Norton - Norton Core™ Secure High Performance Wi-Fi Router - Granite Gray

Norton Core is a secure WiFi router that helps protect your home network and an unlimited number of your connected devices, including computers and mobile devices against malware, viruses, and hackers. With its deep packet inspection combined with intelligence from a global threat database, Norton Core can stop threats before they infiltrate your network.

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$199.99

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Granite Gray
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Overview

What's Included


  • Cable management clip
  • Ethernet cable
  • Norton Core Security Plus software subscription
  • Norton Core™ Secure High Performance Wi-Fi Router
  • Power Adapter

Ratings & Reviews


Overall Customer Rating:
82% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (89 out of 109)

Features


State-of-the-art security at network level.

Norton Core defends your home at the network level-fending off cyber-threats before they can infiltrate your home and compromise your personal data.

Guest access so good, you’ll want to invite people over

Create secure guest networks, easily. Even set a time limit. When time is up, simply extend access or let the guest network disappear.

Welcome to the Internet of (safe) Things.

Norton Core discovers smart devices, identifies vulnerabilities, and helps secure them. If a device is breached, Norton Core quarantines the threat.

Connected home protection with award-winning security.

The Norton Core Wi-Fi router comes with a complimentary subscription to Norton Core Security Plus that provides security protection for your personal devices, plus smart parental controls.

Bandwidth Optimization

Want to dial down your game console and supercharge your movie? No problem. Give priority to any device or activity in the house with the touch of a button.

Next generation Wi-Fi speeds.

You can stream your favorite movies in 4K, play online games and download content with its powerful dual-core processor and MU-MIMO technology that is built for maximum speeds of up to 2.5 gigabits per second.

Security Score

Norton Core monitors data from your home, identifies security issues, and sums it all up in a single, powerful number. If there’s a problem, Norton Core jumps in with timely insights and tools to get you back on track.

Smart Parental Controls

Monitor and manage screen time by person, control time limits by device, and set content filters. You can even pause the entire network. And the app is about as easy to use as a light switch.

Built for Coverage

Norton Core combines an innovative omnidirectional antenna design with advanced beamforming to help ensure your devices get stellar Wi-Fi anywhere in your home.

Mobile network control

Manage your home network, right from your phone. The app shows you exactly what devices are on your network at any given time.

Norton Core hardware and subscription details below.

Subscription renewal is required for security and parental control features after complimentary term. Please review complete terms during setup.

Usage & other restrictions apply. Your subscription includes protection updates and new features as available during your subscription term, subject to acceptance of the Norton License Agreement.

For details on Norton Core returns and one-year limited hardware warranty, please visit the Norton Return Policy.

For purchase and use only in the U.S.

As compared to routers without enhanced security features, Norton Core’s security features require an active Norton Core Security Plus subscription.

Maximum wireless data rate is derived from IEEE standards 802.11 specifications. Data speed and range may vary due to network conditions building materials and construction, obstacles and interference.

Deep packet inspection, a security feature, may also affect speed. Other adverse conditions may also lower actual data rate and wireless coverage.

Requires a mobile data plan or an internet connection.

Norton Core is sold and for use in the US only.


Overall customer rating

4.1
82%
would recommend to a friend

Pros

Cons

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great solution to secure your network

    Posted
    Idoc
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    The Norton Core Router Let face it the home of the future is the connected home! What could go wrong? Well Dana Scully and Fox Mulder shore found out on one of the latest episodes of the X files!Check out season 7 Episode 11 (Rm9sbG93ZXJz) IOT (Internet of Things) devices are popping up everywhere, Washers and Dryers, ovens, fireplaces thermostats, refrigerators, Vacuums, security systems, baby monitors to name a few. All these devices can be hacked leaving up to the device manufacturer to come up with a firmware fix. There are sophisticated firewalls and malware/virus protection for these devices but they are difficult to implement and administer for a home user. Sure you can make a virtual network and a hardware firewall with state-full packet inspection on your network but for the average home user this is beyond their abilities and the cost can be high. The Norton Core Router can secure your network and has a simple on boarding app contained within a smartphone app. The App is simple to use but is a little quirky. It is not always clear when to push the next button, if in doubt push it. After the router updates and registers you are brought to a control panel. It looks Cool! Well someone finally made a router that your wife will let you put where it needs to be, In the middle of the house out in the open! This thing looks like an ultra modern piece of art or air freshener. Even though this router looks great it still has all the ports you need. There are 4 gigabit Ethernet ports and 2 USB 3.0 ports along with a power port and button tucked away under the device. Norton even throws in a neat wire organizer to keep all the cords from tangling. Beefy Hardware This router has a dual core 1.7 GHz processor with 1GB RAM and $GB flash memory. The Antennas are a circular array beam-forming antenna. Unlike Omnidirectional antennas commonly found on home routers a beam-forming antenna can adjust to It’s environment. If there is a lot of use in one direction, the router will adjust the output to that area. This allows better signal where you need it. The Norton Core has 802.11ac wth MU-MIMO protocol allowing for up to 2,500 Mbps. It is really fast, I was surprised at the speed with my wireless devices, much faster than my other dual band wireless AC router a Netgear WRT3200ACM! It is dual band using 2.4 and 5 GHz. The router is backward compatible to N and G devices. This router is packed with hardware security for your network including: Security- DPI, IDS, IPS, Secure DNS, Encrypted user & data communication Networking- WPA2, DHCP, NAT, UpnP and Automatic Device Discovery. The Norton Core has network packet inspection and using their global threat database, Core can help stop threats cold. The Database is constantly updated to protect you from the latest threats. Network Traffic Filtering: The Norton Core router has easy to use setting via the smartphone app to keep your Kids protected from undesirable content. You can set up groups, associate devices to each person then select the types of sites you want them to be able to access. You will receive a notification if somebody tries to access something they shouldn’t. You can also set bandwidth limits for each device if you have internet with bandwidth restrictions. It’s also handy if you’ve got one user who is a data hog!.. you know who you are! You really do not need any other antivirus with the hardware antivirus in the Norton Core router which protects an unlimited number of your connected devices. You also get Software antivirus for up to 20 devices including computers and mobile devices. Norton Core will also protect your connected devices like video doorbells, WiFi thermostats, smart locks, appliances, and home security cameras for suspicious activity. If a device becomes compromised, it quarantines the threat before it spreads So a few possible negatives ( I actually think it is a great deal) You have to buy a subscription after the included 1 year subscription runs out. The subscription will run you $9.99 a month. The company constantly keeps its security database updated for the latest threats. You actually get a great deal a hardware antivirus in the router for unlimited connected devices and software antivirus for 20 devices that works even when you are connected to other networks. Most people are not aware that most hardware firewalls have licenses that have to be renewed and good antivirus software for more than a few devices is much more expensive than this. So who is this router for??? If you want a very easy way to secure your network and all of your devices without multiple pieces of hardware and software not to mention the tedious job of configuring everything so it works correctly then this is for you. If you want pinpoint control of every setting or need very specific settings then look else where. If you have a large home or it is WiFi unfriendly you may have some dead spots, it may be possible to add a mesh router in bridge mode or and extender but I am not sure of the additional security risks in this configuration. Norton will probably design an extender for this system, putting additional devices that look like this would not be all that bad. This is something I would like to see developed. I recommend this as an end to end security for your internet for the average home user. It is very easy to set up and has comprehensive monitoring tools that almost anyone can use.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

    Excellent router with flawed content filtering

    Posted
    tt92618

    I preordered months ago and just received the router on 08/09. What to say? It's a sleek router with very good coverage and excellent throughput. It's extremely easy to set up, and managing devices on your network could not be simpler. The security score is a nice, if perhaps a little gimmicky, feature. All said, very positive about how well designed and performing the router is, and about how dead simple it is to manage devices on your network, and to assign these into parental control categories with pre-defined filter settings for web content. That said, Norton needs to work better at correctly identifying web content, as I've found that sites are radically misclassified, in some cases either exposing sites that shouldn't be, or blocking access to sites which are completely misclassified. A few examples: By default, the router blocks all web sites in the category "Religion". That's a bit offensive for people of faith, but fine - let's just roll with it. So as a Christian Dad who wants content filtering (Norton, I'm probably a part of a big market constituency for your product), let's assume I just get over that mild slight and re-enable that category. All good, right? No harm, no foul. Except Norton has somehow managed to classify the web presence for major Christian ministries as cults. Not just a few - most of them. Rick Warren's church? Blocked as a cult. Greg Laurie's harvest fellowship? Blocked under 'cult'. Joyce Meyer? Cult. We are talking about some of the biggest ministries in the United States, and in the case of churches like those of Rick Warren and Greg Laurie, some of the best known and most widely respected ministries in the world. Yet Norton says these organizations are cults. So, as a Dad, I either have to allow these sites manually (a huge pain), or I have to allow the "cult" category as a whole, which is also populated by such luminaries as "The Manson family." More notable, perhaps, than what IS blocked under the Cult category? What isn't: Groups like Scientology. Norton claims that sites find their place in it's filtering categories as the result of 3 or more "authoritative sources"... but I highly doubt 3 authoritative sources concluded Rick Warren is a cult leader. So you might be forgiven for wanting to actually look up what some authoritative sources have to say. So, would you like to visit sites like CARM or Cultwatch to find out what organizations ARE identified as cults? Sorry, you cannot do that: Norton thinks Cultwatch and CARM are cults, and blocks them, too. Beyond this all, there are sites with blatantly pornographic or tasteless content that are not caught by the content filtering. To flesh that out, let me say this: I also have a Zyxel unified security gateway on my wired network, and the content filtering it provides is spot-on. I have to conclude that Norton's effort is flawed, either due to mismanagement or potentially even intent. I can't, given all of this, give the router a very high rating. I think it falls into the category of "great idea, but poor execution in a few core areas." If Core were just a router, I would give it a solid 5. But the product is marketed based on its security characteristics, many of which surround content filtering and parental controls. And frankly speaking, I think Norton needs to examine how these portions of the product are being managed, because not only do they have serious issues in classification, the errors that have been made create an impression of bias.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      Symantec Product Expert

      We appreciate your feedback about the misclassification in our parental controls filtering. Our investigation has found that for one category multiple filters were mistakenly applied instead of one. We are now correcting this. We take customer feedback seriously at Norton and look forward to enhancing the product to better meet your family’s security needs. Symantec

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    WiFi so fast you’ll slap your mother

    Posted
    Arjay67
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    We’ll start with the unboxing. It’s similar to unboxing a “fruit company’s” Wifi router. Remove the sleeve, pull off the box from the base and the unit is nicely poised for display. The setup was easy and flawless. All the ports are in a recessed cavity on the bottom. They are a little tight for those with thick fingers. But I didn’t have much trouble at all. I appreciate the style of the device and the relevant but not obtrusive bottom light ring. It provides feedback on status of the device, without blasting you with way too bright blue LED’s that seem so common these days. Connect using the included ethernet cable to your modem or combo CPE from your provider, connect the power and the ring on the base begins to pulse. Download the app, iOS or Android, and within 3-5 minutes you’re on your way. The downside is the same as with setting up ANY new WiFi router….you have to update all of your WiFi devices (including IoT devices) with the new credentials before you can begin using it. Oddly though, I have two TP-Link switched plugs. One seemed to automatically update from my phone, but the other did not. My first bit of testing was just about the speed. I have tried a few other WiFi routers and mesh systems and usually been disappointed. More often than not, the WiFi on the router provided by AT&T would be much faster. But that’s not the case with the Norton Core. I compared the speed in many areas of my home including some areas that were particularly hard to reach like the garage. The Core punched through with better speed on every occasion. Usually resulting in an increase of 5-10 Mbit/sec. As a WiFi router alone, I’m very impressed. But part of the draw is the packet inspection and filtering so I had to give it a try. So I had to look for places where intrusions are often found. After some Googling, I attempted to access some nefarious sites on a sandbox machine just in case something got through. The Core did a good job at detecting and filtering the trojans and drive bys. It didn’t catch quite all, as evidence by the activation and alerts from my security software installed on the PC. But I think that it’s a good second layer to help block infections before they actually make it to the PC level. And since security software on most mobile devices is often painful and slow, this provides a good first line of defense for those, and also all of your IoT devices. But the other features are what I found most useful. The Core app allows you to set rules for devices, decide what devices are allowed to connect and also has a convenient master “pause” button when you want to be sure that the youngins are not surfing during mealtime or when they should really be asleep. Also useful when you want to be sure that you’re spouse is really listening without distraction. LOL With an MSRP of $199.99 it’s towards the upper end for WiFi routers. But when you consider the features, design, app and speed it’s not too hard to justify. Though when considering cost, it would be a lot more palatable if it were about 50% of that price. Since to maintain the filtering and security features beyond the first year, you have to pay for a subscription which runs $99.00 per year. I’m not sure if those features will be enough to justify the cost one year down the road, but even if I decide not to continue the subscription, I would still have an excellent WiFi router with greater range, coverage and speed than most other routers on the market.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Nice looking router with good security

    Posted
    Chuck
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    The Norton Core router has always intrigued me, so when I got a chance to test one, I took it. The router is actually nice to look at; it's more like a piece of art than a router, so there's no need to try to hide it. The initial set up was fairly typical; installation of the management app, resetting of the modem, and then finally the hookup of the router itself. The management app allows easy access to the network settings. You'll find all the typical settings, all of which are well organized and give you a huge amount of control over who has access to your network, for how long, and what kind of content they can view. I had my network configured in a few minutes and then just sat back and waited to see what got stopped from coming in. The Core also allows you to install Norton Security on all of your devices, although I haven't done this since I am currently using another product. The signal strength from the router was comparable to my Linksys router, and I saw no issues with streaming video on multiple devices. After a few days, I realized that Malwarebytes (which usually reported malicious attacks a few times a day) had stopped reporting attacks. I checked the logs on the Norton Core, and sure enough, it had been stopping everything before it even got into the network. However, after about 4 days, I had a problem where one of my devices lost its internet connection. It was still connected to the router, and other devices that were connected still had outside access, but nothing I did would allow the problem device to get back to the internet. I wound up having to reboot the router. Then a few days after that, all outside access dropped. I rebooted the router, all the devices reconnected, but there was still no internet access. This time I had to reboot the modem as well. About four days later, this happened again, and I decided to contact Norton support. I was told there was a problem with the Core trying to regain an IP if the ISP issued an IPv6 address instead of IPv4. However, while trying to gain access to the router logs, the unit became unresponsive so the CSR said there was probably a hardware issue as well and I was sent a new one. Once I received the new one, I had to call support again, because my account wouldn't allow me to activate the new router. It was never explained why this was the case, but they got it activated and I was also told that the IPv6 issue had been resolved with an update. The new router has been up for a little over a week with no issues. One thing that I saw as both as a pro and a con, is that after the first year, you have to commit to a $10/month 'contract' with Norton, or the router simply becomes a hi-end router without all of the extra benefits. I'm used to spending less than half of that amount for a yearly subscription to put another product on all my devices, so I'm not sure what I'll do at the end of the free year. Overall, the Norton Core router does what it's supposed to; it stops attacks before they even get into your network. I would definitely recommend this router, but only after disclosing the $10/month fee that kicks in after the first year.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Good option for security, but it comes at a price

    Posted
    nickcal
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member
    • Top 500 ContributorTop 500 Contributor

    These days you can never be too careful when it comes to securing your data. I like to think that security begins at home. Most people these days have wireless networks at home and because of that, they are susceptible to attacks from outside their home. It’s easy for people outside your network to tap into it and because of that, you have to take steps to make sure that your network is not easily accessible. One way you can do that is to install a secure WiFi Router like the Norton Core. This secure WiFi Router is ‘smart’ and designed to ward off cybercriminals by protecting your network against things like malware, viruses, and hackers. Norton is well-known for providing software solutions for computer systems around the world. I remember it being the first anti-virus name I trusted. So, when I learned of the Norton Core, I was intrigued and loved the idea that they took what they know about safety and security of computers and applied it to a really cool looking piece of hardware. The Core looks more like a piece of art than a router. It is a round device that you will want to display rather than hide. The router provides more than just firewall protection. It helps safeguard your identity and online transactions as well as provide on-the-go device protection. It has comprehensive parental controls incorporated and IoT device protection. One of the things I like about Norton Core is that it’s easy to set up and once it is, you have a one-stop shop - so to speak - of internet control of your home. Before the Core, we had both a router and the Disney Circle installed to help manage internet traffic and parental controls. While this system worked, it was a little cumbersome and it’s great to have it all in one place with Norton’s Core Menu (mobile app). On the app, you can view your home’s security score, which will give you an idea of where you might need to make improvements. You also get a great snapshot of the devices that are connected to your network. Set up was very easy. The Core plugs into your modem and then you have the option to connect to one of the three LAN ports available. The Core also has two USB 3.0 ports included. I didn’t have any issues getting the Core up and running and it’s been a stable system since. The only issue I really have with the Norton Core system is that after paying the $200 price for the hardware, you then have a $10 per month subscription to the Norton Core Security Plus service. A 1-year subscription is included with the purchase of the Core hardware, but after that, it’s a subscription-based service. If you don’t renew it, the Norton Core will continue to function as a router, but the network, IoT and device-level security, as well as parental controls, will no longer be available. To me, this is what really makes the Norton Core stand out as an exceptional router so if those things aren’t available, the cost of this router just isn’t justifiable.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent Holsitic Home Security Solution!!!

    Posted
    GadgetGuy1981
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member
    • Top 500 ContributorTop 500 Contributor

    I was considerably objective before installing and configuring all of my devices on my home network for the Norton Core. I have a NUMBER of PCs and mobile devices in my house (I'm currently protecting 2 Windows 10 Laptops, 3 Macbooks, 5 iPhones, 5 iPads, 1 iPod Touch and 1 Android phone.) - I've never really thought about anti-virus or intrusion protection for my devices beyond built-in services (I own and use most of the above regularly - 7 of the above are for ME or for work!) and my kids were practically in kiosk mode just to use their phones and tablets for basic web and video surfing with restrictions maxed out. But things are changing in my home - My oldest daugter is approaching her teens, and has her own cellular line now. My wife continues to want "just works" functionality, and didn't like the headache of WiFi coverage issues in our home, but also didn't like the Mesh network nodes everywhere. In addition, I see a growing need to provide additional parental controls NOW to my kids while they're young to set a precedent of management and use monitoring/limits for them as they get into the years where these devices could become a problem. Thats where Norton comes in with the Core and the included suite of products: Hardware/Router: At first it seems just like any other wifi device. And for the most part, the hardware is. The exception being that it is the FIRST device physically to cover my entire ~2500 sqft home with ONE DEVICE! I had resorted to a 4-node mesh network (one of the most popular) before this, and that offered decent coverage, but mesh networks still dont work well with things like video doorbells, certain wireless remotes and apps that depend on not being on a heavily segmented network - There's just too much going on behind the scenes in a mesh. This Core device covered the far reaches of my home well enough that I was still able to get my full Internet speed even at the furthest point. The other advantage over "Mesh" configs is that this device has an Ethernet switch integrated, so I can still hard-wire up to 3 Ethernet devices to the router without resorting to an external switch. This is old hat on traditional routers, but these modern devices seem to be eschewing wired ports which diminishes the experience for those of us running a home office with mini streaming servers, etc. that need the wired connection. My only complaint with the device as a router, is that configuration is AGAIN only available via a mobile app - I dont like having to dig out my phone to make a network change or review parental control content and Id love a web interface at least inside the network to do everything. Also, said mobile app is pretty limited when it comes to actual network configuration - You can do port forwarding, reserve static IPs, etc. but there's no way to specify your own IP range if you have a preference as to the appearance of your class C subnet (nerd stuff/neat freak stuff, I know - I just prefer a "10.0" range vs the one offered (at least its not a "192" address range!) Security Features/Management/Parental Controls: On top of the router itself, which does a phenominal job of managing traffic, and offering strong signal, the software suite included is phenomenal. Norton bundles the Core with 1 year of included Norton Security Plus (a specialized SKU it brands as "Norton Core Security Plus" which offers a special licensing model also - Unlimited devices (PCs, Macs, and mobile) under a single subscription. This makes sense for the modern home where devices are burgeioning with digitally native kids, etc. The software is the same on mobile devices as is offered from Norton normally, and the PC version seems to be largely the same (I'm not closely familiar with the non-Core-aligned offering.) - The Norton Anti-Virus and Intrusion protection has always worked well, but it seems to be seamless in Windows 10 - No noticeable additional CPU or networking overhead. Every device on the Core network will want to have this installed, and I had no trouble with my Macs, iOS devices, Windows 10 PCs, and an Android phone installing the core software and saw no performance impact from real use. The included Parental controls are two-stage as well - While most modern family-oriented home setups offer "bedtime" and "pause" controls for the network or device groups, Norton Core and the Core Security Suite let me configure the following: - House Rules for each age group/child - Web filtering/monitoring - Text Message monitoring (Android Only) - Time Limits - Scheduled downtime - Pause for users AND individual devices - Appropriate sites filtering by age group - Individual site blocking (useful for blocking Minecraft or YouTube on specific devices, for example) This is all accomplished on-router and in concert with the parental control abilities of the Norton Security Plus and Norton Family cloud products bundled with this service. This means that your child's phone or tablet is equally manageable when roaming on other WiFi and Cellular networks even when away from home. This is a key differentiator of the service and device. I didn't have any trouble installing the services, but it might be confusing for a non-IT person, as you need to install separate client apps for Norton Mobile and Norton family on each iOS/Android client, and separate Norton Security and Norton Family apps on desktop/notebook PCs. What's cool about the PC version is that you can specify management of each Windows user, so you can have a multi-user home PC or shared laptop that gets management for the kiddos, but Mom and Dad are free to be adults. The intrusion protection and packet inspection seems thorough, and you can specify more stringent packet inspection, which may result in speed impact, but I kept everything at the recommended levels and it dind't seem to affect performance at all. Speed tests and local responsiveness weren't noticeably impacted. The router configuration also protects Smart devices on your network as it analyses packet behavior for them, but you will want to turn off their "management" in the app, so as to increase your network security score, as you cannot install the software-side on IoT/Smart devices and the behavior analysis still happens. Additional thoughts: The router is an elegant looking device, and even comes with cord management for the power and ethernet cables that would come from it. I didn't do too much testing on the included 2 (yes, TWO) USB 3.0 ports on the router, but when I connected a Thumb Drive or External HDD sharing was a breeze and performance was great! If this router supported iTunes sharing, we would be selling a home server! :) All of this is free for the first year, but also WELL worth the ~$10/month thereafter. I'll be keeping this as my new home network and paying for parental controls as my kids grow... And as my home network becomes more and more complex. I'm still surprised at everything this thing can handle! I will be recommending this thing to anyone looking to get the most out of their home network and home security investments!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    A Great Value and Great Performance

    Posted
    aarondr
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    I've used quite a few routers - none of them have offered such a seamless experience to viewing and understanding Internet traffic like the Norton core. At the core (haha, pun intended) of the experience is the app. The app lets you view and see traffic, test your internet speed, review bandwidth consumption, manage users, etc. Setup is really easy, and while most routers can just plug and play, the core goes an extra step to help you setup your network properly. The wizard is intuitive and is easy enough I bet my dad could figure it out :-). The app will notify you when a new device connects to your network, so this alone is a pretty rad feature in my book. It keeps you involved and understanding what is 'connected'. You can take each device, and assign it to a person/group. This then allows you to limit bandwidth, and do content filter per person. For instance, if you have a teenager with a phone and tablet, you can limit/set schedules for their WiFi access at any given time. The app presents each user w/ their time remaining, which is an awesome help to parents. You pop open the app, and let your child know: "you have 40 minutes of Internet left today!". My children are small, so I used the feature to a limited degree, but as they grow I can see that tool becoming more and more important to a balanced life. I like the fact that the Core can run speed tests - which is a valuable tool - since it removes the 'WiFi' interference excuse (the speed test runs on the router directly to the internet). Another awesome capability is the per device bandwidth usage. If you are on a capped or metered connection this could be a really useful feature in determining if you have a device downloading large updates, or your kids are using too much data. Luckily my ISP doesn't cap me at the moment, but this feature might get more important as ISPs talk about limiting total bandwidth. Filtering is a big feature here, and I appreciate the granularity, while still being easy to configure. You block groups of traffic, and you do rely on Norton's curation of these lists. Other reviewers have mentioned some of the issues of managed curation, but I think it's still pretty early in the lifecycle of the product and Norton appears to be listening. There is also a choice of DNS, and some other advanced settings that I really appreciated. You get 1 year of Norton's Core Security Plus subscription - which is $99 a year after that. It offers unlimited device protection, and 25GB of cloud backup. It's a nice plus to have with the router. I bemoan the idea of a router that has a subscription fee (well, you can use it without the subscription still, you just lose many of the features), but it's hard to argue that you aren't getting valuable services. I've tried implementing blocking, and to stay current on your own is a lot of work. Also - while Windows Defender does a decent job, Norton has been doing this for a long while - and is still quite an effective antivirus for Windows. As far a core router competencies go - it kept up with my 250Mbs Cable internet service without breaking a sweat. My 802.11ac clients flew on the 5GHz network (I did setup separate SSIDs which allow me to force AC clients to using AC). I recorded 263Mbs from my iPhone X, so the WiFi is not the bottleneck here. It's a 4x4 antenna array, which might be helpful for bridges/extenders that can utilize 4 antennas, but the fastest clients I currently own are 2x2 866 clients. I saw extremely fast file copy, getting close to about 75% of the theoretical maximum for the WiFi, which isn't bad (it's just about best case scenario). The range, like most next gen AC routers, is excellent. I was able to maintain above 60Mbs all over my 3100sqft house. That's pretty impressive, especially since I used to run 2 routers all the time just to offer better WiFi coverage. The device is a bit oddly shaped. It reminds me of a Doppler radar station. My wife thought it was a large dugeons and dragon's die. Kidding aside, it seems effective, so I won't knock it. It has a light ring at the bottom that offers a status indication. It really is pretty unobtrusive, and you can customize it from high/low/off which is welcome. It includes 4 network ports and a pretty cramped WAN port (you'll want to use the included network cable for this one). There is a USB 3.0 port, but at the moment it appears to be limited to printer sharing. It's got a nice rubber bottom to prevent it from slipping and marking up a surface. It's a nice touch. All in all, the device looks quite modern, and would blend into a modern/technology living room. Mine sits in my office/upstairs family room, and so far the wife hasn't complained about it's prominent position in the room. If there is one complaint I can lodge at it, it's that while the device offers deep packet inspection for blocking/filtering, you can't see per device usage by traffic type (i.e. like Living Room TV consumed 8GB of Netflix yesterday). I think the complexity of reporting might be too much for a router alone to manage, but it would be really nice to be able to dig into the traffic types in use. All in all the Norton Security Core does certainly feel like the future of routers. An application that lets you manage it in detail is much better than a web based utility, and more immediate. There are so many features here it's hard to touch on them all. Realize that you're buying into Norton's ecosystem with this router, and if family security is important to you, this is probably a great decision. I highly recommend checking this router out!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Core Competency

    Posted
    mikeheel
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member
    • Top 50 ContributorTop 50 Contributor

    The Norton Core router by Symantic is an interesting device. Even though it operates as a router, it's real purpose is to serve as a network security device.  As a router, it's decent, albeit not great. Download speeds are strong, but upload speeds are a little sluggish for the price range.  One of the first things you'll notice is the unique look of the Core. It looks somewhat like a small soccor ball. It is attractive but not a great fit for all environments.  The second thing you may notice is that setup is via app. You cannot set it up without downloading the Norton app. I know that's the way a lot of mesh systems are going these days, but this isn't a mesh system. I generally prefer a web setup process; however, the process went very smoothly and quickly.  The third thing you notice is that the ports are pretty cramped and hard to access. They are in a recessed cut-out at the bottom rear of the Core. Getting human-sized fingers in place to manipulate the cables was a bit of a frustrating experience.  In terms of performance, download speeds were strong, paralling a premium router I use as my performance benchmark. Upload speeds, however, were less than half as fast as the benchmark router.  I set the Core up in a 2600 sf two-story house. It was placed in a central location on the second floor. Coverage was consistent on the second floor and about 3/4 of the first floor, but one corner on the first floor (a bedroom) had a significantly degraded signal. The drop-off in speed was roughly 66%, which is a bit concerning. My benchmark router shows no degradation at that location and distance. Overall, the performance as a router is acceptable, but not much to write home about. I should note it cannot setup a VPN, nor does it allow you hide your SSID broadcast. In terms of connections, it has 3 GB LAN ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports, and 1 GB WAN port.  Spec-wise, the Core has a 1.7GHz processor and comes with 1GB of RAM and 4GB of eMMC Flash memory. There is an internal fan that tries to mitigate temperature, but it doesn't have any venting. It has 2.4GHz and 5GHz dual-band radios, and supports MU-MIMO streaming and broadcasts in dual-band 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi. It's only a 4x4 AC 2600 router, which isn't bad, but isn't near the top, either. Where the Core sets itself apart is the wide-ranging security options. It scans every packet of information that is exchanged. It constantly monitors network and device security. The main screen in the app even shows you a security score for your network. The Core also gives you a lot of control in terms of security. You can pause the internet connection for everyone or for a single device. You can set parental controls for different devices.  In these days of hackers, it's nice the Core also monitors internal traffic on your network. For instance, if your smart TV is trying to communicate with another device, it could be a hack designed to exploit a routine. The Core will detect it and quarantine it. This will only happen if the infected device tries to communicate on the network; it does not scan the devices themselves, only their traffic. However, if you're running a smart home, that added layer of security could be extremely valuable. Also, the Core includes a one-year subscription to Norton Security for every device on your network. I should note that many of the included security features - such as packet monitoring, parental controls, and internal traffic - expire when the subscription expires, but it can renewed for about $10/month. Still, the fact it is included with the purchase is impressive. The Core is an interesting device and a good concept. I would have loved it had the specs been a bit better and controls included a few more network options. I think they got too enamored with the physical design and then had to deal with certain limitations. I'd rather have a big, hulking beast with better range and upload speed, along with VPN and the ability to disable my SSID. As it is, though, the Core is an excellent network security device and a decent router. As such, it fills a need for those of us who have lots of smart devices throughout our homes. 

    I would recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      Symantec Product Expert

      Hi Mikeheel,

      Thank you for posting your review. We appreciate you sharing your thoughts about the Norton Core router and we are also happy to hear that you’re pleased with the download speeds, security features and that you found the setup to be easy. While the VPN isn’t available via the Core, Norton has other options for you. Norton’s Wifi Privacy is a great option. For more information please go to: https://us.norton.com/wifi-privacy

      While most routers use a Web User Interface (Web UI) for setup, they’re also quite vulnerable due to exploits in the HTTP protocol which is used to configure typical routers through the Web UI. These routers eventually find new fixes to address the vulnerabilities, but new threats continue to be discovered. However, because Security is so important to Norton, we wanted to make sure access to the Core router is secure, as your network is only as strong as the weakest link. By design, we chose to not use a Web UI and have everything securely controlled and encrypted through the mobile application. This also allows you to remotely control and configure Norton Core, even when you're away from home!

      As for hiding SSID, you can disable the broadcast of the WiFi networks individually. Go to Settings > Tap on Wireless > Tap on the network name > Tap on Advanced Settings > Disable broadcast. Please let us know if this doesn’t work.

      As for the issues with the range and the reduced upload speeds, we would like to collect additional information and make sure that the Norton Core router is working as it should. Please contact our Norton Core Support team at 1-855-966-7866 and reference this review. We will be happy to help. If you prefer, you can also contact our Norton Social Customer Care Team via direct/private message on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/messages/t/Norton) or Twitter (https://twitter.com/NortonSupport), just remember to reference your review when doing so.

      We hope to hear from you soon!

      The Norton Core Support Team Symantec




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