Ping any enthusiast forum about security software and you'll likely get conflicting recommendations. But one thing most advanced PC users seem to agree on is that there are better, faster alternatives than Symantec's Norton software. With the release of Norton Internet Security and Norton Antivirus 2009 , Symantec is telling those users to take another look.
Helping them do that, Symantec today has gone live with public betas for both programs, which the company purports are "designed to set a new industry standard for speed and performance." Symantec calls it their "zero-impact" performances goal and says it has implemented more than 300 improvements running the gamut from scanning engine tweaks to a better user interface. Even the installation looks to waste no time, with Symantec touting a one-minute install time and "less than half the memory usage of the next leading competitor."
Why the sudden interest in speed? "Based on customer feedback, we viewed performance as the key feature for this release. Our goal is to create the fastest security product in the world, hands down," said Rowan Trollope, Senior VP of Consumer Products.
To help it achieve the zero-impact performance goal, Symantec has implemented a new technology called Norton Insight. This makes it so files need to be scanned less often, and instead relies on data harvested from oodles of Norton Community members to avoid scanning common files "statistically determined to be trusted." If that sounds familiar, it's because PC Tools' Threatfire (reviewed as part of Maximum PC's Internet Security 2.0 feature ) works in a similar fashion.
Several features find their way into Norton 2009, including a Silent mode that suspends nagging alerts and updates automatically to avoid untimely interruptions. If you've ever been kicked out of a game because of a software alert, you know how well this feature might be received.
Also making an appearance into the Internet Security suite will be certain Antibot features. One of the criticisms attached to Antibot when it was first released was that it didn't come included as part of any security packages, requiring existing Norton owner to make a separate purchase.
Give it a Spin!
While it wouldn't be fair to issue an assessment before the final product ships, Symantec has put it out there for all of the world to try. Let us know what you think below!
Image Credit: Symantec