An early but pleasant experience with Norton Internet Security 2010

Posted: October 24, 2009 in Software

Well, before I go berserk and directly compare NIS2010 with other high profile Internet Security Suite, I decide to write an overview of Norton Internet Security 2010. Honestly, this is a very good product and I personally feel that this product deserve to consume couple of writing hours of mine just for an overview. I will highlight its’ features base on my experience for this writing phase.


Less than 10 seconds after I double click on installer file. Note the completion percentage: 80%. Impressive!


By default, you get 15 days trial period to evaluate this product. 15 days is enough to evaluate how well it protects your pc while not hogging your PC resource. Please note that I have been use this product for more than 2 weeks (non beta one) and for the sake of this article, I restore my PC to clean state Windows 7 + latest driver + Microsoft Office.


Since my Norton Internet Security 2009 still has around 200+ days’ active subscription, I can use that CD key to activate Norton Internet Security 2010 without any drama.

Yes, you read this correctly. Contradict to yesteryears product, current antivirus maker doesn’t sell product actually. They sell subscription period. So, as long as your subscription still valid, you can always download their latest product and use your current key instead. No need to buy a copy of Norton Internet Security 2010 (NIS2010) if your NIS2009 still has subscription period.

You may upgrade your Norton product here :

Note: If you want to choose your upgrade product manually, click on “Choose My Product Manually – (For Advanced Users)” located at right below of that page.


240 days left. Nice.


Time needed from the moment I double click the installer file to this screen: Less than 30 seconds. You may ask, what’s the biggie right? Well, since Norton keep advertise that their product will be completely installed in your system within a minute, I can’t help the temptation to validate that statement myself. Well, they are right. In fact, on quad core system with at least 4GB RAM (I use Phenom II 955BE @ 3.6GHz, 4GB DDRIII 1333), time required could be just 30 seconds.


Main screenshot


Performance Screenshot


While optimizing, this small notice box inform user that NIS is doing some background task. This is a good touch since, on slower single core machine, while NIS2010 optimizing, it may slow down their pc a bit. But, frankly speaking, I don’t feel any slowdown while NIS2010 is optimizing my system.


Norton Tasks


Norton Insight Screenshot


Those are default setting screenshots. Pretty comprehensive eh?


Scan option

Custom scan



  • NIS2010 could be installed within 1 minute.
  • Nice GUI
  • Comprehensive setting option
  • Install and forget approach
  • Performance indicator for those who are really concern about how much NIS2010 bog down their PC resource


  • A very good consumer based security suit
  • 2 weeks experience with this product (non beta) really impresses me. I could say, [my system+NIS2010] is more responsive than [my system + Avira classic]. Avira classic only an Antivirus while NIS2010 is a suite of anti-virus, firewall, anti-spam, anti-spyware, identity protection, safe web and browser protection. I still can’t explain how Norton engineer able to craft this piece of software to be lighter than Avira Classic which previously I think one of the fastest AV. Furthermore, it is completely not fair to compare an complete security suite with a standalone anti-virus product but, yeah..that is my own personal experience. In short, my computer with NIS2010 feels more responsive than my computer with Avira antivirus only. This is pretty subjective, but worries not because when time permitted, I will conduct a series of benchmark to measure this quantitatively.
  • Able to use previous product CD key with latest product is a very nice approach. Now, I am not worry to pay 3 years subscription (which is always cheaper than 1 year subscription) since I know I could always download latest version of NIS and use my current subscription CD Key without any problem. be continued…

  • Explanation of each features and screenshot.
  • Virus detection capability
  • Memory consumption on idle and scanning
  • CPU consumption on idle and scanning
  • <reader suggestion thru comment section>


  1. cowgaR says:

    Well, nice pictures :), looking forward to some more text heh

    personaly I’m not much interested in Firewall (Windows Seven firewall is more than sufficient if you switch on outbound blocking) as well as any web/cookies/credit card security features, as it is responsibility of the browser (and there is no point of checking what you are downloading, when file monitor will check it as well).

    so just Antivirus suite is more than enough, I’ve also switched from Avira (Premium suite), mostly because the lack of 32bit version and horrible interface…

    • expertester says:

      Thanks for your input cowgirl. More texts will come…soon. Very soon. Daily life chores really taxing some time…but this product really worth to be highlighted.

      Perhaps you and me doesn’t interest much on firewall, web protect etc because we are fully aware with our PC security. But most users out there who are not so into spending hours of reading security tech news and understanding how to responsibly protect their pc will really appreciate the extra protection that NIS provide.

      But I do appreciate mail protect and spam control. Seem it does pretty good work with office 2007. Still can’t make it work with Office 2010 Beta2. Perhaps they will update this function when Office 2010 become a mainstream office suit, somewhere in april 2010.

      As for my opinion, family man (including me) perhaps will prefer NIS over NAV because of this extra. Parental control (for kids), web filter (also for kids or spouse perhaps…theheheeheh)and identity protection (for online banking or credit card transaction) worth to be installed on family PCs. Furthermore, the extra price need to be paid for NIS over NAV is not much. But, if you are performance oriented PC user and prefer to customize your PC protection layer yourself, NAV 2010 should be your best bet. I haven’t test NAV2010 yet (as I am currently using NIS 2010 now). But, if NIS2010 is faster than Avira Classic and KAV2010…it is safe to assume that NAV is faster than NIS…and definitely faster than Avira or KAV.

      However, since I have no number to display yet…all my statement is based on my personal experience using all 3 products recently.

      • cowgaR says:

        I was wrong, both NAV2010 and Avira lacks 64 native versions (typo above), but both are excellent security products (there’s no shame being 2nd).
        The problem with Windows 7 (and Vista) is that Firewall is a little hard to set up.
        If MS would provide more rules (exceptions) like they are providing on other system services (discovery, file sharing, http://ftp...), you could just easily switch them ON, there wouldn’t be a need for average Joe to buy/download FW product any more.
        (Setting up Windows Update inbound rules, Firefox rules, antivirus software update rules…)
        It is better to use system-provided-FW, as it is basically low level driver/packet filter, so it better be 100% robust and bug-free.
        Being part of OS, is better than any 3rd party product, no matter how good they say they are (usually, FW makers add irrelevant stuff to their products – to advertise it more – like credit card checks, little-virtual-machines, cookie blockers, spam filters, Trojan blockers etc, which shouldn’t be a part of FW!).
        Once again, W7 firewall is more than sufficient, I’ve passed all security tests when inbound/outbound is completely blocked and “allow rules” are properly configured (not to mention I’m practically invisible, so even w/o firewall ON, you would need to know my IP to do something, outbound speaking).
        It is that reason I only need an antivirus product, so (say Norton) will use less processes/resources on my system. Also, I don’t like “behavioural” checking of any antivirus, as I have UAC on, and there’s no chance having that ON that any virus will do any harm to your machine + having standard user account set up, even if you run the infected file.
        It IS good to have antivirus, as yesterday my cousin came, entered USB stick to my notebook and I wasn’t quick to press SHIFT 🙂
        autorun.inf -> boohuooo -> Trojan found! (Actually, there were like 3 types in 6 files on the whole USB flash drive 🙂
        So the main point of having Antivirus is to INFORM you about the viruses that are present on various systems in your environment (USBs, DVDs, external HDDs, e-mail attachment) so you won’t spread them further. You don’t get a virus on your system, but it can still slip through your hands and you can send it w/o being noticed…
        That’s why I need very fast Antivirus system, not big resource hoggers, and that’s why I’m happy with Norton 2010.

        P.S. spam control belongs to server, not to mail clients, and if, it belongs to mail clients, NOT TO antivirus
        P.P.S. mail checking is pro-active solution, something I have switched off, as even if I download attachment, it will get check by file-monitor later on.

        P.P.P.S. Parental control should be part of an OS, and with Win7, it is perfectly made. No reason for antivirus company to implement it(other than for advertising).

        Yes, the catch is there’s not much price difference, so many people will go with NIS than with NAV. And people, use paypal wherever you can 😉

      • expertester says:

        Wow, what a pretty long and constructive opinion.

        I can’t disagree with you as you make your point there. Every single one. Only…your point of view come from someone who know about his/her computer really well.

        Not many end users have the luxury of yours. Some of them are just average users who use computer just to be productive. Turn on, wait the windows load up, fire up Ms Word or Mozilla Firefox and start working…save..print..Watch movie or youtube then shut down pc. Just like that. These ppl perhaps never know that Windows Vista or 7 actually has parental control and completely clueless to configure win vista or 7 firewall. I have seen most of my office mates, they actually turn windows firewall off completely because they unable to make some of their application works properly and they feel that firewall is an annoying piece of software. Can’t blame them 100% because they don’t clearly understand what are the potential risks without a proper firewall setup. So from my point of view, these kind of users, prefer an integrate solution to protect their PC. They prefer install and forget. More and more PC applications nowadays move to this approach (read : Perfect Disk, Diskeeper, even windows 7 defragmenter ).

        As you said, win7 or vista firewall is pretty hard to be configured. Anti-spam, even if you claim should be mail server responsibility, trust me. A lot of them able to bypass my mail service provider server (ymail, gmail etc) and slip thru my mail box. Outlook 07 or 2010 able to catch some of them, but with the help of Norton Antispam, it just got better.

        Parental control as you said already built in with win7. Yep. Perhaps this this add on is suitable for those who use Windows without it. There is millions of user use old version windows right. Or just…more to marketing add on feature. 🙂

        Well cowgirl, I believe this is more to personal preference.

        Group A : As in car analogy, certain driver love manual and pure car. They want total control on how the car goes. They want to feel their involvement. This kind of ppl more is more like car enthausiasm. This people appreciate Lotus, Ferrari, Porsche, Lambo at most.

        Group B : Some ppl love comfort, all features integrated in one luxury cockpit complete with automatic gearbox car. This kind of driver just want to go from point A to point B in comfort, without much thinking and safe. This kind of group use car as their tools. This ppl appreciate Merc S, BMW 7, Roll Royce at most.

        Group C : Another group is ppl who sit in between. They want the car to be secure, comfort, high performance, automatic but with manual override gearbox and still able to give them adrenaline rush if they need. This group of ppl appreciate BMW M series, Merc AMG series, Buggati Veyron, Nissan GTR etc.

        I believe NIS is more suitable to group C while NAV is more suitable to group A users. Doesn’t matter which group you are in, nothing wrong with it. It is us…human 🙂

        I used to be in group A for more than 10 years. Over time when daily job is more taxing, with kids and family matters, I start to move into group C. I prefer something that I installed and forget and it do its job reliably without annoying interruption (I hate HIPS every minute warning popup in some other 3rd party product…such as Comodo free FW). However, if I want to configure it manually, I want that product to provide adequate options and setting. This is where NIS come pretty excellent. Main UI provide very straight forward interface. But, if you want to dig under this pretty skin interface, it will welcome me with more than enough setting and options.

        However all these bells and whistles unable to buy me unless that product has solid protection engine, light on resource and unobtrusively. Norton 2010 clearly has those.

  2. Nortonkey says:

    great post, really informative i know where to go if i need more info

  3. Gravit says:

    For me, this is the best antivirus made ever. Its so comfortable, fast, using lowest comp resources and ofcourse very good security.
    After *someone* deleted Norton 10 in my pc, it suddenly crashed. The problem was, that my pc cant live without antivirus. and it needs pure protection.
    My friend, Pc specialist, recommended to install AVG, so i did. My comp got slower by ~50%, antivirus was scanning slow enough and most important, I couldn’t TURN IT OFF ^^

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