Things can move quickly here at Andersson Mansions.
I did a little research and briefly considered Trustport (another twin engine option) but then read a CNET review suggesting that while it might be pretty good at identifying threats it might not have been so good at preventing them. Similar points were levelled at G Data's offering so, despite bad experiences in the past with failed Symantec updates and despite my warning a few posts up from here, I decided to trial Symantec's offering.
The first surprise was to find out that they are now calling themselves Norton again - I remember when they were called Norton the first time around and their products were liberally sprinkled with pictures of Peter Norton. Names don't really matter, except to marketing geeks, so I started the process of downloading a trial. I very nearly backed away at the first hurdle as Norton demand your credit card for their free trial so that they can automatically convert it into a paid subscription after thirty days without further action from the "trialee". A marketing practice I had hoped had disappeared with the Reader's Digest.
But both CNET and PC Pro magazine rate the product highly so I persisted. Another glitch arose when the web form decided that I didn't know how to spell the name of my village
but I got around that by substituting spaces for hyphens. After "no payment" was collected from my credit card I was alllowed to download the "Downloader". At this point I cut away and uninstalled G Data and rebooted. I then ran the downloader which downloaded and ran the Nortonâ„¢ Internet Security 2011 installer. All went well until I tried to "Sign In" during activation at which point the program decided that the password I'd created only minutes previously was invalid. Norton emailed me a new password, when I exercised that option, which I was able to use to activate the trial and I then used that password to log into my Norton account and create a permanent password. At that point I was also able to cancel the automatic "renewal" so that the trial could expire without further action from me.
But, all those niggles aside, I'm very favourably impressed. I had to move the Norton toolbar that appeared in Outlook (the same sort of toolbar that was so badly lacking with G Data) to a more convenient location and I also disabled the non-moveable toolbar that appeared in Firefox and, IMHO, wasted far too much screen real-estate. A quick look at the Norton settings shows it has already whitelisted my Outlook address book contacts (something else that G Data didn't do) and I have to say that at first glance the various setting panels are easily reached and settings are easily configured as needed.
I'll leave it running for a few days but already I'm pretty certain this will be the package for me as I'm not convinced by some of the Microsoft Security Essentials "script" test results. Oh, and the reason I wanted to cancel that automatic "renewal" at the expiration of the trial, apart from the matter of principle, is that Norton are currently offering a very significant saving on a 3PC 1 year subscription, something I very much doubt will still be available in thirty days time.
Nortonâ„¢ Internet Security 2011's reputation here is still intact. I let it do a full system scan (fun watching all eight CPU cores active in Task Manager) which it completed in very good time. It found and removed a few tracking cookies and also, more seriously, the Trojan "ByteVerify" (description
) downloaded as part of a Java package. It hadn't ever been launched so no harm done but clearly it's something that got missed during download either by Kaspersky or G Data during their tenure as protectors of my computer.