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Norton 360 Review


Norton 360 Review

Norton 360 Review – Many people shrug and call Norton products “bloated piece of junks” – I’ve seen this statement mostly on the forums. Today I want to let you know that it isn’t true. Norton Antivirus 2004 was heavy on resources based on my experience in the past, but that was 6 years ago. I’ve tried a few Norton AntiVirus products for the past few years and they were all great: very light on system resources, kept my computer secure, and packed with other essential security tools.

Norton 360 by Symantec is no different. This latest norton internet security software is very light on system resources and has the right tools to maintain a healthy and secure system. Norton 360 provides an all-in-one security protection to your computer with a combination of an antivirus, antispyware, and a firewall.

Norton 360 Review – Installation

Just like the Norton Antivirus Gaming Edition that I tried a couple of years back, Norton 360 installation only took a minute (or less?) on my computer. I’m not the type who normally cares about an application’s installation time, but Norton 360 installation was easy and fast. More powerful users might want to have a custom installation though rather than “installing everything and disabling the modules later”.

Have I also mentioned that it didn’t require me to restart my computer? Another thumb up.

Norton 360 Installation

Norton 360 Review – Look and Feel

Norton 360 Norton Identity Safe

Norton 360 interface is clean and elegant. It displays as few information as possible but you can always drill down further if you wish. The colors are pleasant for the eyes and the information is not cluttered on one screen.

Upon opening Norton 360 (from the system tray icon), you’ll be presented with the main “menu” displaying a summary of the 4 main modules: PC Security, Identity Protection, Backup, and PC Tuneup. These summaries provide you with the overall system status at a glance and you’ll see clearly if there are any anomalies or actions that you need to take.

Norton 360 Main Features

Norton 360 Review – Features

Norton 360 Review – Security

The Norton 360 product includes: antivirus, antispyware, antiphishing, SONAR Advanced Protection (a behavior-based protection that detects emerging spyware and viruses), smart firewall, intrusion prevention, browser protection, email and instant messenger scanning. Of course, if you are looking for a security application, you want to know whether you can trust Norton 360, right? I’ve kept a series of screenshots to show you how Norton 360 protected me from disasters for the past month:

Trojan Horse autorun on Flash Drive
Trojan detected when I plugged a USB Flash Drive
Norton 360 Detecting threat - cookie
A cookie threat

Norton 360 detect trojans in email

Norton 360 protected me in the background while I was using my computer and as you can see from the screenshots above, these are the things that you normally do every day: checking your emails, browsing the web, and plugging a USB Flash Drive to your computer. These viruses and trojans would have gone into my system if Norton 360 wasn’t there. I wouldn’t treat a tracking cookie as a threat but I guess different people have different opinions about this.

Norton 360 Review – Identity Protection

Norton 360 auto installs 2 add-ons on my Firefox: Norton IPS and Norton ToolBar. These 2 tools are responsible to maintain protection for your identity on the web. You can have just one master password and let Norton stores your online credentials securely on your computer. It will also display an icon next to search engine results to let you know whether a site is considered safe or not. This way, it feels safer to go online and browse the web with Norton 360 installed on your system.

Norton 360 Review – Auto Scan when Idle

Norton 360 by its default settings does a quick and full system scan when you are not using your computer. An Idle Quick Scan took about 2 minutes in my computer where as the Idle Full Scan took much longer than that.

Norton 360 Idle Quick Scan

As other antiviruses do, you can do a system full scan with Norton 360 to thoroughly scan, clean, and optimize your system. Norton 360 also includes a defragmenter, a registry cleaner, and a disk cleaner (temporary files, histories, etc). Running a comprehensive scan executes these tools but you can always pick specific ones that you want it to run.

Norton 360 Full System Scan

Norton 360 Review – Intuitive Backup

Norton 360 also includes an automated Backup feature both offline and online. As a part of your subscription, you’ll be given a 2 GB online space to backup. If you require more space, you can have them at a price.

Norton 360 provides an easy wizard to manage the backups: “What”, “Where” and “When”; What to backup? Where do you want to back them up to? When do you want to back them up?

Norton 360 Backup

Norton 360 Review – Quick shortcuts

Through the system tray icon, you can quickly:

  • Do a quick scan of your system
  • Run the Live Update
  • Execute your backup sets
  • View Norton 360 recent history
  • Contact the Technical Support
  • Turn on/off Silent Mode (stop alerts & background activities for a period of time – useful if you are playing games or running a heavy application)
  • Disable/Enable Smart Firewall
  • Disable AntiVirus auto protect

This provides a quick access to the most frequent things that you’ll do with Norton 360 (hopefully you won’t need to click on the Get Support link, though).

Norton 360 Review Conclusion

Norton 360 Monthly Report
A monthly report automatically generated

Norton 360 is a great all-in-one security application that provides you protection from threats both offline and online. It’s easy to use, even for non-technical users. Norton 360 always gives you the basic/automated settings at first but provides an option if you want to customize it further. In most of the cases, the Norton 360 default settings are already enough to protect and ensure that your system is always optimal. Although Norton 360 includes a registry cleaner, defragmenter, and a clean-up tool, I find that these are just bonuses as its main strength is on delivering protections to your system. The Backup module is quite comprehensive though and surprisingly easy to use. You can also create multiple backups (Backup Sets) and customize them differently.

All in all, Norton 360 is not a bloatware or a piece of crap that people always complain about. If you still think that way without trying a Norton product for the past few years, I dare you to download the trial and try it yourself. It is true that you can always use a free antivirus to protect you, but can a free product match the protection of a commercially proven antivirus? Not always the case but most of the time, it can’t.

Norton 360 Review – Pros
+ Easy to use
+ Elegant interface
+ Suitable for both novice and experienced users
+ Provides great security both offline and online
+ Has a great backup tool
+ Plenty of advanced settings if you have the time to tweak it

Norton 360 Review – Cons
– Power users might want a more flexible installation
– Need a few clicks to find the infected file or what the infection is

If you own a Norton 360, please share your thoughts on this Norton 360 Review post.

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  1. What system did you install this on? I think a lot of user are installing it on a system that may be 2-3 years old or older without a lot of ram. 360 will drag down any systems like this.

    • I installed it both on a recent + older machine. The older machine was a Pentium 4 with 2 GB of RAM. It still ran quite flawlessly (the machine is around 4-5 years old)

    • Norton ruined my Windows XP system in June 2010. I couldn’t start the computer and to remove Norton had to reinstall Windows.

      This is the second time this has happened to me with a Symantec product. I got it as part of my Comcast subscription, which forced me to replace McAfee. Big, big mistake.

      Norton ruined my computer.

  2. Hmmm. All-in-all, good job on the review… I agree with much of what you have to say about Norton and their improvements (which, in my opinion, started to occur a few years back, with the current evolution being the best). Even so, there were a few things that led me to end up at the add/remove programs menu. I tried both NIS 2010 and Norton 360… was on Kaspersky 2010 prior. At first I had no complaints, until I ran my full system scan. Left, and when I came back, the SONAR function had automatically removed about 20 files that I was 100% sure were not viruses: therefore, false positives. Went and tweaked settings as much as I could to avoid this, and still got completely legit programs coming up as security risks; not even just “suspicious files,” but with attributed names to them on occasion. Even assuming we were to say I somehow had my settings tweaked wrong to cause this, the biggest peeve was that, when risks WERE detected, I could find no “ignore” option, or similar easily accessible command that would allow me to teach Norton that what it found was not malware, and that it should be ignored. Kaspersky, and every other program I tested, has this function IMMEDIATELY available and apparent as soon as a problem is detected. Call me trite, but this is a deal-breaker for me. Still… was happy with system resource usage, BIG improvement on last year… it’s just that the extra features in 360 (disk defrag, backup, registry cleaner, etc) can be found in all system optimization suites; nearly all of which offer much more in-depth scans and performance tweaks. 360, in my opinion, is perfect for a certain demographic: casual computer users who aren’t incredibly computer savvy or heavy downloaders/file-sharers. …and, if a good chunk of users are 60+ years of age and have habits in any way similar to my father’s (e-mail checking master + cruise ship deal hunter), Norton should be sitting pretty for some time to come. ;)

    • That’s a lot of thoughts being shared here, thanks Brian. Norton has come a long way and I’m hoping that they will learn from Kaspersky and NOD32 as well. All of them have their own bells and whistles definitely :)

  3. I bought Norton 360 and now my computer is infected with spyware and can NOT get the spyware off my computer. I contacted Norton 360 and they want another 100 dollars to remove it. Hello, I paid for Norton360 to protect me! I got the sypware infection on the 23th of February and they were suppose to contact me today and they failed to call me back. So my computer is inoperatable due to malistious , spyware, virsus, who knows what. My recommendation on Norton 360 is ‘dont’t waste your money, you are not protected and if you do get infected they want more money’.

    • Same thing happened to me four times on this year. Last time
      was this past September 7, 2010. The computer was getting slow and finally the screen turned black with an ominous message saying that windows was missing a file an was unable to lunch.
      I miserably spent two days trying to fix my computer avoiding the lost of all my files. I did not permormed Norton back ups because they usually take for ever, long endless hours and the last one practically was endless.
      Finally I had to perform full recovery on my HP, which means that I lost all my files that were not saved in the last back up and the softwares that I had been buying over the internet. The previous time I got infected Norton assistance was very nice and free. They instructed me how to uninstall and reinstall Norton and I did not loose any information stored in my computer. This time I was not so luck. I have not yet reinstalled Norton 360, because I am studying other options even when I already paid $ 72 for the last renewal. I think it might be worthly to try another options instead of suffering this nightmare for the fifth time.
      You might have Norton 360. latest version, and you still have no virus protection even when the software tells you have it. It is a complete failure. I think they are trying hard to improve the product but at the customer’s expense, as if the customer’s time has no value.

  4. I work at Staples where we are required to push Norton 360 hard on every pc purchase. The only good thing I have to say about Norton 360 is that it’s a good idea.

    That idea however, is poorly executed. We have many people come in to purchase our PC Repair services, and many times one of the things we do to “fix” their computer is to remove Norton 360.

    I’ve installed Norton onto customer’s computers myself and very often it takes almost half an hour to complete, and this is on brand new computers!

    I would say just avoid norton and stick with Kaspersky or AVG

    • Hmm weird. It only took me less than a minute to install on both my Windows 7 (dual core) and Windows XP (Pentium 4) machines. I’d stay away from AVG because I found some viruses being ignored by it last time

  5. Thats a good review except for the last bit. where you say “but can a free product match the protection of a commercially proven antivirus?” you can not possibly rely on NORTON’s reputation. In fact I have yet to find a true (not rogue) antivirus with a worse reputation. If you want to have a good strong defense against viruses and the like. then I have a couple of free products you might want to look at. google them for details: “SANDBOXIE” “SPYBOT SEARCH AND DESTROY” “AVG FREE” “WEB OF TRUST” “CCLEANER”and “MALWAREBYTES ANTI-MALWARE” you go with these products and it will do everything norton is supposed to do without giving you any hinderrence or deleting files without permission. And with sandboxie you will never even have to worry about these attacks again EVER. if you dont take my word for it and skip over the aformentioned software at least try sandboxie.

    • I agree but then, you have to donwoad and install different free applications where as a commercial product normally has everything in one package. I use AVG antivirus (and sometimes Avast) and CCleaner on my other computer too. Spybot comes in handy when I suspect there’s a malwares/spyware in the system. Then again, all of these are separate products focusing on different securities

  6. Norton 360 files have taken up over 8GB on my C drive :'(. Is there anything tht i can delete or does it all have to be there

    • I have already uninstalled my Norton 360 to review other antivirus/security software so I can’t confirm this. Do you have the backup turned on? If you do, it must be the backup files that it is keeping

  7. Please install norton phishing in my computer..
    I do not have that for so long in my screen.
    I thank you for that for doing so….

  8. I have a simple question. I have my son going off to college this month. Is N360 (3pc) going to work after I load my desktop (Houston, TX) and load on his laptop (College Station, TX)? As far as getting all updates and for N360, like new virus engines, overall virus protection, and so on.

  9. Norton 360 has ruined two of my computers. The first one was my desktop which was infected with a virus. Norton charged me $100 to remove it. It worked again right up until their 7 day guarantee expired then crashed. I took it to BestBuy and they told me the motherboard was gone. So I had to buy a new desktop. I then re-subscribed to Norton 360 on my daughter’s laptop and it won’t even boot now. I have Kapersky on my new desktop and so far I am happy with it. As soon as I get my daughters computer fixed I am unsubscribing to Norton and asking for a full refund. Take my advice. Stick with Kapersky.

  10. 360 is good, but I have had a problem with restore for my emails, used phone help and on line help with Norton controlling my PC on two occasions, but still can’t get my files and address book back. Will now use a second hard drive for back up, but keep using this product for protection. I was given no reason for this faliure, (got all the rest back) to restore and spend 5 days myself trying all I know, but no luck. I asked them to download at Norton and send me the data from the Norton server, but guess what, can’t do for privacy reasons. Customer service, all very nice and polite, but no outcome.

  11. installed norton 360 yesterday,today my p.c is unusable due to missing files and freezes,crashes etc,just speaking as I find,I shall be ‘backing’ my 360 package and handing the bill to the retailer who was a Norton evangelist.Norton sucks.

  12. I installed Norton on 2 laptops and it destroyed both of them. This has got to be the worst product in the world. I even had tech support before they were totally destroyed, and the support was horrible; some idiot in India who had no idea what he was doing. And that was after being on hold for over an hour. Do yourself a favor and don’t go anywhere near this software!!!

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