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Symantec, EarthLink Join to Sell Security by Month

Security firm Symantec and Internet provider EarthLink on Tuesday launched a new subscription-based security service for consumers and small businesses that uses software from the former to block viruses, hackers, and other Internet threats for members of the latter.

The new service, dubbed "Norton Security Products brought to you by EarthLink," consists of Symantec's Norton AntiVirus and Norton Personal Firewall products, which are downloaded to the user's machine in exchange for a charge of $5.95 per month added to an EarthLink customer's bill.

Small businesses can also purchase Norton AntiVirus in multi-machine licensing packs and add it to their current EarthLink bill. A five-seat license for AntiVirus runs $14.95, while a 10-seat pack costs $24.95.

Unlike traditional service models, the Symantec-EarthLink partnership doesn't keep the software on servers, but installs it on the user's client computer. The major difference between this new offering and Symantec's boxed versions of its security software, said Kraig Lane, Symantec's group product manager, is the billing structure.

"Other than the way [customers] are being billed, the technology for both the traditional boxed software and this are the same," he said.

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