I have been recommending Zone Alarm Security Suite as my favorite security solution for several years. They have always, and continue, to rank in the first, second , or more rarely, third spot when reviewed by PC Magazine Labs. I recently had a question from one of my students, and I thought the exchange was worth posting in the blog. It follows:
HI BOB – I STILL HAVEN’T TAKEN NORTON OFF OR PUT ZONE ALARM ON. I’M HAVING SECOND THOUGHTS ABOUT GOING WITH ZONE ALARM AND GETTING RID OF NORTON. MY BROTHER SAID HE WOULD RATHER STICK WITH A SYSTEM (NORTON) THAT THE MOST AMOUNT OF PEOPLE USE BECAUSE THEY WOULD BE MORE APT TO IDENTIFY AND GET NEW FIXES OUT ON PROBLEMS AS THEY COME OUT. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT STATEMENT?
I don’t think your brother reads the same reviews I do. Most people boat without wearing life jackets, doesn’t make it a good idea safety wise.
To be fair – Symantec (Norton) has really cleaned up their act with their latest version, it is not the system robbing kluge it has been in the past. It has gotten very high marks from the same magazine that reviewed Zone Alarm.
On the other hand, I have not been as happy with the performance of Zone Alarm since it was acquired by CheckPoint, and they went from the CA antivirus engine to Kaspersky. I am considering dropping them from my recommendation list, after many years.
Long story short – if you are happier with Norton Internet Security, go for it. Just be sure to uninstall your old Norton stuff first. There is a download that you can Google call NONAV.EXE that is worth running after you THINK you have all the Norton parts uninstalled. Don’t miss Symantec Live Update or Live Reg.
Definitely stay away from McAfee – there is a reason every ISP on the planet is giving it away "free" – because that’s the only way McAfee can get any traction in the marketplace. I still don’t like the user interface, and it is impossible to tweak the settings on the firewall.