Norton 360 2013 is Symantec's full-featured security suite.
You get a powerful antivirus engine with strong real-time protection; browsing tools keep you safe online; there's a spam filter, password manager, online backup tool, PC optimiser and integration with parental controls, amongst other goodies.
What's new? The interface has been reorganised just a little, made easier to use on touch systems, while hardware acceleration support should make it a little more responsive. And if you install the system under Windows 8 then you should be able to access and control Norton 360 via a Metro app.
There are improvements in protection, too, although they're mostly out of sight. The Insight file reputation database is now updated more rapidly, for instance; Insight technology has been incorporated into the firewall to "improve the ability to detect and block malicious network activity"; SONAR now works in Safe Mode to detect more threats via their behaviour; and the suite can work with new Windows 8 technology which allows it to launch earlier in the boot process, so better protecting you from rootkits, malicious drivers and similar low-level threats.
And in a relatively minor (though still useful) tweak, Norton 360 actually downloads and installs Norton Power Eraser for you. And as a result, if a scan completes, and you follow the "If you think there are still risks, click here" link, you're not left to sort things out yourself: you're able to launch Norton Power Eraser with a click to (hopefully) find and remove any particularly stubborn threats.
The other addition this time is what Symantec call "Bandwidth Monitoring", which they say "will help consumers avoid costly data overage fees by limiting non-critical updates on bandwidth sensitive networks". This seems to be represented by a new setting (Settings > My Network > Network Cost Awareness) which allows you to set a policy to govern how the program uses a particular network connection. Options are "No Limit" (do what you want), "No Traffic" (don't use this connection at all), or "Economy": if this is some expensive 3G connection, say, Norton 360 will use it only to download the most critical program and virus definition updates.
Put it all together and the new release represents a significant improvement for Windows 8 users, more of a gently incremental change for everybody else.
Build 20.4 adds these fixes/changes:
- Fixed compatibility issue with Malwarebytes.(link)
- Fixed an issue where Safe web annotations were not appearing for google.com (US Google only) (threads 1 , 2, 3, 4).
- Corrected issue where Intrusion Prevention was showing as off (stays on) if you opened Norton Antispam from Outlook.
- Norton Zone widget has been added to the main product page (English Only).
- Norton Safe Web widget has been removed from the main product page (Safe Web will remain as part of the Browser).
- Fixed visiblity of buttons in high contrast mode.
- Fixed an issue where the Scan Items tab scroll bar was not appearing
Windows 8 users will get the most from this Norton 360 release, but there are smaller and still worthwhile improvements for everybody else, and if you're interested in the program then it's still worth a look.