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on 4 August 2008
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The concept behind this suite of security programs seems to be for them to work without disturbing you, without forcing you to make technical choices, and without your having to understand much about security. Can Norton 360 deliver? With Symantec's long history of supplying Norton-branded products, you do not have to worry about their ability to stop viruses, spyware, and intrusions. The key question is: will it mess up my computer? There is a risk, because internet security programs have to get right into the workings of Windows.

So first I took these precautions: I uninstalled completely my previous antivirus (AVG), firewall (ZoneAlarm) and anti-spyware (Spybot) programs. Then I used the free CCleaner registry cleaner to remove any traces. If you have EVER used a Norton or Symantec product, even if you think it is long gone, I recommend downloading and running the Norton Removal Tool from the Symantec website. Doing all this preparation is well worth it, as many of the hangups with Norton stem from interference from bits of old programs. After that, I slavishly followed the installation instructions, and all has run sweetly.

Norton 360 has a simple interface, covering its four main jobs. Job number 1 is PC Security -- that's antivirus, antispyware, firewall and email scanning. All the default settings are sensible, and you can leave them alone. Updates are automatic. This is what you paid your money for, and the rest is icing. Job 2 is a simple anti-phishing setup that checks websites. Job 3 is a simple file backup program that you are supposed to use to protect your vital data files from accidental loss. This is a lot better than no backup, but is inferior to most backup programs. Vista users are better off with the built in Vista backup function. You also get 2GB of "secure online storage", and if this is enough for you, you can use it for some backup over the internet. If you want more storage, you can buy it. The file selection is not too intelligent. It picked up all sorts of useless bits of video, music and pictures that really belonged to programs, not to my personal data. Job no.4 is an automatic disk defragmentation, and automatic deletion of old temporary files and internet cache files. Again, Vista users can get this inside Windows, and can switch it off.

Several weeks' experience have shown that Norton 360 is unobtrusive, and quietly works away without bothering me. Compared with other security suites I have used, it demands much less intervention and understanding.
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on 31 October 2008
OK bit of background first - we have 4 PC's and 1 laptop in the house and I have been building PC for about 10 years and have tried numerous different firewalls,anti virus etc.

I had used Symatec for some years and recommended it to friends but from 2003 the versions it started "eating" more and more machine resources as they were updated and we changed to Zone Alarm for firewalls and AVG for antivirus for friends and family and this is still an effective low cost solution.

However as I was now working away from home I decided to put something on that the family could use without any intervention from me and the full Zone Alarm Security suite was installed on some PC's and the PC-Pro recommended F-Secure suite on others but at the time my Vista Laptop arrived only Norton were offering a solution for Vista so 360 it was.

So after ~ 18 months of running the suites at the same time I would comment as follows:
Zone Alarm - I like this because of the level of flexibility it offers to the more advanced user but the barrage of somewhat strangely worded warnings the firewall generates means that most people would end up blocking things they should not and vice versa (my family have done this quite frequently - particularly after re-install updates where you get something of an avalanche of messages) so this has not really met the "no intervention" I was after.
F-Secure - I don't like this because it is prone to slowing quite powerful machines to an absolute crawl for 10 minutes at a time - the 2008 version is better than the 2007 version we used first but not a complete fix but the firewall seems to just get on with things in the background. Couple of other issues the parental controls is over the top blocking almost averything requireing almost very site to be set up as an allowed site - a major pain and the spam filter seems to have a real problem working on one of the machines but has not required any real input from me and it cover up to three PC's (yes we will be taking this off the machines when it expires).
Norton 360 - works quietly in the background with most updates taking place whist working but once a week it will remind you that you have not run a scan, backed up etc. etc. but there is a single "fix" button so the family are quite happy with this. For information version one was a bit of a resource hog but this seems to have been fixed with version 2 and the full version cover 3 PC's.

So now the new Media PC has arrived it too will be on Norton 360 v2 as will the F-secure based PC when they expire.

Apologies for the length of this but wanted to give some background info into why I would suggest Norton 360 v2 as a good solution.
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VINE VOICEon 3 July 2008
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Norton 360
Despite the problems some people have had with this software so far I have had not one single problem as far as installing it. I too had PC Guard on before. I did de install it first prior to installing this software so no problems encountered though it did take time to set the software up along the way. Once its set up you can leave it to get on with it unless you have a task at hand to undertake. With Outlook Express you can use Norton's Anti Spam. The software sets up a spam folder where you can choose to allow certain emails that Norton has chosen as spam to allow them in future. There is also a neat feature where you can input your fave web site passwords into a safe place to save you having to input them every time you visit your Frequent web sites such as Amazon, Play.com etc this saves a lot of time and fuss and you can even input your details to save having to input these when subscribing to services and also your Credit Card can be saved to make it even more secure when purchasing merchandise off the net. Within hours of installing it found a nasty little tracking cookie which my PCGuard didn't detect. Well done Norton.
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on 7 November 2008
Read all reviews and then purchased. Norton 360 loaded quickly, no hiccups, no nonsense. Am very impressed at how it works away quietly in the background with no reduction in speed of my laptop, in fact, in a few areas I believe it has quickened up. When it does prompt me, I am impressed at the level of sensibility of the questions. Very glad I purchased it.
I would add though, that I am using a laptop that is only 6 months old, and with 4gig memory that I upgunned myself, so I can understand some others gripes.
Lastly, somebody in Symantec may be listening: my disc arrived in a very small packet, no cardboard waste at all!
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VINE VOICEon 30 July 2008
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've been using Norton Internet Security since 2001 and so far (touch wood) it's never let me down. I'm totally confident in its level of protection. However, I'm an experienced PC user (a software engineer by trade) so I'm very comfortable poking about in the advanced configuration settings. My Dad on the other hand is far from technical, which is where Norton 360 comes in.

I needed a product I could install and configure once and then trust it to silently protect my Dad's PC without asking him anything or confusing him at all. I was looking for something that offered regular automated updates, silent configuration changes as various system settings and software tools are added/removed/changed. Until Norton 360 came along he used Norton Internet Security for several years, which always did a good job but tended to ask too many questions and confuse him a bit. Then along came Norton 360...

I found the original version of Norton 360 to be perfect for him, and this new version 2.0 adds some nice new features to an already excellent product. Various industry reviews rate the level of virus protection provided by 360 very highly - similar to that of Norton Internet Security. The difference really is that 360 can't be customised or tweaked as much, which might be restrictive for an expert user. On the other hand, it requires far less input from the user, so it's far less intrusive for novice users.

Norton 360 also offers some additional system maintenance functionality like automated backups (which Dad uses to save documents to his external hard drive) and system performance tweaks which make it even better value for money.

I wouldn't trust any other product to look after my Dad's PC. If you are the 'support engineer' for a friend/relative who's not too good with computers, install 360 and relax. 5 stars!
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on 22 October 2008
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It was with some trepidation that I installed this onto our PC: we have experienced problems such as chronic slowdown and various conflicts the last time we had a Norton suite (mind you that was a few years since and our current PC has a lot higher spec). Anyway after removing all the previous protective software (AVG etc which incidentally we were very happy with) we bunged the CD in and held our breath...

I'm pleased to say it loaded without a hitch and required the absolute minimum of input from me with regard to preferences and permissions. I won't go into all the programme's features as they have been well covered by others but I will add that the interface is clean and easy to follow and the best bit is that it all operates quietly and unobtrusively in the background (and I have noticed no particular slowdown as it goes about its business - not that I'm aware of that anyway). It has remained perfectly stable since its installation several weeks ago and I suspect that it will continue to remain so.

Along with the package you also get a gig or two of online backup storage with the facility for more if you pay for it. I wouldn't normally bother with this feature but uploaded some stuff just to see how straightforward it was and, again, it was a painless process.

The negatives? Not many - the rather garish logo that attaches itself onto your browser was a bit of a surprise (although I don't notice it now) and the packaging seems a bit excessive for what amounts to a CD but, as a complete all-in-one solution for your internet PC security I would thoroughly recommend it (even if, like us, you've had problems with Norton in the past).
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VINE VOICEon 25 October 2008
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've used Norton Anti-virus for many years, with ZoneAlarm Pro firewall, two products I rate very highly. When my Norton expired, I had a choice of two products through Amazon Vine - this and Microsoft OneCare. Being already familiar with Norton I went for that first on my main PC.

I unistalled both OK, and then installed 360. I got off to a bad start as 360 did not appear to install correctly on the first attempt (XP). It showed up but did not respond to anything, seemingly permanently busy. After a bit of worrying, uninstalling and re-installing seemed to fix the problem and the installation process is very simple. Everything configures itself and you can then make your own changes afterward.

I had a bit of a shock though. I had seen Norton firewalls before and compared to the luxury of ZoneAlarm I find them unintuitive and clumsy. Norton firewall interfaces are not as good as their AV which is their speciality. The whole 360 interface seemed a bit on the slow side and clunky, though not as bad as some older Norton products I remember. Worst of all 360 noticeably slowed down my system when connecting to online games and delivery systems compared to my previous ZA/Norton AV set-up. This coupled with the lack of confidence from the first failed installation made me decide to uninstall 360 and try OneCare.

I'm very surprised to say that so far I have stuck with the Microsoft package due mainly to performance and the way it integrates with Windows. I can't say I have more confidence in it to detect viruses or defend my system, and it is for users perhaps more casual than myself, but overall it feels a much more stable and slick package despite having slightly less features.

I might return to Norton one day, but only if they rethink their firewall interfaces.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 15 July 2008
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As my McAfee virus checker had just expired and the review copy mysteriously wouldn't instal under Vista, I thankfully turned back to Norton. Not a bad product- but why the enormous cardboard box containing a CD-ROM that enables an internet connection. Wise up to the future, guys, and save on packaging!

So it scans and defrags, and also deletes cookies and browsing history. The updating scans are refreshingly fast. It pointed out a worrying tracking cookie- which turned out to be the registration for a major high street bank- but you don't have to fix a problem. Periodically the thing has prompted me to scan and delete in the past month- so I know at least it will always remind me to plump up the security. Annoyingly it keeps on resetting Explorer to protected mode on- so you can revisit the delightful nostalgic speeds of dial up on a broadband connection.

The automatic login filler on Identity Safe is moderately useful. Personally I wouldn't ever use it for financial accounts. There is an option to never ask it to remember the password for specific sites. I tried Amazon for a bit before I disabled the password infill as the site keeps asking for the passowrd depending on which section you log into. For odd sites and phone and utility bills it saves on having to trawl through my little pink book. The only thing that you must do is to be sure to log in to Norton at the start of a session, otherwise you end up with Norton butting in in the middle of a login.

It keeps on nagging me to do a backup- which I suppose I will have to update to shut it up.

I'm not overly happy about the distracting green bar on the hijacked toolbar stating "phishing protection on"- quite what this does which common sense cannot I don't know- will it give you a nudge if you get a nice email from a helpful Nigerian general who wants your bank account details for money laundering?

Mostly good.
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VINE VOICEon 7 July 2008
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I upgraded to version 2.0 of Norton 360, largely because version 1.0 had stopped working. Uninstalling and reinstalling had failed to solve the problem, and as anyone who has used Norton software will doubtless know, it isn't designed to be easily removed (it has a lot in common with some viruses in that sense). Hence I didn't opt to use a different anti-virus package, in case of a conflict.

The upgrade of 360 went smoothly, and so far, this version seems much better than the original. It still has lots of functionality I don't use, and it's still slowing my PC down somewhat. But it's doing the job I need it to do. However, I can't give it more than 3 stars, because if removing the old version hadn't been such a headache, I would probably have installed AVG instead (my laptop is running AVG, and I'm very happy with it - for older, less powerful PCs I would say AVG is a much better option).
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on 3 September 2008
Be aware this product has a bug that sometimes appears running under Vista.

At boot up the product will come up with Intrusion detection turned off. The "My Network" summary shows this as a fault as well. Tell it to fix the problem and intrusion detection will be turned on. The network summary still shows a fault. Manually turn off intrusion protection then use Fix to turn it back on and the network summary now shows green.

The Norton web site notes this behaviour as a corrupt installation and tells you to de-install and re-install. Apparently this causes all sorts of issues.

On one of the Norton sponsored 360 V2 forums they admit that this behaviour is caused by a bug and they are working on a fix. They have been working on this fix since July and they don't think it will be ready until early or mid September.

I haven't found anything else wrong.

The product itself is designed for the average computer user who just one peace of mind that their machine is being protected. The interfaces and controls are dumbed down considerably compared to the standard anti-virus. I think it's designed to be installed and forgotten about until it finds a threat.
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