Norman Security Suite
Norman Security Suite is a comprehensive internet security suite. While it doesn't stand out against its competition, it is a competent product that adequately does what it's supposed to do - protect PCs from internet-borne threats.
- Simple and easy to set up, easy-to-use parental controls
- Warnings can be vague and uninformative
Norman Security Suite does an adequate job of protecting a PC from the ills of the internet. The Pro version ($69) adds intrusion detection and prevention and may be a better choice for those looking for a more robust firewall. However, potential buyers might want to wait and see what the next version has to offer. There's a lot of room for improvement in this product, and although Norman wouldn't release any details about the next version, the company did tell us that it will address some of these concerns in the near future.
Price$ 59.95 (AUD)
Norman Security Suite offers real-time, on-demand and scheduled virus scans. During on-demand scans, Norman Security Suite is very informative, displaying a progress graph that offers interesting tidbits of information, such as what has been found and what is being scanned. While most security products offer that capability, Norman's is more descriptive, offering file names and a running status of problems found.
Software can be configured to automatically scan and shows a progress report in the form of a graph. The Norman Security Suite antivirus and antispyware program offers protection from instant-messaging attachments, viruses and other forms of malware. Scheduled scans can be performed in "screen saver" mode, which, during periods of inactivity, launches a screen saver that also executes a scan of the files on the PC.
Norman Security Suite's firewall offers professional-level logging that can be used to identify any activity detected by the firewall, which is useful for tracking down suspicious activity. We found the firewall pretty easy to set up and the management console quite detailed.
Although the firewall is geared toward more technically savvy users, most people should be able to figure out how to use it. We found Norman Security Suite's integrated tools, such as the port monitor and real-time packet logs, a real bonus. Those tools give you a real feel for what is exactly happening on a PC when it's connected to the internet.
However, neophyte users might find a few of the features a little complicated. For example, Norman Security Suite offers a "digital sandbox" - questionable code is placed in a sandbox for further testing, and ideally that code (if infected) will activate in the sandbox, before entering the actual operating system. It's an important feature, but Norman's sandbox requires more end-user interaction than those of competing products, such as McAfee Internet Security 2010, ZoneAlarm Internet Security 2010 and Trend Micro Internet Security Pro 2010.
We found Norman Security Suite's parental controls easy to set up, thanks to a wizard that guides you through the process. You can set it for multiple users, time limitations and password-protected access. However, users looking for more granular control over parental settings will find Norman Security Suite's choices more limited; it lets you select only generalised settings such as "child" and "teenager."
The same can be said for Norman Security Suite's antispam tool. It works with both POP3 and IMAP email accounts and supports all of the popular email clients. However, while it is easy to set up and configure, it doesn't stand out among its competitors - for example, customisation is limited to a few "block" or "deny" rules for email messages that fall outside of the normal spam/not spam calculations.
The link scanner, Surf-Shield, worked for the most part, blocking access to scam sites and links that were known to be infected. However, the warnings were somewhat vague, offering little information on why a specific site was a problem.
The firewall also suffered from a lack of descriptiveness. It was able to block unauthorised programs but did not provide much follow-up information. It would have been nice if the firewall offered a little more guidance than just reporting that an application was trying to access the internet.
In short, Norman Security Suite lacks some of the bells and whistles found on other products - features such as extensive reporting and customisable warning screens.
Norman Security Suite: Usability
Installation of Norman Security Suite is straightforward. During the install process, you will have to enter a key code and reboot your system at least one time (pretty standard fare with a security suite).
One interesting thing Norman Security Suite does during the installation is ask for the user's "experience level". You can choose experienced or inexperienced - we chose the latter, just to see what would happen. For an inexperienced user, the setup is mostly automated and asks only simple questions, such as what browser you primarily use and whether or not you are on a network. The installation for experienced users was initially more time-consuming; however, having the ability to set defaults during the installation saved time later on, because we didn't have to go back into the configuration settings to make changes to meet our specific needs.
Once installed, Norman Security Suite is fairly simple to use. The main screen, which acts as the main menu interface, offers a view of the various categories or modules that make up Norman, including the status of each (for example, whether any malware has been intercepted).
Categories include Virus & Spyware Protection, Personal Firewall, Parental Controls, Install and Update and Support Center. Each selection sports submenus that avoid technobabble, making it simple to make minor changes and understand what is going on with the product.
Virus scans were very processor-intensive - when running a scan, even on an Intel i7-powered Toshiba, there was a noticeable lag in system performance, with processor utilisation spiking to near 100 percent. We wouldn't recommend using Norman Security Suite on a netbook or an older, less-powerful PC.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 2 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 3 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 4 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 5 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Huawei Watch 2 Classic Review: Good watch but a missed opportunity for Wear 2.0
- Far Cry 5's first trailer reveals religious cults and explosions in picturesque Montana
- Amazon is offering two free months of Music Unlimited to new subscribers
- This week in games: Red Dead Redemption 2 is delayed, Destiny 2 PC servers explained
- Any website can crash your Windows 7 or 8 PC with these four characters
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- MSI GE72 7RE Apache Pro gaming laptop review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- CCAS400 / iSeries EngineerNSW
- FTSenior Front End Developer - BRISBANEVIC
- FTLead Senior Systems Engineer | 90 - 120K + Super|VIC
- FTPMO LeadNSW
- CCPHP DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Business Development Manager| SMSF/Accounting SoftwareNSW
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- FT.Net DeveloperVIC
- TPInfrastructure Project ManagerQLD
- FTFull Stack DeveloperQLD
- FTApplication Support EngineerACT
- FTCustomer Account Officers x3NSW
- FTPHP DeveloperWA
- CCCommercial ManagerVIC
- FTChange ManagerQLD
- CCPega DeveloperNSW
- CCGun Java/ Full Stack Developer wanted...VIC
- FTProcurement OfficerACT
- FTProject Manager or Coordinator - Retail Store ProjectsNSW
- TPProject Manager - ProcurementQLD
- FTSalesforce ConsultantQLD
- FTEnterprise Architect - Solutions and ApplicationsQLD
- FTSenior Business Analyst l GROUP LIFE INSURANCE l SydneyVIC
- TPSOE EngineerACT