The three-PC license package has become the norm for security suite vendors, but that’s just not enough anymore. A modern household likely uses a mix of PCs, Macs, and mobile devices of different kinds. For $99 per year, a subscription to Norton 360 Multi-Device (formerly known as Norton 360 Everywhere) lets you install full-scale security protection on up to five PCs, Macs, or Android devices (iOS devices get partial protection).
As with McAfee LiveSafe, subscription management is handled in an online console. You can download and install the product on the computer you’re using, or send a link to install it on a different device. Conveniently, the management page displays QR codes for easy installation on Android or iOS devices.
Protect All the Devices
When you activate Norton on a PC, you get the Premier edition of Editor’s Choice Norton 360 (2014). Do read my review of this product for full details. Briefly, it includes top-notch antivirus, antispam, antiphishing, and firewall protection, plus a host of other useful security features.
The basic suite offers 2GB of hosted online backup; going for Premier raises that to 25GB. Given that a three-license subscription for Premier costs the same as Norton 360 Multi-Device’s five licenses, there’s really no reason for an all-PC household to buy Premier unless it’s on sale.
Norton Internet Security for Mac (2014) costs $79.99 for a single license, so getting Mac protection as part of Norton 360 Multi-Device is also a good deal. This suite includes a full-powered antivirus that can scan on demand but also checks all files entering the device, including attachments in email and instant messages. A two-way firewall and antiphishing round out its feature set. Note that backup is not a feature of the Mac suite.
Norton Mobile Security 3.6 (for Android) includes all the features you’d expect in a mobile security product. In addition to antimalware and antitheft features, it can block dangerous Web pages and make an online backup of your contacts. The antitheft component includes an unusual feature called Sneak Peek, which lets you capture a photo from the front-facing camera.
As for iOS devices, they don’t get the same level of protection. Norton Mobile Security – Lost Phone Finder (for iPhone) can back up your contacts, track your device’s location online, and trigger a loud alarm to find a lost device. That’s it. Using one of your five licenses to install the iOS product doesn’t seem very cost-effective.
You log in to the Norton Management console to add new devices or manage your existing installations. There’s not a lot you can do here, though. You can’t remote-control your installations the way you can with Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete (2014), for example. The console in Kaspersky Internet Security – Multi-Device is similar to Norton’s.
Norton Management does include a menu that offers access to a host of other Norton services, most of them free. To track a lost or stolen mobile device, you’ll use this menu to reach the Mobile Security online console. Another menu choice lets you connect with your online backups.
Other free tools accessible through this menu include: Norton Family (parental control), Norton Safe Web (website reputation), Norton ConnectSafe (secure DNS service), Norton Identity Safe (password management), and Norton Zone (file sharing). There’s also a link to the non-free Norton Anti-Theft laptop protection; note that McAfee LiveSafe includes this feature at no extra cost.
Not So Flexible
McAfee LiveSafe and Bitdefender Sphere both let you install protection on every device you own. Norton 360 just allows five installations, and if you have six devices you’ll have to purchase another full license. Norton 360 is an Editors’ Choice, but Norton Mobile for Android isn’t. Protection for Macs lags behind PC protection, and the iOS version is seriously feature-limited.
What it boils down to is this: If you need a security suite for three to five PCs, Norton 360 Multi-Device is an excellent choice, and quite a bargain. But if you require more flexibility and protection for more devices, stick with Editors’ Choice McAfee LiveSafe.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc