Norton 360 for Gamers 2024: Review Summary
Norton is ranked #1 of 28 antivirus brands.
Norton 360 for Gamers is the ideal antivirus for casual and pro gamers. It has perfect anti-malware protection, no impact on the speed of your PC, all the security features you need, and an excellent price.
Buy it if you want complete protection for up to 5 devices. You will get anti-malware, anti-phishing, a firewall, a password manager, and an unlimited VPN, which will protect your privacy online.
On top of that, Norton 360 for Gamers includes a Game Optimizer. It automatically detects when you’re gaming and lowers resource-intensive programs. This minimizes slowdowns and improves your FPS.
- Malware protection: 100%. Norton detected and removed each of the 1,200 malware samples in our test.
- Speed impact: 100%. Norton’s anti-malware engine is lightweight and did not slow down our test PC.
- Features: 100%. Norton 360 for Gamers includes anti-malware, anti-phishing, firewall, VPN, password manager, and more.
- Price: 100%. Few other antivirus brands have a Game Optimizer. So Norton 360 for Gamers offers unique value.
Thanks to the 60-day return policy, you can try it risk-free.
|Ranking||#1 of 28 🥇|
|Operating systems||Windows, macOS, iOS, Android|
|🔥 Discount||Save 60% on Norton 🔥|
Norton 360 for Gamers 2024: Full Review
Norton is ranked #1 of the 28 best antivirus of 2024.
We tested Norton 360 and found it to be a complete security package, even at its most basic level. Besides strong anti-malware, you get a firewall, anti-phishing tools, and a password manager. They even promise a 100% money-back guarantee if they can’t remove a virus.
If you go for the Norton 360 Deluxe, you’ll get extras like parental controls and a VPN with no data limits. U.S. users can upgrade for identity theft protection and more cloud storage.
We put Norton’s anti-malware engine through rigorous testing and were thoroughly impressed. It detected 100% of over 1,200 malware samples, ranging from viruses to zero-day attacks. This puts Norton in an elite group, rivaling top competitors like Bitdefender.
The real-time protection was equally remarkable. Whether the malware was zipped, plain, or encrypted, Norton stopped it dead in its tracks. What’s more, the full system scan took just 37 minutes, notably quicker than most competitors.
You’re not limited to full scans, either. Norton also offers quick and custom scans. You can even schedule them to run whenever you like. Gamers will love that Norton senses full-screen mode, avoiding interruptions during gameplay.
Overall, Norton delivers on malware protection without slowing down your device, giving you various scanning options to fit your needs.
We put Norton’s Safe Web extension to the test and found it to be a robust shield against phishing sites. It outperformed even Chrome and top-tier competitors like McAfee in detecting unsafe webpages. Safe Web doesn’t just block sites; it also offers a detailed report explaining why a site was flagged, giving you extra peace of mind.
Safe Web even scrutinizes links on social media, alerting you to questionable content. However, we found Norton’s Safe Search feature to be a mixed bag. While it color-codes search results for safety, it sometimes mislabels sites, so you still need to exercise caution.
In summary, Safe Web excels in anti-phishing, offering detailed insights into blocked sites. Safe Search, however, could use some improvements in accuracy.
We subjected Norton’s Smart Firewall to a battery of tests and came away very impressed. It outclassed built-in firewalls on both Windows and macOS, successfully stopping every network intrusion attempt in our testing. This included attacks that even the native Windows firewall missed.
One standout feature was the Stealth mode, which hides your network ports from public view. This is a significant upgrade, as most default ports are either open or closed, making them vulnerable to hacks.
For those who like to tinker, Norton offers a wide range of customization options. You can set specific rules for individual programs and even monitor a list of uncommon network protocols for suspicious activity.
In a nutshell, Norton’s Smart Firewall is top-notch, providing robust protection with options for customization to suit advanced users.
We tried out Norton’s built-in password manager and found it to be a valuable add-on. While not as feature-rich as standalone options like 1Password, it’s much better than what most antivirus solutions offer. You get secure 256-bit AES encryption, unlimited password storage, and cross-device synchronization.
Setting it up was a breeze. Import options are available for popular password managers like LastPass, and the auto-fill feature worked seamlessly. It also offers a password generator and a vault auditing tool that tells you which passwords need updating.
Norton even includes a mobile login option, allowing for biometric access. While two-factor authentication is available, it’s tied to your Norton account rather than the password manager itself, which could be a potential weak point.
The downside? Limited account recovery options. If you forget your master password and haven’t enabled biometrics, your only choice is to wipe your vault and start fresh.
All in all, Norton’s password manager is an excellent bonus feature, providing easy-to-use, secure password management across multiple devices.
We tested Norton’s bundled VPN and found it to be a standout among antivirus-included VPNs. The major win is unlimited data, even on cheaper plans. It offers key security features like 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and a no-logs policy. The server network is decent with over 2,000 servers across 30+ countries.
Connection speeds were a mixed bag. While we didn’t experience any major lag on local servers, speeds did drop when connected to international servers. Despite this, streaming worked well on platforms like Netflix and BBC iPlayer, although not for Disney+ and Hulu.
One limitation is its torrenting capability. Norton’s VPN does support P2P but only on dedicated servers, limiting you to auto-connected servers, typically in the Netherlands.
The VPN is available in multiple subscription plans, offering 1 to 10 device connections. We think the 5-device option gives you the most bang for your buck.
In summary, Norton’s VPN is a robust add-on. It’s not as fast or flexible as standalone VPNs but offers unlimited data and strong security features, making it a valuable part of Norton’s security suite.
Other security features
We put Norton’s additional security features to the test, and here’s what we found:
It’s a Chromium-based browser with features like Privacy Guard and Web Shield. While not groundbreaking, it centralizes Norton’s tools in one interface, making it user-friendly. One downside: the Extension Guard was inconsistent in what it blocked.
Dark Web Monitoring
This feature scans dark web forums and other databases for your personal information. It even employs live agents for this purpose. If your data is found, you get immediate alerts and advice on steps to take. It’s effective and offers a human touch not found in some competitors.
Norton offers robust parental controls, surpassing even standalone apps in this category. You can monitor unlimited devices, filter content, set usage limits, and even employ a “School Time” mode. However, it doesn’t work on Mac or Chromebooks, and tech-savvy kids might find ways around some features.
This tool safeguards your personal information from data brokers. It scans about 25 data brokers for your data and gives you a list. We found it easy to request removal of our information, taking less than 2 minutes.
We found it highly effective against ransomware. Even when we whitelisted a ransomware simulator, Data Protector blocked multiple attacks. It’s easy to customize which files you want to protect, making it an excellent tool.
Norton offers basic optimization like disk defrag and file cleanup. Upgrading to Utilities Ultimate gives real-time optimization and more control. In our experience, Utilities Ultimate boosted performance significantly, particularly when running demanding software.
LifeLock (US Only)
LifeLock is a robust identity protection service offered by Norton. It monitors credit reports from top agencies and offers live recovery assistance and legal aid. We found its real-time alerts for suspicious activities involving our credit or identity to be highly effective.
LifeLock even offers up to $1M in insurance for serious identity theft cases. While excellent, it’s limited to U.S. users, making it less versatile globally compared to some competitors like McAfee.
This feature quickly scans and updates drivers on your PC. In our tests, it checked over 100 drivers in under a minute. One-click updates make it user-friendly, and we experienced no slowdowns while using it. It outperformed Avast in speed and also includes a compatibility check system to recommend suitable drivers for your machine.
This tool scans for outdated software and updates them seamlessly. We like that it processes updates in small batches to prevent system drain. It also provides reasons if an update fails, which we found helpful. The auto-update feature is a good addition for those who prefer a hands-off approach.
Norton’s Cloud Backup service is a straightforward backup tool aimed at PC users. It allows for scheduled backups, specific file selection, and both cloud and local disk storage options. We tested it and found that it automatically backed up 50 GB of various file types. While not groundbreaking, it’s a reliable choice for those who don’t already use another cloud storage service. Storage ranges from 2 to 500 GB, depending on your Norton plan.
Norton 360 packs in a lot of extras. Some noteworthy ones include PC SafeCam, offering webcam protection; a specialized Gamer edition; an effective spam filter; AntiTrack for increased privacy; and a Virus Protection Promise that offers a refund if Norton can’t remove a detected virus.
Norton’s mobile offerings are extensive but fragmented across multiple apps. On Android and Chromebook, we particularly liked the App Advisor, which checks both existing and new apps for security risks. Web protections and SMS spam filters were effective on both iOS and Android.
The downside? You’ll need to install multiple apps for full protection, including separate ones for a password manager and LifeLock identity theft protection.
Norton offers a broad spectrum of support options, from phone and live chat to FAQs and a community forum. We found Norton’s support resources a bit scattered on their website, but once you get through, the quality of support is excellent.
Norton’s phone support is available in numerous languages, 24/7. In our experience, the representatives were well-informed and helpful. However, the process to contact them felt cumbersome; we had to fill out an online form and use a time-sensitive verification code. A more direct approach, like providing phone numbers, would be better.
Live chat support is also strong. While you initially interact with a virtual assistant, the human reps that follow are professional and can even offer remote assistance.
The FAQ section is detailed enough that many users may find their solutions there without needing further help. But the community forum leaves room for improvement; responses are slow and sometimes absent.
Norton also offers a premium support service, Norton Ultimate Help Desk, that provides remote troubleshooting. While this might be beneficial for tech novices, the cost may not be justifiable for more savvy users.
Plans and pricing
In the table below are the core products with their features and prices.
The prices shown are from the USA. However, most brands have different prices (and currencies) in other regions. So visit the brand’s website to see the price in our country.
Note that some features, like the identity theft protection features, are accessed through Norton’s website, rather than the app.
Norton offers a range of antivirus plans to suit various needs and budgets, from basic coverage to extensive security and identity theft protection. Here’s a quick rundown:
This basic plan, costing $19.99 / year, offers strong malware protection for one device along with a smart firewall and 2GB of cloud storage. It’s basic but effective for a single device.
For $39.99 / year, this plan covers one to three devices and adds features like VPN, dark web monitoring, and webcam protection. It’s a great starting point for comprehensive security.
At $49.99 / year, this is Norton’s best-value plan, supporting up to five devices. It includes parental controls, privacy monitor, and a whopping 50GB of cloud storage.
Norton 360 for Gamers
Tailored for gamers, this $44.99 / year plan offers the game booster Norton GO. In our tests, it optimized games noticeably, making it a top pick for gamers.
Available in select countries, these plans provide extra storage and cover up to 10 devices. Priced at $59.99 / year, they’re good if you have multiple devices and lots of data.
Norton 360 with LifeLock Plans (US Only)
These plans combine identity theft protection with robust antivirus features. Starting at $99.99 / year, they provide credit monitoring, legal assistance, and substantial identity theft insurance.
Norton’s plans offer strong antivirus protection with extras like VPN, cloud storage, and identity theft protection in higher-tier plans. However, the subscription model lacks flexibility in adding extra devices. Still, Norton covers a broad range of cybersecurity needs, from basic to premium.
Test score comparison
Next to our own anti-malware tests, we analyze those by AV-Test. We’ve compared the results of the 10 most recent tests for Windows 10. The tests were performed by AV-Test, the German anti-malware test lab. They use three factors:
- Protection (1-6): Antivirus protection against malware attacks.
- Performance (1-6): System slowdown caused by the antivirus.
- Usability (1-6): Frequency of false alarms and disruptions.
We used their results, and this formula, to calculate the final score:
Final Score = 60% Protection + 20% Performance + 20% Usability.
Brands not listed in the table haven’t participated in the analysis by AV-Test. This is usually not a good sign. Because most reputable brands, except Panda, ESET, and Sophos, partake in the test.
We’ve compared the prices of the top antivirus products for Windows. To make it a fair comparison, we looked at what it would cost us, to protect a single Windows PC with the most essential features:
- Anti-phishing (web protection)
- Password manager
- Unlimited VPN (no data limit)
A few notes:
- Some brands are missing features, lowering their value for money.
- Prices are second-year prices in the USA, without first-year discounts.
- Prices are rounded up for readability (e.g., $99.99 becomes $100).
Brands have different prices outside the USA. See those on their website.
We’ve compared the user reviews of all antivirus brands. We’ve used the scores and review count of TrustPilot, a leading user review platform. However, take these results with a grain of salt, as some brands actively attempt to increase their ratings.
Personally, we are wary of exceptionally high scores. Especially those by brands such as TotalAV, known for aggressive marketing and sales tactics.
We consider scores between 4.0 and 4.5 good and realistic. Higher scores are dubious, and lower scores indicate that the brand might have a poor product or customer service. McAfee’s scores, for instance, are worrying.
Norton is owned by Gen (NASDAQ: GEN).
Gen is a global technology company specializing in Cyber Safety. With a mission to enable people to navigate the digital world securely and privately, the company serves as an umbrella for several respected brands in the cybersecurity industry. These brands leverage cutting-edge AI technology and in-depth data analytics to safeguard over 500 million users across 150 countries.
The company operates dual headquarters, one in Tempe, Arizona, United States, and the other in Prague, Czech Republic. Gen’s portfolio includes:
- Norton, a leading Cyber Safety brand offering award-winning device protection and online privacy solutions.
- Avast, recognized for its advanced threat detection network, which employs machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide top-notch digital security and privacy.
- LifeLock, a pioneer in identity theft protection in the U.S., equipped with dedicated Identity Restoration Specialists.
- Avira, known for providing free security tools and has received accolades from various industry experts.
- AVG, focusing on a wide array of software security needs including internet security, performance optimization, and data control.
- ReputationDefender, specializing in online reputation management to ensure fair and accurate online representation.
- CCleaner, a leader in system optimization software, widely used for both individual and corporate needs.
By uniting these brands, Gen aims to address the critical cybersecurity challenges that society faces today and anticipates for the future.
How we test antivirus software
Below we describe how we run our tests. For even more details, visit our blog posts on how we test antivirus software.
Anti-malware protection test
We analyze antivirus software’s capability to detect and eliminate known and unknown malware, using heuristic analysis for behavior monitoring.
We conduct in-house tests and analyze those from labs like AV-Test, SE Labs, and AV-Comparatives to determine the best malware protection.
Malware includes adware, keyloggers, ransomware, rootkits, spyware, trojans, viruses, worms, and more. Other cyber threats, usually not classified as malware, are (zero-day) exploits, hacks, identity theft, phishing attacks, scams, and social engineering.
False positives test
False positives occur when antivirus software misidentifies legitimate software, files, or websites as malicious. We rely on AV-Test’s large-scale analysis of false positives in its usability test to guide our evaluations.
System performance test
We measure the CPU load during antivirus software system scans and consider AV-Test’s performance results on the slowdown caused by antivirus software when opening websites and handling software.
We evaluate two-way firewalls that filter incoming and outgoing data and allow users to set rules to regulate data streams. We use the ShieldsUP! test to determine if the antivirus software blocks all ports.
Password manager test
We assess password managers’ ability to create, store, and autofill secure passwords, as well as additional features like two-factor authentication and biometric login.
Virtual Private Network (VPN) test
We evaluate built-in VPNs on their security, privacy, speed, compatibility with streaming services, unlimited data access, and support for peer-to-peer networks and torrent clients.
Parental control test
We examine parental control features, such as screen time rules, website/app blocking, and real-world location tracking. We test these features on a device and attempt to circumvent them, checking if the activity is accurately reported in the parental control admin.
Anti-phishing protection test
We evaluate antivirus browser extensions that block phishing sites by installing them and attempting to visit dangerous URLs.
Ransomware protection test
We assess security suites’ ability to prevent data encryption through exploit prevention and behavioral detection during ransomware attacks.
Bonus features test
We test any additional cybersecurity tools such as:
- Ad Blocker
- Dark web monitoring (identity protection)
- Email protection
- File encryption
- File shredder
- Gaming mode
- Microphone protection
- PC maintenance features
- Secure browser (hardened browser to protect your online banking)
- Secure cloud storage (cloud backup)
- Spam filter
- Startup optimizer
- Tune up tools
- Virtual keyboard
- Webcam protection
Ownership and reputation test
We analyze the trustworthiness of antivirus companies, especially concerning customer data. We read press releases, news articles, and privacy policies to determine their reputation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are the most frequently asked questions.
Is Norton a good antivirus program?
How do we test antivirus software?
We analyze the protection from malware, the performance impact on a PC, and the number of false positives. On top of that, we test various security features such as the firewall, password manager, VPN, and more.
Author: Tibor Moes
Founder & Chief Editor at SoftwareLab