As you have probably noticed I take home security very seriously. And as a mother of two teens and two 11 year olds, having a reliable router is a huge part of keeping the network in our home safe. And as a person who works from home… a lot… I need a reliable router that won’t throttle my speeds, or disconnect me several times a day. When Best Buy asked me to review the Norton Core Secure WiFi router, I was happy to give it a try.
I have to say that this the most unique router I have ever seen. The decagon inspired shape comes in a gorgeous, shiny, granite gray finish. It’s so attractive that you will want to put it out on display. Unfortunately, my cable modem is in the basement, so my Norton Core has to hide down there as well.
The Norton Core is a highly secure router that includes state of the art security. It allows you to easily setup users, enable smart parental controls, assign devices to specific users, or enable guest access… all from your smartphone.
Norton Core Specs
- 1.7 GHz dual-core processor
- 1GB RAM and 4GB eMMC Flash
- Dual Band 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz Wireless
- IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wave 2 4×4 AC2600 MU-MIMO
- Two USB 3.0 Ports
- Four Gigabit Ethernet Ports (One WAN port, three LAN ports)
- Parental Controls (time management, content filtering, ability to pause the internet)
Norton Core Setup & Installation
Installation could not have been any easier. I had no issues at all. Now… I have installed at least 2 dozen routers in my time, but that really had nothing to do with it. It was just that easy! I plugged the Norton Core into my cable modem, installed the Norton Core app on my Android device and followed the directions. I was up and running with my laptop and smartphone connected in minutes.
The Norton Core App
All of the features of your Norton Core router can be easily controlled from your smartphone using the Norton Core app. This is what you will use during installation, and this is what you use to add users and devices, turn your Guest network off and on, pause the Internet, or change any of the router settings. The app also shows your Internet speed, powered by Speedtest.com, which I use all the time. Check out that speed!
The Security tab is where you look to see how your Internet security measures up. You will get a score from 0 to 500. The more security features you implement the higher the score. Right now, I have a security score of 432. As I learn more about my new router and configure more features, my score will rise. Another very useful bit of info is that it will show you which of the devices on your network need to have Norton Security installed (included with your purchase). Doing this will also raise your score.
Smart Parental Controls
The thing I am most excited about with this router is the comprehensive parental controls. Only in recent years has it become truly easy to configure parental controls and protect your kids from inappropriate content, and potentially harmful content. And this router has the most parental control customization that I have seen so far.
Since my boys are only 11, I can setup a profile for each of them and assign their age as 8-11. This automatically blocks a whole list of content that they should not see. For my girls, I chose Ages 12-14. For myself and my husband I’m able to allow all content. I can also view the very detailed list of blocked categories and make adjustments if necessary.
The works by assigning devices to each user. My kids each have a laptop and a smartphone, and one of my daughters has a tablet. By assigning each device to its user, the settings will carry over to each device.
Once each account is configured, in addition to making sure that they only see age related content, you can set time limits and a bed time. This is very useful for during the week. No more yelling at kids to put down there tablet and go to bed. You can just set a time that their WiFi will turn off and they will know that it’s bed time.
The Norton Core app also allows you to create a timed guest access network. You no longer need to give guests full access to your network by giving them your WiFi password. Using the guest account, they will have access to the Internet, but not other devices on your network. And if you choose, you can limit the access to 24 hours, 7 days, or 30 days. Or you can choose to give them unlimited access. There is also an option to allow or block devices attempting to join the guest network. This way, you have full control over who joins.
The Norton Core will run you $279.99 at Best Buy. That price is steep, but your home Internet security is worth it, and it comes with a lot of features that make it worth the price. It also includes a complimentary one-year subscription to Norton Core Security Plus which helps protect your home network and personal devices against malware, viruses, hackers and cyber criminals. The subscription is good for an unlimited number of devices, so you can install it on as many devices as you need. After the one-year is up, your subscription can be extended for only $9.99/month.
Disclosure: This Norton Core review was compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.