Norton Antivirus

Norton AntiVirus (NAV), a product of Symantec Corporation, is an award-winning antivirus program available for Windows XP and Vista. It is designed to protect consumers from viruses, worms, spyware, and other types of malware.

Norton AntiVirus is sold as a standalone product or included as part of Norton Internet Security and Norton SystemWorks. The latter products add more comprehensive PC protection, including monitoring for spyware, adware, and other potential security risks.

Virus definitions

Symantec's Norton LiveUpdate provides virus definition updates, which enable Norton AntiVirus to detect viruses known to Symantec; a total of 73,939 viruses as of March 23, 2008. In order to receive updates, a valid subscription is required; an initial subscription good for one year (or 90 days for OEM copies) is included with the purchase. When a user's subscription expires, the user can still receive program updates (patches) for free but will not be able to download virus definitions updates without renewing his or her subscription or purchasing a new version of the Symantec product with a year of subscription included.


Version History

Version 2006 (13.0)

Norton AntiVirus 2006
Norton AntiVirus 2006 introduced spyware and adware detection in full system scans as well as the auto-protect feature. Norton AntiVirus 2006 also introduced the Norton Protection Center, a one stop interface that aggregates all the security data a user needs to know about their PC and displays it on an easy to understand screen. Also introduced in Norton AntiVirus 2006 was home page hijacking protection and new product features throughout the year.

Version 2007 (14.0)

After many years of customer complaints regarding the speed and system resource utilization of the product, Symantec responded in 2007 with a much needed rewrite of the code in an attempt to make the product lighter and faster.Norton AntiVirus 2007 automatically detects and blocks viruses, spyware, rootkits and worms. Several of its key features are Rootkit Protection which finds and removes hidden threats in the operating system, Internet Worm Protection that blocks viruses, spyware and worms without specific signatures, email and instant message scanning that detects, removes or blocks infected attachments and Full System Scan which performs a deep scan to remove existing viruses, spyware and other threats.

Version 2008 (15.0)

Norton AntiVirus 2008 was released on August 28, 2007. It includes new features such as SONAR (Symantec Online Network for Advanced Response) technology, which detects potentially malicious code before traditional virus definitions are available. SONAR works by monitoring programs behavior rather than looking for signatures. Norton AntiVirus 2008 also includes Browser Defender (which protects Internet Explorer from drive by downloads and unpatched exploits), One-Click Support, Home Network Security Status (displays status of Norton AntiVirus on all PC's in your network), multiple daily updates, and improved performance (about 60% faster than Norton AntiVirus 2007.

Version 2009 (16.0)

The 2009 version is in development and the first public beta version was released on July 15, 2008. It uses a new software architecture which boosts the software speed. It has some new features including Silent Mode, Smart Idle Time Scheduler, Enhanced Browser Protection With Norton 2009 the Protection System, includes an innovative new technology that uses security information from millions of users to pre-determine what files and processes are safe, and what aren’t. Coupled with Norton’s Browser Protection technology for blocking web-based attacks and enhanced SONAR technology for detecting unknown threats.


Like most standard antivirus software, Norton AntiVirus provides real-time protection from viruses, spyware, worms, keyloggers, rootkits and many other forms of malware. The program also includes a real-time scanner.

Product activation

Beginning with Norton AntiVirus 2004, Norton AntiVirus includes an anti-copying feature called "Product Activation," which is similar to the activation process in window xp  and office xp . The activation process for Norton AntiVirus 2004 through 2007 can be accomplished through two methods: over the Internet or by phone. Starting with Norton AntiVirus 2008, activation can only be accomplished over the Internet.
Effects on performance
The software(prior to version 2006) is typically regarded as making considerable demands on resources. In common with other Norton products, Norton AntiVirus (2006 and earlier) relies on Internet Explorer's web interface, instead of using the standard GUI libraries.