Hands-on review: Norton360 for Gamers
Ah, Norton my old friend, it's been some time since our rather heated argument about the number of notifications you send me on the daily and your instance that I upgrade to premium… Well, plot twist I have, and it's time to see if you're worth it.
As you may be able to tell by that rather self-centred monologue I haven't always seen eye to eye with Norton's particular brand marketing, for some time it came as a standard install on PCs and well one of the first things I'd do is remove it and replace it with a free antivirus that won't ping me every 15 minutes about something or another.
Well as fate would have it Norton has finally made its way onto my Omen gaming laptop for this review of its Norton360 for Gamers premium subscription. In this review, I'll be going over what this antivirus can do compared to free alternatives if it's worth the price and whether or not the notifications are still incessant.
On the surface, Norton360 for gamers promises some pretty impressive features that I will admit got me excited. From gaming, power boosts to dark web threat protection it all sounds pretty darn impressive. So to give you a better idea of what sets this program apart from free antiviruses I'll go over some of the standout features.
What Norton360 for Gamers brings to the table:
Dark Web Monitoring - To help protect your personal information from being accessed by hackers, Norton monitors the dark web and will notify you they find any articles containing login credentials such as usernames or email addresses.
Game Optimiser - Norton GO aims to enhance your PC performance by cutting back the amount of processing power background apps use, meaning your games will get more of that precious CPU space.
50 GB Cloud Backup - You can backup parts of your PC on Norton's cloud, however, the 50 GB backup limit, in my opinion, is a bit small for gamers considering your average game comes in at 30+ GBs these days.
Notification Optimisation - The app will only notify you if it detects you are under attack, your protection is at risk, or you aren't using a feature you're entitled to use. It's like they read my mind about my least favourite part of the product in the past, fewer notifications and more control over product - service reminders are a welcome addition.
Secure VPN - I will admit having a built-in VPN was one of the big selling points for me. Before I was using my free antivirus and a separate VPN, having it all bundled into one package means I have one less subscription to worry about.
PC SafeCam - This is another fun one, we've all had that thought in the back of our head at some point, ‘is my webcam on?'. Most of the time it's not of course, however, with the SafeCam feature those fears can finally be laid to rest.
Password Manager - Like with the VPN, it's nice to have featured on a single platform. I don't use password managers very often, since I don't like storing my passwords anywhere but in my brain, but if I did I'm sure this feature would come in handy.
So, it's packed with features, that much is evident. I'm also happy to say that I really like the UI, it doesn't feel like I'm trying to hack into a 1980's NASA computer, during setup everything is very intuitive and for the most part, worked just fine (barring a server error during install).
Now to the part I most wanted to talk about, the Notification Optimiser, a bit of letdown to be honest. I was expecting to be able to fine-tune my settings in the app and just turn everything except the ‘your PC is about to blow up' setting off. Sadly, I couldn't find the option in the settings section. When pop-ups did inevitably happen I was able to turn them off after they already interrupted me. Oh, Norton you sneaky, sneaky antivirus.
Another big sticking point is the price, the software comes in at NZ$105 - NZ$155 for a year's worth of the licence. It's a bit steep but in my opinion might still be worth it, especially when you take into account that you can axe your other VPN sub - password manager sub.
Overall I was pleasantly surprised by Norton360 for Gamers, it's packed with features and well worth getting if you find yourself bogged down with a disparate array of internet security programs.