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Norton Antivirus for Mac Review (2024): The Pros & Cons

By Tibor Moes / Updated: November 2023 / Rating: 5 of 5

Norton Antivirus for Mac Review 2024

Norton 360 for Mac 2024: Review Summary

Norton is ranked #1 of 28 antivirus brands.

Norton Antivirus for Mac is the best antivirus for Mac in 2024. It has perfect anti-malware protection, no impact on the speed of your MacBook or iMac, all the security features you need, and an excellent price.

Buy it if you want complete protection for your Mac. You will get anti-malware, anti-phishing, a firewall, a password manager, and an unlimited VPN, which will protect your privacy online.

  • 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 Mac.
  • Features: 100%. Norton Antivirus for Mac includes anti-malware, anti-phishing, firewall, VPN, password manager, and more.
  • Price: 100%. Compared to similar products at Bitdefender and McAfee, Norton Antivirus for Mac offers more value for money.

Thanks to the 60-day return policy, you can try it risk-free.

Ranking  #1 of 28 🥇
Password Manager
Unlimited VPN
Operating systems Windows, macOS, iOS, Android
🔥 Discount Save 60% on Norton 🔥
Norton Antivirus for Mac - Dashboard

Norton Antivirus for Mac 2024: Full Review

Norton is ranked #1 of the 28 best antivirus for Mac.

We tested Norton 360 for Mac and found it to be a feature-rich antivirus solution. Even at the basic level, you get more than just malware protection. There’s also a firewall, anti-phishing tools, and a password manager. Plus, if Norton can’t remove a virus, you get your money back.

Stepping up to Norton 360 Deluxe adds even more. You get parental controls, unlimited VPN, and dark web monitoring. US customers can opt for Norton LifeLock plans for extra identity protection and more cloud storage.

When it comes to cost, Norton is on par with rivals like Bitdefender and McAfee. But Norton stands out with a 60-day money-back guarantee, giving you ample time to try before you buy. Overall, it offers a robust set of features for a competitive price.

Norton Antivirus for Mac - Anti-Malware


We put Norton’s anti-malware capabilities to the test, and it aced every challenge. Using a large set of over 1,200 malware files, Norton caught them all. That’s an achievement only a few like Bitdefender can match.

Its real-time protection also impressed us. When we tried to download the same set of malware files again, Norton stopped them dead in their tracks—even when zipped or encrypted.

The full scan was speedy, taking only 37 minutes, while many competitors average around an hour. Norton also provides a range of scan options like quick and custom scans, which you can easily schedule.

Gamers, take note: Norton knows when you’re in full-screen mode and won’t interrupt your gameplay with notifications or scans.

In summary, Norton’s malware protection is top-notch, it offers flexible scanning options, and it won’t slow you down. It’s one of the best choices for comprehensive and efficient malware defense.

Norton Antivirus for Mac - Anti-Phishing


We extensively tested Norton’s anti-phishing capabilities and came away impressed, especially with the Safe Web browser extension. Available for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge, it caught nearly all phishing sites we threw at it—outperforming even Chrome and McAfee.

What sets Safe Web apart is its detailed reports on flagged websites. You can click to see why a site is risky and read community reviews, adding an extra layer of trust. The Safe Web dashboard even allows you to look up the safety ratings of any site, offering a wealth of information at your fingertips.

Safe Search, Norton’s search engine, was less impressive. It color-codes sites in your search results, but we found it wasn’t always accurate. Some risky sites showed up as safe, and some safe sites were marked “untested.” However, it does scan links on social media, providing another layer of security.

In summary, Norton’s Safe Web is a powerhouse for anti-phishing, giving detailed insights on risky websites. Safe Search has room for improvement but still offers a decent extra layer of protection.

Norton Antivirus for Mac - Firewall


We put Norton’s Smart Firewall through its paces and found it to be a robust upgrade over built-in firewalls on Windows and macOS. In our tests, it detected every network intrusion attempt, outperforming the default Windows firewall in several instances.

One standout feature was how Norton placed our network ports in Stealth mode, essentially hiding them from public view and making them hack-resistant. This is a significant advantage over most built-in firewalls, where ports are usually just open or closed.

Norton offers a high level of customization. You can set specific access and traffic rules for every program on your PC, though most users will find the default settings sufficient. It also monitors 136 uncommon protocols, alerting you to any suspicious activity.

In a nutshell, Norton’s Smart Firewall is excellent, offering both robust protection and a wealth of customization options. It’s a solid choice for anyone looking to amp up their network security.

Norton Antivirus for Mac - Password Manager

Password manager

We found Norton’s built-in password manager to be a cut above what most antivirus software offer. It’s not as feature-rich as standalone apps like 1Password or Dashlane, but it’s secure and comes with several handy features.

Firstly, Norton uses strong 256-bit AES encryption for your password vault. You get unlimited password storage and synchronization across multiple devices including PCs, Macs, Androids, and iOS. Browser extensions make it easy to use across Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari.

During our testing, the auto-save and auto-fill functions worked smoothly. The password generator and vault auditing are standout features, alerting you to weak or duplicate passwords.

A couple of limitations did catch our attention. The two-factor authentication (2FA) is tied to your Norton account, not the password manager itself, posing a security risk. Also, if you forget your master password, recovery options are limited, making biometric setup beforehand crucial.

Overall, Norton’s password manager offers multi-device sync, secure password storage, and extra features like vault auditing. Despite minor drawbacks, it remains an excellent, free add-on to Norton’s antivirus suite.

Norton Antivirus for Mac - VPN


We tested Norton’s VPN and found it to be one of the better options bundled with antivirus software. One key advantage is its unlimited data allowance, even on the most basic plan. It uses strong 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and maintains a no-logs policy, which ensures your online activities are private.

Norton’s VPN has around 2,000 servers in over 30 countries, covering six continents. While not as expansive as standalone VPNs like ExpressVPN, it’s sufficient for most users. However, we found the connection speeds to be middle-of-the-road, neither impressive nor too slow. During our tests, browsing and streaming remained smooth, although ping increased when connected to distant servers.

If you’re interested in streaming, it successfully unblocked Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and HBO Max, but failed to work with Disney+ and Hulu. For torrenting, it supports P2P but with limitations. You can’t select your server; instead, you’re automatically connected to a dedicated P2P server located in the Netherlands.

Norton offers its VPN in various plans, allowing from 1 to 10 device connections. It’s also available as a standalone service.

Overall, Norton’s VPN is solid but not spectacular. It offers decent security features, server choices, and unlimited data, making it a worthwhile addition to Norton’s antivirus packages.

Other security features

We put Norton’s additional security features under the microscope, and here’s what we found:

Secure Browser

Norton’s Secure Browser is a Chromium-based option for Windows and Mac users. It comes with built-in features like Privacy Guard, Web Shield, and Norton Password Manager. However, its Extension Guard was inconsistent, allowing some extensions while blocking others with similar permissions. Although it centralizes some Chrome features within its own interface, tech-savvy users might not find anything revolutionary here.

Data Protector

Norton excels in ransomware protection. During our tests, its Data Protector immediately flagged a ransomware simulator and blocked it from downloading. Even when we whitelisted the simulator, Data Protector stopped most of its ransomware attacks. Customization is also a strong suit, letting you add specific files and folders for protection.

Parental Controls

Norton’s parental controls are robust, offering a wide range of features such as content filtering, app monitoring, and location tracking. We found the “School Time” mode particularly useful for parents wanting to focus their kids on educational sites. However, the controls have some limitations on Mac and can be bypassed by tech-savvy kids on Windows.

Privacy Monitor

Norton’s Privacy Monitor helps you regain control over your personal data being traded by data brokers. Through the Norton dashboard, it scans around 25 data brokers and pinpoints where your data resides. We found it extremely user-friendly, taking less than 2 minutes to request the removal of our personal info from these platforms.

Device Optimization

Norton offers a decent range of system tune-up tools, including disk optimization and startup management. The Graphs feature particularly caught our attention, as it visually displayed all the background activities performed by Norton. However, basic file cleanup could be better— it doesn’t handle cookies or duplicate files. For advanced optimization, Utilities Ultimate is a paid upgrade that offers real-time system cleaning and performance boosts. We noticed a significant reduction in system lag when running CPU-intensive programs like Photoshop.

Dark Web Monitoring

Available in over 20 countries, Norton’s dark web monitoring goes beyond typical breach databases by employing live agents who infiltrate dark web forums. It covers a comprehensive list of personal details such as bank accounts and driver’s licenses. We appreciated the immediate notification and advice provided when any of our information was found.

Identity Theft Protections (US Only)

Norton’s LifeLock service is a fortress for identity protection, offering features like credit monitoring and legal aid. We were alerted instantaneously about credit-related activities, thanks to real-time monitoring from major credit reporting agencies like TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. LifeLock even provides up to $1M in legal assistance and insurance payouts for identity theft victims. However, it’s exclusive to US customers, a limitation when compared to McAfee’s less comprehensive but more internationally available service.

Driver Updater

Norton’s Driver Updater makes keeping your PC drivers current a breeze. We scanned over 100 drivers in less than a minute. Updating them was a one-click affair, and the process was smooth, with no system slowdown. It outperformed Avast in speed and provided a compatibility check system, ensuring the new drivers fit our system like a glove.

Software Updater

With Norton’s Software Updater, outdated programs don’t stand a chance. When we ran it on a Windows 11 machine, it located 11 programs needing updates and took care of them in a single click. What we loved was its ability to give reasons for any failed updates. For instance, paint.NET couldn’t update because it was running; closing it resolved the issue. While it doesn’t handle driver updates like Avira, it’s an excellent tool for maintaining up-to-date software, minimizing security risks.

Cloud Backup

Norton’s Cloud Backup is a straightforward way to safeguard your important files. While it won’t win any innovation awards, it performs reliably. We managed to back up 50 GB of various media files effortlessly. It allows both automated and manual file selection for backup. Depending on your Norton plan, storage capacities range from 2-500 GB.

Additional Features

Norton 360 offers a plethora of other tools that add value:

  • PC SafeCam: Keeps your webcam secure from unauthorized access.
  • Norton 360 for Gamers: Tailored features for gaming on Windows.
  • Spam Filter: Efficiently filters unwanted emails and lets you control trusted and blocked lists.
  • AntiTrack: An add-on that enhances online privacy by blocking trackers.
  • Virus Protection Promise: Full refund guaranteed if Norton fails to remove a virus.

Mobile App

Norton’s mobile protections are solid but spread across multiple apps, which can be cumbersome. Despite that, we were impressed by the depth of features. For instance, the App Advisor scans new and existing apps on Android for potential risks, and web protection effectively blocks malicious websites. Special mention to the SMS spam filter and Secure Calendar on iOS that guard against phishing attempts.

We tested Norton’s Android security apps on a Chromebook and found them to be highly effective, even though Chromebooks are not “officially supported.”

Customer Support

Norton offers extensive customer support options, but navigating to them can be a bit challenging due to a disorganized support page. Once you reach them, the service is excellent.

We were impressed by the multilingual phone support available 24/7, a feature not commonly found among competitors. The only hiccup was the somewhat cumbersome process to initiate a phone call—having to fill an online form and wait for a verification code, which also expires after a short time.

Live chat is another strong point. After bypassing an initial virtual assistant, we found the real human agents to be highly competent and capable of remote assistance. This can be invaluable for immediate problem-solving.

FAQs and troubleshooting guides are comprehensive and often saved us the time of having to contact an agent. However, the community forum could be improved; many posts remained unanswered, and responses from Norton took days.

Norton also offers a premium support option, the Norton Ultimate Help Desk, which enables remote control assistance. While it can be helpful for beginners, the extra cost may not be justified for those with some technical know-how.

In summary, Norton’s customer support is robust and outclasses most competitors, especially in terms of language options and service quality. The main improvement area is the ease of access to these services.

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 Antivirus Plus
Norton 360 Standard
Norton 360 Deluxe
Norton 360 for Gamers
Norton 360 Advanced
Norton 360 Premium
Norton 360 with LifeLock Select (US-only)
Norton 360 with LifeLock Advantage (US-only)
Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate Plus (US-only)
Operating software
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
First-year price (USA)
$19.99 / year
$39.99 / year
$49.99 / year
$44.99 / year
$59.99 / year
$59.99 / year
$99.99 / year
$191.88 / year
$299.88 / year
1 (3 in the USA)
Cloud backup
2 GB
2 GB
50 GB
50 GB
200 GB
100 GB
250 GB
250 GB
500 GB
Password manager
Dark web monitoring
Only in the USA
Privacy monitor
Parental controls
Identity theft protection
In some countries

Plan description

Norton AntiVirus Plus — Basic Plan

For $19.99 / year, this plan offers real-time malware protection, a smart firewall, Norton’s password manager, and 2 GB of cloud storage. It’s limited to one device and lacks features like VPN and parental controls.

Norton 360 Standard — Entry-level 360 Plan

Costing $39.99 / year, this plan provides all the AntiVirus Plus features and adds VPN, webcam protection, and dark web monitoring. It covers 1-3 devices, depending on your location.

Norton 360 Deluxe — Best Value

At $49.99 / year, you get everything in the 360 Standard plus coverage for up to 5 devices, parental controls, 50 GB cloud storage, and more. The only downside is you can’t add extra devices without upgrading plans.

Norton 360 for Gamers — Gaming Special

This $44.99 / year plan includes the 360 Deluxe features and adds game-boosting capabilities. We found Norton GO significantly enhanced gaming performance.

Norton 360 Premium — Advanced Features

Available in select countries, this $59.99 / year plan provides 360 Deluxe features, covers up to 10 devices, and offers 100 GB of cloud storage.

Norton 360 Advanced — International Advanced Plan

Similar to 360 Premium but with up to 200 GB storage. Priced at $59.99 / year, it’s good for larger device numbers.

Norton 360 with LifeLock Select (US Only) — Identity Theft Protection

Starting at $99.99 / year, this plan combines Norton 360 Deluxe features with comprehensive identity theft protections, including $25,000 insurance and 250 GB cloud storage.

Norton 360 with LifeLock Advantage (US Only) — Enhanced Identity Protections

Priced at $191.88 / year, this extends the Select plan with higher insurance payouts and extra identity monitoring features.

Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate Plus (US Only) — Premium Identity and Asset Protections

For $299.88 / year, this top-tier plan offers unlimited device coverage, $1M identity theft insurance, and extensive financial and social media monitoring.

Summary: Norton offers a diverse range of plans to suit different needs and budgets, from basic antivirus to advanced identity theft protection. The primary limitation is the inability to add extra devices to your plan without upgrading. Overall, Norton provides comprehensive cybersecurity solutions worth considering.

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.

Source: AV-Test.

Final Score

Price comparison

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-malware
  • Anti-phishing (web protection)
  • Firewall
  • 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.

Total price
Missing features
$ 50
No firewall, password manager, and VPN
$ 80
No firewall and password manager
$ 90
No firewall
$ 130
No password manager
$ 180
No firewall

User reviews

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.

Source: TrustPilot.

Review score
Review count

Company Profile

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.

Firewall test

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
  • Anti-theft
  • 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?

Norton is ranked #1 of 28 antivirus programs. The ranking is based on its protection, performance, price, and features. Find the best protection in our comparison of the best antivirus of 2024.

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

Author: Tibor Moes

Founder & Chief Editor at SoftwareLab

Tibor has tested 39 antivirus programs and 30 VPN services, and holds a Cybersecurity Graduate Certificate from Stanford University.

He uses Norton to protect his devices, CyberGhost for his privacy, and Dashlane for his passwords.

You can find him on LinkedIn or contact him here.