Norton Security Premium 2019 Test & Review

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Norton is one of the best antivirus in the world. Perfect protection scores, excellent bonus features, and a trusted brand, make Norton a safe choice.

Refund Policy: 60 days
Customer Support: 24/7 Free
Protected Devices: 1 – 10
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Smart Home

The Good

  • Perfect protection from malware: Norton has perfect protection scores in all tests – meaning it will keep you safe from all threats.
  • Your devices stay fast: Norton has excellent performance scores – meaning your devices will stay as smooth and fast as ever.
  • Very complete features: Norton offers everything you could want, plus award-winning parental controls and a 25GB online backup.
  • Excellent antivirus for Mac: Many antivirus for Mac are basic versions of their Windows siblings. Norton, however, offers a complete security suite for Mac.

The Bad

  • Limited protection for iOS: Only anti-theft and contact backup.
  • No free VPN: Norton only offers a paid VPN, called Norton WiFi Privacy.


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Norton Security Premium 2019: Full Review

Below you can find our test methods, full review, and data sources

How We Test

Buying one of the top antivirus solutions is very important. 

To help you in your decision, we have analyzed Norton Security Premium 2019 according to 6 factors. In the graph below you can see each factor and the impact it has on the final score (expressed in percentage). 

o learn more about each factor, how Norton scored, and which sources we used to determine that score, keep reading.

  • Protection from Malware 50% 50%
  • Impact on Performance 15% 15%
  • Devices and Features 10% 10%
  • User Reviews 10% 10%
  • Value for Money 10% 10%
  • False Positives 5% 5%

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Tibor Moes

Tibor Moes

Technology analyst

Tech enthusiast and founder of SoftwareLab. He has degrees in Engineering and Business, and has been active in the analysis of software, electronics and digital services since 2013.

Norton 2019: Protection from malware

The Good: Norton scores perfect protection scores for Windows 10, Mac, and Android. Making is a safe choice to protect you on all devices and operating software.

The Bad: Nothing.

What is a protection test?

AV-Test and AV-Comparatives are the world’s leading cybersecurity test labs. They run multiple protection tests per year, in which they challenge over 20 antivirus to protect against a variety of malware threats.

Antivirus software generally use three different methods to protect you. In the analysis by the labs, all three methods are put to the test:

1. Protection from known malware

Known malware are threats that have already been discovered by a cybersecurity company. Upon discovery, their digital signatures were uploaded to a huge online database.

Using these signatures, antivirus can now uncover these malware threats in the wild. This method is called signature-based detection and is the classic virus scanning method.

2. Protection from unknown malware

As malware is rapidly evolving, antivirus frequently have to fight new forms of malware that they have not seen before. They do this through a method called heuristic file scanning.

In this method, the antivirus scan your device for behavioral patterns that are common to malware. Such as file deletion or rapid file duplication. Once discovered, these threats are flagged, further investigated, and if necessary, eliminated.

3. Protection from user-focused threats

It is increasingly common that users, rather than their devices, are the target of hackers and scammers. For instance through phishing emails, in which a user is tricked into handing over sensitive information such as PayPal login details.

To protect users from these threats, antivirus use a wide range of security features, such as web and wifi advisors, spam filters, anti-phishing, and anti-ransomware.

Norton 2019: Windows 10 protection score

Together with BitDefender, Norton was the only antivirus to score perfect test results in all antivirus tests for Windows 10.

Norton 2019: Mac protection score

As on Windows, Norton aced the Mac tests, scoring a perfect test score.

Norton 2019: Android protection score

On Android, Norton scores another perfect test score.

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Norton 2019: Impact on Performance

The Good: Norton has only a very small performance impact on Windows 10, and none on Mac. Allowing your devices to keep running as smooth as ever.

The Bad: Norton scored better in the performance tests by AV-Test, than by AV-Comparatives.

What is a performance test?

While you surf the web, play a game, or stream a movie, antivirus software is running in the background to protect you from malware. To be able to do this, it requires some recourses of your device. And sadly, this can have a negative speed impact.

The performance tests by AV-Comparatives and AV-Test analyze the negative speed impact of antivirus software on your device. Both of the test labs only ran performance analysis for Mac and Windows 10, not for Android. 

Norton 2019: Windows 10 performance score

Although Norton scored very well in the performance tests from AV-Test, it performed slightly under average in the tests by AV-Comparatives.

When we take the two data sets together, Norton’s score sits exactly on the industry average. Meaning it will only have a small speed impact on your Windows 10 device.

Norton 2019: Mac performance score

Norton aced the performance tests from both AV-Test and AV-Comparatives, scoring a perfect score in both. Meaning it will have no negative speed impact on Mac devices.

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Norton 2019: Devices & Features

The Good: Norton supports all devices: Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, and comes with a ton of bonus features – especially for Windows. Norton has award winning parental controls, and (optional) identity protection in its LifeLock service.

The Bad: There is no free version of its VPN, Norton WiFI Privacy. Only as a seperate subscription.

What is a devices and features test?

In this category, we analyze which devices are supported by the antivirus software, and which features are offered for each. Nearly all antivirus offer dedicated protection from Windows, Mac, and Android. But only a few do so for iOS.

Although iOS is safer than other operating software, iPhone and iPad users still fall into phishing traps, lose their phones, and use unsafe networks. Therefore, even an iOS user could benefit from a free VPN, anti-phishing security, and anti-theft tools.

Norton 2019: Supported devices score

Norton has dedicated protection from Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. However, as with all antivirus brands, most security features are targeted at Windows users. Especially the iOS users, only get a handful of protection features.

For Windows, the full security suite is available. Here Norton comes with everything you would expect (anti-malware, anti-phishing, anti-spam, anti-ransomware, and anti-theft), and adds a range of bonus features on top. Including a 25GB online backup, download advisor, password manager, web advisor, firewall and award-winning parental controls.

For Mac users, most features are available, which is great as most antivirus providers really slim down their offering for Mac. It offers antivirus for Windows and Mac threats, anti-phishing, firewall, attachment scanner, application scanner, and web advisor. Sadly, the online backup and famed parental controls are not available for Mac. For parental controls on Mac, have a look at BitDefender.

For Android, Norton offers a freemium app. This means that most features come for free and some are paid. For free are an app-scan, anti-theft features (remote lock and find your device on a map), a web advisor, and a call blocker.

Its paid version adds a more advanced web advisor on top called SafeWeb, a pro-active App Advisor which tells you which apps are dangerous, and a Privacy Report which tells you where your data is being sent. For most users, the free version for Android will be sufficient.

For iOS, only a few features are left. It is basically a contact backup and anti-theft tool. Don’t be too put off by this though. This is, sadly, standard for nearly all antivirus software except BitDefender which adds parental controls and a free VPN.

One thing that could make Norton’s offering significantly better, is adding a free version of its VPN, called Norton WiFi Privacy, to the protection features. Panda and BitDefender both offer a free version of their VPN which are limited to 150mb and 200mb respectively.

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Norton 2019: User Reviews

The Good: Norton is a user favorite. In the Google Play Store is has over 1.2 million reviews, giving Norton 4.6 stars out of 5. The highest rating of any antivirus software. Exceptional.

The Bad: Norton scored lower in TrustPilot, but by far fewer user reviews (less than 100).

What is a user review test?

User reviews are incredibly valuable when selecting a product. Companies know this, and are increasingly using them as a marketing tool. This makes it difficult to know which reviews to trust.

In our user review test we, therefore, select the most trustworthy sources to get data from, and average their scores. These are TrustPilot, a website solely focused on the collection of user reviews, and the Google Play Store, the app store for Android devices.

Norton 2019: User review score

Norton scores excellently in this category. In the Google Play Store it has over 1.2 million user reviews giving it 4.6 stars out of 5.  A fantastic score placing it ahead of every other antivirus software we analyzed.

In TrustPilot, Norton has under 100 reviews, giving it a 4.9 out of 10. This is not a great score at all. But when you average 90 revies with 1.2 million, those 90 disappear in the pile.

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Norton 2019: Value for Money

The Good: Norton offers perfect protection for all devices, tons of bonus features including 25GB online backup and award-winning parental controls.

The Bad: Norton is one of the more expensive products in our comparison.

What is a value for money test?

In this category, we analyze the protection level and bonus features you get, in relationship to the amount you pay. We then compare this to the other antivirus software in our comparison.

Norton 2019: Value for money score

Norton offers excellent protection and a range of valuable bonus features. Among others, Norton comes with a 25GB cloud backup and award-winning parental controls.

Simultaneously, however, it must be said that Norton is a slightly more expensive product than the other antivirus software in our comparison.

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Norton 2019: False Positives

The Good: Norton scored perfect scores in the false positives tests for Mac and Android. Meaning it mistook no clean files for malware.

The Bad: For Windows 10, there were mixed results. In the tests by AV-Test, Norton performed excellently, having very few false positives. In the test by AV-Comparatives however, Norton did less well, having quite a few false positives.

What is a false positive test?

Antivirus use an advanced method to find malware, called heuristic file scanning, that sometimes mistakes a clean file for malware. When it does so, we call it a false positive.

Every antivirus software produces a certain amount of false positives, but some considerably more than others. Although this is nothing to worry about, it can be annoying to have a program blocked that you are trying to use.

Norton 2019: Windows 10 false positives score

Sometimes the test labs get varying results in their tests, as is the case with the false positives tests for Windows 10.

In the tests by AV-Test, Norton performed very well, flagging only a few clean files as malware. In AV-Comparatives’s test, however, Norton had a ton of false positives, putting it in the bottom half of tested antivirus. Below you see the combined result of both test labs.

Norton 2019: Mac false positives score

Norton did a lot better on Mac, scoring a perfect score. As did every other tested antivirus.

Norton 2019: Android false positives score

The same holds true for Android, where Norton flagged no clean files as malware, giving it a perfect score.

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Data Sources

Below you can find all the sources we have used in our analysis

Data sources we use

Protection, performance, and false positives data:

The tests performed by the independent IT security labs, called AV-Test and AV-Comparatives, form the core of our analysis. Their protection, performance, and false positives analysis make up 70% of the final grade of each antivirus software we review.

Rather than using the latest test to rate each antivirus, we average all scores achieved since January 2017. This allows you to get a better overview of the performance of the antivirus over time.

Since January 2017, more than 30 tests have been performed, analyzing well over 20 antivirus software. We found BitDefenderNortonPanda, BullGuardMcAfee, and Avast, to be the best across all platforms.

User review data:

The data for user reviews comes from TrustPilot and the Google Play Store

TrustPilot’s core focus is the collection of user reviews. It has over 45 million user reviews, covering over 200.000 companies.

The Google Play Store is the app store for Android, the most popular operating software in the world for smartphones. It has the most software reviews of any platform in the world, by far.

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