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Detailed Description and Review

Norton Internet Security 2003 (AntiVirus, Firewall, Spam Alert, Privacy & Parental Control) 5 out of 5 stars

Windows Software Symantec

software box cover AbleStable 5 Star Award [pc - see Norton Internet Security for the mac] This easy-to-use, integrated suite includes full versions of Norton AntiVirus and Norton Personal Firewall to defend your PC against the most common Internet dangers.

System Requirements


Windows XP Home Edition/Professional
Intel Pentium II (or compatible) 300Mhz or higher processor
128 MB of RAM
Windows 2000 Professional
Intel Pentium (or compatible) 150Mhz or higher processor
64 MB of RAM (96 MB recommended)
Windows 98/Me
Intel Pentium (or compatible) 150Mhz or higher processor
48 MB RAM (64MB recommended)

Required For All Installations
60 MB of available hard disk space (without Parental Control feature installed)
90 MB of available hard disk space (complete)
DVD or CD-ROM drive
Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.01 or later
Microsoft Windows Internet support
Supported instant messaging clients for Confidential Information filtering:
MSN® Instant Messenger 3.6
AOL® Instant Messenger 4.3
Windows® Messenger 4.0
Supported instant messaging clients for virus detection:
MSN Messenger and Windows Messenger (minimum version 4.6 required)
AOL Instant Messenger (minimum version 4.7 required)
Yahoo!® Instant Messenger (minimum version 5.0 required)

Detailed Description

Manufacturer's Description

Symantec’s Norton Internet Security 2003 provides essential protection from viruses, hackers, and privacy threats. This easy-to-use, integrated suite includes full versions of Norton AntiVirus and Norton Personal Firewall to defend your PC against the most common Internet dangers. Norton AntiVirus, the world’s most trusted antivirus solution*, removes infections automatically, without interrupting your work. Now it scans and cleans instant-message attachments as well as email messages.

Norton Personal Firewall keeps hackers out and personal data in. Its Norton Intrusion Detection feature adds an extra layer of protection by automatically intercepting suspicious connections. And Norton Privacy Control prevents confidential information from being sent out accidentally via Web forms, email messages, instant messages, and Microsoft Office attachments. Norton Internet Security also includes Norton Spam Alert, which helps you detect and filter unwanted email.

Norton Parental Control keeps your children safe online by letting you block objectionable Web sites and set up separate Internet access privileges for each member of your household. Automatic downloads keep Norton Internet Security up to date against new security threats.


Amazon Review

Using anti-virus software isn't enough these days; you need to actively block off your PC from online security risks with a firewall. Norton Internet Security 2003 lets you do both, plus it blocks ads, filters spam and includes parental controls.

Setting up a firewall can be complex but the Security Assistant wizard walks you through all the choices you need to make, and it automatically sets up PCs on a home network to work behind the firewall. The Program Scan looks for Internet-enabled software on your system so you can let all your Internet tools have access at once; you can add other software to the list as well. When a program you haven't specified tries to connect the Alert Assistant helps you decide whether to allow it, block it or tweak the settings; it checks both file names and checksums to make sure an application hasn't been tampered with and you get specific suggestions rather than generic tips.

Similarly it uses signatures and detects common techniques rather than just looking at file names to spot incoming attacks. If your PC is attacked, it will block the source address automatically for 30 minutes, and you can see where the attack is coming from. If you need to be completely secure you can block all traffic in and out. And you can easily see how you're protected and if there are any problems from the red and green indicators in the Status display.

If you share your PC, everyone will need anti-virus and firewall protection, but you can choose whether to turn on the ad and spam blocking tools, the privacy controls that protects private information and the parental controls for blocking particular Web sites, Usenet newsgroups and programs. Symantec categorises these so you can keep people away from gambling and job sites as well as adult sites, and you can add specific sites that you want blocked or allowed. It's no substitute for monitoring what children do on your PC but it's certainly a help. You can also configure the settings for privacy, blocking spam and pop-up and pop-under adverts.

Norton AntiVirus 2003 is one of the best anti-virus packages on the market; Norton Firewall is a powerful tool too, and Internet Security 2003 combines them with other useful tools, plus a foolproof setup that protects you without making what you do want to do online too difficult.

Mary Brabscombe, Amazon

AbleStable® Review
5 out of 5 stars

Syndication Licensees Only Using This Content

Norton Internet Security stops hackers and viruses attacking your computer. When we first ran this software we were amazed at the scale of unauthorised attempts to access our systems.

Trojan programs are regularly repelled and viruses stopped in their tracks, 'Live Update' works seamlessly in the background ensuring both the virus definitions and security software are right up to date, and the main user interface is straightforward and unfussy.

The more experienced user can change the many security settings under the hood, so there's plenty of scope for customisation. Norton Internet Security comes with a full year of automatic updates but you'll need to subscribe to further updates after this. The fee to continue receiving Live Updates after a year is around 10% of the original cost of the software and well worth it as this service is supported by the considerable resources that Symantec muster to ensure the Internet remains your friend and not a source of apprehension.

If you're considering Norton Internet Security to be a part of your general computer maintenance and security strategy, you might consider the SystemWorks/Internet Security package which comes out at a cheaper price than paying separately.

One word of advice when using Norton Internet Security is to accept the default wizard set-up settings when you originally the software, or you'll find almost everything on the Internet is blocked. It's a simple affair to change the settings, but finding almost no access available because you've requested a robust security setting at the wizard set-up stage can be a little alarming when the result is you can't access a single web page! When you've got a feel for the software you can alter the security settings to your own requirements.

If you want to control your Internet access so that you're in charge of what comes in and what goes out, Norton Internet Security is an excellent investment. We've given Norton Internet Security our 5 Star Award for providing a premium software product that, once set up correctly, you simply forget about.

Review by AbleStable®

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