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. At £60, it's relatively expensive if you have only one PC - but its three-user licence means you could find it to be excellent value for money.
This bundle offers a bit more than Norton Internet Security 2007. Not only do you get antivirus and antispyware protection with a firewall, the package includes a disk defragmenter and a fiendishly simple backup program that will back up to the usual removable media - or to the included 2GB of online storage. Plus a free downloadable Add-on Pack, containing antispam, parental controls and ad blocking, is available.
The greatly simplified, Vista-friendly interface makes Norton 360 easy to use for novices, although techies will have to drill down some way to find tweakable settings. It's easy to set up and doesn't require much user intervention.
We ran 360 on an Athlon XP+ 2600 with 512MB of RAM. Scanning just under 490,000 items took 70 minutes, which is fairly unremarkable. It detected a few tracking cookies which it dealt with.
Interestingly, Norton AV used to be mainly signature-based but now 360, along with Norton Internet Security and Norton AntiVirus since an update earlier this year, also makes use of Symantec’s new SONAR heuristic detection to better cope with zero-day threats.
Disappointingly, system performance took a hit - in particular, the antiphishing toolbar it added to IE 7.0 made browsing slow. And it doesn't yet support Firefox. It does, however, support any POP3 mail client and was quite happy with Thunderbird.