When you talk about antivirus softwares, one of the most popular brands you’ll hear is Norton; the Norton 360 Premium is what we’d describe as an all-rounder, offering protection in several aspects of your devices instead of just viruses.
Norton 360 plans
The company has a few comprehensive plans to protect user’s devices — Norton 360 Standard, Norton 360 Deluxe, Norton 360 Premium and a recent one called the Norton 360 for Gamers.
We’re reviewing the Norton 360 Premium, the most advanced plan that is usually priced at RM279, but you can get it for RM60 less on your first year.
Compared to the Norton 360 Standard, the premium plan offers two additional features — Parental Control and School Time. But that doesn’t mean that you should only get the premium plan if you’re a parent.
Norton 360 Premium also offers protection for up to 10 devices whether it’s PCs, Macs, smartphones or tablets; in comparison, the standard plan only protects one devices and the deluxe plan protects up to 5 devices.
Another advantage the premium plan has over the other two is 100GB of cloud backup — this is useful for those who tend to store important files on their devices and don’t often back up these files onto external hard drives.
Norton’s app UI is straightforward, simple and organised; the main security features are displayed clearly in a big panel, and clicking into each feature will lead to more settings and tools that can protect your device.
You can also enjoy Norton Secure VPN service when subscribed to Norton 360; this allows your connection to stay safe and anonymous when using public Wi-Fi to prevent others on the shared connection from gaining access to your data.
VPN – Safer, but sometimes slower
Using a VPN will hide your IP address, and encrypt the data of your online activities; when connected to a VPN, your online activities uses a server’s IP address instead of your personal one, protecting you against external attacks.
What’s great about Norton’s VPN services is that it also comes with an ad tracker blocker — you’ll no longer be bombarded by ads when you visit different websites, plus it prevents web trackers from following you when you’re browsing on the web so advertisers can’t target you for their ads.
However, there are instances where I experienced slower internet connections when I connect to VPN server.
This is the usual part of an antivirus software that many are familiar with — scanning for malware, viruses and similar threats.
Norton’s app will show you when was your last scan and protection, in addition to sending you warnings if your device is compromised.
You can also select different levels of scanning, Norton offers quick scan that analyses files that are more vulnerable to threats; full scan if you want to ensure that your PC is well-protected; and file scan if you suspect certain files are compromised. You can even schedule your scans if you don’t want it to disrupt you when you’re using your devices.
More importantly, Norton promises to refund users if their devices are infected by a virus that Norton can’t remove — this clearly shows how confident Norton is with its antivirus program.
Apart from threat-detection, Norton also offer its own cleaning tool to clear junk files that may slow down your Mac.
Missing features for Mac users
Unfortunately, Norton Cloud Backup and Parental Controls are only available on Windows, so even if the premium plan offers up 100GB of cloud storage, Mac users will not be able to enjoy this feature.
Mac users like myself will find this quite disappointing; after all, we’re paying the same amount as Windows users but not given access to the full features.
It also protects your phones
As mentioned earlier, Norton offers protection across many devices, and this includes your iPad and iPhone.
While many users don’t usually bother with getting an antivirus software for smartphones, you can do so with Norton 360 if you’re worried and want to take precautionary steps for your phone.
Norton 360 offers Wi-Fi security and alerts users when they’re joining unsecured networks, in addition to detecting and preventing users from visiting malicious sites.
It’ll even alert your device when it’s no longer running on the latest operating system — making sure your phones are updated is one of the ways to prevent hackers and similar parties from compromising your phones and the files in it.
Norton Safe Web & Password Manager
You can also download Norton Safe Web, an extension that works with Safari, Chrome and Mozilla FireFox. This security extension has managed to blocked webpages that are deemed potentially dangerous or harmful.
It’ll also rate the websites you visit, so you know whether those sites are safe, potentially harmful, or untested.
And if you’re someone who has a different password for every account and app login, you’d likely have a hard time remembering them.
Norton’s Password Manager is an extension you can get to track all your passwords; it uses AES encryption and TLS secure connections to protect your data, and you’ll need to have a vault password to gain access to your login details, credit card details, notes and addresses.
The Norton 360 Premium offers most value among all its plan, but that’s if you’re not a Mac user as you will not be able to enjoy the full suite of features if you’re using a Mac.
It’s a premium plan that is great for those who have a family and tons of files they need to backup on your desktop/laptop, but they can always opt for the Norton 360 Deluxe if they don’t need 100GB of storage, or the Norton 360 Standard if they have no use for Parental Control and want to protect a single device.
At the price of RM219, you’re technically only spending RM18.25/month to keep your devices protected and it’ll give you a peace of mind knowing that your devices are virus-free and well-protected at all times.