Symantec Norton AntiVirus 2017 Review

Symantec Norton Top 10 Best Antivirus

Symantec Norton AntiVirus 2017 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. 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. 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.

Price

Symantec has only two pricing options, whereas many other antivirus companies offer a broader range of options. They do, however, offer 2 and 3 year subscriptions for a discount and many features are included for a reasonable price. The following prices are for 1 year subscriptions which offer automatic virus updates throughout the subscription term.

1 Year Protection Subscription:

1 PC 5 PCs
$49.99 $89.99

You can easily download Symantec Norton Antivirus 2017 from their website (us.norton.com). Be aware that during checkout, Symantec adds a Norton Virus Remove Assurance to your shopping cart for $6.99. This service allows a Symantec expert to check that all viruses have been removed from your computer. This is for a one time use and could be helpful if you have a virus or malware preventing you from installing Symantec. However if your PC is already clean, then you may want to remove this service from your shopping cart. You can always get Symantec's assistance later should a difficult problem arise.

Features

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. 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 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 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. 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.

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.

System Requirements:

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
 

Screenshots (click to enlarge):

Main Screen Norton Insight Settings

Ease of Use

Symantec downloaded very fast and was simple to install. The user interface is very intuitive and while Symantec includes many features and settings, they are organized in such a way as to not overwhelm the user. Simple switches allow you to enable and disable all the features. The user interface is also very responsive and has a nice color scheme. The main screen keeps you informed of your current system status and allows a simple one-click to perform many common tasks like updating your virus definitions or running a system scan. The detailed system reports are organized well and easy to read.

While Symantec offers a ton of customizable features, it is also fully configured during installation, so the novice user will love that they don't have to configure anything. Just close the main screen and know that Symantec will have configured the best security settings for your system. For the novice user, it can be a very hands-off program.

If your computer is at risk, one simple click can fix the problem. The main screen will alert you to the problem and display a "Fix Now" button for you to solve the problem.

Protection Level

Symantec offers an amazing level of protection for an antivirus program. Usually you have to purchase more expensive security suites to get this level of protection. It protects your system from viruses, spyware, malware, rootkits, and identity attacks. The "Norton Protection System" provides four unique layers of powerful protection proven to stop online threats. The "Norton Insight" protection checks where files came from and their history to stop online threats before they become big problems for you. This system uses the power of the cloud to share intelligence data with Symantec and amongst their users. By using the power of the cloud, this system proactively prevents threats and updates user's virus definitions as soon as new threats are discovered.

The "Download Insight 2.0" feature protects you from dangerous applications that you download by monitoring the download and telling you if the application may harm your system before you install it. Symantec also protects your system from vulnerabilities by checking your installed applications for problems. It also scans your emails and IMs, and protects your web browsers from attacks as well as monitoring your network for intrusions. It will prevent hackers from gaining access to your system.

Symantec's advanced "SONAR 4 Behavioral Protection" system also known as Symantec Online Network for Advanced Response, uses advanced heuristic protection to find unknown 0-day threats on your system by monitoring their behavior and reporting anything unusual that appears to be malware.

If you choose to disable any protection feature, a popup message is displayed asking you how long you would like the feature disabled. This is great because you don't have to worry about remembering to re-enable protection features later.

Undoubtedly with all these protection systems, Symantec receives some of the highest scores from AV Test (www.av-test.org) and AV Comparatives (www.av-comparatives.org) independent real world antivirus protection tests. These are two very respected, independent antivirus test groups. Symantec did a great job at detecting most threats but lags a bit at repairing them. AV Test indicated that Symantec's protection against 0-day threats as well as protection and prevention against widespread threats is the best. Symantec received 92% score in these areas. Symantec still did better than most at removing this malware.

Symantec also received an ADVANCED+ rating, their highest rating, from AV Comparatives for their effectiveness in everyday real world protection and threat removal. During AV Comparatives testing only 6 of 1898 threats were not detected giving Symantec the best detection rating. We highly recommend Symantec because of its level of protection and the number of protection feature it offers.

AV Test Scores:

OS Protection Repair
Windows 7 92% 67%
Windows XP 92% 83%

AV Comparatives Real-World Protection Test Rating:

ADVANCED+

Performance

Symantec has improved their software significantly over older versions. 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. 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.

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.

AV Test Scores:

OS Usability (Performance)
Windows 7 92%
Windows XP 67%

AV Comparatives Performance Test Rating:

ADVANCED+

Customer Support

Symantec has one of the most comprehensive support sites of any antivirus software company. They have an extensive online knowledge base, user forum, and video tutorials that are easy to navigate. They offer automated rescue tools to help remove stubborn viruses and malware like their "Norton Power Eraser" tool. They also have a Security Center where articles educate you on current virus and malware threats, and what to do to protect yourself. There may be times when you need their customer support experts to assist you and they are available to help via phone, email, and live chat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Customer Reviews

Worst Experience Write Review
July 17, 2014Price
Features
AnnEase of Use
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Boston, MAPerformance
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Since I heard from many people out of their experience that Kaspersky is better I installed Kaspersky and uninstalled Norton.Norton still used my old credit card which i had not used over an year and charged me renewal fees saying that I had signed up for auto renewal.They had set up this default option when I purchased it and I didnt notice it.So they used that excuse & charged my credit card
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