Norton Internet Security 2013 Review

Internet Security:
Norton Internet Security 2013

Reviewed by:
On March 5, 2013
Last modified:May 26, 2013


Norton Internet Security 2013 is an excellent security suite that does the basics of malware detection and, especially, malware removal very well indeed. The extra features in the suite don't just make up the numbers either - the firewall, anti-spam and anti-phishing features are top notch.

Key Benefits

  • Excellent malware detection and removal
  • Strong firewall
  • Free technical support at any time

Following on from my recent review of Norton Antivirus 2013, here are my thoughts on its ‘big brother’; Norton Internet Security 2013 (Symantec have dropped the year suffix from their security programs now).

Will it run on my PC?

The minimum suggested system requirements for this program are as follows:

  • 1 Ghz processor (300 Mhz for Windows XP)
  • 256 MB of RAM
  • 300 MB of hard drive space
  • Windows XP SP2 32-bit / Vista SP1 32- and 64-bit / 7 32- and 64-bit / 8 32- and 64-bit

Is it easy to install this program?

Yes, installation is very easy indeed – after double clicking on the installer it was a mere 2 minutes or so until the program was ready to run and no system reboot was required.

Before getting started you’ll want to run LiveUpdate though to ensure that the program is fully updated as this doesn’t seem to be automatic.

What is the user interface like?

Not normally a fan of white text on a black background (it hurts my eyes) I do rather like this interface despite the colour choices.

Its easy to get to grips with and navigate and, as seen below, the splash of green makes it obvious straight away that everything is as it should be and I am protected.


From this main screen you have easy access to all the components of the program that you’re likely to need.

Across the middle of the screen you have a status update letting know about CPU usage and whether or not your system is currently secure or not. Then there is the link to the scanner which you can set for a full scan, smart scan or scanning of your self-configured choice. Next, the LiveUpdate which you may well need to run as soon as you start the program up for the first time. Lastly, there is access to the Advanced settings.

Across the top of the screen you have access to the general settings (more detail on that later). The Performance link will give you info about resource usage, stats and events. You can also give Feedback and check your Account status. Lastly, the Support link is very helpful – Symantec offer free 24/7 support on Norton products. There are also links here to various other resources which are, in the main, of a very high quality and will help you out with any issues you may have with the program.

Down the right hand side of the main screen are some more links:

  • Manage – which will allow you to manage your devices and licenses
  • Mobile – leads to a page with a QR code on it. Scanning this will install Norton Mobile Security onto your mobile device
  • Online Family – connects to Norton Online Family Premier if you are subscribed or offers a subscription to the free version
  • Safe Web – check web sites before you visit and highlight any that are unsafe
  • Backup – checks the status of your Norton Online Backup account, assuming you have one

What features does the program offer?

As a full internet security suite the program offers a great many more features as you would expect. But what are they? And are they any good?


Obviously the bread and butter of any security suite is antivirus and anti-spyware scanning and Norton Internet Security 2013 has both functions. As I will mention later on, the antivirus component is excellent in this program.


Beyond that you have other staples of this type of program such as –

  • An excellent firewall which requires little to no user interaction in order to be effective – ideal for beginners
  • Very good anti-spam. This component is also very easy to configure for Outlook / Outlook Express and will do a good job of filtering your email correctly


You also get –

  • Excellent phishing protection – not just known phishing sites but also new ones, based on real-time analysis
  • Social media protection – the program can scan your Facebook account to see if any malicious links or sites are present


Will it keep me safe?

In my own testing NIS 2013 performed pretty well when it came to blocking malware before it could get onto my test system.


Where it excelled, however, was in removing malware that had already found its way onto a specially infected machine. In this case the program removed every single sample on there without any trouble whatsoever.


For now, at least, Norton Internet Security 2013 goes joint top of the pile (with BitDefender) for malware removal.

Overall impression

The Norton programs of today seem to be an entirely different breed to those I remember from just a few years ago. And by that I mean that they are actually rather good now.

Norton Internet Security 2013 is an excellent security suite that does the basics of malware detection and, especially, malware removal very well indeed. The extra features in the suite don’t just make up the numbers either – the firewall, anti-spam and anti-phishing features are top notch.


On top of that, the program runs well too. In the past I absolutely hated the way Norton seemed to be a total resource hog. That too seems to be a thing of the past as NIS 2013 runs well, even when multitasking.

If you are in the market for an internet security suite then this one should definitely be one that you consider.

Norton Internet Security 2013 is an excellent security suite that does the basics of malware detection and, especially, malware removal very well indeed. The extra features in the suite don't just make up the numbers either - the firewall, anti-spam and anti-phishing features are top notch.
About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


  1. Hello Lee 🙂 .. just wanted to share what’s in my mind with u , and check what u think …
    first I want to really thank you for all of your honest n’ fair reviews 🙂 … I’m really starting not to trust known IS review companies (or whatever they are called) for example AV-test and such …. take for example the Bitdefender .. it’s a really great security solution but it’s not as great as they say !! almost wherever I go I see Bitdefender’s getting a 5 stars , yet when looking at the user ratings it almost always has a low score … Bitdefender is an example because I myself used it, and I have a new Bitdefender IS 1 year licence which I’m not gonna use anymore on my computer ..
    I’m amazed with Norton .. I like where they are going with their software , I used to really HATE Norton for many many years , I even used to encourage my friends to get red of it and maybe go for kaspersky or ESET … but in the past couple of years Norton has made a great progress, a total makeover one might say … and I tried many many other IS solutions , and I always seemed to come back to Norton … dunno why Norton opt out of AV-comparatives , but that makes me question these tests even more … but it usually has a high user rating score 🙂
    some testers on youtube says norton does perfectly almost in all aspects but somehow scores low on detection rates (strange since in the past that was a strong point in norton products, i think ) but I guess the explanation is that Norton is embracing the “smart” solution idea … in settings , the update options there is a “smart definitions” which is enabled by default :- ” Norton Internet Security activates the Core Set virus definitions which contain the most important virus definitions that are required for latest security threats as viewed by Symantec. Turning on the Smart Definitions option minimizes download time, installation time, and system start time. Therefore, the Core Set results in faster performance of your computer.”
    I tend to turn this of to get the complete Set virus definitions..

    • Lee Munson says:

      Hi Durden,

      I think one of the problems here, to my mind at least, is the fact that picking a ‘winner’ is very much an opinion exercise as well as something that is dependent upon how the end user actually operates their machine – we all have different needs after all. For that reason any score given out by any site, including mine, is actually quite subjective to begin with.

      Also, there are some sites and reviewers (no names) who take payment in return for giving favourable reviews so that tends to muddy the waters as well.

      Personally I would still say that BitDefender is tops this year (though everyone’s 2014 lineup will be out soon so that may or may not change) though I am also aware that some people have had issues with it (I haven’t).

      Norton is much improved from the days when I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole. My only real criticism is from my own personal (or should I say girlfriend’s) experience with their customer support team – they tried to get too technical with her which was a disappointment. Otherwise, they offer up a good product and are, of course, a name many will be familiar with via the various free trials they bundle with new PCs.

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