Symantec Norton 360 - PC

We’re all accustomed to protecting our PCs with a variety of security tools and most internet security suites now act, if not feel, as though they are all the same. Enter Symantec with its new Norton 360, which has been designed from the ground-up to be a home users all-in-one source for protecting your computer, as well as enhancing performance.

One of the things we liked about it straight away was the relatively low resource count. It’s a 50MB download that installs and unpacks to around 300MB of space but does it quickly with little or no fuss. What’s more, when it’s running you won’t find it hogging memory, so even entry-level PCs can take advantage.

The interface is clean and simple and spells out exactly what you get for your money. The package is split into four quite distinct areas, each with its own separate button that leads through to more advanced diagnostic tools. Being aimed at basic users, once it’s set up and running, this main page tells you what you need to know, i.e., protected, so there is rarely any need to go further.

Of the core tools, PC Security is the main one and offers the usual array of anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-phishing protection, as well as a firewall to stop threats from getting out as well as getting in. PC Backup and Restore is a good all-round utility for protecting your files should anything go wrong. Regular backup of your hard drive is something most home users never really consider, so having it integrated is a good idea. Norton 360 also ships with 2GB of online space, so even if you don’t have en external HDD you can store your most important stuff online.

Perhaps the most interesting new feature, and one that takes it away from simply being "another" security suite, is the inclusion of PC Tuneup. This allows you to fine tune your PC’s configuration to run smoother and a little quicker. Finally, there is transaction protection that is less immediately needy program but if you shop regularly on the Internet, it’ll help protect your identity.

For your £60 you can install it on up to three machines. We’d suggest putting it on one of your notebooks – if you have one – but one of the flaws with the package is the lack of support for wireless, which is an oversight in a world increasingly going wireless. Our other problem with 360 was its limited browser support, as it only works with Internet Explorer 6 and above, so no support for rival browsers such as Firefox or Opera.

Verdict

For home users and those who don’t need the full heavyweight support of its more professional products, Norton 360 is a great package. It’s easy to setup and run and we found it did exactly what it promised to deliver.

It’s not the most comprehensive package, though, with the lack of wireless support reducing its usability for those with notebooks about the home.

Overall, this is a great package and worth the asking price.