New Norton 360 Arrives as a Beta (and How’s Norton Treating You Lately?)

By  |  Tuesday, October 27, 2009 at 11:57 am

Norton 360

Last month, Symantec released Norton Internet Security 2010 and Norton Antivirus 2010, updated versions of its venerable Windows security packages. They incorporated a new approach to threat detection–Symantec calls it Quorum–which attempts to increase accuracy and reduce resource-hogging tendencies by gauging the reputation of files based on data collected from the millions of folks who run the company’s software. (The reputation of a core Windows file that didn’t do anything suspicious would be high; the reputation of a file which Quorum hadn’t seen before which appeared to be behaving in a dangerous manner would be low.)

Today, Symantec is releasing a free beta version of Norton 360 4.0, the next release of its suite which includes both security and management tools such as backup and PC tuneup tools. It’s the first version of Norton 360 with Quorum, and in conjunction with today’s releasing, Symantec is touting recent test results for Norton Internet Security 2010 from third-party labs. The UK-based Dennis Technology Lab tested ten security products and gave Norton alone a perfect score; it also did well in recent testing by and (I’m not an expert on the relative strengths of independent security labs’ testing techniques, but I know that AV-Test knows their stuff and tells it like it is–they’re the lab we worked with back when I was at PC World.)

Whenever I mention Norton security products, I’m used to PC users reflexively accusing them of being in-your-face annoying and sapping precious system resources to an absurd level. Symantec clearly heard the gripes, too–the changes in both last year’s Norton 2009 products and this year’s Norton 2010 ones emphasis a general reduction in intrusiveness, and much of the advertising is devoted to conveying that it’s changed its ways. But computer users have memories like elephants, and I suspect that some will continue to look askance at Norton for years to come even if Symantec’s cleaned up its act.

So here’s a question for folks who are running any 2009 or 2010 version of any version of Norton security: How’s it treating you?


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8 Comments For This Post

  1. AboKevin Says:

    Due to positive reviews I returned to Norton Internet Security 2009, and I am very happy with it. It is no longer a resource hog. It’s features are easy to understand and modify and everything is presented in a clean, nice interface. Highly recommended.

  2. Keith H Says:

    Been running 2010 in both Vista and Windows7 with no problems. Its not a burden on the CPU either.

  3. Ron Says:

    I returned to Norton after some conflicts with other security software and I haven’t looked back. It installs quickly and runs efficiently on all the PCs and laptops in my house, whether on Windows Vista or Windows 7. I recommend their latest products to all my friends.

  4. Daniel Says:

    This line perfectly expresses my feelings towards Norton, “But computer users have memories like elephants, and I suspect that some will continue to look askance at Norton for years to come even if Symantec’s cleaned up its act.”

    Maybe Norton has cleaned up its act. But why would I blow $40 to find out? I’ve been perfectly happy with Microsoft Security Essentials lately. I wa so irritated at resource-hogging and irritating programs like Norton that I went for a couple years without an anti-virus program.

  5. Bouke Timbermont Says:

    I left Norton in 2006 because back then it was a serious resource hog. Ever since I have been using Kaspersky and I don’t even feel the urge to try Norton again, since Kaspersky is as I think and antivirus should be: quite and invisible until you actually need to give some input.

  6. Darrencardinal Says:

    I removed Norton from my machine and use Avira which is a good free version.

    It works well, check it out.

  7. cm Says:

    I chose Norton Internet Security 2009 for my Windows PCs after MS packed it in with Windows Live OneCare. I have used old versions of Norton, AVG, avast!, and of course MS OneCare. I have hated them all for being intrusive and a pain to manage, but Norton Internet Security 2009 is the first one that is non-intrusive, and I have never had a situation where it uses lots of resources or generally makes itself unwelcome. I also use the Family safety features, and they have been pretty good as well, but not as complete as similar free function available via Open DNS.

    Hats off to Norton, and I will upgrade when the time comes.

  8. Stilgar Says:

    I’m one of the people who dumped Norton for becoming bloatware. There was nothing quite like having my gaming experience wrecked by a system tray toaster notifying my that my AntiVirus definitions were up-to-date. I’ve heard Norton has changed their ways, but I really don’t have any incentive to go back.

    I’ve been using Computer Associate’s AntiVirus and have found that to be much more light-weight than Norton was. I’ve also found I can get a decent price on CA’s software around Feburary-March if I bought it along with TaxCut. I also remember ten years ago when you were able to get unlimited virus updates and not this renew every year crap.

    My current short-term plan is to jump ship with the payware and try out the free Microsoft solution (Avast and AVG are not to my liking).

    My long term plan is to buy a 16:9, 27″ iMac with an i7, but I’ll either need to either get a divorce or buy my wife something really nice for Christmas before I can pull the trigger 🙂