The last time I used a Norton Internet Security software suite was a few years ago, and I have memories of my PC being slowed to a crawl and becoming more or less unusable for even basic functions. Fortunately, I’m the forgiving type, so when I was given the chance to review Norton 360 v4.0 Internet Security, I jumped at it, promising myself that I’d be completely impartial and start off with a clean slate – and not the iPad slate / tablet / netbook replacement variety!
If you’ve used Norton Anti-Virus in the past, but haven’t come across Norton 360, you’re bound to love the number of features included in this very comprehensive package. All features from both the Norton Anti-Virus and Norton Internet Security suites are present, and there are a number of additions included that make Norton 360 the most complete suite of tools I’ve come across.
Whereas the Norton Internet Security suite provides you with Core and Advanced Protection, as well as networking and identity protection packages, 360 will give you the ability to backup your data online, with 2GB of online storage included with your subscription as standard, and the option to purchase more if you need to do so.
Installation and Setup
Installation of Norton 360 was incredibly simple and automated. Everything was sorted without one click from me, including installation, automated updates and even the removal of the anti-virus system I had installed prior to installing Norton. Once the system was installed, all I was asked to do was create an account for the internet services included, such as online backup, with my email address.
Once everything was up and running, I ran a definitions update, as Norton reported that the last definitions update occurred in March. Again, this took less than a minute, although speeds will vary depending on your internet connection.
All things considered, I was really impressed by the speed of setup, and lack of intervention required by me during the whole process.
The interface of Norton 360 is easy to navigate and simple to use, with all features being accessible from the main window. The window will change colour depending on how at risk your system is. If you’re protected, the colour scheme will be green, and this will change to amber if your attention is required, and red if your system is at risk.
With different coloured windows representing different protection statuses, you can easily see at a glance if something needs your attention.
If you need to perform other tasks that aren’t accessible using quick tasks, you can simply select ‘Tasks’ on the top of the window to see a complete list of tasks available to you, split into General, Backup and PC Tuneup tasks.
The first time I ran a quick scan using Norton 360, I presumed it would take around half an hour to complete, with other anti-virus systems taking a similar amount of time. To my surprise, the scan took less than a minute to complete, although it only scanned around 6000 files, presumably in areas most likely to house malware. In this scan, 16 cookies were found.
With the quick scan not taking a long time to complete, I was optimistic for the comprehensive scan to produce similar results. As expected, the comprehensive scan took considerably longer. Not only did it scan my entire system for viruses and spyware, but it also removed temporary files and ran disk optimisation too.
One area I was particularly wary of was system performance whilst scanning was taking place. Again, I found the results to be impressive, with only 30% of my CPU being used on average during scanning (testing took place on a PC running Windows 7 and a dual core Atom 330 CPU clocked at 2.0GHz). I could easily carry out other tasks whilst scans were running, and the suite was running in the background, which was great to see.
Norton 360 4.0 Internet Security has most definitely managed to change my opinion of the security suite. I found it to be efficient, offer an abundance of great features and manage resources very well too. I’d certainly recommend it to anyone looking for a complete security suite for Windows.
Priced at around £40 for a 1 user (3 PC) license, it’s good value for money on a ‘per PC’ basis and it’s sure to attract a lot of attention for the right reasons in future!