We reviewed the first version of Norton 360 back in issue 102 at the end of 2007 and were blown away by the new direction of the software. At that time Norton had a shocking reputation for producing enormously bloated suites that slowed your laptop to a crawl.

Norton 360 turned that around (hence the 360 name) with a compact and slick package that positively zipped along. Version 4.0 continues in the same vein and only requires a tiny 45MB RAM footprint.

Until recently the price of Norton 360 v4.0 was £60, which looked a bit steep despite covering up to three computers. Norton has reduced the price to £48, which brings it into line with the competition, as it includes 2GB of online backup. If you want more, you have to select the Premier Edition which comes with 25GB of backup, but the price is £70.

At first glance, 360 v4.0 looks like a simple piece of software, with its four large user-friendly buttons for PC Security, Identity Protection, Backup Protection and PC Tuneup. After the initial setup, we were faced with four reassuring green 'Protected' legends.

Clicking on any of the buttons opens a new screen to tell you all the good things that Norton is doing behind the scenes. It is all very reassuring. If you mouse over the buttons instead of clicking you'll see a drop-down menu that gives you access to the settings for each section, so you head to Protection to configure the Firewall, or Backup to select the files you wish to protect.

At this point the software takes on a similar appearance to more hardcore packages such as Kaspersky, offering plenty of options. Less experienced users can treat Norton 360 v4.0 as a sealed box, while the more technically able can dive in and reconfigure to their heart's content.

By reducing the price of the 360 v4.0 to bring it in line with the competition, Norton has removed our only potential complaint about this excellent security suite.

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