Remote Management. Self-healing. Very good antivirus. Intelligent
firewall. Accurate antispam. Excellent antiphishing. Password
management and form-filling now portable, Web-accessible. 2GB
online backup; local backup too. Useful tuneup features.
Premier parental control features cost extra.
Norton 360 Version 6.0 gives you all the same protective features
as Norton Internet Security 2012, with a friendlier face. You also
get flexible backup, including 2GB of online storage. Tuneup
features are also useful, especially the diagnostic report. This
full-featured suite is definitely a good choice.
300 MHz for Microsoft Windows XP, 1 GHz for Microsoft Windows
Vista/Microsoft Windows 7/Microsoft Windows 8
256 MB of RAM for Windows XP, 512 of RAM for Windows Vista and 1GB
of RAM for Windows 8/7 (minimum of 512 MB RAM required for Recovery
300 MB of available hard disk space
CD-ROM or DVD drive (if not installing by electronic download)
Malware can easily interfere with security installations that rely
on the standard Windows installer. Like other Norton products,
Norton 360 uses Symantec's "self-healing" installer. It can take
steps to counter malware that tries to block installation. Once
installed, if something goes wrong with the product it sends a
coded message to Symantec central and, in most cases, gets back a
script that will fix the problem automatically.
I've had occasions to see this feature in action. On one test
system, the installer ran a quick virus scan, requested a reboot,
and proceeded without incident. Another sent an error query and
apparently received a fix.
Collin Davis, Senior Director of Engineering for Symantec, called
this automated system "an opportunity to delight customers."
Because so many routine little problems are handled automatically,
said Davis, support agents have more time to spend with customers
whose problems go beyond the usual.
Norton Management, introduced with the 2012 Norton products,
expands on the existing Norton Account concept to allow management
of all your protected computers online. With the latest release
Norton 360 now connects to Norton Management as well.
From the Norton Management console you can manage licenses for all
your Norton products including Norton Internet Security, Norton
AntiVirus, Norton Anti-Theft, and Norton Mobile Security. You can
update licenses with new keys, uninstall products remotely (so as
to re-use the key), and even correct configuration problems
The features offered by Norton Management are similar to the online
management portion of McAfee All Access , except that you purchase
your licenses separately.
Norton's firewall does everything a firewall should, and then some.
It stealths all ports, making the PC invisible from outside the
local network. My attempts to disable its protection in ways a
malware coder might manage had no effect. And its control over
internet access permissions for programs on your system is more
intelligent than most.
Aggregated information from the millions of Norton users feeds into
the Norton Insight database. The firewall automatically configures
permissions for hundreds of millions of known good files, and the
suite automatically terminates known bad files. When the firewall
encounters an unknown program attempting Internet access, it
applies extra behavioral scrutiny and smacks down the program if it
tries anything nasty.
I very much approve of security tools that take responsibility for
their own decisions. Asking the user whether to allow or deny a
particular network connection just doesn't make sense.
As usual, I found that Norton ignores most leak tests. These
demonstration programs attempt to connect with the Internet without
being caught by program control, but since they're not actually
harmful Norton leaves them alone. I did notice that the SONAR
behavior-tracking technology silently whacked one of the leak tests
when it made its connection attempt.
Norton is also extremely effective at identifying and blocking
Web-based attacks on potential system vulnerabilities. I attacked a
test system with 30 exploits generated by the Core IMPACT
penetration tool. After the first attack, Norton put the
penetration-testing system's IP address on a blacklist; I had to
turn off intrusion auto-blocking in order to complete the test.
Norton blocked every single exploit and identified most of them by