Norton Internet Security 2012

Lighter and quicker than ever

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  • Lighter than ever
  • Fast scans
  • Easy installation
  • Great recovery tools


  • Desktop widget might annoy

It's always nice when a company - especially one that has been the market leader for so long - acknowledges its past mistakes and strives to rectify them. This has never been truer than in the case of Symantec and its Norton Internet Security product.

For years it was the market leader for antivirus software, and the de facto choice for many people when choosing their defence against internet threats. However, this didn't mean that the software itself was universally popular, and it increasingly came under fire for slowing customers' computers down and filling them with unwanted extra features.

Happily, Symantec has acknowledged that its reputation needed to improve, and lately with each passing year has released a version of Norton Internet Security that is lighter and faster than the last.

Norton Internet Security 2012 continues this encouraging trend with what is easily Symantec's lightest version of Norton Internet Security ever.

Installation only took a few seconds, and CPU usage while performing a full system scan remained around 12 to 15 per cent on our test machine, and a full system scan of around 500,000 files over two hard drives was completed in 31 minutes.

Norton Internet Security 2012 review

While our PC has a pretty healthy processor (an Intel Core i7-2700K), less robust systems should also cope fine with the load.

Numbers aside, the most important thing is that you can still use your computer as it scans in the background, and Norton Internet Security 2012's impact on your PC's overall performance is much smaller than it used to be.

While Norton Internet Security 2012 does a good job at protecting your PC, if you get so infected that your PC is all but unusable, then Norton's Power Eraser and Bootable Recovery Tool can be a huge help - the latter scanning your PC outside of your traditional operating system.

Of less use is the desktop gadget that gets installed alongside the main antivirus program. While some people may find it a comforting presence on your desktop, offering quick access to the program, others might be annoyed by the intrusion. It can easily be turned off, if so.

Priced at £49.99 in the UK and $79.99 in the US for three PCs for one year, the software costs about the same as many of rival programs.


Overall, Norton Internet Security 2012 is a great antivirus product and a further improvement on previous versions. It is quick and light, so your PC won't become noticeably slower when it's installed.

Most importantly though, Symantec's experience in the antivirus field, alongside world-class technology and research, has resulted in a powerful security package.