Stay away from the new Rogers anti-virus

I followed the email from Rogers (my ISP) that told me they were dropping Symantec and I should install their new anti-virus offering. I should have known better, but I don’t know what came over me. It’s my own stupid fault, and I’ll never get those two hours back.

The email told me that I “need to upgrade to our NEW Rogers Online Protection before June 30th, 2009”, and that “Rogers Online Protection replaces the [Symantec] security suite” we previously received for free, for being a Rogers customer. It sent me to rogers.com/upgradesecurity which bounced me to a page from which I downloaded the installer.

Just as their email promised, “Upgrading to the NEW Rogers Online Protection is free and easy” other than having to reboot, which is not an unusual experience when I’m running Windows.

However, after the reboot, things were far from easy. Logging in took much longer than usual, and the applications I have auto-start on login (e.g. Pidgin, my instant messaging client) hung. In fact I couldn’t even get the Task Manager to respond!

Very, very, very slowly I started getting pop-ups from the new Rogers Online Protection tool. My core 2 quad CPU machine, with 4Gb of RAM (well slightly less than that in Windows because it can’t see it all) usually flies along, but now it seemed to be running molasses.exe

I tried acknowledging the pop-ups (which told me Rogers Online Protection was blocking access to the internet) but the egg timer just kept on spinning.

Eventually I gave up and hit the PC’s reset button. I logged in again and gave ROP one last chance, but it was just as bad as before – if it was a horse, it would have been put down on the spot!

I played a few rounds of terrorist hunt on Rainbow Six on my Xbox while I waited for the paint to dry, killing processes each time the Task Manager came back to life, and eventually ROP stopped strangling the life out of my PC. Immediately I brought up Add/Remove Programs and tried to remove ROP … except it wouldn’t let me because it had installed a second application (without telling me) which I had to remove first. If you’re going to install two apps and not tell me, then I should be able to remove one and it should clean up its own mess.

The uninstall took an age too, and then proudly told me I’d have to reboot. No option to do it later. Just one button – “reboot”; no way around it. (Actually this was the same on the install but I’d forgotten about that until now.) I wonder if their UI “designer” was Mr.Hobson?

Having no other choice, I let it reboot and hoped that would be the end of it. I don’t know why I’m still such an optimist – I’ve been with Rogers long enough that I should know better. Sure enough, as I logged in a Rogers pop-up appeared, pointing out that ROP wasn’t fully installed. I launched Add/Remove Programs and finally the dragon was slain. (Hey, it’s St. George’s Day this week so I can use than reference!) At least this final uninstall didn’t insist on a reboot.

Finally free of that Rogers monstrosity, I did what any geek would do – I tweeted about it and wrote this blog post. It’s cheaper than therapy and far less frustrating than trying to explain to Rogers why they suck so badly.

As for anti-virus on my Windows PC, I’ll go back to either NOD32 or AntiVir – both are professional AV products, unlike the mess that Rogers are foisting on their customers.

48 thoughts on “Stay away from the new Rogers anti-virus

  1. After using the free AVG for years I finally decided to pay up. It was under $90 for two years with an option to upgrade for another two years for around $10. For under $100 I have four years of protection and it’s more complete than the free version.

  2. I actually dropped AVG and switched to Avast – free and lightweight. AVG was started to get bloated.
    And why on Earth did you ever install a Symantec product?

  3. Another suitable product, which is also free for home use which I am rather fond of is Avast Antivirus. Only “hastle” is that every 1 months, you must renew your free license, a 5 minute process.

  4. I put Symantec NAV on Kerri’s laptop because it was free and Norton *used* to be good. I’ll be putting Avira AntiVir on her machine instead; it’s free, lightweight and works fine.

    I have a license for NOD32 so that’s what I put back on my PC. When it expires, I’ll use AntiVir on my PC too or maybe check out AVG.

  5. Hi Paul..what a mess and it is frustrating to deal with them and to have lost those two hours is unforgivable..they have the technology to do this right but they pay peanuts and get monkeys to write this stuff..and in the end we the customer are the ones paying for it..your right this is good therapy..I was with AVG for years (free) then purchased and the difference is night and day..when you think about it and what it protects our computer investments it’s worth it in the end to purchase private security..

  6. Hi Suzanne,
    I don’t Rogers actually wrote the software, which is even more worrying – they looked at what was available and they picked this one! Reminds me of a time I was in a full elevator and someone pointed out it was probably built by the lowest bidder. 🙂
    I tend to use Linux to keep things secure, on my file server and my main system, but I’ve been doing some tech support for friends so I’ve found myself in Windows more than usual recently. As for my Mac, it’s just gathering dust 🙂

  7. The problems listed above are merely a new anti-virus program (rogers online)… setting up the basic rules for you. If you do not have the patience in this “instant gratification” world, just delete it. Go back to avg,avast, etc, etc, etc. I’m at least going to give it a good workout. It’s free! Don’t get me wrong……I’m not sold on it yet!

  8. @Schnurrbart Good luck with the new Rogers AV product – I hope it gives you fewer problems than it gave me.

    I am very patient and forgiving – I have not had a reliable Internet connection in months, but I continue working with Rogers to try to get it fixed. I just don’t see why I should tolerate sub-standard software design/implementation that results in a poor user experience … and I’m a seasoned user – I hate to think how a “normal” user would cope. I suspect they would either give up or maybe not realise that the AV wasn’t running properly, leaving them vulnerable to malware. (You’d think Rogers would be better served by paying for Symantec rather than cheaping out and risking exposing their customers, and ultimately their service, to the ravages of Confiker et al.)

    If the best thing that can be said for this new product is that it’s free then there are far better free AV products out there, e.g. AVG and AntiVir. I’d even chose to pay for something that works rather than fight with inferior freeware.

  9. Trust me I feel your pain. I only have 512 mb of ram because 3.5-4 years ago, my prepackaged computer came with that because that at the time was the norm and supposed to be good. Ever since I “upgraded” to the “newer and better” ROP, my comupter is running mollasses.exe as well. It’s retarded. I will say that after I turned OFF the Privacy Controls, Parental Controls and the Anti-Spyware it is running alot smoother, but I can tell you that I will be getting rid of it and purchasing something else. I run a home daycare and do NOT have the time for this.

    I’m not worried about the spyware only because I run a daily scan of ad aware anniversary addtion. Anyone who needs a great anti spyware scanner should use this. My computer tech (he’s been one for 15-20 years) recommended it. Works great, even better than the Rogers one because it catches more and takes 1/4 the time to do a full detailed system scan.

  10. @Jennifer
    My quad core duo has 4Gb RAM, so there’s no excuse for it to be slow 🙂
    I use Ad-Aware too, although I don’t scan very often – probably about once a month.

  11. I also downloaded ROP just a few days ago, and for some reason, I lost my internet connection after rebooting my laptop. I really don’t know what happened, so I uninstalled it. My problems didn’t end there, though. I still couldn’t connect to the internet, and I had a lot of work to finish (including a lab that requires tons of research). In the end, I made data back-ups for my music, pics, and game files, and I reformatted my laptop, followed by an OS reinstallation

  12. Hi c.j

    ROP contains a firewall too, so it was probably that which broke your internet connection. Trouble is, once you’ve lost your link it’s impossible to find a solution unless you have another PC (or in my case, a dual-boot PC so I could jump over to Fedora Linux).

    Mind you, to be fair to ROP, this same problem could occur with any firewall – in fact I remember a similar issue when I first installed ZoneAlarm.

    Given most people have a router between the modem and their PC/laptops, a firewall is pretty much useless anyway.

  13. I would assume so – a firewall is meant to be a barrier between the internet and you, whereas the anti-virus should impact that link. (The problem I had with the AV was that it slowed my usually-super-fast system to a snail’s pace.)

  14. I was the ONLY IDIOT who loaded it when it first came out. Thinking
    ‘oh good, they figured out Norton SUX, so they got something better’. WRONG! OY!

    My system is so sluggish and freezes all the time on win XP PRO.
    It doesn’t recognize any of my mapped drives so it won’t scan them.
    I can’t get it to scan directories or just a file on external drives.

    I have Spyware Doctor that I bought before ‘Rogers’ Nightmare Protection’.

    Once my Norton was uninstalled and Rogers infiltrated, I think my firewall was down and it allowed my PC to be attacked from all fronts!
    Spyware caught 73 malwares 24 with a HIGH setting – meaning Trojans that infect and are almost impossible to remove if you don’t know what you are doing

    I was watching one of the malwares propagate while Rogers sat in my Taskbar and DID NOTHING! No bells, no whistle, no 911 calls to the antivirus folks. (sheesh)

    My partner is having the same problems on Vista and she can’t turn off her system any more.
    WTH!!

    The web site they have with the ‘Trouble Ticket Guy’ is BS.
    http://yahoo.rogers.com/yahoo/spotlight/tech_mate.jsp?id=2009/04/20090402

    I emailed a 2 page letter stating all my issues as well as suggesting that having QA involved might have stopped this garbage from leaving the building!.

    I think I’ll go with some of the recommendations made here.
    I might try AVAST, anything but this ‘Joke of a software’
    I hope more people make noise and complain to CS .
    I can’t find too many sites that do.
    Your site is the first one Paul!
    Well I had to throw in my 2 cents and vent.
    Thanks
    M.

  15. First of all, let me clarify one thing…. ROP is not “free” in reality. Rogers (like every big ISP out there) has suckered all of us by really building into the price of the Internet service we’re paying for the cost of that new piece of crap ROP.

    I personally liked the previous one they were using (Norton). From my experience, it hardly impacted memory or system performance. Just like some of the other posters, the new ROP does slow down my computer (noticeably). Furthermore, the firewall options are not as flexible. Once a program has been added, you cannot edit the entry to add addtional port ranges or IP’s it may use. I have a program I have to constantly remove from the list so it re-adds it (for it to work). With Norton, this was never a problem.

    I suggest we all complain to Rogers to at least give us the option to either purchase their ROP (or whatever product we prefer) and remove it as part of monthly Internet service cost.

    I personally will be removing ROP, and willingly purchase Norton 360. My system was drastically working better with it than ROP. I am an IT professional. I’ve tested difference software and systems in my time. I know when my computer is running optimally and when it’s not. I know for sure with ROP installed, it is not.

  16. Wonderful article Paul.Been waiting to see if others had my experience with the new Rogers online protection.My experience was just like the other comments have mentioned.I never called Rogers because that is a lost cause.I think Rogers outsources most of their help,to India or a country like that,and although the folks are quite nice and know alot,the language barrier has been an issue in the past for me.I tried the new package for a month then uninstalled it.Had no problem installing or uninstalling it and I believe it was good protection,but it was an unbelievable resource hog.A spyware scan took 2-3 hours and a virus scan took 6 hours(not a misprint,6 hours).Nobody wants a crawling computer,so I had to get rid of it.I happen to like Norton,I wish it was still available thru Rogers.I now use Avira and Outpost firewall and all seems ok.Thanks for the oppertunity to comment.

  17. Paul,
    Found your article with regards to ROS. I have this monster installed right now. This software is bundled with other crap too. Along with other mysterious problems like blocking access to an eternal drive I have for backups. And I haven’t clue one about how the hell this software is able to do that. I’d rather set myself of fire than call them again to try and roll the dice that someone over there actually knows what they’re giving to their end users.
    Their story was that this version was better than Norton. And while Kaspersky is the Rolls Royce of AV I don’t know how they managed to drum up this garbage they’re giving out to everybody. The logging they are doing with the software is VERY suspicious, and you’re right, the scanning process for spyware/av takes a million years. I’m thinking I might just have to bit the bullet and shell out some cash for a decent AV that isn’t bundled through Rogers.

    I’m going to bookmark this article and stop back later. Did you find the extra software they pushed into your machine that they didn’t tell you about? (Note: there was no uninstall for it either so you might still have it laying around on your drive)

    There’s more to it, but I’m guessing Rogers is monitoring blogs for the negative feedback, and I’d much rather not make my situation worse by giving up the rest of the info that I found out on my own. Leave an email link and I’ll be happy to tell you where you can find the critter they left behind during your install.

    Peace!

  18. Sounds like this problem is costing many people time and money. We are paying for service but some are finding that the service is sub standard.

    In addition to complaining to Rogers complaints should be sent to their regulators.
    A broader effort should be made to judge the extent of this problem. If it is wide spread a class action suit may be worth while. Polling contacts through Facebook and other social sites would be a start.

    Rogers probably made their decision to save money. Unless it costs Rogers money they will never fix the problem.

  19. To put a fair balance to the commmentary – I installed ROP (replacing the free Norton) on my home computer (Win XP SP3, AMD 2.6GHz, 1.75GBRAM) and have had no problems whatsoever. Also replaced Norton on my two daughter’s laptops. Only issue was one daughter had Outlook Express halt downloading at one email with a pdf attachment (earlier emails with other attachments went fine). After going to webmail and deleting the email with the attachment, everything is fine. The only downside is that I can’t see where to tell ROP to not show the banner.

  20. This is the response I got from Rogers regarding lagging while scanning anitivirus. (7 hours to scan) What a joke!! Waste of time complaining.

    Thank-you for your email. We strive to provide you with the highest
    level of customer support, and hope we can be of assistance in
    addressing your questions.

    Your first initial full system scan of several hours is not unusual as
    Rogers Online Protection (Kaspersky) goes deeper than other vendors to
    detect potential viruses and or spywere, also depending on how many
    files are on the computer as well. However, after the first full scan
    all subsequent system scans are drastically reduced.

    If you have any further questions or comments regarding our service,
    please fill out the online form on our Customer Support page listed
    below or contact us by phone at 1-888-288-4663.

  21. Put it on my spare system an old XP machine machine. After that that machine could not see other comuters my local network.
    Is it really Kaspersky? Some other posts had it as Radialpoint.

  22. I installed the ROP and found it was horrible! Shortcuts on my start menu no longer work. I removed the thing itself, but the service point agent and some other remnants are still not budging and refuse to be removed. When I first uninstalled it, my internet connection was completely gone and I tried everything before doing a system restore. So now I’m stuck with some broken links to microsoft office and the ServicePoint agent (or possibly a remnant of it) that always “stops working” and which I can’t remove using the Windows Uninstall.

    Anyone experience this? Or know a solution?

  23. Rogers Communications adopted an effective marketing approach for new potential clients. With the help of popular trusted brands, Rogers-High Speed lured in customers with “free” Norton Anti-Virus and a “free” Flickr Pro account. But once becoming a Rogers customer, the “free” services are turned off and there’s a $200 cancellation fee to terminate your account with them.
    Yes, I agree with the previous posts… I am also an unhappy Rogers’s customer.

  24. There is no cancellation fee if you are with Rogers long enough. When you get their internet, which for me has been AWESOME compared to any dsl internet that I have had (won’t name names here but we all know who I’m talking about b*cough*ell…lol) there is a 12 month contract that you sign with. If you cancel using the security before that, no fee. It’s free. I had the same problem and actually called their Customer Relations Dept in Toronto to file a formal complaint about that and the wireless issue that I have recently had. BUt for cancelling their security software, you shouldn’t be charged a cancellation fee. I read their terms and conditions online on their site. I’m sorry if you did incur a $200 fee for that. If you do, call their Customer Relations Dept in Toronto and aske to speak to a supervisor. If you threaten to cancell, garunteed they will bend over backwards for you. I had 30 months left on my wireless contract that I had renewed for the 3-4th time. I had issues, called CR in TO, threatened to cancel and pay the $400 cancellation fee, told them they would lose $2170 over 30 months from me, they gave me what I wanted….lol. Easy peasy….lol.
    Good luck!

    Mistress J

  25. I don’t know where the person who claimed ROP is “Kapersky” got their sources from, but it is appearent this is the same AV solution used by Bell.

    If you open the program and go to Help, you’ll notice the license agreement talk about Radialpoint.

    I’m actually scared of surfing “suspecious” sites with this AV on because I’ve no idea what engine it is using. Their ICSA certification is meaningless. It only means it catches viruses to a certain minimum threshold. But considering how tricky some of these viruses, trojans, keyloggers and web based scripts are, that is not enough.

    This is quoted from ICSA site:
    “The ICSA Labs Anti-Virus Product Certification program and the criteria modules do not contain specific requirements for products or product components that eliminate other non-replicating, malicious software. Therefore the Anti-Virus Certification Criteria does not include requirements for handling malicious and non-malicious spyware, adware, foistware, backdoors, Trojan horses, and other such non-replicating software.”

    I’d rather to go back to NAV. If you’ve only installed the Virus portion of NAV, it worked great. The problem with Norton is their “Security Suite” that halts down the system.

    RedialPoint Antivirus made my system so slow that it actually convinced me to pay up for a commercial software instead of relying on my ISP discretion!

  26. First, let it be known that I am a computer nerd! I purchased a new Compaq laptop 5 months ago and it came with Norton Antivirus. My provider is Rogers and somewhere down the line I finished up with Rogers Antivirus and then the fun began. sometimes 20 minutes to start up and even the same to shut down, crash and freeze at any time and other problems to numerous to mention. I took it to the store and was told that there seemed to be an internal battle going on between the two antiviruses and it would be better to delete Norton, which they did. But things did’nd improve. I contacted HP and they agreed to take it back and repair it, which they have all free of charge.Its working great at the moment but I have this popup everytime I start up from Norton to download thier antivirus, My question to anybody with good knowledge of computers is which antivirus would be the best suited for me,Thanks.

  27. Hi,
    @ Derek and Paul, I am using Norton since many years now, before they had some performance problems for some time with their Norton antivirus products but in between they have solved all those issues. Since around last two years or so the Norton antivirus is doing very good. The other thing I am watching closely is the Top ten ratings and here again in the top ten antivirus 2010 http://www.toptenservices.net/2009/10/28/top-ten-antivirus-review-10-best-antivirus-2010/ Norton antivirus got Best position. I would recommend all to check before you install any thing on your computer.

  28. I just use Kaspersky. It’s cheaper than norton and works much better too. After the keys are used i’ll move onto something else 😛

  29. Sorry to know about your encounter with Rogers antivirus (I have never heard of this antivirus). But since it came from your ISP, it is likely to fall for it.
    I am really done with free antivirus software. They are simply incapable of securing a computer in this world full of malware. I had Avira Antivirus free edition and have ready a lot about it. But my computer has been running slow since last week. I ran full system scan using Avira and nothing found, NOTHING. Then I thought to install some other antivirus and cross check to see if there is any problem. Today Viper antivirus (from Sunbelt Software) was on heavy discount and bought 1 year protection for just $9.95
    Uninstalled Avira antivirus and installed Viper antivirus. Ran a full system scan, BINGO! 2 Trojans found!
    Now my system is running at normal speed and I’m happy that I installed Viper. But also learnt a lesson. NEVER trust a free antivirus, no matter what people say about it. period. In future, whenever I will see this word “Free”, I will move far away from that web page that offers anything for free. At the end of the day, everything burns down to money and business. There is nothing free in this world full of crapware.
    Dev.

  30. Rogers online protection is a joke. Whoever at rogers made that decision to end Symantec and contract with this BS should be out of a job. 200Mb of RAM when idle and up to 400Mb when it is actually doing something? are you f___ing kidding me!!!!!!

  31. Hi I’m back again and would like to thank you all for your comments, and helpfull information. I downloaded avast! and could’nt be any happier, everything is just working great(at the moment)

  32. I also recently purchased a new laptop with Windows Vista, it already had Norton installed… now I have Rogers cable they want me to get their FREE Antivirus… I have read all your comments, and am confused, My question is should I keep Norton and pay to renew, or take Rogers, Free???? and is AVG better??? wow this is so confusing for a grandmother……….

  33. Stick with Norton as long as you can afford it, grandma. I’ve tried Avast lately, they’ve much improved and seem to be on top of things. I’d consider them as well.

  34. Hey I have that rogers crap on my system right now this friday when im off from work rogers will be off to. Its absoulute JUNK. Im pretty sure to cut costs on developing the software rogers decided to throw computers at moneys untill the moneys started developing anti-virus software.

  35. I heard if Rogers find a virus from your pc, its going to terminate your internet service, if find again, then 7 days then month. So its important to keep our computers virus-free. I have AVG 9 but I would like to give ROP a shot.

  36. I always prefer to use Kasperky over Avast or McAfee. Kaspersky is much better in detecting new viruses and it does not consume too much resources on your dektop PC.:”‘

  37. I am currently trying to remove my Rogers anti-virus program as well and when I try to install another anti-virus program it is saying there are still components in my system that need to be removed. I have removed all that I can see from add/remove programs….any advice on how to remove components I cannot find?

  38. uggg…. i can’t wait to drop all things rogers. way to much $ for their internet.

    ROS is a waste of time.. your computer’s time as it will be crunching on that data for years!

  39. i should have said that i am going to try Avast Antivirus as i had free AVG (which worked fine) but no way to disable it!!! i didn’t find this out until i was having network problems and had to disable zonealarm and anti-virus.. but couldn’t disable it! couldn’t even end the tasks! crazy… who ever heard of that? had to uninstall to turn it off.. never installed it since.

  40. “Boy o Boy”,wish i would of googled this new “Free”” Rogers Antivirus instead,sucker!!!!What a nightmare my computer was slow a snail,then just frooze up on me,called RogersTech Department ,that guy must hate his job,his tone,attitude was terriable,told me I didn’t read all the info before installing the program,ohm sorry it just kept adding install,install!!!!and I did ,well he tried to give me some repair info over the phone and it did not work,his suggestion was to bring my computer to homever to fix it and to remove their “New Shit AV” I told him he ,Thanks have a nic “Fin Day” DO NOT INSTALL THIS NEW AV”

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