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Software giant Symantec has launched its first piece of consumer security hardware nine months after first unveiling it.

The Norton Core Wi-Fi router was announced a CES 2017, with Symantec opening the product for preorders at $200. Now, it’s available to buy across the U.S. at its full retail price of $280.

Norton is a brand synonymous with antivirus (AV) security software, so Symantec’s decision to attach its brand to a physical piece of hardware in the form of a router is notable.

The most striking facet of the router is its quirky shape, designed in the form of a geodesic dome.


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Above: Norton Core Grey and Gold with ports

Indeed, Symantec evidently envisages people placing the router in the open alongside their furnishings — this device wasn’t built to be hidden under a table.

Above: Norton Core

Beyond aesthetics, the Norton Core promises to protect every device connected to the router at the network level while serving up additional smarts. These include controls that allow parents to set access parameters, such as daily usage limits for children and filters for what content can be accessed.

It also promises a bandwidth optimization tool that lets admins (parents) specify which devices should be given priority if there is limited bandwidth — for example, they may wish to give preferential treatment to Netflix over a games console. It’s also possible to set up separate temporary guest networks with time limits.

These features can all be managed through a dedicated Norton Core mobile app.

Smart home market

The “internet of things” or “smart home” market is expected to be worth $138 billion by 2023, according to a recent report from Markets and Markets, with a 13 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next six years. Central to this growth is the humble router, which is effectively the nerve center of the connected home.

“As the internet of things industry continues to evolve, connected homes become more common, and devices within homes continue to multiply, it’s vital that consumers have a way to protect their family’s connected devices from new and sophisticated attacks,” noted Symantec executive VP and manager Fran Rosch.

Routers are often thought of as little white boxes that sit hidden out of sight, but we’ve seen a number of companies bring sexier incarnations to market. Back in 2015, Google partnered with TP-Link to launch OnHub, which we called “ridiculously good-looking” at the time. This was followed by the $129 Google Wifi modular router a year later.

Other companies to bring sleek routers to market include Netgear, which launched the Orbi last year. Eero’s router system is also somewhat fancy.

The Norton Core is available now in Titanium Gold and Granite Gray through Norton’s online store, Best Buy, and Amazon.


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