Symantec Norton AntiVirus 2006
With Norton AntiVirus 2006, Symantec finally gets serious about spyware and adware, computer malware problems that are becoming as insidious and pervasive as viruses were in the late 1990s. Norton AntiVirus 2006's enhanced protection against these new threats offers a big improvement over Norton AntiVirus 2005. That said, Norton is not as proactive as McAfee VirusScan 2006, which warns you before downloading suspected adware and spyware, a feature we'd like to see added to all antispyware apps some day. And we wish Symantec had left well enough alone and not cluttered the clean and highly functional interface of the previous edition. Despite these two things, Norton AntiVirus 2006 is a solid upgrade for current users, but new users still might want to look for faster, lighter performance found in other antivirus apps instead.
Our installation of Norton AntiVirus 2006 went smoothly, thanks to the assistance of a helpful wizard. We've always appreciated Norton AntiVirus's clean and logical interface. Unfortunately, with this year's debut of the Norton Protection Center, Norton AntiVirus 2006 has lost that uncluttered usability. The Norton Protection Center appears both as a separate icon in the system tray as well as a separate window within the software's control console. Most of the Protection Center's functions are useful, such as the alerts it sends if you don't have the latest virus definitions or haven't run a system scan in a while and the bar graph in the Status window. However the Protection Center is focused on upselling Symantec's other products to you rather than providing any new, useful security information. For instance, if you ask to learn more about data recovery, you're taken directly to the Norton SystemWorks 2006 product page on Symantec's Web site.