** PLEASE NOTE THAT THE NORTON CORE ROUTER HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED. **
We have left the information about the Norton Core Router on this page as it is still available to purchase through some outlets. This section of the page will be removed with the 2020 Best Home Firewall Device list.
Norton’s Core Secure Router has burst on to the scene in 2018. The small, dome-shaped Wi-Fi device released by Norton is turning heads for a number of reasons. The need for Norton to manufacture such a device has come from a massive increase in IOT(Internet Of Things) devices in homes. IOT devices is a term used for such items as, Smart TV’s, Smart Light Bulbs, Internet Controlled Heating and Cooling Systems and even smart toasters! The issue with these devices is that they are an easy target for hackers. Unlike a computer smartphone or tablet, you can’t simply install Internet Security Software on your Smart TV! So what can you do to protect these smart devices, as well as your computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets? Enter Norton Core Secure Router! Unlike Internet Security or Antivirus Software Norton Core Secure Router is a physical security device that connects straight in to your existing home network.
What is a Secure Router Device?
A Secure Router Device simply protects the devices attached to it. Traditionally Modems, Routers and Access Points have been known to be vulnerable and easy targets for cyber criminals. Most people don’t consider their router as the target but instead, only worry about trying to protect their devices with software such as Antivirus and Internet Security Packages. But how do you protect the things in your home that connect to the internet but don’t have an operating system you can install security softwate on? These home secure router devices are also known as;
- Home Firewall Appliances
- Home Firewall Devices
- Parental Control Routers
- Secure Routers
All of these devices are very similar and many devices can be referred to as all of these things. Generally the names above are interchangeable when describing this type of device. These devices are responsible for protecting all devices on your network from outside attacks, but are particularly focused on protecting the devices in your home that do not have the ability to have security software installed. Some of the major Cyber Security company’s are now making these types of devices to offer customers a complete security solution for their home. Some of the company’s making these devices include, Bit Defender, Netgear and even Disney!
How does Norton Core Work?
The basic function of the device is to protect all devices within your network from a central location. If we consider an example of a more traditional home network security setup we would probably have the following in place;
- Modem / Router provided by ISP(Internet Service Provider) eg, At&t, Verizon,
- Wifi Access to the modem with a basic password
- Multiple computers within the household network. Laptops, Desktop Pc’s etc with Antivirus or Internet Security Software installed.
- Smartphones and tablets connected to the wifi modem/Router – Without any security apps installed
- A smart TV in the lounge
- A thermostat you can control with your phone
- IP Cameras setup around the house for security
There are several issues with a setup like this, the main one being that there is no way to ensure that the IOT devices, eg the Smart TV, Thermostat and security cameras, are secure. While you can install Antivirus or Internet Security Software on your laptops , Smartphones and Tablets there is no way of doing this with an IOT device.
Norton Core connects straight in to your existing home network. Simply plug in the ethernet cable from your modem to the Core device and you are ready to get started. To get setup you will need a smarthpone with internet access to download the Norton Core App. From there you can use the app to setup the device.
Subscription and Extra Costs We couldn’t write this review without mentioning the on going costs that you will be paying Norton when you purchase a Norton Secure Core Device. Firstly, one of the great things about purchasing here is that you get 1 year of Norton Core Security Plus Software included. This, special version of Norton Security includes
- The protection that runs on the router, plus all security updates as they are released
- The standard Norton Security software with UNLIMITED devices licenses. Meaning you can install it on as many computers,laptops, smartphones and tablets as you want.
- Parental Controls are also included in the software
After the first year the subscription cost is $9.99 per month. While this may seem expensive, it is actually quite good value if you consider that it works out to just over 30 cents per day to protect ALL of your devices.
Before we dive in to the performance let’s have a quick looks at the specs.
- 1.7ghz dual-core Processor
- 1gb of Ram
- 4gb internal (flash) storage
Speed is not an issue for Core with IEEE 802.11 WiFi on both 2.4 and 5Ghz. Meaning you can connect to the best available network wherever you are in the house.
Parental Controls are becoming more and more sought after by parents. With kids now using the internet more it is important to ensure that their online time is managable. Furtunately, this is achievable right from the Norton Core App. You can limit the time your children can access the internet, filter conent based on their age and see how much time they have spent online in real time.
The app also allows you to
- See what devices are connected to your network
- Run Speed tests to check download / upload speed
- Monitor a guest network to keep your guests devices secure
- See how many threats, if any, have been blocked
How Secure is secure?
The following security protocols are running as standard.
- Deep packet scanning – Which carefully assess all data on the network to detect threats
- Intrusion prevention and detection – Ability to block threats in their tracks
- Anomaly Detection – Very smart way of detecting potential threats through packet scanning
- Security Updates Installed Automatically – Keeping all of your devices protected
Without delving too deeply in to how each one of these work, I can say that this is a very secure device! Here are my top 2 reasons why this is so secure compared to other products on the market
- Symantec’s Global Intelligence Network is massive! Meaning the device is always getting smarter
- The amount of research and money that goes towards intelligent security at Symantec (Norton’s Parent Company) is huge!
What you didnt know about Norton Core
Something you may not have known about The Norton Core Secure WiFi Router is that you actually don’t have to purchase any other Security Software when you pay for the monthly subscription through Norton. The subscription covers the device allowing updates and real time protection, but also allows you to install security software on an unlimited amount of connected devices. This means that all of your devices are covered with one monthly subscription. No more buying multiple security licenses to cover your devices. You will be fully protected when you buy your subscription.
To sum up, It’s Awesome! But has a few down sides
Overall this is a fantastic device, and it is no suprise that it has made it to number 1 on our Top 5 Home Firewall Appliances list. Users absolutely love the simplicity that the device offers through the setup process and usage. The ability to control all of the devices on your network from your phone is a feature that has well recieved by users.
The main concerns from users have been
- Some dangerous websites not identified on all devices
- Some users have experienced issues with the core disconnecting their cable modem
- There can be lag when managing gaming devices with Core (Ps4, Xbox etc)