A Nasty Little Email - Norton360 - Is it Crap?
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  1. #1
    Senior Member wiskic10_4's Avatar
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    Wink A Nasty Little Email - Norton360 - Is it Crap?

    Hey AO,

    I posted this on another forum this morning, but I thought I'd get AO's take on it:

    [from computerforum.com]
    So evidently some guy read my "slow computer rant" in a thread I posted on here months ago (this one I think), and did not like the fact that I suggested that the OP uninstall Norton 360. He didn't like it so much, he decided he ought to send me an email about it. I replied, and then he got "a little hot". I thought I'd post them on here and get the opinion of the forum on the whole deal.

    Quote Originally Posted by deanj20's Gmail Inbox
    from james to jeremy 9:58PM 10/23/2010

    Hey, I read your advice to a guy to lose norton. Now, I know it uses a lot of resources, but there are much better ways to speed up a laptop than shitcanning the best stealth software a consumer can buy. There's a good reason why is uses so many resources on a computer. First, it runs a backup drive that it compares to the original during idle time and boot up. It has a very good firewall that you can configure down to the smallest item if you want. If you download torrent files it provides great p2p protection as well as masking data usage from many ISP's. I don't even need protection myself as I clean my computer myself with knoppix and others, but I still use norton to save myself time. It is by far the best in the business. Creating a larger pagefile, using readyboost, cutting off windows update and checking manually every other Tuesday and cutting off crap like error reporting and many others will more than make up for anything norton will use. To lose the best software on the system doesn't make sense. When is the last time you used it? Everything else is a joke. You were right about ccleaner but failed to tell the guy the most important thing and that is to check all the boxes including "wipe free space" so the MFT gets wiped. Otherwise you just did nothing important except to your browser. Man, you should pay more attention to whats going on out there. These poor bastards will uninstall norton for no reason. Norton 360 is very good at what it does! James Dodson
    To which I replied:
    Quote Originally Posted by deanj20's Gmail Inbox
    from jeremy to james 1:30AM 10/24/2010

    Norton360 is crap. I can't even count the number of machines I've removed viruses from that were equipped with Norton360. It's overkill. AVG free or MS Security Essentials will do just as good a job of keeping a system protected.

    I don't know if you work for Norton or what, or are just a "fanboi". If you like it, fine. But do not criticize my advice - getting rid of that bloatware will speed up a system faster than anything else.

    As far as "running a backup drive" - that's absurd.

    A firewall? Really? Hrmmm - so does Windows - has worked fine for me. "...that you can configure down to the smallest item if you want." Seriously? All I need a firewall to do is allow certain programs to connect on certain ports and block the rest.

    Great P2P protection? First of all, you shouldn't be downloading illegal stuff. Second of all, all you have to do is configure µTorrent (or whatever you use) to go through a proxy, and you are anonymously downloading or sharing.

    You "clean your computer using Knoppix and others" - wtf? Knoppix is a Live CD... Anyway, I don't need to clean my computer because I don't install viruses and malware on my system... =\

    Creating a larger pagefile "shreds" the HDD, and is not a substitute for actual RAM. Readyboost? Never even heard of it, but it sounds like something else that would want to run on startup. You are right about turning off Automatic Updates. However, Error Reporting and "Many Others" actually have a purpose, and disabling them will cause an array of strange behavior from certain programs... go ahead, go in there and start disabling Microsoft Services and see what I mean...

    I use CCleaner to clean the registry and delete junk files - that does little for the browser - from that comment, I'm not sure you even understand what CCleaner does...

    Look buddy, I don't know you - but you come across as juvenile and inexperienced. If I hurt your feelings by insulting your favorite AV, well, sorry about that. But I'm entitled to my opinion, and anything I've said in my posts (not even sure which one you are referring to) will only improve system performance and protection. As I likely said in my post, it has been my experience that Norton/Symantec software slows the system up worse than the crap it's supposed to protect against.

    Also, for future reference, if you have something you want to say to me regarding a post on Computer Forum, then you should post it on the forum. Do not email me again regarding a post. It will be flagged and ignored.

    Thanks!
    - Jeremy Dean
    And James retorted:
    Quote Originally Posted by deanj20's Gmail Inbox
    from james to jeremy 2:47AM 10/24/2010

    Well first I don't download illegal ****. Many things come in torrents. As far as knoppix,m it gives you complete access to your hard drive. Complete. An amateur like you would not know. Next, your Security Essentials is being phased out. Every program you mentioned is amateur stuff. I do this for a living and bill out at $275.00 hr. Anybody that recommends stupid little programs like hijack this malwarebytes is ridiculous. And if you think a pagefile could harm a computer, what do you think a virtual drive would do to it. Windows uses a pagefile by default dumbass. If you're going to mislead these people, I am going to make you a project. Even the dopes at cnet and such know 360 is the best for the average computer user. And I collect malware as a hobby. I have a honeypot and honeypot network to keep track of whats out there, and your little programs are NOT going to keep people off botnets or protect them from sophisticated malware. Get a job you're qualified for if there is one!
    And me again:
    Quote Originally Posted by deanj20's Gmail Inbox
    from jeremy to james 5:50AM 10/24/2010

    lol... ok... I'll play along...

    "Well first I don't download illegal ****. Many things come in torrents."
    Well, in your first message, you said "...provides great p2p protection as well as masking data usage from many ISP's" - Not sure why you would want to "mask data usage" if you're using p2p for legitimate purposes?

    "knoppix,m it gives you complete access to your hard drive. Complete. An amateur like you would not know."
    Yes, I am aware - that's one of the main reasons I use Knoppix - usually to manage files without having to worry about Windows permissions or restrictions... I still don't think it is all that handy for removing malware - especially for making registry edits. But, whatever you think.

    "Next, your Security Essentials is being phased out. Every program you mentioned is amateur stuff."
    Security Essentials is not being phased out. Where did you even come up with that? And I don't know about "amateur stuff" - the programs I suggested work, and work well, for the common user with common problems (sluggish computer, malware infections, etc.)

    "I do this for a living and bill out at $275.00 hr. Anybody that recommends stupid little programs like hijack this malwarebytes is ridiculous."
    Wow. That's way overpriced imho. Would you mind giving me a link to your website so that I may see you portfolio? Your qualifications? Mine is http://www.jeremydean.co.nr - nothing fancy, just my little hobby site, but it's how I make my extra money...

    Malwarebyte's Antimalware is a tried and true, excellent little program for getting rid of the little nasties people commonly infect their computer with. HijackThis! is an excellent tool to see what people have installed in various parts of their system and remove BHOs, etc.. very handy, and free! Sure, there are scenarios in which neither tool would be of any use, but, again, solve many of the common problems common users will come across.

    "And if you think a pagefile could harm a computer, what do you think a virtual drive would do to it. Windows uses a pagefile by default dumbass."
    I realize Windows uses a pagefile by default. But by increasing the size of the pagefile, you increase the frequency of read-write access to the drive. Over time, it will wear the HDD out. And, again, virtual memory is not a good substitute for actual RAM.

    "If you're going to mislead these people, I am going to make you a project."
    Not sure what that even means? You're threatening me? I'm terrified, I assure you.

    "Even the dopes at cnet and such know 360 is the best for the average computer user."
    Well, I respectfully disagree. I think it's crap, and that has been my experience with it.

    "And I collect malware as a hobby. I have a honeypot and honeypot network to keep track of whats out there, and your little programs are NOT going to keep people off botnets or protect them from sophisticated malware."
    I don't doubt that there are many, many variants of malware that "my little programs" would be helpless against - and I know from experience that there are some out there that Norton 360 is useless against, too. The idea is not to get infected in the first place. After I get done working on someones computer, I give them a brief lesson in safe web-browsing practices, and teach them how to and stress the importance of keeping their software up-to-date. If users will not change their browsing habits, then they will inevitably become infected again - whether they are running a low-key, simple AV or a monstrous, resource-hungry and error-prone AV.

    "Get a job you're qualified for if there is one!"
    That's what I'm working on. You can see my resume on my website. In the meantime, I repair computers on the side, just as I have done for the last fifteen years.

    I'm posting our thread of emails to Computer Forum, so that we may get the opinion of the community and maybe actually help someone out, rather than just having a private weiner-measuring contest. View it here: http://www.computerforum.com/184953-...ml#post1545396

    If you have anything else you wish to add, please do so on the forum. Or, if you like, email me again, and I'll put it on the forum.

    Have a wonderful day!
    -Jeremy
    So what do you guys think? Am I out of line to suggest people ditch anything with the Norton stamp? Or is this guy just a hyper-sensitive fanboi? Of course, I guess making that $275/hr, he can afford the "latest and greatest" in AV software...

    Thoughts?
    My Corner of the Intarwebz: Jeremy Dean Online

  2. #2
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hmmm,

    Anybody that recommends stupid little programs like hijack this malwarebytes is ridiculous.
    Somehow the phrase "ignorant moron" doesn't quite seem adequate.

    He obviously doesn't know what other specialist anti-malware products do?

    All HJT does is tell you what is running or likely to run on your machine. It is not an AV/AM product as such. It is up to you to interpret the results. Sure, there are other ways, but they are all long-winded compared to HJT.

    Norton 360 is not the best, it isn't even second best.............just look at independent tests of security packages to see this. It is competent, but certainly not stellar.

    I would not install it even if it were free. For a long time I have not been a fan of Symantec's home security products. Sure they are bloated and take a lot of resource, but my main beef is that they are inordinately prone to conflict with other applications, and that is what slows the system down. Their enterprise products are quite a different kettle of fish, which has always puzzled me.

    Unless you are at 100% CPU and RAM usage, it isn't Norton's resource demands that are causing the problem.

    Having said that, I got a new laptop in June..........it had a Norton Trial pre-installed............it didn't for long.

    $275/hr ???????????? Nobody, anywhere, pays that sort of money for PC support or even consultancy............that comes in at nearly $7,000 a week!!! Total bullshit............I think he got the decimal in the wrong place and meant $2.75, which would be reasonable given his apparent knowledge level and seemingly boundless arrogance?

    To put it in perspective just look at the price of a new laptop............would you spend $275 an hour to get one fixed, when your only apparent "solution" is to install Norton 360? Nah! dump it on e-bay and buy a new one!

    As the saying goes "If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as being a nail"

    At the end of the day all interactive security products will slow you down to some extent as they are scanning files in realtime. You really need to look at what they do and tune them to your personal needs.For example I never let them scan a file on closing. If they haven't detected anything on my system and didn't detect anything on opening the file then it is a total waste of time, as it won't detect the malware on closing either.

    If I am not connected to the internet then I shut them down as they are serving no purpose.

    Personally I wouldn't bother arguing with the guy as he is not "arguing" in the true sense of the word; he is just reshuffling his prejudices

    EDIT:

    I missed this priceless gem:

    "And if you think a pagefile could harm a computer, what do you think a virtual drive would do to it. Windows uses a pagefile by default dumbass."
    I realize Windows uses a pagefile by default. But by increasing the size of the pagefile, you increase the frequency of read-write access to the drive. Over time, it will wear the HDD out. And, again, virtual memory is not a good substitute for actual RAM.

    Errrrr, it is a very simple Windows tweak to get it to overwrite the pagefile on shutdown. And some of his "stupid little programs" will set a job to run at next bootup, before Windows loads. Nothing that actually runs from within Windows will do a completely reliable job.

    If you are running a 32 bit OS and have 4GB of RAM, Windows is only capable of addressing around 3.1GB of it, so you setup the remaining 900MB as a physical ramdrive.................that certainly speeds things up!
    Last edited by nihil; October 24th, 2010 at 06:11 PM.
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  3. #3
    Senior Member wiskic10_4's Avatar
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    Thanks nihlil.

    Quote Originally Posted by nihil
    I would not install it even if it were free. For a long time I have not been a fan of Symantec's home security products. Sure they are bloated and take a lot of resource, but my main beef is that they are inordinately prone to conflict with other applications, and that is what slows the system down. Their enterprise products are quite a different kettle of fish, which has always puzzled me.

    Unless you are at 100% CPU and RAM usage, it isn't Norton's resource demands that are causing the problem.
    I don't know exactly how much Norton eats up - all I know is that every machine I work on that has Norton installed runs sluggish. As a matter of fact, I'm working on a computer for a woman this very moment - A Dell w/ a 2.8GHz single-core and 1GB RAM, running XP and Norton 2011. In System Information, it showed 1,024MB Physical RAM installed, 248MB Available - WTF? I uninstalled Norton and disabled everything under startup in msconfig, and all non-MS services. On reboot, I have 778MB available (Still needs some work, but much better). Admittedly, there were other processes starting up (like iTunes, Adobe - some of my other resource-hogs I love to hate), but the difference is clear.

    Anyway, after I clean the registry up and defrag the thing, uninstall all of the unneeded programs, I'm slapping AVG Free on it. Runs great after the optimization scan in my experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by nihil
    $275/hr ???????????? Nobody, anywhere, pays that sort of money for PC support or even consultancy............that comes in at nearly $7,000 a week!!! Total bullshit............I think he got the decimal in the wrong place and meant $2.75, which would be reasonable given his apparent knowledge level and seemingly boundless arrogance?
    I know... that's when the jig was up... I was reading through the email thinking "well, maybe this guy knows something I don't..." - then I read how much he claims he charges an hour...

    Quote Originally Posted by nihil
    Personally I wouldn't bother arguing with the guy as he is not "arguing" in the true sense of the word; he is just reshuffling his prejudices
    I know... I should have just clicked "Delete" and been done with it... but what can i say, I guess some part of me likes to argue with ignorant bullheaded people...
    My Corner of the Intarwebz: Jeremy Dean Online

  4. #4
    Senior Member JPnyc's Avatar
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    I've removed Norton from every machine I've ever owned.

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    Dissident 4dm1n brokencrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPnyc View Post
    I've removed Norton from every machine I've ever owned.
    I routinely pull their consumer line from any computer I work on, not only because of resource issues, but most users simply let their 3-month trial expire w/o renewing it, and thus have no protection.

    Norton/Symantec's enterprise products are heads over the consumer stuff (like 360), but malware and viruses are such that sometimes little or nothing stops them, much less any AV app.
    “Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.” — Will Rogers

  6. #6
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    I routinely pull their consumer line from any computer I work on, not only because of resource issues, but most users simply let their 3-month trial expire w/o renewing it, and thus have no protection
    Same here for pretty much the same reasons

    Norton/Symantec's enterprise products are heads over the consumer stuff (like 360)
    They sort of remind me of Microsoft back in the day when they had a team for 9x and another one for NT. Symantec look like they might have a similar setup?

    I find it odd, as Norton have been selling into the consumer market for a very long time. Somewhere I have a 5.25" floppy with v1.0 on it. It says it will clean "all 760 known viruses" I guess the deterioration started when Symantec took them over, albeit that was 20 years ago?

    I don't know of any other vendor that has such a difference between their consumer and enterprise versions. They mostly seem to be network and remote administration features with the basic product being identical?
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  7. #7
    Only african to own a PC! Cider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nihil View Post
    I don't know of any other vendor that has such a difference between their consumer and enterprise versions. They mostly seem to be network and remote administration features with the basic product being identical?
    Pretty similar for us ranging from our consutmer based products to cloud to enterprise. All similar features.

    Norton is still giving us a go though, people are like chickens, they will never leave the freaking egg that they have been sitting on for 20 years. Shame really.
    The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
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  8. #8
    THE Bastard Sys***** dinowuff's Avatar
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    My personal Opinion:

    All of Norton/Symantec's products SUCK THE SWEAT OFF OF DONKEY BALLS!

    That's right I said it! And any product that Symantec purchases in the future will SUCK BALLS on the first dot upgrade. (Backup Exec anyone?)

    I'm sure there is a more professional way to put that but I only make $37.something an hour - so what do I know?
    09:F9:11:02:9D:74:E3:5B8:41:56:C5:63:56:88:C0

  9. #9
    Gonzo District BOFH westin's Avatar
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    Norton Rules. You are a moron.




    Kidding of course. I generally tend to rely on the free AVs, and tell the customers to run MBAM every week or two. I have never seen anyone so adamantly defend a Norton product. I wasn't aware they had such a strong following. I have seen less emotion from Mac fanboys!

    Oh and $275 an hour?!? HAHA! Sure buddy, I charge $10,000 an hour... I just don't have any customers. -- I can build a pretty decent computer for $300 - $400... Why would anyone pay $275 to have one repaired?
    Last edited by westin; October 25th, 2010 at 04:36 PM.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member wiskic10_4's Avatar
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    Well, I'm glad that folks that actually know computer security feel the same way I do about Norton as a home AV.

    When I give computer advice, I try to go off of my own experience and let the customer know that. Glad to see that you all have had about the same experience as I have with the monstrosity that is Norton Antivirus.

    As for the "guru" that sent my this email, I haven't heard anything else from him, and his account was banned over at Computer Forum for making a "threat" - I told them I didn't care, but "thems the rules" so meh. He wasn't helping anyone anyway.
    My Corner of the Intarwebz: Jeremy Dean Online

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