Norton Internet Security 2008 - Review

Norton Internet Security 2008 - Review

Norton Internet Security 2008 builds on its strengths and introduces new features – but some holes remain

  • Heuristic analysis of new threats
  • Less resource-hungry
  • Safe for confidential data
  • Online tech support with remote control
  • Three-PC licence

    Cons: No anti-spam or live anti-bot protection

    Bottomline: Much less performance-sapping Internet Security Suite, but with a couple of dints in its armour.

    Price: £25 for a three-PC licence

    Manufacturer: Symantec

    The 2008 version of Norton Internet Security (NIS) includes several new or improved modules and a revamp of the program's design. NIS probably has a bigger following than just about any other security program but that dominance is a double-edged sword: any virus or piece of spyware worth its salt will expect Norton to be there and will aim to switch it off before infecting the computer.

    Making Norton secure must be a headache for Symantec but the company has achieved it with the latest version – it appeared pretty solid in our tests. New or improved modules include Data Safe, which puts personal data into a secure area on the computer so it can be used when logging into sites or paying online for goods and services.

    There’s also an improved help section, including an automatic fix feature and access to Symantec's technicians, who can respond to queries directly. There is improved intelligence in the virus killer, too, so the program should be able to spot and destroy new threats by the way they act, before the company has developed a specific antidote. It also detects and destroys spyware.

    As well as being the best-known security product, it has typically scored as one of the most resource hungry, leaving less power available for work or games. Symantec has done a bit of work to improve that and we saw much less of a slow-down when running NIS 2008. A quick scan of at-risk files took in more than 3,000 of them and finished in 50 seconds on our test PC.

    The package includes a firewall but Norton Antibot, which works to spot internet bots that might take over your PC, is a £15 optional extra, as are the spam filter and parental control modules. Confusingly Symantec's product range also includes Norton 360, a £60 product that includes tune-up and online backup tools.

    This one is certainly better priced and it comes with a three-computer licence as standard, so it's good for those with home networks. That aside, the missing elements may mean it doesn’t fit your needs as well as a program with more features.