Our best protection, plus PC backup and family safety features, for you and the people you care about.
Benefits for you and your family:
• Protects up to 10 PCs, Macs, Androids and iOS devices with a single subscription.
• Safeguards your identity and online transactions.
• Protects better and faster than the competition.
• Provides tools to help your kids safely explore the Internet.
• Offers up to 25GB of secure PC cloud backup, providing additional protection against ransomware.
• Alerts you about risky Android apps before you download them, with our award-winning technology.
• Includes our 100% money-back guarantee: We'll help keep your devices virus-free or give you a refund.*
Our multi-device, multi-OS protection helps keep your data safe, wherever it is.
The more connected you are and the more your personal information is out there, the more security you need. Do you watch videos or shop on your tablet? Use your smartphone to pay bills or check your balances? Your personal information is in multiple places. Keep it private across all of them. Norton Security Premium provides one easy solution to protect your computers, smartphones and tablets, even on multiple operating systems: Windows, Mac, Android and iOS - and Windows 10. Plus, only Norton shows you if that Android app you're about to download will impact your battery life, has potential privacy risks or contains malware, before you even install it from Google Play.
We make it easy to back up your important information.
Protect your important files and documents against hard drive failures and even ransomware. We'll automatically find the photos, music, movies and documents you want to back up from your PC, and securely store them in the cloud. With up to 25GB of storage and the ability to easily add more at a prorated price, backing up has never been simpler.
We help you protect your kids online so they can explore safely.
Keeping kids safe online shouldn't be the end of their freedom; it should be the start of an open conversation about building smart and healthy habits.
We've included all the advanced features of Norton Family Premier to help you enable safe online exploration, help protect your kids from sharing too much, and balance time spent on their devices. Easy-to-use tools allow you to see your kids' activities at a glance or be notified by email alerts, so you know when it's time to talk.
* Some conditions and restrictions apply.
I recently received the latest Norton Security Premium software bundle for review and I have to admit I was very curious to see what changes had been made as I haven't used this product for a while now for various reasons. As a keen avid user of Norton Utilities back in the day the packages on offer have since grown in size and sophistication. At first glance the packaging is still the recognisable "Norton Yellow" but now surprisingly it comes cd-less. Or at least the one that I have for review is a serial key web install version. At this point I have to point out that I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing as you can only install using Norton's website and the product key they supply you with at the time of purchase. This could prove difficult if you have no internet connection or if you just want to install on your home PC offline. That is not going to be possible but then again even a CD install would not include the latest update package or virus definitions so as with most things internet connectivity is a must.
Norton Security can be installed through a flexible licensing system on up to 10 devices including Mac, PC, Tablets and smart phones. One license equals one device. For a little more (around $15) you can protect up to 5 devices. Premium will get you 10 devices and also access to their cloud service with 25gig of backup storage and a well implemented parental control system. Norton supports Windows 10 ,Windows 8, Windows 8 pro, Windows 7, Old school Vista and XP, Mac OS current and previous two versions, Android 2.3 or later with Google play installed, iOs 7.0 or later.
Installation was really straight forward other than a double V in the serial code which had me mistakenly entering a W but nothing that a rule in the serial generator they use couldn't fix if the condition was set during generation. Not a major but worth a mention. The installation requires at most 300mb of hard drive space which is nice, but as soon as I installed the software it said yay you are protected. When in reality I was not at all. The update file that it then wanted to download was around 55mb so there was that issue also. I may be nitpicking but the reality is I feel it should tell you that it needs an immediate update and to do an immediate scan.
Once installed however there is one panel with 5 options. Security, Performance, Identity, Backup, Performance and More Norton. Norton Security seemed to happily integrate itself with my operating system and did not ask many questions when browsing or running programs, checking emails or opening files. I really liked that it was not constantly prompting me or showing a pop up by the clock in the taskbar telling me it had just done something. It just seemed to work quietly in the background. It seems like every detail can be scrutinized through its logs or by entering menus and submenus to turn things on or off. Norton Security has appeared on my computer as a silent but very efficient bouncer to baddies. It deals with things and only speaks when spoken to.
Norton Security only supports a few browsers and as I use Chrome the most I installed the Antivirus and Antispyware module. I browsed a few sites and Norton did not alert me to any issues. Unlike Microsoft which will conveniently recommend you do not go to sites that have keygens for Windows OS etc, Norton Security did not see any specific threats which is fine by me. The sites may have questionable material but that doesn't mean they are going to instantly fling all manner of programs at you through scripts and bugs. This could also be in part because I have my Windows Firewall well configured and also run Microsoft Security Essentials. Norton Security seems to sit alongside whatever firewall setting you choose and mimic that.
Performance side has the usual array of speed up boosting optimizing remove non needed programs etc from the OS. It works fine but did not set my world on fire but this may be because I am fairly careful about what I install and what auto runs right down to managing the services.msc component myself. It did offer to defrag my hard drives though which to be fair I don't usually prioritise personally so they did need doing.
Identity protection is great for storing passwords, autocomplete forms, address info credit card numbers etc. If you use an HP you may be familiar with this type of identity locker as they have an HP vault by default. Nothing specifically new or amazing here, just a good feature that works really well. One nice feature worth mention is if you have trouble creating unique passwords there is a generator that you can use to create one. Tick box selection sets case, alpha, punctuation and length requirements. A nice feature I have not seen before.
Backup tab holds your last backup jobs. You can select history, inspect backup sets, create new backups, specify custom backups, restore from any one of the backups or look into the backup sets to see what is there. If you decide to grab something out of a backup set, say one file you can and then you can also specify password protection during this process if you decide to. It is a web based interface you log into being cloud based storage so if you think dropbox with its local program and also the cloud log in you will get the picture.
The overhead for Norton Security is manageable at around 18mb. When it kicks into high gear and is busy removing a threat or scanning a potential threat the overhead can balloon to about 100mb, but as with most computers nowadays that is not too bad. With a minimum of 4 gb of RAM in most machines this should not be a noticeable slowdown in your system. In the past and with competitors email integration there was always that annoying delay in sending and receiving mail and sometimes without rhyme or reason until you realize it is the security scanning before releasing the mail. I did not notice any slow downs at all in my computer.
Equally with Android on my Samsung S6 the integration was fast and after a quick scan, several apps that I had totally forgotten about or had thought are surely safe were showing me their true colours when they were really collecting and transmitting or trying to transmit my usage history accessing my call logs and images. All from an app that is supposed to just show me the weather. Definitely worth a license for a year right there in itself.
Bundled with Norton Security Premium is a separately installed program called Norton Family. This is an amazing tool for families with young ones. You can set up a profile for each child, name the profile and even add am image. From there you can set the permission levels, keyword exclusion for websites, see history of sites tried to access or that were even inadvertently were opened through click bait adverts. The protection here extends to the port level also like a firewall and scans all website traffic. There are other great parts of this software though like the social network monitoring and even the time spent on different sites and activities. You can set whether you want to warn with a message or block or allow when certain keywords are matched. It can email you and you can in turn administer the security level from your smartphone with the app on the go.
Year after year Norton brings out newer shinier and better software. Nothing can 100% make you safe and no combination of several products will either. For me the inclusion of Norton Family made this product stand up above the rest with its clever use and features, to ins unobtrusive protection in real time. This software is endpoint, meaning when you do something or download something it springs into action. It is not meant as a bandaid fix to an infected machine. It will do a very good job of cleaning a pre infected machine but its real purpose is to protect from the day it is installed. In my mind Norton Security does this impeccably and gets my vote.
The latest iteration of Norton software is the Norton Security Premium package, and unlike previous annual line-ups - where you had something akin to Sky TV, with a multitude of services you could mix'n'match - you get it all in one package now. Protection, parental-control tools, online backup, you name it. The only difference between the five packs is the number of devices each licence will cover. You can buy a licence that covers a single device, 2 devices, 3 devices, 5 devices or 10 devices for those with big families, or who have a small at-home business and lots of devices. Prices range from $59.95 for a single-device licence, to just under $20 per device for the 10-pack. This gets you a full year's coverage on each device.
Gone are the days when you could give anti-virus software a test by installing it on a PC and slapping an infected floppy disc into the drive and praying really hard. These days, where malware is behaviour-linked, pervasively online, and able to sneak into your system through banner ads, drive-by downloads in the background, or through a TV show you pirated via torrent, the old tests are as irrelevant as the floppy discs you once used. I doubt that, other than the die-hard hardware bangers and of course the black-hats themselves, hardly anyone would even know what a 'boot sector' is, or a 'root kit' for that matter.
So... this old dog had to think up some new tricks to test the software... and what better way to do that, than to dig my old laptop out of the dustbunnies, put a fresh OS on it, add a sprinkle of Norton Security Premium, and go do all the stupid things we shouldn't do online. I visited every dodgy website I could find, clicked every banner advert I saw, downloaded software from disreputable sites... basically, if the WOT browser add-on showed me a big red warning ring, I went there... especially if one of the warnings was "suspected malware source". Dear lord, I was TERRIFIED at the results.
Norton was flashing hard-out, alerting me to a multitude of threats in a near constant barrage. I had to hit the MUTE button because the constant staccato of *boing*boing*boing* alert sounds was starting to drive me a tad batty. Sure enough, I found torrents that were so jam-packed with malware they wouldn't even fully download before the system killed them. I found mostly-reputable sites that had been hijacked by infectious banner-ads, and surprisingly, I even visited some Kiwi sites that I would never have suspected, and found alarms going off there too as hidden drive-by malware vectors were fired off and tried to infect my machine.
Some of the worst offenders were, naturally, sites based on overseas servers in countries with reputations for unsavoury online activity, but that was only confirmed by some serious routing-trace sniffing - something no regular user would ever do, but I'm an old-hand at the internet from the days when all the fancy automation wasn't there and connections were often configured manually via telnet. So checking the route information travels - which machines it passes through - is second-nature to me. It's hardly useful, but always interesting... at least to a geek like me.
In fact, in order to really push the software, I eventually disabled the first line of defence - the Network Layer a combination of the firewall and the web protection system. This is the layer of protection that attempts to prevent automated malware-delivery systems from getting to your machine in the first place. By metaphor: if your guard dog stops the thugs at the gate, you don't have to worry about how strong your door locks are. But of course, some thugs (malware) will find a way through, and that's where the antivirus kicks in - the second layer of protection, at the "File Layer". This is where your nightly system scan does its thing, and tries to locate any offenders that managed to get past the guard dog.
Some of the malware did manage to get past the Network Layer because they were manually triggered - torrents and downloading infected files from dodgy shared-storage servers. Because they were invoked by a user-triggered event, the system still scans them, but it does so after they have been downloaded and by then, sometimes, it is too late. Often you'll find sites that demand you download an 'installer' in order to streamline the installation process, when in reality they are asking you to download an app that creates a secure and secret hole in your security, one that malware and hackers can creep in and wreak havoc through. That's when protection layers 3 & 4 kick in - Reputation (via Norton Insight) and Behavioural (via Norton Sonar). The first looks at the file and checks it against a massive database of files that have been encountered by other Norton users around the globe. A file known to be infectious in India can be immediately blocked here in NZ. With one of the biggest digital footprints in the world, when it comes to security, Norton is making excellent use of the intelligence gathered from every file scan every user performs. Malware can't do an end-run around the geographical edge of an infection zone to create a secondary attack front, because the whole network knows about it immediately. It's as though the entire neighbour of dogs starts barking as soon as one finds a burgler, so that everyone is ready if the thug tries another house instead.
The Behavioural protection layer looks not at how the app is written, but more at what it is doing. An innocent-looking programme, with no obvious viral code in it at all, could simply be the trojan horse, designed not to infect, but simply create the opening for the infection to enter through. This would be blocked as soon as it attempted to open a secure port in the firewall, because such behaviour is a clear sign of something dodgy going on. If the user is aware of the app, and knows it to be safe despite its risky activities, it can be given the all-clear, but this is a very risky call unless you are very clued up on the tech side of things, because there's a lot of malware that masquerades as legitimate services. You may have seen them, system scanners and registry cleaners that give you free scans, then say they will fix all the dozen/hundreds of issues it discovered, if you would be so kind as to enter your credit card details and pay the tiny $29.99 fee for the pro licence. Of course, the surprise you'll get a few weeks later when your credit card is maxed out in Nigeria will be priceless.
The final layer of protection is, really, a hail-mary play... the Power Eraser. This is your last line of defence, and in many ways it's also a counterstrike. This is the tool that pulls no punches, and will gleefully dive into your system, chainsaw blazing, to root out every last trace of the pesky infection that still somehow managed to get it's claws into your machine. Thankfully, and most impressively, this was the one tool I wasn't able to assess, because nothing made it this far into my test rig. In all cases - more than 300 attempted infections and attacks over my 9-hour doing-stupid-unsafe-things-online spree, according to the app logs - the system was saved from infection at some point before the malware got a solid grip on my machine. I am impressed.
So strongly do Symantec believe in their product, that they have even included a 24-hour helpline that connects you, 7 days a week, to over 500 security experts around the world. If, for any reason, you have trouble getting the malware out, you can call them and they will walk you through every step, giving you key tips and guidance to accomplish a solid clean-out of your device. To top it off, if they can't get your machine 100% clean, you will get a full refund of your purchase price. Yes, there are T&C's for that, but to be fair they have to be sure that they aren't being scammed into basically giving away a free package.
But wait... there's more!all packages come with cloud backup storage space. You get anywhere from 2gb - 100gb of online, secure and encrypted storage depending on which package you purchased. This means that even if you have to do a full strip-down, wipe and reinstall of your machine, your data is easily recovered, and guaranteed to be 'clean' - as long as you set the software to do regular backups.
Some of the key features are also available on the mobile app as well, along with a few others that are only relevant to mobile devices, such as remote locking, remote wiping of personal data, call blocking, etc. You have the ability to back up your contacts list to the cloud, remotely track, deactivate or even fully wipe your mobile device should it get stolen, with the added feature of having the software lock the device at the root level if the SIM card is removed or swapped out for a new one - meaning the thief can't just do a factory reset and score themselves your shiny new device.
Overall, this is a stunning bit of kit, and Symantec have done well to keep their software current, and even ahead of the malware curve. It offers protection not only against all old and current threats, but has a solid grounding against future threats. The software has compatible apps for Windows XP through to Win10, the last three versions of MacOS, Android 2.3 or later and iOS 7 and up. Some features are limited on Mac and iOS due to restrictions in the operating systems, but you'll enjoy pretty much the same experience across the entire gamut of working environments. The new user interface designs are clean, clear and simple to understand, but tech-heads can still open it up and peek under the hood for fine-tuning and a large degree of manual control. I could rave on for another 3-4 pages, but if you want more details about what is available in this TARDIS of a package, go check it out online - nz.norton.com/
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