The Active Network
ActiveWin: Reviews Active Network | New Reviews | Old Reviews | Interviews |Mailing List | Forums


Product: Norton Internet Security 2002
Company: Symantec
Estimated Street Price: $69.95
Review By: Julien Jay

Norton AntiVirus 2002

Table Of Contents
1: Introduction
2: Getting Started & What It Does
3: Advanced Features
4: Norton AntiVirus 2002
5: Conclusion

   Norton AntiVirus 2002 has been totally revamped, in comparison to previous releases. It now features a new aqua icon which perfectly matches the Windows XP style. Norton Antivirus 2002 features the Automatic LiveUpdate feature (like in Microsoft Windows Me) that will automatically download, while you’re connected on the ‘Net, new sets of virus definition files to keep your protection level up to date so you can concentrate on your work not on grabbing the latest updates. When you start Norton AntiVirus 2002 the first screen named ‘System Status’ will show a resume of the antivirus protection: email protection enabled, number of known viruses, and more. As with every previous version you can choose to activate the real time viruses analysis: when it’s enabled a small, but neat, 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 they are virus free. That way Norton AntiVirus detects and repairs viruses automatically without interrupting your job. 

Norton AntiVirus 2002 GUI (click to enlarge)

   Norton AntiVirus 2002 comes with a totally redesigned settings dialog box that intensively uses the HTML technology. This redesign makes the process of changing options much more intuitive and easy for novice users.

Norton AntiVirus 2002 Settings Dialog Box (click to enlarge)

   Norton AntiVirus 2002 is tightly integrated with Windows since in the Windows Explorer or Internet Explorer 6 a new toolbar named ‘Norton AntiVirus’ is being displayed. This toolbar (you can choose to hide) provides shortcuts to quickly access the most commonly used features of the antivirus. That way you can launch a virus analysis, display the status of the actual protection, reach the quarantine area, and consult the audit reports as well as the online virus bible. Norton AntiVirus 2002 features built-in links that’ll lead you directly to the Symantec Security Response Web site (formerly known as Symantec AntiVirus Research Center) for additional information on specific viruses just when you need it most. 

Norton AntiVirus 2002 Toolbar in the Windows Explorer (click to enlarge)

   Norton AntiVirus 2002 obviously protects your email clients so you’re sure to not grab any viruses when reading email attachments: at least you can read emails in a peace of mind. Not only does Norton AntiVirus 2002 scan incoming emails but it also scans outgoing emails so you’re sure to inadvertently not spread viruses. You can choose for which email accounts you want to activate or not within the scanner: when the email scanning feature is on it’ll replace all your POP3 email servers by Norton AntiVirus specific ones so each time you’ll check your email, new messages will transit by it. 

   When an email is infected by a virus like Sircam Norton AntiVirus 2002 will display an alert dialog box letting you know you have received a contaminated email. This dialog box will also offer actions to eradicate the virus by deleting the email (or attempting to repair it). While you’re checking e-mail a small, animated envelope icon appears in the tray letting you know that the emails will be checked. This feature works with the following email clients: Microsoft Outlook97/98/2000/2002, Microsoft Outlook Express 4.0/5.x/6.0, Eudora Light 3.0, Eudora Pro 4.0, Eudora 5.0, Netscape Messenger 4.x and Netscape Mail 6.0/6.1 & MSN Mail.  

   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. The new virus scanning wizard is divided in three areas: analysis, repair and resume. Within the same window, NAV will check the sanity of your hard disk and offer repairing options (if applicable)! This release of NAV 2002 now features a wizard that helps you create your own virus checkups letting you define which drives you want to analyze. As always the reporting feature of NAV is complete and each action of NAV can be logged so you know what happened. Norton AntiVirus 2002 still offers a list of viruses (with their properties) but a link is provided so you can flick through the virus encyclopedia, online. It is useful to know the level of danger of a specific virus.

Norton AntiVirus 2002 Analysis Wizard (click to enlarge)

   NAV 2002 continues to feature the old but good ‘BloodHound’ heuristic technology to recognize unknown viruses before they can create damage and the scanner can analyze compressed file content like ZIP. 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 you’re sure the infection won’t spread. 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 its engineers will provide you a fix in a few days. Norton Antivirus 2002 offers the exclusive Script blocking technology. With this security enabled, each VBScript, JavaScript that is run by the system is monitored by NAV: when executing one of those scripts you’ll be prompted to authorize, block the script. This feature has been designed to avoid HTML emails containing malicious bound scripts to execute themselves without your knowledge even before updated virus definitions are released.

Norton AntiVirus 2002 Script Alert (click to enlarge)

   Features of Antivirus software are not all so we tested NAV 2002 with our set of viruses. Almost every virus was detected from IloveYou, Michael Angelo, Anna Kournikova, Sircam, to a conventional macro virus like Jakarta or Melissa as well as a DOS one JunkieBoot. To date Norton AntiVirus 2002 knows more than 55941!. If 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 the repair tool can damage your Word document files you can first move them in the quarantine to ensure you’ve got a backup. We noticed one bad point with NAV 2002 (like every other competing antivirus software): when a virus has been replicated, the Windows Me protected and hidden restore folder keeps a copy of this file that can’t be erased, repaired or so since Windows Me totally blocks the access to it: it’s an annoying behavior that forces users to manually remove contaminated files that are in this folder using Windows 2000 or a DOS floppy disk. 

« Advanced Features Conclusion »


  *   *