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Software Review: Norton Internet Security 2010 from Symantec

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The Norton name is probably most famous for its security software that has protected both computers and the information stored on those computers for over two decades. During that time frame, while the products offered from Symantec have become more diverse, they still have one goal in mind: to protect your computer and the well being of both your data, and your security.

Norton Internet Security 2010Unlike many programs you buy where you can just install them and use them until you find a new feature that compels you to upgrade, Norton Internet Security 2010, along with any comparable security program, must be continuously kept up to date against new threats. It is for that reason that when you purchase Norton Internet Security you are also purchasing a one year subscription to their update services

What is needed to run Norton Internet Security 2010?
• Windows (XP or greater)
• 300 MHz or faster processor
• 512 MB (1 GB recommend) RAM
• 300 MB hard drive space
• CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive
• An Internet connection

How does this work? Well the version of Norton Internet Security 2010 that I am reviewing will protect up to three computers for a period of one year. When you install the software and register it with Symantec, it will automatically connect with and activate its service. It will also download the latest updates of the virus information to make sure that you are up to date. Once this is completed you should run a full scan on your system to make sure that you are problem free.

Along with making sure that the data on your hard drive is safe and free from viruses, Norton Internet Security 2010 also monitors you online activities to keep you safe from potential attacks, protects your online banking and shopping, as well as monitors your system from problems from hackers, bots, spyware, and Trojan horses.

So with all this, what's new with Norton Internet Security 2010?

Norton Internet Security 2010• Norton IdentitySafe On-the-Go lets you access your most up-to-date log-ins and passwords on any Norton Internet Security 2010 protected PC. By securing your personal information such as usernames and passwords and using it to fill in logins and passwords, you can make sure that no one can steal your information.

• Norton Safe Web Adds the additional protection when you search, shop, and surf the Web, stopping Internet threats before they can infect your PC. This includes identifying unsafe and/or dangerous Web sites as well as checking files and applications before you install and run them.

• Download Analysis analyzes downloaded files and applications and lets you know if they can be trusted to be safe before you install and run them.

• Norton Insight has two parts. The File Insight provides reports that tell you where files and applications came from, if they’re trusted before you use them, and how the files and applications might impact your PC’s performance. The Threat Insight provides reports to tell you what actions threats have taken and where they came from so you can avoid future attacks. Both use extensive online intelligence systems to proactively protect your PC without slowing it down, while providing clear and useful information about downloads, threats, and files.

• SONAR 2 stands for Symantec Online Network for Advanced Response. This second-generation behavioral security technology detects entirely new threats based on their suspicious actions, without the need for traditional fingerprints. It leverages data from the reputation cloud, firewall, network communications (IPS), and file attributes such as location on the PC, origin information, etc., to decide when to detect a program as a threat.

Norton Internet Security 2010• Parental Controls give you better insight into your kids’ online activities so you can make sure that they are safe online. This is an optional subscription that Norton Internet Security 2010 users can use that provides a new Web-based service that keeps parents in the loop on their kids' online lives and fosters communication about what’s appropriate and inappropriate behavior on the Internet.

• Professional Strength antispam is an enterprise-grade spam blocking engine helps keep you clear of unwanted email and safe from email-based scams and infections. It's 20% more effective than the previous engine and requires no training. This uses the same technology that many large businesses rely on to effectively block unwanted, dangerous, and fraudulent emails.

• Improved Protection System guards vulnerabilities in your operating system, applications, browsers, and browser plug-ins to prevent threats from sneaking in.

• Improved Bootable Recovery tool repairs, restores and boots severely infected, unbootable PCs.

Last year's version of Norton Internet Security was lauded as much lighter and more efficient than prior versions. NIS 2010 keeps its same lightweight footprint, but now adds better detection abilities through a new model of security that is codenamed Quorum.

By using Quorum, Norton Internet Security takes the very uniqueness of a file as well as its attributes to help identify a potential threat as new malware. More than three years in the making, Quorum tracks files and applications and dozens of their attributes such as their age, download source, digital signature, and prevalence. Then through a complex algorithm, determines the reputation of the file and how likely it is to be or become a problem.

Norton Internet Security 2010I like the fact that Norton Internet Security 2010 contains the tools you need to keep your computer running smoothly. There is a dashboard that shows you everything from a high level so that you can see the system is running well. When something does go wrong, you are presented with a description of the problem and it will step you through what you need to do to fix it. At all times you are the one in control.

I also like the fact that when you are online with a search engine you get a rating of "Safe", "Caution", "Warning", or "Site Untested" so that while you are surfing you have some idea of what you might be getting yourself into. Finally, I also appreciate the continued smaller footprint. While there are times when things run slower when there are processes running, that is to be expected and by running your scans at off times, you can mitigate this problem. Also, Norton Internet Security 2010 runs background scans when it thinks that nothing is going on with your system. If you come back, as soon as you touch your computer, the scan stops and control is back in your hands.

Everything about Norton Internet Security 2010 is built to be safe, secure, reliable, and most of all, easy to use. From the installation to the detection to the clean up, you are not only in control, but you are also educated as to the implications of your choices. Once you have your initial scan, most everything is really uneventful and runs quietly in the background. And isn't that what you want in a computer security system? If yso, I can very highly recommend Norton Internet Security 2010.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.
  • http://etierphotography.blogspot.com/ FCEtier

    Thank you! Well read, interesting, and re-assuring — since I just purchased a new computer that came with Norton Security installed.
    So, would go you with Norton over McAfee if that were the only two choices?

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    While I feel that Ghost is a very good product from Norton(though Acronis True Image is just as good), I feel that you could get the same level of security from quite a few of the free anti-virus programs available(AVG,Antivir). I would also suggest NOT to rely soley on an anti-virus program for the security of your computer. You can hault a lot of shady activity by installing add-ons for Firefox. I highly recommend learning how to use NoScript…

  • virtual worlds

    Hi Brian, I agree with you that Acronis is just as good as Norton.

    If you’re looking for free software, then AVG is pretty good.

    For shareware, I would still prefer Kaspersky Internet Security for my desktop and ESET NOD32 for my laptop.

    By the way, NoScript can be pretty complicated to customize. LOL

  • http://cairolifereviews.blogspot.com/ FEM4Ever

    Thank you!
    Very thorough.