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My Review Of Norton 360 Computer Antivirus And Internet Security Software
By Johnny Gates
Product Testing & Reviews
March 10, 2011
Do you want your computer to work - 100% of the time at 100%?
Then this story is for you.
When I first got my new laptop, it was a thing of beauty and a gloriously fast race horse. When I clicked an icon or a link on the Internet – things happened! Good things. This was the tool I’d always wanted and needed to move my day along. Over time, all that changed.
First it got sluggish. I started noticing the little hourglass symbol that meant something was loading... and loading. Then the Internet began to drag. What was happening? Occasionally, windows would pop open without my permission – irritating ads for things I wasn’t interested in.
Finally, on a Monday morning – with a full week ahead of me – it took two hours just to get on the Internet. I kept doing the only thing I thought might work: reboot… reboot. It was plain my wonderful race horse was becoming a broken down nag. To be honest, I was ready to throw the thing under a train.
I paid good money for this computer and I just want it to work. Would you not?
I called around and quickly found out how much money and time repair shops wanted for a “tune up.” Lots of money and lots of time. I can’t afford to leave my laptop with someone for a week!
My computer savvy friend (we all have one of those, right?) thought he might be able to help but I could tell he thought of it as thankless drudgery. He took a few minutes to see what he could do over the phone – not much. I admit it. I’m not schooled in the inner workings of the registry. After an hour of this (with more reboots) we gave up in frustration.
I tried going online and searching – not much help there either. I couldn’t tell the scammers from the legitimate players. Every site claimed to have the answer, but they just didn’t work. The long and short of it was that everyone I talked to thought it was my fault and I was too dumb to take care of my own equipment. Enough is enough.
I Finally Get a Win
The short version is that after spending a day reading everything I could on the net about anti-virus and tune-up products, Norton 360 is the way to go.
There were plenty of rave reviews, and these helped me make up my mind. I was digging up comments about the Norton 360 like these (some where wildly honest):
February 11, 2010 "Very user friendly system that covers all security and backup needs for the everyday user. Easy to access and find what you need to get the Job done. This product is great that it works even when you are not, system scans and backups do not slow the performance or speed. I would recommend to anyone needing PC security."
January 31, 2010 I am by no means a computor wizard in fact i did not start using computots for web browsing or on line shopping or banking until i reviewed all online security softwares and norton was the best thing on the market and is the only product i do and will ever use i have recommened this to all of my family and friends and have gotten a lot of thank yous from them."
Not impressed with the typos... but you get the point, right?) What really impressed me was the total package Norton offers…
What Made Norton 360 The Best Solution For My laptop?
Bye-bye viruses, malware and spyware – It got rid of several irritating viruses I didn’t even know I had. Norton 360 doesn’t stop with viruses though, it took off malware and spyware too. This was part of the reason my laptop was slowing down – all the junk running behind the scenes without my permission. GONE forever!
Tune up – After it cleared out the junk for me, Norton 360 did a registry sweep and fixed all the bad data my system was using. I think this was the reason it was crashing. Blue screen of death? GONE.
Bonus #1 – Norton 360 then allowed me to set the protection level I needed to keep all this junk from coming back. It includes a firewall and blocks websites that are known to spread viruses.
Bonus #2– Norton 360 runs in the background and doesn’t slow my system down while it supervises and checks for malware and spyware. In fact, it checks things I never thought of, like email and attachments.
Bonus #3 – Norton 360 automatically updates to keep the latest virus definitions. This is the only way to keep an anti-virus package current. It’s probably the best reason not to use a free anti-virus package. Without the incentive of pleasing customers, free stuff goes out of date almost the day it is published and that is why I would never recommend free antivirus products.
Bonus #4 – Even if a completely new virus gets out there on the net, Norton 360 tracks suspicious activity and puts up an alert. I really like this! No longer do mysterious things “just happen” where I can’t see them. If something fishy is going on, Norton 360 asks me to give permission and makes a recommendation. Finally I feel like I’m in control of my own system!!
Bonus #5 – I got a sweet discount coupon code and saved money buying the package. Now you can save 25%-30% off the online price or even more.
What Do I Get With Norton 360 That Makes It Unique?
What puts Norton 360 in a league of its own is that it’s not just an antivirus program. It really has four programs in one; They are the Norton 360 components PC Security, Identity Protection, Back up, and Tune up.
What does Norton PC Security do?
This is the basic anti-virus program that Norton is world famous for. It scans for viruses, malware and spyware in real-time. It monitors web activity and blocks malicious downloads. Included is Norton Safe Web which alerts you while you are browsing to potentially dangerous sites – even in search results.
What does Norton Identity Protection do?
Norton Identity Protection works to keep sensitive data safe while you are online. This is key – the most sophisticated hackers aren’t in it for fun; they are out to steal valuable information. Norton Identity Protection prevents identity theft while you bank, shop, or browse.
What does Norton Backup do?
Back-ups are a feature of most full packages, but Norton takes it a step further. The risk of having a backup only on your home machine is that if your equipment is damaged, all is lost. With online backup, Norton keeps a copy of essential system files off-site.
What does Norton PC Tune Up do?
This was the best part for me. I absolutely wanted to get my computer working as fast as it used to. Norton 360 PC Tune Up deletes unused and unnecessary files, things like cookies and the other junk saved in temporary files. And that’s just the start.
Questions I had About Norton 360
Can I use it on more than one computer? (My girlfriend’s system was as goofed up as mine.)
Yes. They allow install on up to three computers with the same product code. No extra charge!
What about if I get a new computer, can I migrate to that with no extra charge?
Yes. This was a big deal for me because I’ve been burned in the past when I had to buy new software for a new system. Norton 360 allows for this with no additional fee.
Is Norton 360 easy to install and run?
I hate to admit it, but I’ve had problems in the past when programs are too complicated to install and use. Norton 360 did take a few minutes to download and install, but it was easy. They’ve done a good job separating out the modules too. Most are “set and forget” and they walk you through all the steps.
How much does Norton 360 cost?
The full Norton 360 was around $70. I compared that with what it costs for tech support -- $50 an hour with a one hour minimum. I compared it to other anti-virus offers – they run around $70 too and don’t give you any of the useful extras – the PC tune up, ID protection, back-up and restore, registry tune-up and all the other stuff. But it’s also about reputation. From what I’ve read, Norton is best of breed.
How Can Norton 360 Do All This Without Slowing Down My Computer?
This was a real worry for me. I’d read in some forums about certain anti-virus programs that might work, but the design was so poor that they would slow down the computer as much as not having the software in the first place. So I spent some time looking into this.
Here’s how Norton avoids the problem:
- After the initial scan, files are marked as clean with a unique, unbreakable ‘seal’ so that future scans can check the seal and move on. This radically reduces scan times.
- By deleting unnecessary files, defragging and keeping important tasks at the front of the line, Norton 360 has plenty of room to work silently in the background.
- Norton focuses on threats related to what’s going on currently. That means active files and downloads get precedence over housekeeping tasks.
- Updates are done in between other online tasks. While I am reading a website, Norton 360 might sneak in part of an update. In other words, it uses the natural free-time all computers have that is usually wasted.
- Norton 360 uses threading to start and stop background tasks. When I need system resources to watch a video online or for any other reason, Norton interrupts what it is doing so I don’t see any slowdown.
What Are Your Norton 360 Concerns?
When I fix a problem, I want it to stay fixed. So I did the homework. When I was reading the blogs and Googling to find the best solution, I found a slew of people who had nothing but praise for Norton 360. I read through the technical reports on the computer magazine websites. I looked over the testimonials and read the forum posts at the geek sites. When I didn’t understand something, I asked.
Read over the information yourself and see if you don’t agree that Norton 360 is the right fix. I certainly was persuaded.
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