Symantec Norton One £99.99
20th Apr 2012 | 10:03
Complete online and PC security in a single bundle
The way we connect to the internet has changed dramatically over the years, and Symantec Norton One has been created to acknowledge this.
Rather than just a single PC being our portal to the web, we can now log on through multiple devices such as phones, laptops, tablets and even games consoles and TVs. Almost inevitably, as our online behaviour has changed, the threats from hackers and malicious software have also adapted in the face of change.
All of this has thrown up a bit of a conundrum for antivirus companies, as their traditional solution of one product installed on one PC is no longer enough.
While Kaspersky has attempted to solve this problem with Kaspersky ONE Internet Secuity, a package that includes various bits of software for a number of devices, Symantec has gone even further with Norton One.
The big selling point of Norton One is its most interesting innovation, and one that partially explains its high price tag. Symantec has realised that software protection is just a part of the fight against malware - and that helping us with our virus problems doesn't just end with products we've installed on our hard drives.
So what you get in this product is Norton 360 version 6.0, Norton Internet Security 2012, Norton Internet Security for Mac, Norton Mobile Security and 25GB of online storage.
Each of these tools is available on their own, too. So while this package offers a good range of products for the price (with some overlap - Norton 360 version 6.0 includes Norton Internet Security 2012, for example) it is not all that Symantec is offering with Norton One.
Symantec is keen to highlight that the price you pay for Norton One - £100 in the UK and $150 in the US, for a year, for protection for up to five interchangeable devices with the option to add more - is not a subscription, but more of a membership.
This is because customers who purchase Norton One not only get the products mentioned above, but also a personalised experience where customer's individual needs are acknowledged. Rather than just a customer with a number, you're treated as a person with a unique setup. A history of your virus problems is easily at hand for the experts (known as Norton One Advisors) to quickly bring up if you contact them, so they can help easily identify your situation.
Priority support is also given. With priority support included in the membership you should not have to wait any longer than two minutes at any time to speak to an advisor on the phone.
It's an intriguing proposition - Symantec seems to be moving away from the traditional antivirus business model to one more akin to a membership of a roadside assistance company such as the AA or RAC.
There's no denying that there is a lot of great antivirus software included with Norton One. Even on its own Norton 360 v6 is a fantastic product that covers a lot of bases, with password storage and syncing (Norton Identity Safe), backup features and PC performance tweakers nestling alongside traditional antivirus protection in the guise of Norton Internet Security 2012.
There are enough tools here to keep your computer protected and running well. Thanks to the 25GB of storage that you get with Norton One, the online backup features of Norton 360 v6 are of even more use - as in the standalone version you only get 2GB, while an upgrade to 5GB will cost you a further £29.99 a year. If you're interested in online backup, Norton One's £99/$149 asking price is suddenly looking a lot more reasonable.
Protection for multiple devices is good, and while it might seem initially baffling to include Norton Internet Security 2012 alongside Norton 360 v6, it does make sense, since if you have a laptop or netbook that's in danger of being bogged down with additional features, the option to just install the antivirus part is a welcome one.
The online interface is excellent as well, and lets you easily keep track of what devices you've installed what products on. It's clear and easy to understand, and makes updating and renewing subscriptions very easy.
There's no denying that the £99/$149 a year asking price is a lot. Sure, if you think of it like a monthly membership deal then it only works out at £8.25/$12.50 a month. There is currently no option to pay monthly, although that may change.
Also the Norton Mobile Security package isn't actually that useful. You also get coverage for five devices, but a lot of households will probably have more if you count every laptop, PC and smartphone, so you may find yourself having to splash out to cover more devices.
The products included in Norton One are fast, responsive and most importantly they found and protected our test PC from the threats we threw at it. Norton 360 v6 is a great all-round security package, while recent security threats again Mac has strengthened the case for the case for Norton Internet Security for Mac, but Norton Mobile Security was a bit redundant.
However it was the headline membership perks that really caught our attention.
The fantastic tools aside the phone support was fantastic, with less than a two minute wait and a call back option available for even more convenience. The fact that round the clock instant phone help is included in the price is a massive plus.