Norton Core Secure WiFi Router Review
by Madi M.
Posted on Thursday, October 19, 2017
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Norton is one of the most well-known and trusted names in cyber-security. Now they are venturing into the world of hardware components with the Norton Core Secure WiFi Router. The Norton Core™ truly is the future of WiFi. It router that boasts impressive speeds along with advanced levels of security and control all while being aesthetically pleasing and easy to use.
The Norton Core™ takes into account the trends towards homes with several Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as smart thermostats and WiFi connected printers, as well as families with several users at different ages. All it really takes is one compromised baby monitor or accessing one malicious website or file for a hacker to gain access to sensitive information or worse-yet, control over an entire home network. Norton Core™ uses traffic monitoring along with Norton’s award-winning security software to protect devices and keep home networks safe. Although this is a new type of device by Norton, the company is still doing what it does best: creating options for the everyday web user to stay up to speed with modern technology while staying protected from web-based threats.
Cost and Setup:
The cost of the Norton Core™ puts it in the same range as other routers with comparable features, but by no means is it the most expensive. For $279.99, buyers get a physical router attractive enough to be displayed. It also includes:
- Beamforming antenna
- Dual band support
- Support for speeds up to 2.5 Gbps
- IoT device protection
- Mobile app for network control and management
- Complimentary one-year subscription to Norton Core Security Plus
Norton Core Security Plus has the same features as Norton Security Premium, Norton’s most advanced security product, but without a device limit.
After the first-year, the security features can be renewed at a rate of $9.99 per month. Without renewal, Norton Core™ will continue to work as a router, but the security features will no longer function. Unfortunately, this otherwise professional-grade router lacks VPN protection, but that may be remedied by adding Norton WiFi Privacy, Norton’s VPN solution, for $49.99 annually.
Compared to most routers, the process of setting up the Core is relatively painless. Simply download the Norton Core app, available on Android and iOS, and create a Norton account. The Core communicates with the app on your phone via Bluetooth and takes just a few minutes to walk through the steps of configuring the wireless network then updating itself to get up and running.
Using Norton Core™:
One of the best features of the Core is its clean, simple, intuitive mobile user-interface (UI) that makes everything easy to find and adjust. The main screen features a security score and other important stats such as speed and connected devices. The app also allows profiles to be setup for individual users based on which devices they use. The personal profiles can also be used to set parental controls and daily time limits for each person. The same settings can be controlled on specific devices even if they are not connected to a particular person’s profile. Also, in the Devices menu, the internet can be paused on the entire network with one setting. The Core app can also create guest networks that can be set with a time limit. Once the time is expired, simply use the app to extend the usage period or get rid of that network access altogether.
The beam-forming technology of the Core comes from a tower inside the sphere that has 4 dual-band antennae positioned to provide coverage in every direction. The Core can focus its signal wherever users are detected, and the app allows users to determine which devices on the network should have priority over others.
Privacy, Security, and Protection:
The Security Score that is featured on the main page of the Core mobile app will change based on threats identified. It will also offer advice on how to improve the security score. The app also displays the number of threats that have been identified and blocked on devices connected to the network. You can even see each device that is connected to the network and disable access for any device that is not recognized or seems to pose a threat as identified by Norton Core™.
Another notable feature is the ability to quarantine devices that show suspicious behavior. Sometimes, hackers may use a smart device in the home to access information transmitted over the home network. so if the Core sees something unusual, such as a smart TV communicating with a thermostat, it can quarantine the device onto a separate network and restrict access until you decide what to do about the suspicious activity.
The best security feature of the Norton Core™ is the availability of Norton Core Security Plus for an unlimited number of devices.
Notable Features of NCS+:
- Defense against ransomware, viruses, spyware, malware and other online threats
- Protection of finances and personal information
- Premium family safety features
- Includes 25GB of secure cloud storage
- Secures PCs, Macs, tablets, phones, and IoT/ smart devices
- 100% guarantee to keep your devices virus-free
IoT and smart devices make it easy to control every aspect of one’s home in beneficial ways. When added to the fact that almost every family member has at least web-connected device, home networks are becoming attractive targets for hackers and other “bad guys.” The Norton Core Secure WiFi Router makes it easy to enjoy the conveniences of modern life while staying protected from online and web-based threats.