Monday, October 02, 2006

20 Reasons the World Despises Norton AV?

I found this article, and I'm not sure if I agree with the author completely. It's basically bashing Norton Antivirus as causing more problems than it solves. Here is the article:

I personally haven't used Norton Antivirus (the home version) in a number of years, but I have heard some complaints that it is bloatware, and it slows down older PCs to a crawl. Not sure about the other allegations in the article, though.

I am currently running Symantec Antivirus Corporate Edition 10 on my company's network, and I have few problems with it, and the problems I have are not enough to switch, at least not yet. Here are my list of negatives about Symantec AV:
  1. Infrequent updates. I'm not talking about virus definitions. I'm talking about actual updates to the application. They seem to come out every six months or so. I'm not even sure about that, which leads to my next point;
  2. No update notifications. How can I tell if there's a new version out? I either have to check their website frequently, or hope that a tech news site might mention it.
  3. Updates require full install. Why can't Symantec do an upgrade installation? Seems like every update requires uninstalling and reinstalling the server application and the System Center Console.
Not to gang up on Symantec too much, here are my list of positives, which is why I'm actually sticking with them:
  1. VERY quick turnaround on zero-day definitions. Symantec's RapidRelease virus definitions have been very good for me. On the rare occasion that I encountered a virus that Symantec didn't detect (3 times in 6 years), I received an updated definition in under 4 hours each time.
  2. Centralized management. While it's not perfect, the Symantec System Center shows me everything I need to know about the protected computers on my network. The fact that you can centralize your quarantine of suspicious files, and your alerts make it even better.
UPDATE: I found this great site which appears to test how well the leading antivirus products stack up against a database of 315,000 virus samples. Check it out here. While it doesn't list Symantec Corporate on the recent tests, it does list Norton Antivirus, and it appears to have dropped from Number 6 best ranked in April 2005 to Number 22 in August 2006. Seems to be heading in the wrong direction. Note: I can't vouch for the reliability of this site, as I only just stumbled across it. I will update with further details when they become available.


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