Norton 360 is Symantec’s all in one security, and the latest version is the version5.0. While the version 4.0 had included a lot of new features such as, change in graphics user interface, the prominent colours matching the black and gold colours of the suites sibling Norton Internet Security. The ineffective spam filter was replaced with a much effective Symantec BrightMail, offering about 20% better performance.
Symantec claims that this newest version Norton 360 Version 5.0 comes with a much better performance in all areas including virus detection. The new additions to the suite include SONAR v3.0 as well as System Insight. This version has received a makeover sporting realistic animations and icons. The backup and restore utility has also been improved. In the following review, we will not be looking at the suite itself, as we have discussed about it in detail here in Norton 360 review, however, we will be looking at all the changes and additions made to the suite.
The major of the design changes is the change in Norton’s logo with a checkmark and logo. This logo might look familiar because, Norton got Verisign last year, and it has managed to integrated technologies in a single efficient package. In the last year’s version, the interface was not completely standard user friendly; no changes in settings could be made in this mode. In the latest version, this has been changed to a certain extent. However, it has not been changed to the desired extent, for instance, the StartUp manager allows only the Admin to access the account.
Installation of Version 5.0 Norton 360:
For installation, it requires a couple of restarts, which is not unexpected. However, we found that those virus signatures are not updated immediately. While Live Updates run, the suite downloaded a whooping 98.16MB worth of updates.
Symantec’s claim that the Norton 360 V5.0 all-in-one security suite has an improved performance is confirmed with the test results. The suite has received a VB 100% from the famous Virus Bulletin. As far as virus detection and removal is concerned, both the WestCoast labs and ICSA have certified the suite. AV Test gave the suite pretty high scores for protection, usability and repair of threats too. The AV Comparatives has given the software suite an Advanced +, which is the highest rating for malware eradication and a lesser Advanced for proactive measures for new malwares. Dennis Technology labs with Trend and ESET labelled Norton 360 v5 as the best performing product.
World Protection map:
With this suite, you are not just provided with a world map of the top city threats, it sports quite a unique Norton Crime Index. When you click on it, a browser window opens citing the percentage of cyber crime that is increasing or decreasing. This part also provides with live news feeds on the most recent product releases etc.
Norton Download Insight:
The Norton Download Insight secures the system from the dangers that arise by downloading. It does so by not just checking each and every file against its own database, but also the database of the other Norton software users. While Download Insight previously supported only Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers, this time it has support for a range of browsers and clients such as, MSN Explorer, QQ Chat, Bit Torrent, Opera Browser, ThunderBird Email, Outlook Express, AOL browser, Limewire, Windows Mail, Safari Browser, Chrome Browser, Yahoo Messenger and FileZilla.
With the firewall feature, you will be able to check everything that goes in and out your computer, making the list very crammed. One big disadvantage is that, the software does not allow to search for programs through its firewall list and hence, you will end up going through every entry to stop or activate a program. If the software finds a file that comes in as a false positive, there is not way you will be able to ignore it in an intuitive way. Which means, once the file is caught, you will have to disable the antivirus and restore the file through Security History, go through the settings, and then put it into the exclusion list. We feel that the Full History option should be able to list the complete history, which Norton has not done. Instead, it gives only provides the threats in the list that are caught, with no indication of the files that have been ignored or closed with no action taken.
As far as vulnerability protection is concerned, Norton does not just leave with the basic virus protection. It also keeps an eye on the most vulnerable programs on PC, which if not updated regularly, will easily be attacked by malware. The PC programs are nothing but the common applications that are based on the internet, such as, Silverlight, JAVA and Adobe Flash.
Safe Web Scanner:
The Safe Web Scanner is one of the newest features that checks news feeds and Facebook walls for bad links and other threats from the Norton Control Centre. We felt that the Facebook integration feature was not as intuitive as it could have been as too much interaction is required in order to let the user know that such an option is actually available, which should have been just available as default. In case you suspect a site, just click on the Safe Web and enter the UR, which will check if the site is safe or not, the suite will also check its huge database to see it has been rated as malicious or not.
Symantec has also increased protection on parental controls in Norton 350 Version 5.0 Security Software, which will give the parents instant insight on what their children are doing online from anywhere remotely. With this account, you get web access to what the kid is looking, searching and accessing online. It is not a simple information on browser history, but also a neat and categorically divided information age wise that is offered support by Norton experts and community. Though it is not fully featured like the NetNanny software, but it is a good start for a suite that is mainly aimed at the home users.
The Symantec Norton 360 is one of the best firewalls and offered consistently high lab results. It is now much better at malware removal and has very low performance impact with a simple as well as efficient spam filtering and high end phishing protection. Though there have been a few disadvantages, this is the best security that your money can buy now. Symantec Norton 360 is just an all in all security suite, which is a install and forget suite.
Norton 360 Version 5.0 Antivirus – Specification Table
|Software name||Norton 360|
|Suite type||All in one security suite|
|License type||Complete package|
|License quantity||One year three users|
|OS Supported||Microsoft® Windows® XP (32-bit) with Service Pack 2 or
later Home/Professional/Media Center,
Microsoft® Windows Vista® (32-bit and 64-bit) Starter/Home Basic/
Home Premium/Business /Ultimate,
Microsoft® Windows® 7 (32-bit and 64-bit) Starter/Home Basic/
|Minimum hardware||300-MHz or faster processor
256 MB of RAM; 512 MB recommended
300 MB of available hard disk space
Must meet minimum operating system requirements
for Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/Win7
Internet Explorer® 6.0 or higher, or Mozilla Firefox® 3.0 or higher
Internet connection – a high-speed connection
is required for online backup
|Other Key features||PC Tune-up
Web, File, Email protection
Network Attack Blocker