It was only June when I took a look at Norton’s 360 security suite for Windows, and I was amazed at how much things had changed since I’d last used a Norton product. I commented on how I “found it to be efficient, offer an abundance of great features and manage resources very well too”, especially when compared to my past experiences with Norton products.
Fast forward a few months, and here we are with Norton AntiVirus 2011! The latest version of Norton’s security suite has a few neat surprises up its sleeve, while making sure that the core functionality that I enjoyed in Norton 360 is still very much functional.
Installation and Setup
Installation of Norton 2011 was completely automated, which I always like in a product. There wasn’t any messing around with various options, it’s just a straight forward case of clicking install and watching the percentage count increase. Installation took around a minute in total, which I was very impressed by considering the weight that Norton products usually carry.
Unfortunately, after installation, you hit a slight roadblock in the form of a forced product activation. There was no way that I could see to close the activation window, and it remained on my screen until I gave in and gave it an email address to tag the serial on to. It’s bad enough when you’re bugged to activate a product after installation, but when, for whatever reason, you have no choice but to register, I get a little more pissed off. It seems Norton wanted to twist your arm on this one, and if it wasn’t clear enough with the lack of an exit button on the window, I think the label that says “complete activation and register NOW” got the point across.
Getting away from the somewhat rude introduction to Norton 2011, I decided to take a look around the user interface, which, I’m glad to say, is really well designed, responsive, and intuitive.
At the top of the main window, you can clearly see the status of both your computer protection and network connection. One thing I really like here is the ability to turn various features off for a certain amount of time simply by clicking a switch which turns the feature off. This is great if you’re downloading a file that you trust, but often gets flagged as a virus, because you can temporarily flick your anti-virus off (not that I recommend it, but it’s nice to have the choice) while you grab the file and do whatever you need to do with it.
There are other, really nice tweaks here in the UI, such as the performance option, which flips your window 180 degrees horizontally to reveal a window with all performance related analyses and tasks. Although it may not be super productive, it’s nice to have a few pieces of eye candy, even if it is in your security software!
Naturally, an anti-virus application review wouldn’t be complete without a mention of, you know, virus protection. After updating the software, I ran a full system scan, which took a little under 40 minutes, although this figure will differ depending on the size of your hard drive and the speed of your computer. I’m glad to report that all three viruses that I planted on the test machine were picked up no problem by the scan, along with more tracking cookies than I care to mention.
Although it doesn’t pack all of the features that you’d find in Norton 360, Norton AntiVirus 2011 is a very competent security application for the average end user. With a slick user interface, effective scanning and security measures, and a price tag of around £30, it’s worth taking a look.