Symantec Norton 360 – Reviewed – Resource Hog Or Not?

Well the article I wrote back on April 2, 2007 [here] about Symantec and their Norton products must of struck a nerve, since the comments that were received were all anti-Norton. Except one. One comment suggested that the new Norton 360 software was better tamed and less of a resource hog and worked very well. I thought this was an interesting comment and since I haven’t used the Norton 360 software, I put it on my list of projects.

So on the 10th of April I went to Symantec’s site to download a trial ware version of Norton 360 and thought I would try it out on Vista Ultimate. The process to obtain trial ware is to enter your email address and a link is sent to you. I used my Gmail address and Google picked up the message from Symantec as spam. Is there something that Google knows that I don’t? LOL

Anyway the download is fairly hefty and weighs in at about 49.2 MB. On my Vista system I am using AVG-Free, Windows Defender and Windows Firewall for protections. I had previously tried Microsoft’s Windows Live One Care but it was a total resource hog and bogged my system down so I dumped it. Norton 360 installed quickly and I was up and running in no time. The first thing the software did was look for updates which it installed automatically. Oh, no reboot was required.
Norton 360 incorporates anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-phishing components and the ability to back up and restore crucial files. Online storage is included with the paid version for up to 2G of data. There is also a component for disk defragging of your system which also removes temporary files and is done while your system is idle. The times for these processes to occur can be set by the user.

OK. I could go on about other features that this software has, but I think readers here want to know the bottom line. Is this a resource hog? IMHO – yes. I purposely set some of the functions to happen when I wanted to use the system i.e., virus scan. The system peaked out the cpu usage at 100% and memory use shot up as Norton 360 gobbled up resources. Surfing the Internet was impossible as the system got bogged down.

There was one thing that was really obvious. Both Norton 360 and Microsoft’s Windows Live One Care are almost identical in features and performance. While beta testing Windows Live One Care, I sent a suggestion to the beta team. I felt the software was to simple and didn’t allow the user [tweaker] to make adjustments that I normally like to do. The same holds true for Norton 360. This software is designed specifically for those who do not want to get involved and just want the software to work.

But for the nerds in the bunch, the big question remains. Is it a total 100% resource hog? Nope. Compared to Norton Internet Security, this product is timid in its use of resources. During normal operations Norton 360 performed well and I noted no major performance hits except as noted. With this in mind, I liked Norton 360 overall. But like Windows Live One Care, I personally wouldn’t use it. I would recommend it for Aunt Tilly since it is a no brainer and easy to use. :-)
This is set and forget software.
Comments welcome.

[tags]symantec, norton, 360, review, [/tags]

Article Written by

I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.

  • Brian

    Do you use Defender in Vista with all its checks active, or do you disable some of them? And if you run the full boat, do you consider that impactful on the system?

    With some of the overlapping functionality between antispyware and AV (e.g. NOD32) I question the need for Defender at all at this point. I can’t say that I can prove that it’s slowing anything down, but not everything is as obvious as something like Norton.

  • Kevin Bailey

    I have used both and while watching my ram usage and AMD Sempron 3300, WLOC uses much less in the line of resources than Norton 360.
    Results may vary depending on MOBO and ram, as well as processor.
    I am running 2 Gigs PC 400 ram and as I said a 3300+ sempron on a Biostar M7NCG 400.
    I can run anything on my comp while WLOC is running a Tune up and no slow down. On the other hand Norton causes system lag.
    By the way I was running AVG free too, till I downloaded the trial of one care which immediately found 2 worms, 1 virus and some other spyware and such. It cleaned the worms, virus and spyware, no problem. My PC has been running much better since.
    I have been a system builder for 9 years, as well as selling hand made Pool Tables, (Pool Tables Not Relevant just my new web site and second job) and I would recommend win live one care to everyone, after all who knows windows code best, and who best to have a better cleaning program?
    Got tired of having to throw files in a vault because other programs always gave the famous “could not clean” message.
    Just my thoughts, I don’t mean to push em on any one;

  • Ron Schenone

    Hello Kevin,
    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Your comments are appreciated.

    You are not pushing anything on anyone. If WLOC is working for you that is great.


  • Gene D. Noah

    It’s “its”, not “it’s”.

  • Ron Schenone

    Hi Gene,
    Thank you for the correction. :-)
    Regards, Ron

  • Tom Rabeno

    What is the bottom line regarding spyware and anti-virus protection? Does Norton360 or Windows live one care do a better job????

  • Michael Todd

    I recently installed 360 and am having major problems with it hogging resources. My system is bogged down. Unfortunately, I purchased it w/o first testing, so I’m trying to make it work, but as mentioned, not a lot of settings available that I can see…. any ideas, I’d be happy to give them a try!

  • james cook

    Using Norton 360 on acer laptop, whole system became too slow to use.
    Installed 512 MB upgrade, to find that the culprit is Norton’s ccSvcHst.exe process which just hogs more and more resources (Virtual Memory) until the system is unusable again.
    Symantec support next to useless
    Anyone else having this problem (not the ccSvcHst shutdown error – more a ccSvcHst memory leak error)

  • Mike Rankin

    Earlier this month (Dec 2007) I acquired Norton 360 to replace my expired version of internet security 2007. It is as decribed a bad memory hog. In the is2007 the problem was a default setting that automatically ran the anti-virus every time it was updated. After complaining I was told how to change the default. Problem solved. It appears that Symantec “improved” 360 to get rid of this capability. Has anyone found a cure? Symantec support as described is sorry.

  • Andrew Tomashaska

    I have WLOC, as recomended by NETUX Solutions, where I bought my comp. I love the software. I can run my other programs just fine with tune-up in progress, although tune-up takes forever and a day, even with nothing else running.

    Specs: AMD Athlon 64 3500+; 1GB RAM; MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum with NVIDIA NForce 3 Ultra

  • Jim White

    I had WLOC ever since it came out and liked it, never had a problem. But in December I was reading reviews of the 2008 Security Suites in PC Mag. They gave very high reviews and S 360 was Editor’s Choice. I had Norton before and got rid of it because of what it did to my computer. But what the heck, I bought it and installed in in Dec. It was running three weeks when I got infected with the Win32.Netsky worm. I couldn’t believe it. Last week my new PC from Dell came in, XPS 420. I am now trying to decide if I should go back to WLOC or give 360 another chance.

  • sohail20

    wloc is the bets iv tired it runs ver fast even with 128m of ram as for norton i have it installed on another machine with 6gb of ram and to test how much memeory the ccSvcHst.exe used and to my surprise it used 4gb of virtaul ram i took a screenshot of this sent to norton support centre and said that xp sp3 was the problem it has compatibility issue with it amd by the way norotn 360 works fine with vista the ccSvcHst.exe process only uses between 30mb-45 mb of ram and does not use that much ram either..
    so the main thing is that xp sp2 is the problem i tried it i removed sp3 and the problem was solved the ccSvcHst.exe process never went crazy again the main bugging baout this is that you get a constant messageing of to install sp3!!!!
    does anyone knwo how to remove this message or even from notifing me about intalling sp3 again???

  • Gilberto J Perera

    Great post and analysis. You confirmed all of my misgivings about Norton AV suites. I’m glad I’m not the only one that relies on defender and win firewall. Thanks for posting.

  • Adrián Zúñiga Espinoza

    So this new app is not available for iPod Touch 4G!?