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Norton 360 Deluxe Review (2023): 11 Pros & 3 Cons
By Tibor Moes / Updated: April 2023 / Rating: 5 of 5
Norton 360 Deluxe Review: Summary
Norton is ranked #1 out of 20 antivirus software.
Norton 360 Deluxe is the best antivirus of 2023. By combining device security, online privacy, and identity protection, it lives up to its name: It’s a proper 360 degrees security solution for your digital life.
There is some room for improvement in its design. And the VPN could use a kill switch on Android, iOS, and macOS. But that’s all the imperfections we were able to find.
On Windows, Norton shares the throne with Bitdefender. Norton is more complete thanks to its free VPN and better password manager, but Bitdefender is a bit cheaper. You can’t go wrong with either brand.
On Android, macOS, and iOS, Norton is in a league of its own. On those operating software, it is easily the most complete security solution.
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- Perfect Anti-Malware: Norton is the only antivirus software that scored 100% in all protection tests for Windows 10 since October 2016 by AV-Test.
- Excellent Password Manager: Creating, storing, and entering passwords is a breeze. And use your fingerprint and facial recognition to login quickly.
- Fast and Free VPN: Norton’s limitless VPN is included for free. It’s also fast, secure, works with Netflix and torrents, and does not track you (no logs).
- Great Parental Controls: Monitoring what your kids do online, and setting boundaries to protect them, becomes easy with Norton.
- Complete Protection on Windows: Anti-malware, password manager, web protection, firewall, parental controls, unlimited VPN, and more.
- Complete Protection on macOS: Anti-malware, password manager, web protection, firewall, unlimited VPN, Dark Web monitoring, and more.
- Complete Protection on Android: Anti-malware, password manager, web protection, unlimited VPN, Dark Web monitoring, anti-tracker, and more.
- Privacy and Identity Protection on iOS: Unlimited VPN, web protection, Dark Web monitoring, OS version checker, and SMS security.
- Advanced yet Intuitive: For security experts, there is a legion of advanced options to explore. And for novices, Norton works great on default too.
- LifeLock Identity Theft Protection: Norton offers a wealth of identity protection features for its customers from the US.
- 100% Virus Protection Promise: Norton is so confident, that if you ever encounter a virus they can’t remove, you’ll get your money back.
- Not Centralized: Norton uses separate apps for several features. It’s intuitive enough, but consolidation would improve the experience.
- VPN kill-switch only on Windows: Norton’s VPN, like most other VPN, misses a kill switch on Android, iOS, and Mac.
- Identity Theft Protection Limited to the US: Outside of the US, users get Dark Web monitoring. But only US customers get the advanced features.
Norton’s price varies by region. Click the link below to see it in yours.
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Norton 360 Deluxe 2023 Full Review
Together with Norton 360 Advanced, Norton 360 Deluxe is the best antivirus software of 2023. Below we compare it to the other industry veterans Bitdefender, Kaspersky, McAfee, Panda, and Intego.
To find that out, we ran a series of tests. Click on the links below, or scroll down to learn how Norton faired in each trial:
- Norton for Windows Review
- Norton for Mac Review
- Norton for Android Review
- Norton for iOS Review
- Anti-Malware Test
- Password Manager Test
- Parental Controls Test
- VPN Test
- Company Profile
- Product Line-Up
To compare Norton Antivirus to other brands, read our full comparisons of the best antivirus for macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS, to discover the best security software for each operating software. Alternatively, if privacy is key concern for you, have a look at our comparisons of the best VPN or best antivirus with a VPN.
Image 1: Norton’s dashboard on Android and Windows 10.
Norton 360 Deluxe for Windows Review
Key takeaway: Norton’s antivirus for Windows is very impressive. Although Norton could improve the user experience by consolidating its apps, the protection features are truly vast and advanced. From its industry-leading anti-malware to its password manager, VPN, identity protection, and parental controls: It simply all works. Together with Bitdefender, Norton is our favorite security tool for Windows.
A note on Norton’s product range:
Norton offers a range of products: Starting at the entry-level Norton Antivirus Plus and ending at Norton 360 with LifeLock, which is only available in the US at the moment.
In between, we find the products that are the “core” of Norton’s offering: Norton 360 Standard, Deluxe, and Premium. The main difference between the three is the number of devices you can install them on (1, 5, or 10) and the cloud backup space Norton provides (10, 50, or 75 GB).
For most users, Norton 360 Deluxe will be the best option. That is why we have chosen it as the product to review. Nonetheless, all the information below applies to Norton 360 Standard and Premium as well.
Norton 360’s Dashboard on Windows
Norton 360’s central dashboard, called my MyNorton, is beautiful. On the left side of the window, you can find a mountain climber hiking at sunrise, and on the right side are the six core features in a clean and elegant overview.
From top to bottom, these are Device Security, Dark Web Monitoring, Secure VPN, Cloud Backup, Password Manager, and Parental Controls.
At the core of every antivirus tool is the protection of the device. And this is no different at Norton. Straight from the dashboard, you can update the software, run a scan, and get on with your day. Quick and easy.
And those who want more, can click “open” to access the classic Norton interface, which houses many more security features. Although there is some overlap with the central dashboard, it never becomes confusing.
The most important elements to highlight in this section are the Security, Advanced Security, Internet Security, and Performance features.
We’ll walk you through them:
- Quick Scan: Examine critical sectors of your PC, which are known to harbor malware.
- Full System Scan: Examine your entire PC, which will take a fair bit longer than the Quick Scan.
- Custom Scan: Scan specific areas of your PC, such as folders, files, and drives. You can also customize the scans. For instance, you can tell Norton to scan or skip compressed items, and instruct it on handling infected files.
- Norton Power Eraser: This is an aggressive scanner that eliminates difficult-to-detect threats, but at the risk of flagging legitimate programs as malware.
- Norton Insight: Norton assigns Trust Scores to files and apps on your PC, based on how many users in the Norton Community are using them and the reputation they have. It also shows you who developed them, how many resources they require, and when they were installed on your PC. We found it a handy way to discover untrusted files and apps, or resource-hungry ones.
- Diagnostics Report: Find and fix problems in the operating software, RAM and disk space usage, installed programs, the network, and more. For instance, we saw that some programs launched at startup even though we rarely used them. By deactivating their automatic-start, our PC became faster.
- LiveUpdate: Run a real-time update to download the latest protection and product features.
- History: Get a full chronological report of all security-related activities on your PC, including their status, date, and time.
- SafeCam: SafeCam prevents (malicious) applications from accessing your webcam without approval. You can turn it on or off, and assign programs to a safelist, so they always have access to the webcam.
- Auto-Protect: This allows Norton to operate in the background while you do other things on your PC.
- SONAR Protection: This enables Norton to analyze the behavior of applications to detect unknown “zero-day” security risks in real-time.
- Smart Firewall: The firewall monitors data flows between your PC and other devices, and can block unauthorized network activity.
- Intrusion Prevention: Norton scans for the signatures of attacks that aim to exploit vulnerabilities in Windows.
- Email Protection: Norton will scan email attachments and block harmful files before you download them.
- Browser Protection: This feature blocks malware from exploiting potential vulnerabilities in your browser.
- Download Intelligence: Norton will inform you of potential security risks from files you downloaded in your browser.
- Norton Safe Search: Update the search bar in your browser to Norton Safe Search. This is Norton’s search engine, based on search results by Ask.com, that adds a security rating for each organic search result (but not to the paid ads). This way, you can avoid clicking on harmful search results, known for malware or phishing. It is available on Chrome, Edge, and Firefox.
- Norton Home Page: Update the home page in your browser to search.norton.com.
- Norton Password Manager: This is Norton’s browser extension that creates, stores, and auto-fills secure passwords for your accounts. We review it in detail in the password manager section of this review. Spoiler alert: It’s excellent.
- Norton Safe Web: Norton Safe Web is a browser extension that gives safety ratings to websites, and blocks those considered unsafe. It also includes two extra features:
- Link Guard: A feature that identifies dangerous links in Webmail, Facebook, and Twitter.
- Banking Protection: This is similar to Bitdefender’s SafePay browser. Only Norton calls it Isolation Mode. It is a secure browser mode that is triggered when you visit a bank or credit card website. And it provides advanced protection from browser vulnerabilities, phishing attacks, and banking trojans. By default, it is turned off, so you’ll have to activate it.
- Optimize Disk: If your disk is more than 10% fragmented, Norton can defragment it for you, consolidate free space, and by doing so, improve your PC’s performance.
- File Cleanup: Temporary files build up over time and reduce your disk space. Norton’s File Cleanup removes these files from your PC and browsers.
- Startup Manager: This feature shows you which programs automatically launch when you start Windows and how many resources they use. It allows you to eliminate unnecessary programs and improve your computer’s startup time.
- Graphs: A graphical display of the CPU and Memory usage by the programs on your computer. You can see the processes on 10m, 30m, 90m, daily, weekly, or monthly timelines, enabling you to assess which software take up most resources.
As you can see, Norton packs a wide range of security features into its antivirus for Windows. And if you want even more granular control, you can dive into settings and customize Norton further:
- Antivirus settings: These include SONAR Protection, Rootkit and Stealth Items Scan, Heuristic Protection, Port Protection, Signature Detection Exclusion, Script Control, and more.
- Firewall settings: These include 136 uncommon protocols to configure, SSL man-in-the-middle attack detection, ARP and DNS spoofing detection, program control, and traffic rules.
- Other settings: These include Antispam, tasks scheduling, administrative, backup, exploit prevention, and SafeCam.
Even for a rather extensive review like this, there are simply too many settings to explore. So instead, we’ll take you back to the central dashboard, called MyNorton, where our review began. Here, we have five more core features for Windows to discuss:
Dark Web Monitoring
Dark Web Monitoring is part of your online Norton account. That means that when you click the feature in your antivirus app, it will take you to my.norton.com.
Here you can enter a range of personal data that Norton will search for on the Dark Web. The aim is to find out if any of your data has been hacked and traded by criminals.
Norton can search for your Address, Driver’s License, Insurance, Mother’s Maiden Name, Gamer Tag, Email, Bank Accounts, Credit Cards, and Phone Numbers.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) encrypts your internet connection and hides your IP address. The most significant advantages are that you become anonymous online and safe on public Wi-Fi networks.
We review Norton’s VPN in more detail in the dedicated VPN section of this review. But to summarize: It has no data limit and is included for free. On top of that, it’s fast, secure, private (no logs), and works with Netflix.
Although it might not be as versatile as the stand-alone VPN offered by CyberGhost and NordVPN, on Windows it does include relatively advanced features like Auto-Connect, Split Tunneling, and a Kill Switch.
Norton’s VPN certainly is a lot better than those sold by Kaspersky, McAfee, Panda, and BullGuard. Currently, only Bitdefender’s VPN can compete with it. But Bitdefender sells its VPN as a $ 50 extra, while Norton includes its VPN for free with all its 360 products.
We think that that’s a pretty good deal.
Depending on the version of Norton 360 you bought, you will have access to 10, 50, or 75 GB of secure cloud storage space. And Norton allows you to specify what, where, and when you want to backup.
- What: You can choose My Documents or the entire C drive as a source. And you can specify which file types you want to back up. For instance, pictures, music, financial files, video, office documents, email, contacts, and more.
- Where: Although you can use Norton’s secure cloud storage, you can also create a backup elsewhere. Simply connect your device to an external hard disk, and select it as the location of the backup.
- When: You can choose to back your files up weekly, monthly, or on a manual schedule. But the default and recommended option is for Norton to run the backup automatically when your computer is idle.
A password manager helps you create and store highly secure passwords. It also auto-fills them for you when you need to log in to a website.
We review Norton’s password manager in a lot more detail in the dedicated section of this review. But as a summary: It works very well. Creating, storing, and auto-filling is a breeze. And Norton makes excellent use of biometrics scanners to help you log in.
It’s an outstanding password manager.
Norton’s parental controls, called Norton Family, help you monitor and protect your children online. For example, you can see what they visit and do, for how long, and when. On top of that, you can set protective boundaries on their digital experience.
We review Norton’s parental controls in more detail in the dedicated section of this review. But in summary: It’s excellent. Together with Kaspersky’s parental controls, it’s the best we have tested.
So what to conclude about Norton 360 for Windows?
Norton is the most comprehensive security solution available today. It simply does everything well. The anti-malware is top-notch, the VPN is unlimited and freely included in the software, the password manager works very well, and the parental controls are excellent.
So is it perfect? No. Our pet peeve with Norton is its design. The separation between the MyNorton dashboard and the Device Security app is a bit cumbersome.
And many other features, like Dark Web Monitoring, the Password Manager, and Parental Controls, are housed online at my.norton.com rather than in the antivirus app. Compared to McAfee’s excellent design, Norton’s is a bit scattered.
But don’t let that discourage you. Once you see the dashboard as a central platform from which you can access the various security services, rather than a single app from which you can control everything, it all makes sense.
In the end, a cybersecurity tool is more like a Swiss army knife than a gala dress. It’s made to house a wide array of protection features, not dazzle you with its sex appeal. And if there is one thing that Norton does well; it’s protecting you.
Norton 360 Deluxe for Mac Review
Key takeaway: Norton is the most comprehensive security suite for macOS. It combines excellent anti-malware with web protection, a firewall, unlimited VPN, password manager, and dark web monitoring. No competitor offers such complete protection on Mac.
Most antivirus for macOS have significantly fewer features than those for Windows. And for a good reason: macOS is much safer than Windows. Norton is no exception in this regard. Although Norton’s antivirus for Mac looks the same as on Windows, it doesn’t pack the same punch.
That being said, compared to Bitdefender, Kaspersky, McAfee, and Panda, Norton is still a highly competent and well-equipped antivirus tool for Mac. In fact, it’s our favorite one. So let’s take a closer look.
Norton 360’s Dashboard on macOS
Norton 360 for Mac is built around its central dashboard, called MyNorton. Here you can find its three core features: Device Security, Secure VPN, and the Password Manager.
It’s too bad that Norton doesn’t feature Dark Web Monitoring and Parental Controls here. After all, both are online features at my.norton.com, which are just as accessible to Mac users as Windows users. But by not showing them in the list, many Mac users will miss out on them, which is a shame.
Either way, we’ll take you through the features that are present.
From the dashboard, you can run LiveUpdate and a Quick Scan, to make sure your Mac is safe and sound. Alternatively, you can click on “open” to go to Norton’s classic interface, where you will find a range of features and settings.
- Add Devices: This is a link to my.norton.com, where you can send a download link to another device via email or text. You can also choose to copy the link to share it later. But our favorite is the scannable QR code, which makes installing the software on your phone as easy as opening the camera.
- Scan: The three usual suspects are present. You can run a Quick Scan, Full System Scan, or File Scan in which you can specify what you want to scan.
- LiveUpdate: Check Norton for security and software updates.
- Clean: Search and eliminate temporary, duplicable, and similar files that take up space but are of no use.
- Protect My Mac: Customize your scans to include or exclude specific folders.
- Firewall: Customize the application blocking, vulnerability protection, and location awareness features of the firewall.
- Safe Web: A link to install Norton’s Safe Web browser extension in Safari, Firefox, or Chrome. The extension will give security ratings to websites and block dangerous websites before you visit them.
- Activity: Get an overview of the security history of your Mac, including updates, firewall blocks, scans, and threat detection.
- Product Settings: Activate or de-active Silent Mode, Error Management, Automatic Upgrades, and Norton Community Watch.
Compared to Norton 360 for Windows, this might not seem like a significant feature set. But keep in mind, that outside of Norton, no other antivirus software for Mac includes a complete firewall and unlimited VPN. So even this limited feature set is already significant on macOS.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) encrypts your internet connection and hides your IP address. The most significant advantages are that you become anonymous online and safe on public Wi-Fi networks. For a full review of Norton’s VPN, check out the VPN section of this review.
In summary: Norton’s VPN has no data limit and is included for free. On top of that, it’s fast, secure, private (no logs), and works with Netflix. On Windows, we like it a lot. But it’s too bad that on Mac, Norton’s VPN misses out on the Auto-Connect, Kill Switch, and Split Tunnel features.
Especially the lack of the Kill Switch, which stops your internet traffic when the VPN connection accidentally drops, is a shame. But then again, Hotspot Shield and CyberGhost don’t feature a kill switch on Mac either. In fact, of the VPN we have recently tested, only Bitdefender’s VPN has a kill switch on macOS. Sadly, however, Bitdefender antivirus on macOS isn’t as good as Norton’s. And its VPN costs $ 50 extra, while Norton includes its VPN for free. So we’ll stick with Norton on Mac.
A password manager helps you create and store highly secure passwords. It also auto-fills them for you when you need to log in to a website.
Norton’s password manager is a browser extension and therefore identical on Windows and macOS. We review it in more detail in the dedicated password section of this review. Spoiler alert: It’s excellent.
What to conclude about Norton 360 for Mac?
Norton 360 for Mac is feature-light compared to its sibling for Windows. Yet, it is a very complete and capable antivirus suite compared to every other competitor on Mac. We know of no brand that combines anti-malware protection, web protection, a firewall, an unlimited VPN, and a password manager on macOS.
And keep in mind, although they are not featured in the antivirus app, you can visit my.norton.com, to access the Dark Web Monitoring and Parental Controls as well.
In short: Norton is the most comprehensive security suite for macOS.
Norton 360 for Android Review
Key takeaway: Norton is the best antivirus app for Android that we have tested. It certainly isn’t the cheapest, and the amount of apps needed to get access to all features is a bit confusing. But the value it offers is exceptional. In our view, it is the only antivirus for Android that combines device security, identity protection, and privacy assurance this well.
Norton on Android: Mobile Security vs. Norton 360
Norton has two products for Android, Norton Mobile Security and Norton 360. They are identical, with two exceptions:
- Norton Mobile Security does not include the password manager, and its VPN does not have the server selection option. Instead, the VPN will automatically assign you to a local server.
- By contrast, Norton 360 includes the password manager and allows you to select a VPN server in a different region.
All other features, as described below, are identical.
Norton’s app is beautifully designed, easy to use, and provides all the security features you need in a security app.
The app centers around Norton’s three core themes, Security, Identity, and Privacy. Let us take you through them:
All features in this section relate to the security of your Android device. Both online and offline. A big yellow button at the top allows you to scan your device, while the five menu items below it help you navigate the security features:
- App Security: Here, you can set up the App Advisor for the Google Play store, which tells you whether an app is safe to download. This feature also scans your existing apps for privacy risks, unusual behavior (a tell-tale sign of malware), and intrusive ads.
- Internet Security: Here, you can install Norton’s Safe Web browser protection, which blocks fraudulent websites known for stealing personal data. On top of that, you can add Norton Safe Search, its secure search engine, to your home screen or your notification screen.
- Wi-Fi Security: This feature scans your Wi-Fi network’s encryption standard and password strength. There is also a direct link to the VPN.
- Device Security: Here, Norton will check your device for various security risks, including untrusted certificates, rooted devices, KRACK vulnerabilities, USB debugging, and whether you have activated your lock screen and fingerprint.
- SMS Security: Via this feature, Norton will check text messages for phishing links that try to steal your data.
The two features in this section help you protect your online privacy:
- VPN: A VPN encrypts your internet connection and hides your IP address, making you anonymous online. This means that your online activities can’t be tracked and that you’ll be safe on public Wi-Fi networks. We review Norton’s VPN extensively in the VPN section of this review.
- Ad Tracker Blocking: This feature removes trackers, such as browser cookies, from your device. This stops marketing firms and big data companies from tracking your movements across the web.
This section allows you to monitor whether your data is being traded on the Dark Web. Among others, you can monitor your Address, Driver’s License, Insurance, Email, Bank Accounts, Credit Cards, and Phone Numbers.
Sadly, you can’t access these features from the main app. Instead, there is a link to a separate app, called LifeLock Identity, which you will need to download. If you don’t want that, you can also visit your Norton account on their website and access the Dark Web Monitoring there.
The identity protection feature is excellent, but it would be great it Norton could consolidate all the elements into a single app.
So what to conclude?
Is it perfect? No. We see room for two improvements:
- First, we miss the anti-theft feature, which Norton removed in 2019. Phones get stolen all the time. And although few people should play vigilante and track thieves down, the option to wipe your phone remotely would be great. Kaspersky, Bitdefender, and Panda still offer this feature on Android.
- Second, suppose you want all the features of Norton 360 on Android. In that case, you will have to download the 360 app, the password management app, the LifeLock identity app, and the parental controls app. We understand the reasoning for splitting the features over multiple apps, as not every user has access to each or will want to use all of them. But a single modular app, that only shows the user the features they have access to, would undoubtedly be a superior option.
Those things aside, Norton is the best antivirus for Android that we have tested. Kaspersky comes close but doesn’t include an unlimited VPN, which is an excellent feature to have, considering how often mobile devices access unsafe public Wi-Fi networks.
So if you’re looking to secure your Android devices, look no further. Norton is the best option you can buy.
Norton 360 for iOS Review
Key takeaway: There is no need for anti-malware software on iOS. So instead, Norton offers a fast VPN with a range of bonus features: A Wi-Fi scanner, OS version checker, Dark Web monitor, and web protection. And that is far better than what the competition offers. So also on iOS, Norton is our favorite security app.
Note: Anti-malware software for iOS doesn’t exist. iOS is a tightly controlled operating software on which apps live in a sealed environment. That means that malware can’t infect the device, and that anti-malware can’t scan the device. So instead, a security solution for iOS should focus on privacy and identity protection, which is precisely what Norton does.
Norton on iOS: Mobile Security vs. Norton 360
Norton has two products for iOS, Norton Mobile Security and Norton 360. They are identical, with two exceptions:
- Norton Mobile Security does not include the password manager, and its VPN does not have the server selection option. Instead, the VPN will automatically assign you to a local server.
- By contrast, Norton 360 includes the password manager and allows you to select a VPN server in a different region.
All other features, as described below, are identical.
Norton will check whether your Wi-Fi network is encrypted and password protected. Optionally, you can allow Norton to “Annotate” the Wi-Fi network, which means it will identify suspicious networks in the Wi-Fi list before you connect to them.
Norton will check whether your operating software is up to date. This matters because OS updates frequently include security patches. To our surprise, our OS often isn’t updated to the latest version. Yet, we tend to figure this out through Norton, rather than Apple.
Norton’s web protection feature detects dangerous websites, so that it can warn you before you visit them. It works on all iOS browsers.
Although it uses parts of Norton’s VPN technology, it isn’t a full VPN. So it won’t modify your location or content. Should you want that, then you can activate Norton’s full VPN to hide your IP and become anonymous online.
Note: Norton’s Web Protection feature only works with Norton’s own VPN. It cannot be active simultaneously with other VPN, like Surfshark.
As on Android, you will need to install a separate app called Norton Identity, or visit Norton’s website, to access the identity features.
By doing so, you can monitor whether your personal data, like Bank Accounts, Email Addresses, and Credit Cards details, are hacked and traded on the Dark Web.
Connect to Norton’s VPN to become anonymous online. We review the VPN in more detail in the dedicated VPN section of this review. Spoiler alert: It’s fast, private (no logs), and has a built-in adblocker. Sadly, on iOS, it doesn’t include a kill switch. Outside of that, though, it’s great.
Norton will check text messages for phishing links that try to steal your data.
So what to conclude?
iOS is a very secure platform, which doesn’t require anti-malware software. But that doesn’t mean iOS users are completely safe online. Wi-Fi networks can be hacked, phishing websites can steal personal data, and identities can be traded on the Dark Web. Norton focuses on these threats.
Some users might conclude that Norton for iOS is a VPN, with a Wi-Fi scanner, iOS version checker, Dark Web scanner, and browser protection bolted on top. And they would be right. But to be fair, that is a pretty complete security product on iOS.
Just compare it to the competition:
- Bitdefender is a work in progress, where features conflict on iOS.
- Panda has practically no features on iOS.
- And, finally, Kasperksy doesn’t even have a security product for iOS.
Measured by those standards, Norton’s security product on iOS is nothing short of excellent. And it certainly is our favorite security tool for iOS.
- Norton 100% 100%
- BitDefender 99% 99%
- Kaspersky 99% 99%
- Avira 98% 98%
- AVG 98% 98%
- Avast 98% 98%
- McAfee 96% 96%
- BullGuard 96% 96%
- Windows Defender 95% 95%
- TotalAV 81% 81%
Graph 1: The average of all anti-malware test results for Windows 10 since October 2016 by AV-Test.
Norton 360 Deluxe Review: Anti-Malware Analysis
Key takeaway: Norton antivirus software has scored top marks in all anti-malware for Windows 10 tests since October 2016. It is the only brand to have done so. Truly impressive.
What are malware and anti-malware?
Historically speaking, the core functionality of antivirus software was anti-malware. Malware is a term used to describe anything nasty that can infect your device. It includes viruses, worms, adware, spyware, trojans, keyloggers, ransomware, and more.
Up until 2018-2019, Windows Defender wasn’t very good at detecting and removing malware from your PC. In those days, a good antivirus tool was absolutely essential.
However, since 2020, Windows Defender has become quite capable. These days, it is achieving the same test results as Kaspersky and McAfee, two industry giants. (Note that this is not reflected in the graph above, as those results include all tests from October 2016, when Windows Defender was still worse than it is today).
Do you still need anti-malware and antivirus in 2023?
Unfortunately, the answer is yes, as malware is no longer the only threat out there. These days, identity theft and privacy infringement have become commonplace. Luckily, some antivirus software, like Norton, are adding dedicated tools to protect your identity and privacy online.
That being said, anti-malware protection is still a core feature of antivirus software. At the very least, a modern antivirus tool should match or beat Windows Defender.
How did we test Norton, and how good is it?
To test Norton’s anti-malware capabilities, we have averaged the results of all Windows 10 protection tests by AV-Test, an independent IT-security institute, since October 2016.
AV-Test tests the major antivirus brands six times per year in their abilities to protect Windows 10 PCs against real-world threats, using the antivirus programs’ default settings. As a result, they are the most credible source for objective and impartial anti-malware test results.
Norton was the only brand to score 100% in all tests, ahead of the other major brands such as BitDefender, Avira, Avast, AVG, BullGuard, and Panda. Quite remarkable.
Image 2: Norton’s password manager on Windows and Android.
Norton 360 Deluxe Review: Password Manager
Key takeaway: Norton’s Password Manager won’t win any design prizes, but it works excellently. Creating, storing, and auto-filling passwords is a breeze. Your passwords are automatically synced across all your devices. And you can use your phone’s biometrics scanners (fingerprint and facial recognition) to log in to your vault, both on your phone and your laptop (we love this feature!). In short: It’s an outstanding password manager.
What is a Password Manager?
If you’re like most people, you use the same password and email combination to log in to most websites. That is very dangerous. Because when one website gets hacked, all your other accounts become accessible to the hackers too.
Ideally, you would have a unique and secure password for every site. For instance: *u=opReP?s?QU#8C0jEp – a password created with Norton’s password generator.
Of course, you can’t remember such a password. Nor do you want to type them. This is where a password manager comes in. It will solve four problems for you:
- It allows you to create unique and secure passwords and keeps them safe in a vault
- It automatically stores email and password combinations when you enter a website
- It automatically fills in these passwords when you return to the same site later
- It automatically syncs these passwords between your devices
To determine whether Norton’s Password Manager is any good, we tested it in these areas and compared it to Dashlane, an industry-leading standalone Password Manager.
How to set up Norton’s Password Manager on Windows 10 or macOS?
When you open the Norton 360 dashboard, the Password Manager shortcut will be in the overview on the right. When you click it, it opens your preferred browser and invites you to install the browser plugin, which you can do with a single click.
Next, you will set up your vault, which is where you store all your passwords. You do this by signing in with your Norton account and then creating the vault.
To create the vault, you must give it a master password. This password will be the last one you will ever have to memorize, and it will secure all your other passwords. So make it a secure one that’s easy to remember and type. For instance, a combination of a symbol, number, and three random words. And don’t forget to use some capital letters.
These would do: #76BlueCarrotBeach or $BananaMonkeyGlass81
Now that you have installed the extension and created the vault, your login details will be stored every time you sign in to a website. So that next time when you visit the website, the password manager can automatically fill in the email address and password for you.
Only one step remains: Set unique passwords for your most important accounts, using the password generator inside the vault. Unless you have a lot of time, don’t update the passwords for all websites at once. Instead, start with your bank, credit card, email, insurance, social media, and anything else you consider essential. That is enough for one day. The rest will come over time.
How to set up Norton’s Password Manager on Android or iOS?
You will need those passwords on your mobile phone too. So go ahead and download Norton’s Password Manager from the app store. Open it, log in to your Norton account and your password vault. And that’s it. All your passwords will be available on your mobile phone, too, as these apps automatically sync.
How good is Norton’s Password Manager?
Norton’s Password Manager is impressive. Especially considering that it is a free app that you can download and use, even if you don’t have a Norton 360 subscription.
- It uses 256-bit AES encryption, which means it’s highly secure. And it uses a zero-knowledge protocol, which means that no one can access your passwords but you.
- It syncs automatically across an unlimited number of devices, which the free accounts of Dashlane, LastPass, and Keeper don’t. You would need to buy their paid plans.
- It supports all mainstream browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Edge.
- It uses the biometric scanners of your phone to give you access to your vault, even on your laptop. So, when you want to log into your vault on your PC or Mac, it will send a request to your phone where you can confirm your ID using your phone’s fingerprint or facial recognition. This way, you don’t have to type in your master password. It’s swift and easy, and this feature is not even available on the paid version of Dashlane.
That all being said, there still are things we prefer at Dashlane: The browser plugin, vault, and mobile apps by Dashlane look sleeker. And the browser extension by Dashlane has a handy password generator built-in, which Norton’s doesn’t. At Norton, you’ll need to open the vault to access the password generator.
But that doesn’t change our opinion on Norton’s Password Manager: It’s excellent. We see no reason to pay for an additional stand-alone password manager, when Norton includes such an excellent one in its security suite.
Image 3: Norton’s parental controls on Windows and blocked Netflix app on Android.
Norton 360 Deluxe Review: Parental Controls Test
Key takeaway: Norton’s Parental Controls, called Norton Family, allows you to monitor what your kids see and do online. On top of that, it will enable you to block specific apps and websites, and set screentime limits. Unfortunately, there is no real-world GPS tracker, and some browsers, like DuckDuckGo, can circumvent restrictions. But overall, Norton Family is the best Parental Controls app we tested, followed closely by Kaspersky.
Note: Parents can use any operating software as the “parent device” to manage and monitor their kids. But only iOS, Android, and Windows devices can be set up as the “kids device,” which are the ones that are monitored. So if your children use a Mac, you can’t observe your children’s digital activity.
What are Parental Controls?
Parental controls allow you to analyze what your children are up to online and set protective boundaries. Although it differs from provider to provider, with Norton’s Parental Controls, you’ll be able to:
- See what websites your kids visit and how often.
- See what apps they use and how much time they spend on each.
- Set filters on search engines and YouTube.
- Block specific apps.
- Set how much time per day, and between which hours, your kid can use the device.
- Set what web content your kid can access during school time.
All this is done via handy categories, such as Mature Content and Gambling, so you don’t have to restrict access to individual websites (although that option exists too). It is also done entirely remotely from the web app. So you won’t have to touch your kids’ devices.
And when you update the settings, your kids automatically get a notification on their phone, telling them:
- That their internet use may be monitored.
- Which websites they may visit.
- How much time per day they may spend online.
- How much time they have left on this particular day.
- During which hours of the day, they can use the device.
The entire process is very transparent and clear.
How to set up Norton’s Parental Controls?
The journey starts online at my.norton.com. Here you can access the parental controls and run through the following steps:
- Create a child profile by entering a name, setting a restriction level (very high 0-8, High 8-11, Moderate 12-14, Low 15-17), and optionally uploading a photo.
- Choose your child’s device, be it an Android phone or tablet, iPhone or iPad, or Windows PC. Macs are not supported.
- Download the app on the device. We wanted to install the software on an Android phone, so Norton showed us a handy QR code that took us straight to the app in the Google Play Store.
- Install the app, select the correct child profile, and give the app the required permissions.
And you’re all good to go.
How good are Norton’s Parental Controls?
Norton Family has a 3.7 star rating (out of 5.0) in the Google Play store. By comparison, the parental controls of Kaspersky score 3.3, those by McAfee score 2.5, and those by Bitdefender 1.8. So although Norton is considered better, a 3.7 doesn’t really scream perfection. So we got our hands dirty and tested the following:
- How good are Norton Family’s analytical capabilities
- How good are Norton Family’s blocking capabilities
- How good are Norton Family’s time limiting capabilities
Norton Family’s analytical capabilities
To determine whether Norton would register our activities, we first needed to spend some time online. So we did the following:
- We browsed a bit on Medium.com via Google Chrome.
- We downloaded DuckDuckGo and Netflix.
- We played a few videos on YouTube via its Android app.
- We watched a show on Netflix via its Android app.
With a rough 20-30 minutes delay, all our activities appeared in Norton Family’s dashboard.
We could see the websites we had visited, including the exact article we had read on Medium. We could also see that we had downloaded Netflix and DuckDuckGo, how much time we had spent in the YouTube and Netflix apps, and which terms we had searched for on Google.
Norton Family’s blocking capabilities
To test Norton’s blocking abilities, we put medium.com on the blocked website list, and Netflix and YouTube on the blocked app list.
The next time we attempted to visit the apps, both were correctly blocked. However, with medium.com, it was a different story. Although the website was correctly blocked in Google Chrome, it was not blocked in DuckDuckGo.
This is a common problem that happened in the other Parental Controls we tested as well. Unfortunately, it seems that only the most mainstream browsers are supported. So keep an eye out when a smart kid downloads a new browser. Luckily, Norton Family will inform you of this.
Norton Family’s time limiting capabilities
For the final test, we set the daily screentime limit to 30 minutes. And by the time we reached 30 minutes, Norton Family blocked all apps and politely told us that we had spent the maximum amount of time for the day.
So what to conclude about Norton Family?
It’s not perfect. The monitoring is not in real-time, there is no GPS tracking to see the real-world location of your child, and there are loopholes like using an unconventional browser. But Norton is still better than the other Parental Controls apps we tested from Kaspersky, McAfee, and Bitdefender.
If we graded it, we would give it 4 out of 5 stars, in line with its score in the Google Play Store. So, it might not be perfect. But for parents who want some control over their children’s digital lives, and are looking for an easy and objective way to enforce screentime rules, Norton will do the trick.
Image 4: Norton’s VPN on Android and Windows.
Norton 360 Deluxe Review: VPN Test
Key takeaway: Norton Secure VPN is fast, secure, private (no logs), works with Netflix, and allows you to download torrents on specific servers. Its server network is limited to 31 countries but covers all continents. However, it does not work in China. For most users, it will be good enough. For privacy wonks, it will lack some of the advanced features offered by standalone VPN like NordVPN and CyberGhost.
What is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) encrypts your internet connection and hides your IP address, which is the code that identifies your device on the internet. It does so by creating an encrypted connection to a server, from which you will browse the web. But the technicalities matter less than the advantages:
- You’ll be anonymous online. What you search for, what you download (including torrents), or what websites you visit, are all hidden. Neither the government, internet service provider (ISP), Google, Facebook, or anyone else can track you online.
- You can watch shows that are not available in your home country. For instance, Netflix has different shows in the US than in Japan. So if you’re in Japan and want to watch your favorite show on Netflix US, you log in to a US-based VPN server, and can watch all the local movies.
- You can safely use public Wi-Fi networks. As your internet connection will be encrypted, hackers on the network won’t be able to read your data stream. So you could even do your online banking at Starbucks without any worries.
- You can avoid censorship. Depending on where you live, the government might have a filter or firewall on the internet. By using a VPN, you can create an encrypted connection to a foreign server from which you will browse the web. This will allow you to avoid the restrictions without the government knowing about it.
So there is plenty to love about VPN technology. But we still need to find out if Norton’s VPN is any good. So we examined the following:
- How fast is it and how does it compare to other VPN?
- How secure it is?
- How private it is?
- How many server options do you have?
- Does it work with Netflix?
- Does it work with torrents (P2P)?
- Does it work in China?
Let’s dive in.
How fast is Norton’s VPN and how does it compare?
Let’s get the bad news out of the way; by encrypting your internet connection and routing your data via an additional server, a VPN slows down your internet connection. However, a fast VPN should have a minimal impact. Somewhere in the 5% to 15% range.
We tested Norton’s VPN download speed, using speedtest.net, on a 300 Mbps connection in Europe. Our process was the following:
- We measured the download speed three times, without activating the VPN, then averaged the results.
- We connected the VPN to a local server and repeated the test.
- We connected the VPN to a US-based server and repeated the test.
To put these results into context, we ran the same test for CyberGhost VPN set to the WireGuard protocol, one of the fastest VPN and protocols.
As you can see in the table below, Norton’s VPN is very fast. A 9% to 12% slowdown on a local and intercontinental connection is in line with the best VPN out there.
How secure is Norton’s VPN?
To find out whether Norton Secure VPN lives up to its name, we attempted to find out the following:
- What encryption standard does it use?
- What encryption protocol does it use?
- What security features are present, and which aren’t?
- Does it leak any data?
Norton applies the AES-256 encryption standard, which is the most secure.
On Windows, macOS, and Android, it uses the OpenVPN protocol. OpenVPN is the industry standard, and together with WireGuard, the most popular VPN protocol.
On iOS, Norton uses L2TP/IPSec. Unfortunately, this protocol is slower than OpenVPN, and there are rumors that the NSA has weakened it. So it isn’t our preferred option.
Although Norton doesn’t offer advanced security features, like Onion over VPN, protocol selection, or dedicated IP addresses, all essential features are all in place on Windows:
- Auto-Connect: Automatically connect the VPN when the computer starts up or wakes from sleep mode.
- Auto VPN: The VPN will automatically turn on unsecure or compromised Wi-Fi networks, and turn off on secure networks.
- Kill Switch: Automatically block the internet connection if the VPN unexpectedly disconnects.
- Ad Tracker Blocking: Stop advertisers from tracking and targeting you online.
- Split Tunnel: Determine which apps to exclude from the VPN connection.
However, it’s too bad that most of these security features haven’t found their way to other operating software.
- On macOS, there is only the Ad-Tracker Blocking
- On Android and iOS, there are the Auto VPN and Ad-Tracker Blocking
On each of these OS, a Kill Switch would be a valuable addition.
In our tests with browserleaks.com, we learned that Amazon AWS hosted our US-test server in San Jose (Norton indicates servers by country, not city). During the IP, DNS, and WebRTC tests, the actual IP addresses remained hidden. So Norton does not leak any information.
How private is Norton’s VPN?
“Norton Secure VPN does not log information about where you go on the internet“, it says on Norton’s website. That is great. But Norton’s no-log policy isn’t the strictest we have ever read. For example, Norton may collect your IP address, device name and type, OS version, language, and aggregate bandwidth usage. It does so to deliver and improve its service to you.
Although there are VPN that collect less information, we wouldn’t worry too much about it. As Norton does not collect what websites you visit, what you download, or which apps you use, you’ll be anonymous. After all, it doesn’t really matter whether they have your IP address if it’s not connected to anything you do online.
How many server options does Norton’s VPN offer?
Norton has servers in 31 countries. Outside of the European countries, these include Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, and the United States.
That is not a significant amount compared to the 91 countries in which CyberGhost has servers. But it does include every continent and the most popular regions. So it should satisfy the majority of the users.
For big countries, like the USA, it would be helpful to indicate the servers on a city-level rather than country-level. After all, New York and Los Angeles are still 2.800 miles apart.
Does Norton’s VPN work with Netflix?
Yes. In our test, Netflix streamed as normal on Norton’s servers in the US, Spain, and UK.
Does Norton’s VPN work with torrent (P2P)?
Yes. Norton allows you to download torrents on servers in specific regions. If you are not connected to one of those, then Norton will prompt you to change regions when it detects an activity that uses torrents.
On Android and Windows, you can also select a “torrent-optimized region” in the region drop-down list.
Does Norton’s VPN work in China?
No. Norton lacks to tools to make VPN traffic look like regular HTTPS traffic. It is therefore easily spotted and blocked by the great firewall of China. It’s best to choose a different VPN for highly censored countries like China, Russia, and Turkey.
NortonLifeLock’s Company Profile
NortonLifeLock Inc, the company behind Norton’s security software, is a global leader in cybersecurity products for consumers. It was founded by Peter Norton in 1982 and has grown to one of the largest Cyber Safety companies in the world, protecting over 500 million users across all its brands.
Today it is a publicly traded company (ticker NLOK) that is part of the S&P 500 stock-market index (an index representing the 500 largest companies in the United States).
Some people might still remember the software as Norton by Symantec, as it was called until 2019. It’s been a busy period for the company since then:
- On November 4th, 2019, it announced the sale of its enterprise software and Symantec brand to Broadcom for $ 10.7 billion. Norton would focus solely on consumer and small business products and changed its name to NortonLifeLock.
- On December 7th, 2020, NortonLifeLock announced the acquisition of Avira for $ 360 million, bringing 30 million protected devices and 1.5 million paying customers. It helped NortonLifeLock fuel its growth in Europe and key emerging markets.
- On February 4th, 2021, Avira announced the acquisition of BullGuard, another competitor in the cybersecurity space. As Avira was already part of the NortonLifeLock group, BullGuard joined the expanding conglomerate as well.
- On August 10th, 2021, NortonLifeLock and Avast announced a merger. Together the brands and their subbrands (Avast owns AVG too) protect more than 500 million users. 87% of these users came from Avast, which operates one of the world’s most used freemium antivirus solutions. The deal valued Avast at between $ 8.1 and $ 8.6 billion.
Due to all these mergers and acquisitions, consumers can look forward to enhanced products and services. For example, Avast claims expertise in privacy protection, while NortonLifeLock does so in identity protection. In addition, both are strong in device security. Combining these specialties will undoubtedly lead to better products for consumers.
Yet, some point to the risks to innovation. For example, since the acquisition of AVG by Avast in 2016, their protection test scores in AV-Test, an independent test lab, have been very similar. The results have been so similar that industry observers have started to wonder whether the two companies use the same anti-malware code “under the hood” of their software.
One can imagine why this would be: When cybersecurity companies merge, they will start to share resources, such as software development teams, cybersecurity researchers, and potentially, the anti-malware source code.
When one looks at the latest test performed by AV-Test, 21 companies were tested, of which five now belong to the NortonLifeLock group: Norton, Avira, BullGuard, Avast, and AVG. If these share developers, researchers, and source code, this could reduce innovation and independent research in the cybersecurity industry.
In our opinion, these worries are overblown. The industry is extensive and diverse enough to support the merger of Norton and Avast. And we assume that the consumer will be better off for it.
NortonLifeLock’s Product Line-Up
Norton 360, previously known as Norton Security, has a diverse range of products covering all elements of Cyber Safety: Device Security, Online Privacy, and Identity Theft Protection.
Below we’ll run you through their product range, starting at the entry-level Antivirus Plus and making our way to the range-topping Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate.
After that, we’ll also talk you through Norton for Android and iOS. Although there is certainly overlap between those products and those for Windows, there are enough differences to warrant a dedicated section.
Finally, we’ll discuss Norton’s VPN, which is also available as a standalone product.
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Norton Antivirus Plus
Norton Antivirus Plus is Norton’s entry-level antivirus. It allows you to protect one Windows PC or Mac, but you cannot install it on Android or iOS. It offers the four core features that any basic antivirus solution should have:
- Anti-malware: Norton will scan your device for signs of existing and emerging malware.
- Firewall: Norton monitors the network traffic of your PC and blocks unauthorized connections.
- Password Manager: Norton helps you create and store highly secure and unique passwords.
- Cloud Backup: Norton allows you to select and back up essential files on Norton’s servers.
But keep in mind; you’ll miss out on Webcam Protection, a Virtual Private Network (VPN), Parental Controls, and Dark Web Monitoring, which are available in the higher tier products.
Norton Antivirus Plus is for you if you want affordable antivirus protection for your PC or Mac, and you don’t need to protect a mobile device.
US Price: first year $ 19.99. Afterward $ 59.99 per year.
Norton 360 Standard
Norton 360 Standard is one step up from Antivirus Plus. Like with its smaller brother, it only allows you to protect one device. But this time, it can be a Windows, macOS, Android, or iOS device. So you can protect your smartphone or tablet too.
Norton 360 Standard offers the same features as Antivirus Plus but expands the Cloud Backup to 10 GB and adds two online privacy features:
- Webcam Protection: Norton’s SafeCam blocks unauthorized webcam access so hackers can’t spy on you.
- Virtual Private Network (VPN): Norton allows you to encrypt your internet connection to be safe and anonymous online.
Norton 360 Standard is for you if you want to protect only a single device, whether PC, Mac, or smartphone, and enjoy online privacy protection too.
US Price: first year $ 39.99. Afterward $ 84.99 per year.
Norton 360 Deluxe and Premium
Norton 360 Deluxe allows you to protect up to five devices, whether Windows, macOS, Android, or iOS. It offers the same features as 360 Standard but expands the Cloud Backup to 50 GB and adds two more features:
- Parental Controls: Norton allows you to monitor what your children do online and for how long. And it gives you the option to set inappropriate content filters on the internet.
- Dark Web Monitoring: Norton searches the dark web for your address, driver’s license, gamer tag, bank accounts, credit cards, phone number, and email addresses.
If instead of 360 Deluxe, you opt for Norton 360 Premium, you can install the software on ten devices instead of five, and you’ll get 75 GB of Cloud Backup rather than 50 GB. Outside of those differences, Deluxe and Premium are the same.
Norton 360 Deluxe is for you if you want to install Norton on multiple devices and want complete protection, including dark web monitoring. It is also for you if you are a parent who wants to know what their children are up to online.
Note: In the US, all Norton 360 solutions from Deluxe and up also include Privacy Monitor. It checks whether your personal information (phone number, address, and date of birth) is traded online by data brokers so you can choose to opt out. These data brokers are usually legitimate organizations, making this feature different from Dark Web Monitoring.
US Price: first year $ 49.99. Afterward $ 104.99 per year.
Norton 360 for Gamers
Norton 360 for Gamers offers the same protection as 360 Deluxe, except for the fact that you can only install it on only three devices instead of five. In return for this reduction, you get two game-specific features:
- Game optimizer: Norton automatically detects games and shuts down power-hungry programs that run in the background. Doing so speeds up your game and eliminates FPS lag.
- Fewer notifications: Norton will only notify you if you are under attack or your safety is in danger.
As you would imagine, Norton 360 for Gamers is designed for gamers.
US Price: first year $ 49.99. Afterward $ 99.99 per year.
Norton 360 with LifeLock Select
Norton 360 with LifeLock Select offers all the elements of Norton 360 Deluxe and Premium but expands with a significant number of identity theft protection features:
- LifeLock Identity Alert System & Restoration Specialists: Norton will send you an alert when a potential threat to your identity comes up, and a dedicated Identity Restoration Specialist will help you resolve the issue.
- Stolen Wallet Protection: Norton will help you replace credit cards, social security cards, insurance cards, driver’s licenses, and more when your wallet gets stolen.
- Million Dollar Protection Package: Norton will insure you for up to $ 1 million in personal, lawyer, and expert expenses should you become a victim of identity theft.
- Credit Monitoring: Norton will monitor your credit rating to detect whether someone is committing identity fraud using your data at the leading credit bureaus.
- ID Verification Monitoring: Norton will monitor whether someone is applying for a new credit card, cell phone, or loan with your social security number.
Norton 360 with LifeLock Select is for users from the US who want advanced protection against identity theft.
Note: At the time of writing, Norton’s LifeLock products are only available for customers in the US.
US Price: first year $ 99.48. Afterward $ 149.99 per year.
Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate
Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate offers everything of LifeLock Select but expands upon the identity theft protection features:
- Data Breach Notifications: Norton will let you know about data breaches at large organizations that might store your personal information.
- Identity Lock: Norton will let you lock your TransUnion credit file with a single click so that criminals cannot open accounts in your name.
- Bank & Credit Card Activity Alerts: Norton will centralize your bank and credit card alerts and notify you of large withdrawals, transfers, or purchases.
- Court Records Scanning: Norton will scan court records to check whether a criminal has used your name instead of their own.
- 401(k) & Investment Activity Alerts: Norton will scan your 401(k) balance and notify you when withdrawals or balance transfers take place.
Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate is for those who want the best possible protection against identity theft.
Note: At the time of writing, Norton’s LifeLock products are only available for customers in the US.
US Price: first year $ 299.88. Afterward $ 349.99 per year.
Norton Mobile Security for Android
Norton Mobile Security for Android allows you to protect a single Android smartphone or tablet. It comes with a range of features:
- Antimalware: Norton allows you to scan your smartphone for malware such as ransomware and adware.
- App Security: Norton scans your apps for security risks. It allows you to uninstall apps directly from within Norton’s app.
- Wi-Fi Security: There are three different features in this section:
- Wi-Fi Network Scan: Norton scans your Wi-Fi network for risks such as spoofing, encryption strength, and password protection.
- Virtual Private Network (VPN): Norton allows you to activate the VPN to become anonymous online. You can also switch the VPN to connect automatically for risky Wi-Fi networks. Finally, you can select the country of your VPN server.
- Ad Tracker Blocking: Norton allows you to block Ad Trackers, but only when you have switched the VPN on.
- Device Security: Norton checks your operating system for threats such as untrusted certificates, KRACK vulnerabilities and your security settings such as fingerprint lock.
- SMS Security: Norton will check your text messages for risky links.
Norton Mobile Security for Android comes with a great set of features, including anti-malware, a VPN, and ad tracker blocking. Thus, making it suitable for users that are looking for both security and privacy.
US Price: first year $ 14.99. Afterward $ 29.99 per year.
Norton Mobile Security for iOS
Norton Mobile Security for iOS allows you to protect a single iPhone or iPad. It comes with similar features as on Android, with notable exceptions for anti-malware and app security. As iOS doesn’t give any app full access to its entire operating system, no antivirus for iOS will be able to scan the entire iPhone or iPad.
Nonetheless, the other features make Norton Mobile Security for iOS a worthwhile security addition to your phone:
- Wi-Fi Security: There are four related, but different, features here:
- Wi-Fi Scan: Norton scans your Wi-Fi network for common security risks such as weak encryption, password protection, and spoofing.
- Virtual Private Network (VPN): Norton enables you to activate the VPN to become anonymous online and safe on public networks. You can also set the VPN to auto-connect on compromised Wi-Fi networks and select the VPN server location.
- Ad Tracker Blocking: Norton gives you the option to block ad trackers when the VPN is activated.
- Annotate Wi-Fi Networks: Gives Norton the ability to identify suspicious Wi-Fi networks in the network list.
- Device Security: Norton notifies you when there is an update available to iOS. As these are frequently security updates, this matters.
- Web Protection: Norton will identify and warn you of dangerous websites before you visit them.
- Identity Monitoring: Norton will check whether your data, such as credit cards, bank accounts, addresses, and phone numbers, are traded on the web. Note, however, that this will require you to download a second app called Norton LifeLock.
- SMS Security: Norton will filter out text messages that contain dangerous links, which lead to websites known for phishing attacks.
iOS is the safest of the four major operating software, so there is no need for classical anti-malware protection. Instead, Norton Mobile Security for iOS is for users aiming to improve their privacy and identity protection.
US Price: first year $ 14.99. Afterward $ 29.99 per year.
Norton Secure VPN
Norton’s Secure VPN, its Virtual Private Network, enables you to encrypt your internet connection, empowering you to browse securely and anonymously, without being tracked.
You’ll be able to use public Wi-Fi networks without the risk of being hacked. Unblock US Netflix content from abroad. And use your home Wi-Fi without your internet service provider (ISP) or government being able to see what you do online.
Norton is one of the few major antivirus brands that built its own VPN. Other antivirus brands, such as BitDefender, Panda, and BullGuard, license the VPN of another company and re-sell it as their own. So we congratulate Norton for their effort.
Norton’s Secure VPN is an excellent addition to its antivirus products. It’s fast, well-integrated into the app, and offers sufficient settings to satisfy most users:
- 31 VPN Regions: You can connect to servers in 31 countries, from Australia to Singapore, South Africa to the UK, and Brazil to the USA, giving you a server option on every continent.
- Auto-Connect: Allowing you to make sure to VPN starts when you turn on your computer.
- Kill Switch: Ensuring that your data stays private by blocking your internet connections when the VPN unexpectedly disconnects.
- Ad Tracker Blocking: Blocking ad trackers so advertisers cannot follow you around the web to show you ads.
- Split Tunnel: Enabling you to select apps that you want to exclude from the VPN connection.
Some advanced users might miss more server locations or advanced features such as VPN protocol selection, Onion over VPN, or RAM servers. A more advanced VPN like CyberGhost, NordVPN, ExpressVPN, or SurfShark will likely be better for those users.
But, in our opinion, Norton Secure VPN will be more than good enough for 90% of its users.
US Price: first year $ 39.99. Afterward $ 79.99 per year.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are the most frequently asked questions about Norton.
What is Norton 360?
Norton 360 is a range of antivirus programs. It includes Norton 360 Standard, Deluxe, and Premium, which feature anti-malware protection, a smart firewall, password protection, parental controls, dark web monitoring, a VPN, and cloud backup. In the US, Norton 360 also includes LifeLock identity theft protection.
Who owns Norton 360?
Norton 360 is owned by NortonLifeLock. A publicly traded company on the NASDAQ stock exchange (ticker NLOK). It was founded in 1982 and is currently headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, United States. Its majority shareholders are the Capital Group, Vanguard, BlackRock, State Street Global Advisors, and Fidelity.
Is Norton 360 a good antivirus program?
Yes. Norton 360 was the only antivirus to score a perfect result in every protection test for Windows 10 by AV-Test, an independent anti-malware test lab. And Norton 360 is much more than that. It also includes password protection, a VPN, parental controls, and more.
Is Norton 360 worth it?
Yes. Norton 360 is the most comprehensive security suite on the market. By including antivirus, VPN, password manager, parental controls, and cloud backup in one tool, it is not just affordable; it is a bargain.
Does Norton 360 work on Mac?
Yes. Norton 360 antivirus for Mac includes antivirus protection, a VPN, and a password manager. And via your web browser, you can also access dark web monitoring and parental controls.
Is Norton 360 free?
No. Norton 360 antivirus is not for free. Although there are some reasonably good free antivirus software, these do not come close to the level of protection offered by Norton. As they say, you get what you pay for.
Author: Tibor Moes
Founder & Chief Editor at SoftwareLab
Tibor is a Dutch engineer and entrepreneur. He has tested security software since 2014.
Over the years, he has tested most of the best antivirus software for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, as well as many VPN providers.
He uses Norton to protect his devices, CyberGhost for his privacy, and Dashlane for his passwords.
This website is hosted on a Digital Ocean server via Cloudways and is built with DIVI on WordPress.