Pros Superb basic protection – anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall, very good for the security layman
Cons No anti-spam yet, slows computer and browsing (a tad), no configuration options for the advanced user
Summary I've purchased Kaspersky Internet security just two weeks ago, and it worked like a champ. It gave me superb security with no hassle at all – it worked quietly in the background, never displayed any annoying pop-ups and it did not slow the computer even a tad.
But then I saw that the firewall is set by default to low security – all traffic is permitted, except traffic explicitly banned by a rule. That's not my idea of good security!
So I raised the bar to "medium". Alas, I started getting hundreds of those annoying firewall pop-ups. I then recalled that NIS 2007 had made excellent firewall heuristics, and Symantec's site has promised "faster scans and start-up" for NIS 2008.
So I gave KIS 7 to a friend at work, and purchased NIS 2008.
This is a good product, but not without flaws. Firstly, Symantec is right – the quick scan is now quick indeed, taking much less time than NIS 2007, and the start-up and (even more) shut-down processes are swift.
NIS has a stellar reputation of getting high scores on third-party tests (av-comparatives, VB 100, West Coast labs etc.) for its anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall modules, so you're good on that; the firewall works like a champ, completely hiding your computer, so that hackers can't even detect it, and making intelligent rules quietly and automatically. Anti-phishing is potent and more informative than IE 7 built-in anti-phishing tool.
LiveUpdate is finally fully integrated into the application, as it should have been long ago, and Norton 360's superb help system was imported to NIS 2008.
The application is excellent for the security layman, updating and scanning quietly in the background.
But not all is perfect.
Firstly, the expansion pack, which contains the important anti-spam module, is not available yet for download, even though Symantec's site renders this option available. A better disclosure would certainly be in place!
Secondly, despite continuous improvement on this field, the application does slow application loading and browsing – only a tad - but it does. Considering the fact that Kaspersky manages to protect the computer without the slightest performance decrease, this is a disappointment.
Thirdly, other modules are second-tier. NIS 2007 anti-spam, for instance, was not even nearing SpamBully's effectiveness. I sure hope they have improved it! The identity security module seems only to recognize URLs containing the phrase "login", refusing to register all other.
But perhaps the application's most serious flaw is its lack of advanced user controls – everything is done automatically (and that is good), but there are far too little configuration options for the advance user – you can set full system scan schedule intervals, for instance, but you cannot disable a scheduled scan, opting for manual scans only. KIS 7 lets you easily do that!
All in all, this is a good security suit. It's a pity the Symantec doesn't offer their superb firewall as a stand-alone product anymore; that way, the perfect security combination would have been Symantec firewall + Kaspersky anti-virus.
But until then, you can certainly consider either KIS (just be ready for lots of firewall pop-ups or for inferior firewall security) or NIS (be ready for a slight decrease in system performance) as your # 1 security solution.
Pros Improved firewall, outstanding antivirus, low resource usage
Cons Add-ons not always the best (but can be turned off / not installed)
Summary I went back to using NIS with last year's edition (2007) after discovering that it offered excellent protection while not using a lot of system resources.
With NIS 2008, protection has improved while keeping resource usage low. Anti-virus continues to be among the best available. The firewall has been improved over 2007 to block most outbound leak tests and should now rate as one of the top one or two available. Anti-spyware continues to get high marks, stopping most before they can even install.
With respect to anti-phishing, I'm not sure that NIS offers better protection than what IE and Firefox already offer, but it's there if you want it and can be turned off if you don't (Firefox protection is new for 2008).
The Identity Safe feature was also added for 2008, and, while the service will be a welcome addition for some, it's not on the top of my list for now. Anti-spam and Parental Controls can still be added by means a separate download, but I favor Mailwahser for spam control and personal monitoring for keeping kids safe on the internet.
Insofar as the appearance is concerned, the change in color scheme was no doubt to better coordinate with Vista. However, regardless of color preferences, the user interface is still easy to use, and that's what really counts.
Norton products prior to their 2007 editions were often considered resource hogs. However, both the 2007 and 2008 editions of NIS offer unparalleled protection while using a relatively small amount of system resources. In addition, if you take advantage of rebates, you should be able to get NIS 2008 for 3 computers for under $30, making it an outstanding value.Updated
I decided to test how well NIS Phishing protection worked by trying out some possible phishing sites posted at phishtank.com. I purposely used new sites that had only been reported in past few hours ensure that they would not have made their way into any phishing site databases.
While IE's phishing filter allowed me to go to several of the sites, NIS identified each as a possible phishing site and redirected me away from the offending page.
Pros Caused me to learn plenty about the inner workings of the computer
Cons See Summary
Summary My 2-week nightmare with Norton Internet Security 2008 for Vista began when, after working well for a while, NIS spontaneously began to have trouble updating virus definitions. It ended when my computerâ€™s hard drive was formatted in a repair shop. The repair shop owner told me he gets computers that Norton killed all the time, and suggested I switch to Panda.
How did Nortonâ€™s Tech Support wreck my computer? My first ~10 chats (I honestly lost count) followed a pattern. First, I would wait around an hour to talk with someone. Then, if the representative didn't lose the connection to my computer, causing me to start over again, he would ask me some questions, perhaps taking remote access of my computer. Finally, proudly, he would tell me my problem was that I needed to completely uninstall and reinstall Internet Security.
I would then ask him why my last (2,3,4,5,â€¦) uninstall/reinstalls didnâ€™t work. He would tell me that running Nortonâ€™s uninstall program did not really completely uninstall the program. He gave me more and more convoluted things to do after the uninstall, to clean up the mess that Norton still left on the computer. These included steps like downloading a 3rd-party registry cleaner, searching for hidden files named â€œSymantecâ€�, and, helpfully, contacting Microsoft to see if they could fix the problem. Almost always, the rep reassured me that this uninstall/reinstall would solve the problem. One gentleman took over the computer and did the full process himself. Each time the uninstall/reinstall took well over an hour. It never worked.
Therein lies the problem: EVEN NORTON TECH SUPPORT WAS UNABLE TO UNINSTALL THEIR OWN PRODUCT FROM MY COMPUTER. The final gentleman I talked with took over my computer with remote access and then manually deleted a bunch of registry entries. I wish I had space to convey his reassuring tone that all was going well, as strange error messages popped up all over the screen, and the computer shut down and wouldn't boot up again. The representative then helpfully asked me to contact Hewlett Packard to fix the problem.
A couple footnotes, following the resetting of my computer to factory install (which cost me over $100): First, my brother told me he had so much trouble uninstalling Norton about 5 years ago that he vowed never to buy another Norton product again. Heâ€™s using Kaspersky and likes it. Second, Nortonâ€™s Customer Support told me Nortonâ€™s policy is not to reimburse people for damages caused by Tech Support. What a fitting end. Would I recommend this product? Umm, no.
Pros Ease of Use - Rootkit detection included - Out of your face fire wall - Online chat support - Encrypted Identity Safe
Cons Should have included anti-bot, Real time protection starts default ' off '
Summary I started using Norton's when I first booted windows 3.1. I left because it became bloatware slowing my system down. I've been using other security protection for the last 4 years.
I gave NIS 2007 a try and felt they finally started heading down the right path with thier approach to handling things. I waited one year to let them work out any bugs. Gave NIS 2008 a try and feel it's final product and have come back.
Light on my system and out of my face. Identity safe is encrypted and makes logging into revisited sites less of a hassel with a feeling of log-in security.
I did have to purchase Norton Anti-bot to feel fully protected however. They should have added it for free since 2gb of online backup isn't available. It would have been the ' complete ' security package.
Seems to be a very solid security engine. I look foward to seeing how it handled compared to others in testing soon to come out. Parental control works well, huge improvement from my last expierence. I had bypassed website detection by clicking a link thru online email. It come with password protection to keep your sneaky teens turning it off.
9 out of 10 only because it's missing anti-bot protection which is an awesome program that sits idle until needed. It even works very well with Zone Alarm 7.0 I was running before the swicth this weekend.
I would love for Symantec to pull an 'Apple' so to speak. Refund antibot purchasers who also purchased NIS 2008. Begin including in thier new 2008 suite.
Pros It encourages patience building hobbies
Cons Computer cannot be used when its running
I could stop there. But I will share my experience.
I didn't believe all the bad reviews here on cnet. I read the first three that gave it 8 & 9's and praised it for being wonderful. I took their word for it. I hate to knock people's opinion of stuff, but they must not use their computer for anything, have the patience of Job, or worry way toooo much about getting a virus. Personally, functionality of the computer is more important than a virus protector. If your computer is so slow that it can't be used, then what's the point of protecting it.
I had Norton AV 2006 installed on my machine that has 256 MB RAM and a 1.8 GHZ processor. After turning some of the automatic stuff off, it worked ok. I would give it a B+. When I installed NIS 2008, my computer went from B+ to dropping out of school. To access the internet, literally, no joke, I would click the button and go into another room and do something and come back and the thing would still be loading. Refreshing pages brought the same frustration. This slowness even extended into opening programs and files already installed on my computer, such as pictures, word files, excel files, etc. It has cost me several auctions on ebay because I cannot bid fast enough. And I am not talking about bidding with less than 1 minute, I am talking about getting a bid in with 2 or 3 minutes left. Simple things such as reading email now take upwards of 30 minutes with the slowdown time.
I tried turning off as much stuff as I could to make it run faster. They use their proprietary trade names for options such as bloodstone heuritics, so I have no idea what I am turning off and no way to figure it out. I even searched yahoo for that same name and couldn't find any info. I basically turned off everything and I think it made it worse. Then I went into the processes on task manager and shut down stuff that I thought was associated with NIS. No help.
I then thought I would implore Symantec for help. If you go to their website, you find that calling them costs $10.00, you can download some of their software to engage in a free online chat (I don't want any more of thier stuff on my machine), or you can email them. I chose the latter, as the cheapest least invasive solution. I was informed that they would get back with me in 96 hours. Its been almost 48, and nothing. I suspect it will stay that way based on other peoples stories on here. If they do reply, I expect they will tell me to upgrade my computer or internet service. This would show their intelligence, since I have the stuff uninstalled and my computer is back up to par on speed.
I am now honestly believing that they have viruses embedded in the software or it is a virus itself. From what I have read, even though I have uninstalled, there are still traces of it on my machine. It slows your computer to a grinding halt. I have had viruses in the past, and what do you know, similar outcomes.
In short, I will never ever buy another one of their products and take the chance of ruining a machine. I believe that cnet only puts the good ratings on the front page because they don't want to be accused of bashing the juggernaut. I realize that this will be buried probably on the back page or banned, but if just one person reads it and saves themselves a headache, I will feel like I had a moral victory. Everyone who loves it is just being kind or they don't really care. If it didn't lock your machine up, it would probably be great since their are a ton of cool programs on it (which lured me in).
Now, on to find what to replace it with. My final thoughts are below:
WOEFUL, PATHETIC, GET READY FOR YOUR STAY AT THE NUT HOUSE IF YOU INSTALL! I AM NOT THE COMPLAINING TYPE, HAVE NEVER POSTED A BAD REVIEW, BUT THIS ONE PROMPTED ME TO. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK, BUT DON'T SAY YOU WEREN'T WARNED.