Norton Internet Security 2011
Price: £50 (three PCs)
Like McAfee, Norton is one of the kings of the antivirus world and this latest version of its Internet Security suite doesn't let the side down at all.
Where previous versions could be annoyingly 'in your face', the 2011 suite feels more quietly confident, from its new interface showing current trouble hotspots around the world to the easy-to-use tools it provides for scanning and cleaning.
In tests, Norton's antivirus put on one of the best performances. It had no difficulty with the viruses we sent it to find and didn't fall for any of the false positives we set up for it. Norton has long had a reputation for being a heavy package, but this time out, it's a good lodger.
A very long initial scan soon gave way to one of the fastest second scans, with a solid CPU and memory footprint.
Bonus features on top of the core antivirus scanning in the Internet Security 2011 edition include parental controls, firewalling and tools for identity theft protection. The next level up, Norton 360, adds online backup/PC tuning, although nothing extra that you really need for online security.
One complaint we do have, however, is that while Symantec offers a 30-day trial of Norton products, there's a bit of a catch – they're what the company calls 'opt-out demos'. In short, you have to give it your credit card number and if you don't actively cancel before the end of your trial period, you'll automatically be billed for a whole year's worth of protection.
Hopefully this doesn't catch on with other companies, because it's not the friendliest way of road-testing alternative suites.