Norton, McAfee or Panda Antivirus?

I've read all the other posts in the Helproom forum and understand that everyone has their own view of AV products. However, I'm keen to purchase an integrated security program such as Norton Internet Security 2004 but have only heard nightmare stories regarding the antivirus software.

I've only ever used Norton and have found previous Norton anti-virus versions to work without a glitch e.g. 2002 and 2001. Should I stick with Norton Anti-virus 2002 as it's had good reviews or consider alternatives such as McAfee or Panda.

As I'm keen to buy an integrated bundle, I'm not so fussed that there are free downloads such as Avast, AVG etc.

Panda seems to be highly recommended but a quick look at their annual renewals indicates costs of £45-50 which is almost the cost of their software. Norton, on the other hand, only charge £14-£20 pa.

My PC runs XP Home and is an Athlon 64. I've heard that Norton slows systems down as well. Is this true?

Does anyone have any views, suggestions?

Many thanks

  computernerdiamnot 19:59 19 May 04

I use F-SECURE excellent product comes with firewall highly rated by all the computer mags, If you find a copy on one of the mags email me and i will give you the registration to have until september i got mine from a mag and the fee is £36 a year. my computer is connected to the web for at least 16-18 hours a day and touch wood i have never had any problems.

  maz2 20:50 19 May 04

I run Trend Micro which I have had no problems with, doesn't slow anything down and very regular updates 2 or 3 a day sometimes, I've never had any problems in fact on talking to other people they can't believe I've never had a virus which is more than I can say for Norton 2 friends of mine are running it and both are inundated with viruses, I used to run Norton on my old PC and it let me down so never again

  GANDALF <|:-)> 20:57 19 May 04

click here and the free version of AVG. I have never read a reasoned argument for paying for an anti-virus or a firewall.


Thanks for the messages so far. I'm only considering an integrated bundle as I'm not that technically minded and I thought it might be simpler. Additionally, I've just bought a new PC and am a bit paranoid to say the least.

If I did go for a free antivirus, which firewall, ad-blocker and spybot should I go for?

My broadband connection doesn not include antispam either. Is there another product I could use?

  HXP 21:07 19 May 04


Been using it for 2 months without a hitch - seems fine and has blocked several trojans.

Can't argue with the free software approach though .....


I've read numerous negative NAV 2004 Internet Security reviews on Amazon. Main criticism according to another magazine was that it slowed down systems.

Do you find the antispam and firewall effective, say the latter if compared to the popular, free zone alarm?

  WaTcHiNg 21:36 19 May 04

I use McAfee personally; they're a major suppiler at work as well (10's of thousands of PCs). The product is very stable, kept very up to date and doesn't seem to cause any problems with any other apps on my PC (and I have lots of odd ones!). Support has been excellent as well (personally and corporately).
I'd always pay for an AV product from McAfee purely because I know so many people with AV software like AVG (free) which doesn't always detect trojans, autoupdate stops working without displaying error messages so the PC goes without protection, slow to update etc.
PANDA, I've no personal experience of but none of the AV vendors I've spoken with have had a good word for them. Small outfit apparently who aren't members of the AV vendors 'association'. I can't remember what the associations called but it's where reputable companies share virus data to ensure the best protection for end users.
Norton, I've seen too many clashes with other software on the PCs in older versions.
My wife's school used to use Sophos - updated monthly! What good is that??

  computernerdiamnot 21:45 19 May 04

Here is a resonable response. People who pay for a subscription have the easy life of having automatic updates which mean one less thing having to update themselves. Most of the problems of users getting viruses on this forum are from users using the free anti-virus programs. I have at least 3 updates a day on my Internet security package. Another exampe is i have Spybot which is free, HOW MANY USERS PAY A DONATION i for one have, why how else will these companies pay for the resources they provide. Yes free things are nice but you pay for what you get and as the saying goes you never ger nothing for free...

  spuds 22:22 19 May 04

I have used for a long time now, a selection of free downloads namely, AVG-ZoneAlarm-SpyBot-AdAware-SpywareBlaster. All have worked to perfection, and have done their job more that I could have expected. Keep them updated, and you could not ask for anything better.

'you never ger nothing for free'--In this case, I would say you do.

  computernerdiamnot 22:27 19 May 04

Spuds i meant was you have to manually update these free programs where you do not have to with subsciptions. You always have to do something and yes you get a free program but you have to update at your exspense i.e forget get a virus.

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