You know Symantec’s (SYMC) Norton for its line of PC security software that continuously tells you it needs to be updated. But now the company is moving into the hardware space with a special kind of router that promises to secure all of your disparate connected devices.
The Norton Core, available now for the not insignificant price of $279, is designed to ensure everything from your PC and Mac to your smartphone and connected door bell are protected against attacks from hackers or malware. Its built-in device management features and parental controls can also help prevent your kids from accessing inappropriate websites.
But its high cost is a big ask, especially coupled with the fact that you’ll need to pay $10 per month to get the best security features after your first free year runs out.
It starts with an app
The big trend in Wi-Fi routers, if there is such a thing, is simplifying the setup process for consumers by retiring those old-school web page interfaces in favor of easy-to-follow app-based instructions.
To get started, you download the Norton Core app to your smartphone, plug in your Core to your wall outlet and your modem and sign up for Norton account. Once you have your account set up, the Core will take ask you to do things like choose a network name and password and add a guest network for when friends come over.
Pro tip: If you give your new router’s network the same name and password as your last router’s network, all of your devices will automatically connect to the new network without issue. If you go for a different name and password, though, you’ll have to manually connect your devices, which is a huge pain.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Core looks more like a small-scale replica of Disney’s Epcot Center. The reason for the look is to make the router more attractive than the kind of antenna-laden monstrosities on the market today. The idea is to ensure you’re not afraid to put your router out in the open where it will provide the best signal rather than hiding it inside your entertainment center.
Managing your connection
The, well, core of Norton Core is the Norton Core app. From here you can monitor everything from how much data you use each day to the kinds of websites your kids can visit.