The first beta for Norton 360 version 6 arrived today, and it's notable for elevating the latest Norton Internet Security features to the 360 product line. Norton 360 v6 beta (download) is free to use, although the beta license is set to expire two weeks after installation.
The Norton Management feature connects your local installation of Norton to a Web-based account interface. You can use it to remotely install Norton programs, such as the Online.Family tool for child protection, purchase or renew licenses, tweak security settings, and affect repairs without having to be physically in front of the computer.
The recent changes to the cloud-based, antifraud tool Identity Safe in Norton Internet Security made it more competitive with other high-end security suites. These changes include LastPass-styled password handling, cloud-based syncing and vaults, and a secure way to manage and store personal identification data online. The interface will also finally work in Google Chrome.
The new Download Insight stability ratings will rate your downloads for how they affect your computer's stability before you install them. Like Norton's other Insight features, this one leverages anonymously shared community data against your downloads, and will flag any that appear to negative impact your computer.
Norton has tweaked the interface a little bit, changing the darker tone to white, but keeping its yellow and simplifying its icons. The white is a new tack for Norton, which has been dark-themed for several years now.
A final change in this first beta release is the inclusion of better bandwidth management, which ought to appeal to people on metered networks. You can use the feature to restrict noncritical updates until you're on a less hamstrung Internet connection.
The free beta license is renewable, but Symantec requires you to have a free Norton account to get the beta and to upgrade to the latest beta versions every two weeks. Many of the more advanced features in the Norton 360 require an account to work properly, such as the remote security management.