In the 2010 version of its well-known antivirus program, 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 that 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.
Norton AntiVirus lacks the premium services offered in Norton Internet Security. These include a firewall, parental controls, Wi-Fi protection for unsecured hot spots, and identity protection including antiphishing tools and browser search result authentication for Internet Explorer and Firefox. Norton AntiVirus also offers only one license, instead of the three that come with its bigger brother. It does offer the same support network, lacking a searchable knowledge base but including e-mail, IM, phone support and the Symantec forums. The trial has been doubled from 15 days to 30. Norton's recent approach to performance and its continued efficacy make Norton AntiVirus 2010 a must-consider program for its class.