With security concerns becoming increasingly necessary these days, how do you decide which product is right for you? Well, hopefully I can help shed a little light on this subject for all the readers out there!
Having used Symantec’s Norton products in the industry to protect not only client machines but mail servers as well, I will start with a look at those first. Second I will take a look at the McAfee products and an overview of their offerings as well. Lastly, to round out the field, I will give a look at the ESET products
So here are the Norton products that are available for home users for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and for Macintosh:
Norton Products for PC
1. Norton Antivirus 2012 (1 year / 1 PC)
Costs $39.99 and you get email, chat, and web surfing without worrying about cybercriminals (i.e. HACKERS)! Also prevents spyware from being secretly loaded on to your PC as well as blocks annoying and potentially dangerous spam. You are also provided with help when you need it with free technical support by email, chat and/or phone. Norton Rescue Tools are also included that can fix even severely infected PCs.
This is the package for the widest range of people out there that have just 1 machine at home. It provides your basic antivirus and spam protection at a reasonable price that also includes technical support – which with a lot of pay and freeware products you don’t get!
2. Norton Internet Security 2012 (1 year / 3 PCs)
Costs $49.99 and you get everything that you get with Antivirus 2012 plus you receive Identity Protection which lets you browse, shop, and bank online with confidence. It warns you of unsafe websites right in your search results and automatically blocks them! Also provides a software firewall to stop cybercriminals from hacking into your PC and stealing your personal information. Also includes Parental Control Management to track what websites your kids visit and block access to inappropriate sites and keeps an eye on your kids’ social network activities and who they are chatting with online!
This is the package to chose if you have children in the house OR if you do a lot of shopping and banking online as it provides the software firewall – which, in my opinion, provides much more protection than the built in Windows one does. You can also set up the online wallet and it secures your information in an encrypted file on your machine that safeguards your passwords, contacts, and credit card information.
3. Norton 360 v6 (1 year / 3 PCs)
Costs $59.99 and you get everything included in the above two products plus you receive Backup and Restore Utility that safeguards your photos, music, and files with automatic backup to an external device or Norton’s secured data centers (up to 2 GB). Also includes PC Tuneup Utility that automatically finds and fixes problems that can slow down your PC. Gets you PC up and running faster by letting you choose what programs to load at startup! Also helps prevent crashes and keeps your PC running smoothly by removing outdated system files.
This is the product I use as I have 3 desktops and a laptop (one desktop is now just a shell and used for a display since it is a custom Alienware Star Wars case). I picked this package so I could back up and restore files to an internal (non- OS) / external hard disk (which includes HDD, SSD, network, USB, and flash drives). Also, If you don’t have your own external device large enough, it comes with 2 GB storage to secured Norton servers which is adequate for most people unless you do a ton of photo editing/movies that take up a tremendous amount of space.
4. Norton 360 Version 6.0 Premier Edition (1 year / 3 PCs)
This is basically for those that have a LOT of files, documents, photos, movies, etc.
5. Norton 360 Everywhere (1 year / 5 devices)
Costs $99.99 and is for up to 5 devices in any combination of Macs, PCs, and Android smartphones and tablets! Also has tracking and recovery for lost or stolen Android mobile devices. Includes the automatic PC backup for your music, photos, and important files. Allows you to manage your protection from anywhere, right over the Internet!
This is a nice all-in-one package that includes your tablets and smartphones (which you can also purchase them as separate products, but this has them already included).
Norton Products for Mobile Devices
1. Norton Mobile Security (1 year / 1 device)
2. Norton Tablet Security (1 year / 1 device)
Norton products for MAC
1. Norton Antivirus 12 (1 year / 1 Mac)
2. Norton Internet Security 5 (1 year / 1 Mac)
Norton Tracking Products
1. Norton Anti-Theft (1 year / 3 devices)
That is about it for the Norton line of products. Now here is a look at the McAfee offerings for home users for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and for Macintosh:
McAfee Products for PC
1. McAfee Antivirus Plus
Runs $34.99 for 1 year. Basic package that provides antivirus, spam protection, anti-phishing, firewall, and access to USB drives for backups.
2. McAfee Total Protection
$49.99 for 1 year. You’ll be covered with everything in McAfee AntiVirus Plus and for $10 more, you get Parental controls, a surfing report feature, Inline backup, and wireless network protection.
3. McAfee All Access
Runs $99.99 for 1 year.With one purchase you keep your PCs, Macs, smartphones, tablets, an dfamily protection against all kinds of threats with the following included:
- Family Protection for your PC a $49.99 value
- Family Protection for your mobile device a $19.99 value
- Protection for your tablet a $29.99 value
- Protection for your smartphone a $29.99 value
- Protection for you PC a $89.99 value
- Protection for your Mac a $79.99 value
- Family Protection for you Mac a $49.99 value
ESET Products for PC
- With 2 PCs, it is $69.99 for 1 year and $104.99 for 2 years.
- With 3 PCs, it is $79.99 for 1 year and $119.99 for 2 years.
- With 4 PCs, it is $99.99 for 1 year and $149.99 for 2 years.
- With 5 PCs, it is $119.99 for 1 year and $179.99 for 2 years.
* With purchase of 2-5 PC licenses you also receive ESET Mobile Security for FREE.
2. NOD32 ANTIVIRUS 5
Runs $39.99 for 1PC for 1 year or $59.99 for 2 years. You get NOD32 Antivirus, Antispyware, and Security Training.
- With 2 PCs, it is $49.99 for 1 year and $74.99 for 2 years.
- With 3 PCs, it is $59.99 for 1 year and $89.99 for 2 years.
- With 4 PCs, it is $79.99 for 1 year and $119.99 for 2 years.
- With 5 PCs, it is $99.99 for 1 year and $149.99 for 2 years.
So which security product should you chose? Each of these companies provide similar products for around relatively the same prices, so the decision should be based not only on price, but also on the support offered to you AFTER your purchase.
With Norton you get full, direct support (email, phone, and website) for the length of the subscription you chose. With McAfee, you get only 30 days full, direct support, and for the rest of your subscription it is website based Q&A type of support. This has always been a bit of a sore spot with me that they only provide very limited time on their direct support. With ESET, you get full, direct support for the length of your subscription, but ESET is only offered for the PC and not for the Mac – at least I have not found any product offerings for the Mac when I researched it for this article.
Both Norton and ESET rank very highly on their percentages of catching viruses before they can harm your devices, with the edge going to ESET in several of the reviews I have seen. Here is a graphical representation of the number of viruses missed by these products as well as some of the other top products out there:
The only draw back that I can find with ESET, is that it is not as user friendly as Norton and McAfee – the help systems provide more detail in these two products than with ESET.
Here are links to each of the vendors listed above:
Next time I will look at some of the more popular freeware versions of software that provide similar protection at no cost.
Take care readers until next time!