Norton Core adds security to a router

Norton Core

Norton has released the Norton Core – a Wi-Fi AC2600 router that runs Norton Core Security Plus software. This means everything, whether a computer or IoT device attached to it has protection.

The Norton Core (Australian website here) is Norton’s first piece of consumer hardware according to Mark Gorrie, Director, Norton Business Unit at Symantec Pacific.

“We have had requests to load our Security software on third-party routers, but it was a compromise. Core has been designed to have the processing headroom to run Norton Security. It has been available for nearly a year in the US. It is ready for global use,” he added.

Hardware wise it is housed in a matte silver (or Gold) geodesic 78-sided dome style that allows room for

Norton Core

  • Wi-Fi AC2600
  • 4 x 4 MU-MIMO Wave 2 antenna
  • Dual band 2.4GHz (800Mb/s) and 5GHz (1733Mb/s)
  • Supports secure Guest Network and device prioritisation
  • Bluetooth LE (to communicate with an Android or iOS smartphone to use the Norton Core app for setup and management)
  • 1.7GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 4GB eMMC storage
  • Auto firmware update – no user intervention
  • Gigabit WAN port (for connection to an NBN Gateway or ADSL/VDSL modem router)
  • Three Gigabit LAN ports
  • Two USB 3.0 ports (only for cable – limited room for physical USB drive)
  • Size: 152 x 152 x 127mm/Weight: 600g
  • One-year subscription to 10-user Norton Core Security Plus after that $17.99 per month (lower cost annual subscription may be available)
  • One-year warranty
  • Price is $399 and exclusive to Harvey Norman – coming soon

Norton Core

How does Norton Core secure everything?

First, you must understand that all devices connected to it via LAN or Wi-Fi will automatically have

  • Anomaly Detection
  • Automatic Security Updates
  • Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)
  • Vulnerability Assessment
  • Intrusion Detection and Prevention System
  • A security score for your system that shows how protected it is

Norton’s Global Intelligence Network – a security Cloud not found in traditional routers – performs many of these services.

For example, if Norton detects a new attack on a computer, smartphone or smart home IoT, it will automatically download detection and prevention to the Core. If a website becomes poisoned, or a phishing email is detected then ditto.

It is the entire Norton Community working together with AI/machine learning and human curation to protect the greater good.

The ten-user Norton Core Security Plus covers computers and smartphones that are not always in range of the router. This provides end-point security while away from your router.

Control and Management

You control the entire network from an iOS or Android app. For security reasons, you can’t address the router directly. The app monitors upload and download speeds, what devices are online, controls the bandwidth by device and changes settings.

There are also options to set up parental controls, set content filters and control time limits by device.

At the preview, it appeared to be as fully featured as any router software.

GadgetGuy’s take – interesting and should be very secure

When you think about it, Norton Core is an AC2600, very secure router.

On-router security will be the next big thing this year. Many router makers are announcing similar moves with other security vendors.

AC2600 dual band is half the current speed of AC5300 (tri-band 2.4GHz 1000Mb/s, 5GHz 2167Mb/s x 2). Norton Core will cover a 300m2 ‘average’ home with distances up to 30 metres line-of-sight (three rooms away) from the router.

It should work with any range extender, but it is unlikely these will offer seamless roaming via a single SSID sign-on. It will work with Powerline Ethernet-over-Power. Gorrie did mention it will support half-duplex mesh style replication – but we have not seen that device in the U.S.

GadgetGuy will be reviewing this shortly.