Unobtrusive protection with a stylish interface
Norton 360 has a new, slick and attractive Windows 8-style appearance. However, the basic layout and functions haven't changed dramatically from the previous version.
Norton 360 has a wide range of features, but is only available as a three PC licence making it expensive if you only have a single computer. A few features, such as the Norton Online Family parental controls and the free online storage have to be installed or activated separately. This can be a bit of a convoluted process, involving multiple logins and downloads from the Norton website.
Setup took just over one minute – a far cry from the bloated installations of yesteryear. It then downloads updates, which adds a couple of minutes. In Windows 8, the Norton toolbar is installed in the desktop version of Internet Explorer 10. This provides access to the impressive Identity Safe service, which can securely store website login details and has lots of other identity protection features.
A quick scan took just under three minutes, occupying 95MB of memory. Norton uses a database of trusted programs to speed things up – this trust level can be adjusted if needed, but not using it at all can slow scans down significantly.
The main menu is fairly clear, but it is suitably huge to accommodate the remarkable and wide array of options. A silent mode is available for those who need to concentrate on a task without being interrupted. A free Windows Store app is also available for Windows 8 that shows security status in a live tile on the Start screen.
The comprehensive file backup feature and can schedule backups to CD/DVD, hard disk or the 2GB Norton Online Backup storage that comes with the program. Backed-up files can be browsed and restored from within the program or via a web browser.
Norton Online Family is a free program (available to all, not just 360 owners) that provides comprehensive parental controls. A free app for tracking, locking and wiping your smartphone is also available for Android owners.
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Although quite expensive, Norton 360 is an excellent and unobtrusive program for those who prefer every security angle covered in one product
Excellent identity theft protection; Comprehensive parental controls; Interface is clear; Highly configurable protection and scans
Extensive options can be confusing; Multiple sign-ups for extras is tedious
£50 for three PCs; one year subscription
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