Norton Core is officially dead. The AC2600 router with embedded Norton Security launched last year with much fanfare has apparently died due to lack of interest.

GadgetGuy reviewed the Norton Core (review here) and while it was a perfectly adequate $399 AC2600 router the A$17.99 per month subscription at the end of 12 months (for up to 10 devices) was a sticking point.

Another sticking point is that it was exclusive to Harvey Norman and according to our retail spies this mega-retailer lacked the ability to move the expected volumes. In fact, it was so much of a hard sell that less than 12% of the initial stock was sold.

And finally, there is much comment that Norton is a software company, not a hardware company and simply lacked the expertise to play in this field.

The announcement was not made public – users are advised as their one-year subscription expires to move to other Norton software products.

Norton Core

One US dealer published the following – odd, very odd!

We wanted to remind you that Norton by Symantec tech team will be discontinuing the sales of their Norton Core product in January 2019. But they will be aligning their Home and Family protection products with their core competencies and transitioning to a software solution vs. a hardware solution (e.g. Norton Core).

After January 31, 2019, we will discontinue opening service on Norton Core and deactivate all links we will remove all information and relative links about that item from our site(s). Furthermore, as required by Norton by Symantec, we refrain from creating any consumer-facing communication regarding this change due to legal reasons.

BTW, Norton only close the sales of their Norton Core product, but they still provide users with many great products, and most of them are very helpful. Norton security suites cover almost all platforms and devices including PCs, Macs, Androids, iPads and iPhones. Even not all features are available on all platforms.

Norton Australia’s official response to GadgetGuy

“We are discontinuing the hardware production of Norton Core. Nevertheless, our commitment to protection for the Connected Home and Family remains strong. We are in active discussions with potential partners to expand Norton Core into a software-centric solution that will help protect more individuals and families regardless of their router or Internet Service Provider. We are proud of the innovation and hard work that went into Norton Core and look forward to seeing the tremendous technology capabilities and learnings continue to benefit our customers.

“Existing Norton Core Security Plus software subscriptions and hardware warranties will be honoured through their expiration dates. Subscribers will have the option to renew their Norton Core Security Plus subscription through 2020. Software and Subscription support is available for three years from the end of sale date. Hardware product warranties are valid two years from date of purchase.”

What to do?

Norton state the device will have ongoing software updates and you can pay for an extra years software renewal in 2020. If you are happy with that and paying for the update then that is great.

If you are not – in Australia, the Australian Consumer Law protects you so can take the product back NOW and demand a refund. If you get any angst just remind Harvey Norman of your ACL rights.

Why?

We spoke to another hardware security vendor, and they were very frank.

“We sold a lot of Internet home network security devices (not routers) with a one-year software renewal. As those subscriptions expire, fewer than 20% renew. We now offer that product without a subscription for about 30% of the original cost and then let you choose monthly, annual, or two-year software packages. The latter costs around the original price of the product with 12 months subscription. We hope that consumers will value the service even more, but it is clear that expensvie bundles hardware/software subscription packages don’t work here.”

At the D-Link D-Fend AC2600 router with McAfee launch, a company representative said that the high cost of subscriptions was the main reason that some other security embedded routers lacked sales appeal. He commented that the D-Link $499 router had nearly $900 worth of McAfee software in it and a five-year licence meant that the average user probably would have upgraded to another router by then.

We think it’s a shame that Norton Core is dead. We suspect however we will see a raft of routers with embedded security and perhaps more palatable subscriptions soon.