Security

Norton AntiVirus 2008: The Right Tool for the Job?

Norton AntiVirus Splash Screen

By Erik Eckel

Viruses and spyware require strong countermeasures. Numerous options are available to technology professionals and computer users alike, but few are as popular as Norton AntiVirus.

The well-known antivirus application's performance is tweaked in its 2008 iteration, making it, in my opinion, the Right Tool for the Job. In addition to faster-completing scans, the new edition works more quietly in the background.

Take a look at the popular program's new 2008 interface and feature set in this TechRepublic photo gallery.

Read a concise summary of Norton AntiVirus' strengths and weaknesses.

This menu appears when inserting the Norton AntiVirus 2008 CD.

About

Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...

16 comments
gls01
gls01

I'll try many antivirus , i used vista premiun and the best for me are ESET and Bitdefender ,don't slown the pc like over product and they have great % of detection .

Zee29
Zee29

When it comes to computer protection against viruses, spyware, malware and adware SOPHOS is hands downs the best. Norton/Symantec can't hold a candle to them. They have great tech support, and you don't have to spend all day looking for a contact number.

dursse3
dursse3

Anybody notice that you lose the capability to set up scan for changed files only?

kirkpat
kirkpat

Questions- from a novice- for the AVG advocates.... I assume you are referring to the paid version of AVG, right? Have you seen many medium or big companies (ie 2,500 nodes or more) use AVG? I use the free AVG at home but feel a tid-bit anxious using a 'free' product.

thelaserman
thelaserman

I think it is a resource hog. The first two units that I installed the version that is included with the AT&T/Yahoo software slowed my computers considerably. The third unit actually stopped windows from loading and shut the system down. After spending a lot of time trying to repair, I backed up my files under safe mode and formatted the hard drive. I uninstalled Norton on the other two units (Not easy) and reloaded a free version of Avast Antivirus. I do not know much about them but it loads much faster and updates daily. Does anyone have any long term experience with their software ? Kim

chamma@ccr.ca.gov
chamma@ccr.ca.gov

I don't understand why this site is featuring a review of a consumer product. This is a "Real IT" site, discussing home antivirus products... strange.

brian
brian

PC World recently ran a promotion offering this product at half price, I thought it was an attractive offer, especially as it allows installation on up to 3 computers. Most homes now have 3 computers I find. But I haven't managed to install it on one! Norton insist on removing existing Virus protection, while still connected to the internet! But even their removal tool seems incapable of removing all old Norton products and you are left with a vulnerable computer? Numerous attempts by Norton Support have all failed to get the product installed. Have reverted to AVG.

royhayward
royhayward

I use AVG at home and point clients(home users) to it as a good solution. I haven't been in an organization that used it, but I know there must be some as they have to make money somewhere.

a-tcald
a-tcald

there is no one solution for anti virus anti malware, not one product that will solve the problem before it happens. all that you can do is be observant to what is happening to your machine, stay off of the back roads and dark alleys to the super information highway, and keep everything updated and backed up. Having worked for mycio.com before it became a part of mcafee i used to think our product was the best, but from 2002 to 2005 i was in the field cleaning viruses from peoples machines that had norton mcafee AVG, avast! and all the others, and it always came down to this. if you are upto date on everything, your security patches, your def files, etc you dont have a prob. if you run a scan daily for both spyware and viruses, you are ok. if you dont, then get to enjoy the windows logo and install screens, as you will see them alot.

mike
mike

Corporatley speaking I think Sophos allows free for home use with its AV products. 24/7 support, no bloatware just does what it say's on the tin.

hayden854
hayden854

I received a free offer from my ISP to upgrade to NAV. I go to do so by clicking links and am told that I must remove my Zone Alarm....and that the current AV software that is offered is not yet available for the FFox Browser that I use. But that it will be soon? I do appreciate the fact that NAV/NIS are available to those who WANT to use them, alas my old system and other systems I have serviced all have noticeable slowdown symptoms with Norton products. I just prefer not to use them and will check out the other "free" things mentioned here. If there are any further suggestions as to protect the system, let me know please. Thanks

seeless
seeless

Unless you've convinced the Powers That Be to buy a license that allows your corporate AV to be installed on home PCs, you have to cope with these consumer products if you deal with VPN. =seymour=

chaynes33
chaynes33

To sum up what I have just read & from my past experiances, what ever flavor your AV sofware is: KEEP IT UP TO DATE and USE IT. Watch your habbits. (stay off the back road & out of the dark alley). Remember that there is NO FREE LUNCH. Free offers are NOT free & I don't give a damn what anyone says about that. Back up, BACK UP & B_A_C_K U_P! Nuf said

seeless
seeless

I was a longtime user of NAV until several years in a row, I had problems with renewals that forced calls or emails to their less than stellar support. I now use Avast at home, and recommend it heartily. It won't stop everything, but nothing ever will with day 0 attacks. It also chokes on really large files, as do all of them - paging like crazy. I see no solution other than momentarily shutting off the AV. But far worse than NAV is Norton Internet Security. If I had a dollar for each home user that had a problem with this bloatware monster, I could buy a nice lunch for the whole network department. Our issues center around Cisco VPN. The fat Cisco client does not like the Norton firewall. The SSL VPN client does not seem to like the pop-up blocker. The user interface for NIS is confusing at best. Most home users want something they can turn on and ignore, which is not this! They don't know what to allow and what to block. Many apps do not show up with recognizable names. IE7 has compounded problems with popups with its paranoia about SSL certs. For home VPN users, we recommend either disabling the NIS firewall and pop-up blocker, and using the Windows and IE ones, or uninstalling the whole package, and using Avast with Windows firewall and IE popup blocker. In theory the NIS versions should be better, but their user interface and bugs for the last 5 or 10 years leave us very, very skeptical. Worst case, which happens about 25% of the time, the user needs to re-install the PC from scratch. We have similar issues with McAfee's all-in-0ne bloatware product, too. A complicating factor is that users tend to also download Google toolbar, and its popup blocker, as well as other free or even cheap tools in a misguided quest for security. The rule of thumb is "Never have more than 1 of any kind of security app." A second rule is - uninstall the old apps manually, and reboot before installing the next one. Leave your Windows firewall enabled for the transition. =seymour=

Paul
Paul

Same experience but i use Sophos After many clients using AVG and Norton I put in Sophos av since that moment I'm out of work. Well removing virus type of work after 5 years no problems. But Spy ware is quite something else so many pages are infected That removal of spy ware is the main occupation now.

Paul
Paul

Tried all others including The new "Vipre" But no one can beat Sophos !! The best in the Field. A verry happy Sav user.