Norton Internet Security 2010 (1 User review: Norton Internet Security 2010 (1 User


When you deactivate a feature by clicking on the green slider, it will change to red and a pop-up box will appear that lets you set the length of time that the feature is disabled. You can choose from 15 minutes, one hour, five hours, until system restart, or permanently. Being able to deactivate security components at will--but not without a time limit--struck us as incredibly useful. Not only was it made accessible from the main window, but also the pop-up window will prevent you from forgetting to turn it back on and from keeping an accidental click from disabling your defenses.

When you click the scan now button, three scan options will appear in a new window: quick scan, full system scan, and a custom scan. You can access the scheduler from the custom scan window, but Norton is set to run a scan when your computer is idle by default.

You can also get to the scan and quarantine histories from links on the main window; however, the font choice and size make it a bit hard to read. The history window opens independently of the main window and offers a deep level of information. Its default setting is to show your recent history only, but you can change the setting with the drop-down menu to show your full history, scan results, resolved and unresolved security risks, the quarantine, firewall and download activities, Web sites reported to Symantec, and more. You can click each citation in the log to reveal more information about the event, the data can be exported, and you can import an older security log.

Under the computer heading in the main window is where you can force a virus definition update.

Under the Network heading is where you access Norton's firewall management settings. Click the settings link to open the settings window, and you can configure the firewall along with e-mail protections, antispam measures, instant-message scans, and intrusion prevention that protects your system against holes in other programs, such as Adobe Flash. A network security map available in the main window reveals the state of protection for other computers in your network. Frustratingly, the IM scans only work on one out-dated multiprotocol chat client: Trillian 3. We hope that Symantec will update this feature before the 2011 version so that it becomes more useful.

Web, the last heading on the main window, is for setting up browser protections including Norton Safe Web for blocking malicious sites and rating search results, Symantec's Identity Safe, and Norton Download Insight for analyzing downloaded file safety before it reaches your computer. You can also access parental controls here, but they require the OnlineFamily.Norton add-on.

Boot time (in seconds, average)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Norton Internet Security 2010
40.78 
Unprotected PC
40.03 
Note: Unprotected PC scores are from tests performed on systems before the software package is installed to provide a comparison for test results.

Shutdown time (in seconds, average)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Norton Internet Security 2010
32 
Unprotected PC
30.75 
Note: Unprotected PC scores are from tests performed on systems before the software package is installed to provide a comparison for test results.

Scan time (in seconds, average)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Norton Internet Security 2010
791 

Microsoft Office performance (in seconds)
(shorter bars indicate better performance)
Norton Internet Security 2010
496 
Unprotected PC
483 
Note: Unprotected PC scores are from tests performed on systems before the software package is installed to provide a comparison for test results.

iTune decoding tests (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Norton Internet Security 2010
196 
Unprotected PC
187 
Note: Unprotected PC scores are from tests performed on systems before the software package is installed to provide a comparison for test results.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Norton Internet Security 2010
842 
Unprotected PC
785 
Note: Unprotected PC scores are from tests performed on systems before the software package is installed to provide a comparison for test results.

Cinebench test
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Norton Internet Security 2010
4,195 
Unprotected PC
4,217 
Note: Unprotected PC scores are from tests performed on systems before the software package is installed to provide a comparison for test results.

Performance
Along with a fast installation, you can expect improvements in Norton's scan times. Most of the major speed progress was made in its previous version, but, according to Symantec, last year's scan speeds are comparable to this year's version. Our hands-on test of the Quick Scan found that it completed the scan in 56 seconds for its first run, and 14 seconds for its second run. Like some of its competitors, Norton won't rescan files that it detects haven't changed since the last check. A Full Scan took 2 hours and 32 minutes, much longer than competitors' Full Scans did.

CNET Labs' benchmarks largely support the empirical data. Norton Internet Security left a fairly light footprint on the system, with a start-up time only 0.75 seconds slower than our baseline system. Shutdown time was hampered slightly more, with the system taking 1.25 seconds longer to close. NIS was also one of the fastest Quick Scans, completing its first scan in 791 seconds, and completed our Microsoft Office test in 496 seconds--only slightly slower than an unsecured machine. iTunes decoding results were average, as were the scores for the media multitasking test and our Cinebench test.

Compared with Norton AntiVirus 2010, the basic model, Norton Internet Security was faster on every count except for the multimedia multitasking and iTunes decoding tests. On three of the tests, start-up time, Quick Scan time, and the Microsoft Office test, NIS was markedly faster than NAV.


Full virus and malware efficacy scores for Norton's 2010 products were not available at the time of this review, and will be updated here as they are announced. However, last year's Norton 2009 scored average or better in all areas of detection according to virus and malware detection results at AV-Test.org and AV-Comparatives.org.

AV-Test noted that it detected more than 98.7 percent of malicious software on demand, and 95.4 percent of spyware on demand, with no false positives. AV-Comparitives.org awarded Norton 2009 an "Advanced" rating in the retrospective/proactive test from May 2009, while this year's Norton 2010 earned an "Advanced+" rating in August 2009's on-demand comparative test, noting a 98.4 percent detection rate slightly behind McAfee, Avira, and G Data, but with fewer false positives than those that achieved a higher detection rate. Norton 2009 actually scored slightly better with a 98.7 percent detection rate on the same test. However, Norton's overall rating of Advanced+ and placement in the detection rankings did not change. The upshot of these independent test results is that Norton 2010 remains an incredibly effective tool for detecting viruses and malware, but on pure detection benchmarks, it's not the best.

Support
Links at the top of the window, above all the other features, make leaving feedback, accessing your Norton account online, or checking out the help menu easy to see and use. However, the help menu could use a better layout. It's not clear that clicking the "help" link will open up on the localized help, or that hitting "get support" will launch the one-click support option. While "tutorials" is self-explanatory, there are no easy ways to get to the Norton knowledge base or to the Norton forums. Its telephone support is free, but it's easier discovering that on Symantec's Web site than through Norton.

Conclusion
Its support could do with an overhaul focused on accessibility, and until independent testers develop a method for evaluating behavioral detection engines, it's hard to determine how much safer Quorum truly makes your computer. Nevertheless, Norton Internet Security 2010 is worth checking out for its emphasis on speed and its small footprint, and its transparent exposure of performance and detection data are good confidence-building tools. Combined with its multicomputer license, Norton Internet Security 2010 is a worthwhile security suite.

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Norton Internet Security 2010 (1 User, 3 PCs)

Part Number: 20043745 Released: Sep 18, 2009

MSRP: $69.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Sep 18, 2009
  • Category security applications
  • Compatibility PC
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