Home' LAPTOP Magazine : November 2011 Contents software
Below the status area, you’ll find the familiar
Features section, which provides users with col-
lapsible menus for Virus and Spyware Protection,
Web and Email Protection, Parental Controls,
Data Protection and Backup, and PC and Home
Network Tools. The UI is somewhat clunky but
provides a host of options for each feature, as
well as helpful descriptions of what they do for
McAfee has touted its scan improvement
speeds, saying that subsequent scan times have
been reduced by more than 50 percent with the
new software, which in our tests seemed like a
conservative estimate. An initial deep scan of
our test notebook, a Dell 14z equipped with a
2.3 -GHz Core i3 processor; 8GB of RAM; and a
750GB hard drive, took roughly 23 minutes. When
we ran the deep scan a second time, it finished
in a blazingly fast 5 minutes.
The deep scans used a significant amount of
our system’s resources, though. During our initial
23-minute scan, our laptop’s total CPU usage
topped out at 100 percent. Its RAM usage was
also fairly high, spiking to 2.79GB at one point.
Total Protection’s QuickClean feature allows
you to delete unnecessary and old files from
your PC to help improve performance. Any gains,
however, will be small since the files are mostly
from your Recycle Bin and temporary files.
According to AV-Test, Total Protection 2011 was
only able to detect 80 percent of new malware
attacks from the Internet.
McAfee has also beefed up Total Protection’s
Parental Control features. In addition to the stan-
dard web page blocking and use scheduling, Total
Protection 2012 also includes parental control
We especially appreciated Total Protection’s
system time change monitor, which prevents your
child from changing your PC’s system time to get
around your use scheduling.
McAfee Total Protection 2012 is a good security
suite that most users will feel comfortable using.
The software’s parental controls provide parents
with a host of features that do a good job of pre-
venting your child from visiting the darker corners
of the web. We do take issue with the impact the
software had on our notebook’s performance while
performing a full system scan. Overall, though,
McAfee Total Protection 2012 does a good job of
keeping you safe and secure online.
Norton Internet security 2012
$69.99 for three licenses/
Symantec is one of the most well-known names in
the security software business, and to keep that edge
it has to constantly evolve its product offerings to
keep up with the competition. With Norton Internet
Security 2012, Symantec does just
that, making a host of changes to its
user interface and debuting several
helpful new features.
Installing Norton Internet Security
2012 was seamless. We downloaded
the suite from Symantec’s site, and
after a preliminary search for any
competitor’s security software, we
were up and running in five to six
One of the things we liked most
about Internet Security’s improved
interface were the changes made
to its settings menu. Last year’s
interface made searching through
your settings a bit of a hassle and
somewhat confusing for less-informed
users. The new interface is much
Norton Internet Security features
Symantec’s new SONAR, or Syman-
tec Online Network for Advanced
Response. SONAR provides you with
real-time protection against known
threats and detects unknown security risks based
on their behavior. When SONAR detects a new
high-certainty threat, it automatically blocks and
removes it from your computer.
Internet Security 2012 marks the debut of
Symantec’s Bandwidth awareness feature, which
can be used to limit your network adapter’s
bandwidth usage. Symantec has also jumped on
the secure search bandwagon, adding its Norton
Secured Security Badge to Internet Security. The
tool displays a Norton Secured logo next to search
engine results which Symantec has determined
to be safe.
In the malware detection test, Internet Security
was able to identify 98.94 percent of threats.
While that’s higher than the average of 97.3, Bit-
defender’s Total Security 2012 caught everything,
and Kaspersky caught 99.4 percent.
When it came to cleaning up malware, Norton
Internet Security performed especially well, clear-
ing out 83 percent of threats.
With more malware and viruses spreading to
smartphones and gadgets, Symantec has decided
to bundle its Norton Mobile Security for Android
app with Internet Security.
You don’t get a complete version of Mobile
Security when you download it. You only get a
basic edition that includes an anti-malware scan-
ner and anti-theft protection, which lets you lock
or wipe your smartphone in case
it has been stolen or lost. Users
who upgrade to the full version
of the software for $29.99 will
get call and SMS blocking and
Making a return with Norton Internet Security
2012 is Symantec’s Norton Safety Minder, a web
portal that allows parents to follow what their
children have been doing online. We still can’t
quite wrap our heads around why the company
doesn’t integrate the feature into Internet Security’s
Internet Security online comes with the basic
version of Norton Online Family. So while you’ll
be able to monitor and control what websites
your child visits, what they search for, and who
they interact with through social networks and
instant messaging services, you won’t be able to
see what they watch on Hulu or YouTube or how
much time they are spending on the computer
in general. To get those features, you’ll have to
upgrade to Norton Online Family Premier for an
additional $29 per year.
Norton Internet Security 2012 offers users a
slew of new enhancements that will help them
keep computers and data safe. The main interface
is easy to use, and we like the bundled PC tune-up
features and bundled protection for Android devices.
Unfortunately, there are some minor annoyances,
such as the web-based parental controls and con-
stant feature installations. For those reasons, we
give the edge to Bitdefender Total Security 2012,
which has a more unified interface and is slightly
better at detecting threats.
Laptop | November 2011
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