Hassle-Free PC: Dump Pricey Antivirus for a Freebie
Dump Pricey Antivirus for a Freebie
Fed up with bloated commercial antivirus programs? Sick of being nickel-and-dimed for yearly renewals for the likes of Symantec's Norton AntiVirus and McAfee's VirusScan Plus? Yank these behemoths out by their roots and replace them with a super-duper freebie.
The Hassle: I want to switch over to a free antivirus program, but I seem to need a blowtorch to remove Norton AntiVirus. (Ditto for the McAfee product on my wife's PC.) Help!
The Fix: Blowtorch? Some people have tried using C4 plastic explosives to remove Norton products--and the Live Update still survives. If 'Add or Remove Programs' in Windows doesn't do the job, Norton provides a removal method that's terrific--but at the same time, a royal pain in the tuchas. It's the Norton Removal Tool (also called the AutoFix Tool. It extracts every Norton product on your system (versions 2003 through 2007). That's right, it's dopey, and you're stuck reinstalling the tools you want to keep. (Dig up your original CDs before you start this fun exercise.) And yes, you will likely lose the personal settings when you reinstall the Norton products.
McAfee has a manual, albeit cumbersome, method to remove its VirusScan product (go here).
Quick tip: And talking about uninstalling, you have to try MyUninstaller, Nir Sofer's nifty, free utility. The app also lists each program's location on your drive, when it was installed, and the product's Web site.