Facing Off Sheylara At Symantec Gaming Tournament – Hands-on with Norton AV 2009 Gaming Edition

Norton AntiVirus 2009 Gaming Edition

Previously, I teamed up with Sheylara on that blogger challenge of … erm … national significance.  This time, I had to team against her at the Symantec Gaming Tournament.  My first time playing a Counter-Strike lookalike network game.  Sheylara had planted so many bullets on my back that it was no longer funny.  And she was physically sitting one row behind me with her virtual gun point right at my real back.  So how did the tournament go?  Hang on for a moment.  Let’s talk about this new Norton AntiVirus 2009 Gaming Edition first.  And I have more (surreal) photos to share later in this entry.  The one with the classic Sheylara post is probably my favorite.

Of Norton, AVG, McAfee, and … Norton

Coincidentally, just days before I received the invitation to this blogger event, I was curiously staring at this yellow box of “Gaming Edition” at one computer store one fine afternoon.  As an avid gamer, I am excited to see Norton from Symantec listens to the gamers’ needs.

The concept of computer virus always bugs me, though I am a computer scientist and engineer by training.  I wish I could visit the Norton lab one day and see how it works.  Norton has a business because of the virus makers.  Do they recruit virus makers to kill off the virus?  How do they get into these people’s heads?

My love affair with Norton as such.  Companies use Norton products so as a home user, I too bought Norton products to protect my computers.  That was quite a while ago.  Back then, Norton products were resource intensive, countless updates that required countless machine restarts.  So I ditched Norton and went for free products like AVG.  Didn’t work out so I went for McAfee.  McAfee seemed to work for me but it didn’t.  When a virus did strike (how often right?), it failed to quarantine.  And I have to keep signing on every few days or so to have my account verified.  Enough is enough, so I went back to Norton.

Last year, I was shocked by Norton 2008’s superb performance – both in terms of product installation and the on-going protection.  I was told that 2009 edition is even faster.  Wow!  And since I need to get my hands dirty for this blog entry, I uninstalled my Norton Internet Security 2008 that still has 2 months worth of subscription and give this Gaming Edition a try.

Norton AntiVirus 2009 Gaming Edition

Norton AV Gaming Edition Skin

The box says that this Gaming Edition will install in less than a minute.  Are you for real?!  Surprisingly it does.  If you come from the dinosaur age like I do some people do, that is just hard to believe.  Even the update did not take long (note: if you notice the CPU usage meter, I was running a full system scan and Norton is transparent enough to let me know how much resource it was using).

Gamer Mode

So, what so special about the gaming edition?

When Norton AV Gaming Edition detects a game launched in full screen mode (or in my case because I run World of Warcraft in Windows mode, I can click onto the system tray and switch on gaming mode), certain protections are turned off, including the suspension of alerts and notifications (see picture on the left).  Underneath the hood, there are options for you to decide if you wish to turn off (1) AntiVirus, (2) Advance Protection, (3) Intrusion Prevention, and (4) Automatic LiveUpdate when the gaming mode is switched on.  Neat!  And if you own an online gaming account like I do, I was told that this product will safeguard you against intrusion too.

Symantec Gaming Tournament

That night was the first time I played what appeared like a 3-on-3 Counter-Strike network game.  All those years of World of Warcraft training seems to have help.  It is quite a fun game to play.  There is a terrorist team to pick and a counter-terrorist team too.  I find it is much easier to play the terrorist.  Go in, plant the bomb, and get out.

The professional gamers were in the house.  Gaming as a profession?!  I thought only gold farmers in MMORPG makes money.  Amazing.

In Closing

You know you need to protect your computers against virus.  The question is which product to use.  There are alternatives out there and it doesn’t take much research to realize that Norton is the way to go in terms of reliability, ease of installation and use, and performance.  The only consideration is pricing.  For the Gaming Edition, Norton from Symantec has taken one step further.  It requires less than 6MB of memory (8 times less compares to competitors), opens only 2 processes, and add less than 3 seconds to boot time.  If you are an avid gamer who is looking for a virus protection tool, you shouldn’t settle for less.

There are much to cover for the Norton 2009 products.  Perhaps another post when I get a hold onto the Internet Security 2009.  Stay tuned.

A big thank you to the Norton folks and Text100 folks in making this event fun. I am happy to have learned so much more and in depth about the Norton products.  Yes, our team has won the tournament and thanks for the prize!