Norton Internet Security for Mac

Norton Internet Security for Mac Review: Internet Security Software

Internet Security Software
 
Visit Norton Internet Security for Mac Website
Rating:
Bottom Line:
Great security option for Mac with a wide range of features and an interface that is both functional and visually appealing
Full Review:
5 2014-12-15 12:30:44 [Editor's Note: Norton is currently offering a $30 discount on its security software. To take advantage of this deal, simply click any link to Norton from NextAdvisor.com.]

Norton has recently redesigned its entire security software suite, including the Mac version. The cost to protect up to five computers or devices is a flat $49.99/year (with NextAdvisor's discount), making it one of the more affordable multi-device security software suites. The Mac security program has received a full facelift, making it easier to use while maintaining the same level of protection as before.


Installation

Although the installation itself is rather quick, Norton does ask you to make a couple of decisions about different program settings and requires a reboot before you can begin using the program. A browser extension is also installed during the process. Once the installation is complete, Norton offers a virtual tour to help you get acquainted with the program before you start. This product tour can easily be skipped.


Interface

In previous years, Norton's Mac software has featured a disjointed design that housed each separate program feature in its own separate interface screen. Fortunately, the 2015 redesign shows Symantec coming to its senses and housing all the product features in a single interface. This interface is also an improvement from the old — a stylish, easy-on-the-eyes design with a bright color scheme and simple layout.

The bottom third of the interface separates the program features into five sections with large buttons you can click on to switch from one to the other. The sections include Security, Scans, LiveUpdate, Advanced and Add Devices. The top third of the screen displays the content for whichever area you are viewing. Clicking on Help at the top of each screen pulls down a menu with multiple options, including Help for this window — which directs you to the page in Norton's online help manual with more information about what you are currently viewing.


Security is the traditional interface for antivirus software. It lets you know if your computer is protected, as well as when your last scan and update were run.

Scans houses the three different computer scan options — Quick, Full and File — and lets you schedule scans. The File scan lets you drag and drop a file or folder from your computer for a scan or select from the finder. You can also click "Scan Facebook Wall" in this section and be directed to install Norton Safe Web on your Facebook account. This app scans your wall for infected or dangerous links.

LiveUpdate lets you update your Norton software so that it syncs with the most up-to-date information from Norton.

Advanced houses the remainder of Norton's features and its settings, arranged in a column so you can click through them to access the settings of each. These include: Protect My Mac (scan settings), Firewall, Safe Web (toggle on/off and enable protection for Safari and Firefox), File Guard (password-protect folders and files), Activity (program stats) and Product Settings (turn silent mode on/off).

Turning settings options on or off is simple with a toggle switch that turns green when the setting is on or grey when it is off so you know at-a-glance if it's in use. To make changes to a feature or setting, you can click on a tool-themed icon to the right of each, which pulls up a separate window with your different options.


Antivirus/Antimalware

Historically, the PC version of Norton has done well in independent testing — although it is worth mentioning that Symantec has not entered the program in AV-Comparatives' testing over the past few years. That said, Norton's historical average is a 2.5 out of 3 stars from when it was being tested, and it retains an excellent reputation for protection.

The Firewall for the Mac software offers several different options to keep your computer protected. Location Awareness allows you to set up different protections based on the different networks your Mac might be connected to — which is especially helpful for laptops. Vulnerability Protection helps stop attackers from exploiting flaws in any of the applications you are running, alerting you if anyone is attempting to access your computer without your permission. The DeepSight™ network lets you connect to a constantly-updated list of community-reported attackers, ensuring that you are always protected against identified threats.


File Guard is another great security tool, letting you drag and drop files or whole folders from your computer (or select them using the finder) into Norton. The files are then password protected, and you are notified anytime someone tries to access them.

Norton's Safe Web browser add-on provides protection for both Safari and Firefox, but — sadly — not Chrome. However, it is a powerful feature that provides protection against malicious and fraudulent websites, as well as phishing protection. You can make a choice in the settings whether to have Norton block bad sites outright or offer a warning that lets you click through to the page if you so desire.


Performance

Norton doesn't offer anything in the way of performance-enhancing features for its Mac software, but it runs smoothly and quietly in the background. To ensure you aren't disrupted while playing a game or watching a movie, you can set the program to run on "Silent Mode," which suppresses alerts and also suspends background activities to prevent your computer from slowing down.


Conclusion

Overall, Norton for Mac offers quality protection with a number of helpful features that will enhance your web browsing and computer use. It lacks all of the bells and whistles of its PC companion, but the redesigned interface is a breath of fresh air and makes the program far more pleasant to use than in years past.

System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.8-10.10

AV-Comparatives ratings on a variety of tasks related to the antivirus and anti-malware product. "Known Malware" refers to a product's ability to catch pre-identified viruses, while "Unknown Malware" refers to its ability to detect brand new viruses. Older scores may reflect previous software versions. All AV-Comparatives scores are based on the PC version of Norton.

Antimalware/Antivirus Tests Norton Internet Security
11/10 Dynamic Test
06/11 Dynamic Test
12/11 Dynamic Test
07/12 Dynamic Test N/A
12/12 Dynamic Test N/A
07/13 Dynamic Test N/A
12/13 Dynamic Test N/A
07/14 Dynamic Test N/A
Historical Average


Visit Norton Internet Security for Mac Website | Compare to Other Internet Security Software


 
Service Details:

Price:$49.99/yr for up to 5 devices
Ease of Use:Sleek, streamlined interface redesign is a breath of fresh air
Special Features:Firewall, automatic protection, location awareness, antiphishing technology, Safe Web for Facebook, Safe Search, File Guard
Personal Information Manager:Yes
Anti-malware/Antivirus Score*:
System Performance Score**:

*Averaged 2010/2011 scores for each company's antivirus/anti-malware product by independent testing agency AV-Comparatives. Score indicates overall effectiveness in a variety of tests over time. † indicates that company did not take part in all tests. See reviews for details.

**Score indicates impact of antivirus product on system performance. Average of performance tests by AV-Comparatives.

NextAdvisor Internet Security Software Blog Headlines

Apple Names its Top Apps of 2014: Password Manager Makes Top 10
Apple has released its list of top apps just in time for the New Year. Although Instagram's Hyperlapse was a close runner-up, Elevate, a brain-training app, took app of the year. Among other top-ranked apps was, surprisingly, a password manager app called 1Password. What?s a password manager? Password managers do many things. They help you [...]

How to Protect Your Small Business from a Data Breach
It seems like the business world has been plagued with data breaches over the past year, and if the recent Sony Pictures hack is any indication, that's not likely to change anytime soon. In the aftermath of these security breaches, businesses and customers alike look back at what mistakes were made and wonder what could [...]

Sony Pictures Hack Keeps Growing: 47,000 Social Security Numbers Leaked
Things aren't getting better for Sony Pictures following an unprecedented attack that began on Nov. 24 and keeps growing, as more stolen data is publicly released. According to the Wall Street Journal, a whopping 47,000 social security numbers were exposed in this attack, including those of a number of celebrities such as Rebel Wilson and Sylvester Stallone. Many of these social [...]

Norton Internet Security for Mac Forum Posts


About UsBlogContact Us Forums Terms & Privacy PolicyAffiliate ProgramSite Map
NextAdvisor.com is a BBB Accredited Information Bureau in San Francisco, CA

Advertiser Disclosure: NextAdvisor.com is a consumer information site that offers free, independent reviews and ratings of online services. We receive advertising revenue from most but not all of the companies whose products and services we review. For credit cards, we review cards from all of the top 10 US issuers by purchase volume (according to Issue 1035 of The Nilson Report, Feb 2014) excluding issuers that require additional accounts to be a cardholder and private label issuers. We may also review cards from other issuers in select cases. We do not review all products in a given category. We are independently owned and operated and all opinions expressed on this site are our own.