Full antivirus protection: Norton AntiVirus 2004

Symantec’s Norton AntiVirus has long been at the top of the list of antivirus options. The latest version turns its attention to non-virus threats such as spying, hacking and unauthorised remote access.

Like its predecessor, Norton AntiVirus 2004 offers a completely automated system of detection, quarantine and deletion of viruses, Trojan horses and worms. Now, when it scans your e-mail, hard disk and removable media, it will also look for spyware, hacking tools and key loggers (see here for a screenshot).

Scanning of incoming and outgoing e-mail adds a little lag, and I did need to adjust my Outlook Express settings to avoid server time-outs, but it’s certainly better to be safe than sorry these days.

Also new in this edition for Windows XP and 2000 users are scans of compressed files sent and received by peer-to-peer and instant messaging networks including AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo! and MSN Messenger.

With all key options set to default out of the box, and no user intervention required when a nasty is found, it’s hard to go wrong. Norton AntiVirus’s automation means that you can sleep easily knowing Friday night is Weekly Scan of Hard Drive Night, and that LiveUpdate virus definitions have been scheduled for automatic download. A 12-month subscription to LiveUpdate comes with the program (it will cost you $US20 for the following year).

One last new feature to note, though not so impressive, is the addition of product activation - the company says this ensures you get authentic, authorised software.

In brief: Symantec Norton AntiVirus 2004
Comprehensive protection gets better with the new edition of Norton AntiVirus. Well worth the upgrade.
Price: $99.95 (upgrade $69.95)
Vendor: Symantec
Phone: (02) 8879 1000
URL: www.symantec.com.au

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