Norton Antivirus (rather fairly) earned a reputation for being bulky and slow. This was finally countered with its impressively svelte 2009 series and 2010 looks set to continue the good work...
While Norton claims ‘AntiVirus 2010' will been equally soft on system resources as its predecessor the real headline this time is ‘Quorum'. What Quorum brings is an intelligent approach to detecting viruses and malware even before a fix is released.
The greatest threat in all these are unique pieces of malware - software released in very low quantities which is likely to pass under the radar and avoid the usual security software fixes to combat it. Quorum works to make this strength the malware's primary weakness by singling out attributes such as age, download source, digital signature and ‘'vitally‘' prevalence. It calls this ‘File Insight'.
Consequently, where previously you may not get a traditional virus alert on one of these unique pieces of malware Quorum will quickly point it out and indicate to you that, for example, less than 10 people are known to have installed it. This works to raise suspicion and issue warnings so you are alerted even before virus definition updates have been made. Quorum is also integrated into Norton's black and white list applications database. This aims to drastically cut scan times since Norton 2010 won't need to scan the core parts of your white listed items (Firefox, Word, Photoshop, etc) which makes up the vast majority of files. Clever stuff.
As for that performance footprint, Norton AntiVirus is claimed to install in roughly one minute, has just over 10MB of memory usage and light scans take just 61 seconds on an HDD and 31 seconds on an SSD.
Norton Internet Security 2010 and Norton AntiVirus 2010 are being released immediately on the company's site. It will hit retail stores in late October. Interestingly, a netbook edition ‘Norton Internet Security Netbook Edition' no less, will also be made available to those of you struggling along on your Atom processors. NIS will retail for £49.99, NAV and NIS Netbook Edition are £39.99, each provides three user licences. Happily Norton 2009 customers with time left on their licences will also be able to upgrade to 2010 for free. For example, if you purchased Norton 2009 six months ago with a 12 month licence you can upgrade to 2010 for free and it will have six remaining months on its licence.
The rehab from Norton's bloated, bulked, reactive days seems just about complete...