We love Norton for its comprehensive malware protection, powerful detection engine, strong customer support and up-to-date technology. It seems like Norton has it all. And for a lesser price than close competitors. And, you can also get advanced identity-protection features and tons of secondary tools to make your online activities way safer. So, is Norton your best choice in 2021? In this review, we’ll guide you through Norton’s features, lab tests to determine just that.
A quick overview of Norton 360 antivirus
While there are many great things to love about Norton, it’s not perfect. For instance, their VPN is pretty limited, mobile users have to deal with multiple apps to get the protection they’re looking for and lots of customers complain that uninstalling Norton can be challenging. We’ll address all of those issues later in the article. All in all, Symantec (a company that owns Norton) is a reliable cybersecurity provider that continuously works on improving its products. Let’s take a closer look at Norton’s security features.
Norton 360 anti-malware engine
To detect as many pieces of malware as possible, Norton uses both a massive database of known threats and heuristic analysis and machine learning. Those techniques are a must for effective malware detection these days because new threats are created every day. Norton is going one step above simply detecting viruses that are already known. It analyses the way files and apps are acting and if their behavior is suspicious or threatening your device – it will prevent such apps from damaging your device.
How effective those features are?
According to one of the most respected antivirus-testing labs, AV-Comparatives, Norton was able to detect 99.5% of various threats introduced to it. It is a great result considering that those threats are hand-picked by a lab to represent the largest variety of threats. Only a handful of antivirus products did a bit better, but most of those products are more expensive than Norton is.
Another important thing was that Norton only takes about 40 minutes to perform a full scan. That’s very efficient compared with closest competitors, some of them take up to several hours! Of course, your results may vary due to the amount of data you have on your PC.
There are three types of scans available:
- Quick Scan looks for viruses where they tend to accumulate the most – temporary files, system files and running processes.
- File Scan allows you to choose which files/apps and folders you want to scan.
- Full Scan goes through every single file and app on your device
Another positive experience with Norton is an automatic game mode. Whenever one of your apps is running in Fullscreen mode, Norton won’t give you any notifications even if they’re related to a scheduled scan. That way, you can enjoy movies and games |(or work!) without any interruptions.
Network protection is very important because if you access an untrusted network, you may be at a high risk of losing data. Likewise, if you access an unknown protocol over the network, then malware might access your computer through the protocol. Without a firewall, apps and connections are happening without you even noticing. Norton 360 antivirus offers a refined firewall feature to secure your network and block some Windows applications when you are using public Wi-Fi.
Through the Norton smart firewall, you will get protection from intrusions and it also acts as a shield against potential attacks through the vulnerability assessment feature.
Norton 360 Password Manager
Norton 360 offers a password vault to store the credentials and also it auto-save and auto-fill the password fetched on the websites. Once you set the password manager, then you will get an option to import the passwords from the respective websites from different browsers. This password vault is way more secure than storing your passwords on a browser.
Norton Password Manager offers an auditing feature that tells you which password is weak, simple, or too short. If the auditor finds the password is weak, then it will generate a new password for the websites. It also can generate a password and store it for you. But, please don’t forget your master password, since restoring it can be challenging.
Norton 360 Safe Browser Extension
Let’s be realistic, the majority of threats are getting caught online, that’s why browse safely is the best you can do for your computer’s health. If you don’t go to potentially harmful websites – you prevent the problem rather than dealing with its consequences. Norton offers browser extensions for Chrome, Safari and Firefox.
Norton’s servers analyze websites to see how they will affect you and your computer. Then, using the Norton Toolbar installed on your PC, Norton lets you know how safe a particular website might be before you view it. You can also use this tool to check a particular website even if you’re not Norton’s customer here.
Identity Theft Protection of Norton 360 Antivirus
Norton LifeLock offers unbeaten Identity Protection. LifeLock has been a leader in the identity protection market for years and several years ago LifeLock became a part of Norton so all of their great features got passed to Norton products. In fact, Norton is so sure of the quality of their identity protection features, that if by any source your identity is leaked, you can claim for the damage up to $1M. This insurance coverage policy shows the dedication of Norton in protecting the users’ identities.
In the digital era, the demand for cryptocurrency has been significantly increased and hackers keep a close eye on crypto mining and cryptocurrency. To safeguard your activities, the giant antivirus launched a unique feature, i.e., Norton Crypto.
Norton Crypto gives you security while performing the crypto task, such as mining, and others. Also, it offers a cloud-based vault where you can keep your cryptocurrency. But this feature works only for Ethereum and if you are using other mining sources, then you will fail to access the features of Norton Crypto.
Dark Web Monitoring
This is an advanced feature available in Norton 360 antivirus that tells you whether your credentials (bank details, credit card, and others) have been compromised or in other words sold on the Dark Web. This feature is available in selected countries only and they are; US, Australia, UK, New Zealand, and Germany.
First, you’d need to fill out some forms to give Norton information to monitor and later it’ll always keep an eye on suspicious activities associated with that data. I personally think that this feature makes Norton quite unique because there are only a couple of other providers that even come close to that kind of identity protection.
Parental control feature is included with Norton 360, but you can also purchase it separately. This feature gives control to the parents to monitor their kids’ online activity. Using this utility, you can set the rules and can restrict the kids to access the blacklisted websites. What’s available with Parental control?
- Smartphone Monitoring
- Web monitoring and Blocking of selected apps on the PC
- Time Limits to promote better online habits
- Search Monitoring
- Email Alerts about your kids’ online activity.
Overall, it’s one of the top parental control solutions on the market.
Virtual Private Network is an efficient way to hide the digital footprints and Norton offers this VPN in all the plans. With Norton’s VPN you can digitally roam anywhere across the world because it gives you protection from hackers, ISPs, and even Government agencies.
In terms of speed, Norton VPN comes in at a moderate level; neither is it fast nor too slow. The speed also depends on the region. In my testing, I got a good speed in the US, but in the Netherland region, the speed was worse.
Unfortunately, Norton VPN doesn’t bypass Netflix regional restrictions and doesn’t support torrenting, all to prevent piracy.
Norton’s backup gives you an option to create backups of important files. The amount of storage available varies per plan. The process itself is pretty simple, you just press online backup on the app’s main menu, it automatically leads you to a web page where by clicking on a plus sign you can choose any files on your computer.
Do their built-in anti-phishing features really work?
Phishing is a cybercrime where the hackers create fake websites that look exactly like the real ones with the sole purpose of collecting as much information about users as possible. Norton’s anti-phishing protection is outstanding as it blocks 99% of phishing sites using a heuristic analysis approach.
However, the protection against phishing attacks differs in various OSs. For instance, Windows users get almost complete security against phishing, but the protection rate is a bit lower for Mac users (94%).
Whenever you access any suspicious site, then Norton will notify you that the particular site is harmful and will block it. So, Norton’s anti-phishing feature is superb and gives you comprehensive security against phishing attacks.
Can you count on Norton 360 to protect your devices from Ransomware?
Norton 360 Data Protector feature is best in a class as it prevents malicious programs or software from penetrating your computer and thus prevents them from making changes in the files. To test it, I injected some ransomware files into a folder but before that, I had turned off the real-time protection feature because it would prevent me from performing the task.
Once the task was completed, I launched the files one by one and the result surprised me. Norton detected most of the potential ransomware files and also blocked some archives that weren’t a part of ransomware. This proves that Norton gives an additional layer of protective shield against the ransomware attack. On top of that, by song a backup feature you can make sure that all of your important files are protected even if your computer will get compromized.
Is Norton 360’s real-time protection good?
Yes, Norton 360’s real-time protection is pretty good as it provides an advanced layer of security such as heuristic analysis, malware database, and machine learning.
Most of the antiviruses use a malware database to detect the malware and, in this process, the antivirus scans the files and then matches the same with the malware database, if an exact match is found, then such an antivirus will treat a file as malware. Though this approach is good, still some malware can bypass this process. But Norton’s malware database is quite advanced and confidential that makes Norton the best in the market.
Heuristic analysis and machine learning are the new concepts to tackle malware and detect zero-day threats. The heuristic analysis examines the codes of new files and matches with the existing malware and if found a similar code on any malware, then it will treat the file as unsafe.
Norton 360’s Additional Features
Well, if you are thinking Norton offers only a few features that are listed above, then sorry to say, you are wrong because there are still many more features of Norton 360 that help secure devices.
To automate some regular tasks, you can enable the notifications from Norton 360 Administrative settings window.
For instance, you can switch on to alert if the consumption of your CPU, Memory, or RAM is higher. There are also options to manage Norton Task notifications, monthly reports, silent mode settings, put your system to hibernate or sleep, delay any particular task to execute, and a lot more.
Fraudsters are taking many paths to deceive the users either by ransomware or by blackmailing them through personal data (photos, videos, etc.). To control these activities Norton offers a SafeCam feature that notifies you whenever you access any suspicious sites where camera permission is required.
SafeCam protection is very vital in day-to-day life because most users access webcam to perform the official job and if data is breached, then the user will face a huge loss. SafeCam works in the background to block the potential threats to give you security.
However, you have an option to get an alert message from the apps, either you can set it to always allow or always block for the respective apps that need a webcam to perform.
Device optimization is essential to perform the task efficiently and Norton offers a set of such tools that includes, disk optimization, file cleanup, and Startup Manager. Apart from these three features, you will also get a Graph to visualize the installed software, malware alert, and many more.
From the Scan and Risk section, you can choose to select or omit the types of malware to scan. You can slide the button to enable or disable the scanning options for compressed files, network drives, cookies, Rootkits, and more.
From the same window, you can also manage to scan emails and messengers to protect your system from vulnerable malware.
If you are accessing Norton 360 antivirus and your computer gets corrupted due to a malware attack, then you will get a full refund against the package.
Norton 360 Antivirus Solution Test Results
Norton 360 gives protection against most of the malware and spyware and it is proven by the premium antivirus lab institutes. The labs closely examine the security components of antivirus and thereafter give the certificate.
SE lab evaluates the antiviruses based on real-world malware and based on the performance, the lab offers five different kinds of certificates such as AAA, AA, A, B, and C. Norton received an AAA certificate on this test and this proves how efficient it is against malware.
The next test conducted by the lab is AV-Test Institute, which closely monitors every aspect of security utilities of antiviruses such as performance, protection, and usability. In this test, Norton 360 got the highest score and shared the top position with Kaspersky.
AV-Comparatives gives the standard certificate to those antiviruses who pass the test. The performer who lies in the basic zone receives an Advanced certificate and the one whose performance is better gets an Advanced+ certificate. Out of the three tests, Norton 360 received two Advanced+ certificates and one Advanced certificate.
MRG-Effitas also conducts tests for antiviruses and based on the performance, the institute marks them pass or fail. However, the test pattern of MRG-Effitas is a different one, it takes two tests, one banking security and another is a malware protection test. Norton passed the former test and, in the latter, it received Level 1 certification.
Does it Really Fit The Bill As A Security Service?
Yes, it does because Norton offers ample security features at a reasonable cost. The features are best in a class such as anti-malware engine, advanced firewall, secure VPN, safe browser extension, parental control, SafeCam, and many more. These entire features are quite sufficient to protect your device against any malware, spyware, or ransomware.
Compared to other antiviruses, the charges against the security utilities are quite high, but Norton is giving so many tools at a minimal cost. So, it is legit to say that Norton’s Bill against the security service is fair.
How much does it cost per year?
In Norton 360 antivirus, you will get 4 different plans and the cost of each plan varies because of the features.
Norton 360 Standard
This is a basic plan of Norton 360 that offers real-time protection, firewall, VPN, Dark Web Monitoring (US), Webcam protection (Windows users), Password Manager, and 10GB cloud storage. Norton gives you full access to most of the features that other antiviruses fail to do, such as unlimited VPN, password manager, and others.
The price of Norton 360 Standard is $34.99 for the first year and then you will have to spend $89.99/year. This plan secures only one device, but if you have a single computer, then this plan is best for you.
Norton 360 Deluxe
It is the best cybersecurity plan of Norton 360 as it covers 5 devices, and you will get cloud storage up to 50GB. Parental Control is a remarkable feature and you will get it on this plan. The other features in the Deluxe package are almost the same that is listed in Norton 360 Standard.
The cost of the Norton 360 Deluxe package is $49.99 for the first year and for the rest of the year, you will have to spend $104.99.
Norton 360 Premium
This plan is for international users who are residing outside the US and the features enclosed in this plan are more or less the same as in Norton 360 Deluxe. The additional ones are coverage of 10 devices and 100Gb cloud storage. The cost of this plan is a little more than Norton 360 Deluxe.
Norton 360 with LifeLock Select
This package covers everything offered in Norton 360 Deluxe, additionally, in this plan, you will get 100GB cloud storage, and LifeLock Identity Alert just at $99.48 for the first year and thereafter $149.99 for the rest of the years.
Norton 360 with LifeLock Advantage
This plan gives protection to up to 10 devices and you will get 250GB of cloud storage. Apart from these features, additional ones are; $100,000 identity theft protection, social security monitoring, credit file lock, and others.
To be more precise, I am not sure whether the social security of LifeLock Advantage is more effective than LifeLock Select. But if you neglect this, then the rest of the features are worth the price, i.e., $191.88 for the first year, and thereafter, the charge is $249.99.
Norton 360 LifeLock Ultimate Plus
If you want complete cybersecurity features in one package, then Ultimate Plus is best for you. It covers all security utilities needed to secure the computer and gives protection to unlimited devices.
Also, it gives you 500GB of cloud storage, $1M identity theft protection insurance, credit monitoring, stock monitoring, and many more. However, this package is costlier than any other plan and starts with $299.99 for the first year and if you want to continue further, then you will have to spend $349.99 for the rest of the year.
What payment methods does Norton 360 accept?
To purchase the Norton 360 antivirus package, you can use VISA, JCB, PayPal, DISCOVER, Mastercard, and American Express. Once you purchase the product, you don’t have to bother with the renewal because Norton will automatically deduct the amount against the plan from the credit card which is associated with your Norton account.
Is it slowing down your computer?
According to PassMark (a Software testing firm), Norton occupied the top position for the last 12 years based on its performance. Symantec Security believes that nobody wants to wait for a long time to load any program and thus developed Norton 360 in the best mode that never slows down the computer.
The AV-test also states that Norton 360 is the best performer in the antivirus field for the last 4 years. Also, Norton retains an advanced security layer of technology that performs the work silently without affecting the computer’s performance.
These all remarks given by the leading software testing companies prove that Norton 360 doesn’t slow down the computer. Also during my experiment, I never felt any performance-related problems with Norton 360.
Can Norton 360 Save your Mac and iPhone from Viruses?
Yes, it does, Norton offers an Intrusion Prevention System on Mac that collects the information from the network and thus blocks the potential threats. Advanced Machine Learning and Data Protector restrict the path of malware to access Mac devices.
Norton 360 protects mac users against cyber threats such as Cryptojacking, Formjacking, Remote Access Trojans, and Ransomware.
Norton offers advanced technology to protect your iPhone from dangerous malware, ransomware, and phishing attacks. If you have a Norton Deluxe plan, then you can protect up to 5 devices including iPhone, and also you will get additional features such as Password Manager, Secure VPN, Online Threat Protection, and many more.
Does Norton 360 antivirus offer mobile protection?
Yes, Norton 360 gives complete protection to mobile users, but it doesn’t come for free. If you have Norton 360 Deluxe or Premium package, then you can secure your mobile also. On the off chance, if you want to protect only a single device (mobile), then the standard package is sufficient for you.
The interface of Norton 360 on the mobile version is smooth and the prime features are available on the home screen so that the users can easily access them. In the Norton 360 antivirus mobile app, you will get web protection, safe search, anti-malware, Wi-Fi Security, system advisor, ransomware recovery, and privacy report.
Norton also offers additional features such as Password Manager, Parental Control, and VPN in the form of apps which means, you will have to individually download the respective app to secure your mobile. If all these features were present in a single app, then Norton could be the best antivirus for mobile.
How good is Norton 360 customer support?
Norton 360 customer support representatives are supportive and knowledgeable. The best part of Norton Support is the availability of many languages that removes the regional bar and helps most of the users to resolve the query in their regional language.
If you have any queries or issues related to Norton 360, then you can fix them via live chat or phone assistance. These services are available 24/7 and you can take their assistance anytime but if you make a call on a busy day, then there is a probability of getting the worst customer service experience.
Cons and Pros of Becoming Norton 360’s Customer
Being a Norton 360 customer, you must have felt some of its advantages and disadvantages. However, if you haven’t seen them, let’s have a glance at Norton 360 pros and cons.
Norton 360 Pros
- Top-rated antivirus and got the best rating by the leading software testing companies.
- It offers comprehensive security features and comprises all security utilities to safeguard the devices.
- Identity theft insurance is the bonus feature.
- Password Manager and Parental Control features are available.
Norton 360 Cons
- You need to use several apps to protect a mobile device
- Uninstalling the product is a bit complicated
- Sometimes, the setup might automatically vanish from your PC and you need to reinstall it.
Also, people ask
Users always seek information about the products they are using so that they can use them effectively and the same case applies to Norton 360. The reason is; it has a large range of products offering ample features and it becomes quite difficult to understand the advanced features. Hence, people ask questions to resolve the queries and here, you will get a list of a few.