back to article Symantec retires low-end security software

Symantec has quietly retired its PC Tools range of security products. Acquired in 2008, PC Tools offered consumer-and-micro-business-grade anti-virus and network security tools dubbed “Spyware Doctor”, “Internet Security” and “Spyware Doctor with Antivirus”. Buying the Australian company that created the products gave Symantec a …

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The best way to keep your system stable

The standard MS antivirus / firewall is good enough and there are standalone apps which can be run on demand to do periodic sweeps for problems or malware.

These always-on suites of tools are more problem than they're worth. The constant nagging about renewing subscriptions or updating definitions or running scans are far more annoying than anything they protect against.

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Re: The best way to keep your system stable

I'm sure watching your bank account getting pennies drained off, or seeing that interesting video of you and the wife on youtube, is far less annoying than a few nagging tooltips.

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Re: The best way to keep your system stable

Perhaps you missed the bit where I mentioned the standard MS antivirus. It's more than fit for purpose and it doesn't bug the hell out of users while its doing its job.

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Re: The best way to keep your system stable

It's sort of okay, in the same way Clamwin is. Hardly the "comprehensive" tool that Microsoft say it is though. At least, not compared to a decent paid-for security suite. The same sort of picture emerges for Windows 8 as Windows 7.

If it was all that good, you can bet the AV firms would be shouting "Anti Trust" rather loudly.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The best way to keep your system stable

You do not appear to be living in the real world if you believe that the MS antivirus is adequate enough to fully protect the average user. It's not as bad as many others, but it's not good enought to protect from some of the evolving threats.

That point aside, this article is about PC Tools and how yet a once-decent company / tool has yet again fallen victim to the Norton vulture, in the same way they did with a well known firewall company whose name escapes me for the moment.

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Re: The best way to keep your system stable

If MS supply an A/V - the others shout "Anti Trust"..

If MS do not supply an A/V - the other others shout "Insecure System".

It's a "Lose Lose" situation for MS.

Personally I hate the alternative solutions, popups, PITA updates, cost..

Security begins at the keyboard, the OS is the second line...

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Anonymous Coward

Security begins at the keyboard

Indeed, but the average user does not think that way, or think at all. They need to be protected from themselves and MSE is simply not good enough. In my own testing it was appalling with ransomeware and in some tests it failed to deal with a single hijack.

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Re: Security begins at the keyboard

Unfortunately, I agree with what you are saying.

I don't know how many of the major AV providers can actually protect from the RansomWare, personally I wouldn't like to do the test. We use Macafee at work and it doen't catch all the Ransomware either.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The best way to keep your system stable

" It's more than fit for purpose and it doesn't bug the hell out of users while its doing its job."

A user's XP PC came in recently with the complaint of "running slow". Scanning the disk with Norton found, and fixed, a trojan. The MS anti-virus had missed it.

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Re: The best way to keep your system stable

I do not agree completely with your statements:

> If MS supply an A/V - the others shout "Anti Trust"..

if MS supply a FREE and COMPETENT AV, then the others would shout "Anti trust".

They are not shouting, because it is free, but not really competent

> If MS do not supply an A/V - the other others shout "Insecure System".

For years before and after Security Essentials, MS operating systems have been considered insecure.

Most of the time, the problem is with the OS, and the AV just provide a safety net against known threats that exploit it before they are patched.

R

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Linux

Re: The best way to keep your system stable

>The best way to keep your system stable

Use any other OS especially a *nix derivative? Sorry couldn't resist as I don't see any of the Mactards or Linux freetards in the house representing. Seriously though I don't understand why more people don't make a BSD or Linux boot USB stick to either use as the safe banking environment or as the going to dodgy sites environment. Technically yes you could use VMs also but exploits breaking out the sandbox have been found.

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Re: The best way to keep your system stable

With slitaz you get a decent enough desktop for web surfing all with only a 30 meg iso. It is lightning fast as well and even on slow media boots about as fast as windows 8. Not to mention OpenBSD which is a lot more work to set up but is probably the most secure OS with networking this side of VMS.

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Re: The best way to keep your system stable

Bleh. I've administered Forefront antivirus, Symantec antivirus and McAfee antivirus.

If you want closer to real time reporting and decent reports, go with either Symantec of McAfee. The only plus for Microsoft's offering is SCCM integration. With no so great reporting and significant delays in reporting a compromised system.

Even for home, it's iffy for Microsoft's offering.

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Re: The best way to keep your system stable

Why? Isn't Solaris good enough for you? ;)

OK, OK, Solaris wouldn't fit on a USB stick, no matter what shoehorn you try to use.

As for malware, whatever has the greatest two market shares gets the bulk of the malware. Hence, *BSD would suffer more malware if they became insanely popular.

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Re: The best way to keep your system stable

Slowaris and their garbage userland tools (GNU tools own all the vendor tools) are not a recommendation I usually make but as long as you don't hit the double crotch shot of running Solaris on SPARC its an ok OS for some things.

>OK, OK, Solaris wouldn't fit on a USB stick, no matter what shoehorn you try to use.

Not only is it possible but you don't even need hacks to do it. Oracle lets you download a usb version they have made.

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/server-storage/solaris11/downloads/index.html (look for usb install images)

>As for malware, whatever has the greatest two market shares gets the bulk of the malware. Hence, *BSD would suffer more malware if they became insanely popular.

Never bought that argument totally. Yes market share will obviously affect effort to some extent but its obvious that Microsoft bolted on security much later than they should have in their code base and have been playing catch up with virtually every major OS since.

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WTF?

Re: The best way to keep your system stable

Huh? If you mean MSE sucks - then I agree with you! All my clients would agree with you too! There are plenty of better FREE AV and AM solutions out there.

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Also add in...

EMET 3.0 for all the Zero Day stuff too.

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PCTools (DOS)

For a moment there I thought they're were talking about PC Tools of the DOS era.

Brought a tear to my eye. Ahhh the good old days.

Do we have a retro icon?

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Re: PCTools (DOS)

What would be the icon? Perhaps a boy pushing a bike up a cobbled hill?

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Re: PCTools (DOS)

Yep, I had that. First software I paid my own money for. In return it gifted a boot sector virus.

-A.

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Re: PCTools (DOS)

"What would be the icon? Perhaps a boy pushing a bike up a cobbled hill?"

Maybe a victrola gramophone?

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Anonymous Coward

Pay-For-Home-Security-Suites are only marginally better than the free equivalents...

The retail versions of Norton are the most overrated product I've had the pleasure of using... I've had to manually fix countless family PC's that botched the updates and rendered the PC's unusable. Besides its been shown in other Reg articles that Pay-For-Retail-Home-User-Security products are at best only marginally better than their free equivalents. Clearly though they are genius marketers. You can barely buy a computer at retail or online without having their suites shoved in your face. I regularly get Spammed from NortonFromSymantec.com. The spam is sent to a personal email address which I never give out and isn't guessable. With such dodgy marketing practices should we trust them with security? This is progress, keep going and shut down Norton too I say...

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Re: Pay-For-Home-Security-Suites are only marginally better than the free equivalents...

Can't agree more. Shut the rubbish bin side down and put the real software for sale geared toward small business and home users.

Of course, at home, I use a corporate antivirus solution for my 10 machines...

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Pint

I remember when Norton PC Tools

was a handy pack of disk utilities to have. And none of them had anything to do with Malware. Happier days they were. Well, mostly anyway.

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Re: I remember when Norton PC Tools

Yeah, the old DOS days were quite fun and simpler.

A while back, I was bored and set up a small VM and loaded DOS and Windows 3.11. WOW, but it was fast! What used to take a few minutes to fully boot came up in under a second.

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Happy

Don't need no PCTools

Give me CCleaner, even the free version, for a handy all-round utility to clean the useless stuff out of a computer. CCleaner removes junk files and obsolete registry entries, and allows you to selectively remove restore points that can clog up a hard drive. Last of all, it does the same sort of program removal that Windows built-in Add/Remove Programs does. And Symantec expects people to pay, even on a subscription basis, for something no better?

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Re: Don't need no PCTools

CCleaner exists to remind everyone what a laughably terrible idea the Windows registry was in the first place. One of the all time biggest OS fubars.

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Megaphone

Yeah - Symantec loves to buy up "worthless" security companies...

ever wonder why?

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