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Product: Norton Internet Security 2001 Family Edition Version 3.0
Company: Symantec
Website: http://www.symantec.com
Estimated Street Price: $79.95
Review By: Julien Jay

Norton AntiVirus 2001

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

5: Conclusion

   Norton AntiVirus 2001 has been enhanced compared to its previous release and works on every Microsoft operating system from Windows 95 to Windows 2000. The major new feature of Norton AntiVirus 2001 is the Automatic LiveUpdate feature (like in Microsoft Windows Me) that will automatically download, while youíre connected on the 'Net, a new set of virusesí definitions files to keep your protection level up to date. This feature is great to ensure the latest and up-to-date virus protection but some users are getting bored by the fact the auto update module may automatically (without any warning) cut the current Internet connection: we didn't notice this problem.


Symantec Automatic LiveUpdate (click to enlarge)


   When you start Norton AntiVirus 2001 the first screen named ĎSystem Statusí will show a resume of the antivirus protection: email protection enabled, number of know virus, rescue set status and more.

   As with every previous version you can choose to activate the real time viruses analysis: when itís enabled a small icon appears in the tray area of Windows indicating that all files you read on CD, floppies, ZIP, JAZ and more will be scanned to ensure itís virus free (note that from the tray icon you can temporarily disable the automatic protection for a shot time). Norton AntiVirus 2001 obviously protects your email clients so youíre sure to not grab any viruses when reading email attachments: at last you can read emails with peace of mind. This feature has been streamlined and is now reliable, as it doesnít crash a lot like it did before. You can choose for which email accounts you want to activate or not the scanner within the settings dialog of NAV: when the email scanning feature is on itíll replace all your POP3 email servers by Norton AntiVirus specific ones so each time youíll check your email, new messages will transit by it.

While youíre checking mail a small, animated envelope icon appears in the tray letting you know that the emails are being checked (youíll notice that retrieving emails once protected by the NAV scanner is much longer than before). This feature works with the following email clients: Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Outlook Express, Eudora, Netscape Mail & MSN Mail. But a new feature of this release is the protection for AOL & Hotmail users against viruses hidden in file attachments. However on our test system, Norton AntiVirus 2001 was unable to protect our AOL 6.0 email box. Standard disk analysis features are present in this release and you can easily do a manual virus checking on your primary hard drive! During the scan a nice new animation is shown making the lost time more fun. You can analyze folders, specific files or ZIP, JAZ, CD-ROM drives easily and schedule scans.

This release of NAV 2001 now features a wizard that helps you create your own virusesí checkups letting you define which drives you want to analyze when and how. As always the reporting feature of NAV is complete and each action of NAV can be logged so you know what happened. Unlike McAfee VirusScan 5, Norton AntiVirus 2001 still offers its users the ability to read the known viruses list from the application without the need to connect on the net. NAV 2001 continues to feature the old good ĎBloodHoundí heuristic technology to recognize unknown viruses before they can create damage and the scanner can analyze compressed file content like Zip ones.

The Quarantine tool is the same as in the previous release and allows you to move files that contain viruses into a safe place on your hard disk so youíre sure the infection wonít spread. Itís also useful to avoid repair problems: before fixing a precious document file that contains a virus, put it in quarantine. That way if the fix process damages your document, youíll always be able to retrieve your precious data through the quarantine folder. If you suspect a file that is claimed virus free by NAV, to be contaminated by a virus you can submit it to the Symantec AntiVirus Research Center (SARC) using the online wizard: Symantec guarantees that its engineers will provide you a fix in a few days.


Symantec AntiVirus Researh Center (aka SARC)

   Then the brand new script blocking feature introduced by this Norton AntiVirus revision is here to make sure no harmful scripts are run on your computer without your knowledge. This new feature makes sure VBScripts wonít mess up your computer if ever they contain malicious codes or if there are being launched by an email, for example.


Norton AntiVirus 2001 Script Alert (click to enlarge)

   Features of Antivirus software arenít as important as the quality of the scan engine, so we tested NAV 2001 with our own set of viruses. Almost every virus was detected from IloveYou, Michael Angelo, to a conventional word macro virus like Jakarta or Melissa as well as a DOS one JunkieBoot and the famous Excel Laroux. The latest NAV virus definitions update keep adding detection capability for new in the wild virus like the recent Jennifer Lopez & Symantec ones (more than 49500 are detected by NAVí engine!).

   The most interesting thing is how NAV works when it encounters a virus. If ever NAV detects a virus on your system, a clear and efficient wizard will guide you to choose which actions to do: quarantine, repair (if the file is a document) delete, etc. This wizard is really a good thing so novice users will know what to do! Note that if youíre afraid by the eventuality the repair tool can damage your Word document files you can first move them in the quarantine to ensure youíve got a backup before harmful macros are swept. We noticed one bad point with NAV 2001 (like every other competing antivirus software): when a virus has been replicated in the Windows Me protected and hidden restore folder this file canít be erased, repaired or so since Windows Me totally blocks the access to it: itís an annoying behaviour that forces users to manually remove contaminated files that are in this folder using Windows 2000 or a DOS floppy disk.


NAV 2001 Virus Repair Wizard

 

ę Advanced Featurs Conclusion Ľ

 

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