Pros & Cons of Norton Antivirus

By Gregory Hamel

Norton Antivirus is a malicious software protection program created by Symantec. Norton is one of the most popular antivirus programs on the market, which is largely due to the fact that many large computer manufacturers bundle Norton as the default antivirus program on their computers. Norton is a solid antivirus program, but like all software programs, it performs better in some areas than others.

Virus Detection

Perhaps the most important aspect of any antivirus program is its virus detection ability. Norton Antivirus has very good virus detection rates, especially with the 2009 Internet security version. Users who have Norton are generally pleased with its virus detection and prevention ability, and the program seems to be improving in this regard over time.

Resource Usage

Perhaps the biggest knock against Norton Antivirus is its usage of system resources. Since antivirus software usually runs all the time, the amount of RAM it takes to run the program is memory the system will never be able to allocate to other tasks. Norton is notorious for using a hefty amount of RAM, which can cause other programs to run slowly. Symantec has attempted to alleviate this issue with its latest releases of Norton antivirus, but the program still tends to use more RAM than lightweight antivirus programs such as Avast and Avira AntiVir.

Cost

Another downside to Norton Antivirus is that a subscription fee must be paid to use the service. Many computers come with a free trial of Norton that lasts for 30 days or so, after which the user is required to pay to continue the service. Considering there are several free-to-use antivirus programs with similar detection rates as Norton, cost prompts many users to seek free alternatives.

Support and Updates

Since Norton Antivirus is a large and well-established program with strong industry ties, it enjoys strong support and constant virus updates, which help keep computers using Norton safe from the latest virus threats. The upside of paying for a virus service is that the producers have a vested interest in continuously improving it, while other products may not have devoted staff or adequate financial backing.

User Interface

One of the best features of Norton Antivirus is its easy-to-use and intuitive user interface. The program itself looks nice and is quite easy to navigate through and use even for a novice. This is an important feature, as many people who buy manufactured computers may find the menus of other programs too intimidating or awkward to use.

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