Symantec has done a great deal of optimization on the latest version of Norton Internet Security which is apparent from the word go. Taking less than two minutes to install, a full scale deployment of the software over an entire workgroup of office PCs suddenly sounds like a feasible task. The security controls have been merged into three categories - computer protection, network protection and web protection. The world map on the bottom displays recent protection events happening in real time. All the main components can be toggled on or off from the main menu with the commonly used features taking up space on the left hand side. Instead of opting for virus signatures, Norton maintains a large database of programs collected from user habits and sorts them out using aggressive behaviour based detection which completely removed a malware in the disguise of a free PDF coverter. Download Insight checks newly downloaded files the same way but it did throw a false positive when attempting to download a Windows-based UI modifier. Symantec Online Network for Automatic Response (SONAR) consistently searches for suspicious software behaviour and counteracts accordingly. Its intrusiveness can be adjusted in the control panel.
The scanning speed has greatly improved since the last iteration taking 3:17 hours for scanning 100 GB of data. The scanner detected nearly all threats in our virus test successfully. A summarized report displays all the basic information after scan completion with more details available in history. A small popup near the bottom right of the screen displays the attack details including the website name and the illegal action it tried to perform. The antiphishing component safeguards sensitive information like credit card number and passwords from phishing sites by detecting the fake URLS and warning the user.
The password manager and automatic form filler encrypt the data before storing it. Norton Safe Web now works with all browsers checking all search links in Google with an appropriately coloured indicator and hovering the mouse over the link displays page statistics and site ratings collated from NIS users. The spam filter can be configured to scan incoming and outgoing POP3 email for viruses with supported integration on most email clients but antispam is only supported on Outlook and Windows Live.When important work like presentations or documentation is going on, silent mode can be used which disables all popups or notifications. Online Family is used for remote monitoring and restricting access to websites that are not allowed under company policy. The Norton Bootup tool guides a user step by step in creating a recovery disk in case the system gets compromised or highly infected. Norton support is available 24x7 incase the user faces any difficulty or requires live troubleshooting.
Bottomline: A thoroughly updated security suite which should provide comprehensive protection.