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Internet Security Shootout

Symantec Norton Internet Security 2010 (NIS2010) was supplied to me in DVD style packaging and marked as Not For Resale. This is typical of review samples so your packaging instore and country may be different. Because the box is small the text is also small and as there is a lot of messaging by Symantec it does get difficult to read all the specifications and features. The single user, 1 year subscription edition costs SG$59.00. This works out to a running cost of $4.92 per month.

Norton is the name that everyone immediately recognizes when it comes to antivirus and other security products. However, for a brief period around 2005 to 2007 Norton was synonymous being slow, bloated and aged. This stigma still clings to the extent that loyal fans and corporates that migrated have yet to return to their security solutions. This is also partly because once you switch, especially for a business, it does become a logistical headache to switch again.

Symantec has said that they went back to the drawing board to create a faster, smarter and safer security experience with NIS2010. I’d say it has improved a lot not only in terms of speed, size, and safety. You judge for yourself. Take a look and you’ll see an orderly looking main window. Norton’s yellow and black colour scheme keeps with its’ roots.

The clean interface design comes with useful features to aid even a newbie with the ability to self-diagnose a problem. The tools will also help a technical support representative in providing a better diagnosis of the problem through email, telephone or correspondence.

Time to install is one of the ways that NIS2010 has measured itself and the claim is it installs in 65 seconds, but I felt this was not necessarily a good or interesting measurement. Afterall, even if it took a long time to install you are only installing once. On the other hand if you as the end user experience a quick installation you’ll get the feeling that this program is not bloated. So it is a perception that I believe Symantec (Norton) needed to highlight to again address baggage from previous editions.

Technologically NIS2010 is breaking away from the rest and needed to badly do so. The improvements worth highlighting is the new reputation engine code names ‘Quorum’. This is not really a new idea as we today use reputation as a way to make informed decisions in every day life. The reputation of files is a new technology feature that makes sense. According to Symantec the technology also has smarts to prevent someone or a group of someones from skewing the reputation.

Other included technology notables:- bootable media ‘rescue disk’ included on the CD-ROM installer, and identity protection.

When in Full Scan mode the system was surprisingly responsive. I was able to go about a typical working mode having a browser windows open, Twitter, Microsoft Word and Media Player going. In the past you’d be lucky to be able to open and operate a browser window. NIS2010 includes a nice Tasks monitor so you can see just how much of your system resources is being used.



A full scan of 968,644 files took NIS2010 a total of 2 hours and 10 minutes. This may sound pretty long but it all depends on your file type and whether or not a lot of your files are archived (.ZIP). A nice touch to the scanning is on a subsequent scans the scan time was faster.



If you do end up with some trouble installing or perhaps suspecting an infection or some other security trouble you can get a resource of built in HELP and support is only a click or phone call away. Symantec provides for a local (Singapore) telephone support number and you can of course use email.



Finally, the performance of virus detection which I noted I would rely on Virus Bulletin for. Virus Bulletin tested Symantec (Norton) products and awarded 52 VB100 Awards, failed them 7 times and did not submit their product on 8 occasions for testing.

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