Software Review: Norton AntiVirus X 11.0

Norton AntiVirus 11 for Mac
Mac software review

There are several anti-virus software titles from respectful developers for Mac. One is VirusBarrier from Intego. Another one is Sophos Anti-Virus. If you are in college, you may get free antivirus software called Virex after paying a connectivity fee. It used to be called Dr. Solomon’s Virex. It’s been acquired by McAfee. It’s now often called Virus Scan. And, of course, Norton AntiVirus from Symantec Corporation is another well-known anti-virus software for Mac.

Personally, I’ve been using Norton AntiVirus since the version was 3 or 4. I was never infected by a computer virus in the 90s or not even till several months ago. It’s true that Mac users are still a minority group. It’s far rarer for them to get their terminals infected by computer viruses. But the number of incidents targeting Mac users have increased dramatically for the past one year or so partly due to the web hosting company in Russia helping criminals. One such criminal organization hosted by the web hosting company called Russian Business Network is MalwareScan. One tactic that they use is to embed an ill code in a Flash ad to make Internet users secretly or not secretly download a piece of malicious software called Downloader, Zlob or whatever.

Anyway, what’s new with Norton AntiVirus? Symantec updated its anti-virus software to 11 last December to support Intel-based Mac models and new OS version Leopard. Also, there are a few new functions available in this version.

Just like Version 10, the new version of Norton AntiVirus displays an icon called Norton Quick Menu on the menu bar. (See Screenshot 01.) LiveUpdate doesn’t look much different.

Norton AntiVirus 11 for Mac
Screenshot 01
  Norton AntiVirus 11 for Mac
Screenshot 02
  Norton AntiVirus 11 for Mac
Screenshot 03

You can also open Norton AntiVirus from Quick Menu. The main interface looks a little different. Now, there are two main vertical tabs. (See Screenshot 02.) See the top of Status and Scanning. By clicking on ‘View recent activities…,’ you can access Activity Log. Hmm… That isn’t really new. At the bottom of the window, there is actually a new function called Manual Virus Scanning. If you are a Version 10 user, you probably know that Norton AntiVirus won’t let you scan individual files. Right, you can scan only volumes. But there’s a workaround. You scan simply create a RAM disk and put a suspicious file to scan. Anyway, Norton AntiVirus X 11.0 will let you scan individual files under Manual Virus Scanning. All you have to do is to clicking on the Choose Files button to select a file to scan. (See Screenshot 04.)

Norton AntiVirus 11 for Mac
Screenshot 04
  Norton AntiVirus 11 for Mac
Screenshot 05
  Norton AntiVirus 11 for Mac
Screenshot 06

All right. Let’s move on to Automatic Protection. By looking at General under Auto-Protect Configuration, it doesn’t look like this is new. (See Screenshot 06.) Auto File Scan is described as “Auto File Scan checks files you use for viruses. Scan Everywhere scans your entire computer, or you can choose specific folders to scan or exclude. (See Screenshot 07.) Hehehe… I don’t remember if Version 10 has exactly the same function as this description.

Norton AntiVirus 11 for Mac
Screenshot 07
  Norton AntiVirus 11 for Mac
Screenshot 08
  Norton AntiVirus 11 for Mac
Screenshot 09

Find Vulnerability Protection at the center of Automatic Protection. I can tell you that this is a new function. Basically, Norton AntiVirus will alert you if there is a known vulnerability attack upon your terminal. After clicking on the Configure button, if I select the top one that says 180Solutions Configuration Even (See Screenshot 09.) and click on More information, the default web browser opens and takes me to Symantec’s website for this description. (See Screenshot 10.) It looks to me that this is a great function.

Norton AntiVirus 11 for Mac
Screenshot 10 – Source:
  Norton AntiVirus 11 for Mac
Screenshot 11
  Norton AntiVirus 11 for Mac
Screenshot 12

When you open Auto-Protect and go to General, you may want to enable ‘Quarantine files that cannot be repaired.’ Version 10 also has this function. If this is disabled, then Norton AntiVirus will delete suspicious files. I would rather want to know what virus infected my terminal or which file was affected before Norton AntiVirus deletes it. And how do I see which file is under quarantine? Under Tools, choose Quarantine, and you can see a list of quarantined files. (See Screenshot 12.) Yes, I have two files under quarantine!

In summary, even if you still use a PowerPC-based Mac model running OS X 10.4, the new version of Norton AntiVirus will give you a few good reasons to upgrade software. Manual Virus Scanning won’t be a sufficient reason to upgrade software because you can use Norton AntiVirus 10 on a RAM disk to scan individual files. In the meantime, Vulnerability Protection looks like a neat function.

If you use the Internet, you shouldn’t think that Mac OS is free from Virus attacks. Cyber terrorist groups even post fake questions at Apple Discussions to lead Internet users to malicious sites hosted by Tripod and other websites offering free webpage services.

By the way, before reinstalling OS on my Mac several weeks ago, I was running Norton AntiVirus 10. After OS reinstallation, I used McAfee’s Virus Scan 8.6. There isn’t much difference between Norton AntiVirus and Virus Scan. Virus Scan 8.6 also lets you scan individual files. One thing that made me uneasy about Virus Scan is that I wasn’t quite sure if Virus Scan was running to find suspicious files. Unlike Norton AntiVirus, Virus Scan doesn’t have anything similar to LiveUpdate. Of course, I don’t mean that Virus Scan is inferior to Norton AntiVirus in any way.

  • Developer: Symantec Corporation (
  • Developer’s location: 20330 Stevens Creek Boulevard, Cupertino, CA 95014-2132
  • Latest version: Norton AntiVirus 11.0.0
  • System requirements: Mac OS X 10.4 or higher, PPC/Intel processors, OS X 10.5 compatible
  • Prices: US$59.99
  • MacHouse recommendation: If you have an Intel Mac or run OS X 10.5, we recommend that you upgrade your Norton Antivirus 10 to 11. If your Mac is not an Intel-CPU machine and you don’t run Leopard, the only new function that you can look forward to is Vulnerability Protection. So the decision to upgrade software will be fairly up to you.

    Norton AntiVirus 11 for Mac is a product of Symantec Corporation.

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