No longer the bloated, slow, and crash-prone monstrosity of yore, Symantec Norton Internet Security 2011’s security suite is now a streamlined and extremely effective antimalware application that continues to update and advance its interface and its detection rates incrementally. Updared 18 January 2011.

The NIS 2011 interface can initially be overwhelming, but you can ignore much of it. Almost everything is switched on by default, and under those default settings it was one of the most secure and effective antimalware apps we tested.

Norton Internet Security 2011’s numbers were solid across the board: It fully blocked 24 of 25 real-world attacks, tying for the best mark in the pack, and it detected 98.7 percent of samples of known malware, another excellent result.

False positives were near zero, and the suite’s overall speed, while not exemplary, was acceptable. It tied for the top score in removing active malware components (at 80 percent) and its combined rating for security and performance put it in first place.

An especially impressive add-on we should mention is the Norton Identity Safe password manager, part of the suite’s web browser toolbar, installed by default. It’s one of those utilities that you soon can’t live without.

NEXT: our first look at Symantec Norton Internet Security 2011, from April 2010 >>

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