Symantec: Norton software makes Windows 8 run faster

Couple Windows 8 with a newly released Norton security package and you will get an OS that’s better, faster and more secure: according to Symantec, the 2013 versions of its Norton software are a superior choice compared to the standard antimalware software bundled with the Microsoft OS (Windows Defender), and can make Windows 8 run 50% faster.

The products Symantec is referring to are Norton 360 and Norton Internet Security: the “all-around” security suite (antivirus, personal firewall, backup program) and the Internet security suite are now losing their yearly description (“2010”, “2013” etc.) in favour of a more “always-connected” brand and a constantly-updating approach.

Already available through the Symantec store and soon to be released in stores, Norton 360 and Norton Internet Security have been tested in a report by PassMark Software: by taking into account different scenarios and system operations (bootstrap, file copying and so on), the freely available report (PDF) shows clear and noticeable performance improvements when Windows 8 is loaded with a Norton product compared to when Windows Defender is enabled alone.

Has the ill-famed Norton brand improved so much that installing a Norton package can actually make your system more responsive *and* more secure at once? Maybe: page 12 of the aforementioned PassMark report discloses that “Symantec Corporation funded the production of this report, selected the test metrics and list of products to include in this report, and supplied some of the test scripts used for the tests”.

Source: PC Advisor

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One example, is they could be overly using FFin cloud technology. So instead of extracting the file to disseminate without it is malicious, get the hash and look it up in the cloud, that's a much faster action. But I am completely 10,000% against this half ass cloud crap, I want to know not that someone has marked the file potentially malicious, but that it actually is malicious; something the cloud cannot do. Ya that's what they have done. Stay away from Symantec those shady bast****s.

So what they are saying is that Microsoft is handicap, and despite making windows defender the most efficient that they could, MS engineers are absolutely incompetent.

The balls that Symantec has.
Even if there was some truth behind these allegations, you can't bet MS will act on it such that there Cout will be short lived.
Norton's efficiency however has improved tremendously over the years, but generally their resource consumption has not. One thing is for sure, 50% faster is an inflated claim. They'd be lucky to get 25% faster at most. The other thing is, they may have a lower security profile enabled for this enhanced performance, while MS defender does more of a thorough job by default even though its virus bank is inferior.

Seems lots of people still have Norton 2006 stuck in their minds or something, might as well say Intel sucks because of Prescott.

As has already been said the bench is Win8 with Defender vs. Win8 with Norton, not Norton claiming it will make Win 8 50% faster overall as the (poorly chosen) article title suggests.
I can believe it, Defender/MSE isn't the holy grail of AV and isn't that light for what it does and does take ages (comparatively to others) to scan. It uses the best part of 40 megs just as a bare bones AV sitting there.

The whole Norton 2013 Beta IS Suite idled around 16MB across the two processes for me. No perceptible impact on start up or performance unlike KIS 2013 which was heavy as hell even on a 2500k with 8GB and an SSD and noticeably slowed app loading and start up.

Norton 2013 isn't Norton 2006 nor were 2010/11.

Indeed, the 2009 version was a big improvement over the others... everyone here seems to have not bothered to use it since about 2006 by the sound of things. I like the Trust thing (that is, if a file is common and safe then don't scan it, it's clean) and yes, the little download popups are neat - especially the stability ones for downloaded applications. The best thing though, for me, is the idle time scanning: I often leave my computer running during the day and go and do something. When I'm not using it, Norton's doing a scan or a backup for me.

And most importantly: it is quiet. It tells me when it finds something and lets me undo what it's done if it's moved something it shouldn't have. It tells me when I come back and it's done something (a little toast message saying "Idle time scan complete" or "backup is complete"). Otherwise, silence.

Seriously, though, if you haven't tried a recent version of Norton, download VirtualBox, chuck Windows 7 on there as a trial, chuck a Norton trial on and see how it goes. It really has improved since the days of old.

Yes it really has. In my day to day use it is like it is not there. Hardly ever a peep only for important things. Like I said I hated it for many years but they must have listened to disgruntled users and decided it was time to change for the better. Every PC is unique so it is possible some people many not have the same experience I have. anyways I will keep using it

Douglas_C said,
Indeed, the 2009 version was a big improvement over the others... everyone here seems to have not bothered to use it since about 2006 by the sound of things. I like the Trust thing (that is, if a file is common and safe then don't scan it, it's clean) and yes, the little download popups are neat - especially the stability ones for downloaded applications. The best thing though, for me, is the idle time scanning: I often leave my computer running during the day and go and do something. When I'm not using it, Norton's doing a scan or a backup for me.

And most importantly: it is quiet. It tells me when it finds something and lets me undo what it's done if it's moved something it shouldn't have. It tells me when I come back and it's done something (a little toast message saying "Idle time scan complete" or "backup is complete"). Otherwise, silence.

Seriously, though, if you haven't tried a recent version of Norton, download VirtualBox, chuck Windows 7 on there as a trial, chuck a Norton trial on and see how it goes. It really has improved since the days of old.

Don't joke at me, Norton!
You are the most notorious software for downgrading performance.
You made my computer drag like dead snail and I had removed you year ago!

I want to weigh in here. I myself hated Norton for years to many bad experiences with it. In 2009 I had to use it again for a customer who only wanted to use Norton and nothing else. I installed it and noticed a bit of a difference but still as not impressed. Then 2010 NIS came along and it installed fast and was better.

I took notice and when 2011 came along I took the plunge and was happy ever since. I never liked these "Suites" but NIS is fine. I am now on 2012 with 2 year subscription and will get 2013 after I do my research. I do not have the best computer but it does not slow me down which happened in the past as well as other issues thus the hate towards the product.

The firewall never bothers me nor the AV unless a threat occurs. I like when I download a file it lets me know that is OK or bad. Plugging into the community also helps in relaying threats and protecting the users and the product is always updating unlike some other AV's which do not do it so quickly. The boot time for me is the same so I see no complaints but I only use NIS. It does the job for me so far but no security program can give you 100% protection. That is impossible unfortunately.

I have yet to try the newest Bit Defender. Always rated at the top or near the top. I do use free Comodo CIS on some other machines and that is OK but it takes long to first update and wish it was a bit like Norton in some regards but it does the job for being free. A few customers are on it and they like it.

By the way I never renew a subscription for the AV because the cost is high. I just buy a new version from licensed OEM vendors and get these products for very low prices and the licenses can last 2-3 years which is great. I also believe I can upgrade to the latest version during that time frame.

Probably the only negative for some people that use NIS is having to create a Norton Account but I do not mind because I can keep track of all my products and licenses

flynempire said,

I have yet to try the newest Bit Defender.

I can't speak for 2013, but my bank had an offer of a free year of BitDefender 2012. I put it on, and before I could install it I had to remove Malwarebytes. Strike one. Then I noticed that my internet was curiously slower than normal. Tried to disable the BitDefender antiphishing, thinking that it might be a problem (having had issues with other antiphishing tools doing similar things in the past). Turns out you can't. Strike two. Then one day, I was doing something on my computer, and I get a bluescreen. Turns out Bitdefender was behind it. Strike three, it's gone.

I don't mind Kaspersky but it's too chatty (it's 2012 for god's sake, surely you don't need to ask the user to intervene when things happen) and McAfee is awful.

CNET Test said it (Norton 2013) adds 20 to 40 seconds to boot time. Now seriously, why the f**k would I want that?

I almost upchucked just reading the title to this article!!

Norton and faster don't even belong in the same sentence!!

I think I can hear Peter screaming from here!
Symantec must disappear from the face of this earth; they are a disgraceful representation of the Norton brand.

It is all the context my friends......What Symantec actually means is that "compared" with Windows 8 running defender, windows 8 with Symantec runs 50% better. They are NOT meaning that Windows 8 alone runs 50% with symantec running on it at all. They mean with defender running.

I haven't bothered with an AV in years now I do manual scans with malwarebytes and MSE on an occasion though. Even going to some risky sites I have yet to catch anything serious and I have all my data backed up anyway in the event I do. Reinstalling these days is a breeze.

underthebridge said,
If you enjoy bringing your computer to a mind-numbing crawl, then by all means give it the 360-degree 'norton' treatment.

Yes! And don't use Windows 7 because Windows ME sucked!

/sarcasm

A few days ago there was a post in the forums about the biggest computer mistakes you ever made. Mine are both Norton related.

About 8 years ago I decided to install the then latest version of Norton on my computer. It turned into an endless cycle of clicking an ignore button because it would warn me every time IE would try to run JavaScript, every time I would try to drag and drop files between Explorer windows, and so on. Almost everything would require a "Are you sure you want to do this?" dialog. Half hour later, it was gone.

Then last year I started getting warnings from Comcast that I had a Trojan installed through Java on one of my computers. I scanned my computers using MSE and could not find anything wrong. Then I remembered I had was using my Mac to backup my iPad. Comcast was offering a free copy of Norton for Mac, so I installed it and I had a Trojan. I fixed the computer, but now I can't uninstall Norton. Not a big deal now since I installed Win8 on that Mac, but when the virus software becomes more of a problem than the virus, something is horribly wrong.

nohone said,
A few days ago there was a post in the forums about the biggest computer mistakes you ever made. Mine are both Norton related.

About 8 years ago I decided to install the then latest version of Norton on my computer. It turned into an endless cycle of clicking an ignore button because it would warn me every time IE would try to run JavaScript, every time I would try to drag and drop files between Explorer windows, and so on. Almost everything would require a "Are you sure you want to do this?" dialog. Half hour later, it was gone.

Then last year I started getting warnings from Comcast that I had a Trojan installed through Java on one of my computers. I scanned my computers using MSE and could not find anything wrong. Then I remembered I had was using my Mac to backup my iPad. Comcast was offering a free copy of Norton for Mac, so I installed it and I had a Trojan. I fixed the computer, but now I can't uninstall Norton. Not a big deal now since I installed Win8 on that Mac, but when the virus software becomes more of a problem than the virus, something is horribly wrong.

Don't know about Mac Norton, but comparing the PC experience back then (8 years!) with Norton to now is woefully out of date. It's like basing your experiences with Windows ME and projecting them onto Win 7.

If you read the document, this is a comparison with the Windows Release Preview (Build 8400) of Windows Defender. The final version of the Windows 8 RTM Windows Defender may in fact perform better than it did in the Windows Release Preview.

i've been using microsoft security essentials for the longest time and i've had no problems ever.
also, doesn't that norton stuff just slow your computer down?

aviator189 said,
i've been using microsoft security essentials for the longest time and i've had no problems ever.
also, doesn't that norton stuff just slow your computer down?

Mid 00's sure. Now? Nope. Extremely light and fast.
As for scans, MSE full scan takes a full day on my PC, Norton a few hours. Even scanning an SSD with MSE takes a while.

Hahaha, yeah, like I'm going to believe a report of a product in which its own creator "funded the production of [said] report, selected the test metrics and list of products to include in [said] report, and supplied some of the test scripts used for the tests." Their advertising campaign is clearly targeting the computer illiterate crowd and I really feel sorry to the innocent people that get suckered into paying hundreds of dollars for security software.

Hello,

This is one thing I was wondering about myself. The "baseline,' if you will for this study, was a Windows 8 system with Windows Defender loaded. Now, admittedly, that software is installed by default as part of the OS load, but it can be removed. It would have been interesting to see what the "baseline" actually was for a system sans Windows Defender, and how much the Microsoft and Symantec systems decreased performance relative to that.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

Evolution said,
It would have been nice if they provided benchmarks including without any antiviral package, including defender.

NOTHING by Symantec is ever going to get within a 100 mile radius of my PCs even if they actually offer a 1 second boot-up time

I can see how they can be faster. Microsoft Security Essentials has poor, poor performance when scanning lots of small files or, even worse, compressed files. This is true in Windows 7 as well using Kaspersky Anti-virus or Internet Security. At least that's my personal experience with tons of MSE installations.

I'm running Windows 8 24/7 on my main desktop and using MSE (all my computers are using Kaspersky Internet Security) and the performance is the same as in Win7.

Having said the above, I don't like Norton, but their products have come a long way from the hated (with reason) previous releases. I guess they have a poor reputation and will cost them to overcome that.

ajua said,
I can see how they can be faster. Microsoft Security Essentials has poor, poor performance when scanning lots of small files or, even worse, compressed files. This is true in Windows 7 as well using Kaspersky Anti-virus or Internet Security. At least that's my personal experience with tons of MSE installations.

I'm running Windows 8 24/7 on my main desktop and using MSE (all my computers are using Kaspersky Internet Security) and the performance is the same as in Win7.

Having said the above, I don't like Norton, but their products have come a long way from the hated (with reason) previous releases. I guess they have a poor reputation and will cost them to overcome that.


What's your benchmark for saying the performance is poor...? You seem to be saying everything is equally slow when processing a large number of small files, which is pretty par for the course in all things computing.

Joshie said,

What's your benchmark for saying the performance is poor...? You seem to be saying everything is equally slow when processing a large number of small files, which is pretty par for the course in all things computing.

The simplest of benchmarks: everyday use. I have 3 computers at my business running MSE and my personal (2 desktops, 1 HTPC and 1 laptop) running Kasperky Internet Security.

When decompressing small files (documents and other files) WinRAR (7-zip tested as well) will "hang" a few seconds or milliseconds from time to time during the decompressing process. With Kaspersky Internet Security this doesn't happen in any of those computers.

Also, MSE seem to lack (I don't really know for sure) something like iSwift or iChecker to prevent scanning already scanned, and of course, unmodified files. I have a repository for original setup installers in MSI, Inno and autoextracting EXE's.

MSE always seems to scan them and I can see a big delay until Windows (7 or 8) shows you the file icons. I'm used to view all my files, except images in list view. With Kaspersky 2012 programs, this doesn't happen or if it happens in a determined folder the difference in time to display icons is pretty noticeable.

ajua said,

The simplest of benchmarks: everyday use. I have 3 computers at my business running MSE and my personal (2 desktops, 1 HTPC and 1 laptop) running Kasperky Internet Security.

When decompressing small files (documents and other files) WinRAR (7-zip tested as well) will "hang" a few seconds or milliseconds from time to time during the decompressing process. With Kaspersky Internet Security this doesn't happen in any of those computers.

Also, MSE seem to lack (I don't really know for sure) something like iSwift or iChecker to prevent scanning already scanned, and of course, unmodified files. I have a repository for original setup installers in MSI, Inno and autoextracting EXE's.

MSE always seems to scan them and I can see a big delay until Windows (7 or 8) shows you the file icons. I'm used to view all my files, except images in list view. With Kaspersky 2012 programs, this doesn't happen or if it happens in a determined folder the difference in time to display icons is pretty noticeable.


No, I meant a more literal definition of benchmark: the application that you're comparing the others to that doesn't perform slowly.

You basically said in your original post that everything you use is equally slow. I was questioning this as a valid criticism, since if everything you use is slow, then there's nothing you're using to compare the slow products against.

And not having Symantec software installed would make Windows 8 up to 100% faster.
What about the fact that the study was funded by Symantec? Of course it would make them look good, they're paying the money.

S3P€hR said,
How can any software that registers some background services at any kind make your windows run faster? Norton B.S ....

By disabling other background services (like Windows Defender). This news article title is misleading depending on whether Windows Defender is enabled on a win8 default install.

Oogle said,

By disabling other background services (like Windows Defender). This news article title is misleading depending on whether Windows Defender is enabled on a win8 default install.

Yes, it's enabled by default, but just like Security Essentials, it has a minimal impact on performance.


Oogle said,

By disabling other background services (like Windows Defender). This news article title is misleading depending on whether Windows Defender is enabled on a win8 default install.

Please, Symantec - so far, I have not seen anything better (in terms of bang for buck) than MSE/Windows Defender/Microsoft Forefront - three brands of basically the same software. (Defender is uniquely for Windows 8, MSE is for earlier versions back to XP, and Forefront is aimed at enterprises.) Your software *has* gotten better - I'll give it that - however, your software still has a ton of compatibility issues with Windows, and especially 7 (let alone 8). Thanks - but no thanks.

PGHammer said,

Please, Symantec - so far, I have not seen anything better (in terms of bang for buck) than MSE/Windows Defender/Microsoft Forefront - three brands of basically the same software. (Defender is uniquely for Windows 8, MSE is for earlier versions back to XP, and Forefront is aimed at enterprises.) Your software *has* gotten better - I'll give it that - however, your software still has a ton of compatibility issues with Windows, and especially 7 (let alone 8). Thanks - but no thanks.

You must have not been running any true tests since NIS/N360 is just fine on Win7 and has been for the past couple years. You're not trying to run v2006 or something are you?

Wonder what the speed difference is on a Sandy Bridge Celeron because anything better than that is probably unnoticeable. I also wonder what the bottle neck was in these tests (CPU? HD?). In any case, do home users still pay for AV?

ShMaunder said,
Wonder what the speed difference is on a Sandy Bridge Celeron because anything better than that is probably unnoticeable. I also wonder what the bottle neck was in these tests (CPU? HD?). In any case, do home users still pay for AV?

I do. At the moment I am using Webroot SecureAnywhere.

This is very funny , Norton is the last software I trust and install on my computer,
Defender is the best for Windows 8 , the other software are there just to rip off people !

techishere said,
This is very funny , Norton is the last software I trust and install on my computer,
Defender is the best for Windows 8 , the other software are there just to rip off people !

What makes you think that Microsoft makes a better security product than companies that are dedicated to creating security products?

compared to the standard antimalware software bundled with the Microsoft OS (Windows Defender), and can make Windows 8 run 50% faster.

They aren't saying that Norton will make the computer faster in general, they are saying it is faster then other competing AV solutions on the same system. Which according to the PassMark tests, is a fact:

shows clear and noticeable performance improvements when Windows 8 is loaded with a Norton product compared to when Windows Defender is enabled alone.

So the title of the story is not accurate and is sensationalizing something that they aren't claiming....

xendrome said,

They aren't saying that Norton will make the computer faster in general, they are saying it is faster then other competing AV solutions on the same system. Which according to the PassMark tests, is a fact:

So the title of the story is not accurate and is sensationalizing something that they aren't claiming....

The title of the story is so over the top I don't even know where to start! Sure made me click to read something I wouldn't have been interested in at all otherwise.

Marcin Kurek said,

The title of the story is so over the top I don't even know where to start! Sure made me click to read something I wouldn't have been interested in at all otherwise.

Neowin style, sadly.

xendrome said,

They aren't saying that Norton will make the computer faster in general, they are saying it is faster then other competing AV solutions on the same system. Which according to the PassMark tests, is a fact:

So the title of the story is not accurate and is sensationalizing something that they aren't claiming....

But they are claiming it will run faster than a default, clean Windows 8 installation (Windows Defender is enabled by default), so the title isn't all that inaccurate or sensationalized.

SharpGreen said,
hahaha that's quite hilarious.

It's like:
"OOOOOOOOK, Norton is such a system hog in Vista and Win 7, and now they're saying it makes Windows 8 run faster?"

TL;DR: "Lies!!!"