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Computer enigma

I recently asked a computer expert to try to speed up my laptop computer. The first thing he did was to uninstall McAfee, as he said that this was the problem.He has advised me to install Norton myself, but has warned me that this will take around 4 hours, and my computer will be unprotected during this period, and may well be hacked into. Is there any way of getting around this danger?

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21st Aug 2011 23:03

I'm No Expert But

It depends how you install Nortons, if it is from a disk then don't connect to the internet until you have completed the installation; but the protection will only be as good as the date the disk was produced.  Once you are back online check for updates.

If you are downloading files from the internet to install Nortons you will download a .exe file and you can do the installation offline.

However I found Nortons to cause my laptop to go slow, I currently use Eset Smart Security which, in my opinion, is great.  I started off with a 30 day trial version before paying for the product so I knew what I was signing up for.

 

  

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22nd Aug 2011 08:22

Another vote for ESET

I, too, once used Norton but I had the same speed problem and also I found that it did not protect my computer.

I then used AVG (tried the free version first then went onto the paid version) which I used for around 3 years. Again, I experienced speed issues but recently tried ESET on the recommendation of someone who works in IT. I was pleased with the increase in speed and have just completed the free trial and upgraded to the paid version.

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22nd Aug 2011 13:52

agree

I had extreme issues with Outlook aqnd norton a few years ago. My IT guy took it off and put ESET on - never looked back

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22nd Aug 2011 10:58

4 hoursa??????????????

Where does he get the "4 hours" to install Norton from?  Utter rubbish.

Pop to your local PCWorld or wherever, buy a copy of Norton 360 - costs about £30.

Install it from the supplied CD - takes about 5 minutes.

Then go online and register it,  It will update itself - takes 2-3 minutes, and thats it - your protected.

Quite frankly it's unlikely that anti-virus software is the cause of your problem, it's more likely that your laptop simply lacks sufficient resources to multi task.

What operating system are you using? - if it's Vista get rid of it. 

How much RAM do you have? - less than 4Gb will slow it because most laptops use shared graphics, so about 1Gb of your RAM is running the graphics. Lowering screen rsolution may help there.

Is the hard drive filling? - that can be a problem.

Have you checked the virtual memory - it often helps to manually set this as opposed to allowing Windows to manage it.

 

 

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By BKD
22nd Aug 2011 16:34

Anti-virus

Daffy Duck wrote:

Quite frankly it's unlikely that anti-virus software is the cause of your problem, it's more likely that your laptop simply lacks sufficient resources to multi task.

 

It's more than possible that it is the anti-virus software. Macafee is infamous for hogging the CPU with some of its background services - and I can attest to that. Having insufficient resources will only aggravate the problem, but even on a relatively new PC there was a noticeable improvement in performance once those background processes were stopped.

As well as failing to spot a number of viruses (I don't believe that any product can guarantee 100% protection, but Macafee seems to be one of the worst offenders).

I can't comment on the 4-hour installation time (perhaps the nearest PC World is 1hr55min away, perhaps the client is on dial-up), but for a number of reasons I think the advice is sound - ditch Macafee.

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23rd Aug 2011 08:27

Re: Anti-Virus

BKD wrote:

Daffy Duck wrote:

Quite frankly it's unlikely that anti-virus software is the cause of your problem, it's more likely that your laptop simply lacks sufficient resources to multi task.

 

It's more than possible that it is the anti-virus software. Macafee is infamous for hogging the CPU with some of its background services - and I can attest to that. Having insufficient resources will only aggravate the problem, but even on a relatively new PC there was a noticeable improvement in performance once those background processes were stopped.

As well as failing to spot a number of viruses (I don't believe that any product can guarantee 100% protection, but Macafee seems to be one of the worst offenders).

I can't comment on the 4-hour installation time (perhaps the nearest PC World is 1hr55min away, perhaps the client is on dial-up), but for a number of reasons I think the advice is sound - ditch Macafee.

As someone who's 'other business' is PC repair, I totally agree.

Yes McAfee hogs your resources and is ranked as one of the worst AV programs in the PC press, Norton is ranked higher, but also hogs resources, so I do not understand your techs recommendation.

If you have limited RAM and CPU speed then I would recommend either AVG (which is free) or Kaspersky (less than £25), both of which are ranked better at detecting viruses than the above two, and run using fewer resources. 

With regard to the installation time, yes the software itself won't take long to install. What takes the time is that any AV program you install will insist on running a full scan after install and that is what takes the time. 

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By BKD
22nd Aug 2011 12:43

Service?

Having just re-read the initial post, I don't think your computer 'expert' has done you any favours. OK, you asked him to deal with a specific problem and he appears to have solved it - but only by removing your anti-virus protection, and then leaving you to deal with it? Surely any computer professional worth his salt would have ensured that the replacement software was already to hand?

That's like the AA coming to your rescue because your car is hiccuping along the road, advising you that your spark plugs are knackered and removing them. And then driving off to leave you to walk to the nearest Halfords to buy replacements - and walk back and fit them yourself.

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By DMGbus
22nd Aug 2011 13:50

4 hours?

In my experience installing any computer software - AntiVirus or otherwise should usually take 30 minutes or less. OK, there are some exceptions of badly written software, but I don't think the named anti-virus software is one of them.

What is often the case with Anti Virus software is that once installed it might carry out a full computer system scan that can take several hours - during this full system scan the computer might be slowed down in operation (and perhaps so slow that use of the computer is not recommended during this full scan), but I am surprised that no anti-virus protection would be present during this initial scan.

As already mentioned if on a slow internet connection there could be an issue with downloading the anti-virus sofware, or if the software has been bought on or installed from a CD/DVD then the necessary update as part of the installation process would be via internet connection and again dependent upon connection speed.    Some anti-virus software actually does "switch off" protection during an update process, not a good practice but I have seen it happen (but never for more than a few minutes).

In any event some clarification from the computer expert should be sought in case of some misunderstanding of what he/she said about the "4 hours".

 

 

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By noradh
22nd Aug 2011 16:15

From OP

My adviser is definitely right about '4 hours'. I live about 30 miles from London and we have a problem with Broadband band-width - whatever that might be! We can't access iplayer or Youtube, for instance. My neighbour recently took over 4 hours to download Norton 360.

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22nd Aug 2011 18:25

Slow

You need to change your service provider.

I'm on Virgin and get a consistent 45-50Mbps.

The speeds you are indicating are ridiculously slow, to take 4 hours to download 360 means you are getting possibly less than 1Mbps.  Of course, if you are also wireless your router and your computers network card could be strangling it too.

Try connecting direct to your modem with an ethernet cable - see if that helps.

 

 

 

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23rd Aug 2011 08:51

speed

Just to comment on "change your service provider" regarding broadband speed. 

Many of us who do not live in towns only have the option of using a copper telephone line for broadband as there is no cable (for Virgin) or fibre to the cabinet available in the area.   Additionally many places are a long way from an exchange and your broadband speed is limited by the length of the connection due to attenuation on the line. 

For example I notionally have a "maximum 24Mbps" connection, but due to the distance I am from the exchange I achieve only a 2Mbps connection (and only that by running tweaked firmware on my router).   Most others in the village achieve between 256kbps to 1Mbps depending on their location.  Bear in my mind I live about 5 miles from a fully upgraded exchange with fibreoptic connections to many road cabinets (but none yet provided locally, and none planned.) This isn't in the middle of a moor or the Highlands either but about 2 miles from a major town and about 30 miles from London.   Just goes to show how bad our broadband infrastructure is compared to many other countries.

No provider, despite many promises to the contrary, can provide me any faster a connection than I currently have - simply as they must use exactly the same back-end and cables provided by BT.

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By noradh
23rd Aug 2011 09:46

Speed again

Would a Dongle help at all?

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23rd Aug 2011 09:56

You dont have to live in town
Mr_Flibble2 - "Many of us who do not live in towns only have the option of using a copper telephone line for broadband as there is no cable (for Virgin) or fibre to the cabinet available in the area."

 

Agreed, the infastructure is poor in places.

However, as I said we get a consistant 45+ Mbs on Virgins 50Mb service. Just measured it using Speedtest.Net and getting 47.9Mbs  at present. OK it costs a bit more and yes we are of fibre optics.  But, we are 5 miles from the nearest small town, and the nearest large city is 50 miles away. Indeed we are 4 miles away from the nearest major road, so being "in the sticks" does not necessarily mean a poor service.

 

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23rd Aug 2011 14:11

You must have

one of the Virgin directors living nearby. :-)  Fibre optic around here is unheard of - Mind you I get 7Mb+ over the copper wires so I'm quite happy. 256k/1mb would drive me potty.

Another vote here for Kaspersky. I've had Eset which was quite good but gave a lot of false positives.

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23rd Aug 2011 15:54

100Mbps

paulwakefield1

one of the Virgin directors living nearby. :-)

 

 

I dont know, but I do know that they assure us that later this year will be able to get the new 100Mbps (at extra cost).

However, even at 50Mbps forget about wireless.  Yes you can get fast routers etc, but it's well worth hardwiring all desktops, the speed really is well worthwhile, although I doubt a laptop would be capable of exploiting it fully.

Call me old fashioned but I much prefer a desktop with lots of RAM and a good video card.

(Currently running an i7 processor, 12Gb DDR5 RAM and video car with 2Gb onboard RAM).

 

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25th Aug 2011 11:49

Ooh, get you with yer mega mega fast cable internet access.

Daffy Duck wrote:
Call me old fashioned

You're old fashioned.

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25th Aug 2011 12:17

Daffy

Daffy Duck wrote:
Call me old fashioned but I much prefer a desktop with lots of RAM and a good video card.

You're old fashioned.  Your point used to stand, but it doesn't any long - laptop RAM and video capabilities have caught up enough to all but the most demanding users.  A laptop combined with a docking station/monitor setup is much more powerful than a chained-down desktop antique.

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By KH
25th Aug 2011 12:06

Sophos anti-virus

I run Mac computers, both desktop and laptop, for all my needs, my wife, too, and we both use Sophos anti-virus software ... not that we probably need to, since Macs are rarely targeted by viruses etc. Good thing about Sophos is that it is now free for domestic users, doesn't hog resources, and doesn't slow our computers down at all (or at least I don't think it does .....).

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25th Aug 2011 12:32

Macs rarely targeted by virii?

KH wrote:
I run Mac computers ... we both use Sophos anti-virus software ... not that we probably need to, since Macs are rarely targeted by viruses etc.

Hmm. See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1390014/Apple-Macs-seen-s...

Quote:

"Graham Cluley, a spokesman for online security firm Sophos, said there has been a marked increase in malware aimed at Macs in the past few weeks."

 

also:

http://www.gmanews.tv/story/219458/technology/macs-targeted-by-new-rogue...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12537279/ns/technology_and_science-security/...

http://betanews.com/2009/08/28/macs-don-t-get-viruses-myth-dissolves-bef...

etc.

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25th Aug 2011 13:51

FUD

richardpoulter wrote:

KH wrote:
I run Mac computers ... we both use Sophos anti-virus software ... not that we probably need to, since Macs are rarely targeted by viruses etc.

Hmm. See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1390014/Apple-Macs-seen-s...

Quote:

"Graham Cluley, a spokesman for online security firm Sophos, said there has been a marked increase in malware aimed at Macs in the past few weeks."

 

also:

http://www.gmanews.tv/story/219458/technology/macs-targeted-by-new-rogue...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12537279/ns/technology_and_science-security/...

http://betanews.com/2009/08/28/macs-don-t-get-viruses-myth-dissolves-bef...

etc.

These articles are just spreading "FUD", of course Macs don't experience a 100% security rate, but there are NO known viruses in the wild, and the articles you refer to are malware which mostly (or all, after recent updates) require a user's interaction to install onto a Mac.  That is a million miles different from a Windows PC which can (and will be) silently infected unless protected. 

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By KH
25th Aug 2011 14:18

malware and Macs

It's interesting that the Mac community as a whole regards Macs as safe .... in other words, nobody in the Mac-user community actually knows any Mac user who has suffered from malware (that also includes me, and the whole circle of people I know who are using Macs). And whether to use anti-virus software on Macs is also a point regularly brought up in the Q&A sections of dedicated Mac magazines ... and the mag's response is almost always that they don't know of any specific malware targeted at Macs in the real world, but that it's better to be safe than sorry, and so better to use a dedicated anti-virus programme ... but with the proviso that this is really only helping Windows users, in that us Mac users won't be accidentally passing on dreaded viruses to our virus-prone Windows colleagues.

Apparently the first bit of professional advice to any business in the USA which have been subjected to successful malware attacks is to buy a load of Macs. And yes, I am a loyal Mac fan, despite the fact that they appear to be much dearer ... but they just simply work, last longer than most PCs, and are not only a joy to use, they look great and feel great, too. And my wife can't stand me pointing out the Mac laptop sitting pretty in practically all the TV adverts we don't manage to miss. Divorce is on the cards, even though she too is a dedicated Mac user. You just can't win!

 

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26th Aug 2011 09:57

Go for Kaspersky

I can't believe your IT expert just left you with an unprotected computer. Presumably he advised you before he did it and told you not to use it with any external connection/files until you had an upto date antivirus+firewall?

For a number of years, I used Norton/Symantec and then I upgraded it to a latest version... which really hogged resources. I searched around for recommendations and ended up with Kaspersky. Best thing I ever did (well almost)! The PC at the time was suddenly usable again.

I bought a new PC for the kids at Christmas and of course this came with McAfee pre-installed and licenced. When that becomes due for renewal, I'll be replacing it with Kaspersky.

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By JC
26th Aug 2011 10:29

mac - vm and virus etc ....

It is perfectly possible for a Mac running a Windows virtual machine to get a virus

In reality it is all about social responsibility and with this in mind all Mac users should be running an anti-virus because they are perfectly capable of passing on a problem without being affected themselves

After all if you own a dog then it is probably not going to bite the owner but it doesn't stop one putting a muzzle on it to prevent others from being bitten!

 

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By KH
26th Aug 2011 17:05

True

"It is perfectly possible for a Mac running a Windows virtual machine to get a virus" ... absolutely, but why would you want to run Windows software? After all, the idea of a Mac is a useable computer reliably running great software without the need for hourly-daily-weekly-monthly panic attacks ... OK, so that was said a bit tongue in cheek, but I think you get my drift. Or, as the now retired Steve Jobs would probably say, the PC is dead, long live the Mac ... and, no doubt, the guys in pink hanging round Clapham Common public loos would all agree!

Dash it all, I can see the Friday-afternoon bug is starting to infect my emails! ...........

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