The Tech-pert: Get Norton Internet Security 2011 for Free!
If you've used any Norton
security products in the past, you probably took one look at that headline and said, "Ugh. No way. Never again
And I wouldn't blame you. A few years back, the Norton stuff was bloated, buggy, intrusive, annoying, and likely to make your PC run like molasses.
That was then. In recent years, Symantec
has made considerable improvements to its security software. It's faster, quieter, and smarter, to the point where you barely know it's there--unless it detects a problem.
In fact, renowned tech journalist Ed Bott recently cited Norton Internet Security 2011 as the "best Windows security software
." And PC Magazine awarded the program its coveted Editors' Choice
. So I think it's safe to say this is not the same horrendous performance-hog you remember.
And that makes this deal even sweeter: Newegg
has Norton Internet Security 2011
for $40 shipped, minus a $40 mail-in rebate
--bringing your grand total down to $0. (Note: the rebate comes in the form of a Visa debit card, which is as good as cash
This is actually a three-user license, meaning you can use the software on three different PCs. However, keep in mind that those licenses expire after one year, after which you'll need to renew your Norton "subscription." (No problem: as you get close to the expiration date, start shopping for another free-after-rebate deal
Norton Internet Security 2011 is a comprehensive, soup-to-nuts security package. In addition to all the usual protections against viruses, spyware, phishing, and other threats, it provides a robust firewall, a password/online-identity manager, parental controls, and spam filters.
Even better, as Bott reports, it offers solid protection against social engineering attacks, which are rampant and hard to combat.
Thus, much as I'm a fan of freeware security tools
Security Essentials, I think the smarter choice is a paid, commercial product like Norton--especially when you can get it for free.
The question is, if you've had bad experiences with Norton in the past, are you willing to give it another chance? Let's hear your thoughts in the comments.
Self-proclaimed cheapskate Rick Broida has been a technology writer for
over 20 years. He has authored over a dozen books, including, most recently,
"How to Do Everything: Palm Pre." Currently he writes the Cheapskate blog.