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Product: Norton Internet Security 2001 Family Edition Version 3.0
Company: Symantec
Estimated Street Price: $79.95
Review By: Julien Jay

Advanced Features

Table Of Contents
1: Introduction
2: Features
3: Advanced Features
4: Norton AntiVirus 2001

5: Conclusion

    Norton Internet Security 2001 v3.0 allows advanced and expert users to define advanced options such as the authorized HTTP ports, the firewall rules and much more… Users are guided step-by-step to create new rules and when a rule alert appears, for example, you try for the first time to update your Microsoft Money online financial data users are prompted to create a new rule for this event (if they haven’t done it before) in order to prevent the alert to be redisplayed each time they use Money. One of the welcomed enhancements of NIS 2001 v3.0 is the AutoBlock feature that’ll automatically shut off communication from every hacker that might intrude into your PC. But you can also choose to always block (or for a defined length) a specific IP address to prevent the remote user to access your computer. If you may want to block hackers to access your computer you don’t obviously wish to block everyone especially if you have a FTP server running on your machine, thankfully the flexibility of Norton Internet Security 2001 v3.0 will let you authorize inbound connections from authenticated and trusted sources while blocking hackers. Concerning the updates Norton Internet Security 2001 should be updated on a regular basis in order to make sure you’ve got the latest protection rules, minor patches, etc. So it comes with a one year  free updates subscription which you can retrieve using the brand new version 1.6 of LiveUpdate. After that you’ll have to pay the sum of $6.95 to renewal your subscription which is ridiculous since at the time your subscription will expire (if ever it expires) a new version of Norton Internet Security will be out. By blocking and monitoring all the outbound/inbound Internet ports, Norton Internet Security 2001 v3.0 is your PC’s bodyguard that will protect it from hackers’ attacks.

Norton Internet Security 2001 v3 Advanced Settings (click to enlarge)

Report Features

   NIS will report in a very accurate and complete window all your Internet security statistics (blocked websites, blocked pictures…) as shown below (you’ll be able to print them).

Norton Internet Security 2001 v3.0 Log (click to enlarge)

It tracks every Internet connection, every visited website, every program that uses Internet; such as Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Money and much more. Every attack attempt is saved along with the IP address of the hacker. However, Norton Internet Security 2001 can’t trace the IP address itself so you’ll have to trace it using third party program.

Is It Useful?

   Norton Internet Security 2001 v3.0 really works and protects you, your children and your family from all the Internet threats. Norton Internet Security 2001 v3.0 definitely stays the best firewall and is much better than CyberPatrol  for filtering web sites. More it really protects your privacy and once again this works! If you try to send private information that you have defined NIS will block them until you’re agree to send them. All Internet users, from the cool surfer to the passionate one should use it and particularly those with cable or ADSL connections. You can try it for free by downloading a preview Trial version at

Real Tests

   To ensure that Norton Internet Security 2001 v3.0 is a high-quality product, we tested it by connecting a machine to the ‘Net and trying to hack it using various methods through another machine. The first thing we noticed is that Norton Internet Security 2001 v3.0 really monitors every one of your current running software that may access the Internet connection without your knowledge and alert you. Indeed we've seen that Microsoft Windows Media Player 7.1 may try to connect to the ‘Net to check for updates without you even asking it to do so: in that case Norton asks you what to do and if it should permit or not this network communication. We repeated the test with Napster (here if someone is trying to pickup a MP3 file on your computer Norton Internet Security gives you an alert asking what to do), PC-Cillin (viruses updates), Copernic 2001 Pro, CuteFTP Pro, FrontPage 2002, and many other software like the MSN Zone games (chess, checkers, etc.) and Norton Internet Security 2001 v3 each time warned us about the fact that a software was trying to use our connection. Sure you can create rules that will always authorize these network communications in order to avoid multiple alerts.

   Since the release 2.55 of the software each time a program attempts to access the ‘Net even a known and trusted one like Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, etc. you’re prompted to create a rule for this program in order to let it access the ‘Net or not. The benefit is that you can be sure no Trojan horses mask themselves as one of those applications so they can’t pass through your defence line. Now you can even catalogue rules by software categories for a much more accurate management. Concerning the hack problem the first thing we have tested is a basic threat: we enabled the Windows Folders sharing feature and we attempted to connect to the machine using its IP address and the name of the shared folder: when we tried to pick up a file or to remove one on the Norton protected PC, we were instantly alerted about the fact that someone was trying to access the computer (sure you can decide to authorize or not this communication). Then we tested Norton Internet Security 2001 v3.0 with serious tools that serious hackers used to pirate a computer.

   We first ping our Norton Protected PC using BO2k and the software displays a security alert (same thing when you try to perform a ping through the native Windows 2000 command) on the remote PC that prevents us from reaching it. Every security alert event is logged with the IP address of the machine that tried to ping you in a text file you can later consult. Using Trojans horses programs like SubSeven, Backdoor we were unable to access the Norton protected PC as Norton Internet Security 2001 always detect our numerous attempts to hack it. Last thing we did is to test the firewall with some programs that aren't malicious ones but that require an Internet connection to display advertisement banner: for PKZip we were instantly alerted as well as for DAP (Download Accelerator Plus). However this wasn't the case for FileFerret a freeware that displays ads: however the treat isn't harmful so we don't blame Norton Internet Security to not alert users for this outbound. Finally at the privacy level we were impressed by the Norton Internet Security 2001 v3.0 ability to really protect our privacy by blocking some cookies, hiding email address, etc. Using these features and by completing the data to protect form we were able to access almost all our usual websites we like except one. If you asked Norton Internet Security to protect your phone number and if you type it in a web form to send it over the net you'll receive an alert asking what to do. In conclusion our test results are more than good and show that Norton Internet Security 2001 v3.0 has a very good built engine and that its sensibility isn't too great in order to avoid annoying user by detecting false threats.


   Even if Norton Internet Security 2001 v3 is great software it actually features some nasty bugs. Indeed for example, NIS 2001 v3.0 isn’t compatible with the Alcatel SpeedTouch USB ADSL modem. When you use NIS in combination to this modem (with the latest 1.34 drivers from Alcatel) your computer will reboot every few minutes with no reason and you’ll obviously lose everything you were doing. The problem for the user is that to know the reboot is caused by NIS, water can flow under bridges (and god knows there’s lot of water & bridges!). Symantec is aware of this problem and a patch has just been released for the US version (it’ll update your version to the 3.02) but unfortunately localized versions of the patch aren’t yet available.


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