No big new features, but some minor tweaks instead
The 2012 edition of Norton's Internet Security software doesn't introduce any major new features, but the company has continued to fine-tune its protection against viruses and other threats. It's also tidied things up to make the program a bit easier for newcomers to use.
The interface has been greatly simplified: the long list of settings that used to confront users when they started the program has now gone, replaced by just two main options. The Scan button checks for problems on the computer and Update downloads updates for all the latest viruses and other threats.
There's also an Advanced button on the main screen, and clicking that takes you into a second screen where all the other options are now stored. These include options such as ‘browser protection', which checks websites for viruses and other hidden threats, and the ‘download intelligence' feature, which scans downloaded files as they come in.
All of these advanced options are turned on by default to provide maximum protection. This means users can just install the program and leave it to look after their computers, without having to worry about adjusting these settings themselves.
The download intelligence existed in the 2011 edition but has been enhanced in the new version. As well as detecting viruses it can also detect more general problems such as bugs in program files that might cause the PC to crash or have other problems.
As with previous versions, Internet Security includes coverage for up to three computers in one home. Users can now manage those licences over the internet, which makes it easier to switch licences from one PC to another: should you decide to replace an old PC, you can remove its licence remotely so it's available to be installed on the old PC's replacement.
While there are no major innovations here, the improved ease of use and wide-ranging protection features ensure that Norton Internet Security 2012 remains one of the best security programs for home users.
Existing users will get an automatic update but if you've been pushed away from Norton products in the past by their poor usability, this might be the version to tempt you back.
Read more reviews
Simpler interface design will appeal to home users who need good protection
Simplified user interface; comprehensive anti-virus and security features
Some advanced features still quite complicated
Phone 0870 243 1080
£50 (three computers, one year)
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