Norton 360 Standard 2024: Review Summary
Norton is ranked #1 of 28 antivirus brands.
Norton 360 Standard is the best antivirus for a single device. It has perfect anti-malware protection, no impact on the speed of your PC, many security features, and an excellent price.
Buy it if you want complete protection for one device (3 in the US). You will get anti-malware, anti-phishing, a firewall, a password manager, and an unlimited VPN, which will protect your privacy online.
If you need to protect more devices, consider Norton 360 Deluxe. It also includes includes dark web monitoring and parental controls.
- 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 Standard includes anti-malware, anti-phishing, firewall, VPN, password manager, and more.
- Price: 90%. Norton 360 Standard has a fair price, but for a little bit more, you get Norton 360 Deluxe, which protects more devices.
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 Standard 2024: Full Review
Norton is ranked #1 of the 28 best antivirus of 2024.
We tested Norton 360 and found it to be a robust choice for antivirus protection. Even its basic plan offers a strong anti-malware engine, firewall, anti-phishing, and a password manager. Plus, you get 2 GB of cloud storage and a money-back guarantee if Norton can’t remove a virus.
Upgrading to Norton 360 Deluxe adds a lot more. You get parental controls and a feature to limit kids’ internet during school. There’s also a VPN with no data cap, webcam security, and up to 50 GB cloud storage. For U.S. customers, Norton LifeLock plans offer up to 250 GB storage and identity theft protection.
In our extensive tests, Norton’s malware scanner stood out as one of the best. It caught 100% of over 1,200 different types of malware, from viruses to spyware. Not many competitors, Bitdefender being an exception, can claim the same success rate.
We were equally impressed by Norton’s real-time protection. It blocked every attempt we made to download a malware database, whether the files were plain, zipped, or encrypted. Norton acted instantly, keeping our machines clean and secure.
We found Norton to be faster than most. A full disk scan took only 37 minutes, while competitors often take an hour or more. You can also pick from other scan types like Quick and Custom scans, and even schedule them for convenience.
What’s more, Norton is smart about not disturbing you during gaming or movie-watching. It senses when you’re in full-screen mode and holds off on notifications and scans.
Overall, Norton excels in malware detection and real-time protection, without slowing down your PC. It’s a top pick, especially for gamers.
We put Norton’s Safe Web extension to the test and found it highly effective against phishing sites, outperforming Chrome and even top rivals like McAfee. Available for major browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge, this extension also provides an Intrusion Prevention System for secure online transactions.
One feature we particularly liked is the “View Full Report” button that appears when a website is flagged. It offers a detailed breakdown of why the site is considered risky, including community reviews.
Safe Web also integrates with social media. If a friend posts a questionable link on Facebook or Twitter, you get an instant alert. However, Norton’s Safe Search could be better. It gave some false positives and negatives in our tests. The color-coded system (green, orange, red) is handy, but don’t rely solely on it; exercise your own judgment.
In summary, Norton’s Safe Web offers top-notch anti-phishing with useful insights into flagged sites. While Safe Search needs improvement, the overall browsing protection is strong.
We thoroughly evaluated Norton’s Smart Firewall and can say it’s a big step up from the default firewalls on Windows and macOS. It excels in features like ARP and DNS spoofing protection and SSL man-in-the-middle attack detection. In our tests, it caught every network intrusion, even those that slipped past the Windows firewall.
Another win for Norton is the Stealth mode, which makes network ports invisible to outsiders. This is far more secure than the usual open or closed port settings.
For those who like to tinker, Norton offers a lot of customization. You can set access rules for individual programs and even monitor uncommon network protocols that malware might exploit. But if you’re not tech-savvy, the default settings work just fine.
In summary, Norton’s Smart Firewall offers robust protection with a high level of customization. It’s reliable, effective, and gives you peace of mind when you’re connected to the internet.
We tried Norton’s built-in password manager and found it to be surprisingly robust, especially when compared to the basic offerings from other antivirus suites. Though it may not match standalone giants like 1Password or Dashlane, it comes with several handy features that make it special.
Key highlights include:
- Strong 256-bit AES encryption
- Unlimited password storage
- Multi-device sync across PCs, Macs, and mobiles
- Browser extensions for popular web browsers
- Auto-save and auto-fill functions
- Password generator
- Vault auditing tools
After setting a master password, we easily imported existing passwords from LastPass. We also appreciated the auto-fill option, which made logging into sites like PayPal a breeze.
Norton takes it a step further with vault auditing tools. These tools inform you about the health of your stored passwords, pointing out weak or duplicated entries. We found this feature to be incredibly helpful for maintaining good password hygiene.
For mobile users, biometric login options are available. Two-factor authentication (2FA) can also be enabled, although it’s tied to your Norton account rather than the password manager itself—a minor drawback.
Another downside is the limited account recovery options. You need to have biometrics enabled beforehand to recover a forgotten master password, or else you’re left with the option of destroying your vault and starting anew.
In summary, Norton’s password manager provides a comprehensive, user-friendly, and secure solution. While it may not be perfect, it’s a top contender among antiviruses that include password managers, offering a range of features usually reserved for standalone services.
We tested Norton’s bundled VPN and were quite impressed, particularly when compared to other antivirus-included VPNs. It offers unlimited data, even on the cheapest plan, a feature often reserved for pricier tiers by competitors like Bitdefender.
Norton’s VPN boasts essential security features like 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and a no-logs policy. Additional perks include Wi-Fi security, split-tunneling, an ad-blocker, and compatibility with Tor.
It offers a decent network of 2,000+ servers across 30+ countries. While it may not rival standalone services like ExpressVPN, it covers six continents, allowing for good connectivity nearly everywhere.
However, speed is a bit of a drawback. It wasn’t as fast as some competitors like TotalAV, but it wasn’t the slowest either. In our tests, browsing and HD streaming were smooth, but international connections did have a noticeable lag.
Streaming fans will be pleased to know it works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime, though it struggles with Disney+ and Hulu. As for torrenting, it’s supported but with restrictions, especially on the servers you can connect to.
Norton’s VPN can be a standalone purchase or part of broader antivirus packages, with options to cover from 1 to 10 devices. The 5-device plan strikes a balance between coverage and value.
To sum it up, Norton’s VPN offers a solid, user-friendly option with diverse server locations and robust security features. It might not be a speed demon or as comprehensive as standalone VPN services, but for an antivirus-bundled VPN, it’s one of the best we’ve seen in 2024.
Other security features
Dark Web Monitoring
Norton scans the dark web for your personal data, providing an active, comprehensive monitoring service. Available in over 20 countries, it not only alerts you when your information is compromised but also offers actionable advice to secure your identity.
Unlike typical database-based monitors, Norton employs live agents to infiltrate dark web forums, providing a more thorough and proactive monitoring service. For U.S. users, this feature complements Norton’s LifeLock identity protection services, adding an extra layer of security.
Norton’s Privacy Monitor identifies and helps remove your personal information from data broker websites. By scanning about 25 of these sites, it consolidates found data and lets you request its removal.
We found the tool incredibly straightforward. Within a couple of minutes, we were able to identify and request removal of our data from six brokers. For added convenience, a separate subscription service will handle these removals for you.
Norton Safe Family offers standout parental controls, and for good reason—it’s ranked as the best antivirus with parental controls in 2024. The feature suite includes content filtering, website and app blocking, YouTube activity monitoring, and more.
It’s also compatible with Windows, iOS, and Android devices. While most competitors limit device numbers, Norton lets you monitor an unlimited number. However, it’s not available for Mac or Chromebook, and tech-savvy kids may find some loopholes.
Norton’s Secure Browser is a Chromium-based option aimed at enhancing user security. While not groundbreaking, it consolidates various Norton features for easy access. For instance, it has a Privacy Guard to block ads and trackers, although it’s not foolproof. The Web Shield effectively detects and blocks malicious sites.
It also comes pre-loaded with Norton Password Manager and offers an Extension Guard, which was inconsistent in our testing. While it does offer a centralized dashboard to manage these features, tech-savvy users can achieve similar functionalities with standard browser extensions.
Identity Theft Protections (US Only)
Norton’s LifeLock identity protections are impressive and comprehensive, especially for US users. They cover everything from credit monitoring to legal assistance, all the way to a $1M insurance payout in serious cases of identity theft.
In our experience, the real-time alerts about credit activities were particularly noteworthy. LifeLock gathers data from leading credit reporting agencies in the U.S., making it highly reliable. However, the downside is its availability is restricted to the U.S., making it less versatile than some competitors like McAfee. Still, if you’re based in the U.S., LifeLock is the go-to option for securing your identity.
Norton’s Data Protector excelled in our tests against ransomware. It blocked a ransomware simulator containing 25 different attacks, putting it ahead of competitors like Malwarebytes.
When we whitelisted the simulator, it still effectively blocked various ransomware attacks. The feature is highly customizable, letting you safeguard specific files and folders besides the defaults. In short, it’s an excellent tool for ransomware protection.
Norton’s built-in system tune-up tools are efficient but not extraordinary. They cover disk optimization, file cleanup, and startup management. We especially liked the Graphs feature, which gives an activity timeline, offering insights into Norton’s background operations.
The Utilities Ultimate upgrade, however, takes optimization to the next level. From real-time system cleanup to CPU and RAM optimization, it significantly enhances system performance. We noticed a visible difference when running CPU-intensive applications like Photoshop. The catch? It’s a paid add-on for most Norton plans, unlike some competitors who include similar features in their premium packages.
Norton’s Driver Updater is fast and efficient. In our tests on a Windows 11 PC, the tool scanned over 100 drivers in under a minute and offered a one-click update for outdated drivers. The database it uses includes over 50 million malware-free drivers, making it reliable.
A standout feature is the compatibility check, which recommends drivers tailored to your system to avoid issues. While there’s a backup and revert option available, we found it unnecessary due to the overall reliability and compatibility of the updates.
Norton’s Software Updater is another winner. It discovered 11 outdated programs on our Windows 11 system and updated them seamlessly. We appreciated the feature where Norton processes only a few updates at a time to avoid hogging system resources.
The tool also gives detailed reasons for any update failures, which is a plus. Although it doesn’t update drivers like some competitors, it is still excellent for keeping your software up-to-date and secure.
We tested Norton’s Cloud Backup and found it to be a solid option for PC users. Just like Dropbox or iCloud, you can schedule backups and choose specific files. It automatically backed up 50GB of important files for us, but you can also manually select which files to save. It’s not groundbreaking but does the job. Storage options range from 2-500GB depending on your Norton plan.
Norton 360 packs a lot into its offering. It includes PC SafeCam for webcam security, a Gamer mode, a spam filter, and an AntiTrack add-on. They even promise a refund if they can’t remove a virus from your device. While these features are extensive, they’re mostly for Windows users.
The mobile protections for both Android and iOS impressed us. Despite not officially supporting Chromebooks, it worked well on ours. Norton provides everything from malware scans to VPNs. We especially liked the App Advisor that reviews apps before and after you install them. Our only gripe is that Norton’s features are spread across multiple apps, making it less convenient.
Norton offers a variety of support channels: phone, live chat, FAQs, and even a premium package. We found the support to be highly effective but not always easy to navigate. The phone support is available in many languages, which outshines competitors like Malwarebytes. Our interaction with an agent in Colombia was top-notch.
However, the phone support process could be smoother. You fill out an online form and get a time-sensitive code to initiate the call, which can be cumbersome. We’d prefer a direct dial option.
Live chat is accessible but starts with a virtual assistant. Once you get to a human, the support is excellent and they can even provide remote assistance. The FAQs are generally helpful, but the community forum lags in response time. For those who want to go the extra mile, Norton offers a premium support called Ultimate Help Desk, ideal for beginners but a bit pricey for the tech-savvy.
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.
Norton offers a wide range of plans, each catering to specific needs. For basic antivirus protection, Norton AntiVirus Plus at $19.99 / year is a good pick but limited to one device and lacks features like VPN and parental controls.
Norton 360 Standard, priced at $39.99 / year, is a step-up, offering VPN, webcam protection, and dark web monitoring for one device. U.S. users get coverage for three devices.
Norton 360 Deluxe is our top recommendation for its blend of features and value. At $49.99 / year, it covers up to five devices, includes parental controls, and a substantial 50 GB of cloud storage. However, Norton’s plans aren’t flexible in adding more devices.
For gamers, Norton 360 for Gamers comes at $44.99 / year for three devices. Its game booster feature optimizes your gaming experience effectively.
In select countries, Norton 360 Premium and Advanced offer up to 10 devices with 100 GB and 200 GB cloud storage respectively, priced at $59.99 / year. These are solid options for large households.
Norton also provides LifeLock plans for U.S. users, starting at $99.99 / year. These plans add identity theft protection features, including credit monitoring and legal assistance. The LifeLock Advantage and Ultimate Plus tiers offer enhanced protections but can get expensive, going up to $299.88 / year.
In summary, Norton’s plans offer strong security features but lack flexibility in adding extra devices. Prices range from affordable to expensive, depending on the level of protection you desire.
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