I didn’t originally have any intention of looking at any Norton products as part of my 2012 antivirus and internet security reviews, mainly because I have not been impressed their products in the past.
However, I have had many requests from you guys to do just that so, by popular demand, here is my impression of Norton Internet Security 2012.
If you buy Norton Internet Security 2012 then you will discover that the download is around 100 MB in size and, as the screenshot below implies, it installs quite quickly.
After installation you may need to restart your computer before you can get going.
- Packed full of features
- Very good malware detection rates
- Accurate spam filter
Norton Internet Security 2012 has the following system requirements:
- Windows XP (32 bit) SP2 / Vista (32 bit and 64 bit) with SP1 / 7 (32bit and 64 bit)
- 300 Mhz Processor (Windows XP) / 1 Ghz Processor (Vista and 7)
- 256 MB or more of RAM
- 300 MB of hard drive space
Installation and first impression
When you run Norton Internet Security 2012 for the first time you will be see the interface above. As you can see, the program will need to be updated straight away if you wish to be fully protected. Luckily, that update is quite quick, taking less than a minute to install on my machine. Strangely, perhaps, a system restart was required after the update. Thats not something I’m used to these days as most security programs I look at will update and then continue running.
Other than that, all is good however. The interface is nice and easy to navigate. (Thanks to Symantec for choosing yellow text to go with their dark background as white text on black gives me headaches!)
As I mentioned at the beginning, this program is packed full of useful features, some of which you can see below:
It goes without saying that you should expect many features if you are buying a full internet security suite but with Norton you really do get a lot for your money. Not only that but some of the extras really are quite good. For instance, the antispam component works very well indeed. It may seem strange that I am highlighting something like that but it is a component that other internet security suites often struggle with so it was nice to find antispam that just works.
Other features include:
- Exploit Prevention
- Performance Monitoring
- Identity Protection
- Parental Controls
When reviewing internet security programs I typically find that they perform most of the tasks listed above quite well indeed, though they often don’t excel in each and every one (antispam seeming to be the common achilles heel). Norton Internet Security, however, performs very well indeed in each and every area.
Malware detection and cleanup of the samples I used was very good indeed. And the program performs very well in independent tests too.
the firewall performs admirably too, stealthing ports and proving
very difficult impossible to terminate using traditional attack methodologies.
Anti-phishing comes courtesy of a Norton toolbar which uses behavioural analysis as well as a database in order to protect you from even the newest of phishing sites. Again, this worked very well when I tested it.
Parental Control doesn’t come as standard with this internet security suite but is free nonetheless. You can access it via a button at the bottom of the interface and then configure it via your Norton account. You can easily set rules and access controls and the program even lets you print these out to share with your children so as to let them know what they can and cannot do.
The program comes with it’s own Perfomance Monitoring tool, as seen above. Comparing this with Windows’ Task Manager showed it’s reporting to be comparable in terms of CPU and Memory Usage. As you may be able to tell from the graph displayed, Norton Internet Security 2012 is not too heavy on either whilst a scan is in process. Additionally, this is a useful tool for determining if a particular program or service is causing you a problem.
As noted at the beginning, this program offers a very large range of useful features which all work very well indeed.
My opinion, based on my own testing, is that detection rates (the most important feature) are, perhaps, second only to BitDefender’s Total Security program.
This edition of Norton is, at the time of writing, one of the more expensive options on the market right now but probably offers the best overall value if you think you will take advantage of all the features that it offers.
Overall then, I have to say that my previously poor opinion of Norton products (formed many years ago) has been changed considerably. If you want an all round good security suite and value antispam features highly then this may well be the program you want for 2012.
You can download a trial here and see for yourself.
Do you want to see what the other vendors are offering this year? If so, read my other 2012 Internet Security reviews.
- from $69.99