Ever since I switched to Mac, I have not use Norton antivirus for years. As far as I remember, the top antivirus software for Windows was quite bulky, system resource hungry, and affect system performance.
Symantec knows the problems and want to change your mindset now. I was invited to an exclusive bloggers meet-up with Symantec in Malaysia and received a complimentary copy of Norton 360 v6 for this review.
Norton 360 v6 is the all-in-one security suite by Symantec in 2012. It protects your computer against online threads (virus, spam, etc), backup your files, keeps your online identify safe and tunes computer’s performance.
The installation is simple and quick. Insert the Norton 360 CD and click Install Norton 360 (Vista/XP). In Windows 7, you click Launch Norton Install then Install Norton 360. It is also Windows 8 ready.
For netbook and ultrabook without an optical drive, you can download a Norton 360 digital copy from http://www.norton.com/digital/
Follow the installation instructions and you will have Norton 360 protecting your computer in about 5 minutes. A Norton 360 widget will be added to your Windows widget bar.
Read on for Norton 360 v6 review.
Norton 360 v6 review
Norton 360 main window is simple and clean. First thing you’ll notice is the 4 main functions of Norton 360:
1. PC Security
Here is the antivirus, anti-spyware, firewall, and browser protection. Norton 360 use “Norton Insight” to check and skip trusted files from scan. With Norton Insight, the antivirus will only scan 20% of my files.
Did you know that Norton has a Facebook app “Norton Safe Web” that scan your facebook News Feed?
Here you can view the details and configure online protections. Norton 360 automatically protects you from malicious/phishing web pages.
You can use “Identity Safe” to securly stores your address, logins, passwords, credit card numbers and it can automatically fill forms at trusted web sites. Never forget your password again!
You can also sync your Identify Safe with other computers by logging into your Norton Account.
Beside protecting you against online threats, Norton 360 also protect against file loss with automatic Backup.
Here you can manage your Backup sets to configure what files to backup, the backup location (Norton’s secure online storage, external drives, flash drives, iPod or CD/DVD), and when to backup (automatic, weekly, monthly, manual).
You can pick the file types you want to backup, add or exclude files and folders in backup. The file types categories are: pictures, music, financial files, video, office documents, email, contacts, internet favorites (bookmarks), and other file types. You can customize each file types categories to add the file extensions not in the list. Worry your important files are not included in backup set? There’s a “Preview” button to check.
If you choose online backup, you can set the bandwidth throttle level so that it does not take up all your Internet connection’s upload bandwidth.
Norton gives 2 GB free online storage for backup. You may buy more storage from 5 GB (MYR 128.99/year) to 50 GB (MYR284.99/year). That’s quite expensive for online storage.
4. PC Tuneup
PC Tuneup is the feature not found in other Norton security products. It optimize and cleanup your computer for better performance with disk optimization, remove useless temporary files, cleanup Windows Registry, and Startup Manager.
While nothing much you can configure about the disk optimization and file cleanup, I would like to highlight Startup Manager.
You know, there are applications that run at startup and made you wait impatiently… Norton 360 Startup Manager allows you to manage them. It lists the program name, community usage (is it popular?), resource usage (is it slow?). Click on the program name will show you even for details.
You can turn On/Off for each listed program. “Delay Start” will set the program run at Startup to delay 5 minutes. So that you don’t need to wait it to run at startup. Sweet!
I recommend turn Off programs that you know you don’t need them running at startup. For programs that you need at Startup but high resource usage, use the “Delay Start”.
One thing I want to complain about Norton 360′s PC Tuneup is “no progress bar”. Without a progress bar, you would have no idea how many percent has done and how long time it will take.
At the bottom of Norton 360 main window, you get your subscription status and 5 icons: Activity Map, Manage, Mobile, Online Family, and Safe Web. The Norton windows widget also have the same icons.
- Activity Map shows you the global cybercrime activity for the previous 24 hours.
- Manage is the Norton Management to manage Norton products and licenses on all your devices.
- Mobile will link you to install Norton Antivirus & Security for Android that protects your mobile agaist loss, theft and malware.
- Online Family is the parental monitoring software helps you to watch your kids online activities including sites visited, alerts generated, search terms used, and more.
- Safe Web allows you to check the safety risk a website before you visit it. It also includes safe search (powered by ask.com) to filter unsafe sites in online search results.
In Norton 360 main window, you have a top menu. Tasks gives you quick access to Norton 360 various tasks (no need navigate through menus). Settings is shortcut to Norton 360 detailed settings. Performance shows you the monthly history of software installation, downloads, thread detections, alerts and quick scans of your computer, as well as history chart of CPU and Memory.
In my test, Norton 360 only takes up 20MB memory in background. Manual full system scan will take up to 100MB memory. 109,091 files scanned in 19 minutes 6 seconds. Note that I ran Windows under virtual box in Mac OS X. You probably get better performance than mine in native Windows platform.
Norton 360 v6 won the PC.com Editors’ Choice award and ranked No.1 in AV-TEST Institute January 2012 Real World Protection and Remediation Testing Report(pdf) and received top performance scores from PassMark Software’s 2012 Consumer Security Products Performance Benchmarks (Edition 4) report(pdf).
Price and Discount Coupon Code
For Malaysians, you can buy Norton 360 v6 from Norton retailers or Norton online store. Two licenses available:
- 1 Year for 1 PC RM 117.99
- 2 Years for up to 3 PCs RM 405.99
You can use a limited time coupon code fifteenoffcheckout for 15% discount on your online purchase.
My two cents
I would recommend Norton 360 to anyone who needs an all-in-one solution to protect their Windows computer. It not only protect your computer against virus, spam, and other online threads, it is also backup tool, password manager, and PC performance optimizer. And, Norton 360 is lightweight! It does not slow down your computer when running in the background.
Editor’s note: I would like to thank Symantec for the opportunity to review Norton 360 v6. This is a free product review with honest write-up. Interesting to submit your products for review? Get in touch with me.