Norton Internet Security 2008 - PC review

4 out of 5

For

Simple design, easy to use.

Against

Fine tuning options have been hidden away

Norton produces a range of internet security tools, with Internet Security Suite being its main package. However, in recent times Norton 360 has stolen some of the limelight largely due to a far simpler interface and the addition of backup tools.

If you don’t need backup software, then the feature-set of the two titles is remarkably similar but this package is cheaper. This latest version doesn’t bring many new features but the overall footprint has been improved, so you’ll find it runs smoother, even on older machines.

The interface has been tweaked but it looks remarkably similar to the previous version in terms of layout and what you can achieve. You’ll find basic details of your computer; it’s internet connection, as well as your online identity.

As with the more expensive Norton 360, you don’t really need to do much after you’ve installed the software. The program runs a set of diagnostic tools and as long as you have a big green tick for each of the categories, you’re safe. Only when this tick changes do a red cross do you need to intervene, and this can usually be resolved by clicking the Fix button.

With this in mind, it has the typical array of tools, from anti-virus and spyware to malware and phishing. The former is handled by Antivirus 2008, which as a standalone package costs £20 (inc. VAT), and is a great feature as we found it solid and reliable.

Browser Defender is a new tool that, as the name implies, protects your chosen browser from attacks. You’ll also find firewall protection has been beefed up. As will almost all firewalls it does a great job of stopping inbound as well as outbound threats. One of the key new features is that disabling it by third-party tools, such as malware, is now even tougher, so you’re PC is safer than ever.

When it comes to safe, the one big addition to this year’s package is the new Identity Safe. This replaces the older Privacy Control feature and is a vault that keeps safe your online ID. It stores your passwords, credit card details and other delicate information. It can help you when you’re online by pre-loading forms with your details, which is much better than trusting a store or site with your information. The same can also be done for your website logins, so will help speed up activities.

The asking price covers three machines, so if you have a small home network you can protect all the machines with this one package. If you find yourself getting in to difficulty, this version has an improved Help section, which should help you deal with any problems. You can also call upon real-time support but in reality, we found the package so tough it can sort out from problems the average user will have itself.

Verdict

Norton Internet Security 2008 doesn’t offer up any surprises but then again, why should it – it delivers safe and secure internet security at an affordable price, making it a worthwhile investment.