Norton Internet Security 2007 is a full-featured protection suite that includes Norton AntiVirus, Norton Personal Firewall, intrusion protection, spyware protection, and phishing protection. There are also additional add-on packs that you can download for free, which add additional security features such as Norton AntiSpam, Norton Parental Control, Confidential Information Blocking, and Ad Blocking. Because all of these programs are included in one protection suite, they work well together to help keep your PC secure.
As with all Norton products, Norton AntiVirus is the key component in defending your computer against unwanted attacks and other types of threats. I’ve never found a better program for detecting and removing viruses than Norton. Norton Internet Security can be configured to scan your incoming and outgoing email (to ensure you aren’t passing viruses on to others) as well as your instant messaging programs. You can perform manual scans or configure scheduled scans to run when you aren’t using your PC. When a virus is detected, you can choose to tell Norton what to do or you can allow the program to make its own decision. I’ve always found that the recommended options that are set by default work extremely well.
The next big piece of this suite is the Norton Personal Firewall. High-speed Internet access offers tremendous speed and 24-hour connectivity to the Internet, but it comes with a price. Being continuously connected to the Internet exposes your computer to a wide variety of online threats. Hackers and viruses are constantly "knocking on doors" looking for available targets. The personal firewall that comes with Norton Internet Security is a strong defense in protecting your computer from these threats. The firewall protects you from the hazards of the Internet by monitoring the types of activity or attempted activity between your computer and other networks. If Norton detects suspicious activity, it can refuse attempted connections that aren't initiated by you (or that appear untrustworthy) unless you tell the program to allow the action.
Included in the product are tools for automatically blocking identity thieves, masking your computer from hackers, blocking spyware and adware threats, and giving you control over all incoming and outgoing Internet traffic.
You can also be certain that you always have the latest updates and current threat definitions through Symantec’s LiveUpdate feature. This can be set to automatically download and install updates without the need for user intervention.
If you choose to download the Norton add-on pack, you can increase your security by filtering out annoying spam from your email program, blocking websites that you don’t think are appropriate for your children, and blocking pop-up advertisements while you’re browsing. You can also protect any sensitive personal information from being transmitted over the Internet with the Confidential Information Blocking add-on.
I’m disappointed that Symantec doesn’t include Norton AntiSpam, Norton Parental Control, Confidential Information Blocking, and Ad Blocking as part of Norton Internet Security by default. Although you can get these in a free add-on pack, if they're free, then why not just include them up front? The trouble with add-on packs is that many users never go out and download them so they’re missing out on all the additional security features that these programs offer. Also, the user interface doesn’t give you an easy way to find the link to where you can get these extra tools. Not having them as part of the program defeats the purpose of installing an all-in-one security suite.
I’ve noticed that with each new version of Norton, the product takes longer and longer to load once you turn on your PC. Even with a fast machine it takes three to five minutes after Windows boots before you