Norton Internet Security 2009 review

Lighter than ever, but its all-round performance isn't quite first class.

Darien Graham-Smith
13 Feb 2009
Price when reviewed 

Norton Internet Security 2009 impressed us when it first appeared in September. It's the lightest Norton suite yet, and its resource demands compare favourably to the competition - although in this month's tests Eset and Kaspersky managed to slightly undercut its RAM requirements.

In our earlier look at the package we were also impressed to see Norton achieve malware detection rates comparable with those of Kaspersky, then our A-List choice. With 86% in this month's test, Norton still came within 2% of its Russian rival. Sadly, in this company such scores fall short of the winners' podium.

When it came to web threats, Norton dropped further behind, flagging up only 34% of our malicious sites. Its defence against our network attacks wasn't this month's most convincing, either: like McAfee, it left three TCP ports open along with a few other high-risk vulnerabilities.

It's a shame, because Norton Internet Security 2009 has obviously been designed with excellent intentions. Not only is it lightweight, it's also one of this month's least obtrusive suites, warning you of malware detections with a small, self-closing pop-up in the bottom-right of the screen. It doesn't visibly modify your email client, either.

Unfortunately, this well-meaning reticence can be frustrating for technical users. Requesters can be vague about which virus was found or where, and the juicy details are buried behind an overcomplicated interface. All the same, NIS 2009 is a very welcome advance over previous Norton products.


Software subcategoryInternet security


Processor requirementN/A

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported?yes
Operating system Windows XP supported?yes
Operating system Linux supported?no
Operating system Mac OS X supported?no

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