- Full-featured protection
- One of the most user-friendly and intuitive options on the market
- Offers great value for money
- 60-day money-back guarantee
- Protection for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices
- Doesn’t need much processing power to run in the background
- Various Norton Security packages to choose from
Symantec has been around since 1982 and is known for its exceptional antivirus products. As one of the biggest and most influential companies in the business, they always deliver impressive quality. In our Norton Antivirus review, we’ll talk about the available packages, check out the test results, and talk about customer support.
If you’re looking for an intuitive antivirus with some of the best protection algorithms and versatile parental controls, this might just be what you need. The company created a flexible line-up, allowing users to choose between various packages.
Basic Norton Security tier is good; yet, it’s not perfect. If you need more advanced features and/or protection for more than one PC/Mac/mobile device, take a look at the more expensive tiers. The prices are very competitive, and for the average users, that is the biggest selling point. Add a generous 60-day money-back guarantee, and you’ll get an amazing offer from one of the world’s most respected providers.
Detection rates, speed, and ease of use have always been Symantec’s strongest suits. Norton Antivirus is fast, reliable, consumer-friendly, and easy to install.
- The average user looking for an all-around solid antivirus.
- Parents that put the safety and privacy of their families first.
- Users in the market for industry-leading malware/virus protection.
The List of Pros and Cons
Norton high-end tiers come with some useful additions. Furthermore, with the latest edition, the company managed to dramatically reduce the CPU load, which means the users won’t even notice it running. Let us take a look at the list of pros and cons to learn more about Norton.
- Easy to download, install, and use.
- With Norton Security Premium, you’ll get protection for 10 devices.
- Parental control features are industry-leading.
- Norton for Mac is just as powerful as the Windows version.
- Android/iOS packages are cheap and robust.
- Configuration options will make the tweaking enthusiasts love this antivirus even more.
- Almost no impact on the system’s performance.
- Scans can be slow at times.
- Security extras aren’t that great.
- The 2nd-year prices are very steep.
As we’ve already learned, Symantec is one of the majors in the industry, and thus, they can offer relatively cheap price-tags on their antivirus products. The following list includes all the available packages and plans with detailed info on pricing. It is safe to say that even the most demanding users will find something they like here. Norton is available in four different “shapes” – the more features, the more expensive the product is.
Norton 360 Standard For $39.99 ($79.99 without discount), the company offers 12 months of protection for 1 PC running on a Windows OS. Currently, it’s not available for the Mac OS (or any mobile device running on Android or iOS).
Norton 360 Deluxe. This package is the most popular one, as it offers the best balance between price and quality. It can be bought only for one PC (a Win system), 1 Mac, or a mobile phone/other devices. The 1-year-plan costs $49.99 with discount.
Norton 360 with LifeLock Select. As the second-most-popular Norton package, it is the best pick for the advanced users. With it, you’ll be able to protect not one, but five devices all at the same time. This plan includes the Deluxe package and the LifeLock ITP (Identify Theft Protection). The price is $99.99 for 1 year of subscription ($149.99 without discount).
The top tier, Norton 360 with Ultimate Plus will cost you $299.99 per year ($349.99 without discount). It includes everything that Norton 360 Deluxe with LifeLock Select has, including unlimited licenses and all the necessary identity protection features (band and cards activity alerts, court records, etc).
Norton Mobile Security plan is available at $14.99 (1 year).
The list of the available Norton security solutions is quite impressive. Make sure to visit the official website to familiarize yourself with every one of them. All of the standard packages (including Basic, Standard, and Deluxe) comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. The same is true for the better half of the security features (including TuneUp – an optimizer, Family Premier – keeps your kids safe, and Clean – removes junk from your device).
Reliability and Security
The Norton Antivirus is very well capable of protecting your device from spyware, ransomware, and even phishing emails. Before we get to the third-party tests, let us tell you one important thing. All the Norton products come with the same engine that scans and terminates any malware it finds.
Therefore, even though the more expensive packages offer more options and features, at the core, they are all the same. According to the experts, Norton is on par with Kaspersky, Bitdefender, and other leaders regarding security. Here are the independent tests results:
SE Labs uses the “repetitive attacks” technique. They pick real malicious websites and keep testing the antivirus engine multiple times, using the same sites over and over again. Norton earned the AAA certification – it doesn’t get better than that. Most leaders in the field did the same.
MRG-Effitas, another third-party tester with a perfect reputation, uses a different approach. Norton failed to pass the Trojans test, but, again, so did most of the available antiviruses on the market. In the malware protection test, Norton received the Level2 certification.
During the test, several malware samples outmaneuvered the antivirus and managed to self-install. Thankfully, Norton fixed everything within 24 hours. Bitdefender and Kaspersky passed both tests with flying colors.
In the AV-Test Institute trials, Norton earned 17.5 points (the perfect score is 18). While this is an impressive result and the company gave it the Top Product award, Kaspersky and Bitdefender won again.
Finally, in the AV-Comparatives tests, Norton’s performance was a bit disappointing. With two Advanced and one Standard certification, it lagged behind AVG and Avast (three Advanced + and one Advanced), not to mention the leaders. The final score for this antivirus engine is 8.8 points out of 10.
Our team always prefers to run its own tests, and they did a great job of putting Norton through a set of trials to reveal its malware protection potential. The routine is relatively simple: they open a folder full of malware samples and see how the antivirus behaves. It took the antivirus well over 10 minutes to process all those files, and it managed to eliminate only 72%.
But, when our team tried to launch them, Norton immediately eliminated most of the threats. The final score was 9.3, on par with McAfee. Sadly, in the anti-phishing tests, Norton only detected 40% of the phishing sites, which is incredibly low.
Speaking of scanning options, if compared to Avast and AVG, the list of available scans is not nearly as impressive. But, for a regular user, that’s more than enough.
To launch a scan, go to Security and choose between Quick and Full scans. Or, if you want to be more specific about it, use the Custom option and specify exactly which files and folders need to be checked.
Besides, the Custom Scan option gives us some space to maneuver. For example, it’s possible to ignore certain scan types while keeping others (cookies, rootkits, specific drives – all tha scanning options are available). Scheduling is also possible. That’s it for the scans. If you’re an advanced user and need an antivirus engine that will provide you with more options, then Norton isn’t a good choice.
Ease of Use
As we mentioned in the beginning, Norton software is very easy to use, user-friendly, and intuitive. The team of professionals working on this antivirus did a great job with the recent “overhaul,” and now Norton looks and feels better than ever. It will take you one quick look at the dashboard to learn about the possible security flaws of the system.
Everything is very cleverly laid out, and you can access various menus with one single slick. Scans – both quick and full – are one click away (we’ll talk more about them later). As far as the most straightforward and intuitive antivirus engines go, Norton is right there among the leaders.
Download and Installation
To download Norton Antivirus, just go to the official website, choose a package you like, pay for it, and click the “download” button. Yes, it’s that simple. Remember: you’ll need to uninstall any other antivirus packages that might be installed on your device (Norton will probably tell you to do so).
Installation only takes a couple of minutes. The installer will offer to add two browser extensions (they’re 100% free). Identity Safe is a password manager; Safe Web will prevent you from accessing dangerous websites.
Once installed, the software takes as much as 1.6GB of hard drive space, which is quite a lot. The good news is – it doesn’t take nearly as much RAM (learn more about it in the “Performance” section).
Bright and functional – those are the best words to describe the Norton user interface. When there are no potential threats or dangerous malware on your device, you’ll see a big, green check mark. And when something’s wrong, it changes to a red X. On the main screen, you can easily see whether the software is up-to-date or not, run quick scans, and more.
To change the settings, go to the upper right corner. At the bottom, we’ve got four menus: Security, Online Safety, Performance, and Backup. Just click on each one of them to gain access to more options. The biggest downside of the user interface is the fact that even though there is a lot of freedom in configuration, it might be hard to find where every setting is.
The search icon at the very top will help you with that: type in whatever you’re looking for, and Norton will make sure to point you in the right direction. Plus, you can turn things on and off while still on the main screen.
One of the best things about this antivirus is the fact that it has almost no impact on the system. Yes, it does require 1.6GB of drive space, but once installed, it needs only 50MB of RAM to run (which puts it on par with the industry leaders). In the Task Manager, you’ll see that Norton adds three processes in the background. Yes, this is “modest” software, which means even people with 10-year-old computers will be able to work, watch movies, and surf the internet with the antivirus engine working 24/7.
We’ve already briefly discussed Norton packages in the pricing section of our Norton Review, but let’s now take a closer look at each of them and talk about extra features included in the top tiers packages.
Norton Security (NS) Basic. Let us remind you that with this package, you get the same protection algorithms as with the more expensive plans. If you’re looking for entry-level protection and don’t want to pay more than you should, this is it for you.
NS 360 Standard. The most significant advantage over the previous one is that you can use it not only on a Win, but also Mac, Android, or iOS device. That’s right: if you need an antivirus for Mac, you’ll have to go with this plan or higher. Additional features include a firewall, 24/7 support, and the company’s new 100% guarantee feature (if their expert fails at helping you, they’ll give you a refund).
NS 360 Deluxe. This tier is for people that take their protection seriously. It comes with a Web portal, designed to make it easier to manage the antivirus packages for your various devices. For most users, Deluxe is the golden middle.
NS 360 Premium offers 25 gigabytes of online storage (secure, of course). If that’s not enough, you can always add more. Plus, this package warns about any potentially dangerous Android apps before installation.
NS 360 Deluxe With LifeLock. This Norton Security tier offers solid identity theft protection. With it, you can count on a 25K stolen funds reimbursement (100K if you pay $200 and 1 million dollars if you pay $300).
Norton Antivirus Support and Customer Service
With the most basic package, you can only call tech support for any installation issues. With the more expensive tiers, you’ll get 24/7 support not only via phone but also chat and email.
The Norton Internet Security Center comes packed with informative and easy-to-understand articles about malware, ransomware, Internet privacy, and other important topics. The sections are huge and cover a lot of topics. The dedicated forum is also big and the community is friendly and supportive.
Norton Antivirus is an all-around solid product. With exceptional malware protection, it doesn’t impact the performance of your system as much as most rivals do. Furthermore, it is user-friendly, fast, and, above all, affordable. If security, privacy, and parental controls are #1 on the list for you, don’t hesitate to choose Norton.
On the other hand, the fans of extra features will be disappointed by the lack of webcam protection, file shredder, and other industry standards. Still, you can’t go wrong with this company.