Norton Internet Security 2012 is the final stable release of the next generation of Symantec's security suite.
Just as with previous editions, installation is quick and easy, with no confusing options to figure out or decisions to make. You don't even have to reboot, when it's finished, as the program is ready to go immediately. And the simplified interface means you can be running your first scan in just a couple of clicks, but if you'd rather simply explore, that's okay too - Internet Security 2012's powerful real time protection will keep you safe from harm.
The first and most obvious sign of this is the firewall. In previous releases it's done an excellent job of allowing known safe programs online without prompts, but for some (presumably beta-related) reason this didn't happen on our test PC, and we were presented with alerts about IE, Firefox, Skype, Outlook and more. Fortunately the program will remember each decision that you make, so you're usually only asked once per app, and the pop-ups soon disappear.
Most of Internet Security 2012's real time protection features are much less obtrusive, though, and just run quietly in the background, keeping you safe. So Auto-Protect watches the files you access, quarantining threats before they're able to launch; Download Insight 2.0 uses data from other Norton users to warn you of dangerous files; Symantec's SONAR technology has been enhanced to detect even more malware; and an accurate spam filter integrated immediately with our Outlook installation, protecting our inbox from phishing scams, virus-packed attachments and assorted other junk.
If you tried Internet Security 2011 then most of this will appear very similar, but look closely and you'll begin to spot the new features.
So Norton's password management, form filling, antiphishing features and site safety ratings now appear in Chrome, as well as IE and Firefox.
Your addresses, passwords, and other details can now be stored in the cloud, so they're usable from multiple PCs.
Download Insight 2.0 now tracks the stability of applications, as well as their trustworthiness, so if other Norton users have found that a particular program always crashes then you'll be warned of that, in advance.
You can limit the internet bandwidth that Norton 2012 will use, for example allowing it online for critical updates only.
And if you do run into any problems, then the new Autofix option may be able to solve them itself. Just click Support > Get Support, and the system will scan your installation looking for configuration issues, automatically fixing anything it finds.
Norton Internet Security 2012 v19.8 ships with these improvements/fixes:
- Added full Windows 8 compatibility
- Performance enhancements for Internet Explorer 10
- Fixed a Symantec Service Framework error that may have occurred when changing firewall rules (forum thread)
- Fixed an issue where scanning large external hard drives showed only "1 file scanned"
- Fixed an issue where Identity Safe Cards fills the same locations for Country & County fields
We're impressed with the latest security suite from Symantec. Take the performances benefits of 2011 and add a sprinkling of new and improved features and this 2012 edition is the best version yet.