Symantec Norton Internet Security 2008 Review

by Reads (19,283)

by Sarah Meyer

These days, everyone is a potential victim of a computer virus, or related scam. People have their passwords, bank accounts and even identities stolen on a daily basis, some without any clue that their information is in jeopardy.

So, Internet Security is a bigger concern now more than ever. Enter anti-virus and security software galore. I decided to check out Symantec’s latest Norton Internet Security 2008 software to see if it not only protected a computer but made it easy for the consumer to use.

Norton Internet Security 2008 Specifications

  • Browser Defender, Phishing protection
  • Norton Identity Safe
  • SONAR, Smart Firewall
  • Protection for home networks
  • One-Click support (Free 24/7 e-mail, chat support)
  • Improved Performance
  • Compatible with Vista and XP
  • 60-day money-back guarantee

Installing/Uninstalling Norton Internet Security 2008

Norton Internet Security 2008 (NIS 2008) is fairly easy to use compared to other security software systems I’ve used in the past. All you need is the software CD and the product key, which is printed on the CD case.

It’s recommended to delete all other security software you have on your computer prior to installation. Pop in the CD and Norton opens up a typical installation wizard. It takes you through a few questions; notably whether you want to run a full scan of your computer BEFORE you install and if you want to become a member of the Norton Community Watch.

Then the program asks for some basic information for your new Norton Account and your product key located on the CD case. Installation ran from about 20 minutes to an hour depending on whether you choose to run a full scan before the installation is complete.

Two of the major issues with previous versions of Norton were that it slowed down computer performance (even when it wasn’t scanning for viruses) and it was difficult to completely remove once installed. I didn’t notice any obvious performance loss … except perhaps for a fraction of a second increase in Windows startup time while NIS 2008 loads.

Below are PCMark05 benchmarks taken from a Sony VAIO NR notebook before and after installation of NIS 2008. We’ve also included images of the performance section of Windows Task Manager to show the impact to system resources.

Sony VAIO NR160E (1.5GHz T5250 Core 2 Duo with 1GB RAM):

Before NIS 2008 3,283 PC Marks
With NIS 2008 3,179 PC Marks

Before NIS 2008:

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With NIS 2008:

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Uninstalling NIS 2008 is as easy as installing the software. The wizard warns the user about how uninstalling the software will affect the subscription and asks if you’d like to turn on a Windows firewall. If you’ve already run a scan before uninstalling NIS 2008 and the software had quarantined viruses or adware, it will ask you if you’d like to permanently delete these files. Finally, when Norton is done uninstalling itself, you’ll need to restart your computer. The whole process took about 20 minutes.

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Using Norton Internet Security 2008

NIS 2008 is fairly simple to use as well and you can choose from different scans. I did the full scan which was very through but took over an hour to complete. It found 16 risks, ranked from high to low risk. Each risk had a definition of the different threats it posed and suggestions on how to deal with them. It’s the policy on NIS 2008 that all threats are removed and then quarantined. This is nice because if something important gets quarantined you can restore the file.

NIS 2008 software comes with a one year subscription. During that time the software will update itself constantly to keep your computer safe. In less than a week after installing NIS 2008, it had already updated itself multiple times. You can also upload NIS 2008 on up to three computers, or what they consider a “home network,” without an additional cost. At the end of the year, NIS 2008 can be renewed and/or upgraded for an additional cost.

There are plenty of new features with NIS 2008 that should be mentioned:

  • Norton Identity Safe is one of the new solutions to help “safeguard personal information and keep your identity safe when you buy, bank and browse online.” They do this by encrypting passwords and storing your information securely.
  • Browser Defender and Phishing Protection help keep otherwise vulnerable browsers from being exploited. It identifies/warns users about fishy websites and uses anti-eavesdropping to jam keyloggers during purchase transactions. NIS 2008 only protects Microsoft IE 6.0 and later AND Mozilla Firefox 2.0 and later.
  • Symantec Online Network for Advanced Response (SONAR) is used to detect spyware and viruses before definitions are available while the Smart Firewall automates security decisions, blocks spyware from transmitting personal information and prevents hackers from logging into your computer.
  • One-Click Support helps access support from within an application and provides Symantec support technicians to help you solve issues above your knowledge base.


I liked using Norton Internet Security 2008; it was as easy to install and uninstall as claimed. The features that come with the software are top notch helping clueless internet users not only avoid the nasty viruses and adware that are floating around but also phishing scams and keyloggers.

The problem with Norton and other security software is that to keep them and your computer updated, you have to renew annually … an extra $50 cost every year. Buying NIS 2008 only solves your security problems for a year and can only be installed on three computers. If you want to install it on more than three computers you have to buy Small Office Packs for five or 10 users.


  • Phishing protection
  • One-Click Support
  • Easy installation


  • Can only be used on three computers
  • Must renew subscription annually

Pricing and Availability

Norton Internet Security 2008 One-Year Protection is available on the Symantec website for $59.99. Renewal/Upgrade to Norton Internet Security 2008 One-Year Protection is available on the Symantec website for $49.99.



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