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Review: Norton 360 V6

01 Jul 12

The Digital War - Computer Viruses, Malware, Phishing, and all other malicious and often costly activity.  The challenge to us, as users and consumers, is how to protect ourselves and what tools are best to use.  If everyone used the same product, it would be a lot easier, but market demand has created choices and specifically, Norton 360 V6 is on today’s docket.

My personal challenge was that prior to taking an in-depth look at Norton 360 V6, my last experience with Norton was years ago when I found it to be bloated and resource hungry. It also used to significantly slow down operating systems. Version 6 is an age from this and highly impressive.

Symantec has concentrated on bringing the consumer an intuitive and pretty interface, clearly designed and developed to target the average consumer. Not only is this the first version fully compatible with Windows 8, it is also packed with features such as your common Anti-virus, an Intelligent Firewall, Identity Safe, System Backups, and PC Tuneup.

The Anti-Virus itself does its job well. I tried throwing a few malicious files at it and they were easily caught with one hand. The Self-Healing Installer is able to take steps to counteract any malware that tries to block installations and if anything goes wrong during a program install, the self-healer will send an error coded message to Symantec central. In the majority of these cases, a script was sent back to fix the problem automatically.

One of the stand-out features for me is the Download Insight, which offers the user information on the files they are downloading before installing them, such as how stable the program might be with regular use. If it’s the latest release, it'll then provide a pre-programmed “Approved” or “Denied” decision by Norton – gold.

In conjunction with the Download Insight feature, there is an Intelligent Firewall, which uses aggregated "Norton Community" information to automatically delete reported malicious files by other users. It will also configure network activity permissions with any uninfected files requiring internet access or if any suspicious activity arises.

The Norton 360 V6 Anti-Phishing security protects you from any malicious website activity that harvests or illegally gains your private information. This, again, uses the aggregated information collected by Norton’s users and also scans the websites source code to pick up on any dangerous or injected code. Important to note is that the aggregated information that is collected is for the virus and threats database only, and does not include your personal information.

The Identity Safe feature offers users a powerful password management and form-filling component. It picks up when you visit a website regularly and automatically fills in your details for a quick login. Personally, I’m not very fond of this feature because although it may be powerfully encrypted, the safest place to store passwords would be in your own head.

Norton System Backup ability to the cloud supports up to 2GB (upgradable) of storage space or you can use any other storage device you may have, such as an external hard-drive. Many users may think to skip ahead at this point, as usual backup utilities slow down a system or it could waste away their data caps.Not so with Norton’s system, which only backs up the files you indicate and only does this during idle time, therefore reducing the impact on your computer’s performance. Norton then monitors the activity and future backups and only stores the changed files, saving bandwidth and resulting in a much faster process.

Norton 360's collection of Tune Up Features also runs during idle time. It intelligently scans the system and suggests minor fixes to boost your computer’s performance such as enabling and disabling unwanted programs at Windows Boot. The collection of Tune Up Utilities includes disk optimisation (defragging) and removal of non-required Windows and Internet Explorer temporary files. You can also schedule a regular cleanup of Internet Explorer history and broken Registry entries.

In terms of managing multiple computers, Symantec has allowed for this requirement with Norton Management. This enables users to locally or remotely manage, download, install, update, transfer, or renew a Norton license from any device. This process could not be any easier.

Norton engine recently came top in the internet security software test and according to a PassMark test it is among the least resource hungry security suites available. It may not have a 100% detection rate, but it does have an extremely powerful file cleaning component which cleans out any malicious code in your personal files. It can be argued that because of Norton’s popularity, it gains a lot of interest from malware producers; however Norton fights them effectively with excellent protection in key areas.


  • One of the least resource hungry security suites out there.

  • Many great features running during idle time, preserving bandwidth and performance for the user.

  • Norton management makes it easy to manage multiple computers.

  • Great UI, very easy to use.


  • May not have the best detection rate.

  • May slow down some file transfers while scanning.

  • Backup cloud initially only has 2GB free, additional storage may be purchased.

The Verdict

I’m very impressed with this piece of software, it really has come a long way over the past few years and I would happily recommend it to most users. You definitely don’t need to be a computer professional to install and apply Norton 360’s features, it does it all for you.

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