It’s a good time to go back to Norton

Whenever somebody asks me what I think of Norton as an antivirus application, I always say that it’s bloated and will hog down your memory resources. I didn’t know until today that Norton Antivirus is already one of the fastest and lightest antivirus out there.

Norton 2010

Actually, it has vastly improved from its slow performance during the mid-2000’s with the release of Norton 2009. Now with the launch of Norton 2010 products, it still maintained its quickness, light footprint and ease of use with a new technology to boot.

During the Norton 2010 launch yesterday, regional product manager of Asia Pacific, David Hall, talked about Norton 2010’s reputation-based technology codenamed Quorum.

David Hall

Traditional threat detection is usually based on its signature (a threat’s fingerprint) or heuristics (a threat’s behavior). However, both detection requires a huge sampling to be really effective.

But what if you’re one of the first to be infected with a new malware? That’s where Quorum comes in. More than three years in the making, Quorum tracks files and applications and their dozens attributes and combine them using complex algorithm to determine a reputation. This reputation gets updated by Quorum as it is distributed across the Internet and is important when a file is new or likely to be a threat.

Norton and other AV's

Bottomline is, Norton is banking on its Quorum reputation-based technology to be a better weapon against newer threats that are less likely to be detected by other antivirus.

Ok enough about the new technology, as a returning Norton Antivirus user here are some results that you would be interested in from PC Benchmark and Test Software, PassMark, comparing different popular antivirus programs of today.

Average System Boot Time (lower the better)

boot time

Norton Internet Security 2010 is just above the industry average.

Scan Speed

scan speed

Norton Internet Security 2010 leads the pack in this test scanning 6159 files (totaling 982MB).

Memory Usage while Idle

memory usage

Norton Internet Security 2010 leads the pack again using just a little over 10 MB of RAM when it is idle.

Another important thing about resource usage is that Norton 2010 will automatically delay updates and similar activities if you are watching videos, burning media or playing games full-screen and other resource-intensive processes so it won’t impact your PC’s speed.

If you want to see the full report of this Passmark testing, you can check out the PDF here.

PC Magazine’s test on malware blocking

Of course what good is an antivirus if it can’t detect malwares right? Here’s the result from PC Magazine’s anti-malware testing comparing it to other antivirus.

malware blocking


Aside from its threat detection capabilities with fast and light performance, here are other noteworthy features that I like about Norton Internet Security 2010:

  • Norton Download Insight ““ Uses extensive online intelligence systems leveraging reputation to proactively protect your PC. Analyzes and reports on the safety of new files and applications before users install and run them.
  • Norton System Insight ““ Provides features and easy-to-understand system information to help keep PCs performing at top speed
  • Norton Safe Web adds protection when you search, shop or surf by annotating which sites are safe and which are not.


There are 3 flavors of Norton 2010 and all are made affordable:

Norton AntiVirus 2010 is for the price sensitive consumer who doesn’t go online a lot. Php1960 for a 3-PC license and Php1125 for a single PC license.

Norton Internet Security 2010 is for the user who wants comprehensive security whether offline or online. Php2270 for a 3-PC license and Php1360 for a single PC license.

Nortong 360 Version 3.0 is for those who want it all, security, backup and PC tune up.

Those prices come with a 1-year subscription but you can opt for a multi-year subscription if you like. Norton will be deactivated when the subscription is up but it will inform you when the time is near to renew your subscription.

You are eligible for FREE upgrades (if available) in the middle of your subscription.

On FREE AV and Pirated Softwares

Now I always suggest to my friends and relatives that FREE antivirus is enough for personal use because that’s what I’m using (with success). However, I also realized that you have to be tech savvy to be using those free AV’s to avoid being attacked of infected with trojans and malwares. Something my relatives are not.

And if you’re going to use pirated software (which I strongly advise against), please don’t let it be an antivirus. It’s like buying a car with defective airbags. You think you won’t be needing it but when you do, you wish that you have paid premium for it.

So if you’re shopping for a new antivirus, try Norton 2010. It’s officially back at the top.

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  • saver

    why get norton if you can switch to linux?

  • Ryozen

    @saver – Why use Linux if you can run most of your applications (office apps, games, etc.) in Windows?

  • Ryman

    Why is the #1 lightweight anti-virus (ESET Smart Security) not on the comparatives list.

    Years before Norton has Quorum, ESET already have ThreatSense (Advanced Heuristics Technology).

  • Bachan

    because eset is not good anymore.
    i was previously using eset before but its way slower than recent norton products and has more false positives.

  • I agree with Ryman… Eset is the first to have the Heuristics technology. And based from my experience Eset still is lightweight compare to norton. I don’t know what settings they used on the norton that it surpassed Eset Nod4.

  • junjun

    I have NIS 2010 installed on my pc. What a lovely piece of software. Low system usage,fast scans,nice interface….you name it. Such a change from the crap which they used to produce! Im glad that I gave them another chance.

    I think its gotta be the best solution around nowadays.Unbelievable about-face from Norton