Review: Norton Internet Security 2011

By Branko Miletic

One of the best things about companies such as Symantec is that they are masters at making you feel inadequate when it comes to online security. If you go to the Symantec website, the first words you read are “Cybercrime is Real Crime”, which are then followed by a set of statistics such as:

  • 9 percent of Internet users feel “very safe” online.
  • 91 percent feel like cyber sitting ducks.
  • 65 percent of adults have been a victim of cybercrime – the other 35 percent are nervously biting their nails.
  • 41 percent of kids have had a stranger try to add them as a friend.
  • Nearly 90 percentof emails are spam.

All that’s missing is some scary music and screenshots that look like they are from the new EA game called Dante’s Inferno.

But that is not to say that being protected online is not important. It’s very important, especially if you are a parent, and as such, the new Norton suite of products does serve an integral role in online protection. And let’s face it, online immunisation is a lot like child immunisation – all it takes is a few non-immunised individuals and we end up with a viral outbreak on our hands.

So products like Norton’s 2011 suites are in many ways a must have for anyone that spends more than five minutes online. But here’s full disclosure – I for many years was a critic of Norton, because as a Mac user, every time I would install it, it turned my beloved Apple into a piece of dead fruit.

However, this is no longer the case. After reviewing the Norton 360, which incorporates all the security protection found in Norton Internet Security 2011 – including the latest generation of the Norton reputation-based security technology – I am now a Norton True Believer.

Why? Norton’s suite is not only effective, it finally works like a charm on whatever platform you install it. And better still, because it’s from an international company like Symantec, you get tech support, constant updates, advice, warning, whitepapers and upgrades – in other words, the whole box and dice when it comes to online computer protection.

My Norton 2011 makes sure that all my emails are carefully screened, that all my USB sticks and other removable devices are free of Net nasties, and that my computer, which is not just a play tool, but my livelihood, is protected from the millions of viruses, Trojans, bots and other malware that cruises the net every millisecond.

Norton’s claims that the suite detects and eliminates online threats so you can explore, shop, socialise, and bank online without worry – and in my testing, this proved the case, whereas in the past with some security software – including Norton’s – this has not always been the case.

Norton even has a function it calls ‘rescue tools’ that will remove deeply buried and difficult-to-remove viruses and other malicious “scamware” already installed on your computer. In other words, it completely covers your online world.

Installing Norton is easy – mind you it wasn’t always like that, but for this version, the operative word is ‘easy’.

In terms of the interface, well, what can I say –Symantec has decided to keep its dark, brooding theme but splashed a bit more yellow around so reading the GUI is no longer like playing ‘’Where’s Wally”.

Norton 2011 is not all that different from last year’s version, but considering the better presentation, the ease of installation, no more significant slowing down of your PC and the fact that Norton 2011 is one of the better antivirus suites in the consumer space, then it certainly is worth a look.

Sure, you could ring up the CIA or Mossad and ask them whether they have anything better, but at around $100 for Norton, why would you bother.

Pros: fast, easy install and can stop just about any threat out there.
Cons: interface still a bit dark, could also be a bit faster when checking USB data.

4.5 Shacks out of 5