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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 5 PCs, Macs, Androids and iOS devices with a single subscription.
• Helps provide real-time protection against existing and emerging malware including ransomware and viruses.
• Advanced security helps protect your private and financial information when you go online.
• Protects better and faster than the competition.
• Provides tools to help your kids safely explore the Internet.
• Offers 2GB (single-device licence) or 25GB (3- or 5-device licence) 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: From the moment you subscribe, a Norton expert is available to help keep your device virus-free or give you a refund!
As the threat landscape evolves, the protection needed also must keep pace. Norton do a great job of keeping up with the potential security threats in the wild, and every year it is a welcome thing to plug in a new licence code and retain that peace of mind. That said, the hardest thing about reviewing Norton software is that often the upgrades and improvements are so well folded in, they are near impossible to see for an average user. Thus, it is no surprise to see that Norton-bashing is still a common hobby for the mass media. It has been many, many years since I found myself unable to say something positive about Norton... which makes this year so sad. This is the first year that a major improvement has been added... and it wasn't in the package I got to try out!
The software package I was sent to review is only a slight improvement over last year's package, and it lacked the big draw-card that made the latest iteration such a hit - LifeLock. LifeLock is a third-party organisation that helps you to protect yourself against Identity Theft, and the financial consequences of it. If you subscribe to the top-line Norton package - variously known as "Deluxe" or "Premium with LifeLock" - you are eligible for up to $25,000 loss-of-funds insurance policy, as well as a maximum $1mil "legal costs" payout to help you fund your retrieval of identity. This, more than anything else, makes the latest version an essential peace-of-mind package. Not only can you rest assured that any money stolen from you will be covered, but you can also relax in the knowledge that if the legal-eagles swoop on you, you have more than enough backing to take them on and defend yourself against any naughty behaviour caused by the bad guys while wearing your digital identity.
As for the software itself, there's little new to add over last year's package, with some performance improvements and a few tweaks to the user interface (UI), the most obvious being that instead of the usual four tabs at the bottom of the main screen, there's now a fifth button marked "More Norton" which gives you easy access to links that will give extra features such as parental controls (aka "Family"), the Identity Safe feature for securely handling passwords and online logins, Add Device will allow you to install protection on another device using the current licence, and Norton Studio - an app that will give you one-stop access to an overview of all of your currently protected devices. It's a neat package, but you have almost the same functionality via the "Manage" option which takes you to the online manager through your browser of choice, so you may or may not want to go down this track.
Overall, for peace of mind and reassurance, Norton still tops my hit-pick list. The price is indeed a little higher than similar packages, and naturally way higher than the less-reputable options out there. The improvements are there, though tucked away behind the scenes. The important thing to keep in mind is that despite no obvious references to them, there are systems in place to protect your data, your devices, and your online identity from the rampant malware in the wild. With solid protection against ransomware and rootkits - two of the most devastating attacks - and advanced behavioural analytics to protect your system from threats as yet unknown, Norton are arguably the leaders in the field. It will be interesting to see what they come up with for next year's step-up!
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Andy Rooney (1919 - )