Pros None to report
Cons Product installation crippled my computer, support was innefffective, de-installation leaves me with unresolved problems
Summary This is my first public review of any product. I generally dont have the time or motivation to go throught the process of posting a review. However, I have never had such a negative experience with a commercially available software package before. From beginning to end, the process of repeated attempts to install and then trying to remove NIS2007 was time-consuming, frustrating, and crippled my computer.
First the operating environment details. I'm running XP-Pro SP2 on a 2.6ghz pentium with 1GB of RAM.
Upon the de-installation of the existing NIS 2006 and Spyware Doctor applications, I proceeded with the installation of NIS 2007. The installation appeared to go cleanly, but upon attempting to restart, my computer hung on shutting down, and upon attempting to come up, I got a blank desktop with no task bar, start menu, or desktop icons. Later, as I was working with Symantec support and was able to get a desktop back, I also experienced things as not being able to bring up the control panel or click on the 'My Computer' icon. Of course, I had no internet access during the whole ordeal.
Since I couldnt find any phone number contact in the ridiculously minimal instruction manual that came with the package, I called my local ISP to find out what they knew about the affects of using NIS 2007. Through them I got a phone number for Symantec support. As a side note, the manual points out ways to get support if you have access to the internet and email, but gives no direction if you dont have access to those.
Over the course of the next 4 days of working through my issues with NIS 2007, my experience with Symantec support left me with the impression that they were mostly incompetent and quite innefective. I give Symantec credit for having 24/7 phone support, and I did work with one knowledgable support person there named Jay, but most of the experience was frustrating and time-consuming. The help desk is located in India, and the first problem is that they couldnt hear me though I was speaking loudly. The next problem is that I had to answer the same questions repeatedly as if the person didnt understand my answers. On a number of ocassions, I felt the person on the other end was just going through a script, and wasnt listening to what I was saying or reading my growing case notes. I got passed around a lot to different people and spent a lot of time on hold. They kept trying to get me off the phone even though we hadnt worked through the problem completely. In one instance, the helpdesk person was trying to tell me that things were all fixed even when I had told her there was an activation error during the re-install we were working on.
Having worked with tech support and edited registries, and tinkered with start-up configurations and various services settings, I could never get NIS 2007 to install (tried four times). Trying to un-install the package turned out to be almost as difficult and troublesome. Uninstalling has left me with problems with my computer I have yet to work out. I still cant use my scanner because it complains about a symantec DLL issue. I have no idea why that would be.
The CNET site warns me that assigning a '1' is an extreme action. Based on what I've experienced, I would rate this product less than zero if I could. There was nothing that went right, and a lot that went wrong. Having tried to install this program only caused harm to my system which I'm still trying to undo. I cant believe Symantec could put out such a pathetic piece of software with such inffective support. I'm returning NIS 2007 and trying my luck with Zone Alarm.
Pros Strong product feature set with light demands on system resources
Cons Some features require download of add-in rather than allowing users to select product options during install
Summary Until testing this release of NIS, most of what I had to say about Norton's protection products wasn't very positive -- resource hog, bloatware, inefficient, etc. However, with NIS 2007, Symantec has turned things around in a big way.
The out-of-the-box slimmed down version of NIS is light on resource usage while providing superior protection. The antivirus, antispyware and firewall make a formidable combination, and features like rootkit detection are an added bonus.
The only negative that I see is for those that want added features (e.g. spam blocking, parental controls), they have to download an add-in from Symantec's web site. These features should be options the user can select on installation (although anyone who uses any security suite's antispam features is, by definition, using a poor solution for dealing with the spam problem).
After having downloaded and tried new versions of products by Trend Micro, Zone Alarm, Kaspersky, and others, all put a bigger drain on system resources than NIS 2007. And while a few other security suites are equally light on their feet, their quirky performance and substandard feature set rule them out as competition for NIS.
So while I can't believe I'm saying this, NIS 2007 is the best choice of the new internet security suites available this fall.
Pros Decent product performance for first 3 months
Cons Customer service tech call center
Summary After talking to NINE different service reps, and EIGHT hours on the phone, my problem was still not fixed. The service reps are all indian call center workers, who ONLY follow their onscreen script. If you try to speak to them like a person, they immediately direct the conversation back to the script. Additionally, I had a supervisor call me to see if the last solution worked, and when I reported this all to him, he asked me to please hold, then hung up on me 10 minutes later without addressing the issues. Unbelieveable!
Pros Not sure, because I couldn't get it working
Cons Missing functionality & Not working as expected (I did not pay to Beta Test)
Like every year I upgraded Vs just renewing my subscription.
I did not like the fact that when I downloaded the product it automatically started the installation (I was not given the choice of download only.) I cancelled the installation when it stopped with a pop-up telling me that I had to un-install MS Defender due to incompatibility. This was just as well because it gave me the opportunity to un-install the 2006 version first.
When I upgraded last year I still had at least two weeks left on my 2005 subscription, but ended up loosing that time, despite what customer service told me, once I installed the 2006 version. In order to avoid loosing the remaining subscription time on the 2006 version, so once again I contacted customer service, who told me in I would need to un-install 2006, install 2007, and then they would add the time onto the 2007 subscription. She passed me to technical support for the un-install/install process after which I was told I just needed to run Live Update and the time would be added on to my subscription.
Well, not only didn’t the additional time show up, but I started getting error messages left and right after Live Update completed. I restarted my computer in case one of the updates required a fresh start (even though I was not prompted), and the problems did not go away, but at least I was given a message telling me I needed to run check disk due to file corruption. I ran check disk with the slash “R” option to correct any problems found and noticed the only files that had problems were from Internet Security.
Things seemed better until I attempted to look at settings and received a message telling me one of the program files was not valid. Technical support gathered information and told me they would get back to me within 48 hours. I was told I should leave my system in the current state during this time, which seemed OK to me since the only problem seemed to be changing NIS settings.
Well, my scheduled Perfect Disk 8 defrag ran and recommended that I execute an offline defrag and that is when I got fed up used my backup to restore my computer to the exact state it was in the day before I attempted the Symantec upgrade.
I have left a number of things out, but I feel this is already over done!Updated
It is now Monday, September 18, 2006 and I have not heard back from Symantec Technical Support. Boy, am I glad I was able to restore my computer to the day prior to the installation of Norton Internet Security 2007!
For those interested, Symantec’s press release says, and I quote, “An optional add-on pack with Anti-Spam and Parental Controls will be available for Norton Internet Security 2007 customers who desire these features.” It would have been nice to know this before upgrading since I have invested the last year to beefing up my Anti-Spam black list! It would have also been nice if the Technical Support agent had told me it was completely removed Vs telling me the tool bas was removed but the product would still block Spam.
I intend to wait until my 2006 subscription is up, but if I don’t hear back from Technical Support by then I may have to look at changing all five of our computers to another product.
Pros Somewhat less bloated than earlier versions, slightly less onerous install
Cons Dropped Parental Control in 2007 version
Summary Norton is a resource pig, but it does do a very credible job of keeping bad stuff out of your computer. NIS 2007 is better and cleaner than 2006 in most respects. But one important feature in prior versions, Parental Control, was dropped without notice (just try and find that on the Symantec website). Having now tried out alternatives in an attempt to avoid the "Norton Tax" on my system, I've realized that NIS 2006's Parental Control was superior to most other products, in that correctly worked with multiple Windows User Accounts and provided easy whitelisting. So the one feature Norton had over it's competitors is the one they dropped!
Windows Vista is reputed to have strong parental control features, and Symantec they probably figured they could drop the feature now.
If you just need firewall and anti-virus, try ZoneAlarm. It's faster, cheaper. In my case, I'm sticking with NIS 2006 (to give Symantec credit, they refunded my purchase).