By Jayne A. Hitchcock
In the past, I've used only two other antivirus programs: McAfee and Thunderbird. The former
was used on my desktop the latter on my laptop. My husband raved about Norton Antivirus for
years and I finally decided to give it a try. I was glad I did and begrudgingly thanked my
husband for recommending it.
Norton Antivirus 5.0 (NAV 5.0) is a product of the Symantec Corporation and is part of a
"family" of tools for PCs. Other programs available include Norton 2000, Norton CrashGuard,
Norton Utilities, Norton Mobile Utilities and Norton SystemWorks.
Installing NAV 5.0 on my Pentium 100 PC was very easy. All I did was follow the prompts and
let the CD-ROM do the rest. I directed the program to check my system files upon startup or
restart, which works very well (and so far, no viruses in my system).
To try out NAV 5.0, I clicked on my shortcut to it. The window is small and compact and
offers the following pull-down menus at the top of the window:
- Scan (Selected Rives, Files, Folders)
- Tools (Options, Virus List, Scheduler
- Activity Log
- Live Update
- Help (Contents, Product Support Online, About)
A toolbar just below this has buttons for Options, Virus List, Scheduler, Activity Log and Live
Update. Below on the left is a list of drives on the computer, in the middle are check boxes for
All Floppy Drives, All Hard Drives and (if applicable), All Network Drives. You can check all,
one or two of these. On the right are three buttons for Scan Now, Exit and Help. Below this
shows what drives have been selected to be scanned and below that is a hint box.
The place I went to first was the Options section. The tabbed options include :
- Scanner (what to scan, what to do if a virus is found)
- Auto-Protect (how NAV 5.0 works in the background)
- Startup (what is scanned when the computer is started or restarted)
- Activity Log
- Inoculation (Inoculate files against unknown files, such as boot records and system files)
Once I had my options selected, I decided to see just how many Viruses were in my Virus List -
a whopping 16,151. A neat feature is LiveUpdate. When clicked, this allows you to
automatically connect to Symantec's FTP site to update your virus lists (recommended to be
done at least once a month). McAfee offers free updates, but you have to install the update
yourself - NAV 5.0 does it all for you. Much more convenient.
Another nice feature is the online product support, found in the Help pull-down menu. One of
these options, Getting Connected To The Web, is great for newbies or those who have questions
about the web and Internet Service Providers. The other options, Norton Anti-Virus Support
Center, Online Support Information and Symantec AntiVirus Research Center automatically
bring up your web browser and take you directly to the appropriate site (I highly recommend
visiting these, just to see the information that is available).
Next I performed a scan of my hard drives. I have a 6.1 gig partitioned hard drive, broken down
as C:, D: and E:. The full scan took about 10 minutes - pretty fast. Luckily, no viruses were
detected and I'm happy as a clam.
In addition to keeping your hard drives, floppies, network and Zip drives free from viruses, NAV
5.0 automatically scans any files downloaded from the web as they're downloaded - this saves
headaches if you get a file with a nasty virus lurking in it. It also works on email attachments
and shared files. If you want to cough up the few extra bucks for NAV 5.0 Deluxe, you also get
protection against hackers and destructive Active X and Java applets from entering your
computer; encryption of your files and communications; and two years of free product upgrades.
Compared to McAfee and Thunderbird, NAV 5.0 is much, much better, pricewise and capability-
wise. With free virus updates for the life of the product, this antivirus program can't be beat -- In
my opinion, at least.
If you don't have an antivirus program on your PC, GET THIS TODAY! If you do and it's not
NAV 5.0, seriously consider switching. I did, and I'm glad I did.
UPS OF Norton AntiVirus 5.0
- Easy to install
- Easy to understand
- Live updates for the life of the product
- Online support is wonderful
- Upgrades are available on the Symantec site
- Automatic full-time heuristic protection from new macro viruses
- Email notification of major virus news
- Repair Wizard
- Money back guarantee
- Works with Windows 95/98, Windows NT, Windows 3.X and DOS workstations
- FREE trial available at http://shop.symantec.com/trialware/ (30 days, 14.4 megabyte
DOWNS OF NAV 5.0
This is the first time I can actually state that I found no downs to a product!
(for Windows 95/98 users - see NAV 5.0 web site
for other platform requirements)
- 386 or higher (486 or higher is recommended)
- 8 MB RAM (16 MB recommended)
- 16 MB hard disk space required
- CD-ROM drive
- Internet connection
- $49.95 retail price (or less, depending on where purchased), get the Deluxe version for just
$20 more - $69.95.
J.A. Hitchcock is a regular
contributor to Compute Me. Visit her web site at
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