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Norton Security 2015
System Performance Score**:
[Editor's Note: Norton is currently offering a $20 - $40 discount on its security software to NextAdvisor.com visitors. To take advantage of this deal, simply click any link to Norton from NextAdvisor.com.]
Norton has recently redesigned its entire security software program to offer a single suite that protects all of your computers and devices for the same price. The cost to protect up to five computers or mobile devices is a flat $44.99/year (with NextAdvisor's discount), making it one of the more affordable multi-device security software suites. If you want to protect more devices and have cloud storage included with your account, you might want to consider purchasing Norton Security with Backup, which costs $49.99/year to protect up to 10 devices. Only looking to protect a single computer? You can save a little money by purchasing single-device protection for $39.99/year. Although the packaging has changed, what's under the hood is more or less the same when it comes to Norton's PC security — which is not necessarily a bad thing.
Like previous years, installation is lightning fast — just a couple of minutes — and, blissfully, does not require you to restart your computer. Upon completion, the software offers a product tour to help get you started. You can skip the tour if you wish.
Norton has redesigned and streamlined its interface, providing a far less confusing user experience than in the past. The bright white and green color scheme is easy on the eyes, and large buttons and navigation ensure optimum usability.
The bottom of the interface is taken up by four large buttons: Security, Identity, Performance and More Norton. Clicking on each of these buttons takes you to different sections of content within the program. You can minimize the navigation by clicking a large green arrow at the right-hand side of the interface. Doing so will give you the ability to view all of the content in a given section.
Norton Security 2015 Interface - Click to enlarge
Security includes the different scans Norton can run on your computer (Quick, Full and Custom), LiveUpdate (which provides updates to ensure your computer is continuously protected against the newest threats), history logs of every action taken by the software and advanced settings. In
addition to the different virus scans Norton offers, the scans section includes a link to let you scan your Facebook wall with Norton's Safe Web Facebook app and the Norton Power Eraser, which uncovers hard-to-find problems.
Identity is home to the Identity Safe feature, as well as statistics about the information you save in your identity vault and a password generator that helps you come up with strong passwords. You can also view and change settings for Norton's identity protection features. The Identity Safe lets you create a secure password to a virtual vault that stores all of your logins, credit card information and other personal data for secure shopping, banking and browsing
Performance contains several computer optimization features, including Disk Optimization (a standard disk defragmenter), File Cleanup (finds and deletes temporary files), Startup Manager (manages which programs run automatically when your computer is turned on to help improve startup time) and Graphs (view real-time and historical graphics of your PC's performance).
More Norton links you to the extra features that Norton has to offer. Add Devices opens up a walk-through for installing the program to another computer or mobile device. Identity Safe has links for downloading the free mobile app to iOS and Android devices. Manage takes you to your online account so you can manage your subscription and account information. Family lets you activate the parental control features that come with Norton Security — you can also upgrade to Norton Family Premier for $49.99/year if you want more advanced parental controls.
Likewise, Backup is a link to upgrade to include 25 GB of online cloud storage for PCs with your Norton Security multi-device protection. If you are planning to purchase the program with backup, you will want to do it from the start rather than upgrade — the cost is the same ($89.99/year). However, Norton Security with Backup covers 10 devices, as opposed to five with Norton Security.
Overall, the interface is easy to navigate. Settings can be turned on and off with a simple toggle switch, and when you click to open up a section of features it pops up into a new window so you don't have to navigate backwards. If you are confused about what a setting or feature does, clicking the question mark icon to the right of it will bring up a help article on Norton's website with detailed information.
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