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Comprehensive Norton protection for up to 5 devices, plus secure PC backup, child safety, and secure online storage for backups.
• Defends against viruses, spyware, malware, phishing, software vulnerabilities, and other online threats
• Safeguards your identity and online transactions
• #1-ranked consumer security software for overall protection and performance. Protects better and faster.
• Includes our 100% money-back guarantee: we'll help keep you virus-free or give you a refund*
• Helps ensure that email or links actually came from a trusted source, such as your bank and hospital
• 100% guarantee: from the moment you subscribe, a Norton expert is available to help keep your devices virus-free, or give you a refund
• Alerts you about risky Android apps before you download them, with our award-winning technology1
• Secures multiple PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets with a single subscription
• Helps you manage protection for all your devices with an easy-to-use web portal
• Protects your kids from unsafe content and guards against over sharing online
• Helps you manage and balance your kids' time online and offline
• Automatically backs up your photos, financial files, and other personal information on your PC
• Includes secure cloud PC storage** with the option to add more, providing additional protection against ransomware
Windows Operating Systems
• Microsoft Windows XP (all 32-bit versions) with Service Pack 3 (SP 3) or later
• Microsoft Windows Vista (all versions) with Service Pack 1 (SP 1) or later
• Microsoft Windows 7 (all versions) with Service Pack 1 (SP 1) or later
• Microsoft Windows 8/8.1 (all versions). Some protection features are not available in Windows 8 Start screen browsers.
• Microsoft Windows 10 (all versions). Edge browser not supported.
Mac Operating Systems
• Current and previous two versions of Mac OS X. Password Management feature not supported.
Android Operating Systems
• Android 2.3 or later. Must have Google Play app installed.
iOS Operating Systems
• iOS 7 or later
• Norton Family and Norton Family Premier features not supported.
* Virus Protection Promise: To be eligible for the Virus Protection Promise, you must purchase, renew or upgrade your Norton subscription directly from Symantec, or subscribe to the Norton Automatic Renewal Service. If a Norton expert is unable to remove the virus from your device, then you may receive a full refund on the actual price paid for your current Norton subscription term, or the term of your current Norton subscription bundle. The refund will be net of any discounts or refunds received and less any shipping, handling and applicable taxes, except in certain states and countries where shipping, handling and taxes are refundable. The refund does not apply to any damages incurred as a result of viruses. See Norton.com/guarantee for details.
** 2GB for single-device licence or 25GB for multi-device licences
Norton Anti-Virus - and that includes the vastly expanded fleet of partner apps and features that have come about due to the ever-evolving threatscape - has long be tarred by a tainted brush. The cloud of "bloatware" has hung over it for years against all the evidence to the contrary (including our in-depth reviews of the software since it's major overhaul about 8 years ago) so to find a package that has been "updated" but appears to be pretty much the same from a general user's perspective makes this a tough review to write without diving deep into the realms of geek-'leet-speak. But... I'll give it a try.
The latest offering from Symantec is actually quite an important upgrade, however you would be forgiven feeling a little flim-flammed if you bought a subscription, installed it, and couldn't see any difference... but you can rest assured your PC knows there's some new tech under the hood, and that's where all the serious upgrades have happened. With the recent increase in ransomware, rootkits, Internet-of-Things invasions, WiFi vulnerabilities and the like, having an overhaul in the vital tech is something the Symantec crew have been focussed on for a while - this year's edition bears the fruits of all those labours.
Some of the key changes include their enhanced protection against the aptly-called "zero-day vulnerabilities" - those loopholes in the system that hackers find and hammer into without any delay, and it is often days before the vendors see the damage happening in the datasphere, figure it out for themselves and create secure patches to stem the flow of corruption. From Norton's press release: Norton Security Premium's Proactive Exploit Prevention technology helps protect the holes in common software applications by recognising a range of malicious behaviours that are trademarks of zero-day attacks. One of the benefits of this approach is that it provides protection against a wide variety of exploit attacks during the critical window when vulnerable software is deployed until the point that a software patch is installed - a process that can take weeks or even months." Scary, right? The thought that your latest addictive game has a secret trap-door in it that not even the creators were aware of, and someone has climbed into your system to pilfer your passwords, email, bank logins, etc.
Another of the "big guns" brought to bear in this endless war is Norton's "Emulation Technology" - effectively, a virtual machine that Norton sets up in memory, then unpacks and runs any suspect files inside it. This way it can study the software's behaviour in a "sterile" environment, allowing malware to run its course while locked away inside the sealed box, unable to affect your "real" machine in any way. From this, the Norton's software can gleam vital behavioural data to be shared with the greater Norton Community, giving everyone a more secure, preventative protection. Norton claims that around 83% of current threats employ some form of anti-virus avoidance technology, effectively masking the dangerous bits, so this kind of tech is absolutely imperative in today's cyberscape.
"Machine Learning" has become a bit of a catch-phrase, bandied about as the flavour-of-the-month, but in some rare cases the term is well-warranted. This is one of them. Traditional anti-malware has, for decades, relied on "signatures" - snippets of the malware's digital DNA - and uses them in a manner similar to our bodies' immune system, by comparing every new file against the library of "flash cards" and, should a match be detected, take the appropriate defensive action. Malware authors have long since bypassed this basic level of protection by utilising polymorphic code - programming that changes it's structure without compromising it's nefarious missions. Behavioural profiles are better, because they rely on looking at the goals and actions, rather than the engineering of the malware... but even that is become an outmoded way of looking at malware, who's more recent invocations embody an entirely different mindset, and often come pre-packed with multiple potential targets which get activated either at random, or based on the environment they find themselves in when awoken. This new Machine Learning that Symantec have built in has elements of trend analysis and heuristic predictive technology at it's core, giving the software an almost prescient nature. It can anticipate, based on it's globally-sourced and globally-shared library of "past encounters", to predict likely vulnerabilities and vectors of attack, and protect you against them before you get hit.
There's also a upgrade OFF your systems too - the new "My Norton" web portal that changes the game entirely with how you interact with your Norton products and services. Offering better and a wider scope of access to your subscriptions and data from and about your protected devices, you can get the most out of your subscription. Easier than ever before, you can even remotely monitor and adjust the level of protection for your kids too through the Parental Controls module that you certainly would have activated on your wee ones' devices when you installed the main app. In this day and age, kids are an ever-more-valued target of opportunity for malware authors, because kids are more easily mislead and swayed by flashy adverts, promises of hit new games that they can "trial for free" or win prizes "...just by clicking this link and answering a few easy questions..." which provide huge amounts of raw material for social-hacking - where the hackers don't try to break your security, they trick you into doing it for them!
While the new package also carries enhancements designed to improve performance and protection for Mac/iOS based devices as well, that's an aspect I couldn't test so you'll have to take that one on faith sorry.
Overall, though the latest update isn't anything flash to LOOK at, any Norton user should definitely get their licence renewed and get updated immediately, and anyone who is genuinely concerned about their digital health really should look into this latest generation. If the virtual world we live in today doesn't worry or outright scare you, you aren't paying attention. Get protected, start with Norton!
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"In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted."
Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)