Symantec today released the first public beta of the latest edition of its do-everything security suite, Norton 360 5.0.
The program contains everything you’ll find in our A-Listed Norton Internet Security 2011: powerful antivirus with strong real-time protection;an intelligent firewall; a configurable spam filter; capable parental controls; antiphishing and other browsing detection tools; password manager, and other identity protection tools.
Norton 360 then adds a full-strength backup tool, with 2GB of secure online storage. And PC Tuneup automatically detects and fixes problems that could slow down your PC.
What’s new? The interface has been redesigned a little, and mostly to good effect – it’s generally easier to find the functions and features you need (a smart move in a suite that has so many).
Most of the improvements are to the underlying technologies, though. So Download Insight is now better at spotting dodgy downloads than it used to be; Sonar 3.0 improves the program's ability to detect even brand new, previously undiscovered threats; and System Insight 2.0 does a good job of highlighting resource-hogging programs that are slowing down your PC.
Symantec says its also concentrated on reducing Norton 360′s own resource requirements, and our first impressions are that it's succeeded. Betas are usually bulkier than the finished product, yet even with the program’s interface open, Norton 360 required less than 25MB of RAM on our test PC.
But there are also still bugs, though – exactly as you’d expect from a beta – and we found the program locked up occasionally, for reasons we’ve yet to figure out. So if you’re interested in Norton 360, or full-featured security suites in general, then this is worth installing – but be careful. The program isn’t yet entirely reliable, and you shouldn’t install it on any PC that isn’t regularly backed up.
This article originally appeared at softwarecrew.co.uk