Sunday, January 22, 2006

Internet Security: Is It Worth It?

A few days ago, I openly pondered the possibility of switching ISPs. I may make a decision before month's end, based on some difficulty that I've been having with Anti-Virus programs over the last couple of weeks.

For the last five and one-half years, I have gotten along nicely with Norton Anti-Virus from Symantec. Then earlier this month, the LiveUpdate program started having problems. I looked at Norton's help pages, and I browsed various help forums trying to find a solution to LU's repeated failure to update. Nothing worked. This is unfortunate, since I paid to renew my subscription to Norton AV last summer.

As it happens, shortly after I renewed the Norton subscription, my ISP began offering free McAfee security programs to their subscribers. I wasn't going to take advantage of it right after I paid Norton to renew my AV protection with them.

Yesterday, I decided to make the switch. I divested my machine of all Norton security programs and installed the McAfee VirusScan, Firewall, and Privacy Service.

I should have looked before I leapt. McAfee's scan is mind-numbingly slow. I tried running it twice. The first time, I voluntarily rebooted the computer. The second time, I went to bed and woke up several hours later to discover that the scan was stuck in one of my mail folders. No idea how long it was there, but it wasn't making any progress.

The trouble was avoidable. Had I done a brief search of online forums regarding McAfee VirusScan, I would have learned that the program runs mind-bogglingly slow on machines that use Windows 98. Instead, I allowed the scan to boggle my mind for me. This is the price I pay, perhaps, for not being able to afford a more up to date computer.

Moments ago, after shutting down the VirusScan, my computer froze up and rebooted itself. I really don't like it doing that sort of thing unless I tell it to. If this is what McAfee security does to my computer, I might be better off with no virus protection.

I need an anti-Anti-Virus.

Time to go back and see what kind of protection services the alternative ISP provides. Also to find out how I might be able to afford a new computer.

1 comment:

jipzeecab said...

I remember having problems when my Norton subscription ran out and I switched to the free "Freedom service" Adelphia was offering. I had to "lower my shields" to install it and when it was over I had acquired two kinds of "extortion adware" and the "apropos worm" had invaded my explorer browser which I didn't get rid of for six weeks. I've been told that McAfee is the best..
I own stock in Symantec/Norton which I am hoping to unload soon.