First let me say that I have not personally used any Symantec products since late 2003. But I have seen previous versions of Symantec products such as Norton anti-virus or Norton Internet Security products and have been less than impressed. In fact I have advised clients to uninstall trial ware of Norton on new systems, and immediately noticed that the computer sprang back to life. So before trying Norton 2009 anti-virus beta software, I had to deal with my own prejudices.

My prejudices included my perception, along with many others, that Norton products had become bloated. That the products were resource hogs that actually did more harm than good and would bring most systems to a crawl. That Norton technical support had become indifferent to the fact that their software was problematic and that each new version seemed worse than its predecessor.

With that being said, I have been running the beta [test] version of Norton anti-virus 2009 for about 3 weeks on my test box. The test system runs Windows XP w/sp3 installed and dual boots along with Vista. I had been using  AVG 7.5 on the XP side with no issues. So I had uninstalled AVG 7.5, and installed Norton anti-virus 2009 without incident. Once I had the program installed I complted the update process and updated the protections. I should also mention that since the original installation I have also installed a new version which Symantec has released.

OK. Enough with the preliminary’s.  The bottom line is this. Symantec has vastly improved upon their product. The latest release of Norton anti-virus 2009 is kind when it comes to resource use. I personally found no performance hit on my test box. It ran just as well with Norton as it did when I was using AVG 7.5.

Next is the GUI. I like it. It is simple and I found it very intuitive.  Performing system maintenance is easy and Norton scanner is faster than previous versions. On a conservative estimate , it appeared to scan my system twice as fast as AVG did. This is one of the drawbacks to AVG which was slow at system scanning.

Would I recommend Norton anti-virus 2009? Yes I would. I would also recommend that you give the beta a try on your own system and see for yourself. If you do decide to try Norton anti-virus 2009 beta let us know what you think.

Comments welcome.

Symantec Norton 2009 beta’s here.