updated 03:25 pm EST, Tue December 11, 2007
First look at NAV 11
Viruses have been of little concern to most Mac users since OS X made its first appearance in 2001. Apple's switch to Intel processors, and the various virtualization processes that exist for running Windows, have eroded that confidence for some users. Although Apple is usually on the ball with fixing system vulnerabilities, some larger problems can go for several days or weeks before a proper fix is available. Symantec's Norton AntiVirus 11 aims to compliment the Mac OS' natural sturdiness by providing anti-viral services and fixes for security holes while Apple works on a true solution for the problem.
Mike Romo, the engineer in charge of Norton AntiVirus, comes from an IT background. The way the app was designed before seemed quite intrusive to him, so he initiated a complete redesign, both aesthetically and functionally. NAV now uses a "set-and-forget" approach, allowing users to install the app, configure it, and let it do its job.
When you install NAV, it places a folder called "Symantec Solutions" in the Applications folder, which contains a number of manuals and four apps: Norton AntiVirus, Symantec Scheduler, LiveUpdate, and Symantec Uninstaller. A System Preference pane, Dashboard Widget, and menu item for controlling basic functions are also installed.
NAV's four apps
The Dashboard Widget
The NAV application acts as sort of a central gateway for the entire process, with a tabbed section for status and scanning, and another tab with the automatic protection details. The first pane contains details of when scans were performed, subscription expiry, blocked attacks, and more. The manual virus scans are controlled from here, with options for specific scanning of certain files or an overall, thorough scan of the hard drive, either of which can scan even compressed files. The quarantine section and viral definitions are also accessed through the NAV application.
Automatic Protection allows you to configure NAVs automated features, such as scanning and product updates, as well as viewing the vulnerability protection information.
Symantec Scheduler, while integrated into the NAV application, is available as a standalone option, where users can enable new update schedules, or virus definition updates. Users can limit automatic updates to viral definitions, NAV, or LiveUpdate, or just simply download everything there is to get. LiveUpdate provides a simplistic interface to specific updates , and can open the Symantec scheduler.
NAV can scan files as they are downloaded or inserted in to the computer through other means. It will also scan Boot Camp volumes and files dragged in to the Mac OS from virtualization applications like Fusion and Parallels.
With behind-the-scenes virus scanning, and subtle warnings, Norton was rebuilt to better integrate with the Macintosh user experience. Check back soon for a full review of Norton AntiVirus 11 for Mac.
NAV's vulnerability protection