The latest version of Norton AntiVirus has comprehensive features that attack malware, alert users to suspicious behavior and stop phishing scams that can compromise your passwords and financial security. While the software isn't tested extensively, it performs well in labs and resembles a suite more than stand-alone antivirus software. Norton no longer identifies its security software with a year; software is automatically updated with minimal disruption to the user. We tacked on 2013 to avoid confusion with previous versions.
Installs well on malware-infested machines. Norton AntiVirus' 2013 version provides basic online protection and quality antivirus scans. Norton's parent company, Symantec, has made its installation easier by not requiring a reboot for its latest (2013) edition. Along with a speedy installation (it takes about a minute) CNET's Download.com cheers the installation upgrades, noting that mobile devices don't need to be rebooted so PCs shouldn't either. Upon installation you can opt-in, or opt-out, of an anonymous data tracking service called Quorum. Download.com reports that opting out won't impact your computer's security. PCMag.com, which tests antivirus software on malware-infested machines, found that Norton AntiVirus 2013 installed easily on nine out of 12 computers.
Feature-packed antivirus software. Norton AntiVirus 2013's features are similar to the 2012 version and are incredibly impressive for non-suite software. In addition to detecting and removing malware, Norton AntiVirus offers online protections including anti-spyware and email and instant message scanning. CNET's Download.com notes that new features provide additional defenses against online threats. Scam Insight takes a page from the playbooks of some free software makers like Avast! by using Norton users' anonymous warnings to steer you away from hazardous websites. Its anti-exploit technology protects well against online attacks that can sneak in via browsers or operating systems.
PCMag.com takes note of a performance graph that records memory usage, scans, alerts and malware detections. Norton Identity Safe, a password manager, can be downloaded for free, and a tool called Safe Web runs in your browser, rating websites for safety and blocking threats (including on Facebook). The Windows 8-friendly interface is clear and works well with touch screens, and reports are available for each scan.
Exceptional malware detection and speed in limited tests. Norton's malware detection and run times are among the best in the antivirus software industry. Download.com found that Norton AntiVirus' boot time was under a minute, while shutdown time was 12 seconds. The reviewer praises its "lightweight system impact" and calls Norton a "highly recommended" choice for antivirus. Consumers aren't as kind on Download.com, rating Norton AntiVirus 2013 2.5 out of 5 stars amid several complaints that Norton let viruses slip through.
In PCMag.com's tests, Norton AntiVirus 2013 detected and cleaned up malware better than most other competitors, and its rootkit function caught 100 percent of threats. All of the exploits were caught as well, and there were constant notifications that the system was being attacked -- a feat PCMag.com finds "extremely impressive." Norton did not score as well on malware blocking, but still wins PCMag.com's Editors' Choice along with Bitdefender Antivirus Plus and Webroot SecureAnywhere. Other independent labs unfortunately don't have reviews of Norton AntiVirus 2013; Norton is no longer tested by AV-Comparatives.org, and AV-Test.org only tests Norton's Internet security software.
Review Credibility: Excellent PCMag.com's Neil Rubenking gives Norton AntiVirus 2013 one of its Editors' Choice awards along with Bitdefender Plus and Webroot SecureAnywhere. Rubenking, who tested the software, is impressed by its performance, particularly its malware detection rates.
Review: Norton AntiVirus (2013), Neil J. Rubenking, Sept. 10, 2012
Review Credibility: Excellent CNET's Download.com awards Norton AntiVirus 2013 a score of 4.5 (out of 5), but it gets less than 3 stars from nearly 700 users. The reviewer tests the software and praises its faster installation, excellent performance and wealth of features. Users complain that viruses slipped through, and some are unhappy with Symantec's customer service.
Review: Norton AntiVirus 2013 , Seth Rosenblatt, Oct. 11, 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good Norton AntiVirus 2013 generates over 300 reviews on Amazon.com and scores about 3.7 out of 5 stars overall. Most customers are happy with the software, but some complain that it slowed their computers or missed viruses.
Review: Norton AntiVirus 2013 - 1 User / 1 PC, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of March 2013