Computer's XP install was in September 04 with NIS 03. In March 05 installed NIS 05 over top of 03. Yesterday, installed NIS 06 over top of both. Have learned on many occasions to NOT uninstall Symantec products. Yes, I am sure my registry is littered with obsolete Symantec files. I don't care. Better to have extras than be missing something.
The purchase and download was painless, even though they would not let me opt out of the extra download time for $6.99. (I figured if I downloaded the program today, why would I need to download it again in 6 months?) I began the install. First prompt was a box telling me that NIS 06 spyware components were incompatible w/ Spybot, and to uninstall Spybot and reboot. I ignored it. Then it wanted to "quick scan" my computer for potential conflicts or malware issues. Since a regular scan can take an hour, I was hesitant, but this one finished in a few minutes- surprise, no problems found. I did not use the "parental controls" which allow you to have different settings for different XP accounts, so I can only assume it works as well as or better than previous versions? Maybe someone who uses it can chime in. I know I would take a hammer to any child caught breathing on this particular computer, or, for that matter, sitting in this chair.
NIS 06 installed, automatically knowing my product code key so I didn't have to find my glasses. (I think it is the same one I had for 05 but I'd have to check to be sure.) It wasnted to register online to send me spam. The firewall lost all its "rules". That surprised me, because in the last upgrade, the 05 firewall just adopted 03's rules. It says it is "learning", so I clicked program scan and "taught it", but it still says it is learning, and by default, it let every MS identified program automatic unrestricted internet access. (Why does Spider Solitaire need to access the Internet?) I fixed that. Many programs would like to have an internet connection enabled- very few actually NEED one! I just looked in Task Manager and there are 8 Symantec processes currently running. They are consuming the bulk of the allocated memory, but it's only 3% of my resources, so I don't care. NIS 06 is not for an older model computer. NIS 06 could/would bog down the whole system if the hardware were insufficient or the OS was pre-XP. I played in all the settings, of course, and cannot find a way to get rid of the annoying NORTON icon in the system tray with the Big Red X telling me that MS Update service is shut off (Duh! My choice!) The best I can do is move the thing to the notification area where it is less obvious, but still has a red x that I don't want to see out of the corner of my eye. I deleted all the desktop icons Norton made by default. No wonder people mess with Norton at the first sign of a problem- if Norton were less obtrusive, maybe people would leave it alone? I ran Live Update several times, and was prompted to reboot twice. NIS is still connnecting to the server every 4 hours, like always.
I still have NIS 03 on the laptop because of the little tattletale globe you could drag anywhere and set to tell you every single internet request. It must have annoyed too many people, because that feature is not available in NIS 05 or 06. I have no idea if the spyware, spam filter or ad blocking in NIS 06 is working...I'll have to ask for some test material. The logs say it is, but I don't surf spyware type sites (on purpose!), I have a spam filter that works in conjunction with my ISP, and I use AdSubtract Pro. NIS 06 wanted an AV scan on my computer, and I haven't done one since December, so I turned it on and went to the grocery store. When I got back, it said it had found a virus in a program file (Ewido, of all things!) and "fixed" it, whatever that means. The status bar on the GUI will take some getting used to, because it doesn't move from left to right slowly, it goes back and forth, never indicating approx. how much longer it is going to take to finish. I also see no way to force Norton to leave the XP firewall on. Every reboot shuts it off. I have run both for years with no conflicts, and I would like Norton to quit shutting the XP firewall off.
I am not a Norton fan. I know there are lots of good alternatives available. Please do not flame me for this Norton post. I use Norton because lots of OEMs come with it, and I have to support it in the field. I realize it is not "lightweight" software, and can be a resource hog. I do know it is as close to 'idiot proof" as protection gets for an inexperienced user as long as the user keeps to the defaults. I was also amazed when an 800 telephone number appeared on my screen in case I had any problems with my download or install. Wow. I hate companies that tell you to send them an email when your chief complaint is that you can't get online.
If you decide to use NIS in any flavor, ideally, install it directly after the OS. If you can't, make sure all your back ups are done before you begin. All the official instructions say to uninstall previous versions first, so you are on your own, there. I chose to install overtop, aware of the risks. If you decide to uninstall and then install the new version, GO OFFLINE during the whole process, and reboot in between.
Hope this helps someone.