Symantec the parent company of Norton is one of the market leaders in Internet Security and has been a very up and down relationship with its customers, due to the fact up until the 2009 version of its software was very heavy on the system. That all changed though and it has slowly become one of the lightest suites available on the market but still has the stigma of its previous negative reputation.
Norton is one of the major security companies that haven’t actually adopted the H.I.P.S (Host Intrusion Prevention System) method of detecting zero day malware and have opted to stay with behavior blocker with the use of its cloud system. This means that although if something isn’t in its definitions that it will monitor its behaviour and check it against its cloud system in order to determine what sort of file it is. This isn’t necessarily the safest way of doing things because HIPS will just say you’re an unknown file and will block it from making any system level changes. Which is better is still open to interpretation due to the fact that HIPS could stop a safe program from running before it has analysed it because it’s not taking into account its behavior on the other side behavior blockers could take some time to determine the file is up to no good-by that point they file could have infected the system. Obviously there are some grey areas to both and this isn’t the best explanation of the two systems so that everyone can kind of understand the difference. Norton runs something called Download Insight however which means that every file you download gets sent for analysis in its cloud to determined whether its safe and this for me is enough to make up for the lack of HIPS. The reason for this is we are honest the most common place we get our software and files now are internet based so therefore this layer of protection is going to make Symantec know what is being downloaded and able to give the go ahead to whether you can run the file safely, this is huge for the non tech savvy of us, as HIPS can be complicated.
Norton has detected everything that has been thrown at the test system however others have found that it’s detection to non-internet based threats i.e. from a pen drive, has been less than encouraging due to the way they have layered the security I would have thought. That said it comes to personal preference in most cases because these tests are taking it to the extreme and Norton has continued to score well in third-party testing such as AV-Comparatives. The other thing to note is Norton have streamed lined their products this year and made it so that you’ve got the choice of Norton Security or Norton Security and Backup. What does that mean to the real world? It means that they are now offering only Norton 360 with and without the backup functionality.
While reading the PCMag review of the product mainly to see others reaction to it, quite a few of the comments where more to do with the business decision to streamline their product line rather than the product performance. The users and people who commented was annoyed at the fact that Norton was going to offer them a free upgrade from Norton Internet Security or Norton 360 as examples to Norton Security. This was mainly because people were taking advantage of the free upgrades as long as you have a license so where buying outdated ones and then upgrading. This new move might stop people from doing that or it could allow them to do it after the first year, only Symantec know the answer to that. The one thing that could be added to this Norton should really send out emails to its customers to let them know that they are discontinuing their products in exchange for the new one so people know that they need to cancel their auto-renewals in order to take out the new product for the people who are happy to pay full price for the software.
Norton Security 2015 has given the test system no issues to not recommend the latest offering and to top it off it only uses about 20 megs of RAM at all times obviously you might get a few spikes when scanning, however other than that it has been really low on resource usage. The system feels responsive and allows the user to feel secure because while the system is idle it will do a range of tasks in order to keep the system running smoothly. For this reason Norton Security will be the pick of the year and get 10/10.