We recently reviewed McAfee’s security suite for 2007, and now it’s Norton’s turn under the microscope. Unsurprisingly, just like its main rival, Norton 2007 doesn’t contain any major additions since last year’s version (although it’s taken for granted that you’re more likely to see the Pope instigate a radical reformation than you are to witness revolution in the Internet security world).
Internet Security 2007 consists of the essentials that keep your computer protected in these virus- and hacker-ridden times; there’s an anti-virus program, of course, plus a firewall and some additional online security measures on top of that.
All of this is tied together by the usual user friendly interface, which provides clear menus and highlights any problems with large red exclamation marks (along with a quick fix button to sort them out). There are some impressive touches such as the security inspector, a one-click button which runs a check-list through various security settings, making sure that the configuration of your Web browser or instant messenger program isn’t vulnerable to attack.
The anti-virus arm of the suite keeps itself up to date automatically and Symantec produces new definitions every couple of days. We’ve used the Symantec definitions on a test PC for the last two years solid, and have always found them very thorough and reliable – they’ve never let anything slip through the net. Anti-spyware routines and rootkit detection are also incorporated.
The firewall is pretty self-explanatory and easily configured. Again, it’s provided comprehensive protection for us over a long period of time, blocking many unsolicited connection attempts.
The online security features consist of privacy protection and anti-phishing measures, which guard against fraudulent sites angling for your personal details. A new toolbar is installed in Internet Explorer which warns the user when a site on Symantec’s ‘dodgy’ list is visited. There’s also a button to report sites that aren’t black-listed, but are suspect in your opinion.
It’s all good so far, but the downside of Norton 2007 is that its security coverage ends here; anti-spam and parental control features are missing this year (and the latter might well make dad think twice about his purchase). Also, other features are lacking compared to McAfee, which offers all that Symantec does but with added extras such as an extensive data backup system.
Norton 2007 is undoubtedly a quality protection suite, plus it’s user friendly and runs slickly. But when you consider that this year’s McAfee offers more for the same money, then we have to give the nod their way this time around.
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