Symantec Norton AntiVirus 2014 is powerful protection against viruses and spyware that won’t slow you down. It delivers superior protection and performance compared to the competition and is probably the most well known name in antivirus protection. Symantec offers an unprecedented level of control and detailed security settings that the more advanced user will really appreciate. Symantec also works for the novice user as it scans your system and automatically configures itself during installation without any extra setup necessary. By using their Norton Protection System, four unique layers of powerful protection have been proven to stop online threats before they can infect your computer.
The “Norton Management” system is cloud based and allows you to download, install, transfer, update or renew all your Symantec products from anywhere over the internet. Symantec offers a ton of features that most other antivirus programs have a hard time matching. While Symantec protects you from both known and unknown threats, they also offer nice extras with their software. Symantec includes bandwidth management which limits non-critical updates when you are connected to slower mobile 3G networks so you won’t go over your monthly data limits.
Included with Symantec is a bootable recovery tool. This mode puts alerts and non-critical updates on hold when you use a full screen program like playing a game or watching a movie. This feature can be enabled manually or set to detect full screen mode automatically. You can also choose a specific program that, when run, will enable silent mode. Symantec also has a laptop mode which will put off non-critical activities while your computer is running on battery power effectively giving you longer battery life. This allows you to create an emergency CD, DVD, or USB flash drive that can get your PC back up and running if you aren’t able to boot your operating system because of some serious malware. Another nice feature is the silent mode or gamer mode as some other antivirus products call it.
Symantec includes a nice update feature called “Pulse Updates”. Instead of downloading large update files every few hours, with Pulse Updates, smaller update files are downloaded more frequently (every 5-15min). This reduces CPU resource usage and keeps your protection instantly updated. Along with Pulse Updates are the Smart Definitions which, when enabled, only update a core set of virus definitions as determined by Symantec. This keeps your computer running very fast and reduces your update and download time. Symantec also includes a smart scheduler which can be set to only run scans and updates when your PC is not in use. The wait timeout before your PC is considered not is use is adjustable.
The “Norton Control Center” gives you easy access to program settings and web-based Symantec services from a well thought out user interface. You have an amazing level of control as a user with the ability to disable any feature and control your scanning settings, network protection settings, performance monitoring, and product security.
Symantec includes their own task scheduler with their antivirus software. Using this you can view and configure all the Symantec related scheduled tasks like setting when to perform updates or run full system scans.
Another unique feature to Symantec is there “Norton Insight” feature. This feature allows you to view your system settings and status including your system trust level, stability, and the Norton network status. These are ratings gathered by scanning aspects of your system including your startup items, running processes, applications, and other files. Symantec displays this information in an organized manner allowing you to see risky objects. You can click on an individual file, process, or library and get more detailed information about the file like whether or not it is a well-known legitimate file or associated with malware.
Minimum System Requirements
OS: Windows XP SP2 (32-bit), Windows Vista SP1 (32-bit / 64-bit), Windows 7 (32-bit / 64-bit)
CPU: 300MHz Processor (XP) / 1GHz Processor (Vista or 7)
Memory(RAM): 256MB (XP) / 1GB (Vista or 7)
Hard Drive Space: 300MB Free Space
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Symantec has improved their software significantly over older versions. Their “Smart Scheduler” will only perform system background scans and updates when your computer is idle or the available resources rise above a set level. The idle time, types of scans, and resource level can all be configured. We were very happy with how the real-time protection did not interrupt our computer use. They used to be one of the slowest, but now can boast one of the faster programs out there when it comes to scanning and protecting your system.
It still makes sense to set Symantec to perform full systems scans in the early morning hours when your computer is most likely not in use. Symantec receives a respectable rating for performance for Windows XP and the highest rating of any antivirus program for Windows 7 which, given all their protection features, is impressive.