"Inefficient resource hog"0.5 starson by durf786
Pros: Easy installation
Cons: Hogs resources, simplistic configuration
Summary: I was impressed with cnet's rating of PC-cillin (PC-c) - 8.3, excellent! So I bought 4 licenses for PC-c Internet Security 2005 and replaced Zone Alarm Pro and McAfee VirusScan, respectively. It turned out to be a disaster, although I didn't realize it immediately.
I wasn't happy with the firewall, because it was difficult to tell which programs it was monitoring. Unlike even the free version of Zone Alarm, PC-c hides what it's doing. After digging in the configuration, I learned that PC-c lets anything go out, unless you specifically configure it otherwise. It's hard to figure out what it blocks from coming in. Eventually I got around to doing some research, and I learned that the PC-c firewall was causing a delay of 10-30 seconds when I first accessed other computers on my LAN. I decided to go back to Zone Alarm, starting with the free version (later I bought the pro version). It is much superior.
I stayed with the PC-c virus checker. Then my wife mentioned that her Outlook was loading very slowly, and I knew mine was, too. As a test, I timed loading Outlook with the PC-c virus checker installed and uninstalled. The results were astonishing - 3:03 with and 0:40 without PC-cillin. I checked boot times - 4:24 with and 3:17 without.
Then I discovered an even worse problem. I use a program called SECSIM which simulates Ethernet communications between a host computer and semiconductor processing equipment. I run SECSIM on my laptop, and it had been acting strangely. Although timing is critically important in the application, SECSIM responses were delayed by a factor of 3 to 5. That occurred even after I replaced the PC-c firewall. Then I uninstalled the PC-c virus checker and responses were normal again.
Prior to my tests, I'd had a problem with PC-c's email checking. It had intercepted and destroyed two emails from a trusted source, changing them to text. There is supposed to be a way to recover such messages, but I was unable to do so. I contacted PC-c support twice, and neither time did they address the issue - both responses were basically form letters suggesting basic procedures unrelated to my question.
Now I am using Zone Alarm Pro for my firewall and AntiVir Guard for my virus checker. Performance is excellent. I basically threw away the $80 or so it cost for the PC-cillin licenses, but it was well worth it. If you're thinking about your own use, the freeware version of Zone Alarm is excellent. AntiVir Guard is also free for personal use, and it is superior to any other virus checker I've used (Norton, McAfee, and PC-c).
Maybe the most disturbing thing about my experience is the cnet rating for PC-c. They said specifically that it is easy on system resources, but it really trashed performance on all 4 PCs that I installed it on. I guess I'll go elsewhere for my ratings.