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When reviewing my 6-month old Toshiba laptop several days ago, I briefly mentioned the internet security package I had bought and installed specifically for the purchase of the computer. The anti-virus software was Norton 2010, and after some deliberation I thought I'd give in and have a go at reviewing it.
Now, when I first heard of Norton about two years ago I was confronted with nothing but negativity in regards to the products performance. Friends and family seemed adamant that their frustration with the software and its apparant 'never ending restrictions and irritating pop-up question windows' proved undoubtedly that the system was flawed in every way. One thing I heard repeated over and over was peoples anger over the large amount of 'CPU usage' Norton software hogged from other programs, greatly reducing overall performance and speed of your system. But surely it can't have been that bad...
So how have Symantec Norton tackled these negative comments in their 2010 edition?
Before I begin babbling on about any possible changes for the better the company might have made, it has to be recognised that this software is no longer Norton's newest edition - that would be 2011's side of the woods. But nonetheless, for people who are considering purchasing the 2010 edition for what ever reason, this is what I've found:
- Despite the fact the company claims to have lowered the CPU usage of the software, that hasn't stopped them cramming in pointless features on the main 'home' control panel (accessed via a small icon in the bottom right hand corner of your screen - when using a Microsoft Windows OS).
* For no real benefit to the user, there is a running total of the 'top cities under threat' from viruses.
* When clicking through to 'performance' the software swamps you with boring, unhelpful graphs you're not interested in.
* The pages are over-run with links to websites where you can 'manage your online backups' and 'view your
online family statistics' for no benefit at all.
- The control panels theming, colour schemes and animations are far too complex and over-designed. When you move from page to page, i.e. from 'Settings' to 'Performance', the whole window revolves for no reason. Why put that in when it only increases CPU usage and annoys people?
- One clear improvement the software seems to have made since its previous edition is to allow users to navigate the control panel relatively harmlessly in a well layed out surrounding. The headings are where you expect them to be, at the top-right, and the information and statistics in the centre.
The product as a whole does seem far more intuitive and favourable to use. One of the main ways Norton have tackled the whole irritation over CPU usage is by allowing users to lower this in the 'settings' panel. You can select whether the software is permanently scanning, or only scanning certain (changable) period of time. Similarly, you can change which areas of the computers memory unit, or internet activities are being scanned. In general the software has been made to be much more 'user friendly' and flexible in its operation.
In regards to the 'pop-up windows' which can aggrivate users, these have also been reduced. It's not that the software assumes more now, answering questions without consent, or deciding on key decisions alone, it just condenses these requests into fewer questions to the user. if there are certain things that the user is happy for the software to assume, like allowing the user onto certain websites, then these can be listed and adapted into the system for ever... now that's a good user friendly innovation!
All in all this software has made huge improvements from previous models my friends and family hated so much. But is that enough to make me go out and buy the 2011 version when this version is all dried up? No thanks, I'll stick with Avast or AVG next time!
I`ll review the 2010 as you can still get these on the cheap on amazon, and if you install them, they will lest for a year throughout 2011, I just think some people think that you always need to get the latest year. The only difference is that im sure some minor update will not be available....big deal all the basics are there. And I now have 2011 and from what I can tell there arnt many differences.
This verison has a new feature from the 09 version. It shows you on google (or whatever search engine you have) which websites are clean and which are not. Represented by a green tick or a red dot.
You have the usual features, stops phishing, stops cookie tracking (once you run the system scan), stops virus`and stops spyware. This version also has parental controls, so you can control what the littles ones see.
I find that that one of the best features is the sytem scan, the quick scan searches commonly effected area`s and takes between 5 and 10 minutes. The full system scan scans every file in your company- i have something like 800`000 files and take about an hour. Its a long time to wait as whilst this is happening the performance of your PC slows down dramatically, especially if you minimise the screen, it takes longer.
The good thing is that it details all the issues it has found be it tracking cookies or something nasty like a virus. It fixs it (dont ask me how its all done in the background) and it can also quarantine it, locking it down so it cannot affect other parts of the PC.
You do feel that our pc is well protected with this piece of kit, and you have the flexibility to turn off any pat of the protection if you wish. You also get updates (a bit too often) online and have online or phone advce if you need it. Basically norton have created their own online community around this proection so peoplecan help eachother out.
The installation is exceptionally easy, its all done in the background, you just have to follow the instructions
When it comes to Symantec and its software neither myself, nor any of my previous computers have had much or any luck. Normally I would avoid Norton like the plaque unless I want to risk my system grinding to a halt. However I have heard and read a few interesting things about "Internet Security 2010," I was told that it was 'different' and that it was much 'better,' which made me curious enough to personally try it out.
Norton Internet Security 2010 offers protection from viruses, spyware, and identity theft, while also providing firewall protection and acting to identify unsafe websites and mark them as such before you open them. You also get anti-phishing, recovery and repair tools, parental controls, anti-spam, and pretty much everything else you could expect or want in a software package designed to keep you safe.
This latest version of Norton is definitely faster than previous versions and much less of a burden on your systems resources. It runs happily in the background with "Silent mode" hardly making a dent on performance, while also allowing minimum interruption when you're online. Loading the
software (both on start-up and when manually lunching the program) takes mere seconds as does the automatic update process and scanning your system is also faster with a quick scan taking just under two minutes to complete. All of which is very welcome and valuable addition to the software, as this that really put me off Norton in the past.
Installation was quick and trouble free, however I would recommend uninstalling any previous versions of Norton (not that I had any) as well as any current Anti-Virus, or Internet Security software before hand to help avoid a conflict.
Norton's Toolbar works well with Firefox and many other aspects such as the user interface, and anti-spam functions have been improved. The software suite seems very comprehensive offering a huge host of tools and features all of which are self explanatory and easy to use.
To be honost, I can't find anything to fault. Norton really has changed for the better and as a result this latest Internet Security Suite is well worth considering, coming from an previously loather of Norton that's something.
(I'm a reviewer on Amazon, and some my reviews are copied from there to dooyoo. Please feel free to check out my Amazon profile under my real name of Mr Andrew M Kerr.)