Symantec today launched the latest version of its Norton 360 internet security and PC performance software suite. Norton 360 v6 is the first version of Norton 360 to be compatible with Windows 8. Norton 360 v6 costs £59.99 inc VAT for up to 3 PCs with a 2GB backup allowance, and £69.99 inc VAT for up to 5 PCs with 25GB.

The Norton engine recently came top in an internet security software test and, according to a recent PassMark test it is among the least resource hungry security suites around. But it would need to be at those prices, which are at the top of the range for security software. However, Norton 360 offers much more than the standard suite, so Symantec says. See also: Group test: what's the best security software?

Symantec's Norton Product Expert Jatinder Shetra told PC Advisor in an interview that key improvements in this version of Norton 360 include the adoption of the Norton Management interface. This cloud-based management module can also be found in Symantec Norton Internet Security 2012. It offers remote, web-based management of both your PC and your security software. This in turn means you can check your Norton account details, download and install (or uninstall) software, and check the security status of your PC, all from anywhere you have a web connection. See also: Norton 360 Everywhere 'protects PC, smartpone and Mac'.

Norton Management

Norton Management offers remote access to your software

Norton 360 v6 also includes 'Indetity Safe', another NIS 2012 feature. This virtual locker is a place for you to store logins and password details for all your online accounts and services, accessible from a simple web interface from anywhere with a connection. Shetra told us that the Identity Safe has been improved and the user experience streamlined. See also: Norton One pilot launches.

Shetra was also keen to promote the virtues of Download Insight. This aspect of Norton 360 offers information on software downloads before the user installs them. Intriguingly, Shetra told us that in Norton 360 v6 Download Insight offers more than seciroty information, giving the user a steer as to how stable a program might be, for instance. This information, Shetra told us, is sourced from a combination of Symantec's user community feedback and expert testing, in much the same way that the Anti-Phishing web-browsing tool does.

Norton Identity Safe

Norton Identity Safe

Norton 360 helps users to preserve bandwidth, Shetra said. The new Bandwidth Awareness tool allows 360 users to set rules for what their web connection can be used for. You may decide, for instance, to install only 'critical' updates when you are using a 3G connection. Other improvements that Symantec is claiming for version 6 of Norton 360 include faster and easier to navigate backups and automatic error recovery.

Symantec Norton 360 v6 is available today from the Norton website.