Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Why I'm Not Fond of Norton

I spent a couple hours yesterday at my Mom's house. We were not just visiting pleasantly. I was trying to understand why her high-speed internet was not working. Quite a bit of the time, we were on hold with the tech support people with her provider, or waiting for a call back. Internal diagnostics said there was no communication from the DSL modem to her computer. I thought the cable went bad, so I went to Big Lots to buy a different cable ($3.99 for 15 ft. cable--remember that when you need one). Guess what! Same problems.

When I left her place, I got a phone call from the provider. He gave me a direct phone number, to get right back in, without going through the voice mail menu. I told him it would have to wait until the next day. He suggested I connect a laptop to her system. If the same problems surfaced, we would suspect a problem with the modem.

This morning, I hooked my laptop into her DSL modem, and it purred like a happy kitty cat! I remembered that yesterday, she told me that she had gotten an internet worm. Norton Antivirus had intercepted it. Since her internet was not working correctly, I couldn't research that. With my laptop hooked into to her internet, I researched it a bit. I googled "portscan Norton" and got a bunch of pages where people with Norton Antivirus talked about how Norton would inform them of a worm, and they would get knocked off the internet for 30 minutes or so. One post said that they had talked with Norton about it, and Norton people told them to disable the Internet Worm Protection and the problem would be solved. After all, Norton still has the Auto Protect Enabled.

I went back to Mom's computer, disabled that, shut the system down, hooked her back into her DSL modem, and voilá, no problems, except for a security notice from Windows XP that said that she was operating without a firewall. I enabled the Windows XP firewall protection (not Norton's), and she is surfing smoothly. Evidently, her Norton system decided to enable their own firewall (Internet Worm Protection), disabling the Windows XP firewall that she had previously enabled. She knew nothing about that action.

I have had my moments of rage with both Norton Antivirus and McAfee. I used McAfee early on, and then I got upset at them. Later I switched to Norton, and was happy at first. At OCC on our network, computers are protected by a corporate version of Norton. On my own computers (I use my own computer at work), I run AVG. I recommend it. Not only that, but now, once again, you can get a free version. I have computers running AVG free, and Kim uses a Dell laptop with a commercial version on it. There was a small window of time last year where new users (or computers) could not get the free version, unless they had previously used it. Kim's Dell laptop was new, and so I bought 2-years' worth of protection from AVG. Now, anybody can get their free version, which should be adequate for any home user need. Check it out here.

That's about it for now. Some people trust in the Nortons or in the McAfees. I don't. I trust in the LORD!

Rant completed. I hope you have a great day!


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