Norton Internet Security Suite 2009

Norton surprises everyone with an uncharacteristically fast, useful, pain-free security solution for your computer. Really.

Most people, me included, have an in-built aversion to the words Norton Antivirus. Norton was like the referee who wanted to share the spotlight with the superstars, instead of doing his job quietly in the background. It had a remarkable habit of being a slow, invasive cancerous cell on your system more annoying than some viruses.

Norton no longer has those problems.

I had the pleasure of reviewing Norton Internet Security Suite 2009. At first, like a lot of other gamers fearful of Symantec products for fear of stalls and updates during a fragging session, I was sceptical. Even the good reviews about last year’s version wasn’t enough give me a glimmer of hope.

You need to install Norton on your machine, even for a short period of time, to see how good it really is.

The installation was painless, and the first update requested a restart as expected. But what surprised me the most was when Norton was just sitting there, quietly watching over my files, yet never disturbing my PC experience. That’s due to the memory usage: Norton was remarkably small, around 9-12mb, almost three times less than other well respected solutions like Avast! and NOD32.

Norton’s considerate too: it won’t update until your computer is idle, so you won’t be bothered during full-screen applications like games or movies. And that’s thanks to the wonderful ‘silent-mode’, where Norton, quite literally, runs silently while you do your thing.
The updates weren’t a hassle either. They’re quite small, so they naturally update quickly. Don’t think that they’re lacking, however.

I had NOD32 installed, updating every day, before I put on Norton, and straight away Norton picked up a couple of viruses and malware programs that even NOD32 and Spybot S&D failed to notice on my machine. I thought they might have been false positives, as Norton has been known to do in the past, but lo and behold, a quick bit of research confirmed they were viruses.

Ignoring the anti-virus for a second, you’ve got the Internet Security Suite’s great features as well, like protection from browser hijacking, worm protection, a recovery tool and intrusion safeguards. Unfortunately, you’ll still need to turn things off occasionally if firewalls cause you problems, but that’s a small price to pay for the vast amount of security that Symantec’s latest offering to the domestic security market provides.

A lot of gamers I know don’t use anti-viruses. They think that if they don’t browse certain websites they’ll be fine, and that AV programs lag and make your entire system slower from start up to shutdown.

They’re wrong. And for $40, which gets you protection for a whole year, you’d be stupid not to safeguard your system. Norton is the best product to do that.