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Norton Antivirus Review

Pros
Norton AntiVirus keeps you safe on social networks.

Cons
If you want even better anti-phishing protection, you'll need to upgrade from Norton AntiVirus to Norton Internet Security.

The Verdict: 9.75/10
Norton AntiVirus is efficient and unobtrusive. The interface cleverly shields the most complicated components unless you select the advanced view.

Performance: 9.75/10

After you review the list of features in an antivirus software product, the essential questions remain: How well does it protect? How good is it at repair? Is it highly usable or not? Has anyone objectively tested it? Norton AntiVirus received the West Coast Labs Checkmark for antivirus desktop and anti-Trojan tests. It also achieved the Advanced Award from AV Comparatives.

It is significant that Norton is AV-Test Certified. AV-Test is a respected independent laboratory in Germany that tests antivirus software and researches the best products and procedures to detect malware. The test network in the lab is quite elaborate with a couple of dozen servers and almost 300 workstations. The lab has collected 100 million pieces of clean test data and 50 million pieces of malicious test data during the past 15 years. Every day, AV-Test adds 50,000 new pieces of malware to its collection of malicious test data.

Features: 10/10

In addition to protecting your PC against spyware and viruses, Norton AntiVirus software scans instant messages and email to check for infected attachments, suspicious links and viruses. It also scans your Facebook newsfeed to discover links to unsafe sites or dangerous downloads. If you are about to download a dangerous application, Norton will warn you. In addition to checking files against a database of known threats, this product applies behavioral analysis to uncover any suspicious file behavior that could reveal malware too new to be in the database of known threats. The Symantec technology that analyzes file behavior is called SONAR (Symantec Online Network for Advanced Response). Its main job is to detect brand new threats, so-called zero-day threats. SONAR examines what any particular process is doing on your computer, and it also looks at communications to and from your computer to detect any patterns or series of associations that fit the malware profile.

The software is quick to install and it runs in the background and doesn't consume memory or hard disk space. The control center is organized with tabs. You can choose a simple view if you want to delegate protection decisions, or a detailed view if you like to twiddle with controls. Norton detects when you connect to the internet over a 3G network and it stops making any updates that are not essential so that you don't have to pay your carrier for excess data.

Help & Support: 9.5/10

Customer support is available online or by live chat, telephone and email 24/7. Symantec hosts an active user forum for the Norton community. Symantec also provides useful articles about security. Another interesting resource that Symantec hosts is a Cybercrime Index that puts a measurement on the risk levels on any particular day with advice about how you can avoid becoming a statistic. Management of your Norton products is cloud based, so you can install, transfer, update or renew Norton product subscriptions from anywhere on the internet.

Conclusion

Norton AntiVirus detects malware based on the behavior of suspected files and it also uses the more traditional method of detecting viruses via known signatures. It protects Firefox and Internet Explorer from malware that attempts to exploit browser vulnerabilities. If you are watching video or playing a game on your computer, Norton will recognize what you are doing and not run system-intensive scans so that you have the full power of your computer to accomplish the task at hand. Third-party endorsements from objective test labs confirm that Norton excels at preventing malware attacks and removing threats from computers that have already been infected. Technical support is available for free at any time on any day.

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