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Norton AntivirusMost computer users are aware that there are many dangers out there on the Internet, but relatively few people take the trouble to keep their antivirus software updated. This can potentially leave them open to all sorts of problems such as malware infections or identity theft. While there's no doubting the Internet's usefulness, there are plenty of potential dangers in the virtual world as well. New forms of malware arise on an almost daily basis and cybercriminals are constantly finding new ways to exploit bugs in otherwise legitimate software in order to hack into your computer, steal your online identity and more. For this reason, you should not only keep your antivirus definition database automatically updated at all times – you should also consider upgrading to the latest edition. Norton Antivirus will help to prepare you for the new security threats on the Web as well as the old ones. It provides a wide range of features to help ensure safe Web surfing and online banking and e-commerce.

We were rather impressed with this iteration of Norton Antivirus, and the product is particularly good value if you have several PCs to protect. The results of our “real world” tests also give us confidence that this software will keep a PC well protected.

It’s also good that Norton have put serious work into minimising the footprint of the software; they’ve managed to maintain plenty of functionality whilst creating a product that doesn’t bog systems down like the Norton of old.

The product could still do with some refinement and simplification, but there’s nothing here that rings alarm bells – as such, it deserves room on your shortlist.

We liked

  • Modern interface
  • Several innovative features, such as Facebook wall scanning
  • Perfect results with test viruses
  • Minimal performance impact

We weren’t so sure about

  • Almost too many options for novices
  • Pricing not fair to those who commit to the software up-front
  • Real-life support hidden rather deeply

We hated

  • Slow initial updates
Performance:
9.5/10

 


It is significant that Norton is AV-Test Certified. AV-Test is a respected independent laboratory in Germany that tests antivirus software and researches the best products and procedures to detect malware. The test network in the lab is quite elaborate with a couple of dozen servers and almost 300 workstations. The lab has collected 100 million pieces of clean test data and 50 million pieces of malicious test data during the past 15 years. Every day, AV-Test adds 50,000 new pieces of malware to its collection of malicious test data.

Our protection ratings, scored out of 300, award products extra points for completely blocking a threat, while removing points when they are compromised by a threat. We awarded three points for defending against a threat, one for neutralizing it and deducted five points every time a product allowed the system to be compromised. The best possible score is 300 and the worst is -500. The reason behind this score weighting is to give credit to products that deny malware any opportunity to tamper with the system and to penalize heavily those that fail to prevent an infection.

Norton Antivirus

Features:
9/10

 


Norton Antivirus provides various new and improved features over its predecessors in order to provide the basic level of protection that every computer needs. New features include the threat removal layer which targets and gets rid of threats lesser-known yet hard-to-remove threats which many basic antivirus solutions, including most of the free ones, have difficulty detecting. The latest edition also provides you with information regarding the latest important updates so that you are never left in the dark.

Improved components over previous editions include the SONAR Behavioral Protection feature. This powerful tool attempts to keep ahead of the current malware trends, detecting otherwise unknown threats by constantly searching for suspicious activity on your computer. The latest edition runs unobtrusively, however, working in the background to detect otherwise unidentified threats. This is particularly useful in a time when new security threats appear constantly.

For heavy Internet users who download a lot of files, Norton Antivirus provides various protection features to ensure that your downloads are safe before they reach your computer. If you already have malware on your computer, you can also use Norton Antivirus for a deep scan. This process does take quite a long time, but it also performs a thorough search, weeding out any security threats that it finds. For those who have a small home network, Norton Antivirus includes the Network Defense Layer, protecting your networked computers and devices from outside. Heavy Internet surfers will find the Browser Protection feature useful for automatically warning you about websites flagged as suspicious. While Google itself does this, it is only any good when you use Google to search the Internet or Google Chrome as your browser. Norton Antivirus, however, will ensure that you know about blacklisted sites no matter what browser and search engines you are using.

The latest edition provides useful features to help improve performance and work less obtrusively. This is great for lovers of video games or high-end productivity applications which often find that antivirus software slows their computers down. Nonetheless, like almost any antivirus solution, Norton Antivirus can interrupt you in the least convenient of moments. Unfortunately, however, that is also a largely unavoidable issue regarding computer security software. Fortunately, this year's version has improved on this by only scanning and updating your computer when you are not using it. Other than that, it runs in the background to block threats using as few system resources as possible.

Norton Antivirus

Help & Support:

8/10

 

Norton’s customer support options are fairly extensive, and complemented with a range of online tutorials.

It is clear, however, from the support website, that Norton would rather customers resolve their own issues using the extensive FAQ section or use the program’s “auto fix” function. The “Contact us” link on the website is quite diminutive, and once you’ve clicked it, you then have to fill in a support ticket before getting near a real person.

Once you’ve provided your details, “live chat” with remote support is Norton’s preferred option, but there is a link to local phone numbers hidden away for the truly determined!

Norton Antivirus

Conclusion

Norton Antivirus is a well-respected name when it comes to computer security software. It provides a user-friendly interface and largely automated features to minimize annoyances and interruptions while you are using your computer for either work or play. The improved scanning and performance features of the latest edition make it a preferable choice among power users who are tired of their antivirus software constantly interrupting and causing problems with their favorite games and applications. However, Norton Antivirus remains an optimal choice primarily for casual users. It offers a basic level of protection which is more than adequate for the average home user. It does not include a firewall but, for home users, this is not really such a problem since the built-in firewall in Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 is perfectly adequate for most people.

Some may find the upgrade and purchase procedure somewhat confusing and different licenses regarding the number of PCs with which you can use the software vary greatly from one retailer to another. However, Norton Antivirus , is, all-round, a great package although more advanced users as well as commercial users will probably be best off looking for a more sophisticated solution. Norton also provides such software.

Still a Winner - Symantec could do me a real favor by adjusting Norton so it passes static tests, but I can't fault them for sticking to their guns and refusing. I use Norton to protect my own main work computer. Norton Antivirus remains an Editors' Choice for standalone antivirus.

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