PCTOOLS Internet Security

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by gery, Sep 14, 2012.

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  1. gery

    gery Registered Member

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    What is your opinion on PCTIS ? Is it worth it to buy ? Is it still effective ?
     
  2. Solarlynx

    Solarlynx Registered Member

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    There were free PCtools Firewall - it was nicely combined with Avast. Now I can't find it on their site.

    As for PCTIS - sorry never tried it. Just wanted to say about PCtools Firewall free, which they don't support anymore as I see.

    Sorry for off-topic.
     
  3. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    I use PC Tools Internet Security occasionally. It now uses Symantec's scan engine for signature scanning and heuristics and shares part of Symantec's cloud but primarily relies on its own cloud. Also, it does not have Norton Insight due to which detection rates are a little bit lower than Norton. There are a few bugs with the program under certain PC configurations which can be quite annoying.

    Program updates are not automatic and you need to manually download the new version every time an update is released. ThreatFire still works well. Till recently there were many slowdowns and bugs with this software but they seem to have ironed most of the bugs out now.

    It is a very simple and easy to use software and probably isn't targeted towards power users. It's also heavier than Norton in most tests, though I feel new versions are making things better in terms of system load.

    Symantec's main push with PC Tools is price, but for that lower price you still have good options such as AVG, ZoneAlarm, etc.
     
  4. Taliscicero

    Taliscicero Registered Member

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    I spoke to one of the reps at PC tools about a month back asking about that, I was shocked when they told me that for the most part Symantec and PCtools do not share technology or signitures and are for the most part two seperate products. ;)
     
  5. gery

    gery Registered Member

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    i tried to install PCTOOLS IS and AV and i find it impossible . It has been so for a long time for me . I am finally giving up . No more tries .
    Back to my AVG Premium ( though i do not know why they call it so . No Child protection included nothing really working . ( you have to pay for the rest of the features ) A pure joke . The Av is the part i really like though
     
  6. Taliscicero

    Taliscicero Registered Member

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    I use AVG myself too. I love the detection/engine for the AV if set up correctly. I don't like the rubbish tech support / customer serv, the horrible "hipster" marketing, and the oh I'm sorry you don't get that extra..... you have to buy it.

    AVG should fire "Everyone" but the developers related to the actual workings of the product, then have a UK/US call/chat center, and stop with the stupid (I'm walking down the street talking about how family is important to me while wearing thick black glasses and a hat) Advertisements.

    On PCtools though, I would not use it because what's the point in using a Symantec program if its not using any of the Symantec technology. Its just sitting out there in the ocean with no clear direction other then eventually getting let go once Symantec has devoured the technology and user base.
     
  7. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    Unfortunately PC Tools' level 1 and 2 support technicians have little idea of the dynamic between the two companies. I can assure you the two products share technology. Install PC Tools and you will find the following files in the "avdb" and "avengine" folders respectively:

    naveng32.dll (Norton Anti-Virus engine)
    navex32a.dll (Norton Anti-Virus engine)
    VIRSCANX.DAT (X is a number) - part of Symantec AV database
    SEPS.dll - Symantec Endpoint Protection System DLL for unpack

    and more. It uses the database and heuristics from Norton but relies on its own cloud, though lately some common cloud detections have been cropping up between Norton and PC Tools. PC Tools also has an inhouse engine. The plan for PC Tools is very clear - it's a low cost product that allows them to keep Norton positioned in the premium segment while still competing in the value market with cheaper products like Avira, AVG, ZoneAlarm, etc.

    {On the other hand, Norton does not use any of PC Tools' technology; so it's "technically" correct that they do not share technology}
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  8. acr1965

    acr1965 Registered Member

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    good info, thanks for posting

    I used their firewall a long time but quit when support stopped. There's still a link to that version which I believe is 7.0.0.123 here - http://www.pctools.com/forum/showthread.php?68601-Release-of-PCTFW-v7

    When their firewall first came out there was mention that it used Look 'n' Stop technology. It was probably the one firewall I'd keep going back to and ran without issue alongside any av I had at the time. Too bad PCT decided to only offer further development of the firewall in their security suite. But I think that's about the same info as is with Cyberhawk. Like most acquired technology, some large corporation gets in over their head when they try further development of these specialized programs.
     
  9. Ibrad

    Ibrad Registered Member

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    I think Symantec also integrated some PC tools tech into the Norton line. I have seen on VT something PC tools would detect as suspicious Norton would detect with a very similar name.

    I just wish PC Tools/Symantec would bring back Spyware Doctor starter ed. One of the best free products that ever came out of PC Tools.
     
  10. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    With ThreatFire it's a bit of a different story: it seems a lot of developers quit or were shifted around after the acquisition by Symantec (as I said earlier, PC Tools is now a "value brand" - which means low cost to user and low cost/investment to the company as a whole: Also note that there aren't any mentions of corporate licensing in PC Tools' website), and due to that they seem to have encountered severe difficulties with continuing development of the standalone ThreatFire.

    PC Tools Firewall did indeed use Look 'n Stop's technology but not the full thing: AFAIK they licensed some firewall drivers and then did custom work on it.

    The thing with large corporations is that they usually run with a paradigm of "something for everyone"; but applications like ThreatFire/CyberHawk rarely fall into "Joe Average's security setup". Thus there is a mismatch in thinking. Going forward, I think Symantec will keep the PC Tools name around and continue to offer the free Antivirus, the Internet Security Suite (which will basically be a feature-limited version of Norton), and the system tools as well.

    However, the product (PCTIS) is still reasonably effective at this time.

    @Ibrad: Like I said, there is some unification going on at the cloud level (a lot of those "suspicious" detections do not occur if you don't scan using the cloud in PC Tools); however it seems to not be complete yet as there are some detections which are still unique to Norton as well as PC Tools.

    Side note: PC Tools relies heavily on the cloud to filter out false positives. The FP rate is very high if you do an initial scan after installation and update without being connected to the internet.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
  11. Duradel

    Duradel Registered Member

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    Using PC Tools IS 2012 at the moment and no real problems identified so far.

    Enjoying how light the program is on the HTTP traffic and the detailed firewall prompts are pretty cool tool.
     
  12. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    Like I have mentioned before; the only real con is the update frequency - however, the real-time as well as on-demand scans also use cloud technology that is presumably updated in real-time, so it may not be as big an issue at it seems.
     
  13. Duradel

    Duradel Registered Member

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    Ended up un-installing PC Tools Internet Security 2012. It kept throwing up a BSOD 'page fault in non paged area'. This was while running Windows 8 Pro 64 bit.

    As soon as I un-installed it the problem went away. Normally I'd check my RAM to see if one of the sticks had become faulty but it seems too much of a coincidence that the problem stopped as soon as the program was removed.
     
  14. Brandonn2010

    Brandonn2010 Registered Member

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    Besides the Internet Security, I was wondering about the free version. I would consider recommending it alongside the other big free AVs since it uses Norton technology and Norton does well, but does it:

    - Have good detection rates, on par with the other free AVs
    - Is low on bugs
    - Is light

    All in all would it be good to recommend it, or are the other free AVs like Avast!, AVG, Panda better than it (not trying to make this A vs B but I would like to know).
     
  15. RejZoR

    RejZoR Registered Member

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    It may be using Norton scan engine but the question is, is it the most recent engine and how does the lack of SONAR and other similar technologies affect its efficacy.
     
  16. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    If you are having BSOD issues; please submit logs to support - the last few builds have all tried to rectify these errors and they need as much information as they can get :)

    I had BSODs too but these got fixed 2-3 builds ago :)
     
  17. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    You guys are still using this Zombie AV? :D
    Come on it's almost 2013 you should switch to Norton instead of wasting your money on PCTools. :D
     
  18. gery

    gery Registered Member

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    it is lighter cheaper and i like it so far. simple too:D :D :D :D :thumb: :thumb:
     
  19. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    A new version should be out in January. And yeah, it's simpler and cheaper compared to Norton....:)
     
  20. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    I would not recommend the Free AV; as it does not contain any behaviour blocker and the real-time protection is limited in comparison to AVG, Avira, Avast and other alternatives.

    Symantec engine is the same as Symantec Endpoint Protection System and is regularly updated. The free version, however, does not contain any behaviour blocker.

    SONAR is replaced by ThreatFire; arguably equally effective. It does not have Norton Insight; but PC Tools does have it's own cloud. Pulse updates are missing.

    Overall; it's efficacy is close to that of Norton or Symantec Endpoint Protection System but not exactly the same (a bit less).
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012
  21. Securon

    Securon Registered Member

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    Good Evening ! V3 Software Store P C Tools Internet Security 2012...$9.95...I'll let you know how things progess...Heck the Price Is Right...what's behind curtain number 3 Bob...Lol...Sincerely...Securon
     
  22. The Hammer

    The Hammer Registered Member

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  23. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    PC Tools is effectively a double engine product: Their own engine was built off code licensed from VirusBuster years ago. Only a few file structures etc. remain common; the PC Tools AV engine is independently developed from VirusBuster. All products (including the free version) including the Symantec scan engine from Endpoint Protection System as well.
     
  24. PC_Pete

    PC_Pete Registered Member

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    Further to the above. The VirusBuster engine was almost unrecognizable as such in PC Tools AV after a couple of rounds of extensive modification in 2006/07.
    There can't be much of it left.
    PS. At a glance there is at least one observational error in the article so I wouldn't take it as authoritative.
     
  25. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    If you have given it a go; how is it? :)
     
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