The ideal Antivirus program runs quietly in the background, updates itself automatically and does its job with minimal interaction from the user. It should also be able to distinguish between legitimate threats and a cookie from your favorite online shopping site. Symantec has cleaned up the GUI to make Norton Antivirus easier to use and walk you through what it's doing and why. The software makes prudent recommendations and generally works as advertised.

Antivirus programs are no different than other forms of software in that they evolve for better or worse each release. McAfee, Symantec, Panda, Grisoft and others all compete pretty well with each other. What makes them stand out is system compatibility, resource requirements, ease of use and aggressive updates. Norton has always done a pretty good job of stopping viruses but at the expense of system performance. With NAV 2007 it seems like they've finally put it all together in a friendly package that won't slow your computer down.

While NAV 2007 ran in the background we were able to edit video and burn DVDs without any noticeable hit in performance. All systems booted up and shut down without any hits in performance and generally the software stayed out of the way and just did its job. The performance was very good on both single core and dual core systems. In fact, we really expected a bigger hit in performance on some of the older single core systems but were pleasantly surprised.

In the past 3 years we would have had a hard time recommending Norton Antivirus but it's now a worthy contender with its efficient operation and simplified GUI. We hope this trend continues in future releases of the entire suite of Symantec products.

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