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Norton 2010 Brings Security Before Definitions

Gordon Kelly


Norton 2010 Brings Security Before Definitions

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...


Norton 2010

Brian ONeill

September 10, 2009, 9:05 pm

I tried the norton 2010 beta. It was ok but it still does that annoying thing of giving you random prompts every now and again. I use nod32 and its the only AV that does not annoy your head, it just works away quietly in the background and only pops up when it finds something. Still i await your review with interest.


September 10, 2009, 9:18 pm

Haven't seen the latest versions but I wouldn't touch Norton with a barge pole. I have lost count of the number friends PC's I have had to fix because Norton had basically shagged them. On one, everytime you sent an email, Norton would block all access to the Internet (and you couldn't undo it - as Norton was reporting that it hadn't!). Fix: Uninstall Norton! This fix has never failed - though saying that sometimes even the uninstall used to crash. I can't imagine any Virus causing more chaos than Norton can when it goes wrong!! ;-)

Like I say, the newer versions may be different. Thanks, but no thanks as far as I am concerned. I don't run any AV myself and never had a virus. But that is my risk I guess. Not suggesting for a second that anyone should ditch their AV, but if you follow simple do's and dont's then you can live without it.


September 10, 2009, 9:45 pm

@Steve32 - in a nutshell you've explained exactly the battle Norton has on its hands. 2009 is actually very nice and the fastest AntiVirus I know, but for many it will never get a second chance.

Just goes to show, you can't afford to let your game slip in this industry...


September 10, 2009, 10:01 pm

Kaspersky or NOD, 'nuff said.

Although if a new laptop came with Norton pre-installed I might not be so hasty to uninstall now based on Gordon's* recommendation.

*Or is it "Gordan"? or "Gorden"??**

** Just teasing :P.


September 11, 2009, 4:19 am

Although, to be fair, Norton did let it slip for a number of years. If was just one year's version that was bad, then consumers might have forgiven them. In fact, it was more like all the versions up to 2009 that were rubbish. So they have a lot of ground to make up with the post 2009 versions.


September 11, 2009, 6:32 am

I'll believe it when I see it. Which will probably be when I'm uninstalling it on a customers machine because they are complaining it is too slow..


September 11, 2009, 6:36 am

@xenos - I ran Norton 2009 and it was the fastest AV solution I've used. I'll be using 2010 as well which is claimed to be even faster. Whatever problems we may find, I doubt they will be speed related.


September 11, 2009, 12:35 pm

Have they got rid of the all too frequent, always on top messages of Norton 360? The one that said "Background scan now complete" took the biscuit. Or as it should have been "I've managed to do something all by myself without disturbing you and just thought I'd tell you." If I wanted a Tamagotchi I'd have bought one!


September 11, 2009, 6:49 pm

@RPJ: :D Yes, that sounds about right. I haven't used a version of NAV since 2003, every version since then has gotten progressively fatter and slower.

I'm certainly a fan of NOD and Kapersky, but does no-one use AVG? I don't find it particularly heavy and, best of all, the basic home version is free...


September 12, 2009, 12:41 am

@Gordon - Alright if your saying it, it might be true! But does it actually catch anything? Last I read its detection rates were far behind Kaspersky & McAfee.


September 12, 2009, 5:24 am

norton's burned me before too may give it a try one day but not soon, kaspersky's best in my book too

@Steve32: following the simple do's and dont's don't cut it nowadays I'm pretty sure malware can get in a pc without you knowing and run in the background without any impact of performance, so unless you go through your system processes, registry, ect. before you enter any password or personal details you are very at risk


September 14, 2009, 6:59 pm

Just to add to the general feeling of the thread - the last version of Norton I used / liked was the DOS TSR - before Peter Norton sold his company to Symantec, I believe...

As lots of others have said - I won't have this on any of my machines, or recommend it to others, until I know for sure it's not going to cause more problems than it solves. I have a feeling this will take a good few years - as it can take years to build up a reputation in this industry, but only one bloated piece of software to undo all the good work.

After all, what software company with users at heart has to have a downloadable program in order to fully *remove* their product from your computer?


September 14, 2009, 8:18 pm

I'm currently using Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.0 which has done a good job but is a bit long in the tooth now.

£40 for 3 licenses for Norton 2010 or £50 for 3 licenses for the full security package is quite attractive.

I look forward to a review.


September 16, 2009, 2:53 pm

I have Norton 2009 running on one machine and have to agree it's a massive improvement over the Norton we all know and hate; it no longer completely ruins your system, although I have to say it's still more hassle than much of the competition and, in my experience, doesn't do a noticeably better job than the free alternatives. Definitely a step in the right direction though.

Norton becoming competent is bad news for masochists though; now people who hate themselves and their computers are limited to McAfee.

Dan Nadir

September 19, 2009, 3:45 am

Hi All - My name is Dan and I&#8217m on the product team at Norton.

Thanks for the comments about our new 2010 products. We are all very proud of this release, and although many are skeptical, our 2010 versions are nothing like the old products which some of you (still)like to hate so much.

We've invested heavily and have dramatically improved our product performance and quality. We set the bar to be the fastest and lightest security product in the world, and with our 2009 and 2010 releases we&#8217ve done that. But don&#8217t just take our word for it: PC Magazine just published their review (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/... and their &#8220bottom line&#8221 is this: &#8220&#8230Norton Internet Security 2010 remains the best overall security suite on the market.&#8221 Take the time to read the whole article. The review covers performance and effectiveness, as well as features that you won't find in other products.

In short, we've changed. Really. If you give us another try I think you will be very pleasantly surprised.


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