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Reviewing Norton 360

Finally, Norton realizes computers are for working and not just running anti-virus programs. They slow down the system. They are a complete nuisance, well almost... writes Puneet Mehrotra.

india Updated: Oct 01, 2010 17:18 IST

Finally, Norton realizes computers are for working and not just running anti-virus programs

They slow down the system. They are a complete nuisance, well almost. Click the scan button and the mightiest processor suddenly turns slow. From another perspective anti virus programs may have been about protection but more than that they were like putting a ton of solid iron armor on a person and then asking him to swim.

Well as you can see I am no lover of anti virus programs but all that is an old story. Recently, I tried Norton 360 version 4 and it changed my opinion to a great extent how much has changed and how much can change. Some of the things I found out were quite a breakthrough in terms of technology on the whole which could be an inspiration for many. I am no lover of Norton security. They may be the world leaders in their field but somewhere they have also been responsible for half the inefficiencies at work place for slowed down systems due to their anti virus programs, scans and more. It's hard to believe the same company has come out with a product this is just the opposite of what they used to make in terms of efficiency.

Disc Scan
Get the mightiest computer and press the scan button and guess what it turns slow. This hasn't just been the problem with just anti virus programs. Even non anti-virus prgrams like Google Desktop, which scan your system and do sundry stuff slow down the system to a great extent. Now Norton has managed a feat which I am yet to see anyone else achieveing so far. The new Norton 360 version 4 the disc scan works so smoothly that you don't even come to know if the scan is in progress. This is probably one of the best, the fastest scans ever in computing. It works simply too smoothly for words.

Computer Resources
Anti virus systems may have been anti viruses but they haven't really been pro-processor and pro-computers. They eat up system resources as if the entire purpose of the computer is just running the anti virus programs.

Norton, the same company which earlier delivered system resource eating monsters has now delivered a product which is super easy on resources. In fact some of the minor programs take up more resources than the anti-virus. I wonder why the company couldn't deliver such a resource diet product before though?

Good protection tools
For years whenever I got a new system I searched on Cnet for a Firewall, then another program for registry cleaning and so many more. Norton 360 version 4 gives it all in one. So there is a firewall (which works), there is a registry cleaner, there is a disk optimizer and some cool system tuneup tools.

Online Backup
This is one of the best features. In an age when cloud computing is gaining ground who wants to keep to backup hard disc etc. Norton gives an option for an offline or an online backup. It allows the user to store documents, music, photos or videos directly from their device. Norton 360 users who use online storage can access any of their files from a Web browser and either download it or email a link to friends and family.

Backup restore
While the backup feature is pretty simple one of the areas of improvement Norton should work on is the restore of backup. This can happen in two ways. Firstly the compression ratio needs to be greater so that the file size reduces even more. Even though we are living in times of broadband connectivity but transferring 1 gb or 2 gb does take sometime.

System Restore
Norton does need to work on this front. This needs to be smoother and light. So let's say if some new virus strikes and the system breaks down the entire experience of system restore needs to be smoother and more relaxed.

Overall its probably the only anti virus which understands that the computer is for working and not just scanning viruses. Hopefully other anti-virus makers, hard disc scanners can take cue on preserving system resources from them.

Puneet Mehrotra writes on technology www.thebusinessedition.compuneet@tbe.in