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Norton 360 Version 4.0 PC Review - -

Installation 9.5
Ease of use 9.0
Usefulness 10
Value 9.0
Distributor: Norton
Review Date:
March 2010
James Wright


Norton 360 Version 4.0
All-In-One Security
V8 Supercars Bonus Pack

From the official internet security sponsor of V8 Supercars Australia comes version 4.0 of Norton 360 which revolutionised the world of PC security. Not only did Symantec go back to the drawing board with Norton 360 but they created one of the fastest installation processes ever, not to mention a lighting quick interface and a global scanning tool

Originally released in 2007 and as a reviewer, it's good to see that Symantec have not dropped the ball with version 4.0 that includes a collection of holistic tools to make this the definitive security suite for your PC. Best of all, the great additions to Norton Internet Security 2010 have been included in version 4.0, making this product a one stop shop for not only total security but a plethora of other useful features such as backups and PC-tuning.

New Features

  • Reputation service provides unmatched real-time detection of viruses, Trojans, spyware and other threats

  • Norton Download Insight warns you if downloaded applications are unsafe before you run or install them

  • Web access to backup files allows you to retrieve and download your backup files anytime, anywhere

  • Norton System Insight provides tools and easy-to-read graphs to help you improve and maintain PC and application performance

  • Improved Norton Safe Web identifies unsafe websites right in your search results so you can search and surf with confidence

Unfortunately in this world of internet threats and a forever changing threat landscape, it's quite difficult for consumers to choose which internet security package is for them, considering the choice in computer stores and via online stores. This is where a few twists come into play with Norton 360 version 4.0.

As a selling point and for a limited time, Symantec have released a clever compendium of Norton 360 Version 4.0 called the V8 Supercars Bonus Pack  that comes with the ability to install it on up to 5 PCs in a home, 10GB of secured online storage, a V8 Supercars DVD and two 3-day General Admission tickets to the V8 Supercars Norton Sandown Challenge, redeemable online. Last but not least, the special limited bundle even comes with a Logitech Harmony Remote valued at $129.95.

Although a gimmick, it's a pretty damn impressive gimmick in our books, especially for the cost of $149.95AUD. The standard edition on the other hand, allows you to install the program on up to 3 PC's, comes with 2GB of Secured online storage and is bundled with a Bonus V8 Supercar-shaped 4GB USB stick. This all comes for $129.95 but for an extra $20, I know where my money would rather be.

We tested version 4.0 on Windows XP (using VMWARE) and also a clean system for Windows 7. The biggest issue with the installation was typing in the 25 product key and deciding whether you wanted to join Norton Community Watch which automatically forwards security issues to Symantec. Like the previous incarnations of Norton 360, the installation was very fast and it installed in under a minute, a little longer on our test machine with VMWARE.

Once the installation was competed, the product automatically activated itself via the internet and the only thing you needed to do was enter a valid e-mail address to access your Norton Account or create a new account for new users. That was basically the most difficult aspect of the installation! Simple yes?

The interface, although reminiscent of previous editions has received some subtle changes which to us, looks more slick and professional. The main screen is divided into four areas that include PC Security, Identity Protection, Backup and PC Tuneup. Above that, if your PC is protected, it will display the word Protected in green and on top of that you have options for Tasks, Settings, My Account, Product Feedback and Help & Support.

At the bottom, Norton 360 will tell you how old your latest definitions are and next to that are three interesting icons. The graph icon (Norton Tasks) displays some statistics on your CPU and Memory usage, including background jobs that 360 is running or needs to run. The next icon is "My Network" which gives you a great snapshot regarding your network and its connections. Last but not least is the System Insight and Performance icon which is a detailed analysis of what Norton 360 has been doing for you such as quick scans, CPU/Memory performance and detections for instance.

Finally, at the bottom of the interface, we have Run LiveUpdate (check and download latest updates), Scan Now (scan for viruses and the like), Get Support (the place to go for problems) and subscription status, how many days left for your support. Most Norton products come with a 12-month subscription which gives you the latest updates for a year and also support. It should also be noted that Norton 360 puts an icon on your desktop and in your system tray and if everything is ok, the icon in your system tray will have a nice little green tick on it.

Stop! Even though this may seem like quite a bit of text in the review, novice users and even advanced users can use this product straight from the box without any fiddling whatsoever. Symantec have ensured that the software caters for a wide variety of users and best of all, the interface is extremely easy to navigate, just look at the screenshots.

The backup capabilities offered by Symantec have drastically changed and rather than offering users a place to backup and restore files, it now allows for instant access and sharing. Sharing large files is now a breeze and simply by creating a link with a password, you can now share these files in their entirety with other people such as family or business colleagues. There is even an application for the iPhone called Norton Tiki which allows you to access this space. Backup can also  be scheduled to run at certain times, ensuring that it doesn't hamper your current internet connection.

Although viruses and Trojans are still a danger to internet users, there are much more serious security threats than these such as phishing and malware. Using “Quorum” which is a reputation based monitoring system, this technology considerably improves previous versions of Norton's Internet Security with its larger and more powerful safety net. We tested the program with a few viruses that it automatically detected in zip files and through our e-mails which were quarantined. Internet Security is only one facet of Norton 360 and as the "360" indicates, it's a total PC solution.

Internet banking, secured purchases or eBay, Norton 360 will protect you against nefarious individuals or organised crime who may be targeting certain sites. Although bogus websites may be an issue, more often than not, real websites may have been infiltrated and Norton keeps an eye on these sites, thanks to its extensive community network. This also extends to other web browsers than just Internet Explorer such as Firefox.

One of my favourite areas in 360 is the PC Tune-up section that allows you to run a disk optimisation tool that moves files closer together on your PC and in turn, makes running programs faster. There are options to remove unnecessary windows temporary files, including internet explorer cache files, registry cleaner, diagnostic report and a great start-up manager to better your boot-up times. Registry cleaners are ideal for removing junk files in your registry which is kind of like your PC dictionary for the computer. The more programs you install, the bigger and clutter this file becomes that eventually slows down your PC. Registry cleaner basically removes the clutter and optimises it.

After testing this software suite, there was only a slight impact on boot-up speeds once Norton 360 Version 4.0 was installed on our test machines. This was slightly more noticeable on Windows 7 as compared to Windows XP. However with the daily monitoring of your computer, there are no performance issues which is definitely an impressive feat. Scanning our system is just as fast as the last incarnation of Norton 360 and best of all, it does all this in the background when your PC is not being used, including updates. Of course, there is a forced scan and download option for the purists out there.

For $149.95, this is definitely more oomph for your money that comes with 24x7 support, a 12-month subscription and a plethora of other goodies such as the ability to install this product on up to 5 PC's, perfect for families or shared university houses. The graphs are perfect for seeing how your system is running and what threats have been stopped and the interface can be used by everyone, even my father. Of course, there are other versions of 360 Version 4.0 available but this is one we could recommend to all, especially with all the cool little extras that Symantec have managed to throw in. This review only skims the surface of this impressive software suite and it's definitely worth investigating!

Key Technologies

  • NEW! Reputation service
  • NEW! Norton Insight
  • NEW! Norton Download Insight
  • NEW! Web-based Access to Backup Files
  • NEW! SONAR 2 Behavioural Protection
  • IMPROVED! Automated Backup and Restore


  • NEW! Provides unprecedented and unmatched threat detection — Adds an additional layer of protection to detect viruses, Trojans, spyware, and other threats. Norton™ reputation service technology scrutinizes different attributes of files and applications in real-time to determine if they are safe.
  • NEW! Warns you of dangerous downloads — Proactively protects you by analyzing newly downloaded files and applications for threats before you install or run them on your PC.
  • NEW! Helps you improve and maintain PC and application performance —Identifies applications that may be impacting your PC’s performance, making it easier to keep your computer running at its best.
  • NEW! Lets you access backed up files over the Web — Allows you to retrieve and restore files that you backed up online anytime, anywhere, from virtually any computer with Internet access.
  • IMPROVED! Scans only files at risk for shorter, faster scans — Uses our industry-leading online intelligence system to identify files at risk and quickly and accurately scans only those files for improved scanning performance.
  • IMPROVED! Makes online shopping safer — Warns you of unsafe websites right in your search results before you provide any personal information to a potentially dangerous site.
  • IMPROVED! Protects your identity when you buy, bank or browse online —Validates authentic sites and identifies fraudulent sites to protect you from “phishing.”
  • IMPROVED! Keeps spam out of your mailbox —Blocks unwanted and possibly dangerous emails from your inbox.
  • IMPROVED! Offers secure login to web sites — Automatically stores your logins and passwords so you can sign into sites with a single click. Blocks keystroke loggers and other spyware that can steal your information.
  • IMPROVED! Secures your browser from attacks — Prevents cybercriminals from using security holes in your web browser to load dangerous software onto your PC.
  • IMPROVED! Protects your important files from loss — Automatically backs up files either locally (to disc or other storage device) or online when your PC is idle. Includes 2 GB of secured online storage (with option to purchase more).*
  • IMPROVED! Reduces PC start-up time — Gets your PC up and running faster by allowing you to prioritize and stagger your start-up applications.
  • Protects your PC, online activities and your identity – Delivers industry-leading, all-in-one protection against identity theft, online fraud, phishing, viruses, Trojans, bots, rootkits, spyware, and the latest cyber-threats.
  • Defends against digital dangers without sacrificing performance — Guards your PC against all kinds of cyber-threats without slowing down your computer or eating up system resources.
  • Prevents botnets from taking control of your PC — Blocks access to your private information. Stops hackers from using your PC to launch attacks on other PCs.
  • Delivers up to the minute virus protection — Provides automatic updates every 5 to 15 minutes to help ensure you’re protected from new threats. Updates happen quietly in the background so you get continuous protection without sacrificing performance.
  • Defends your wireless network from intruders — Prevents unauthorized users from stealing your bandwidth and accessing your files. Warns you when you connect to an unsecured wireless network.
  • Won’t get in your way — Automatically postpones non-urgent tasks and activities if you’re using your PC to watch TV or movies or to play games.
  • Helps make your PC run like new again — Deletes unnecessary files, defrags your hard drive, fixes common problems, and tunes up your PC to keep it running at peak performance.
  • Includes FREE 24/7 technical support

System Requirements:

  • Microsoft® Windows® XP (32-bit) with Service Pack 2 or later Home/Professional/Media Center
  • Microsoft® Windows Vista® (32-bit and 64-bit) Starter/Home Basic/Home Premium/Business /Ultimate
  • Microsoft® Windows® 7 (32-bit and 64-bit) Starter/ Home Basic/Home Premium/Professional/Ultimate

Minimum Hardware Requirements

  • 300 MHz or faster processor
  • 256 MB of RAM (512 MB recommended)
  • 300 MB of available hard disk space
  • Must meet minimum operating system requirements for Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/Win7
  • Internet Explorer® 6.0 or higher, or Mozilla Firefox® 3.0 or higher
  • Internet connection (a high-speed connection is required for online backup)
Phishing protection feature available only on 32-bit Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher or Firefox 3.0 or higher.


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