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Software Review: Norton Internet Security 2011 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. Over that time frame, while the products offered have become more diverse, they still have one goal in mind. That is to protect your computer and the well being of both your data, and your security.

Unlike many programs that 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 2011 as well as any comparable security program must be continuously updated to keep up to date with new threats. It is for that reason that when you purchase Norton Internet Security you are also purchasing a one-year subscription to their services. To find out what is needed to run Norton Internet Security 2011 check out the requirements page.

How does this work? Well the version of Norton Internet Security 2011 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 as well as download the latest updates of the virus signatures. At that point it is best if you go ahead and run a full scan on your system.

Along with making sure that the data on your hard drive is safe and free from viruses, Norton Internet Security 2011 also monitors your 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.

Norton Internet Security 2011

So with all this, what’s new with Norton Internet Security 2011?

• Norton Reputation Technology instantly checks the reputation of a file (including its prevalence, where it came from and how old it is) to stop new or unique malware faster and more effectively than other, less sophisticated software. It also compares the trust of the application on your system to that of other users of the application.

• Norton Download Insight has been extended by adding support for more browsers now adding Chrome, Opera, AOL, and Safari to the previous list of Internet Explorer and Firefox. What this does is checks files as they are downloaded to see if they are trusted — determined by other peoples downloading experience. It also profiles all of your applications on your computer so that you can tell if a program is slowing you down and will alert you when a program is utilizing resources. You can check the past Performance Alerts in the History window.

• SONAR 3 Behavioral Protection has been improved over the previous SONAR 2 by monitoring your PC for suspicious behavior to quickly detect new online threats.

• Norton Bootable Recovery is a more powerful version that creates an emergency CD/DVD/USB that gets you back up and running even if your PC has become so infected that it won’t even start up. It will help you clean your system when it becomes infected with really nasty stuff and your system won’t boot. This is only for when it is a last resort. The one in 2011 is much easier to use and there is a wizard that will walk you right through the process. It now includes support for netbook computers as well.

• Messaging area on the Norton Internet Security Home screen is now included near the bottom that was designed to bring convenient access and at-a-glance status for a number of Norton’s web-based services (Safe Web, Norton Online Family, Online Backup) as well as a global Internet Protection Map into the main user interface.

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.
  • Mark

    Personally, Norton has never done me any good. At home, the one time I actually did get a virus, it just sat there telling me vague generalities about it, but would do nothing about it. At the office with Symantec Endpoint, viruses and malware sneak through on users’ computers all the time that have to then be dealt with manually.

    This version may remedy some of that, but I’m perfectly happy using Avast (free to all) and careful clicking.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    I have to agree with Mark. It’s a little known secret in the IT world that if you want repeat business just advise your clients to use Norton or McAfee products for PC security overall. It’s been proven over & over that the free solutions that exist nowadays are far more effective then the ones you pay top dollar for. Plus, programs like AVG, Avast, Antivir or Microsoft Security Essentials (which I use)run much lighter then those “premium” programs do.

    The other misconception is that Internet Security programs can handle the job of protecting your computer all by themselves… Wrong! People need to be proactive by using multiple tools like Spybot and as a first line of defense, using Firefox with its helpful add-ons like NoScript, AdBlock Plus & Ghostery.