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Norton Internet Security 2011 Review



Product: Norton Internet Security 2011
Price: $69.99
Company Info: Symantec - www.symantec.com
Editor Rating:  

Norton Internet Security 2011 Review

Norton is one of the most respected names in the computer security industry.  Symantec provides security solutions for every system from the home desktop to multinational corporate networks.  Every time we go online, we encounter threats to our systems in the form of trojans, viruses, and malware: security is essential.  Other Norton programs, like Antivirus 2011, offer tremendous protection from viruses and spyware; Internet Security 2011 adds to this an increased level of protection that makes activities like online banking and shopping more secure. 

Symantec's programs are designed to detect and eliminate threats to your system, making your online experience safer.  The newest edition helps protect you from identity theft; this is essential now that so many people are banking, shopping, and using social networking sites. Internet Security 2011 is like a healthy immune system for your computer: it is continually on the lookout for "suspicious behavior" that other security suites do not typically recognize.  The SONAR 3 Behavioral Protection (Symantec Online Network for Advanced Response), for instance, monitors irregular behavior and analyze its threat potential.  This allows it to detect and remove threats without having to wait for its definition files to be updated.

How important is the ability to recognize and eliminate viruses and malware as they emerge?  The average threat has an active life of only three days.  Any one specific threat infects ten computer systems.  That would seem to negate the need for rigorous security; but the frequency with which these threats appear is staggering.  There are more than 50,000 pieces of malware identified each day.  Having security in your system is crucial to its performance and for the safety of your data.

Interface

Symantec has made some modifications to its typical interface with Internet Security 2011.  Users of other Norton products will find the dark theme and yellow text familiar.  System security is accessible on the main window: you will find sections for computer protection, network protection, and web protection.  Under each category is a list of controls, which are active by default (when active, they will be gold, and if you click on them to deactivate, they turn red. This is a good visual reminder of what your security settings are). 

Under computer protection, you will see listed: insight protection, antivirus, antispyware, and SONAR. Under network protection is: smart firewall, intrusion protection, and email protection.  Finally, under web protection are the settings for: download intelligence, safe surfing, browser protection, and identity protection. 

New to the interface is a world map, which features blinking yellow dots.  According to Symantec, this is to represent a threat that has been blocked.  It is not a feature that indicates your computer's level of protection, but it can be an interesting visual nonetheless.  It is Norton's way of saying, "Look how well we're protecting the world," which may boost your confidence in your security suite.  At the bottom of the screen, you can choose to navigate to other areas of your Norton security suite, including Norton Online Family, Online Backup, and Safe Web without having to open a browser. 

The interface is thorough and fairly intuitive with easy-to-read security status updates and icons.

Performance

Norton Internet Security 2011 has earned its place as one of the top security solutions on the market.  Its functionality is virtually unparalleled, and SoftPedia calls it the "fastest and lightest online threat protection available."  Its scans do not affect the speed at which your computer operates as sometimes happens with larger security suites.  While the features that the program offers may not be new, they are improved and easier to handle for users.

Internet Security 2011 has undergone rigorous third-party testing and has earned consistently high marks.  Dennis Technology Labs put the program through its paces to test its threat detection and removal capabilities.  Norton's program detected 40 out of 40 real threats and had no false positives that prevented legitimate programs from running.  Dennis Technology Labs gave Norton a score of 100.  The program was also one of only three to earn near-perfect scores from AV-Test.org.

Pros and Cons

+ Fast and low-profile operation

+ Installation in under a minute

+ Updates every 5 to 15 minutes

+ Real-time protection to stop emerging threats

+ Recovery tool

+ Identity protection

+ Spam and phish protection

+ Offers parental controls

+ Enhanced Wi-Fi protection

+ Enhanced protection for Facebook users

- Cost is relatively high at $69.99

Summary

Norton Internet Security 2011 is by far one of the best paid security suites available to consumers today.  While Norton's AntiVirus was criticized for its impact on the speed of a system, its Internet Security counterpart has lightened its footprint and offers fast and reliable protection from known and emerging threats.  It offers sophisticated features designed to handle the internet as it continually evolves.







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