Norton AntiVirus is a well-known security application made to fight off malware in all shapes and sizes. Featuring a real-time shield, multiple scan modes, customizable settings and plenty of additional safety nets, the utility addresses beginners and experienced users alike.
Installation and interface
Setting up the tool is a fast and easy task, since Norton does not give users the possibility of handpicking the components to install, unlike other av products. A bit of attention should be paid here, however. Since it is ad-supported, the program offers to install apps made by other software developers. It can run without them, so they can be excluded from setup.
Ever since the Windows 8 release, developers have started implementing the flat Metro UI look into everything, and Norton makes no exception. The interface is not cluttered, although it could have been better organized. Three large buttons in the main menu facilitate access to scanning, virus signature updates and advanced settings, while another button-like frame shows the system and Norton CPU usage level, along with the trust level.
Scan types and configuration
Norton provides different levels of PC scanning in accordance with the user's requirements. It can focus on speed by verifying only important system areas for malware, look into the whole hard disk to be thorough, as well as scrutinize only suspicious files, folders or drives. An additional component is designed to scan the Facebook Wall for infected links, scams and hacking attempts.
The default scanning configuration can be modified by expert users in terms of exclusions (scan, real-time, signatures, file IDs), archives, rootkits and stealth items, network drives, heuristics, low-risk objects, tracking cookies, removable media, boot time, Symantec's SONAR protection feature (cloud assistance), as well as updates, among others. Settings can be restored to default, while tasks and statistics can be examined in separate areas.
Additional security components
Notifications show the reputation level of downloaded files via Symantec's Download Insight to determine whether they are trustworthy or not. Furthermore, the app integrates a toolbar (Norton Safe Search) powered by Ask.com to ensure safety while navigating the web, which also features a password-protected vault (Norton Identity Safe) meant to hold login credentials and other private data.
Performance and conclusion
In comparison with many av solutions, Norton AntiVirus is extremely fast, mostly thanks to cloud assistance. It has been quite successful at detecting infected files in our latest tests. Its virus definitions frequently receive updates (can be downloaded separately via Norton AntiVirus Virus Definitions), and the program generally remains light on resources consumption. Users are welcomed to try out Norton AntiVirus for themselves and find out if it meets their requirements. Those looking for extra features may resort to Norton Internet Security.