Norton Internet Security 2008 up to 3 Users


I have been a customer of Norton Internet Security products since 2002. I have had my share of problems with NIS including slowness, compatibility issues, blocked sites etc., but it has done an excellent job of protecting my computer. I recently purchased NIS 2008 and installed it on my laptop and computer. The laptop was an upgrade while desktop was a new install.

For those of you looking for quick review, here are the main points:

1. There was no noticeable difference in computer’s speed. I did not notice increase or decrease in processor or memory usage (bit of a surprise).

2. The installation process was fast. It took less than 10 minutes and a reboots to install on a Pentium 4, 2.4GHz processor with 2.5 GB of memory.

3. The computer started normally (no extra time) after hibernation.

4. The boot process was considerably slow after NIS2008. It added at least 30 second to the boot process. I was expecting this from my experience with previous versions of Norton Internet Security. However, it was even slower than I expected.

5. Identity Safe does not work with many websites.

From a security point of view, this is a five star product. However, the boot process becomes so slow after installing NIS that I was not sure to give it a three or a four star. In the end I gave it a four star because it is a solid security product.

Now some details.

The very first installation screen gives user an option to join Norton Community Watch. Norton Community Watch is a program that collects security and application data and submits the data to Symantec for analysis to identify new threats. It is a good concept and I would love to help in improving the overall security for Symantec users. However, after reading Norton Community Watch privacy policy, I decided to disable the feature. Here are some excerpts from the policy:

“The collected data could contain personally identifiable information…… “

“The collected data may be transferred to the Symantec group in the United States or other countries that may have less protective data protection laws than the region in which you are situated……”

“Symantec may disclose the collected information if asked to do so by a law enforcement official….”

I have no interest in sending personal information to Symantec which may be shared by others. I would strongly recommend disabling this feature.

The installation was a breeze: both on the laptop and the desktop. Online activation is required after installation.

After activation, Norton prompts to create “My Norton Account”. This is a password protected site where the license key is stored. This has really helped me in the past when my computer crashed and I couldn’t locate the media. I was able to retrieve the key from “My Norton Account”. I would highly recommend creating an account and registering the product.

The user interface in NIS 2008 is different than NIS 2007. There are two tabs: `Home’ and `Norton Internet Security’. `Home’ is the default that comes up when Norton icon is clicked. The first thing that caught my attention was `Network Map’ icon on the left. Clicking it brought a screen with details on my network: other computers on my network, their name, physical address and IP address. This is a cool place to check for uninvited neighbors when the network is slow. The `Home’ tab shows the status of various NIS 2008 components (virus protection, intrusion prevention etc.). Just know that secure is good.

There is not much improvement in the reporting features. To lookup something you still have to go through activity log, line by line.

One cool new feature of NIS 2008 is Identity Safe. When you visit a password protected site and login, Identity Safe can store your credentials. At subsequent logins, it will log you in by filling the user name and password on your behalf. It can also fill information in we based forms. This feature will save me a time and the hassle of remembering many of my passwords. It works well with Yahoo mail, Gmail and similar sites. I have not been able to configure it for some of the sites like Hotmail and InviteShare.

I also like the Security Inspector feature. This feature checks for common configuration issues with browsers, Instant Messenger, IP Address and Windows passwords. It will be a good idea to run Security Inspector at least once a month.

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