Neowin Review: Norton 360 5.0

There's a lot of internet security solutions out there these days, and to survive (and beat the free competition), Symantec has really had to up their game with their latest major release of Norton 360. Version 5.0 was recently released, and with it came a overhaul of the interface and the software's memory usage. In this quick review, we'll take a look at what's changed, and whether or not you should use Norton 360 on your desktop.

In the spirit of full disclosure, Symantec passed us the software for review, and I went into the review hesitant to use it on my PC. Having worked in IT for a long time, my experiences with Norton generally extend to "If you find Norton on a PC, uninstall it and your PC will be fast again." But, I went ahead and took the plunge anyway, read on to see how I felt about the product. The review will be brief, and cover off features quickly and simply.

Installation

Norton 360 installation is about as simple as it gets. Run the installer, type in your key and you're away. No custom options, other than choosing the directory, and you can't disable features from being installed. This is great if you're a casual PC user, nice and simple, although if you're a power user, the lack of control might be frustrating.

Interface

The Norton 360 interface is really designed for people who aren't "power users" -- that is, the casual home user who doesnt work in IT -- and don't really want to have jargon thrown in their face every time the AV has to run. It uses simple language, easy to understand sentances and big graphics.

What I did find strange was the "dynamic threat map" at the bottom of the window. It's a map that displays threats that are emerging over the last 24 hours around the world. Sure, it's a pretty feature, but I don't understand how this is of much use to me. It could help Symantec expose their site more, but I'm not really sure. Either way, you can swap the panel out with a feature called "Online family" that shows your kids' usage online, or, to "Norton Safe Web" that allows you to check if a link is "safe" before visiting it. Again, it could be a useful feature for casual users who are worried about what could be hiding behind a short URL.

Performance

This is potentially the area I was most skeptical about, as I mentioned Norton has traditionally been a resource hog, crippling PC's for no reason (and even worse when actually scanning). With Norton 360, I was pleasantly surprised. When just "running" the product, it hovered around the 20MB of RAM usage mark, surprisingly. Then, when running a scan, it went to double the size, around 50MB of RAM being used -- not bad at all -- an impressive change from older products, the test machines I used (even the slower ones) were entirely usable during the scan. CPU usage was a bit of a sadder story, with around 50%-75% being used at some points during scan, but this is expected when performing a full scan.

Sure, it's not the CPU or RAM usage of some of their competitors products, such as Microsoft Security Essentials (Free, but very basic antivirus), but this is feature packed. Other reviewers picked up on the speed increase, too, with PC Mag stating that "it scored very, very well in my performance test" and was the "mega suite" that they would reccomend.

It's also worth noting that it appears Norton added no percieveable slow down to boot time, testing the machine before and after install revealed no difference in wait time. Impressive!

Features

Symantec really have crammed features in every nook and cranny with this version of Norton 360. A quick run down of features includes real time antivirus, firewall, identity protection, spam filtering, backup, "Safe web", disk optimization, file cleanup and "Facebook Scan." Hold on, did I seriously just say Facebook scan?

I did. This product actually can scan your Facebook wall to see if there are any "rogue links" there. I tried it, and didn't have any, but it seems like a strange feature for a desktop internet security product? With all the scams going around on Facebook right now, though, this could be useful for those that are less tech-savvy.

The AV scanning is quick and accurate, with AV-comparatives reporting that in their tests Norton had a whopping 98.6% detection rate, that well ahead of free competitors such as AVG. You can choose from different modes; from the standard "Quick" or "Full" scan, to a "Reputation scan" of your programs that checks for your programs' trust levels, or even the aforementioned Facebook Wall scan feature.

Included in Norton 360, is a firewall, which is very, very powerful. While the firewall is powerful, it is also very simple to understand, and allows users with less technical knowledge to leverage it's power. If Norton detects an "hacking attempt" it describes it in plain english, and whether or not the software believes it could succeed or not based on the action you choose. No jargon, again. Great move, Symantec.

Other features such as tuneup or spam filter weren't tested in this review, although we're hearing good things about these too. If you want to cover those off, PC Mag has a great in-depth review for this.

Verdict

If you're looking for a simple, easy to use and effective security suite, look no further. Norton 360 5.0 has got you covered. The software is ideal for those who are slightly less "computer-savvy" such as your grandma or uncle, but is usable by almost anyone, and covers off every aspect you could think of. I'm really convinced Symantec have a killer product here, enough to convert a complete hater of the software into someone who would willingly reccomend friends to buy it, and that's a big deal in the IT world.

This article is the opinion of the writer, as per Neowin policy, "writers [are not] allowed to accept payment of any form for personal gain for promotion, advertising, recommendation, or opinions on products."

Neowin has a few copies of Norton 360 to give away to New Zealand readers, courtesy of Symantec. Keep your eyes peeled on the front page over the next few days for further details.

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141 Comments

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I don't understand why people still bash Norton. I've been using Norton Internet Security since the 2009 version (when they started turning things around), and I've found it very, very good.

It sits down, shuts up, and speaks only when spoken to or when it deems it necessary (for example, when I come back to my computer from doing something elsewhere and it says "I have been running a scan and found something"). It's better than the Avira Premium Suite I tried which felt the need to tell me every time it did something.

It's light on resources. I don't really notice it running.

They give you a free upgrade to the current version whenever a newer version is released: google Norton Update Centre.

Basically, I installed it, made sure that it had up-to-date definitions (which was a significant problem initially because my old internet connection was terrible and Norton was resistant to downloading the updates because it was so slow), set up "do not scan" folder where I could dump stuff that it would potentially label as virused (even if it actually wasn't), and then leave it to it's own devices.

To those of you who haven't used any version of Norton post-2009, set up a virtual machine, and install a trial. You'll be surprised.

For what it's worth, I am running NAV2011 for the sake of testing, and it's been pretty damned good.

It's light weight, clean interface (albeit using more data then I want :\) and has only bothered me twice, both for good reasons >.>

This machine is about to be formatted. The Windows install is about 3 months old and the NAV install is about a week old. It seems perfect.

I'm a huge MSE fan, and I will continue to recommend it to everyone, but for those insistent on paying, Norton doesn't seem as bad as it used to be.

That said I haven't tried removing the ****** yet, so that might well change >.>

My only dislike are the "pulse updates" and the "threat map" wasting bandwidth; and the CPU usage alert (playing games is meant to hammer your core at 100%, I have 3 others that aren't getting hit that hard) popping up for obvious things.

Scans are fast and light weight. I'm not so put off by it over all

What of new "Scareware" rogue virus, "MS Removal Tool"? Has Norton 360 v. 5.0 been able to detect it? Microsoft Security Essentials, with latest updates, did *not* detect its presence on a laptop running Win. Vista SP2, forcing a time-consuming Rkill, Malwarebytes, etc. removal procedure.

Ill try is and see how it runs.. ha makes me laugh they have facebook scans now.. facebook is so used now it comes into our anti virus software.. Makes sense though can get some random bad links

Forgot to mention that I perform weekly scans with the paid versions of Hitman Pro and Malwarebytes on all of my Windows boxes and notebooks. Rootkits and Trojan Droppers seem to be the malware drug of choice on the Windows computers that I work on. Mine stay clean, thanks in part to careful browsing, no P2P or Pron and OpenDNS configured to block spam sites and sites known to host malware.

You mention the 50mb memory use during scans as not being that much, but what about the 76% CPU load? I know you stated that you were able to use the computer during scans with no noticeable performance hit, but given the power of today's CPU's I am astounded that 76% loading would even be possible. I use Avira Antivir Premium on my wife's computer, MSSE on the other Windows boxes and laptops [all clean installs] and nothing at all on my laptop running Kubuntu 11.04 beta-1. As a matter of fact, Kubuntu 11.04 uses 250mb's out of 2gb's at idle with all transparencies and eye candy maxed out. Sad when it takes 50mb's for a security program to perform a scan and Linux can run with all the bells and whistles at 250mb's.

There is nothing that Symantec can do for me other than sell the company back to Peter Norton, that will make me EVER go there again. Why pay? Screw them for the YEARS and HOURS of aggravation spent chasing down problems that couldn't possibly be related to Norton, but magically dissappeared after using their OWN removal tool to uninstall it. Never again will I pay for anti-virus. I'll just use system restore if it gets that bad.

+1
Why on earth would you need a ****ing separate removal tool to remove your own antivirus?

They ****ed up all Power Quest products after acquired it.
They ****ed up @Guard - the best ****ing firewall, then sygate.
For a while I thought that Symantec wants to destroy any product I liked: PQ Magic, Image Drive, atGuard, sygate firewall.

They use the same strategy as Microsoft - embrace, extend and extinguish.

I'll never buy a Symantec product.

Atreus said,
+1
Why on earth would you need a ****ing separate removal tool to remove your own antivirus?

They ****ed up all Power Quest products after acquired it.
They ****ed up @Guard - the best ****ing firewall, then sygate.
For a while I thought that Symantec wants to destroy any product I liked: PQ Magic, Image Drive, atGuard, sygate firewall.

They use the same strategy as Microsoft - embrace, extend and extinguish.

I'll never buy a Symantec product.

sygate firewall was the grestest!

Owen W said,
It's strange that everyone comes to a review to trumpet what they use. Grow up and stop trolling :-/

would like to know what made you think you would do a review on this, and what test machines you used? where the fresh OOBE machines or machines that were being used for sometime, and how long did you these machines for, IE everyday things for how many weeks.

I use MSSE and Norton. MSSE can be pretty heavy clocking in at about 70mb RAM. not a huge amount on modern machines but for those older ones Norton could actually be a lighter load

I use Microsoft Security Essentials and I believe its a very good AV program, but then again I do lock down my whole PC etc etc. I've never liked Norton too much though tbh. Norton Anti Virus corportate fantastic, norton ghost server fantastic, everything else meh

I use CSA (Common Sense Antivirus), never had an issue with it lol. Truthfully though i have been following N360 since its first public beta and i must say that the software has been getting better with every new version. It's a nice all around solution that works good for your average pc user, install it and your done.

I've been using Norton 360 ever since the very first version came out,and I'm happy to say I've never once had a problem with it.
It runs light,detects everything,doesn't throw up any false alarms,and works in the background.The same is true of NIS 2011 as well.
They've changed in the past 3 years.Somehow,people aren't willing to accept it.
It gets rave reviews in other PC mags as well.They couldn't have paid 'em all to say nice things about it.
I'd say,give it a shot.If you don't like it,just uninstall it.Takes about a minute with no hassles.

Pass......I don't visit hack sites, I use MSE, Malwarebytes, S & D, and I've never had an issue.
I keep my browser locked down, adblocker etc, and this costs me NOTHING.
I guess if you are noob, 360 will be ok, but I still have a bad taste in my mouth from the old norton days just after win3.x Norton desktop for windows was pretty much the last norton product I used.

naap51stang said,
Pass......I don't visit hack sites, I use MSE, Malwarebytes, S & D, and I've never had an issue.
I keep my browser locked down, adblocker etc, and this costs me NOTHING.
I guess if you are noob, 360 will be ok, but I still have a bad taste in my mouth from the old norton days just after win3.x Norton desktop for windows was pretty much the last norton product I used.

+1

and how about a feature to get those fake-virus entries for pirated files out of the virus database ! they cause me more damage then good, deleting all my hacks and cracks... whats up with that BS

LOL if it cant remove the virus its not worth it, i have not seen an anti virus for years now that can actually remove a virus, they all just say you have a virus (DUH) and then they fail... i haven't used an antivirus for quite some time now because of they uselessness... i guess we see if this is any better... i doubt it... they would have to be RADICALLY new in the way they handle this problem... and i dont think the programmers are even close to being up to the challenge... sure this looks all fancy but does it work... or the usual all flash no substance

2004 i think i first got Norton. But as many or not all users.. it users alot of memory which it didn't need to but end of day i went for NOD32. AVG is my

I used Norton over ten years ago and switched due to horrible performance. Eventually I used BitDefender but their software did not run on 64 bit so I switched to NOD32. NOD32 is awesome but since Microsoft's AV started getting good ratings and is free I started to use it.

I have a simple rule, and that rule is that everything that comes pre-installed on laptops or branded PCs is a shitware, excluding the OS. Norton is one of the most popular bloatware and most resource eating programs on Dell, HP and others branded PCs, that's why I skip buying branded PCs altogether and stick to custom builds.

In fairness to Symantec, they've been dramatically reducing memory usage of their AntiVirus line since like 2006... I'm assuming the reviewer hasn't had much experience with the software over the last half decade... Otherwise it was a good article.

Liana, to answer your question, yes. Norton 360 can be shut down for varying lengths of time as fifteen minutes (not counting manually turning it back on of course).

I too had my doubts about Norton, but ever since version 3 (IMHO) Norton 360 has been increasingly lean on resources, fast, and easy to use. It allows for a lot of control IF you want it, but defaults to handling most things quietly much like MSE. The firewall is robust and easily configurable, good detection on the AV, and for me, two big things of note:

1. Identity Safe: This password manager is a great addition and handles sites that IE and FF fail to store passwords for.

2. Inexpensive 3 PC licencing: We have 3 PCs in the house, and paying $25 US each to protect them is a minimal cost for everything this product does.

A simple but often overlooked feature: Is there an option to quickly and easily turn Norton off for a minute or two if you want? It used to drive me crazy when I'd work on someone's computer and need or want to turn the AV off for whatever reason and there was no option to.

If you are a Comcast customer, Norton 360 is offered for free. Granted it's an older version. Still, an extremely light and usable piece of software. I've been impressed ever since I installed it last year.

- Good review

Any sane computer user would keep him updated on what matters. That being said I used Norton user and then they started being lazy for couple of years and since 2009 they improved very much. My recommendation is that you keep up with security of you computers since you use it so much, sticking to one software because it was good last year doesn't mean it will protect you this year too.

Any sane computer user would keep him updated on what matters. That being said I used Norton user and then they started being lazy for couple of years and since 2009 they improved very much. My recommendation is that you keep up with security of you computers since you use it so much, sticking to one software because it was good last year doesn't mean it will protect you this year too.

Every year when I have to subscribe to an AV I do product check and see which one is the best and put my money there, but for last couple of year I've been putting my money for Norton and after 352 days will see who is the best in the business and get there subscription. Being loyal to anyone software doesn't give you reward hence DIVERSIFY.

Is this actually a better piece of security software than MS Security Essentials?

And if so, is it so much so to be worth the price to replace, what seem like, perfectly adequate free solutions to pc security?

Lamp0 said,
Is this actually a better piece of security software than MS Security Essentials?

And if so, is it so much so to be worth the price to replace, what seem like, perfectly adequate free solutions to pc security?

Well it does offer more, and the detection rates are higher, but if you're a careful Internet user, I think MSE should be very adequate for the job.

Any sane computer user would keep him updated on what matters. That being said I used Norton user and then they started being lazy for couple of years and since 2009 they improved very much. My recommendation is that you keep up with security of you computers since you use it so much, sticking to one software because it was good last year doesn't mean it will protect you this year too.

Every year when I have to subscribe to an AV I do product check and see which one is the best and put my money there, but for last couple of year I've been putting my money for Norton and after 352 days will see who is the best in the business and get there subscription. Being loyal to anyone software doesn't give you reward hence DIVERSIFY.

Also I would check http://www.av-comparatives.org...ivesreviews/summary-reports before buying anything.

When you lose your reputation, you can't ever get it back. Symantec should have thought of that before they built the crapware they do now, and STILL DO on the Enterprise side.

They ruined Veritas, Altiris, after they bought them, and their "security" products are just terrible as it is. Thanks, but I'll pass.

Hercules said,
When you lose your reputation, you can't ever get it back. Symantec should have thought of that before they built the crapware they do now, and STILL DO on the Enterprise side.

They ruined Veritas, Altiris, after they bought them, and their "security" products are just terrible as it is. Thanks, but I'll pass.

This is the most stupid comment I have probably ever read. So wait, everyone should dismiss Windows xp and 7 cos Millenium existed?

I'm glad someone is reviewing Symantec products again.

I bought a PC pre-installed with the Norton 360 trial. I was impressed with lean and mean it seemed. It seemed as though the UI layer was re-written on WPF, and that the scanning engine was completely seperated from the UI.

This is the reason the old Norton seemed so bloated. Good work Symantec.

(incidentally I can't afford norton360 so went with free solution)

Great review.

I used to install Symantec Corporate Edition on all my Windows boxes. It was nice and lightweight but they discontinued it. I now use Avira free edition, despite the popups that I'm too lazy to circumvent.

Sorry, but no dice. I'll stick with other solutions that are faster, less "fancy", and actually get the job done (more reliably - eg: better detection rate).

Raa said,
Sorry, but no dice. I'll stick with other solutions that are faster, less "fancy", and actually get the job done (more reliably - eg: better detection rate).

Because you've actually used Norton 360 so you're able to form a reasonable opinion and not just spouting FUD before trying something, right? Oh wait...

No thank you.

MSE used here for Windows OS'es and unlikely to ever change given that it's free to genuine, doesn't give me any grief and does a damn good job of keeping things clean.

Aergan said,
No thank you.

MSE used here for Windows OS'es and unlikely to ever change given that it's free to genuine, doesn't give me any grief and does a damn good job of keeping things clean.

It's excellent for a free solution. I've been recommending it to people that don't want to pay for an A/V.

The problem is that most grandma's and uncles don't have a computer system that is able to use this without it completely bogging their machine down. My mother is a prime example of this, she went and bought a "new computer" (w/o consulting me). It was such a great deal ($300 - $400). It was a re-manufacturer laptop with vista on it, it only had 1 gig of ram and when she brought it to me it was taking 15 - 17 min's just to boot up. When I finally got into the computer, all I did was remove norton and restart it. The 2nd time it only took 3 min's for the computer to start up. I loaded MSE and it only took about 3.5 min's to start up. I know MSE is no where as secure or protective as Norton but when it take 15+ min's to start up, it kinda of makes the computer unusable. IMO.

Huffdady said,
The problem is that most grandma's and uncles don't have a computer system that is able to use this without it completely bogging their machine down. My mother is a prime example of this, she went and bought a "new computer" (w/o consulting me). It was such a great deal ($300 - $400). It was a re-manufacturer laptop with vista on it, it only had 1 gig of ram and when she brought it to me it was taking 15 - 17 min's just to boot up. When I finally got into the computer, all I did was remove norton and restart it. The 2nd time it only took 3 min's for the computer to start up. I loaded MSE and it only took about 3.5 min's to start up. I know MSE is no where as secure or protective as Norton but when it take 15+ min's to start up, it kinda of makes the computer unusable. IMO.

I said in the article I tested it on "multiple configurations" including low end PC's and there was no perceivable performance hit, but I usually would agree with you.

I'm surprised people didn't talk about how it comes up with false positives. Sure, every AV comes up with them but I'm constantly seeing people complain about Norton specifically.

This is a general piece of advice for everyone out there with any AV. If it detects a false positive, submit a report to the company and get it whitelisted. Don't just complain about it and move on, do something about it!

Norton: https://submit.symantec.com/false_positive/
AVG: http://samplesubmit.avg.com/us-en/false-detection
Kaspersky: http://forum.kaspersky.com/index.php?showtopic=13881
MSE: https://www.microsoft.com/secu...rtal/Submission/Submit.aspx

all i have to say is that i use norton360 and to me it seems like a great antivirus which un like the free 1 from ms it actually stops anything from getting on to your pc, the ms app i used and it did not stop things from getting onto my pc, crap it didnt even tell me i had crap on my pc until i ran a scan, so on that note i say norton360 is worth every penny, i got mine at staples which had it on sale for $30 dollars, but the next time i will just get the antivirus alone all the other crap that 360 comes with i dont use

zerokool316 said,
all i have to say is that i use norton360 and to me it seems like a great antivirus which un like the free 1 from ms it actually stops anything from getting on to your pc, the ms app i used and it did not stop things from getting onto my pc, crap it didnt even tell me i had crap on my pc until i ran a scan, so on that note i say norton360 is worth every penny, i got mine at staples which had it on sale for $30 dollars, but the next time i will just get the antivirus alone all the other crap that 360 comes with i dont use

virtorio said,
No shortage of dicks around here. Recent Symantec releases perform very well and have consistently high detecting rates.

read zoom's post and then wipe those tears of despair form your eyes. Why pay a large amount of money($100 here) when something that is free and legal does the same thing. I gain nothing extra by buying norton over what i have now. It reviews well but in the real world it just is not worth it.

virtorio said,
No shortage of dicks around here. Recent Symantec releases perform very well and have consistently high detecting rates.

Symantec doing some good with their products is a welcome but their track record and brand reputation is heavily against them (At least here in the UK, it definitely is against them).

They are heavily involved with major retail PC outlets to have their software pre-installed on all computer systems that it can be installed on regardless.

virtorio said,
No shortage of dicks around here. Recent Symantec releases perform very well and have consistently high detecting rates.

Thank you for the most reasonable comment here so far =]

Aergan said,

Symantec doing some good with their products is a welcome but their track record and brand reputation is heavily against them (At least here in the UK, it definitely is against them).

They have issues in North America as well, despite major deals with not just Uncle Sam and Monty Maple (the Canadian national *and* provincial governments) - primarily because of *bloatware* complaints lodged against Norton SecureWorks (the monster mega-suite that not only included NAV/NIS, which 360 replaces, but Norton Utilities as well) and bundle deals ith the major broadband ISPs for both cable (Comcast) and fiber (Verizon). The *bloatware* rep has dogged them - even though 360 5 doesn't deserve it.
They are heavily involved with major retail PC outlets to have their software pre-installed on all computer systems that it can be installed on regardless.

I just don't have the faith to go back to any Symantec products after the troubles I have had with them in the past and with users whose computers I have had to sort out due to issues raised by said products. I know a lot of people have said it is now less resource hungry as back in the day, but as others mentioned above, problems like not being able to get on to websites and unable to connect to your own WiFi just made it far from a novice user product. I always used to recommend Kaspersky for a full Internet security solution but with fantastic free alternatives like MSE, I find it hard to justify why anyone would want to pay for AV and Firewall, when Microsoft have managed to do it fantastically and user friendly for free.

Zoom7000 said,
I just don't have the faith to go back to any Symantec products after the troubles I have had with them in the past and with users whose computers I have had to sort out due to issues raised by said products. I know a lot of people have said it is now less resource hungry as back in the day, but as others mentioned above, problems like not being able to get on to websites and unable to connect to your own WiFi just made it far from a novice user product. I always used to recommend Kaspersky for a full Internet security solution but with fantastic free alternatives like MSE, I find it hard to justify why anyone would want to pay for AV and Firewall, when Microsoft have managed to do it fantastically and user friendly for free.

MSE is a joke. I tested it using an old virus (2 or 3 months old) and it was unable to find it.

Magallanes said,

MSE is a joke. I tested it using an old virus (2 or 3 months old) and it was unable to find it.

And im sure you took screenshots and documented the whole thing? Because otherwise you're just spouting nonsense without anything to back it up with.

Twisp said,

And im sure you took screenshots and documented the whole thing? Because otherwise you're just spouting nonsense without anything to back it up with.

No he isn`t, MSE is not the greatest AV out there by a long shot. They are slow to update definitions and AV`s only normally catch ~60% of the "in the wild" malware. Look on youtube for MSE reviews (you may be surprised). I`m not saying Norton 360 is worth the money (far from it) but the whole AV thing is reactive as opposed to proactive

Riggers said,

No he isn`t, MSE is not the greatest AV out there by a long shot. They are slow to update definitions and AV`s only normally catch ~60% of the "in the wild" malware. Look on youtube for MSE reviews (you may be surprised). I`m not saying Norton 360 is worth the money (far from it) but the whole AV thing is reactive as opposed to proactive


What do you propose is better than MSE? AVG? I doubt it.

Owen W said,

What do you propose is better than MSE? AVG? I doubt it.
'

Agreed, AVG is pure junk. I have been using MSE since it came out and i have yet to report any issues with it.

Owen W said,

What do you propose is better than MSE? AVG? I doubt it.

Avast.

Seriously though, it's pretty good for a free antivirus, minus the annual registration renewal.

Denis W said,

Avast.

Seriously though, it's pretty good for a free antivirus, minus the annual registration renewal.


Avast is OK... overkill tho. MSE is what I personally use because it doesn't over complicate things for no reason.

Owen W said,

What do you propose is better than MSE? AVG? I doubt it.

Did i even mention AVG? For what it`s worth i think it`s the worst of the lot! Avira and Avast have excellant free offerings, while for detection it`s hard to beat emsisoft. Again i go back to the fact that AV`s rely on signatures mostly (heuristics maybe 5%). If it hasn`t got a signature for it mostly it won`t catch it. Maybe the malware writers know this and have access to VirusTotal and Jotti
Regular back ups and common sense/virtualization, if doing something dodgy

Very good product, and a great review. The problem is it should have never been posted on Neowin. The target audience of this product is not lurking on these pages.

The problem I have with symantecs security products is that if the license or trial expires it does not let things like wifi or vpns work right. Everytime I have a patron come in with their laptop and it cannot connect to our wifi its because they have an expired version of symantec. I uninstall it and bam wifi works again.

I think its a shady thing to do and will never ever install a symantec security product again.

gooberdrops said,
It will take a lot for the computer savvy users to use this product. Norton has gotten a bad rep as they should but it may be too late for them.
The only saving grace that Norton's has is that it get's installed as a trial version on every flipping computer out there. Someone somewhere will be inclined to purchase the full vesion once the trial is up.

The trial does not bother me, id rather a consumer have something protecting their PC when they purchase it.

betax said,

The trial does not bother me, id rather a consumer have something protecting their PC when they purchase it.

Then wouldn't a basic, non-commercial product like MSE be better and more ethical?

Thanks Microsoft for introducing PatchGuard and forcing Norton and others to rewrite their AVs without the kernel patching part...

Aethec said,
Thanks Microsoft for introducing PatchGuard and forcing Norton and others to rewrite their AVs without the kernel patching part...

+1

A lot of trolls in here. I remember the old bloated Norton products but ever since the 2006 releases, things have been improving drastically with the current NAV 20011 product installing in less then 2 min and using barely any ram. Let's face it, the 360 product has evolved and as an "AIO" solution, it fairs better then most. I will say, however, that the 360 product's Firewall and Backup features are mostly un-needed redundancy since Vista/7 have these already integrated at the OS-level.

betax said,
A lot of trolls in here. I remember the old bloated Norton products but ever since the 2006 releases, things have been improving drastically with the current NAV 20011 product installing in less then 2 min and using barely any ram. Let's face it, the 360 product has evolved and as an "AIO" solution, it fairs better then most. I will say, however, that the 360 product's Firewall and Backup features are mostly un-needed redundancy since Vista/7 have these already integrated at the OS-level.

A lot of fans here. xD

People don't change, they become dated and set in their ways. I am not sure if it is really because they are trolls. It has something probably to do with the inability to comprehend new information. It could also be a little bit of the me-to parroting that if they heard if from someone else it must be true. So they hear that Norton is a bad product or they had a bad experience with it a half decade ago, and they use that to form their opinions on a product.

azure.sapphire said,
People don't change, they become dated and set in their ways. I am not sure if it is really because they are trolls. It has something probably to do with the inability to comprehend new information. It could also be a little bit of the me-to parroting that if they heard if from someone else it must be true. So they hear that Norton is a bad product or they had a bad experience with it a half decade ago, and they use that to form their opinions on a product.

Thats the point I set out to make in my article. I tried!

The Protagonist said,
Wait symantec is still in business???
Norton software has significant presence in top 10 security/anti-virus/internet security on Amazon.com (and co.uk). If the software is good, people buy it. Simples.

No thanks. If it has the name Norton / Symantec / Mcafee / Kaspersky / Zonealarm in it, I'll rather use nothing at all. Having any of these programs on your system, it'll either crash it, do nothing, find nothing, or die of fright at the sight of malware

PaulAuckNZ said,
No thanks. If it has the name Norton / Symantec / Mcafee / Kaspersky / Zonealarm in it, I'll rather use nothing at all. Having any of these programs on your system, it'll either crash it, do nothing, find nothing, or die of fright at the sight of malware

wow, you must really have crappy systems. If it crashes, did nothing, find nothing, died of fright at the sight of malware in reality, those companies wouldn't really be in business, would they?

juanmix said,

They improved it. Now it's completely impossible to uninstall it.

But it's true, it's like the AV turned into the virus, XD

i'm using Avira AV btw, free, small installation, small definitions, no problems.
there's also a paid version with malware & spyware protection. Like 20~30 bucks.
Nice deal.

No viruses since 3 years ago, after I uninstall Norton. (heavy, memory eater, big VDF)

Maybe they really been improved after all these years losing market and slowing down every pc it was installed.
And thank you to the person who wrote the Unistallers for Norton & McAffee.

The amount of trolling on this news thread is quite lolish. I would suggest to the skeptics that they try it for themselves and then post back rather than resorting to saying that Neowin does sponsored news stories (lol).

I've been using Norton 360 for a couple of years and each release gets better, while a few years ago it had its problems, I've had no such ordeal, they have most definitely improved.

LynxMukka said,
The amount of trolling on this news thread is quite lolish. I would suggest to the skeptics that they try it for themselves and then post back rather than resorting to saying that Neowin does sponsored news stories (lol).

I've been using Norton 360 for a couple of years and each release gets better, while a few years ago it had its problems, I've had no such ordeal, they have most definitely improved.

I'm part of the Symantec External Testing program and I get to see how each version changes in depth. Let me tell you, there is a lot of stuff that changes with each release. The amount of time and effort that went into N360 v5 is amazing, and I think it really paid off.

After people use the software for years and truly get to know it, they'll realize how much it's changed.

LynxMukka said,

I've been using Norton 360 for a couple of years and each release gets better, while a few years ago it had its problems, I've had no such ordeal, they have most definitely improved.

Of course it's gotten better...lol. How could it possibly get any worse than some of the past versions?!?!

I'll give it you you Stablemist if I win it lol. I wouldnt install it, if it was the last thing on the planet

'lol' is all I can say. Are we still in 2003?

Just install Microsoft Security Essentials, don't download random << racial epithet >> files and you should be perfectly fine.

mehta708 said,
'lol' is all I can say. Are we still in 2003?

Just install Microsoft Security Essentials, don't download random << racial epithet >> files and you should be perfectly fine.


Norton should go where WinZip, ACDSee and Windows 98 and Yahoo! went.

kInG aLeXo said,

Norton should go where WinZip, ACDSee and Windows 98 and Yahoo! went.

Both Yahoo and WinZip are still around (Yahoo Mail has a new browser-based beta, and WinZip is now owned by Corel) - did you remember to remove the moss?

In the UK, the lowest price is £39.49 from Amazon and £59.99 from the Symantec store (for a download!). Still quite a price hike from free AV/Firewalls. If you were talking £20-£30 for the download then I might consider it but as it is, I'll stick with MSE, free firewall & Secunia PSI to keep everything up to date.

"While the firewall is powerful"

Wait a minute here... So why do I need their firewall? Why do the Windows 7 firewall suck more? Windows firewall is also aimed at novice users anyway.

I didn't think AV solutions still shipped with firewalls. What more can you need than block ingoing and outgoing traffic with white- and blacklists, and block by ports as well as applications?

Hell no. I wouldn't touch this "AV" in a million years. After you try MSE, you don't want something else. And norton was and always will be a bloated piece of junk.

TDT said,
Hell no. I wouldn't touch this "AV" in a million years. After you try MSE, you don't want something else. And norton was and always will be a bloated piece of junk.

Products can get better over time, but it seems you don't understand that.

Honestly, MSE is not that good. It is not the end all and be all of anti virus/anti-malware programs. It was designed mainly for those people who would not purchased a separate product. It, however, has seemed to develop a following in the tech community.

I will admit that I used to use it a lot, but got burned a few times when playing around with semi dangerous files (which was probably stupid on my part). I currently use it in two VMS running Windows XP and Windows Vista. It is nice for those installs, but I no longer trust it on my main system at the moment.

I favorite program of choice in the past used to be ESET Nod32, but the last update left me so-so about their product. The latest Norton AV is pretty good. I have it installed on a few systems. It is light weight and the detection rates are good. I am not sure, however, if I had to pay for retail price if I would have purchased it (got a discount for beta testing it).

Heh. I spy a sponsored review!

What sort of AV review doesn't actually test it for what it's supposed to do? Correctly detecting and removing malware! You mention AV comparison detection rates, but fail to say when they were released, and compared Norton to one of the worst free ones on the market.

Sorry, that must be far too sensible.

Twisp said,

So it's just a really bad review then?


More like a bad product which most people hated it, and the review included the same stuff been said about Norton for the past decade everytime they release a new version.It looks more or less like a joke more than a review.

kInG aLeXo said,

More like a bad product which most people hated it, and the review included the same stuff been said about Norton for the past decade everytime they release a new version.It looks more or less like a joke more than a review.

...Thanks for your opinion

CoLdFuSi0n said,
I'm just curious how much they paid him to say all those good things about it.

I'm sure it has genuinely improved a lot since a few years ago. It's not just this reviewer who's saying that. But to be honest, I'd rather not be running a 'kitchen sink' product like this.

CoLdFuSi0n said,
I'm just curious how much they paid him to say all those good things about it.

I don't take free products or payment for reviews

FunkTrooper said,

I'm sure it has genuinely improved a lot since a few years ago. It's not just this reviewer who's saying that. But to be honest, I'd rather not be running a 'kitchen sink' product like this.

Let's face the reality - Norton 360 (in fact, any all-in-one security suite from anyone) will not be welcomed by most power users (which describes most Neowinians, especially those that date back to the early days), and it has nothing to do with *bloatware*.

The reviewer actually gets it right - Norton 360 is for those that aren't computer-savvy - which describes folks that don't post regularly on Neowin, as opposed to Neowinians of even medium (forget about long) standing.

And as far as detecting malware goes, how good are *any* of the security suites at detecting malware? All of them have been bit by at least one false-positive within just the past six months, let alone the past year (even NOD/ESET and Kapersky - both of which are favorites among the longer-term-than-moi Neowinians). Malware is like all other software - evolving and adapting; what your security suite may detect today may not be detectable when the next version hits. That is why places like SARC (the Symantec Antivirus Research Center) exist (and why the folks that work there either have grey hair or no hair at all).

I'm familiar with Symantec products (until MSE, I had used/recommended one or another of their security/AV products since their acquisition of Central Point Software) and still beta-test for Symantec; the issue now that they are back in the ballpark with other commercial software (and still better than quite a bit) is that the free products have brought their A-game (especially Microsoft with Security Essentials). Further, the prevalence of routers (most of which have SPI firewalls and other security features, either in their standard firmware or third-party options) means that the need for big security suites is far less than it used to be.

You could tell me that the latest version of Norton will cook you breakfast in the morning before you wake up, I'll still avoid it. Years and years of issues with Norton have sullied their reputation too much. It has always been good when it works, the problem is when it doesn't.

Kushan said,
It has always been good when it works, the problem is when it doesn't.
That's true of any product though.

Still very much an average home user piece of software then.

Personally I like an AV that installs and just sits quietly in the background. For now that's MS Security Essentials.

SK[ said,]Still very much an average home user piece of software then.

Personally I like an AV that installs and just sits quietly in the background. For now that's MS Security Essentials.

Who says that this doesn't? All Norton AVs will run idle scans (scanning commonly affected areas) and idle full scans (a full scan when your computer is idle). LiveUpdate runs almost constantly in the background (it updates every few minutes) and never causes any issues.

Tanshin said,

Who says that this doesn't? All Norton AVs will run idle scans (scanning commonly affected areas) and idle full scans (a full scan when your computer is idle). LiveUpdate runs almost constantly in the background (it updates every few minutes) and never causes any issues.

AV's like Norton tend to be more 'in your face' kind of thing. MS SE is a great piece of software and happy to run it!

Tony. said,

AV's like Norton tend to be more 'in your face' kind of thing. MS SE is a great piece of software and happy to run it!

Wrong. I'm running Norton Internet Security 2011 and I don't even know it's there.

Tony. said,

AV's like Norton tend to be more 'in your face' kind of thing. MS SE is a great piece of software and happy to run it!

Perhaps it used to be but I almost never have to go into the interface of Norton unless there's something I specifically want to do with it.

Examinus said,

How do you know?

If you looks at it's process, it doesn't chew up a lot of resources. Been less of a resource hog the past couple of years.

UndergroundWire said,

Wrong. I'm running Norton Internet Security 2011 and I don't even know it's there.

+1 I feel the same way. I had norton installed in the last 3 years and barely ever seen the main page. It just runs in the background.

Hmm, New Zealand readers you say.

Norton had miraculously worked back its reputation, which is amazing really seeing that it wasn't long ago they are almost Malware. Uninstalled Norton on an old and dying PC 2 years ago, and now is running along nicely. Times changed I guess, like how not everyone is riding on Nod32 nowadays like people ride on Apple.

Unfortunately NOD32 has been going the way of Norton past lately. We have had SO many issues with it (Mail Security locking up Exchange, BSOD Servers, etc.) that we are seriously considering moving to another product.

Sad really as I have stood by NOD32 since v1, but things change and sometimes you have to move on. Such is technology driven by businesspeople with little technical understanding...

Eddo89 said,
Hmm, New Zealand readers you say.

Norton had miraculously worked back its reputation, which is amazing really seeing that it wasn't long ago they are almost Malware. Uninstalled Norton on an old and dying PC 2 years ago, and now is running along nicely. Times changed I guess, like how not everyone is riding on Nod32 nowadays like people ride on Apple.

The people which is aware about "Norton=Bloatware" even if their opinion just change, will never pay for anything. Most of them will not even change their minds.

Especially, Norton 360 needs an entire HDD.

Now, speaking just for Antivirus, since MS released Security Essentials, Windows user don't need anything more. The best and lightest which works perfectly with Windows. And free.

Nod, Norton, Avast, AVG... All these have had their bad moments. Some still... Anyway... If they pay me, maybe I'll install for a sort period of time Norton AV or any other "crapware."

Edited by Deo Domuique, Apr 8 2011, 6:56pm :