Norton was my favorite brand for PC protection and windows maintenance since 1997. Windows 95 with first generation pentium (perhaps MMX addition), Norton Utilities and Norton AntiVirus. At that era, Norton was a very big brand (it still for major population). However, I start to disband this product since they release Norton AntiVirus 2004.
As far as I remember, using Windows XP with 512 MB (Athlon 1600+ at that moment), NAV always make my computer slower significantly. Sometime, I even relate this product as antivirus which act like a virus. NAV 2003-2006 really resource hungry. And since that moment, I started to look alternative AV. So, as the clock keep ticking, besides another bigboy AV such as McAfee, Pc Cillin etc, I started to know Nod32 and Kaspersky which till today, are the best AntiVirus for me and most computer geek as well.
Nod32 is famous because of its advance heuristic engine + small footprint while Kaspersky is well known for it superior detection rate. However, last night, I have to kiss a good bye to these products and restudy some alternative to protect my PC without these too big name in PC security.
Why ? You may ask….
Both nod32 and kav (with their latest update), conflict with my torrent program, precisely uTorrent. When I use uTorrent with nod32 protected my PC, I can’t even browse. I need to either shutdown nod32 or uTorrent (need restart). This is seriously not convenient for me. Just for the record, I was using Nod32 3.0 aka Eset Smart Security. Auto update (definition and program) was ON all the time. And to be honest, for the last 2 month, ESS has no problem at all with uTorrent. Only recently.
So, I open up av-comperative.org to study available alternative for me. And found out that Symantec Norton got Advance+ rating too. Not bad for detection rate. I rule out Avira AntiVir because I already evaluate that product couple of month ago. And I do not like it much due to aggressive advertisement (I use free edition instead of premium) and too many false positive for my liking. Nostalgic with the Norton name, I decide to make some homework regarding this product with uncle Google.
I found out that this latest version has improve in some critical area such as code optimization which lead to smaller footprint, less resource hungry, faster scanner and yada yada yada about their protection superiority. But what caught my attention was, they explicitly state this version is faster than Norton AV2005 and 2006. Hmm…. perhaps I should give it a try.
The installation file will cost you 52.2 MB to be downloaded. Normal trialware period is 15 days, but I manage to get 90 days promotion one. You may get it here.
However, bear in mind that, this product will eat up more than 300 MB your precious hard disk (well if you treasure every single MB), a lot more compare to competitor espcially nod32. However, i don’t care much about 300 MB thinggy when 250GB hard disk already consider low end hard disk for today standard. We are talking in TB term today, not GB anymore..so why should I care about MB thing.
Basically, NAV2008 require your PC at least :
Windows® XP with Service Pack 2 Home/XP Pro/XP Media Center Edition
Windows Vista™** Home/Home Premium/Ultimate/Business/Starter Edition
- 300MHz or faster processor
- 256MB of RAM
- 300 MB of available hard disk space
- Standard Web browser
Note that, NAV2008 do not support Win200 and older OS anymore.
So, my current rig are as follows :
- Intel Core 2 Duo E4400 2 GHz (2 MB L2 Cache)
- 2 GB DDR2 667
- Geforce 8600GT
- 250GB Sata2 16MB x 2
- Windows Vista Ultimate (with latest update)
- and the rest not important for this review.
Installation was a breeze. Double click the installation file and the installer will take care everything including scan up your PC, update it and finalize the instalation. At the end of installation process, it will ask you for the license key or keep evaluating it for 90 days (I choose to evaluate it). Norton offer me to register and create and account ; and I did it (even I don’t even know when will I use it in the future).
Reboot…..(couple of seconds longer than fresh vista with drivers boot time)
So the best part is here. Norton AV2008 do not slow down my computer at all. It might eat some CPU cycle, couple of MB rams, but I didn’t notice it at all. Relatively, my boot time (from cold boot till my Izzi connection establish (usually the last thing will happen everytime I reboot my PC)) is much longer Eset Smart Security. Eset smart security or I prefer to call it nod32, has a nasty habit which it need so many seconds to start up. The splash screen showing metal android pasted on my desktop for more than 20 seconds. Kaspersky in the other hand has “Scan Critical Area during start up function” default to ON. So, everytime I reboot or boot my PC, my PC will become slugish. For normal user, which has no idea how to turn this features OFF will conclude KIV make his/her pc slower too. However, NAV2008 doesn’t exhibit any kind of these problems at all. It silently loaded into the memory during startup (no splash screen what so ever) and will not make my hdd led light up like disco spotlight. Honestly…really set and forget.
So, I investigate how much resource NAV2008 toll up from my system. Here is my finding.
Footprint on idle : 5 MB and Footprint while scanning : Approximately 65+ MB. (I can live with that)
Scanning my 500 GB hard disk take some time. Nod32 defenitely faster but Kaspersky slower.
But, I found that NAV2008 has one nice feature when I minimize the scan windows, as the picture below.
By let it scan my PC in the background, i barely feel any performance hit. So, I can scan my computer and keep doing my work. I am multitasking with graphics editor software, multi-tab firefox for this blogging, manual scan for antivirus, heavily download using torrent (with more than 500 global connection setting). I can’t do the same thing with KAV. Even nod32 can’t give this kind of performance experience. (Nod32 is lighter if it is compare to Norton without background scanning. And nod32 scan a lot faster too)
The above screenshot is my current CPU usage history while I do all those things I mention before. And I still have 1 GB of RAMs free.
So, I think, for those you just say NORTON SUX, a piece of shit, crap, uber memory hogger etc, you should try for yourself and judge it. NAV2008 is really different piece of software compare to its predecessor. Good job for Symantec Software Engineer who finally able to solve major norton product problem. At least, better late than never.
It may not lighter than nod32 but it A LOT lighter than Norton 2005 and 2006.
I guess, this product will stay in my PC for another 90 days at least. Welcome back Norton AV to my green listed book.