Norton Internet Security 2011

Norton has whipped its user friendly security suite into a lean, mean, fighting machine

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Norton Internet Security 2011 The latest version of Norton's Security Suite won't bog down your system and offers superb protection
By  Jason Saundalkar Published  April 12, 2011

Ratings Breakdown

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Key Specs

HD space: 300MB
Licence: Y
Memory: 256MB
Number of users: 1
OS: Windows XP/Vista/7

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Norton Internet Security 2011 is the latest fully-fledged security suite from Symantec and in its latest guise; it has become considerably more refined and less intrusive than its predecessors.

The software boasts advanced features such as reputation based security, System Insight 2.0, Download Insight 2.0, SONAR 3 and the Norton Bootable Recovery tool. If an alarm in your head is yelling 'bloat' you can rest easy as Norton has managed to somehow pack all these features into a package that installs in a little under 40 seconds and runs much faster than its predecessor in every way.

The software is completely non-intrusive and rarely raises its head during day-to-day computing activities. There is no noticeable lag when running apps or games with the suite running in the background.

The suite's interface sports a new look with a predominantly yellow and black colour scheme so there's no mistaking this suite for any of its competitors. As before the interface is intuitive and includes slick animation and effects; the window rotates 180-degrees on its axis as you flip through features and settings. Settings are clearly defined and can be toggled from a single screen via on\off buttons. As before NIS 2011 manages to give the user a quick overview of the current state of security of their system.

A new addition is the Norton Protection map that sits at the bottom quarter of the screen and passes up-to-the-minute information of security threats around the world that Norton has identified and is protecting against.

The software's reputation based security feature measures your system's security profile against the 58 million strong database as part of Norton Community Watch. It assesses the state of the user's download behaviour and identifies the origin of files in a bid to defend against potentially dangerous downloads.

System Insight and Download Insight work in tandem to deliver two-pronged protection. The former runs a scan on current PC activity and apps running on the computer and alerts the user should it find that a particular application is draining system resources, thus allowing for a correction toward a more balanced mode of usage. The latter is a real time scan that verifies and checks any downloads before it is allowed to run on your computer.
  
SONAR 3 is perhaps this reviewer's favourite feature as it provides in Norton's terms ‘zero-day' protection against new and emerging threats that are specifically designed to evade general security features. SONAR 3 is designed to identify suspicious software based on its behaviour and makes a decision on behalf of the user so as not to waste even a second when confirming a threat.

For: Seriously refined performance, loads of security features, slick interface.
Against: Still among the more expensive security suites.
Verdict: Norton Internet Security 2011 is a well designed package that offers superb protection from a variety of online and local threats. It also operates with almost no impact on system performance, which is an added bonus.

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