. Scanning IM packets for known URLs? Any decent AV hooks into the kernel to control I/O and scans every single file as it's created, read, or modified, before executing (the I/O hit is often seen when trying to read data about huge executable files over a network, as the AV demands to have the entire file before allowing other programs to read data from it, for example the icon embedded in EXE files), so even if the user does click an IM link to download a file, the AV's going to get to scan it before it runs.

    "Tracking cookies" are the internet version of "boogey man in the closet". They don't track you personally. In fact they don't do anything by themselves (except exist). A cookie is a text file, and in the cookie is the site that set it. Therefore it's extremely easy to scan cookie collections for cookies from advertisers (compare the site that created it to a list of known advertising companies), delete them, and tell users you're protecting their privacy so they buy your software that... deletes text files that measure less than 4KB (technically 4KB on disc nowadays, the default NTSF cluster size, thus the smallest on-disc filesize possible in standard configs).
     
  9. osm70

    Member osm70 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    My friend used Word to create and save DOC file and Norton detected it as Trojan.
     
  10. Gahars

    Member Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

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    I've heard that Norton will sometimes list itself as a virus, and then try to delete itself from the computer. It's the anti-virus equivalent of a dog chasing its own tale.

    So yeah, that's pretty bad.
     

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