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Evolution From Last Year's Norton Security w/Backup: CAN Be Used To Renew For Less! CATCHES Malware Well
on October 17, 2015
Norton Security Premium is the next generation of Norton Security with Backup for 10 devices. The biggest changes for me is the branding on the box. To be sure there are incremental improvements. Norton Security Deluxe is like the older Norton Security for 5 devices. I think this isn't too bad. I like my security software to evolve and improve more than radically change.
Norton Security Premium comes with licensing for 10 devices: Windows, Mac, IOS (iPhone/iPad) and Android. This should be enough for many families but maybe not all. You do not get the same features on all devices. I have Windows and IOS so I'll share my experience with these.
The cloud backup is something use for non-sensitive information only as backup. The identity protection and contact sharing is interesting but are not features I choose to use.
Buying a new subscription is less expensive than renewing an existing one. This is a long pattern with Norton products and buying new can save quite a bit.
Windows Setup (UPDATED):
If you are using this to try to renew, DON'T follow the directions to activate the product at norton.com/setup. Instead login to your control panel and select renew. Select the option that lets you enter a key you already have (this one). Enter the key and if it is compatible with the version you are renewing this key will supersede the expiring key. One caution: wait till the old one is about to expire before plugging in the key so you don't lose your remaining subscription!
IF you followed the activation directions this will be installed as a separate product subscription and you will need to do the following:
**NOTE** If you have Norton Security (with or without backup) installed and you get this new subscription you may need to remove your device from the Norton control panel. In theory this will uninstall the older product from your computer (but not remove the IOS app for iPhone/iPad devices).
Installation is pushed out of the Norton account control panel. AFTER I removed old versions I was able to install Norton Security Premium very easily and without problems. I registered the product in my existing Norton account to activate 10 devices I could install. The download went smoothly and installation on my Windows 7 desktop was faster than with older CD based Norton products and similar to Norton Security with Backup. I did have to restart my computer.
I found it interesting that the installation branding and the control panel branding is still Norton Security with Backup reinforcing my perception of a simple evolution and mostly branding changes.
The controls in the GUI are simple and clear coming from Norton Security with Backup. There are lots of on/off controls to customize how Norton works. There is a small gear icon for settings on the main screen of the GUI and many controls are hidden in there.
In operation on Windows I feel Norton Security is continues to be "noisy" than pre-2015 versions; I don't feel like I'm constantly being marketed to death. It has the same light impact on PC performance as the previous version. This is a very good thing! The initial full scan came up clean which is no surprise ince I had last year's version installed before this one.
Application Compatibility Problems:
Unlike last year's version I have had no application compatibility problems. Last year's version has issues with VirtualBox. Good news!
The IOS app is better than before, but not all that much. It has two features: anti-theft and cloud backup. It does not include any virus protection. The Anti-Theft features include:
1) locate your phone: this placed my iPhone 6 a quarter mile away!! Also letting it run GPS in the background significantly reduced my battery life.
2) it can ring your phone: I can just dial the number. If the phone is locked it can't be answered...
3) it has a "scream" function: makes your iPhone put out an annoying siren like noise
It has cloud backup (doesn't Apple offer this too?) to backup your contacts and share them.
If the "scream" actually sounded like a scream this app would at least have some entertainment value. If you have more devices than the 10 allowed in this product, don't waste one on an IOS device! The IOS does not do much for me and the GPS locator drained my battery. I have read that Android devices have better support against malware. I don't have an android device to try this out.
If you have last years (or older versions) of Norton installed and want this to be a renewal, DON'T FOLLOW THE ACTIVATION DIRECTIONS!
If you have gone through norton.com/setup, be sure to remove your device from the Norton control panel and device before installing the new version. I could not find a way to move a device from an old subscription to a new one unless I renewed through the Norton site at a higher price. That's annoying
Because it's a great product for home users, having to reinstall if you buy a new subscription (vs renewing) and the IOS app remains quite limited I'm giving Norton Security Premium 4 stars. It a good product with a few gotchas but worth navigating around them.