Free Antivirus Help Contact Us  |   FAQ Help  |  Why Free
  Home Download Instructions Antivirus Reviews News

Norton Antivirus 2012 Beta Review and Download

16. May 2011

   Symantec has just released Norton Antivirus 2012 Beta.  The newest features are improved Sonar 4.0 which utilizes hundreds of heuristic analysis against a process to determine if it’s malicious, a brand new interface, Insight protection upgrades which include whether a file is reliable in addition to whether it is safe or not, performance improvements and more.  From first glance, it appears that Norton has out done itself and remains one of the best antivirus around.

    The installation of Norton Antivirus 2012 was easy.  The downloader was only 779 kilobytes in size and the setup file immediately launched.  The only problem that I encountered was that the file needed to be run with administrator privileges.  Usually executables include a small shield on them to automatically prompt a user, however this setup file did not.  The fix is to right click the executable and then “run as an administrator”.

    There are now several new scanning options.  There is the computer and reputation scan which include a quick scan, full system scan, and custom scan.  The newest feature is the “scan the Facebook wall option” which requires one to give additional privileges to Norton via their Facebook account.   I first quickly played around with a couple of the scanning options by starting and stopping them.  This routine unfortunately crashed the program, but given that it is beta this is expected.  The program recovered after a restart.   The quick scan option scanned files at approximately 10 to 12 megabytes per second.  The scan checked over 10,000 files within five minutes.  The scan utilizes trace based protection in which it scans predefined locations of known malware such as Backdoor.Rustock.B etc. 

    What’s interesting is that even though this “Norton Antivirus 2012” it also includes network protections.  They include intrusion prevention, browser protection, and download intelligence.  It appears as if the standalone antivirus has morphed into a more internet security like program.  This is presumably to compete with the more free antivirus like programs.   The settings area is now easier to use with each of the major protection areas on the left and subsets of them.  However, the most surprising feature is mobile protection.  This is also still in beta and it’s unclear whether one will have to buy Norton to get this features.   The taskbar icon has also been updated and it’s easy to simply just disable the auto protect whereas before one would have to jump through several menus.   Also new is a bandwidth metering option in which one can restrict the amount of bandwidth is used on mobile broadband to save users money on their capped cell phone bills.

    During scanning Norton Antivirus 2012 used approximately 50 megabytes of RAM and about 12 percent CPU power.  When the program was completely minimized and in its idle state, the program used approximately 30 megabytes of RAM.  Given all of the protections and even a side bar widget loaded, these performance figures are excellent.