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Norton Internet Security (2014)

Est. $30 for 3 PCs
Reviewed
January 2014
by ConsumerSearch

Pros
  • Touch-friendly user interface
  • Parental controls and other useful features
Cons
  • Malware blocking and cleanup isn't the best
  • Bogs down the system in one test
  • Installation on infected systems takes extra work
  • Works only with PCs

Bottom line

Norton Internet Security (2014) is a decent choice among budget Internet security suites, reviews say. Like others at this price, it's missing a few features you'll find on premium suites -- there's no online backup or PC tune-up, for example. PCMag.com names Norton Internet Security (2014) an Editors' Choice, and most users at Amazon.com like it. But the best-reviewed budget security suite, Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete , delivers more for the money.

Ease of use

Easy interface -- but hard to install on an already infected system. If malware has already taken root, expect to hit some installation snags. When PCMag.com's Neil J. Rubenking tried to install Norton Internet Security (2014) on 12 malware-riddled systems, Norton ran into some problems. A few were easy to solve, but two were rendered unbootable after Norton's clean-up process. "Getting those back to normal took hours of remote-access diagnostics and repair by tech support," Rubenking says.

Once installed, Norton Internet Security proves easy enough to use. Four big, touch-friendly buttons on the main screen lead to streamlined controls. Norton does nag a lot about renewals and upgrades, some users complain, and several buy new versions every year to avoid Norton's high renewal prices. If you don't renew, the software stops working at the end of one year, users report.

Features

Works only with PCs, and no backup tool. Norton Internet Security (2014) offers the same features you'll find on its premium sibling, Norton 360 (Est. $55 for 3 PCs) -- except there's no backup tool or PC tune-up. Still, you'll get the usual features you'd expect in this price range (anti-phishing, firewall, etc.), plus basic parental controls and a network mapping-and-managing feature that lets you see what's running on your network, shut down non-essentials and nab wireless thieves. Unlike its rival, Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete, it has no device anti-theft feature and lacks the free 25 GB of online storage that its competitor provides. And, importantly, Norton Internet Security works only with PCs.

Performance

Respectable, but not the best. Norton Internet Security (2014) does a respectable job of blocking and cleaning up malware at PCMag.com -- but not as good as Bitdefender or Webroot. It protects fine in tests at AV-Test.org, but it bombs AV-Comparatives.org's malware-blocking test (Norton, like Webroot, points out that such static tests don't measure real-world performance).

Traditionally, Norton has been known as a resource hog. It does bog down the system much more than Bitdefender and Webroot at AV-Test.org. But PCMag.com finds it pretty fast -- it slows bootup by about 25 percent, same as Bitdefender, but doesn't slow file copying and unzipping much at all -- and several Amazon.com users say it seems zippier than before.

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Norton 360 2014 3pc 1year Download
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Our Sources

1. PCMag.com

Norton Internet Security (2014) has lots of features, and they all work well, Neil J. Rubenking says; it's an Editors' Choice. However, other programs do better in Rubenking's malware detection and removal tests.

Review: Norton Internet Security (2014), Neil J. Rubenking, Sept. 20, 2013

2. AV-Test.org

Norton Internet Security (2014) bogs down the system somewhat in tests here, rating just 3.5 out of 6 for performance. It does a good job protecting against malware, though, and testers find it easy to use.

Review: Detailed Test Reports, Editors of AV-Test.org, As of January 2014

3. AV-comparatives.org

Norton doesn't agree with this lab's testing methods, so it doesn't apply for certification -- but, by popular demand, AV-Comparatives.org tests it anyway. Norton doesn't bog down the computer, but it does poorly in the malware detection test, and it gives a lot of false alarms.

Review: Independent Tests of Anti-Virus Software, Editors of AV-Comparatives.org, As of January 2014

4. Amazon.com

More than 180 users have reviewed Norton Internet Security (2014), and most give it high scores. Several say it's not the resource hog it used to be. However, when it's time to renew, the annoying prompts (and Norton's overpriced renewals) irritate some users.

Review: Norton Internet Security 2014 - 1 User/3 Licenses [Download], Contributors to Amazon.com, As of January 2014

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