Norton 360 is arguably the best-known software security suite in the world, but that doesn't necessarily make it the best. However, in this latest version Symantec responds aggressively to user complaints concerning resource-hogging while including improvements in botnet detection, warnings for suspicious online retailers, and virus-definition file updates pushed every 15 minutes.
The suite includes antivirus, antispyware, antiphishing, antispam, antirootkit protection, a firewall, Symantec's SONAR (Symantec Online Network for Advance Response) behavioral-monitoring software, and a vulnerability assessment tool to see what Windows updates your computer might be missing. It also rolls in 2GB of free online storage for backing up your most important files, which can be upgraded for a price. The resources manager lets you streamline your boot cycle to start faster when the computer's off. The new install time is blazingly fast, and should clock in for most users at under or around one minute.
The interface overhaul is much easier to manage, with horizontal navigation and clearly delineated categories. Advanced options are available from two text links on the top nav, Tasks and Settings. From here, users familiar with Norton 360 will find more choices than ever before to customize and tweak protection behavior. In many ways, this version of Norton 360 has finally caught up with the times. Although it may pain the cynics to hear this, Norton 360's revamped approach to security and ease of use and its emphasis on speed make the program worthy of consideration again.