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Paid Anti-virus Programs

Norton Antivirus 2012

Symantec’s standalone Norton Antivirus for 2012 continues to carry its enviable reputation as among the best and most sought after security apps of its kind in the market since the 90s.

With high ratings in lab tests that confirm its efficacy, the latest iteration remains an excellent choice in cleaning up malware-infected PCs and keeping them that way.


The 2012 version integrated other standalone Norton Products represented by icons at its display bottom. This includes the Norton Mobile Security 2.0 for Android gadgets and its Online Back-up 2.0 if you are subscribed to it. While not as powerful in online protection as the Norton toolbar in the full security suite offers, it adds basic browsing protection when clicking on the Norton Safe Web Lite to warn you when visiting suspected sites. Search results will be marked for such sites. But the most remarkable feature from this integration is the new Norton Management system. This is a cloud-computing service that allows you to track the security status of your devices, subscriptions and licenses.

While the standalone version lacks the full firewall benefits in the full Norton Security Suite, it still has a powerful intrusion detection and protection against online exploits to Firefox, Internet Explorer, Adobe, Microsoft Office, and the Windows OS. Norton AV2012 identifies every potential online attack, reporting the detection in a slide-out notification window where clicking "View Details" shows the history details of the attempted intrusion.

The Norton Insight is enhanced to provide reliability rating using information about application crashes culled from the community of global Norton users. The feature rates installed apps as being Stable, Slightly Unstable, or Unstable. The Download Insight and File Insight features now include reliability information as well. The reputation scan report has tabs that give you a choice to compare your system with community averages in the areas of reliability, prevalence, and trust level, including the size of the known good files against known bad files.

You have the usual choice of Quick Scan and Full System Scan. The standard full scan now takes about 36 minutes, almost half the time it takes for the current version to do. It does a reputation scan and creates a whitelist using Norton’s SONAR file behavior detection algorithm enhanced for the current version so that the next full scan only takes around three minutes. SONAR tracks process and file behavior while allowing you to roll back system changes when installing infected software at any time during the installation process.

Norton AV2012 detects 100% of samples that use rootkit technology with a score of 8.9 points in rootkit removal that simply blows away the previous record score of 6.7 points achieved by competing AVG and ZoneAlarm Antivirus + Firewall for 2012. Norton also scores a perfect 100% in finding and removing scareware, tying with Malware bytes' Anti-Malware Free 1.51 as the best anti-scareware.

Retains the powerful anti-spyware scanning, instant messaging and email protection, and Norton Insight features. The instant messenger protection works with client IM applets from the popular Yahoo, MSN, AIM, and Trillian sites while its email scanning supports standard POP3 and SMTP- email clients. It also retains the ability to lock down configuration settings to prevent other users from altering what you have set.

Multi-layered security technologies using Rapid Pulse that updates virus definition ever 5-15 minutes which makes it effecting in checking you PC for the most recently discovered spyware, viruses, bots, Trojans, worms, and new malware.

Installation and Set-up

Installation is straightforward and a breeze with clean PC systems but malware infection generally interfere with anti-virus installation. The 2012 version solves this neatly by launching a pre-installation scan that detects resident interfering malware. You just have to reboot to proceed with the installation. And in difficult cases, rebooting into Safe Mode gets the installation done.

User Interface

Norton Antivirus 2012 has an entirely revamped graphical Interface that allows on-demand scanning and updating with the most ease ever. Apart from the excellent status information checking, it has simple on/off controls for such features as CPU usage by the software. The settings window has also been enhanced and now sports tabbed configuration settings where they used to appear in one scrolling list. The tabbed settings are organized into General, Computer, and Network, across the top with each tap having sub-categories.

Norton AntiVirus 2009

Symantec's Norton AntiVirus products have always been among the most popular ones in the market because the company listens to client demands and criticisms when it makes its software updates. And with the Norton AntiVirus 2009, Symantec has once again managed to land among the top spots in various anti-virus software reviews. Not only does the AntiVirus 2009 have shorter scanning times, it also sports new features that ensure better protection from viruses, worms, spyware, and other malware.


Among the key features of Norton AntiVirus 2009 are the anti-spyware scanner, instant messaging protection, Rapid Pulse, email scanning, and Norton Insight. The instant messenger protection feature scans the links sent and received in IM messages, and works in the following instant messaging clients: MSN, Yahoo, AIM, and Trillian.

The product's email scanning feature supports standard POP3 and SMTP-compatible email clients. The AV 2009 also allows users to lock down the program and configuration settings to prevent other computer users from changing the restrictions and limits you've set.

Many are also in awe of Norton Insight, one of the features found in the AV 2009 version. Norton Insight is responsible for identifying which files in your computer are trusted and safe, making your routine, full-system scanning time significantly shorter. Users can choose between Norton AV 2009's Quick Scan and Full System Scan to check their computers for viruses, worms, spyware, bots, and other malware.

The Rapid Pulse feature allows Norton AV 2009 to look for and install updates every five to fifteen minutes, thus assuring users that their anti-virus program is constantly updated and made more effective in detecting viruses. Software signature updates are also provided must faster, allowing users to keep up with the constantly evolving malware that are detrimental to your computer's health.

As if that's not enough, the new Norton Protection System also employs multi-layered security technologies which all work together to detect, identify, and prevent your computer from being attacked by different types of viruses.

Installation and Setup

Many users are raving about how the installation time has vastly improved with Norton AntiVirus 2009. Some even report completing the entire installation process in just a few minutes. Also, the 2009 version no longer asks users to reboot after the software has been installed. Once the intallation process is complete, your computer is immediately ready for use.

One downside to the AntiVirus 2009, however, is that some components are left in your machine even after you've successfully uninstalled the program. According to some users, they found a few registry entries and directories left behind, which they had to delete and remove separately. The LiveUpdate feature is reportedly among the programs components that you'll have to manually delete after you uninstall the software.

User Interface

The Norton AntiVirus 2009 sports a cleaner and more sophisticated user interface, and with changeable skins to boot. This version's interface also makes it easier for users to access specific tools and turn them on and off - minus the hassle of going deep into the configuration settings.

If you want to customize and tweak the configuration settings, all you have to do is click below the main page and you'll instantly be directed to the configuration settings page. Popup dialogs also appear on the interface to explain specific system terms.

At the lower left-hand side of the interface are bar graphs that indicate the overall usage of Windows resources and those used by AV 2009. Some users even commend Symantec for presenting data in bar graphs (as compared with other anti-virus programs that use line graphs) because according to them, these are more visually friendly and easily understandable.

Depending on where you buy it, the Norton AntiVirus 2009 can cost from $19.99 to $52.00.

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