Hi all!

My subscriptions to Norton Internet Security firewall and its twin, NAV, expired a while back and I haven't have had the time to renew subscription by finding a nearby Symantec partner. The pesky alert came up and kept popping up every five seconds so I decided to check out the NIS 2006 Trialware (good for 15 days).

I downloaded the 43MB plus file and as I was installing it, NIS declared itself incompatible with AVG and Spybot S&D (that I regularly update and run alongside AdAware SE and Ewido). Ok, needing the firewall first and foremost, I went to to uninstall both, rebooted, after which it demanded that I also uninstall the previous (expired) version of NIS and NAV. Complied with that, and managed to successfully install NIS (with NAV and other blocker components) in my system.

My questions are:

a. Can anyone point me to any resource that would explain the incompatibility? I've searched symantec and grisoft and even googled it but can't find any explanation at all on why NIS should be incompatible with AVG and Spybot.

b. Can anyone recommend a robust firewall program that can be a possible option over NIS?

My OS is Windows XP SP2 and though it has a firewall, I've seen comments about its possible weaknesses, hence I don't want to rely on it 100% (but it is also enabled). I cannot, however, make do without any firewall at all as I won't and does not intend to be offline forever plus I can't prevent my kids from playing online games and other online activities while I'm out. I have, however, restricted usage to the extent that I will not allow any P2P programs installed--and for that matter, used.

Thanks in advance for the assists I know will be coming.