Test Drive: Norton Internet Security 2002 Professional Edition

By SmallBusinessComputing Staff | Posted February 20, 2002
Wayne N. Kawamoto
Managing Editor, www.smallbusinesscomputing.com

In our modern age, we can't raise a castle drawbridge to protect ourselves from whatever lurks out there. But the next best thing is Symantec's Norton Internet Security 2002 Professional Edition. This comprehensive suite of applications offers adequate PC protection against hackers, viruses, privacy threats, and other online dangers.

The suite's core protection comes from Norton Personal Firewall, which, as the name implies, acts as a worthy firewall that protects a PC from online threats. For further protection, Norton Intrusion Detection examines data packets and blocks activities that indicate that a hacker is trying to break into a system. When the program detects an attack, it terminates the Internet connection and prevents further potential access.

The second level of protection comes from Norton AntiVirus, which monitors for viruses and removes them. Besides identifying viruses by their creepy little definitions, the program detects virus activities, such as those that may be performed by script-based viruses, and it scans and cleans incoming, well as outgoing email messages.

The Professional version of Internet Security Suite comes with AntiVirus for Palm OS to offer similar virus protection to Palm devices and downloads virus definitions whenever you HotSync the PDA. Online updates to get the latest virus definitions, as well as firewall rules and detection signatures, are painless and convenient. As before, the program only offers a year's worth of security and virus definitions.

Norton Privacy Control prevents personal information from being sent to unsecured Web sites and an instant messaging filter stops this data from being sent through popular messenger programs. For small businesses that want to control Web access, Norton Productivity Control blocks access to Web sites and newsgroups that you specify. Administrators can also use a single computer to setup different Internet access privileges for each user in a workgroup and export and apply these rules on other workstations-a key feature in this professional version.

Norton Internet Security continues to do a great job of installing and configuring itself, and an interactive wizard makes it easy to set the protection level that you want. With this level of automation and its clear interactive instructions, the program does a great job of making sense of technical topics. Something for some businesses to consider, Norton Internet Security lacks support for systems that are running Windows 95.

If you don't need the workgroup and Palm features, you can purchase Norton Internet Security for around $60. Nothing in this world is fool-proof, but Norton Internet Security should let you sleep at night.

Rating: 90
Manufacturer: Symantec Corporation, www.symantec.com

Price: $99

Pros: solid coverage that is easy to install and configure.
Cons: Only offers a year's worth of updates; doesn't support Windows 95.

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