Norton Antivirus 2008 is a full-featured antivirus and antispyware product. It includes several options that are commonly passed over by other suites while still leaving many out that would be useful. The Norton scanning engine is one of the most complete on the market, but suffers from issues with system resource usage and overzealous integration with your computer that can cause freezing or simple hanging application.
Ease of Use:
Norton Antivirus 2008 is very easy to use. It comes with a default configuration that is sufficient to protect most home computer systems. It integrates with the start bar with an icon that is large and easy to spot. The icon also includes a way to tell if your system is protected or needs intervention from the user.
Being VB100%, W.C.L 1 and 2, as well as ICSA certified means that Norton Antivirus 2008 is equipped to handle all of your virus scanning needs. The scanner has proven to 3 independent labs that it has the ability to detect and remove viruses and variants of all viruses that the Norton virus engine was tested against.
The antispyware capabilities of Norton Antivirus 2008 were less effective than the virus scanner. It missed all of our tests while finding only a single tracking cookie on our whole test system.
We noticed that Norton Antivirus still suffers from some pretty significant issues with the program eating up resources and just slowing down our test machine overall. This is something to keep in mind while making a decision on an antivirus solution.
As of 2008, Norton Antivirus updates its virus signatures as needed. The averages on the web have mentioned update time frames between once a day and 3 times a day. We experienced updates once a day during our testing period. This is a great improvement over the old system of looking for and installing updates only once a week.
Norton Antivirus 2008 includes an antispyware scanner, Instant Messenger protection for MSN, Yahoo, AIM, and Trillian, as well as the ability to lock down program settings to help prevent other users on the computer from changing your settings. Symantec has still neglected to include parental controls with Norton Antivirus as well.
Ease of Installation:
While the installation of Norton Antivirus 2008 was rather long, it didnt require much intervention. It did require that we sign up for a Symantec account in order to complete the install. This account is used for downloading updates as well as keeping track of updates and other support information.
One additional thing to note is that uninstalling Norton Antivirus did not remove everything that was installed. There are several registry entries and directories left behind as well as the LiveUpdate program that has to be removed separately.
Symantec has always been hit on their help and support by reviewers. This fine tradition doesnt end here as there seems to have been no changes since our Internet Security Suite review of Norton Internet Security. While they still offer free online chat and email support, their phone support option is still $9.95 per incident. Beyond this, they estimate a 30 minute wait time. We expect more for paid support options.
The live chat option is also much less useful than we initially thought. It requires Internet Explorer to function requiring an additional product install in order to get support. Once the application is installed, you still have to wait for a rep to become available. We stopped waiting after 25 minutes. For most people, this would probably be a bit more time than expected to wait for support.
* Detects and removes spyware and viruses.
* Blocks spyware and worms automatically.
* Prevents virus-infected emails from spreading.
* Rootkit detection finds and removes hidden threats.
* NEW! Improved performance delivers faster scans.
* NEW! One click access to expert support.
* NEW! Enhanced protection elements improve your PC security.
* NEW! Works quietly in the background.
* NEW! Network mapping provides a view of your home network.
* Includes one year of automatic definition updates, new product features, and access to updated versions of Norton AntiVirus™.
* On-going Protection keeps your computer protected from the latest Internet risks by automatically renewing your subscription at the regular subscription price (plus applicable tax), so you dont have to.
Windows® XP with Service Pack 2 Home/XP Pro/XP Media Center Edition
Windows Vista™** Home/Home Premium/Ultimate/Business/Starter Edition
* 300MHz or faster processor
* 256MB of RAM
* 300 MB of available hard disk space
* Standard Web browser
**Must meet minimum Windows Vista operating system requirements
Platforms: Windows® XP Home/XP Pro/VISTA
Required for all installations
* CD-ROM or DVD drive
Email scanning supported for POP3 and SMTP compatible email clients.
Supported instant messenger clients
* AOL® 4.7 to 5.9
* Yahoo!® 5.x and 6.x
* Microsoft® 6.0 or higher
* Trillian 3.1 or higher