Norton has long been the name in AV software, as far back as I can remember. The once sage-like Norton AntiVirus (NAV) suffered from criticisms in recent years, of slowing users computers down to a snail pace, and with an intrusive approach to protection.
Well, things have changed, as we saw recently in the review of Norton Internet Security, reviewed recently here on Pocket-lint. They have also removed the bespectaled geek from the box, which is a bonus.
We found ourselves in a unique position. Reviewing AV software is a considerable chore, because you need to remove all other AV software protection, then start afresh. Luckily, we tested NAV on a new laptop that came supplied with the previous version; then could directly compare with the 2007 edition.
Installation was quick and easy. The latest user interface is clean and easy to navigate, but seems to want to duplicate itself all over the place – the system tray, and the Taskbar. The Taskbar option is actually not bad – perhaps a little too overt for our liking – but it does provide at a quick glance the peace of mind that NAV is running, and that everything is ok.
But what of the running? It is certainly faster that the previous versions that we have experienced, and the start-up delays that used to plague the software seem to have gone. Set to Live Update automatically, it will take care of itself and needs very little help.
NAV boasts protection from spyware, as well as instant messaging. The back of the box displays the features in a neat summary tick box layout, but very much seems to be an advert for the full Internet Security suite, but informs you that incoming and outgoing email is safe, and downloading files from dubious sites will also benefit from protection.
Increasing attention is being paid to system processes, and this is perhaps where NAV gets some unwelcome attention in that it will start-up with a number of separate processes running, of course, which loiter in the background.
Then there is the price, £40 you are looking at, which includes a year subscription to the update service. The question always it whether this is worth it, compared to free offerings such as Grisoft’s AVG. The basic price for the McAfee equivalent is also £40, so little difference there.
Overall, we are happy as you can be with a piece of software that if all things go well, you never have to fiddle with. But you still have to pay for it, which will take a point off the score.