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Norton Internet Security 2009 PC Review - -

Installation 10
Ease of use 9.7
Usefulness 10
Value 9.7
Distributor: Symantec
Review Date:
October 2008
Andrew Bistak


Norton Internet Security 2009


In recent years, Symantec has received some mixed criticism regarding their internet security suites, hence the merry-go-round reviews available on the internet. Without dwelling on the criticisms of the past, it is important to understand some of the basics in order to appreciate Symantec's latest endeavor with Norton Internet Security 2009.


Key Technologies

  • Antivirus

  • Spyware protection

  • Two-way firewall

  • Identity protection

  • Antiphishing

  • Network monitoring

  • Bot protection

  • Rootkit detection

  • Browser protection

  • Internet worm protection

  • Intrusion prevention

  • OS and application protection

  • Web site authentication

  • Pulse updates

  • Norton™ Insight

  • SONAR™ behavioral protection

  • Antispam

  • Parental Controls & confidential information blocking

Some of the biggest criticisms of the previous versions included a tedious installation process, slow scanning and heavy resource use (e.g. memory and hard drive space). Although more modern PC's had little difficulty in running the previous programs, those with existing installations or older PC's did have some problems. Then again, this was not everyone so as you can see... there was no common ground.


Fortunately, this is all water under the bridge now as Symantec have created a new benchmark when it comes to Internet Security. In consultation with the wider community, Symantec have redesigned their internet security suite from the ground up which addresses a wide variety of previous concerns and unlike its predecessors, the current version is super fast in all aspects. Installation... scanning... lightning quick!


As you can see from the above "Key Technologies", NIS2009 is still your one stop shop for internet security and protection. Apart from the speed of the program, the other additions include new rapid pulse updates which means updates are no longer subjective to larger time frames and downloads, that is, the program now updates in increments, ensuring less bandwidth usage and quicker updates. The checks of updates occurs every few minutes though, however this does not effect your download speed, unless of course you're cursed with a non ADSL-modem.



The installation of Norton Internet Security 2009 has been revamped and no longer uses the standard Microsoft Windows installer, rather the program uses Symantec's new patented software technology which tremendously reduces installation time.


With that said, the installation of Norton Internet Security 2009 took around 1 minute to successfully install on our test machine. That's right, on a fresh machine or a machine with no existing Symantec security products, the installation is super quick. To be fair, we also tested the software on a machine that was already running Norton 360 and the installation took around 10 minutes to successfully install which included the removal of the program and a reboot.


Needless to say, this is a huge improvement over previous versions and even those "other" Internet Security software by other companies. It doesn't end there either as the program only uses a fraction of your computer's memory which means the program is considerably less resource hungry. Another interesting feature is that the un-installation of NIS2009 leaves behind virtually no files, only the licensing details.


The program also contains a CPU and memory usage monitor that displays how much memory NIS2009 is using and also how much CPU usage which is quite small. Although an avid supporter of Norton 360, it did slow the boot up speed of your PC, however Norton Internet Security 2009 dramatically reduces boot time which is good in my books.



The interface has received a new slim line makeover that is quite simplistic and easy to use, however those users who still wish to tweak the program will be pleased to know that this can be done.


With the "Symantec" globe logo at the top of the program with a green tick at the bottom indicates that your system is secure and easily allows you to identify that everything is working well.



To bottom of interface is the CPU and memory graphs and to the right are the options to scan your computer or adjust protection settings with internet and identity settings directly below. Lastly up the top, you have access to "Leave Feedback", "Norton Account" and "Help & Support" with your subscription days remaining at the bottom. The Home Network view is also great for mapping out your system and highlighting any issues that threaten the integrity of your system.


Very slick!


The Software

Identity Safe also makes a welcome addition to software that is great for protecting your identity online and is ideal for buying online, using internet banking and even gaming. Just browsing the key benefits below displays the powerful protection of this software suite from both known and unknown threats.


Key Benefits

  • Proven fastest, lightest security suite available—Spend more time using your computer and less time waiting for your security software to perform.

  • Pulse updates for up-to-the-minute protection—Delivered every 5 to 15 minutes to detect and eliminate new threats. NEW

  • Intelligence-driven for faster, fewer, shorter scans—By leveraging a unique online intelligence system, Norton™ Insight technology targets only those files at risk. NEW

  • Stops viruses, worms, spyware, bots, and more—Keeps your system protected against all types of malicious threats.

  • Prevents virus-infected emails and instant messages from spreading—Feel secure while you keep in touch.

  • Blocks browser exploits and protects against infected Web sites—Surf the Internet with confidence.

  • Blocks online identity theft—Buy, bank, and browse online wherever and whenever you want. IMPROVED

  • Secure network connections—Monitor your home network and more safely connect to Wi-fis. IMPROVED

  • Blocks threats and hackers—Two-way firewall automatically makes security decisions for you. IMPROVED

Scanning your software has been considerably improved thanks to Symantec's Norton Insight which only scans certain files. It's basically a list of system files which if matched to the list of secure files will ignore and in turn creates considerable faster scanning times. The data from Norton Insight is collected from millions of Norton Community members which in turn matches these files with other "trusted" users.


In relation to scanning, the program has as new "Control without disruptions" that performs its scanning while you are away from your computer and once you return, it pauses.


At a meeting with Symantec, they best described this feature as a cleaner who only cleans while you are gone, however when you arrive, they disappear. The system also detects if you are watching movies or playing games online, ensuring no interruptions.


As the threat landscape changes for the PC, Symantec are definitely keeping up with security and NIS2009 has a variety of new features to prevent any breaches of your system security whether it's surfing the net, reading e-mails or buying items from eBay. As bots become more volatile on the internet, NIS2009 will protect your system in collaboration with SONAR (Symantec Online Network for Advanced Response) and also the innate capabilities of the program.


Should something happen to your system, NIS2009 also allows you to download a special recovery tool which will allow you to repair your system should a doomsday scenario occur and it's always better to be prepared so it's a valuable tool to have. Definitely worth the download.


In conclusion Norton Internet Security 2009 is a huge improvement over previous Symantec internet security software and even competitors as it's definitely one of the fastest and most user friendly programs available. Symantec's "new" less intrusive software package is ideal for users who don't want to be informed by something that they have paid for and only want their system protected. Consider it like your guardian angel, silently watching over your computer.


Highly Recommended!



  • Engineered for Speed

    New! Proven fastest, lightest security suite available
    New! Intelligence-driven Norton™ Insight technology targets only those files at risk for faster, fewer, shorter scans
    New! Installs in under one minute on average, requires less than 10 MB of memory, and only 100 MB of disk space plus definitions

  • Up-to-the-minute Protection

    New! Delivers up-to-the-minute protection with rapid pulse updates every 5 to 15 minutes.*
    New! The Norton™ Protection System provides multilayered protection technologies that work in concert to stop threats before they impact you. †
    New! Real-time SONAR (Symantec™ Online Network for Advanced Response) helps prevent bots from taking control of your PC.
    Improved! Prevents threats from entering or leaving your firewall.
    Detects and automatically removes online threats.
    Improved! Defends against Web-based attacks with patent-pending technology.
    Automatically detects and removes spyware, viruses, Trojans, bots and Internet worms
    New! Boots and repairs badly infected PCs.
    New! Specialized deep-cleaning technology delivers our most complete scan possible to repair heavily infected computers.

  • Norton Identity Safe

    Improved! Keeps your online identity safer than ever when you buy, bank, browse, and game online.
    Advanced phishing protection keeps your personal identification out of the hands of fraudulent Web sites.
    Stores and encrypts your passwords and other confidential data.
    Improved! Fills in online forms at your request to save time and protect you from keystroke loggers.

  • Control without disruptions

    Puts every element of your security at your fingertips
    New! Schedules resource intensive tasks for when you’re not using your PC.
    New! Review the security status of every process on your PC.
    New! Silent mode suspends alerts and updates to avoid interrupting or slowing games and movies.
    Smart two-way firewall automatically makes security decisions for you.

  • Secure Networking

    Improved! Helps you secure your home network.
    Conceals and secures your PC on public Wi-Fi networks.

  • Parental Controls

    New! Create individual user profiles with enhanced parental controls.
    Spam Blocking
    Filters spam better than ever.
    Free Technical Support
    New! Free tech support delivers the help you need, however you need it.**


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