They have been for the past few years. Like many things free, there is a catch. Symantec’s products are frequently rebated to Zero Dollars. They are the King of multiple rebates. This could be one of the reasons they are so popular. The rebates are listed in the newspaper advertisements and when a promotion is in effect, right on the product’s box. You must buy it and send in the rebates, wait 6-8 weeks to receive your rebate checks. Free
While I would assume digging through newspapers to get my updates and praying for a coupon would be a bit hectic for some, I will stick with Comodo who simply asks you to register once. No newspapers, no cereal boxes, soup can labels, etc…in other words, no catch. Of course the look of Comodo is completely per-user opinion, me, I don’t think it looks like bloatware and the look is in small part of why I began using it. Of course it meant nothing if it didn’t work well. The problem is, as i’m sure you know is that Norton is bloatware, while CPF is <—well CPF, no bloat. It starts up quickly unlike ZA or Norton as well. I too like separate utilities, or at least a couple in an anti-v app. In my opinion I like CPF for what it is, without extra this, extra that, it’s simply a firewall that passes all leak tests and is (in my eyes) the absolute best. Just my take here but I hope you give CPF a try and decide like many how good it truly is.
Well put Paul! Comodo does not have a lot of fancy bells and whistles. It is basically a pure firewall offering protection that rivals or exceeds some of the top competition out there. Oh yeah, did I mention it is free
I havn’t tried Norton, so I can’t comment there. Outpost is an excellent firewall, but so is Comodo & it is free. I have tested several firewalls, In my opinion, Outpost & Comodo are currently the top 2 firewalls with nothing else really close for 3rd, but Outpost comes with a price tag, Comodo does not. As for the look, that will of course be personal opinion & vary from one user to the next. I find the Comodo interface to be fairly streamlined & straight forward with good order/organization, but my opinion on the look won’t actually help you at all so…
Here’s my take on the antispyware & antispam built into Outpost: While I do like the idea of the extra protection being built into the firewall, when I run Outpost I do not use the antispyware or antispam as my sole application for those purposes, so if I feel the need to use other antispyware/antispam additionally, then I’m not sure there is any purpose in having those built in. Ewido is currently my single favorite antispyware. It tends to find stuff that others do not & catches trojans/viruses that the antivirus spyware sometimes misses even though viruses are definitely not it’s specialty, but there are several good free programs you may or may not be aware of also: Ad-Aware, Spybot, Spyware Terminator, Windows Defender etc - all fairly competent. Spyware Doctor is fairly decent for a price, but somehow it seems rather clunky or slow, especially during system startup. I don’t really like Spy Sweeper very much personally, although it’s probably fairly good, seems to very popular with some.
I don’t know if you have tried “avast! Antivirus” yet. I’ve tried quite a few antivirus, If I had to choose one, Avast is the single best antivirus in my opinion & it happens to be free. In my tests it seems to be the best regardless of being free & not even counting it’s freeness as a factor. Of the firewalls I’ve turned loose on this big batch of test viruses I have, Avast seems to catch the most & it cleans the remaining ones too, even the few that it doesn’t include as having detected. The only other firewalls I even consider in the same league are NOD32 & Kaspersky, but Avast is pretty much my favorite. Interestingly, you can actually run both Avast & NOD32 simultaneously without any apparent conflicts. Usually only one active running antivirus can function properly at a time, for some reason these 2 play nice together though, not that you need to run 2 antivirus simultaneously, but just for kicks Avast+NOD32 is an extremely potent combo, the best of the best running side by side. The only thing I don’t really like about Avast is the default skin, fortunately this can be changed very easily, my personal favorite is “macloveros_x”, so clean & nice, somehow it really represents a cleanliness that an antivirus should, I think it should be the default skin…
Comodo+Avast = top notch protection, at no cost. There are only a very few others to really choose from at this level, but they all cost & may actually provide a lower level of protection for the money spent. As for antispyware, there are so many more choices here it is difficult to pinpoint a single best solution. Generally it is good idea to run multiple antispyware applications, at least for on demand scanning, they all seem to find stuff that others don’t, just like registry cleaning utilites, no single one seems to do an entirely thorough job.
Personally I don’t ever seem to get much in the way of infections regardless if running any of these malware utilities or nothing at all, but it’s a nice sense of security I suppose.