Norton AntiVirus 2006 does offer some important security feature enhancements, such as protecting your browser's home page against spyware hijacks. More important, Norton AntiVirus 2006 expands its detection and removal to spyware and adware programs, catching them both in real-time and full-system scans; plus, virus and spyware definition updates are now updated daily. But in our tests, Norton AntiVirus 2006 didn't perform as well aswith regard to spyware. Norton AntiVirus 2006 allowed adware to install and run first, then alerted us to the problem. McAfee VirusScan 2006, on the other hand, alerted us before the offending software started to download. However, once a potential threat was discovered, Norton AntiVirus 2006 provided a detailed evaluation of the specific threat. On the other hand, McAfee failed to provide detailed information, making it more difficult to decide whether to keep the software installed or remove it.
In terms of stopping traditional viruses, Norton AntiVirus 2006 provides a complete array of protection. Norton AntiVirus 2006 scans incoming and outgoing e-mail, and it monitors IM traffic through AIM, , and Yahoo Messenger. In addition, Norton AntiVirus 2006 monitors the network and notifies you of any wormlike behavior it detects. For more complete performance benchmarks for Norton AntiVirus 2006, see CNET's 2006 AntiVirus performance test results page. Norton AntiVirus 2006 showed a definite performance hit during our "real-world" performance tests, but it was less severe than with McAfee. As for reliability, Norton AntiVirus has been independently tested against other antivirus products by CheckVir and AV-Comparatives, and it generally compares favorably at stopping most if not all viruses in those tests.
With Norton AntiVirus 2006, users receive product upgrades as well as signature definition updates through the life of the subscription. Previously, you had to upgrade to the latest version of the software to take advantage of new features.
Norton AntiVirus 2006 users have a choice between free online chat and paid telephone support. Both are offered 24/7. Symantec's support site, however, needs a redesign, because the link to the free online chat was extremely hard to find. We discovered the free chat link only after clicking the "Continue to phone support" link. Phone support costs $29.95 per incident or $2.95 per minute.