Product Reviews

A New AntiVirus for the New Year

NAV2002 provides maximum protection right out of the box.

What's there to say about antivirus software that hasn't been said a hundred times before? Norton AntiVirus 2002 certainly does an excellent job of protecting computers with minimal user intervention which, in these Internet-connected days, is a darned good idea. Drop in the CD and just accept all the defaults, and it will install itself with maximal protection levels, go out to the Internet and download updates, scan your system, and then schedule itself to repeat the process every Friday night. Going through 62,000 files on a test laptop took an hour, but it did find the viruses I'd salted away there, and simultaneously caught an attempt to download one from the net.

NAV2002 automatically repairs infected files, monitors scripts for dangerous actions, installs links in your web browser to get you to Symantec's web site, integrates itself into Windows Explorer, and monitors your incoming and outgoing email (assuming you use a POP3 mail client). Automatic Live Update looks for updates whenever you're online, so you never have to schedule a download of virus definitions. All in all, it's easy to install, easy to forget, and easy to keep up to date.

I do have a couple of nitpicks, though. First, I dislike the pricing being set so low that the program effectively expires in a year; that smacks of planned obsolescence. Second, the program only supports Windows 98/ME/NT Workstation/2000 Pro/XP Home/XP Pro; to get Symantec's scanning on a server operating system will cost you more. That makes sense for servers that are actually used as servers, but not for those of us -- many in the development community -- who run a server OS as our desktop so as to be able to develop high-end applications. This problem isn't unique to Symantec, but rather crosses all vendors in the AV community (so far as I know). The first vendor to release a scanner that works on a standalone server OS at a reasonable price is going to get my business for sure.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.

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