In the 2010 version of its flagship security suite, Symantec continues to build on the unexpected progress it made last year. In addition to maintaining the quick load and scan times, and significantly smaller system footprint, Norton 2010 includes a behavioral detection engine based on both behavior and reputation.
Called Quorum, this new engine doesn't adversely affect Norton's performance--a major concern after years of system-crippling sluggishness. It works in concert with Norton Insight, introduced last year as a whitelist-style guard for ''trusted'' files. By examining your files and how they behave--both locally and when trying to access the Internet--and comparing them with other Norton users, Symantec claims it offers better protection than its competitors. Like its competitors who also have behavioral detection systems, however, Norton allows you to opt out of anonymously submitting your data without sacrificing the protection that Quorum provides. Third-party detection and removal ratings are not available for this new version, but last year's results placed Norton in the upper echelon for efficacy.
The premium services in Norton Internet Security include a firewall, add-on parental controls through OnlineFamily.Norton, Wi-Fi protection for unsecured hot spots, and identity protection including antiphishing tools and browser search result authentication for Internet Explorer and Firefox. Although Norton lacks a searchable knowledge base, e-mail, IM, and phone support are available, as well as the well-trafficked Symantec forums. A single license is good for three computers, making Norton a competitive choice for families with more than one PC. With the trial doubled from 15 days to 30, Norton Internet Security should be a top consideration for any multicomputer family.