Friday, March 2, 2012

Renew My Subscription To Norton? Are You Insane?

What better way to celebrate this blog's 801st post than to rant about something which is necessary to keep you protected in the Cyber World?

What you're about to read is a two page letter that I wrote to Symantec Corporation, makers of Norton Anti-Virus software products, explaining in great detail why I'm switching to McAfee. I mailed this bad boy on February 26th.

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing you this letter, which will also double as a complaint, to let you know in no uncertain terms why I won't be renewing my subscription to your product.

For the past six months, your product has produced nothing but major headaches, intense frustration and perpetual freeze ups, as I tried to use my computer for Internet surfing and writing.

Let me give you a typical example of what I go through whenever I want to use my computer.

1} I turn on my computer and wait for it to boot.
2} A couple of minutes later, I start to use the Internet to conduct my daily business (checking e-mails, correspondence, blogging, etc.).
3} Less than five minutes later, computer freezes up due to an executable file that you use called "ccsvchst.exe".
4} I manage to disable the anti-virus program after about a solid minute of right clicking my mouse. I can never disable it through my Windows Task Manager, and in fact, my Windows Task Manager is always open so that whenever my computer jams, I can take the appropriate action.
5} I wait for it to kick in, then I either do a regular restart of my computer, or if the CPU has been jammed for an extended period of time, a cold reboot.
6} More often than not, I also have to reset my router multiple times as well as unplug my router multiple times before the problem finally goes away.

This is something that I have to do on a frequent basis as your program stubbornly refuses to do what it's requested to do by the user the first time.

I've also had my computer jammed by your program in the most bizarre ways imaginable:

1} I've had my computer freeze up on the log-in screen. This usually happens if I have to go away for a few minutes to take care of something, and I wind up doing a cold re-boot to fix.
2} I've had my computer freeze up when it goes into screen saver mode.
3} I've had my computer freeze up when I try to open a typical personal program like Word.
4} I've had my computer freeze up and a print job interrupted multiple times because of your program.
5} I've had my computer freeze up when nothing is being done on it. I would just have it on and it would freeze up.
6} Even when I would unplug my router, thus having no Internet capabilities so I could spend my time writing, my computer would freeze up.
7} And should I be able to get on the Internet while you software is severely jamming my computer, I can't access any of my bookmarks or subscription links until it finishes compiling whatever pointless information it needs.

Quite often, your program would jam my computer up so severely that in a course of a typical hour, I would be able to get on the Internet for about fifteen minutes, with the rest of the hour spend trying to disable Norton and re-booting my computer.

Finally, what good is an anti-virus program if you have to disable it in order to do what you want and need to do on the Internet?

So when my subscription expires in about two months, I will not renew it. Instead, I will install what my Internet provider (AT&T) offers for free and what our household computer has: McAfee

I sincerely doubt that I will ever go back to using Norton Anti-Virus software, simply because I don't need the stress or the aggravation. One more thing: during the entire time that I was writing this letter, my computer got jammed by your software, even though I had disabled it and re-booted my computer prior to writing this letter.




  1. I use Microsoft Security Essentials anti-virus program on my home computer and it works great. And it's free.

  2. G, I hate when you get stuck in these catch 22 situations! They are the worst!

    Hope the McAfee behaves itself! Sometimes I wonder if these security systems are more hinder than help.

  3. Try AVG. It's free and unlike the other two, doesn't add spy shit to your computer.

  4. Lynn: I had Microsoft's Live One Care a couple of years ago and it was a pretty good anti-virus protection program.

    My job uses McAfee and it's been pretty good for them.

    Talon: McAfee can't be any worse than Norton, and since there hasn't been any problems at work, I might as well give it a shot at home.

    M: Thanks for the recommendation. I've also had people tell me great things about McAfee as well, and since it's already part and parcel of our account, I'm leaning towards giving it a shot.

  5. We got so annoyed with trying to replace our Norton subscription that we gave up and used McAfee - no probs!

    However, when I bought my new laptop a few months ago it came with Norton installed free for 1 year - it's been no problem but I shall probably not re-subscribe as the OH has McAfee on his PC with the option to cover up to 3 computers at no extra charge!

  6. Sue: I originally got Norton as a replacement for Window's Live OneCare that Microsoft chose to disccontinue in 2010. However, for the past several months, it's been a major headache.

    The freeze ups used to be really bad last year because I didn't have enough memory in my computer (about a half a gig) but with almost 2 gigs of memory, it shouldn't be freezing up at all.

    Norton may be good, but the freeze ups (which people have complained about on their own forum) have permanently soured me on the product.

  7. That sounds miserable, G. I hate it when my computer freezes up like you mentioned. Luckily we have had no trouble with Norton. Fingers crossed.

  8. David: Hopefully your freezeups aren't the side effect of having Norton and rather the side effect of not having enough memory.

  9. Darth: Thanks for the recommendation as well.


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