The August 2018 Main Meeting
Tonight, Glen Whichello made a welcome return to demonstrate the new Norton Core.
Glen started with some simple questions like “How many devices do you have?”
“How do you use your devices?” and “How do you connect them?” Most of the group had, a smartphone, a laptop, a notebook or tablet, and a desktop PC. Those devices can be protected by installing some form of Anti-virus protection such as Norton Internet Security, but most of the group also had a smart TV. Glen also asked “What about protecting it from hacking?”
He spoke about the growth in connected devices. In 2017 it’s estimated that there were fourteen million connected devices in Australia.
What sort of devices are being connected? Glen gave us an overview, starting with the connected home. We now see wireless door bells, Burglar alarms and video monitors, air conditioners and thermostats, and smart light systems along with connected appliances.
Then we have the “usual suspects”, the smart TV, the streaming devices like Apple and Telstra TV, along with gaming consoles and the latest craze, the smartwatch.
Now here’s the problem Glen noted. You can’t load an antivirus on those devices. Once you connect the device to your internet service it’s vulnerable to attack. These connected devices can be subject to “Man in the Middle” attacks, which are a bit like phishing attacks and look for a vulnerable devices on which they can be place malware to steal information.
Why Norton Core? The Core is a router. If you have a modem and separate router you replace that router with the Norton Core or simply plug the Core into the existing combination modem/router.
The Core then monitors all incoming and outgoing information from any device on the network. That’s where the Core comes into its own, protecting all the smart devices including those you can’t install some form of protection on.
Glen spoke about some of the problems Norton Core protects against. If your video security is hacked then people can see if you are at home. Hacking your gaming console or Smart TV could give the criminals access to items like your payment accounts, your online ids for any service you have subscribed to, and your email and service provider details.
Glen then discussed the specs of the Core. It was “built from the ground up for ultimate home security”. Firstly, its designed to secure the router itself.
It has Symantec firmware which is continually updated. The Core is designed with device and network security, and family security. The Core protects the devices from hacking, the network from intrusion, and as mentioned before, letting you control the kids’ access.
The specs are great. It has a 1.7GHz dual core processor with 1GB of RAM and a 4GB eMMC Flash memory. The wireless component has both 2.5 and 5 GHz dual bands and a 4-channel connection for devices.
The router has been built with enterprise grade security and performance designed to deliver 4K quality TV along side gaming while running both uploads and downloads simultaneously.
Glen then moved on to how the app worked.
The Core can only be controlled via an app on your smartphone or tablet. First you need to down load the app which runs on android and iOS. It takes about 5 minutes to set up through your modem. First you unplug everything. If you have a separate router you replace it with the Core. If your device is a combined modem / router simply attached the Core to the device.
Then turn everything back on and the app checks the internet connection and updates the software in the Core. It then asked you to sign in or set up a Norton account. Then you set up the network name and password and the Core is ready to go.
Glen was connected to the Norton network for the demo and the first thing to notice is the security rating. It runs from 0 to 500 so Glen was just over the middle at 270. This may have been due to the public network available in the hall. The app also tells us the speed you are getting, the devices connected, and the threats blocked. You can have up to 120 devices.
Once we were in Glen discussed how you can manage the network.
The Core has a family setting and you can decide not only who can join the network but the times they can access it. You can also control what is accessed by each member of the network, blocking inappropriate sites and subjects you may think inappropriate. The list Glen displayed was quite comprehensive including abortion, drugs, cyber bullying, and cults.
He tested the speed of the network.
We then looked at the activity on the network which showed all the updates and malicious threats that Core had blocked.
Unfortunately, we run out of time but you can find some detailed videos from Norton which will give you a good rundown on all the features of the Norton Core.
This one shows how to setup the Core and this one is a good introduction to the how the app works.
Norton also has made the User Guide available.
The cost is $399 for the device including a one-year subscription for 12 devices.
Unfortunately, no Core was available, as the demand is almost outstripping supply but Glen arranged for 5 copies of Norton Security Premium. There were a few other prizes including a water bottle and note pads.