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First Look: Symantec's Norton AntiVirus 11

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.

The NAV statistics window

Automatic Protection allows you to configure NAVs automated features, such as scanning and product updates, as well as viewing the vulnerability protection information.

Automatic controls

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.

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


by MacNN Staff



  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969


    snake oil

    There are no confirmed case of virus on Mac OS X.

    It comes with 4 apps. One of which is the Uninstaller. You'll NEED the uninstaller.

  1. Appleman

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Indeed, my favourite for Norton products: Uninstaller!

  1. dynsight

    Joined: Dec 1969


    creeping NAV

    When I first switched to MAC's about 4 years ago, I was so naive. I bought and installed on my G5. Their inconsistent naming convention, proliferation of files in multiple places, start-up items launching procedure... it took be three years to remove the last vestiges of it. I thought I had removed it, and then there was a conflict when I upgraded to Leopard. Finally, I think I got it.

  1. psdenno

    Joined: Dec 1969



    ....or complement? That "i" or "e" thing makes more than a slight difference. Which is the anti-virus software really meant to do? Please tell me Macnn.

  1. gskibum3

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Where are the people saying they run anti-virus so they don't pass on anything to their PeeCee counterparts?

    If I were to somehow be so idiotic as to pass on malware to a PeeCee user, which I have never done even without this kind of c*** software, shouldn't the PeeCee users be running anti-virus anyway making it a non-issue?

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    possibly the worst

    Actually, most likely, the worst-written application for the Mac OS. The only reliable, fool-proof, 100% sure way to remove it from your system is to back up your user folder, re-format your hard disk, re-install OS and applications an restore your data. It is practically impossible to figure out where NAV puts its c***. And for what reason? So that it could prevent us from accidentally (purposely?) manually forwarding a message with a Windows virus to a Windows user!

    You would search long and hard before you found a less useful application for the Mac OS.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    i'm sure

    you've all tried the version 11 of this product since it's been available for so long.

    And yes, PC users should have AntiVirus software installed.

    gskibum3. Every PC user you ever sent files to responded with scan results assuring you that you have never sent a PC virus to them? How thoughtful of them all. It's not like anyone (but Symantec) is telling you you need to have Symantec's AntiVirus products on your machine. Just that after you DO infect another machine or thousands is not THE best time to consider any AntiVirus option. If you haven't sent a virus, good for you. Will you ever? Probably.

  1. Don Pickett

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The single most

    Useless piece of Mac software. Might as well throw the CDs out and use the box to prop up a wobbly table for all the good it will do.

  1. Athens

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I have hope

    While the Antivirus part of it is useless for me, the fact it will provide fixes for security holes until the updates from Apple come in might make me think about using Nav again. That at least is something different with this version and actually something useful too.

  1. gskibum3

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Flying Meat

    Doncha think that if I had ever infected someone's PeeCee with an attachment I sent that I would have heard about it within perhaps 10 minutes of this happening?

    There ain't no viruses for the Mac. Sooner or later has come and gone.

    You made me do a huge LOL just now with all your nonsense! Enjoy your paranoid lifestyle! I take it from your comments that you have indeed been so idiotic that you have actually sent a malware infected attachment to one or thousands of PeeCee users.


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