Norton Internet Security Review

Norton Internet Security is the most popular antivirus software. It is developed by Symantec Corporation, the largest developer of computer security software products. In this article, we will review the performance of Norton Internet Security.

Norton Internet Security includes a firewall, email spam filter, phishing protection, and malware prevention and removal services.

It uses signatures and heuristics to identify and remove malware. Norton Internet Security comes in three different editions:

– Windows edition that has 12 different versions

– MAC edition with two versions

– Netbook version

And it is subscription-based software.

Norton Internet Security 2000 was the first version released by Symantec on 10 January 2010. It had a powerful firewall capable of blocking packets at the packet level. This powerful firewall also enabled Norton Internet Security to secure Active X and Java Applets.

Other features included cookie removal and banner ad blocking software. Symantec also released a family edition of Norton Internet security which had an additional element of Parental control by which you can block any website. It had an already built blocklist of sites. A user with administrator-level privileges could add locations to the blocklist. The family edition also had the additional capability to block sensitive information transmissions like passwords and PINs.

Version 2001 or 2.5 was released on 18 September 2000. It was designed to support Windows NT and 2000. This version could block malicious scripts without virus definitions by studying the program’s behavior. All the other features were the same as the previous version, including firewall and parental control. Symantec released version 5.0 or 2002 in August 2001.

It had some extra features like Norton Alert Tracker, which warns users if a hacker tries to gain access to the computer. It also had an Intrusion Detection system developed to make this product more appealable to the business community.

Later on, until April 2010, 10 new versions of Norton Internet Security were released. Each version added new features and increased the efficiency of the software by making it more reliable and robust. The latest stable version of Norton Internet Security is version 2010 or 17.0. Although two more versions have been released, one on 21 April 2010, which is a beta version, and another was released on 9 December 2010. It was found to be highly unstable by many users. The latest version, 17.0, has the following features.

Version 17.0 introduced a new technology codenamed Project Quorum. This new technology came up with the concept of reputation-based threat detection. According to Symantec, there are almost 200 Million attacks every month, and it is impossible to block or contain these threats using a signature-based detection technique. This new approach is based on Norton Community Watch. Participants of this community send information about different applications running on their computers to Norton Community Watch.

Applications are then judged and categorized based on their attributes. SONAR 2 is another new feature that improves the performance of Norton Internet Security 17.0. It is an enhanced heuristics feature that influences reputation data to determine whether a program is malicious or safe.

The parental control feature has also been improved, and now it is more effective and easy to use. Norton Insight feature has also been improved and a new feature codenamed Autopsy was also added. Autopsy helps users understand Norton’s action when a malicious program was found and how the threat was neutralized. Norton Internet Security also has the feature of safe search. Using a custom search feature, a user can filter out unsafe sites, keep track of cookies, and get insight into these sights from Norton Community Watch.

Norton Internet Security performed exceptionally well in blocking and removing malware. It successfully detected and stopped 98 percent of attacks and exhibited the ability to block commercial keyloggers. According to AV comparatives, Norton Internet Security protected users from 99/100 threats.

The user interface of Norton Internet Security 17.0 is also spotless, sleek, simple, and nicely laid out. A CPU performance gauge is displayed on the left side of the user interface. The middle column is divided into three sections. The computer section shows the desktop operations. Network sections show information about the network and other computers. The web sections brief the user about browser protection settings. The right column shows configuration options for the sections present in the center.

Another significant improvement in the user interface is adding the “Flip Screen” feature. If this feature is activated, the main window flips over to show the backside of the main interface, which offers a chart of CPU and memory usage and a timeline of security events. This feature requires a 3D card. If the card is not present, the flip screen feature is replaced by a backlink button which shows a new window to display that information. The only problem found in the user interface was readability due to the black background.

Summing up the above information, the prime features of Norton Internet Security are:

  • Antivirus
  • Anti-spyware (Learn more about anti-spyware)
  • Anti-phishing
  • Norton Safe Web
  • Smart Firewall
  • Bot protection
  • Pulse Updates
  • Anti-spam
  • Norton Reputation Service
  • Identity Protection
  • Parental Control Management (Learn more about parental control)
  • SONAR Behavior Protection
  • Network Mapping and Monitoring
  • Anti Rootkit

According to the Norton performance comparison website, Norton Internet Security scans 31 percent faster, is 70 percent lighter, and installs 76 percent more quickly than the other leading Antivirus products.