Earlier this year Symantec announced a revamped line of products built for Mac OS X. As usual, the company’s products are easy to install, though, in a couple of cases, they lack some of the functionality of their forebears. But first a rundown of the products in question. They include:
Norton SystemWorks for Macintosh 2.0, an integrated tool for keeping your Mac up to snuff by solving critical problems and keeping systems safe from viruses. The suite includes Norton Utilities for Macintosh 7.0, Norton AntiVirus for Macintosh 8.0, Dantz Retrospect Express Backup 5.0 and Aladdin Spring Cleaning 4.0.
Norton Personal Firewall for Macintosh 2.0, designed to protect your Mac from unauthorized access, includes a new stealth mode that makes computers invisible to hackers on the Internet. Other new additions include Active FTP, which lets you securely download files behind the firewall, and a Self Test (via Symantec’s Web site) that provides extra assurance that your connection is secure. Personal Firewall also automatically handles FTP transfers.
I’ve long used Norton Utilities for the Mac (NUM) for my disk repair, data recovery, and drive optimization. The new version (7.0) continues the product’s reputation for reliability. Besides Mac OS X support, it includes improved support for disk repair and recovery, as well as enhanced file tracking and directory updates in the new operating system. Now you can examine, repair and optimize Mac OS X partitions when your Mac is restarted from the SystemWorks CD (at last) or from a Mac OS 9.x partition.
The DiskDoctor and Speed Disk components of Norton Utilities have worked flawlessly in the latest incarnations; the latter is still the undisputed champion of disk optimization in my opinion. But I still find UnErase (a tool for locating and recovering damaged files from the Trash) to be a hit or miss proposition.
Norton AntiVirus detects and kills computer viruses. One of the things I really like about it is the preference setting that lets you set protection at zero, minimal, standard or full. And with its Auto-protect feature, which looks for viruses and performs repairs if any are needed, you can pretty much install it and forget it.
The latest version provides Auto Protect, SafeZone scanning and repair, LiveUpdate scheduling via Norton Scheduler, and command line scanning. The Universal Safezone feature is for all mounted disks and is pretty cool. However, version 8.x lacks AppleScript support so power users can’t customize operations to their hearts’ content. Well, actually they can if they’re willing to use Mac OS X’s Unix commands, but that’s not as easy as using AppleScript.
Besides offering a better price than purchasing its components separately, Norton SystemWorks provides a single interface for accessing them all. What’s more, it offers a single installation, single bootable disk, one update center and one tech support number for all three products, all of which makes your computing life a little less troublesome.
The inclusion of Retrospect Express (perhaps the most popular backup program for the Mac), Aladdin Spring Cleaning (a nifty utility that lets you uninstall old software, wipe away Internet tracks, delete unattached aliases, and more) and Alsoft DiskWarrior Recovery Edition (a recovery tool that lets you copy inaccessible files from a disk with a damaged directory to another disk) add value to the SystemWorks package.
Norton Internet Security 2.0 includes Norton AntiVirus 8.0, Norton Personal Firewall 2.0, and iClean from Aladdin Systems.
Firewalls secure the resources in your computer and your network from users of other computers or networks who want to obtain your personal data. Personal Firewall is a breeze to use and personalize so that only computers with specific addresses are allowed access to your data. The stealth mode, which makes your Mac invisible to hackers online, is also a nice addition.
The latest version adds Norton Privacy Control provides both Web ad blocking features and prevents confidential data from “leaking” onto the Internet.
Norton Personal Firewall 2.0 retains the majority of the utility’s features in Mac OS X with one exception. There’s no control-strip access, mainly because there’s no Control Strip in Mac OSX. However, Mac OS X users now have protection from ICMP PING attacks, a feature that’s not available in the OS 9 version of Personal Firewall.
iClean is a nifty little utility designed to clear your Internet tracks. It protects your online privacy by, among other things, removing Internet cookies, browser cache files and Internet history files accumulate from Web surfing.
Finally, Norton Internet Security 2.0 comes with Who’s There? Firewall Advisor by Open Door software. It offers users detailed info on the source of any intrusion attempts. The useful little tool also helps you analyze and understand the firewall’s log file, as well as respond to access attempts listed in that log file.
Overall, Symantec has done a fine job in bringing its products into the Mac OS X family. If you’re not using them, they’re certainly worth a look-see on your part.
Norton Internet Security costs $99.95, with an upgrade price of $69.95. Norton SystemWorks 2.0 carries a price tag of $99.95 with upgrades for $49.95. All the products work with Mac OS 8.1 through 9.x (with the appropriate CarbonLib extensions installed), as well as Mac OS X.