Symantec is back with the new version of its security suite; it is the Norton 360 v5. I tested this anti-virus and I found it quite impressive as Symantec has offered some new features which makes it easier even for non-technical person to keep his/her personal computer secure. While it looks very similar to the earlier version it does include a few new things and you may need to get familiar with the product to experience them. Norton 360 v5 does have tough competition so let’s see whether this anti-virus has what it needs to make it stand-out from its competitors.

The one thing which I have always loved about this line-up of anti-virus software is that it installs real quick, and the process is extremely simple. A few clicks, then it starts installing and completes the process in just under a minute. The user interface is not very different from the earlier version, and those who have used the Norton 360 v4 won’t find it difficult to navigate through this software. However, there is one thing which has changed with this version and it is the link to the Norton Cybercrime Index.

Running a full system scan was the first thing we did after installing this security suite and we noticed that it has the ability to back up all your files online before running the scan. While this feature is very appealing and the also full system scan does a real good job searching for infections, malware and viruses, there is one thing which I believe could have been better on the Norton 360 v5, and that is the performance. Despite claims of a whopping 37 percent increase in the performance we did not notice it much. We monitored the CPU usage while the full system scan was in progress and it showed us over 50 percent of CPU usage, this may not affect an average user but would completely disappoint a person who plans to multitask while the full scan is in progress.

Then there is the firewall and Symantec has always done a great job with it. It is really simple for users to set-up the firewall protection according to their preference. The software detects all installed programs into known good, known bad and unknown. Norton updates this database by the help of its huge number users which helps the software determine the category of other programs installed on your system. The number of known good programs is huge, known bad are immediately deleted and for the unknown the software uses aggressive behavioral tracking, so if it does something bad it is removed from your system.

The Norton 360 version 5 as you may already know is Symantec’s all-in-one offering to protect your system and at the same time keep it optimized. Hence, apart from all the security features the suite also offers PC tuneup utilities including – Disk Optimization, File Cleanup, Startup Manager and also the ability to manage and restore your backups. Disk Optimization obvious refers to disk fragmentation it does very quickly compared to a few other disk fragmentation programs I have used before while it also starts while performing a full system scan. It is also very quick at cleaning all the temporary files, it takes under 5-6 seconds do complete the task, and I was very impressed with it. Startup Manager is yet another great feature which makes managing startup application very simple over the traditional method and also shows you how much processing power does every startup tasks require.

Lab results for Norton 360 v5 have been quite spectacular, West Coast Labs gives it certification for detection and removal for Trojans and Malware while, ICSA Labs certifies it for overall spyware removal. Furthermore it also equipped with some of Symantec’s very own technologies like the SONAR 3 which analyses and detects suspicious behavior with programs and applications, and Norton Insight which is a reputation based technology which determines the integrity of a downloaded file. It also comes with great privacy features and keeps you well aware of all those phishing sites.

However, there are a few things about this security suite which disappoints me even though it does an excellent job of protecting my system. The Norton 360 v5 comes with a lot of unnecessary add-ons, I never wished for my web browser to have a Norton toolbar and neither did it ask me for it before putting it up there. The updates should get smaller and should happen more frequently. The software has always been great when it comes to protecting a PC, just focus on that as not every needs those additional tools, they can be optional for someone who wants them. Honestly, it may just be me, but I did not feel much of a performance boost during scans and we wish that may get better the next time.

Overall, Norton 360 is an excellent security suite which does a lot more than meets the eye. Great antivirus protections, your online identity is safe and your PC stays optimized. However, there some unnecessary tools bundled and even if they can be disabled they may get annoying for a hardcore user. But, don’t let this stop you from getting Norton 360 version 5, because it is indeed remarkable and does a very good job protecting your PC.

Norton 360 version 5 with 2 GB of online storage and a single PC license is priced at Rs. 1,435 and the three PC license variant of the same retails for Rs. 3,085. Symantec is also offering this suite with 25 GB of online storage and it is priced at Rs. 3,840. The bottom line is that it is great option to keep your free of infections and stay safe online.

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