Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about Best Antivirus Software here.
Norman Antivirus not only works as antivirus software, it also protects against spyware and malware such as worms, Trojan horses and rootkits. The software has a few useful features but lacks others that provide convenience and extra security. Norman's technical support options are not as extensive as those for other virus control software companies.
When AV-Test published its recent test results, Norman Antivirus had below-average scores in each test category. Protection tests found that while Norman performed admirably against widespread malware, it had trouble identifying many of the zero-day threats used in the test. Performance tests showed that the software caused a four-second delay during everyday tasks, which is below the industry average of three seconds.
In usability tests, Norman produced a greater number of false positives than any other product in our antivirus software review. Despite these scores, Norman Antivirus outperformed Microsoft Security Essentials, the built-in antivirus component of Windows 7. Because of this, AV-Test certifies Norman Antivirus for use with Windows 7 and Windows 8.
Norman Antivirus uses a few methods to identify and neutralize threats that have yet to appear in the threat-signature database. The software detects hacking attempts to exploit code in typically harmless files. It works to detect zero-day outbreaks by inspecting file types that hackers often exploit such as PDF, Microsoft Office and Flash. It has a pop-up blocker and scans email and instant messages. The product also includes a screensaver with a malware scanner.
The program sends irregular files to an isolated virtual sandbox in order to determine their true intentions. With files safely in isolation, Norman simulates the operating system environment so the malware believes it is succeeding, when in fact it's harmlessly revealing itself as malware. This software doesn’t offer many features to begin with, and it lacks some features of the best antivirus software such as automatic USB detection, a password manager and gamer mode.
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The online support page contains links to a forum, support articles and email support. If you live in the U.S. and want support beyond email, you can access telephone support via a European number, which means you might pay extra charges if you don't have an international telephone plan. Furthermore, since telephone support is only available during business hours on weekdays, you might need to wake up early to use it. Norman does not offer live chat support.
Norman Antivirus doubles as antispyware and features rootkit detection to uncover stealthy hacker attacks. Its unique screensaver functions as a malware scanner, something absent in other virus protection software. This product can detect known threats and place suspicious files in a virtual sandbox. Telephone support is best for European users.