Norton Internet Security 2013 Review: Feature-packed
Norton Internet Security Suite comes with a host of features and tools, and the continuous LiveUpdate service makes it a mouth-watering prospect.
Norton is one of the popular names in the security software segment, and with the Internet Security suite – the company promises to make your internet browsing experience more secure in addition to removing intruders. The Internet security suite latest edition removes the year tag from the pack, maybe because it’ll be continuous from now which actually makes sense. We are going to check out how it performs.
- Includes Norton Antivirus plus parental control and hacking prevention
- 5 patented layers of protection
- Improved Sonar and 24×7 monitoring
- Improved threat level apparently goes deeper
- Continuous updates available throughout the year
- Secure Username password control
- Norton Safe Web for Facebook
- Anti-phishing Technology
- Improved Bandwidth Management
- Updates your protection every 5 to 15 minutes, without disrupting you
- Safe web, browser protection and intruder download warning
The familiar yellow and black pack contains much detail about the new features the latest version of the Norton Internet Security carries. Interestingly Symantec decided to remove the Year tag from the pack, which to us is a logical move as attacks and protections happen round-the-clock and there is no definite update cycle for it. We will refer this edition as 2013 edition just for the sake of differentiating from previous versions. The Indian version of the pack also lists the quick features in Hindi.
The retail pack contains an instruction pamphlet of how the suite will work with Windows 8, a general installation pamphlet that also lists the serial number. You can get a detail manual in the CD.
Our rating: NA
The installation process is quite straight-forward. Apart from the Set-up link, you have two more options – Premium services and Rescue tools. The premium service gives you better access to their support and some other more human services. It’s not available in India though. The rescue tools help you restore or repair a system incase it’s taken over by a virus and you can’t do anything to kill it because all executable are blocked.
Once you click on Install, it’s a fairly straight-forward process with mostly your recommended settings in place by default. You can choose the Installer to update the software first (or later) and wait a moment for the Activation check. I also felt it took about 3-4 minutes from the moment I pressed the Install button to start of the process – maybe it’s my drive taking time reading the CD I don’t know.
Our rating: 7/10
The NIS interface is designed as to be able to integrate deeply with Windows 8 environment. You’ll see similar Tiles UI approach all over the app UI. The Homepage shows four tiles of Scan, CPU usage, LiveUpdate and Advance setting. This part is pretty similar with that on the Antivirus program but the difference can be seen inside the Advance menu. There are lots of Internet related options in addition to that of the local computer as well as network.
There are five buttons on the right arranged vertically that give you some additional tools. Check the pictures and videos to know more. There are also various options on top ranging from Settings to Performance check to Support. There is also a feedback button for you to voice in.
Our rating: 8/10
NIS score pretty well here too. The UI is pretty intuitive with clearly marked big button that can’t be missed. If you decide to play advance, as there are lots of options and tools, take care so that you don’t get overwhelmed. Biggest advantage is that I hardly had to change any settings for the software to work optimally as almost all of the options were by default set to the ones I would have liked – a very good feature for those not very familiar or don’t have time to fiddle around with custom settings.
The Live update silently updates.
Our rating: 8.5/10
The Norton Internet Security is a suite and more than justifies the name. You might find the UI a bit similar to that on the Antivirus but on second look and after laying around a bit you’ll come to know the vast array of settings and tools you can use, some already present with the suite and some need to be installed separately. Most of these tools can be managed on cloud through creating an online Symantec account.
Some of the useful tools are Parental control through which you can spy on your kids browsing log, safe web feature that helps you know the good sites from the malicious ones, a free Android mobile app (basic – you have to pay for advance features), an optional online back-up solution, managing multiple devices from the online account, performance monitoring, hacking prevention and the famous SONAR feature that predicts the future threat trend to help keep your computer safe from future possible attacks. Watch the videos for demo.
Our rating: 7.5/10 (0.5 taken for too basic mobile features)
It affects the overall computer time but nothing significant really. The app itself takes about 2-3secs to start.
Load on system
Switching from one UI to another lags by about a second. There is also a little lag on startup. I have not checked it on a Windows 8 device so can’t say if it would be seamless there.
CPU usage is minimal while you’re not actively running the software.
Memory usage is around 9800KB when the computer starts with all NIS, Management and Parental control starting with Windows. Open Chrome and you shoot up the memory usage by about 15400KB thanks to the various NIS related browser plug-ins. Keep that open and now start NIS dashboard from your task bar – you’ve used another 5000KB. Open the Manage devices app and the total memory usage goes up to about 3900KB. Safety Minder will add another 2000KB. So we are at about 40000KB of Symantec related memory usage at this point.
A quick scan takes about 5000KB additional memory, about the same as on a Full scan, and about twice that on a Folder scan. Ofcourse all these will depend on how stuffed your computer is, but have a general idea that NIS will take about 50000KB of memory upon full active operation – which I would say is very impressive considering old versions which used to be memory guzzlers.
We checked NIS on the following -
Executable malware – 4/4
Java Malware – 4/4
Phishing and malicious website detection – 5/5
Malicious E-mail content detection – 5/5
Parental website monitoring – 100% detection
False positive – 2/5
So you can see except for false positive Norton has detected pretty much everything. We testes it on real life threats on a separate test-machine and not on test viruses so this result is impressive. Only the software, especially the rescue tool kept on insisting two good files to be a Trojans, so much so that I had to exclude them manually. That’s not much of a problem if you are little careful about what you’re deleting.
Let’s look at the Pros and Cons,
- Great Interface and usability
- Most default settings are good enough
- CPU and memory friendly
- Cloud support, manage from one place
- Silent LiveUpdate
- UI lags a bit in transitions
- A few false positives
Norton Internet Security 2013 Edition comes loaded with features, and we found it to be very intuitive. It also is very easy to use even for the layman. Doing advance tasks in a way that doesnot need equally advance knowledge is an art and the NIS 2013 edition seems to be doing it very well. Cloud management is also a big plus. 2012 Edition was very good but this edition can secure a place right at the top, only if it becomes a little more disciplined and selectively aggressive.
Overall rating: 8/10