The Norton Core is a sleek and modern home router with built-in security features. Find out everything you need to know about the Norton Core today in our review.
What is the Norton Core?
Norton is best-known for its antivirus software – like the software that used to deliver annoying pop-ups to your desktop every few minutes. But a new device called the Norton Core wants to shift the focus to Norton’s hardware.
The Norton Core, which debuted at CES 2017, is Norton’s firm home router. At first glance, it looks like something straight out of a sci-fi movie. It’s a spherical, volleyball-sized device with triangle shapes around the outside. The base of the device features all of the ports you would see on a conventional router. It also comes in a nifty titanium gold or granite gray color.
What makes the Norton Core different from the dozens of other wireless routers on the market? Well, Norton wants to capitalize on the growing importance of cyber security. Their router comes with built-in security features that aim to protect you from the dangers of the internet.
Is the Norton Core the right choice for your home internet security? Let’s take a closer look at its features and tech specs.
How Does the Norton Core Work?
The Norton Core promises to protect you in a way that conventional antivirus software cannot: instead of just protecting one or two computers with built-in software, the router protects your entire home – or at least, all of the internet-connected devices in your home.
We live in a world where we don’t just connect our computers or smartphones to the wireless router: we connect our fridges, our TVs, our Chromecasts, and our tablets to the internet as well. Nobody wants to get their fridge hacked, and that’s the market Norton is appealing to.
With that in mind, the Norton Core specifically claims to protect up to 20 devices simultaneously connected to your network (Norton didn’t explain what happens when you connect more than 20 devices to your network).
Those 20 devices can include Windows computers, Macs, phones, tablets, and internet-of-things devices (like your smart fridge).
Where does this “security” come from? Well, Norton claims that the Norton Core is backed by a team of security experts “who are constantly analyzing and eliminating cybersecurity attacks worldwide”, as explained by CNET.
You get one year of this ongoing security protection for free with your Norton Core purchase. After that one year is up, you’ll pay $99 per year.
The router, just like antivirus software, will get regular updates keeping it protected against the latest cyber security threats.
That’s important: most routers today don’t get updated against the latest threats. To update your router, you need to update the firmware – something the vast majority of users ignore doing. With the Norton Core, this problem is a thing of the past.
Another key feature of the Norton Core is that it can detect when an infected device is connected to your network, and then it will isolate that device from the rest of your ecosystem to prevent the infection from spreading.
You can control and monitor all of this activity using a mobile app. That mobile app also lists your “Security Score”, which is a rating of how well your home is protected from cybersecurity threats.
Norton Core Features
Most of the features below are available via the mobile app.
-Pause the network for specific devices, like if you want to disable your son’s tablet access to make sure he goes to bed
-Monitor your network via the mobile app and see a list of online threats that the router has blocked
-View your home’s current safety level, based on its perceived vulnerability to online threats
-Set bed times for certain devices via the app, which deactivates the broadband connection for that device
-Guess access, allowing you to create guest networks within the app at the touch of a button
Norton Core Tech Specs
-6” x 6” x 5” (15 x 15 x 13 cm)
-Dual-core 1.7GHz processor
-4GB flash memory
-4×4 AC2600 Wi-Fi standard
-Top speed of 2.5 Gbps per second (5GHz band) and up to 800Mbps (2.4GHz band)
-Covers a home approximately 3,000 to 5,000 square feet
-Four Gigabit LAN ports (provides wired internet access)
-Phased-array antenna design with beamforming
Norton Core Pricing
The Norton Core is currently available to preorder at a price of $200.
The final retail price will be $280.
You can purchase the Norton Core in either Titanium Gold or Granite Grey.
Your purchase price includes a one year subscription to Norton’s security protection service, called Norton Core Security Plus. After that first year is up, you’ll pay $99 per year. That price covers the ongoing security updates, constant security threat monitoring, etc.
Should You Buy the Norton Core?
Obviously, protecting your home’s entire internet at the router level isn’t a new concept. Most recently, we saw Asus team up with Trend Micro to offer a similar service on its high-end routers. However, the Norton Core is the first device that offers comprehensive protection at a price that’s within reach for homeowners.
The Norton Core is also easy for homeowners to use – even if you have minimal tech skills. You can open the mobile app to easily monitor your network at any time and see a list of online threats that the router recently blocked. You can track the safety score of your home to see how vulnerable you are to new threats. You can even pause your internet for specific devices – which might be useful if you want your kid to get off their tablet before bed.
Ultimately, the Norton Core is a powerful home router that comes with a distinctive, futuristic-looking design. It’s an ideal solution for homes that have diverse internet needs or a lot of connected devices. If you don’t mind paying $200 for a home router, and then $99 per year after the first year, then the Norton Core is an effective way to protect your home’s internet protection.