Norton Antivirus is known by multiple names, such as Norton Security Suite and Norton 360. It offers four packages with varying features that protect you against malware, viruses, spyware, hackers, and other online threats. Some of its notable features include:
- Real-time protection
- Smart firewall
- Password Manager
- Cloud Backup
- Secure VPN
- Parental Controls
We tested each of these features on both Windows and Mac to present a detailed Norton 360 review. Our tests revealed that Norton Antivirus is an excellent security solution that’s easy to use for anybody. It also offers mobile apps for iOS and Android, plus reliable customer service to help you out.
Check out Norton 360 by clicking the button below.
Norton is a long-established name in the antivirus domain. It is owned by Symantec Corporation, which launched the first Norton antivirus for PC back in 1991. Today, Symantec is known as NortonLifeLock, and the company has continually grown and diversified its product line.
Norton antivirus is currently known by multiple names, such as Norton 360 and Norton Security Suite. It’s available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS and can therefore protect all your devices.
We thoroughly tested and used the Norton Security Suite to see if it’s worth buying. Keep reading below for our full Norton antivirus review, which includes Norton’s features, pricing, ease-of-use, and more.
Packages and Prices: How Much Does Norton Antivirus Cost?
Norton offers four packages that cater to different user needs. The best option for most users is the Norton 360 Deluxe package, which can be installed on five devices and which comes with lots of additional features. This includes 50 GB of cloud storage, a secure VPN service, dark web monitoring, parental controls, a password manager, and more.
An overview of the four Norton Antivirus plans is given below.
While Norton is advertised at relatively low annual prices, you should note that prices increases after the first year of usage. This places Norton on the pricier end of antivirus software, especially when compared to other antivirus programs like Kaspersky or AVG.
Norton 360 prices after the first year of subscription are as follows:
- Norton Antivirus Plus: $59.99/year
- Norton 360 Deluxe: $104.99/year
- Norton 360 with LifeLock Select: $149.99/year
- Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate Plus: $349.99/year
All packages include some basic features, namely: real-time protection against viruses and malware; a smart firewall; and a password manager.
The pricier packages have extra functionality, such as access to cloud storage; the Norton Secure VPN service; dark web monitoring; and more.
The table below summarizes all the Norton antivirus packages.
|Features||Norton Antivirus Plus||Norton 360 Deluxe||Norton 360 with LifeLock Select||Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate Plus|
|No. of Simultaneous Devices||1 PC or Mac||5 devices||5 devices||Unlimited devices|
|Real-Time Threat Protection||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|100% Virus Protection Promise||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Cloud Backup||2 GB||50 GB||100 GB||500 GB|
|Dark Web Monitoring||✖||✔||✔||✔|
|One-Bureau Credit Monitoring||✖||✔||✔|
|LifeLock Identity Alert System||✖||✖||✔||✔|
|Million Dollar Protection Package||✖||✖||✔||✔|
|Phone Takeover Monitoring||✖||✖||✖||✔|
|Bank & Credit Card Activity Alerts||✖||✖||✖||✔|
|Fictitious Identity Monitoring||✖||✖||✖||✔|
|401(k) & Investment Activity Alerts||✖||✖||✖||✔|
If you want to get Norton 360 for free, the company offers a 7-day or 14-day free trial, depending on your region. Your credit card will not be charged until after the trial period.
Moreover, Norton offers a generous 60-day money-back guarantee when you purchase an annual plan. So in case you’re not satisfied with the antivirus software, you can get a full refund.
If you want to check out Norton 360 antivirus right away, click the button below to visit its website.
Security: How Well Does Norton 360 Protect Your Computer?
Norton has a long history of offering robust protection against viruses, malware, phishing, and other threats. It achieved a perfect score on the June 2021 AV Tests, emerging as a top antivirus software for Windows.
Real-time Threat Protection
Real-time protection is perhaps the most vital aspect of any antivirus — and Norton 360 delivers well. Along with a malware directory, it uses heuristics and machine learning to monitor online threats and keep your devices safe from all kinds of malware, viruses, and ransomware.
Heuristics analyzes new files and compares them against the code of known malware, flagging potentially unsafe files containing similar code.
Machine learning inspects the behavior of files, identifying actions and source code that are similar to known malware files. Using this, Norton 360 can block or flag a malware file that tries to embed itself in your root files; encrypt your system files; connect to your Wi-Fi network, etc. As such, it’s able to bust even zero-day threats not contained in malware directories.
Further, you can get the optional Norton Safe Web extension for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Apple’s Safari browsers. We recommend adding this browser extension because it protects you when browsing, shopping, or searching online. It will guide you to safety by placing colored icons next to each search result, as follows:
- Green to indicate that a site is perfectly safe to visit
- Grey to indicate an unknown URL
- Yellow to indicate a potential risk
- Red to indicate a dangerous site.
You can even click the icon for more details about the site. What we found most useful is that this system works for Facebook, Twitter, and web-based emails. That is, the extension highlights any risky links in red to alert you. This is done in a non-obtrusive way so that it doesn’t hamper your user experience.
Moreover, the Safe Web extension includes Norton 360’s Isolation Mode. This lets you safely visit a potentially risky site by rendering the web page on Norton’s server. So, the page gets stripped of dangerous content when you view it. Plus, Norton 360 prevents you from sharing any sensitive info with the website. To further prevent vulnerabilities, all financial sites open in Isolation Mode to keep your data protected.
Norton 360 virus scans
Like most antivirus solutions, Norton 360 offers three scan options:
- Quick scan to quickly check the most commonly infected areas of your system.
- Full scan to thoroughly check the entire system for vulnerabilities.
- File scan to check a specific file or folder.
You can also set up scheduled scans to keep Norton 360 checking your system at regular intervals.
A quick scan took just under 5 minutes to complete during our testing, while a full scan took almost an hour. Of course, the time also depends on how full your system’s storage is.
Norton Smart Firewall
Norton’s Smart Firewall monitors the network traffic sent and received on your computer to protect against unwanted communication. It offers four main options, namely app blocking, connection blocking, vulnerability protection, and location awareness. These help keep your system safe from intrusion attacks.
Depending on your settings, Norton 360 will alert you and ask for permissions to allow certain apps or processes.
Here’s an example of an alert I got when app blocking was enabled in the firewall settings on our MacBook Pro:
The vulnerability assessment feature is particularly worth noting. It identifies any weaknesses in your system that cybercriminals could take advantage of, such as an outdated operating system; suspicious apps on your computer; or weak passwords. It also offers recommendations to help fix the problems so that you can maximize your security and stay alert.
Our tests revealed that Norton 360’s firewall performs well and does what it says on both Windows and Mac.
Norton Password Manager
This is another useful feature in the Norton 360 security suite. A password manager offers peace of mind and convenience because you only need to remember one password to access all your online accounts. What’s more, is that it helps you set more secure passwords that can ward off hackers. It assesses your passwords and guides you to set stronger ones when needed.
The Norton Password Manager works as a web extension on your computer and as an app on iOS and Android. The great thing is that it’s a free tool, so you can use it even without subscribing to a Norton 360 plan.
Our tests of the Norton Password Manager revealed that it works pretty well. The software makes it a breeze to quickly fill in login credentials on the web, save new passwords in your secure vault, and sync them across your Window, Mac, iOS, and Android devices.
In addition to login credentials, you can use the password manager to save credit card information, addresses you want to keep safe, and private notes.
Norton Secure VPN
A virtual private network (VPN) is essential to browse the net anonymously and prevent companies, websites, and governments from tracking you. It also encrypts your data to make you less vulnerable to attacks from hackers and other cybercriminals. Other benefits include the ability to unblock geographically restricted content such as regional streaming services.
Norton’s Secure VPN does not require any additional downloads and is easy to access from within the Norton app’s home screen on Windows or Mac. When you turn it on, it automatically connects to the fastest server available.
Of course, you can also select a server manually. This comes in handy when you want to access content restricted to a specific country. For instance, I connected to a US server in order to access American Netflix. When I did, the VPN offered decent speeds, and I did not face any problems when streaming content.
As a bonus, it also blocks ads to enhance your browsing experience. However, note that it lacks a kill switch; if your connection drops, your IP address will be leaked, and your privacy may be compromised.
Cloud Backup (for PC)
This is one of the unique features of Norton Antivirus, as many providers do not include cloud storage in their packages. You can store all your important documents and files securely — and then access them from any device, plus recover them in case anything happens to your computer.
Norton Cloud Backup is only available for PC at the moment, with no news yet about when it’s coming for Mac. The feature is a good measure to keep your files safe from ransomware. Hackers use ransomware to remotely encrypt your files, and then they demand payment from you before they restore your data. So, backing up on the cloud is vital to staying safe from ransomware threats.
This feature is easy to set up, and you can select which files or folders to back up. You can also schedule backups to reduce manual effort. These scheduled, automatic backups occur when you’re not using your computer so that the process doesn’t slow down your system while you’re using it.
Along with cloud backup, we would have liked to see an option for file encryption to add a layer of security to sensitive documents. Moreover, Norton does not offer a file shredder either, which would have helped up its appeal as a complete security suite.
SafeCam (for PC)
The webcam on your computer can be a potential security risk because cybercriminals can use spyware to capture photos and videos of you without your knowledge. These can then be used to blackmail you.
Norton’s SafeCam is a handy feature to combat this threat. It blocks unauthorized access to your webcam by alerting you when an app tries to access the camera. However, it’s again only available on Windows and not Mac.
We appreciate that this feature is smart and unobtrusive as it automatically allows safe apps — such as video conferencing apps — to access the camera when needed. As such, you don’t need to see alerts and allow access repeatedly.
Norton 360’s privacy monitor helps check if your private information, such as phone number, birth date, address, etc., is easily available online. It scans common sites to find your information and helps you opt-out wherever possible. This is important from a security and identity theft protection point of view.
For instance, you might use information like your birthdate or your partner’s name as part of your passwords. If such information is readily available online, it becomes easier for hackers to log in to your online accounts. Moreover, fraudsters can use publicly available information about you to commit identity theft.
Therefore, Norton’s Privacy Monitor offers insights into how you can delete your publicly available information and protect your identity online.
Dark Web Monitoring
Similar to the Privacy Monitor, Norton’s Dark Web Monitoring feature alerts you if any of your information — such as bank account numbers, credit card details, phone numbers, addresses, etc. — has been compromised on the dark web.
You need to sign into the Dark Web Monitoring section of Norton’s website using your Deluxe or Premium account. It searches as far back as 2008 to tell you if your details are being used on dark websites or forums.
Parental Controls and School Time
Norton Antivirus is a great choice for families because it offers some pretty good parental controls through the Norton Family app. To set this up, you need to log in to your account on the Norton website and select the “Parental Control” section.
You will then be guided to add children and set up different rules for each child. There are four levels of restrictions to choose from based on different age groups.
You will then need to install the Norton Family app on your children’s devices, and then you’ll be alerted when inappropriate websites are accessed.
Additionally, Norton recently added the School Time feature to help your child focus on learning by only allowing access to whitelisted websites and categories during specific hours. This is a nifty feature that aids remote learning.
We tested out Norton Family, and it successfully restricted access to adult websites. It also prevented adult content from appearing in Google search results.
100% Virus Protection Promise
When you opt for an automatically-renewing Norton subscription, you benefit from its Virus Protection Promise.
This means that, if a Norton expert cannot remove a virus from your device, you may be eligible for a refund based on the actual price paid for the current term of your qualifying subscription. Some terms and conditions apply to this guarantee, but it’s a pretty reassuring benefit.
Identity theft protection and credit monitoring
For users in the US, Norton 360 with LifeLock Select offers identity theft protection of up to $1 million.
It also includes credit monitoring to keep an eye on your credit score and be alerted if anybody is using fraudulent accounts in your name.
Norton and LifeLock’s U.S.-based teams help resolve identity theft issues and other related problems.
Norton Secure VPN Privacy: How Does Norton Handle Your Data?
Some of the types of data collected include:
- Your name and contact information
- Your credit card and payment data
- Your social security number and other government-issued documents to verify your identity and protect it.
- Your location data
It may also get more data about you from third parties, including threat intelligence data that is used to analyze threats and protect you. This is acceptable, given that Norton is security software and needs such data to achieve its purpose of keeping you safe.
Privacy is all the more important when considering Norton’s Secure VPN. Fortunately, the NortonLifeLock Global Privacy Statement states that the VPN only collects user information for communication purposes, mobile device data, and aggregate bandwidth usage. It does not log any information about your online activity.
Ease of Use: How User-Friendly is Norton 360?
Antivirus software needs to be easy-to-use and well-designed. This will ensure that you can get the most out of its features and understand how to work with them. Norton 360 fares pretty well in this area. Read the details below.
Norton Antivirus website
Norton’s website is easy on the eyes and intuitive. You can find everything you need pretty quickly. On the homepage, click the “Get Started” button to view the different plan options, or scroll down to read more about Norton and its products.
Once you select a plan or a free trial, you will be prompted to create your account and enter your payment information. After completing your payment, you will be guided to download and install the app on your device(s).
You can also log in to your account on the Norton website to get an overview of your security and subscription at any time. Plus, you can use the space to set up various features such as parental controls and a password manager.
How to install Norton Antivirus
The installation process takes just a few minutes, but you will need to restart your computer to complete it. Note that a few extra steps are involved on macOS because you will need to grant the Norton app permissions to access your system fully.
You will be instructed step-by-step on what to do, and we found the process pretty straightforward. On the whole, it took us about fifteen minutes to set up Norton 360 on a Mac, and the process was much quicker on a PC.
Norton 360 ease of use
We found Norton 360 pretty intuitive and straightforward to use. However, it may seem a bit confusing given the variety of features. The great thing is that the app offers you a quick tour after you install it.
The default view when you launch the app is the “My Norton” screen. From here, you can see an overview of your protection and open specific sections.
All the options are clearly displayed on the screen and are easy to find. When you click any option, it opens in a new window. This can be a bit difficult to navigate at first, but it’s not really a big deal once you get used to it.
The Norton 360 app includes a link to the company’s support website. Here, you can find a range of resources, such as instructional videos and a community forum to sort out your issues.
But, in case you need to speak to a customer support agent, there’s a 24/7 live online chat. Alternatively, you can contact customer support by phone during working hours on weekdays. It’s also possible to contact support via Norton’s social media channels, namely Facebook and Twitter.
We were able to reach Norton customer care pretty quickly, and we received timely help. The support staff was knowledgeable and polite. So, Norton takes pretty good care of customers, and you will easily find help if you need it.
Furthermore, the company offers an additional Ultimate Help Desk service for expedited access to technicians; tune-up sessions for your computer; and other tech help not limited to just Norton products. This is a subscription service that costs $150 per year (for one PC or Mac) or $20 a month (for up to three systems). You can also opt for one-time assistance at $70 if you ever get stuck with a pesky tech problem.
Norton 360 Antivirus Speed and Performance
Norton 360 consumes minimal system resources when running in the background, but this goes up drastically during active scans.
A full scan took almost an hour to complete and consumed about 30-35 percent CPU usage. Our system also got somewhat warm during a full scan, so it’s best to perform these during off-hours when you’re not using your computer for other tasks.
On the other hand, a quick scan took up about 15-20 percent of computing power and was over within five minutes. So, quick scans do not interrupt your workflow as much and do not impede the performance of other apps on your computer.
However, if your computer or your Norton 360 antivirus software is outdated, you may experience issues with lag and heating. Keep things updated to help them run smoothly.
Norton 360 Review Conclusion: How Good is Norton Antivirus?
To sum up our Norton antivirus review, Norton 360 is one of the best antivirus software for both Windows and Mac. It provides robust security and privacy, plus a range of additional security tools such as a password manager, parental controls, and the Safe Web browser extension. It’s also user-friendly and reliable, albeit on the pricier side.
For our final assessment, we combined Norton’s ratings for security (weighting of 0.5), speed and system load (weighting of 0.2), privacy (weighting of 0.1), ease of use (weighting of 0.1), and customer service (weighting of 0.1). Our results are as follows:
- Security: 8.5
- Speed and system load: 8
- Privacy: 8
- Ease of use: 8
- Customer service: 8
- Final score: 8.3
You can check out Norton 360 by clicking the button below.
If there’s anything else you’d like us to cover in this Norton antivirus review, let us know in the comments below.
|Comprehensive security suite for Windows and Mac||Somewhat pricey|
|Lots of additional features like a password manager and VPN||Lacks file encryption or file shredding|
|Top-notch malware protection|
|Good user interface|
|Includes cloud storage for PC|
|Has excellent mobile apps for both iOS and Android|
|Excellent customer support|
Do you have a question about Norton Antivirus? We’re happy to help. Check the FAQs below to see if your question is listed.
Yes, Norton antivirus is a pretty robust security solution that protects against all kinds of malware and other threats. It offers great features for Windows and Mac, plus comprehensive mobile apps for iOS and Android. Check out our full Norton review to know all the details.
Our tests revealed that Norton is a much better antivirus solution than McAfee because it’s easier to use and works more reliably. Additionally, McAfee does not work so well on Mac while Norton does a good job.
No, Norton is quite efficient and did not impact system performance during our tests. A full scan consumed about 30% of CPU resources, but this is normal for a good antivirus program.
If you’re concerned about performance issues, you can schedule a Full Scan for when you’re not using your system, or you can run a Quick Scan instead.
Yes, Norton has many security features to ward off hackers and other cybercriminals. For instance, its firewall monitors your system for any vulnerabilities, while real-time threat protection alerts you of any unusual programs or files on your computer. This way, you can take the necessary steps to secure yourself online.
Norton Security and Norton 360 are the same software. The current name is Norton 360, and it includes antivirus protection along with other tools like parental controls, privacy monitoring, cloud storage, etc.
No, Norton is a premium antivirus solution and offers four subscription plans starting at $14.99 a year for basic protection. The price increases after the first year to $59.99. However, depending upon the region you’re in, you can get a free Norton antivirus trial for 7 or 14 days.