Symantec Norton 360 – Reviewed – Resource Hog Or Not?

Well the article I wrote back on April 2, 2007 [here] about Symantec and their Norton products must of struck a nerve, since the comments that were received were all anti-Norton. Except one. One comment suggested that the new Norton 360 software was better tamed and less of a resource hog and worked very well. I thought this was an interesting comment and since I haven’t used the Norton 360 software, I put it on my list of projects.

So on the 10th of April I went to Symantec’s site to download a trial ware version of Norton 360 and thought I would try it out on Vista Ultimate. The process to obtain trial ware is to enter your email address and a link is sent to you. I used my Gmail address and Google picked up the message from Symantec as spam. Is there something that Google knows that I don’t? LOL

Anyway the download is fairly hefty and weighs in at about 49.2 MB. On my Vista system I am using AVG-Free, Windows Defender and Windows Firewall for protections. I had previously tried Microsoft’s Windows Live One Care but it was a total resource hog and bogged my system down so I dumped it. Norton 360 installed quickly and I was up and running in no time. The first thing the software did was look for updates which it installed automatically. Oh, no reboot was required.
Norton 360 incorporates anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-phishing components and the ability to back up and restore crucial files. Online storage is included with the paid version for up to 2G of data. There is also a component for disk defragging of your system which also removes temporary files and is done while your system is idle. The times for these processes to occur can be set by the user.

OK. I could go on about other features that this software has, but I think readers here want to know the bottom line. Is this a resource hog? IMHO – yes. I purposely set some of the functions to happen when I wanted to use the system i.e., virus scan. The system peaked out the cpu usage at 100% and memory use shot up as Norton 360 gobbled up resources. Surfing the Internet was impossible as the system got bogged down.

There was one thing that was really obvious. Both Norton 360 and Microsoft’s Windows Live One Care are almost identical in features and performance. While beta testing Windows Live One Care, I sent a suggestion to the beta team. I felt the software was to simple and didn’t allow the user [tweaker] to make adjustments that I normally like to do. The same holds true for Norton 360. This software is designed specifically for those who do not want to get involved and just want the software to work.

But for the nerds in the bunch, the big question remains. Is it a total 100% resource hog? Nope. Compared to Norton Internet Security, this product is timid in its use of resources. During normal operations Norton 360 performed well and I noted no major performance hits except as noted. With this in mind, I liked Norton 360 overall. But like Windows Live One Care, I personally wouldn’t use it. I would recommend it for Aunt Tilly since it is a no brainer and easy to use. 🙂
This is set and forget software.
Comments welcome.

[tags]symantec, norton, 360, review, [/tags]