Comcast switches from McAfee to Norton, free for customers

Today, Internet service provider Comcast announced that it will be switching from McAfee anti-virus to Symantec's Norton Security Suite. The switch from McAfee to Norton will benefit Norton, Comcast and its 15.7 million customers.

The deal between Comcast and Symantec is a triumphant win for both companies - and a big loss for McAfee. All Comcast subscribers will get a free version of Norton Security Suite, offering the same retail version as Norton 360™ Premier Edition, excluding the Backup and Restore.

Comcast is asking customers to switch from McAfee to Norton, through this promotional webpage to Comcast customers only. Both Windows and Mac users can get this $160 value, for up to 7 computers, with no additional cost with your Comcast high-speed internet subscription.

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This offer is not available in all areas and a Comcast High-Speed Internet subscription is required.

Thanks to dslabby for the news tip!

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Comcast news forum has a thread going that supposes it knows why this change is going into effect. Seems that many users are getting hit with trojans while in this site.
Commcast.net
community
in the news
FYI

Surprise, surprise. You can run Norton Security Suite and MSE at the same time. (I had MSE running while NSS was being installed; so far, neither has complained.) Very atypical of Norton.

I'm currently using MSE. Could someone who has actually tried the latest version of Norton give a better comparison. I dislike Norton too, but its because Norton 200-friken-1 was terrible. Its been 9 years now, are they still crap? We use a corporate version of Norton at work (I'm not sure what it was called exactly) and it works pretty well I think (and is light on resources).

I'm on Comcast, I guess I can try it for myself.

What's with all the love for MSE? I tried it for a few weeks and wasn't that impressed. Not that I use Norton and McAfee either, but MSE kept telling me to submit logs to MS when a program tried to access something. For example, every time I loaded up Steam (i.e. every boot) I would get a request. Then when trying to start again another request. It just got so annoying I had to uninstall MSE.

The log requests only occur until the next definition update, because by that time the log requests have given MS the chance to check the newly found dll/proggy and mark it safe.

Your loss.

I use MSE on my home computers and my main pc at work. I would roll it out to all of my users computers but management would have my head for that. I been trying for the longest to convince them that this is the better antivirus. Its like they dont understand that its free and better than the paid for stuff. Currently we are stuck using Symantec End Point Protection at work for the users.

Gotenks98 said,
Its like they dont understand that its free and better than the paid for stuff. Currently we are stuck using Symantec End Point Protection at work for the users.
I think it's you who doesn't understand that MSE is not an Enterprise-oriented product. SEP is. It's really no comparison, no issue.

excalpius said,
Vanx, MSE is built on Microsoft's enterprise AV.
Enterprise AV is still not Microsoft's native market...

vanx said,
I think it's you who doesn't understand that MSE is not an Enterprise-oriented product. SEP is. It's really no comparison, no issue.

It's enterprise-oriented, alright, as MSE is the same as Forefront Client Security (the client for Forefront Enterprise Security Suite, which Microsoft SELLS to enterprises: http://www.microsoft.com/forefront).

The issue above his paygrade is that they are paying for that enterprise license and are, in effect *stuck with it* until the license term expires.

Norton got bought out by a company in China so it's not allowed on government networks any longer. (They said the reason for this is because of suspected backdoors in the product) Given what I just said.. since we don't use it at work anymore... I wouldn't touch their AV product with a 10 foot pole.

Who decided this was a Norton vs. MSE or anything else thread? It's a news article, read it and move on. No one is forcing you to use Norton. Qwest also switched from McAfee to Norton, but I don't see a news article anywhere (don't bother showing me one, I already know). I tried MSE, had a problem and received horrible McSupport (probably from Bangladesh). I'm now using Avast and am quite happy.

Well, Norton 2010 installed fast. It appeared to be running light. But at first. My X9100 based laptop was getting a bit bogged down. I don't know how or why but the feeling of speedy and lightweight system lasted only for a week.

So went back to MSE and it was just install and forget.
Now running Avast 5 since few days and its giving MSE run for its money (free ofcourse)

The amount of Norton bashing and hate here is embarrising. I use Norton, MSE, Avast and AVG on different computers. I must say Norton 2009/10 have been really good.

MSE is the only one I have had some issues with. Mostly in terms of CPU usage. Especially on startup. Sometimes the PC hanges for many minutes. This is a netbook though, but it is a MSE process that keep hanging on around 50-75%. Other than that it's ok.

x-byte said,
The amount of Norton bashing and hate here is embarrising. I use Norton, MSE, Avast and AVG on different computers. I must say Norton 2009/10 have been really good.

MSE is the only one I have had some issues with. Mostly in terms of CPU usage. Especially on startup. Sometimes the PC hanges for many minutes. This is a netbook though, but it is a MSE process that keep hanging on around 50-75%. Other than that it's ok.

Couldn't agree more. I can't believe people are still judging Norton from 2006.

To be honest I'd rather have Norton than McAfee.

they would have to pay me to use either. lol

'Avira' is FREE and better than both.

but if Comcast is giving away free Anti-Virus (that normally costs money) they could at least go with NOD32 ;)

ThaCrip said,
they would have to pay me to use either. lol

'Avira' is FREE and better than both.

but if Comcast is giving away free Anti-Virus (that normally costs money) they could at least go with NOD32 ;)

I actually found NOD32 to cause framerate skips for some reason. About once every 3 seconds there would be a 1 second lag when NOD32 was installed. I couldn't figure out why though because the system was nice and quick otherwise.

Your information is a year or so out of date, Crip.

MSE is free and is MUCH better than Avira now. Also, NOD32 has been a real problem for the past year or so, unfortunately.

its better than mcaffee.. not the best.. but they still give their customer 'better' value for their money..

I had Norton Internet Security since 2009, and must say it's a much improved from years past. I have an active subscription with Norton, and have found it works very well. And I'm a software developer, and haven't experienced any problems using it the past year and a half. I only wish Comcast had done this sooner, before I renewed my membership with Norton. Guess I'll get a free year with it in 2011.

Guess I'm just different. I haven't used an antivirus in years. I use a drive image that restores my OS, so it's always "new". Every once in a while I'll install a scan to make sure it's still a clean "image", other than that it works really well. 0 slow down, as for FW, I use comodo behind a router so no worries there either.

I'll stick with my NAV 2010 license for another 66 days before letting it expire and installing MSE. The only reason I got NAV 2010 was the 3 pack for $15-20 on buy.com almost a year ago. NAV 2010 is fine and lightweight, but I'll go the free route once it expires.

Why doesn't Microsoft sign a deal like this to get MSE out there to a larger audience?

zeke009 said,
Why doesn't Microsoft sign a deal like this to get MSE out there to a larger audience?

How much larger could a base of millions of Windows user get? Problem is, if they were to offer it as a "recommended update" or bundle it with Windows, the other AV makers would have a sissy fit and take them to court in a minute flat.

zeke009 said,
I'll stick with my NAV 2010 license for another 66 days before letting it expire and installing MSE. The only reason I got NAV 2010 was the 3 pack for $15-20 on buy.com almost a year ago. NAV 2010 is fine and lightweight, but I'll go the free route once it expires.

Why doesn't Microsoft sign a deal like this to get MSE out there to a larger audience?

Why would they need to?

First off, Symantec (they make Norton products, by the by) threw a conniption over MSE's very existence, finally deriding it as a weak free product (which is in fact, anything BUT weak, as it is, quite literally, the same product as Forefront Client Security that is the client side of Microsoft's own Forefront Enterprise Security Suite, which is actually stealing marketshare from Symantec, MCAfee, and even CA), CA themselves bailed from the non-enterprise security products line of business, and the few consumer-facing review sites that DON'T recommend MSE are both non-English AND refuse to recommend any free security products whatsoever.

I work on a lot of computers and ever since NIS 2005 I was like, ahhhh! But the new versions from 2009-2010 are not bad at all. For personal use MSE FTW though. Have it on all computers, lightweight and works. =)

Mikee4fun said,
I work on a lot of computers and ever since NIS 2005 I was like, ahhhh! But the new versions from 2009-2010 are not bad at all. For personal use MSE FTW though. Have it on all computers, lightweight and works. =)

Yeah I've heard Norton got better the past few years but it was horrid when I was still working in Tech.

vaximily said,

Yeah I've heard Norton got better the past few years but it was horrid when I was still working in Tech.

Back in the beginning it was a good product with the exception of being horribly slow on realtime scanning of VB executables and DLLs, as they were not standard PEs and Norton didn't know how to handle them very well.

Later versions were good for single or scheduled scans, but for realtime scanning was becoming painful, this is when McAfee made a name for themselves and even caught a deal with MS and was included in the Plus Pack for Windows.

As time moved on, both Norton and McAfee moved to sticking themselves into the network stack and I/O layers of the OS, which is bad idea not only for performance, but also adds extra security holes to the OS.

In reality people with Vista or Win7 are better off NOT running ANY realtime security software, using the bulit in Defender and Firewall and just letting an Anti-virus do a daily scan or scan items when you download something that is suspsect.

I recommend MSE, but even then don't recommend running it realtime, and just leaving it for a daily scan or a right click to scan anything the user downloads. The performance loss is simply not worth it with the complexity of the scanning and size of executable code that realtime software must manage. Esepcially software that moves data in a way that gets scanned, imagine the drain of 10gb of an MMO being processed as it is loaded by your game while you play, it will drop FPS and increase your load times significantly.

thenetavenger said,

Back in the beginning it was a good product with the exception of being horribly slow on realtime scanning of VB executables and DLLs, as they were not standard PEs and Norton didn't know how to handle them very well.

Later versions were good for single or scheduled scans, but for realtime scanning was becoming painful, this is when McAfee made a name for themselves and even caught a deal with MS and was included in the Plus Pack for Windows.

As time moved on, both Norton and McAfee moved to sticking themselves into the network stack and I/O layers of the OS, which is bad idea not only for performance, but also adds extra security holes to the OS.

In reality people with Vista or Win7 are better off NOT running ANY realtime security software, using the bulit in Defender and Firewall and just letting an Anti-virus do a daily scan or scan items when you download something that is suspsect.

I recommend MSE, but even then don't recommend running it realtime, and just leaving it for a daily scan or a right click to scan anything the user downloads. The performance loss is simply not worth it with the complexity of the scanning and size of executable code that realtime software must manage. Esepcially software that moves data in a way that gets scanned, imagine the drain of 10gb of an MMO being processed as it is loaded by your game while you play, it will drop FPS and increase your load times significantly.

Actually that is very bad advise. This may enlighten you --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJpZlzBkiro

There is no reason not to leave MSE running all the time. It is very lightweight on all resources.

Anyone who advises otherwise needs to upgrade their Pentium 3 to something from this century.

I have NIS 2010 on one computer and MSE on the other. The computer with MSE starts up faster and is faster all around. Norton adds 3:00 to my computers boot time. The computers have almost the same specs. I do agree that NIS 2010 is much better than previous versions though.

Norton has come a long way in the past year and is a very serious contender in the AV market. I was pleased with the performance of NIS 2009 and NIS 2010 has improved this package even further. As a Comcast customer I can now give up my paid subscription and get it for free

It appear both poster above have not used NIS in recent years. NIS 2010 is one of the best ( if not the best ) Internet Security software today. Prior to 2009, Norton products was simply rubbish. 2009 was an major improvement the leap ahead. 2010 sets another standard.

iwod said,
It appear both poster above have not used NIS in recent years. NIS 2010 is one of the best ( if not the best ) Internet Security software today. Prior to 2009, Norton products was simply rubbish. 2009 was an major improvement the leap ahead. 2010 sets another standard.

I will admit, I have not. Gave up NAV the day I jumped to Vista. Don't miss it at all, but I will take your word for it. That has been the word on the street for a while now.

iwod said,
It appear both poster above have not used NIS in recent years. NIS 2010 is one of the best ( if not the best ) Internet Security software today. Prior to 2009, Norton products was simply rubbish. 2009 was an major improvement the leap ahead. 2010 sets another standard.

Yes. I'll agree. However, they need someplace to submit false positives for their behavioral (SONAR) scanning engine. They flag alot of cygwin-based binaries falsely as being infections or malicious. Even ones that don't really do much at all. I would be more than happy to help them but when someone in their corporate center can't give a straight answer it doesn't put any good light on them at all. I did call them out on it with their twitter feed.

shinji257 said,

Yes. I'll agree. However, they need someplace to submit false positives for their behavioral (SONAR) scanning engine. They flag alot of cygwin-based binaries falsely as being infections or malicious. Even ones that don't really do much at all. I would be more than happy to help them but when someone in their corporate center can't give a straight answer it doesn't put any good light on them at all. I did call them out on it with their twitter feed.

Actually, they do have such a place - it's called the Symantec Anti-Virus Response Center (SARC), and it's been around for a decade plus (since Bill Clinton was President).

However, how many folks bother to submit false-positive reports? (FP reports, when flagged by the user as such, automatically get sent to SARC unless told NOT to send.)

artfuldodga said,
why not MSE? free all round, one shouldn't have to fork over
cash for such products

I also thought MSE was great. But I didn't realize how many speed issues it caused until I actually replaced it with Avast 5.

TheWiseIstari said,
I also thought MSE was great. But I didn't realize how many speed issues it caused until I actually replaced it with Avast 5.

1. If MSE is slowing down your computer, you need to get a new one.
2. Avast uses less resources because it does less. Good luck getting a bank to insure your lost funds when you get a virus that steals your passwords.

vaximily said,

1. If MSE is slowing down your computer, you need to get a new one.
2. Avast uses less resources because it does less. Good luck getting a bank to insure your lost funds when you get a virus that steals your passwords.

1. This is a brand new computer. My issues is that when you have a folder with 20GB (400 files) of installers and exe files, MSE causes it to load extremely slow due to a bug that M$ never fixed. This issues was known to M$ since the early betas.
2. I've seen MSE miss viruses that Avast stopped even before they could download.

I have nothing against MSE, but will give it a miss till a new version is released.

vaximily said,

1. If MSE is slowing down your computer, you need to get a new one.
2. Avast uses less resources because it does less. Good luck getting a bank to insure your lost funds when you get a virus that steals your passwords.

Great post, made me laugh =P

Edited by Mikee4fun, Jan 26 2010, 3:51am :

TheWiseIstari said,
1. This is a brand new computer. My issues is that when you have a folder with 20GB (400 files) of installers and exe files, MSE causes it to load extremely slow due to a bug that M$ never fixed. This issues was known to M$ since the early betas.
2. I've seen MSE miss viruses that Avast stopped even before they could download.

1. When was the last time you used MSE? Because I know for a fact that the bug you're referencing was fixed before launch.
2. You're absolutely full of ****. For one thing, how many viruses do you actually run into per day? Unless your an absolute amateur that doesn't know how to avoid the obvious warning signs, you should rarely encounter one to begin with. But as mentioned before, let me know how that line works on the bank =).

Glad I could make your day, Mikee4fun! =)

vaximily said,

1. When was the last time you used MSE? Because I know for a fact that the bug you're referencing was fixed before launch.
2. You're absolutely full of ****. For one thing, how many viruses do you actually run into per day? Unless your an absolute amateur that doesn't know how to avoid the obvious warning signs, you should rarely encounter one to begin with. But as mentioned before, let me know how that line works on the bank =).

Glad I could make your day, Mikee4fun! =)

I don't have the time or energy to deal with people like you. So, have a nice day.

TheWiseIstari said,

1. This is a brand new computer. My issues is that when you have a folder with 20GB (400 files) of installers and exe files, MSE causes it to load extremely slow due to a bug that M$ never fixed. This issues was known to M$ since the early betas.
2. I've seen MSE miss viruses that Avast stopped even before they could download.

I have nothing against MSE, but will give it a miss till a new version is released.

So you call it slow when you yourself admit it is one unique bug? Really?

PS This bug no longer exists in the current beta builds, I can't test an older version ATM to see if it was in the release build or not.

thenetavenger said,

PS This bug no longer exists in the current beta builds, I can't test an older version ATM to see if it was in the release build or not.

Well, that is excellent news. Like I said, I have nothing against MSE. I will gladly use it again when they release a new stable version.

This video made by another neowin user shows the issue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zb8aTTsZwpM

TheWiseIstari said,

Well, that is excellent news. Like I said, I have nothing against MSE. I will gladly use it again when they release a new stable version.

This video made by another neowin user shows the issue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zb8aTTsZwpM

I have seen issues where MSE has appeared to cause slowdowns on large folders (quick scans of each executable file) and any time a large stream of data is hitting the hard drive (encoding tasks). Then again this has been true for other scanners too so I wouldn't necessarily call it a bug. I can usually work through the delay although I turn off the real time scan during encoding sessions.

TheWiseIstari said,
2. I've seen MSE miss viruses that Avast stopped even before they could download.

What you've seen is bloat, and system slowdown. MSE doesn't need to scan emails as they are being downloaded, or check every element of a web page before it is displayed.

MSE scans them when they are read/written to the disk.

It does it once, and it doesn't need to stick its finger into everything running on your PC to slow it down, by intercepting and redirecting everything your computer does.

Cool, Comcast actually did something right in my mind! Too bad we use 100% u-verse now... oh well! I still get my stuff for free anyways through beta testing...

ryanmcv said,
McAfee and Norton are both bloated junk. I'll stick with Microsoft Security Essentials.

Actually norton isn't nearly as bad on the bloat factor as they used to be. They still have horrible false positive rates.

smooth3006 said,
WOW.... they moved from junk to junk...IMO! avira premium + comodo ftw

I've seen more issues with avira than I prefer to. Comodo tends to be too intrusive imo.

smooth3006 said,
WOW.... they moved from junk to junk...IMO! avira premium + comodo ftw

I prefer AVG Free If you want protection just run Mac or Linux ;)

iAurora said,
1st

Norton is better these days, but they both aren't very good. Microsoft Security Essentials FTW.


I'm pretty sure MSE is not superior to Norton on terms of virus detection rates.

I dislike both Norton and McAfee, but I'd say Norton is better and as users are getting it for free it's not that bad.

Microsoft Security Essentials all the way. Its free and light and actually works!

Norton is buggy, bogs down your machine, sticks its finger into everything (where you DON'T want it) and they want to charge you for the privilege. This is just a "bait and switch" tactic by Norton to try and lock some suckers into their software.

I hate the way Nortons now flag almost every useful program as a "virus" even though it is not. I've lost so many programs to this nonsense of mis-clasifying everything from a professional network scanner, to the odd keygen, as trojans or viruses.

Simply put Nortons can not be trusted. I'd actually classify it as "malware" if I wrote my own antivirus software.

It'll be interesting to see how long before this "free" software starts asking for $$$$ to "maintain the protection" and download the latest definitions.

Mikeyx11 said,
I'm pretty sure MSE is not superior to Norton on terms of virus detection rates.

Its an illusion. Nortons misclassifies a lot of things. Probably deliberately to give the less informed users the "appearance" that Nortons "saved" them again from getting a virus.

Also if Nortons just sits in the background nicely and never pops anything up, quite possibly a lot of users would (rightly) not renew their subscriptions.

Nortons are just creating panic and insecurity in their customers minds to get them to cough up more money every years for a "subscription"

Edited by dvb2000, Jan 26 2010, 5:57am :

iAurora said,
1st

Norton is better these days, but they both aren't very good. Microsoft Security Essentials FTW.

Actually, the lastest rounds of test with VB100 (Dec09) and MSE it passed the test. Not sure about past test results for comparison.

Edited by etempest, Jan 26 2010, 9:33pm :