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Symantec's Norton Internet Security 2008 is a well-priced, truly non-intrusive security package that requires 256 MB RAM and 350 MB hard disk drive space. It has all the basic features of Norton AntiVirus, plus some additional features like wireless protection and transaction security. It does not have any local back-up, restore protection or PC maintenance, so you will have to buy these features separately.

CNet points out some drawbacks to this suite. For example, if you turn off the anti-phishing protection, by default it restarts after 15 minutes but your browser does not automatically run it. You will have to restart the browser for that. Secondly, if you turn off the phishing protection, the Identity Safe feature still remains enabled, so after disabling the former, if you happen to visit a fraudulent banking site, you might give up your ID and other personal info with Norton's gracious help. A potential disaster.

Norton Internet Security 2008's malware detection is quite strong. It scored 98% in PC Pro Lab's malware test, but detected only 57% of attempted browser exploits. The phishing filter in this suite is good. The new firewall designed by Symantec really does not pester users, and did very well in the Lab's false-positives test. But the firewall could not hide 15 of the 25 ports in the test machine, and six other vulnerabilities were detected by the GFI Security Scanner.

The suite offers some useful features, but configuring these is difficult unless you are acquainted with Symantec jargon like ""Turn on Bloodhound heuristics"". It does not allow you to set the configuration options, but rather does so on your behalf, with prompts like ""Turn on the Advanced Mode"" - with little information as to what that means. The LiveUpdate process has disturbing side-effects, like system slowdown, and all its security tools do not integrate well. Uninstalling the program is also not hazard-free.

Author Sahid Townsenddate added 2009-09-07 13:09:58

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