Norton 360: Whatever You Are, People either Love You or Hate You

SymantecBack in December 2006, I did a review of Norton 360 (the beta version) and pointed out a bunch of minor annoyances with the product. Since then, it has been met with glowing reviews by the big boys at CNET and PC Magazine. Interestingly enough, my 360 review is often the most popular article at Computers.net any given week.

I found that it shows up on the first page of Google results for “Norton 360″ and is the only site on that first page that has anything really bad to say let alone a place to leave anonymous comments. And there seem to be plenty of people frustrated, looking for some way to be heard.

This isn’t the first time this happened, either. Back in 2005, I did a little blurb about Norton AntiVirus 2006 being released. I didn’t even get into review mode for that one, but it still attracted readers and comments like crazy (was and often still is in the top 5 posts on Computers.net). In terms of the underground misunderstood consumer base wanting to spread a bad reputation of an otherwise reputable company, I feel like Microsoft may need to step aside and let Symantec take over as king.

Why the disconnect? Every major tech publication seems to love Norton products. The company (Symantec) definitely has the largest market share of the software security market. But is it really the best option? Are all these frustrated users blaming the wrong product? Hardly, it seems. Here’s a sampling of comments from my previous mentions of Norton products (after reading through these, let me know what you make of it):

Anil:

“Having been very happy with the earlier anti-virus programs from Norton, when NAV 2005 expired, I went and bought NAV2006 from their site. And as there was a special offer on a 2 year subscription , I went the whole hog and bought a 2 year subscription. After all Norton is Norton right ? WRONG !!!!!! After 2 days of head-scratching, rebooting, formatting the disks etc etc, I decided to google for problems with NAV.

Now I am formatting my desktop again and plan to run AVG Free. I wonder whether I will get my money back.”

Joe Shingles:

“Norton 360 is about as useful as turning an old condom inside out, and as enjoyable as committing suicide with a lawnmower. It’s over invasive, will slow your computer to a crawl and CANT BE TURNED OFF!!!!”

Leanne:

“I bought Norton 360 and installed it on my nice new machine, thinking I was doing the right thing.. however, after installing it, it started to slowly kill my machine, it would shut down IE as I was running IE7 with the Google Tool Bar, so I removed that, then it would come up with useless JavaScript (blank) errors, so I tried uninstalling it, nope didn’t fix a damn thing..

After an hour on the phone to their “technical” support (IN INDIA) with no results and them telling me that it was a “coinsidence” that my computer was crashing.. And being told that Norton does NOT effect any program running (and somehow magically corrupted IE7 because of a phishing filter problem and decided to kill my JavaScript functions – inc Windows Explorer).. I demanded a refund.. I had to reformat my machine and I’m STILL trying to fix the problems that it had caused!!”

Jonathan:

All you guys who think Norton is great – LOOK OUT! I fumbled with it for 4 years but since I hadn’t had any major problems – I decided to go ahead with the Norton 360 upgrade. Now I have a computer that runs slower than my old Radio Shack Model 4 did and is about as useful. How does this company get away with this. Everyone I have talked to says how great they are to take your money but the program is garbage, over priced and is now actually distructive. And to think I paid them for all this!

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  • Steve F

    Norton these days may be a resource hog in terms of both ram and cpu whether it would be anti virus or 360, almost all are although these days they are commonly found around businesses, schools, at the home and several other places. Its no wonder why they make so much money.

    Norton just like mcafee are trusted programs for antivirus protection. You dont see many people using programs such as “kaspersky” or “NOD32″ and although only the smart people use them and others…. there are many out there that are still use these. My School with crappy computers (by that i mean this -Pentium 2, 128MB ram, 2GB hard Drive etc etc.) uses norton, not this version but one of the previous ones. I guess it dont matter because who gives a shit about the students at the school anyway….. Norton is popular. When people need to buy one they think OHH NORTON (or mcafee) over here down under when you go to the shops you would see mcafee, norton, trend micro and maybe some other crap….

    I used to use just this and now that i dropped it and don’t use any anti virus whatsoever my computer is faster than lightening. I am so happy. When i started up my computer i always used to check out task manager to monitor ram usage, cpu usage and timing. When i had Norton my page file was at 300MB+ (i have a gig of ram) and my computer took reasonably long to fully load. But i knew that I was protected and it was a good thing. Now that i still am protected (with my knowledge of badware and a few other factors)my computer is free. My page file is less than 150Mb (thats half of what it originally was) and it starts up SOOOOOOOOOO FAST, i could not wish for anything else…except for..

    If any of you need help or just have to get rid of norton, dont use add or remove programs… GET THE NORTON REMOVAL TOOL and get that shit off your computer right this minute. If i were you i download some sort of cleaning utility to fully (there is always going to be something left behind in the registry)get rid of Norton and dont use any antivirus at all (For the professionals)

    Happy Surfing, and enjoy your computer to its fullest speed.. if you dont want to get norton (or if your computer is ultra fats)

  • Stan

    Been running Norton 360 for a month now. I installed it, did a online back up then on my next system restart windows would not start. I had to format my disc and reinstall windows and everything else I had. Since then its been running like a dream and I am even quite impressed with Norton 360. However, I have been unable to recover the documents I originally backed up online. I’ve been backwards and forwards with Norton 360′s indian customer service and all I can say is ‘they are USELESS’ as much use as a wet paper bag. So in other words a good program as long as you encounter no problems and require assistance from Norton.

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