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McAfee or Norton.. Which is better?
Anyone want to chime in?

 11:36 am on May 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Anyone know which is better in terms of security & reliability? Norton Firewall & Anti-Virus or McAfee Firewall & Anti-Virus?





 3:22 pm on May 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

The latest PCWorld mag [pcworld.com] has an article and reviews on security software.

I personally haven't used their firewalls but I have used both virus scanners and I prefer Norton.


 3:31 pm on May 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

I had McAfee free on my machine but the free subscription ran out. I went to renew the subscription and their site couldn't be contacted! So thinking that they weren't interested in my payment I got Norton Anti-Virus and Firewall which has been much better..


 3:41 pm on May 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have been a staunch supporter of Norton for a number of years.

However, I had endless problems with NIS 2004, resulting in the software crashing and infecting my machine 6 times in 10 days.

I uninstalled NIS 2004 (which was included as a trial version in my laptop) and installed a copy of NIS 2003 which I had purchased for my desktop - haven't had any problems since.


 3:48 pm on May 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

I second the criticisms of NIS 2004, its got major problems which have still not been properly addressed.

A step to far in the development of the firewall which seems to be the problem.

Firewall - You won't go far wrong with 'Zone Alarm Pro 4 [zonelabs.com]', also good teacher of the basic principles of firewall security.

AV - Norton is fine.

Regarding McAfee - i've seen it get its knickers in a twist with a new computer and OS, though i own a copy of the latest suite, which i plan to put onto my fileserver (home office).


 4:07 pm on May 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

I prefer norton antivirus. But I wouldn't touch the other "features" such as their firewall with a 100 foot pole. Installed it all once and had nothing but trouble.


 7:01 pm on May 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yea, had the NAV & firewall, but ran into a host of problems. Believe it or not, McAfee is working much better, no messes with the OS, and not one virus either. I was never crazy about the McAfee programs, but every since Peter Norton actually left Symantec when they were acquired by IBM its been down hill from there.



 3:15 am on May 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

VCom Systemsuite 5, not too shabby, even though it pulled out virii from a comp that norton didn't spot.

creative craig

 10:57 am on May 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

I use Zonealarm and have never had any problems, set was easy and it runs silently in the background.


 8:30 pm on May 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am a big Norton Antivirus Fan and Zone Alarm Pro for software firewall.

The best is to have Norton Antivirus then maybe a hardware firewall on a router.

Had Mcafee once it was slow updating, viruses not always cuaght in time.

Norton seems to be more gracefull in handling a virus, just install and leave it to run in the background.


 6:07 pm on May 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Don't use either products. Both are a major pain, nothing but issues. McAfee anti-virus is good but not compatible with other programs. I've found this true in Norton as well. Norton over all for anti-virus and a firewall suck in all areas. I work on multiple machines with numerous people and I've found that the best result is to use the below products. BTW, neither anti-virus or firewall should be shut down unless you have to for updates/upgrades on the app it self.

1. Avast Anti-Virus or Trend Micro PC-cillin Anti-Virus
2. Zone Alarm Pro

AVG Anti-Virus is pretty good but lacks some features and on some machines auto update will not work.

I've tried many anti-virus and firewall applications. Those ones seem to be the best overall. There reliable and secure. Not saying there 100% of course.


 6:16 pm on May 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Don't use either products. Both are a major pain, nothing but issues. McAfee anti-virus is good but not compatible with other programs. I've found this true in Norton as well. Norton over all for anti-virus and a firewall suck in all areas.

Exactly, I get to see a lot of machines with varied hardware and software, some of it very specialised... and both these anti-virus programs cause no end of nuisance.


 12:25 pm on May 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Norton is horrible.

I use AVG Grisoft antivirus and Sygate personal firewall on quite a few machines. They are small, simple, easy to use, and FREE.


 12:31 pm on May 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

As to AV, I have Symatec on two computers and McAfee on three others. Got no complaints about either. Symantec seems to scan faster.

As to firewall, I have McAfee Personal Firewall on my laptop. No complaints.

Desktops are connected to routers with hardware firewalls. No complaints there either.

Maybe I'm just easy to please. :)



 1:15 pm on May 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

We've had to support most of the major (and many minor) AV scanners over the last 5 years, and even taking into account the fact that Symantec and Network Associates probably account for over 95% of the market, the consensus here is that they produce by far the largest number of problems and consequently provide the least amount of protection to users. Norton in particular is bloated with unnecessary features and has an update system that even when correctly configured can break for no apparent reason leaving the machine open to attack.

The best products that we have found are the ones that keep it simple. NOD32 from Eset is our favorite - not well known, but faster, lighter and more reliable than either of the two best sellers.


 2:59 pm on May 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

The reason why I say that McAfee and Norton products are not quality reliable products are as follows...

1. Unstable, not compatible with other applications/games.
2. Virus Definitions take to long to come out and don't even apply most of the time properly since the auto update doesn't work (mainly Norton).
3. Both company products in regards to firewalls do not provide adequate security protection. Of course nothing is 100% but ZoneAlarm Pro or even Sygate for that matter are far superior. Ask any security expert.
4. Both company products are extremely bloated and way to many unneeded features to confuse the end user.

End users in general will not complain unless compatibility issues arise or unstability. They think if they just leave it the Anti-virus and firewall will protect them. This is not the case and this is why I say McAfee and Norton do not cut it. ZoneAlarm it good but doesn't provide basic firewall protection like it should. No matter what you use it has to cover all the areas and the product has to be kept up to date.


 6:31 pm on May 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

The question is "Which is better . . ." The thread, however seems to have turned into a "bash Norton/McAfee" exercise.

Since compworld hasn't responded since May 18th, I assume he got the info he was looking for.

Thread closed.

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