Norman Security Suite
Norman Security Suite is a comprehensive internet security suite. While it doesn't stand out against its competition, it is a competent product that adequately does what it's supposed to do - protect PCs from internet-borne threats.
- Simple and easy to set up, easy-to-use parental controls
- Warnings can be vague and uninformative
Norman Security Suite does an adequate job of protecting a PC from the ills of the internet. The Pro version ($69) adds intrusion detection and prevention and may be a better choice for those looking for a more robust firewall. However, potential buyers might want to wait and see what the next version has to offer. There's a lot of room for improvement in this product, and although Norman wouldn't release any details about the next version, the company did tell us that it will address some of these concerns in the near future.
Price$ 59.95 (AUD)
Norman Security Suite offers real-time, on-demand and scheduled virus scans. During on-demand scans, Norman Security Suite is very informative, displaying a progress graph that offers interesting tidbits of information, such as what has been found and what is being scanned. While most security products offer that capability, Norman's is more descriptive, offering file names and a running status of problems found.
Software can be configured to automatically scan and shows a progress report in the form of a graph. The Norman Security Suite antivirus and antispyware program offers protection from instant-messaging attachments, viruses and other forms of malware. Scheduled scans can be performed in "screen saver" mode, which, during periods of inactivity, launches a screen saver that also executes a scan of the files on the PC.
Norman Security Suite's firewall offers professional-level logging that can be used to identify any activity detected by the firewall, which is useful for tracking down suspicious activity. We found the firewall pretty easy to set up and the management console quite detailed.
Although the firewall is geared toward more technically savvy users, most people should be able to figure out how to use it. We found Norman Security Suite's integrated tools, such as the port monitor and real-time packet logs, a real bonus. Those tools give you a real feel for what is exactly happening on a PC when it's connected to the internet.
However, neophyte users might find a few of the features a little complicated. For example, Norman Security Suite offers a "digital sandbox" - questionable code is placed in a sandbox for further testing, and ideally that code (if infected) will activate in the sandbox, before entering the actual operating system. It's an important feature, but Norman's sandbox requires more end-user interaction than those of competing products, such as McAfee Internet Security 2010, ZoneAlarm Internet Security 2010 and Trend Micro Internet Security Pro 2010.
We found Norman Security Suite's parental controls easy to set up, thanks to a wizard that guides you through the process. You can set it for multiple users, time limitations and password-protected access. However, users looking for more granular control over parental settings will find Norman Security Suite's choices more limited; it lets you select only generalised settings such as "child" and "teenager."
The same can be said for Norman Security Suite's antispam tool. It works with both POP3 and IMAP email accounts and supports all of the popular email clients. However, while it is easy to set up and configure, it doesn't stand out among its competitors - for example, customisation is limited to a few "block" or "deny" rules for email messages that fall outside of the normal spam/not spam calculations.
The link scanner, Surf-Shield, worked for the most part, blocking access to scam sites and links that were known to be infected. However, the warnings were somewhat vague, offering little information on why a specific site was a problem.
The firewall also suffered from a lack of descriptiveness. It was able to block unauthorised programs but did not provide much follow-up information. It would have been nice if the firewall offered a little more guidance than just reporting that an application was trying to access the internet.
In short, Norman Security Suite lacks some of the bells and whistles found on other products - features such as extensive reporting and customisable warning screens.
Norman Security Suite: Usability
Installation of Norman Security Suite is straightforward. During the install process, you will have to enter a key code and reboot your system at least one time (pretty standard fare with a security suite).
One interesting thing Norman Security Suite does during the installation is ask for the user's "experience level". You can choose experienced or inexperienced - we chose the latter, just to see what would happen. For an inexperienced user, the setup is mostly automated and asks only simple questions, such as what browser you primarily use and whether or not you are on a network. The installation for experienced users was initially more time-consuming; however, having the ability to set defaults during the installation saved time later on, because we didn't have to go back into the configuration settings to make changes to meet our specific needs.
Once installed, Norman Security Suite is fairly simple to use. The main screen, which acts as the main menu interface, offers a view of the various categories or modules that make up Norman, including the status of each (for example, whether any malware has been intercepted).
Categories include Virus & Spyware Protection, Personal Firewall, Parental Controls, Install and Update and Support Center. Each selection sports submenus that avoid technobabble, making it simple to make minor changes and understand what is going on with the product.
Virus scans were very processor-intensive - when running a scan, even on an Intel i7-powered Toshiba, there was a noticeable lag in system performance, with processor utilisation spiking to near 100 percent. We wouldn't recommend using Norman Security Suite on a netbook or an older, less-powerful PC.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- 3 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 4 Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: including Portrait Mode
- 5 MSI GS70 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Privacy groups urge investigation of 'internet of toys'
- Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and YouTube will share terror content info
- How to password protect a PDF before sending it by email
- Obama's cybersecurity plan faces uncertainty with Trump
- Britain's wartime codebreaking base could host a national cyber security college
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSenior Technical LeadNSW
- FTUX DesignerVIC
- CCWeb DeveloperVIC
- CCJAVA Developer- XML, SOAP, GIS, Web services, SPRINGNSW
- TPOrganisational Change Manager | CommunitiesQLD
- FTSolutions Architect - Data Centre/ NetworkVIC
- CCTechnical Change Manager- Electrical Network EngineeringSA
- CCSenior Integration DeveloperQLD
- FTILSP ManagerNSW
- CCSoftware DeveloperNSW
- CCCX Performance & Insights AnalystNSW
- FTIdentity Management Team LeaderVIC
- CCSenior Automation TesterQLD
- FTSoftware Sales & BDMNSW
- TPMicrosoft Dynamics CRM Developer/ AdministratorWA
- CCLotus Notes DeveloperNSW
- FTService Desk Team LeaderNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst, Wealth ManagementNSW
- CCInfrastructure Architect - CloudVIC
- CCProject Coordinator / Specialist / Analyst - Finance - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTService Lifecycle Management RepresentativeVIC
- FTSecurity EngineerVIC
- FTClient Service AdministratorNSW
- CCNight Shift Service Desk AnalystNSW
- FTProduct Designer - UIVIC