Choosing a security suite involves many of the same questions asked when Choosing an Anti-Virus Program
or Choosing a Firewall
. There is no universal "one size fits all solution
that works for everyone.
(Symantec) is as good as any other well known anti-virus program, it requires numerous services and running processes that consume system resources and often results in complaints of high CPU usage. Anti-virus software components insert themselves deep into the operating systems core where they install kernel mode drivers
that load at boot-up and create files/folders/registry entries in various locations.
I have read from other users that Norton has made improvements in newer versions of their software so they are not as resource heavy as past versions...while others still say differently. However, Symantec products can be difficult to remove and remnants are often left behind which require the use of a special removal tool, otherwise you may encounter problems installing a replacement anti-virus. To be fair, other vendors are also using removal tools for the same reason. Those issues plus the cost factor are the primary reason many folks look for a free alternative. Further, IMO, Norton is better utilized in an Enterprise system environment
protecting many client computers.
Norton Internet Security is a suite which means it includes additional features
, in addition to anti-virus protection. Some of those extra features will also consume resources and affect performance. Symantec Endpoint Protection includes many of the same features but is intended for small businesses with several computers and servers.
I'm not an advocate of suites. All-in-one tools and suites generally use more system resources than separate programs that do the same task. They tend to have varying degrees of strengths and weaknesses for each feature. In contrast, separate tools are designed, built and maintained with a greater focus in a specific area so they are generally of better quality and more effective at what they are designed to do. This means the program's performance for that particular feature is usually superior than their all-in-one counterpart. Further, all-in-one tools generally do not allow the user as much flexibility in tailoring default settings and usage.
If you are adamant about using a suite, then I would recommend either avast! Internet Security
or ESET Smart Security