How does Norton 360 for Gamers protect your device?

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Norton 360 for Gamers is a version of the Norton 360 security suite which is specifically aimed at you guessed it - gamers!

But if all you're doing is playing games in the comfort of your own home, why should you need an antivirus tool? In this article, we break down in detail exactly how Norton 360 for Gamers helps to protect your PC, and what additional defenses are present for gamers in particular.

Core antivirus protection

Norton 360 for Gamers gives you the same core defenses against malware as the vanilla Norton 360 internet security suite. To be precise, you receive everything that subscribers to Norton 360 Deluxe get, plus the gaming extras we’ll come onto in the next section.

That includes real-time protection to keep malware off your PC, on-demand scans, heuristics to detect freshly released threats, and dedicated anti-ransomware tech. As we found in our full Norton antivirus review, these combine to provide a very solid level of core protection.

Norton 360 for Gamers

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Norton puts its antivirus money where its mouth is, with the firm’s ‘virus protection promise’ that gives the customer their money back if a device is hit by malware which Norton’s experts can’t remove.

Further protection is provided by some high-quality URL filtering to keep your web browsing safer, and Norton also implements an intelligent firewall. The latter is a very informative firewall that can help you make decisions on untrusted programs which are trying to use your internet connection – this is a pleasingly fresh and useful approach to firewall execution.

Extras, extras…

Those are the main defenses, then, but Norton 360 for Gamers also delivers the security suite extras found in Norton 360 Deluxe. That includes a backup facility with 50GB of cloud storage space, which could come in very handy if things go awry (always back up your important files, no matter how confident you are in the security of your PC). There’s also a password manager and webcam protection.

Another nifty feature is a built-in VPN, which is far from standard with security suites. To be precise, this is Norton Secure VPN and while it might be a relatively basic VPN service, it’s solid enough and a great bundled inclusion adding to the value proposition here.

Using a VPN for gaming helps to protect your privacy and anonymity online, with other benefits such as geo-blocking. That enables you to, say, stream content you wouldn’t otherwise be able to access. A VPN can also help you avoid the likes of DDoS attacks, which can be aimed at you to bog down your internet connection and ruin an online gaming session.

DDoS attack alert showing on a screen

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Dark Web Monitoring keeps an eye out for any of your personal details or data being involved in a data breach, because the knowledge that something has been spilled online can enable you to react quickly and keep your accounts secure.

Finally, those with children will appreciate the parental control system. This is a seriously good package to protect kids when they’re online, with all manner of content filtering and the ability to set time limits on device usage, as well as thorough location tracking facilities to keep tabs on your offspring not just online, but in the real world via GPS too.

Gaming goodies

On top of all the above, Norton 360 for Gamers offers a number of extras targeted specifically at those who enjoy PC gaming. We’ve already touched on the Dark Web Monitoring feature, which with the gaming suite is extended to also cover gamer tags and accounts, helping to keep these safe from exploits by nefarious types who may come across your leaked details.

Gamers running Windows also get the benefit of fewer notifications from Norton, with the suite able to detect when you’re running full-screen apps like games, only interrupting you if something critical happens like your PC being actively under attack.

The biggest gaming-related feature though, is the Game Optimizer. This allows Norton 360 for Gamers to intelligently allocate CPU resources to the game you’re playing in Windows to get better performance.

The caveat is that it doesn’t work with every game, but supports titles run via the Epic Games Store and Steam, plus game launchers from Bethesda, Blizzard, EA (Origin), Rockstar, and Ubisoft (Uplay). And bear in mind that you’ll need a quad-core CPU to use this feature, but most gamers these days will have one of those in their gaming PC.

Norton 360 for Gamers

(Image credit: NortonLifeLock)

How does Norton 360 for Gamers protect your device?

As we’ve seen, Norton 360 for Gamers delivers a whole raft of protection. From its core anti-malware measures (and specialized ransomware and web protection), through to security features like an intelligent firewall and integrated VPN.

That VPN can help defend against the likes of DDoS attacks aimed at gamers (or even the terrible practice of ‘swatting’, which is trying to call in a SWAT team or similar tactical response unit on false pretences), and the Dark Web Monitoring is a great extra to keep all your gaming accounts more secure.

Overall, Norton 360 for Gamers provides a commendable level of all-round protection and some nifty gaming-related extras for Windows users, particularly as Norton claims that its optimization feature can help some games run faster.

It’s well worth considering as a security package for those keen on gaming, with the main compromise compared to Norton 360 Deluxe being that Norton 360 for Gamers only supports three devices, rather than five. Both offerings are pitched at around the same price typically, and at the time of writing, Norton 360 for Gamers is a touch cheaper.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).