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Norton Antivirus 2006

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November 3, 2005

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In the past, Symantec's Norton Antivirus program has been pretty good at keeping your computer safe from viruses and other harmful material. In past versions, such as Norton Antivirus 2005, Symantec has added a lot of features to the program. Also, Norton has always been the best antivirus program out there in our opinion, but has that changed? Lets take a look at Symantec's Norton Antivirus 2006...

When you first install Norton Antivirus 2006, you'll notice that it will run a mandatory pre-install virus scan to make sure that there are no viruses currently on your computer that will conflict with installing Norton. In past versions, you had the option to skip this scan, but now it has to be done. We think that this is a good idea because who knows what is on your computer and why go through all the time to install Norton only to find out that it didn't install right because of a virus. So that scan only took us about 10 minutes and away the installation went. Overall the install process was quite easy, but slow. Usually, these kinds of program installations take a little while, so this
wasn't surprising.

Once the installation completes and you have rebooted your computer, the Norton quick-start wizard will appear to set up a few options and get to know how you want Norton to protect your computer. We just kept the default settings and we recommend that you do as well. The
interface of Norton Antivirus 2006 is pretty much like previous versions. Along the left side there are "tabs" that lead you to other panels and settings inside the program and on the right side is
the contents of that "tab" that you are currently on. It is pretty straight-forward and we still love the simplicity of the Norton interface.

Some features that come default with Norton Antivirus 2006 are the scanning of incoming and outgoing emails, instant-messenger file scanning (AOL's AIM, MSN Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger are supported), spyware and adware cleaner/checker, script checkers, and malicious application blocking. The email scanning did take quite awhile to do on some of the mail that we used it with, but it wasn't terrible, just maybe 10 seconds or so on an outgoing email. Norton's
built-in spyware/adware scanner is excellent and is a must-have for anyone that uses their computer on the Internet.

Now unlike some other competiting antivirus programs, Norton Antivirus 2006 does not have any built-in firewall application. You can either buy Symantec's Norton Personal Firewall 2006 separately or just buy Norton Internet Security 2006, which includes both the firewall and
antivirus modules. Without the firewall, Norton Antivirus 2006 does have a new Internet Worm Protection which gives your computer minimal protection from worms and Trojan horses that attack the computer by entering through a communication port in a computer, which a firewall either blocks or scans.

We recommend Norton Antivirus 2006 for anyone who wants protection against viruses and malicious programs for their computer. Keep in mind that this program will not protect you as well as a firewall will against Internet threats, like worms and Trojan horses. Antivirus 2006 is still perfect for the casual computer/Internet users, but if you spend a lot of time surfing the Web and downloading files, you'll probably want something with a firewall.

Bottom Line

Easy to use/install, clean and simple interface, improved virus detection features, spyware/adware protection
Cons: No firewall, slow scanning/install times
Editors' Rating: 3.5 Out of 5

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