Yesterday Symantec announced a new multi platform security product called Norton One. Instead of buying antivirus software just for computers, and then another product for your phone and another for your tablet etc, Norton One can protect your Windows computers, Macs, Android smartphones and Android tablets – one purchase that uses a single license for all the devices.
Norton One is not the first ‘universal’ security package – Kaspersky beat them to market last November with their ONE Universal Security package which I reviewed here.
Security of Android devices in particular is a growing concern although, with the launch of Google Bouncer (announced last week), Google took a swipe at antivirus companies who have been increasingly alarmist about Android malware:
“Between the first and second halves of 2011, we saw a 40% decrease in the number of potentially-malicious downloads from Android Market. This drop occurred at the same time that companies who market and sell anti-malware and security software have been reporting that malicious applications are on the rise”.
Suggesting that antivirus companies might be misleading the public to create a new market for their Universal security products…
Norton One Features
- Single Account ID: with single activation key for safe management and Web access
- Multiple Devices: covers Windows computers, Macs, and Android phones and tablets – even across multiple households. Note: does not include Windows Mobile/Symbian/Blackberry
- Premium Support: preferential treatment with access to dedicated Norton One Advisers in two minutes or less
- Protection: Norton One offers a choice of Norton 360 version 6.0, Norton Internet Security 2012, Norton Internet Security for Mac or Norton Mobile Security depending on the device
- Online storage: 25GB included
- Virus Protection Assurance: Norton One Support Advisers will remove any malware on customers’ devices at no additional charge, as long as your Norton One account is active (* see note below)
* Note: as the owner of a computer repair business who spends a lot of time removing malware, I personally doubt that Norton Advisers will be able to remove complex viruses remotely (by controlling your computer over the internet).
For a start, remote access is simply not possible in cases where viruses block internet access – and the time it would take to remove complex multiple viruses or rootkits remotely is simply too great. I suspect that in many cases the advice will be to perform a factory restore to completely wipe the computer and start from scratch, thereby (almost) guaranteeing removal.
Norton One Licensing
Norton One covers five interchangeable devices and offers pro-rated pricing to add more devices if required.
Norton One Pricing
$149.99 for 1 year. As a comparison, Kaspersky’s ONE Universal Security only costs about $63 at Amazon: Kaspersky One: 5 Devices, 1 year – without the online storage but with the addition of Windows Mobile/Symbian/Blackberry smartphone protection.
Norton One Availability
Available from March 22, 2012 in the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. You can sign up with Symantec to receive details on how to become a Norton One member here.
Such an all-in-one type of security product is a solution that all the other major antivirus companies will no doubt be adopting soon. The only surprise is that this type of product has taken so long to appear – the explosion in popularity of tablets and smartphones was always guaranteed to lure the big boys into the market.
Norton One covers Android phones only but otherwise offers similar features to Kaspersky ONE Universal Security and adds 25GB online storage, easy management of licensing, premium support and a promise to ‘remove’ any viruses for free.
Whilst it is hugely expensive in comparison, a lot depends on how seamless the licensing integration is and how good the support advisers are – which we can’t assess yet before the product is launched.
If you’ll forgive the pun – it’s One to keep an eye on.