Bye-bye Norton Products

The good – FREE at last

The bad – Norton products cause problems

The ugly – Norton’s incompetent tech support


I’ve lived with the hassles and horrors of Norton products on my Windows PC since I built it in 2005. First there was Norton Internet Security (NIS) 2005, a suite with anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall protection. I had some problems with it, and dealing with Norton’s tech support proved frustrating and VERY time-consuming.

The First Upgrade Fiasco
When it was time to renew my one-year NIS 2005 subscription, I opted to upgrade to a bundle consisting of NIS 2006 and Norton SystemWorks (NSW) 2006 Basic Edition. The cost was just a few dollars more than simply renewing my existing subscription. NSW is a suite of system and hard drive utilities, and, most importantly (to me), a system rollback tool.

Upgrading NIS from 2005 to 2006 didn’t work as it was supposed to. Additionally, NIS 2006 and NSW 2006 didn’t seem to coexist peacefully with each other. Once again, I wasted several days of my life dealing with Norton tech support, and scouring the web, trying to resolve the issues. Some never did get fixed. But my frustration with Norton’s tech support was so great, I just gave up and accepted it.

Upgrade Round Two
When my one-year NIS 2006 subscription expired, I opted to upgrade to a bundle of NIS 2007 and NSW 2007. Once again, the cost was about the same as just renewing my NIS subscription, and I was ASSURED that the problems I had experienced with the 2006 versions of the same software were corrected in the 2007 versions. Ha! What a fool I was to believe them. My Norton tech-support nightmare was about the same as before.

Renew, Don’t Upgrade
When my one-year NIS 2007 subscription expired, I simply renewed it for another year. No more Norton upgrades for me! Or so I thought.

Doing a 360
When my one-year NIS 2008 subscription expired, Norton offered an upgrade to Norton 360 for $20 less than renewing my NIS subscription for another year. I was leery of going through another Norton upgrade, but the people at Norton were VERY CONVINCING in their claims that I would not experience a single problem with the upgrade to, and use of, Norton 360. This proved NOT to be the case.

Reaching My Breaking Point
My upgrade nightmare to Norton 360 finally ended up with a five-and-a-half hour marathon session with three clueless on-line Norton support technicians who never did figure out how to solve my problem. I got tired of their hapless efforts and found the solution myself, searching the web on my Mac while they took turns remotely poking and prodding at my PC and mostly just twiddling their thumbs. The solution I found on the web worked, while everything they tried failed. I decided right there and then that I would get my year’s worth of Norton 360 protection, then find another solution.

Now Norton-free, and Loving It
My Norton 360 subscription ends next month, but I’ve already removed all Norton products and replaced them with FREE solutions. I’ve installed a free firewall that seems to be just as effective as Norton’s. I have installed two layers of free anti-virus/anti-malware software that should be even more effective than Norton 360. I’ve replaced Norton’s system and disk utilities with free utilities that do the job just as well, if not better. I did it all myself—removed Norton 360 and NSW, then installed the replacement software—and eliminated my annual fiasco with the clueless Norton tech support people. Hooray!

My PC Now Runs Faster
Not only is my PC more secure with the new software, but it runs MUCH faster without the Norton stuff running in the background, eating up CPU cycles and system resources. The new software runs in the background just as Norton did, but does so much more efficiently. I wish I had ditched the Norton stuff years ago. Live and learn, I guess.


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