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NortonLive help desk service now supports the Mac

A company best-known for troubleshooting and securing those balky PCs is expanding its business to serve Macs—offering, perhaps, an alternative to traditional Apple Care plans.

Symantec on Thursday announced it was expanding its NortonLive Ultimate Help Desk to include support for Mac computers and applications, including iLife, iWork and Mac Mail. The service offers a 24-hour phone service that lets users get help battling and removing viruses and spyware, troubleshoot slow systems, and solve other issues affecting your Mac.

That’s not dissimilar from Apple Care, which offers users access to Apple-trained technicians for solving Mac problems.

There are differences: Apple Care users can mail their Mac or Apple display to the company for free repairs, and Apple’s network of retail stores lets computer owners walk their damaged devices straight up to a physical help desk. There’s also a cost difference: Depending on your device, Apple Care for a Mac computer costs between $149 and $349 for three years of coverage. NortonLive Ultimate Help Desk support, meanwhile, starts at $20 a month—$240 a year—per computer.

NortonLive Ultimate Help Desk is available in personal, family and small business plans. Mac users must be running OS X 10.5 or later, have administrator-level access to their computer, and have at least 256 MB of RAM available.

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