‘Norton Zone’ Secure Cloud File Sharing Hits Availability

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Symantec today entered the crowded space of cloud-based crossplatform file sharing by announcing public availability of Norton Zone, a service designed to differ from contenders through a number of built-in security features. The service supports Windows, Windows RT, Mac, iOS, and Android devices.

Norton Zone, which entered beta last November, will compete against established online offerings that include Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, Apple’s iCloud, and many more.

Yet according to Steve Chazin, VP at Symantec, Norton Zone provides a combination of safety and ease of use unavailable elsewhere.

“Almost all facets of our daily lives are ‘going digital,’ and content is being created and shared in unprecedented amounts and places. Consumers and corporations alike are learning every day (and sometimes painfully) that not all cloud file-sharing services are created equal,” Chazin said in a blog post.

Like other contenders, Norton Zone supports crossplatform storage and synchronization of photos, videos, and other documents.

In conjunction with public availability, Symantec also announced today that users can now buy additional storage beyond the 5GB that comes with the service free of charge.

Pricing for 20GB of additional storage is $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year, said a company representative, in an e-mail to NotebookReview. You can also buy 50GB of extra storage for $7.99 monthly or $79.99 annually, or 100GB of extra storage for $11.99 monthly or $119.99 annually.

Security Features: Anti-Theft, Anti-Malware, and More

According to Chazin, unlike other file sharing services, Norton Zone includes built-in device management, including mobile passcodes, in case a device gets lost or stolen, enabling users to block access and remotely wipe their data.

Norton Zone also uses Norton’s anti-malware scanning technology to check files for viruses and other malware before any files are shared.

In addition, the service lets users create share links for easy sharing of large files. The share links also allow users to “keep full control of that file with restrictions on how long or how many times links can be accessed, even when posting to social networking sites,” he said. “Once shared users can retract that permission at any time.”

Symantec encrypts every file uploaded to Norton Zone. Also, users keep ownership of their own data, Chazin said.

Symantec plans to update Norton Zone later this year with new feature modules and enhancements and additional updates.

Also today, McAfee, Symantec’s archrival in security software, unveiled LiveSafe, a new cloud-based crossplatform security service. Features include, among many others, anti-malware protection; McAfee Anti-Theft; McAfee SafeKey, for secure storage of passwords, user names, and account numbers; and McAfee Personal Locker, for encrypted storage of up to 1GB of highly sensitive documents, with authentication security that incorporates face recognition and voice recognition along with PINs.

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