Summary: These days, the real question with paid optimisation software such as Symantec's Norton Utilities 15 is not whether it works or how well it functions, but whether you actually need it. With the speed of today's PCs, and with advances in both Windows and its file systems, problems such as disk fragmentation simply aren't the concern they once were.
Summary: Norton Internet Security 2010 builds on the immense progress it made in last year's version, maintaining a low system profile while strengthening its security framework. It's not perfect, but even Symantec's detractors should check it out.
Pros: Norton Internet Security 2010 treads surprisingly lightly CPU power, while bolstering last year's reputation-based detection engine with a new behavioral-detection system.
Cons: Despite dramatic performance improvements during the past two years, Norton still doesn't leave the smallest footprint on your CPU, and new efficacy results show that while it continues to be in the top five apps at detecting malicious software, it still doesn't have the highest rate of detection.
Summary: Norton Internet Security 2006 is a solid security suite, but it bogs down PC performance. Though it's a reasonable upgrade for entrenched Norton fans, it offers users less bang for the buck than ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite 6.
Pros: Norton Internet Security 2006 provides solid antivirus protection, uncovers weak Windows passwords and browser settings, prevents rogue sites from changing your home page, and improves its firewall setup.
Cons: This version of Norton Internet Security slows system performance, has limited spyware detection, and offers mediocre technical support.
Summary: If you need to partition your live hard drive, Norton PartitionMagic 8 is still the application to beat.
Pros: Norton PartitionMagic 8 handles large drives (up to 300GB) with ease; allows you to boot into multiple operating systems; and comes with various drive management utilities including a secure-erase tool.
Cons: The Norton PartitionMagic 8 interface hasn't been updated in years.
Summary: Norton Internet Security 2009 hits all the right security notes and its superior protection technologies might even win back some jaded anti-Symantec folks, though for some technical support may continue to frustrate
Pros: Internet Security 2009 has a leaner footprint, improved speed, white listing and other technologies to mark clean files as trusted, and free technical support.
Cons: Despite its free telephone support, Norton Internet Security 2009 lacks adequate online technical support and, either intentionally or not, drives users to its paid technical support services.
Summary: For home and student use, we think Norton 360 represents the best value for ease of use, tools offered, and overall system performance. We recommend it over McAfee Total Protection and Microsoft Windows Live OneCare.
Pros: Norton 360 is mercifully light on system resources; it's intuitive, covers most of the bases that a comprehensive security-and-performance tool should, and includes free online storage.
Cons: Norton 360 doesn't support Firefox or Opera browsers; doesn't include wireless security tools, doesn't provide an ID vault for passwords or credit card info.
Summary: A near-perfect all-in-one solution for brand new PCs, Norton 360 v2 may be hard to install and run on legacy machines. However, don't count on Symantec's time-consuming and expensive technical support for help.
Pros: Norton 360 v2 includes more native support for the Firefox browser; enhanced backup options; enhanced PC Tune Up; works great on clean, new machines running Windows Vista.
Cons: Norton 360 v2 can be hard to install on legacy machines; places a gadget in Windows Vista without asking; requires personal information for access to a technical support section that can be confusing; costly to use.
Summary: Norton Internet Security 2007 makes significant gains over last year, including cutting-edge rootkit and behavioral monitoring features found nowhere else, but the overall package could be serious overkill for the average desktop owner.
Pros: Norton Internet Security 2007 has a lower price, runs faster, and includes cutting-edge rootkit and behavioral monitoring features found nowhere else.
Cons: Norton Internet Security 2007's single-user-license edition is no longer available (minimum now is a three-user license); requires twice as much disk drive space as McAfee or ZoneAlarm; no antiphishing toolbar for Firefox; no ID vault or password protection.