Norton Internet Security 2008: Faster, Stronger, Edgier Protection for Your PC: Page 2

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NIS 2008 in Use

You can set NIS to scan daily, weekly, or monthly, as well as tell it to scan on startup or when the system is on and you're not working. As before, the system scans emails, files, and IM messages for viruses and worms.

One area that is definitely sub par is the program's anti-spam features. While the anti-spam features effectively install and blend into Microsoft Outlook, the end results, based on our testing, are less than satisfying. The program competently supports whitelists — the ability to define those who may freely send e-mail that won't be blocked. But the anti-spam features allowed a significant amount of spam to pass, and worse, identified lots of legitimate e-mail as spam.

Searching for legitimate e-mails that are wrongly flagged as spam can take just as long or longer than sifting through unfiltered e-mail and picking out and flicking the spam. But when you review unfiltered e-mail, at least you won't send important e-mails into that flagged never never land where it can be forgotten.

Parents can rely on NIS to shield kids from inappropriate websites, but the program can't apply different Web filtering levels to different members of the family. Again, it's all or nothing.

Symantec has improved its help features. The AutoFix feature identifies problems and suggests potential fixes. And if it can't fix the problem, it directs you to e-mail, chat, and telephone resources. As before, pricing is based on a subscription that includes one year of automatic definition updates, new product features, and access to updated versions.

While it's hard to quantify the length of time that you may have to wait for phone help, something that Symantec has been criticized for in the past, there is an option for a tech rep to take over your computer and fix a problem. Even though you may have to wait for it, there's a decent chance that your technical issues can be solved.

Security Specifics

There are lots of security options out there, even from Symantec itself. The company's own Norton 360 is a competing product that costs ten dollars more and offers features to backup and restore folders and files and unerase deleted folders and files. Norton 360 also hosts an online storage service and can additionally find and fix problems that are hindering a computer's performance. It's well worth the extra money if you don't already have a backup system in place.

For 2008, the addition of Norton Identity Safe and the streamlined background performance are welcome additions. Symantec has delivered a product that is worth the upgrade.

Norton Internet Security 2008 requires Windows Vista, a 300MHz or higher processor, 256MB of RAM and 350MB of available hard disk space. Norton Internet Security 2008 is priced at $69.99, which offers protection for up to three computers in a household (upgrade $49.99). A two-year subscription may be purchased for $114.99.

This article was first published on WinPlanet.

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