We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Security software Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Symantec Norton 360 review: a new and impressive internet security suite

£60 (3 PC licence)

Manufacturer: Symantec

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

Symantec Norton 360 2014 includes core modules to cover anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-spam, a two-way firewall and browser protection, but also provides parental control, online storage, online backup, PC tune-up and identity protection. Read our Symantec Norton 360 2014 review to find out more.

Symantec Norton 360 2014 review

The first and best-known of all Internet Security brands, Norton has several iterations in its range, from Anti-Virus, through Internet Security, to 360 and 360 Multi-Device. 360 includes core modules to cover anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-spam, a two-way firewall and browser protection, but also provides parental control, online storage, online backup, PC tune-up and identity protection. See all software reviews.

The whole suite is controlled from a single window showing four yellow panels on a white background; not the easiest of colour schemes to work with. These four panels are labelled Security, Identity, Backup and Tuneup, with Security covering scans, update and the program’s firewall. See all CD/DVD autoring reviews.

Identity deals with online protection and the Identity Safe, backup offers to create and manage backup sets and to buy more storage, and Tuneup leads to disk optimisation, file cleanup, a diagnostic report and a start-up manager.

A separate Tasks panel makes it easy to drill down and perform individual tasks, although one of the highlights of Norton 360 2014 is that much of its protection is automatic. Once set up with a few parameters, it can be largely left to itself and rarely interrupts with messages or alerts.

There are several extras incorporated into the product and some others that can be downloaded as needed. Safe Web provides guidance on potentially hazardous websites before you reach them and does this making use of the collective experience of its millions of customers.

Online backup is another useful extension to the core features, though a new backup job isn't that intuitive to set up and 2GB of storage between the three devices covered by the license is far from generous. Symantec isn’t the only provider with this limit, though.

Given Symantec’s past as a purveyor of the truly geeky Norton Utilities, the Tuneup module is quite basic. There’s the usual file and Registry cleanup, the ability to limit the applications that start automatically when you power up Windows and a disk optimiser. There's a reasonably useful Performance view, which flips the control panel round to show both disk and memory usage and a log of security-related events.

Quite a bit of the software is not installed by default. Obviously, the Android App needs to be downloaded onto your mobile device, if you want it, but parental control also has to be installed separately. The Facebook check application, which scans through the links your ‘Friends’ send you, is also an optional module.

In our tests, Norton 360 2014 scanned our 50GB basket of files by looking at 175,985 of them in 19 minutes, 53 seconds, giving a scan rate of 148 files/sec. This is fast and the program does a good degree of fingerprinting, as a repeat test looked at just 20,800 files.

We measured a 60 percent increase in file copy time, however, when a scan was running in the background.

Symantec Norton 360 2014 Expert Verdict »

System Requirements: Windows XP SP2 32-bit/Vista SP1/7/8 all 32/64 bit, 1GHz CPU, 256MB memory, 300MB HD
  • Ease of Use: We give this item 6 of 10 for ease of use
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 8 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

AV-Test gave the Norton code 17.0/18.0, a very good result. Broken down, this gives 5.5/6.0 in both Protection and Usability and a full 6.0/6.0 in Performance, even if this wasn’t reflected in our own tests of PC slowdown.

  • Symantec Norton 360 4.0 review

    Symantec Norton 360 4.0

    Symantec Norton 360 Version 4.0 adds Norton Insight to speed up quick scans for this comprehensive Windows security package.

  • Symantec Norton 360 2.0 review

    Symantec Norton 360 2.0

    Norton 360 2.0's basic specification is unchanged: it offers comprehensive protection against spyware and virus malware, data loss, identity loss and phishing, thus covering most if not all current security risks.

  • Symantec Norton 360 v6 review

    Symantec Norton 360 v6

    Norton 360 is Symantec's all-round PC protection tool, hence the number, offering worthwhile PC-boosting extras to the usual internet security suite arsenal.

  • Symantec Norton 360

    Symantec Norton 360

    Prompted by Microsoft's Live OneCare and McAfee's Total Protection, Symantec has completely revamped Norton Internet Security and served it up as Norton 360.

  • BitDefender Total Security 2008

    BitDefender Total Security 2008

    Topping out BitDefender Total Security 2008's veritable laundry list of features are a handful of PC tune-up tools that eliminate duplicate files, clean out the Registry and defrag your hard disk.

IDG UK Sites

Best camera phone of 2015: iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G4 vs Galaxy S6 vs One M9 vs Nexus 6

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model