Norton is a well-known name in the world of computer security, but its focus has been mainly on the PC market. The ever-increasing popularity of Macs means that the platform is now more of a target for virus writers. For many years Mac users have rested relatively safe in the knowledge that virus protection was not really needed, but this is not necessarily the case now. Norton AntiVirus for Mac 12.0.0 Beta brings the protection afforded to Windows users to OS X, and the newly released Lion in particular.

On paper, the idea to create a uniform look for the Mac and Windows versions of Symantec's security may not seem like the greatest move, but in reality, where computer users often find that they are working with different platforms on a regular basis, it makes complete sense. The main reason for the release of this beta is the fact that it is compatible with Lion - in fact it cannot be used with older versions of OS X - but there are a number of other changes to look out for as well.

The installation process, definition updates and general performance have all been sped up, and the overall impact on any given system has been reduced thanks to the decision to run system scans during idle times rather than waiting for a particular scheduled time. An additional performance boost comes about due to the fact that removable media are not scanned for signs of infection when they are mounted, but individual files are scanned as they are accessed, helping to greatly reduce the strain on your system.

As with all beta software, it is important to take care when using pre-release software. Norton AntiVirus for Mac 12.0.0 Beta can only be used with Mac OS X Lion, and by trying out the beta version you will be entitled to a discount on the final version once it is released. Mac users who are sceptical of the need for security software would be encouraged to take this beat software for a test drive - you have nothing to lose as it is free, and you may well discover that you could benefit from virus protection after all.

It should be noted that this is beta software; as such it is not fully finished and issues may arise. You should take care when using any beta software, ensuring that you backup all of your important data.

The beta build will give you a 14 days license. Simply click "renew" to extend this license after 14 days. The beta will expire October 31st 2011.


Mac users may take some convincing of the importance of antivirus software, but Norton AntiVirus is a (perhaps surprisingly) usable application that offers valuable protection.