Symantec Norton Internet Security 2009 beta

How is it looking?

Symantec Norton Internet Security 2009 beta
  • Symantec Norton Internet Security 2009 beta
  • Symantec Norton Internet Security 2009 beta
  • Symantec Norton Internet Security 2009 beta
  • Expert Rating

    Not yet rated

Pros

  • Install time, user interface, Norton Insight, silent mode

Cons

  • Location of CPU usage meter may be a little obscure, AntiPhishing issues

Bottom Line

The beta of NIS 2009 shows that Symantec is on track to vastly improve performance in Norton. The UI is clear and uncluttered, putting front and centre only the elements most users need to see, while allowing for easy drill-down for those who want more. Having said that, we'd like the CPU usage meter to be easier to access. It would match the product's one-click ease of use in other areas. Still, with so much performance enhancement, such quibbles get left in the dust of this speedy, smooth new suite.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    Free (AUD)

Home network help

Another notable feature new to NIS 2009 is the Home Network view, which gives users a network device map from which those devices can also be managed. Of particular note is a view of security danger zones, including wireless networks - setups that are notorious for being insecure both in home and business settings.

A remote-monitoring feature allows the user to keep tabs on whether other Norton-protected computers on the network are at risk, while a network map presents a visual picture of a network and all connected devices - a feature that allows users to detect when an unidentified and potentially unauthorised device has connected to the network.

The final menu item for Norton's Home Network view is Trust Controls, a feature that allows users to view or change default trust settings for the entire network or for individual network-connected devices.

Identity Safe

Also new in NIS 2009 is Identity Safe, technology that allows for storage of personal information that is typically entered in buying, banking, browsing and online gaming. Identity Safe allows users to enter their personal information for a given site once; after that, they can kick back and let the feature fill in the necessary log-in information the next time they visit a particular site.

True, many Web browsers have similar functionality. Symantec doesn't mince words: the Identity Safe function offers to import your personal identity information from IE (but not from Firefox) and says that NIS 2009 will do a better job at keeping it safe, period. NIS 2009 works with Firefox, of course, but a Symantec representative says that the new ability of Identity Safe to import information is only for IE.

Phishing phun

Norton's updated toolbar grades sites for phishing attempts with a colour-coded check in the upper lefthand corner of the toolbar. We filtered through a Yahoo Mail spam folder to get a good, broad selection of unsavoury tidbits and decided to visit a "US based online p/h/a/r/m store" where we expected to be able to "buy any m.e.d.i.c.a.t.i.o.ns you need!"

After clicking on the link provided, Norton didn't report any phishing attempts. Naturally, we didn't follow through with inputting an email address and a query.

Instead, we turned to the Norton Public Beta Forum, where posters were reporting that NIS 2009 AntiPhishing is providing multiple false positives. More critically, NIS 2009 AntiPhishing is also missing phishing identifications that would seem to be easy catches, including URLs that are publicly identified as phishing sites according to PhishTank, a free site run by DNS service provider OpenDNS.

Symantec is obviously still fine-tuning the product and promises that whatever's causing the false positives and missed identifications will be ironed out in the final cut. In the meantime, Symantec asks that users send along the URLs for false positives or for phishing sites that slip under the radar.

Beyond phishing, if beta users suspect they've been infected with something seriously fishy-looking that NIS 2009 didn't detect, Symantec suggests running LiveUpdate to install the latest virus definitions and running a full system scan to remove detected malicious files. Symantec has further instructions here for troubleshooting suspected malware infections with the NIS 2009 beta.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?