Symantec has nicely segregated their security solutions as per user’s needs. Norton Antivirus gives protection from viruses, Trojans, worms etc. whereas Norton Internet Security or NIS – which we recently reviewed –shields from viruses and also protects user’s network with a two-way firewall. However, for those who seek a complete piece of mind, Symantec has got 360 a full-fledged solution capable of doing what other two variants do and in addition has an in-built backup tool to keep important data backed up on Symantec’s secure servers. We’ve been using the fourth iteration of 360 for quite some time and this is what we’ve found.
Setting up Norton 360 v4 is as easy as 1-2-3. Like its newer 2010 siblings, Symantec has paid special attention to speed and resource consuming capabilities. The application installs in about a minute and runs pretty smooth consuming minimal resources.
Norton 360’s UI is pretty intuitive and fairly easy to use. Consumers can easily go through a series of sub-menus enabling them to scan their drives, run Live Update, backup their PC, tuneup the PC and even set up identity protection to safely keep their credit card info, login details etc.
Norton 360 has the same protection engine as its remaining 2010 range, which means it has the SONAR protection that analyzes applications and their behavior in real time, reputation-based technology and a 100 percent overall protection rate based on a research by UK’s Dennis Labs. Norton Insight is the one that uses the reputation-based analysis and it’s really effective. Insight takes advantage of analyzing application usage of millions of Norton users and gives a quick security assurance of the files being run or downloaded by the consumers. Users can check the files on the basis of processes running in the background, startup items, recently installed or even individually.
Norton 360 also has a simple but useful Norton Task menu that shows the computer’s CPU and memory resource history up to 1 month. The Task monitors the PC’s usage and shows what process caused user’s computer to hog resources and even show when Norton initiated its scanning process.
The new features that are found in Norton 360 are backup (we’ll come on that soon) and ability to reduce PC’s startup time and performance with disk cleanup tool. The Startup Manager allows users to control what applications need to start after a boot up and even delay their startup by some minutes. Symantec claims a test by Passmark proves that Norton 360’s Startup Manager helps to improve PC boot time running Windows 7 OS by up to 41 percent.
Coming onto 360’s USP – the backup. Backing up data on Norton 360 follows three basic principles – What you want to backup; Where you want to backup (online, removable drive or HDD) and; When you want to backup. By default, Norton 360 comes with a 2GB online storage option (additional storage can be bought) and although the previous versions did offer the same online convenience, this year’s variant has the ability to view or share backed up content on smartphones. A simple app on your Android device or iPhone will give users the liberty to view their content, download or even email them. The Android app can be downloaded from here whereas iPhone/iPod touch/iPad app is available on the App Store as “Norton Tiki” and works as it should be. Check out couple of screenshots below.
To sum this up, the latest version of Norton 360 obviously pips up its predecessor. If you’re looking for some no-brainer solution that not only protects your PC from viruses and unwanted network intrusions but also does the boring backup whenever you want to, Norton 360 v4 is the thing to look out for.
A standard single PC license with 2GB storage is priced at Rs. 1,795 whereas a three PC license will cost Rs. 3,409. Symantec is also selling a three PC license Premium Edition with 25GB online storage for Rs. 3,859.
Pros: Fast, Simple, Good overall protection
Cons: Bit pricey, No app for WinMo or Symbian smartphone users