Norton Antivirus 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 Corporation is known as NortonLifeLock, and the company has continually grown and diversified its product portfolio.
Norton antivirus is currently known by multiple names, such as Norton 360 and Norton Security Suite. It’s available for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS and can therefore protect all your devices.
We thoroughly tested the Norton Security Suite and compared it with its competitors such as Bitdefender and Avira to see if it’s worth buying. Keep reading below for our full Norton antivirus review, which covers Norton’s features, pricing, ease of use, and more.
For our Norton 360 review, we combined Norton’s ratings for security (weightage of 0.4), speed and system load (weightage of 0.1), privacy (weightage of 0.3), and ease of use (weightage of 0.2). Our results are as follows:
Norton 360 Antivirus Short Review
|Comprehensive security suite for Windows and Mac||Somewhat pricey|
|Lots of additional features like a password manager, VPN, and dark web monitor||Lacks file encryption or file shredding|
|Top-notch malware protection||No plan with unlimited devices|
|Good user interface|
|Includes cloud storage|
|Has excellent mobile apps for both iOS and Android|
|Excellent customer support|
The Norton 360 security suite is one of the best antivirus software available on the market. It has a track record of consistent and constant protection against different kinds of security threats to your devices. Its prowess in handling malware threats is reflected in its near-perfect scores on different test metrics.
Additional apps, such as a VPN, password manager, and cloud backup service, add further value to the Norton 360 suite. The well-designed user interface makes it easy to use Norton’s security features as well as the additional apps.
Any problems that may arise in using the suite can be resolved by contacting Norton’s customer service, which is available 24/7 via live chat.
For this review, we tried out Norton 360 Deluxe which is priced at $29.99 for the first year. Though the price is slightly on the expensive side, we felt it was fair when considering the litany of features that Norton 360 offers. You can check out the latest offers on Norton Antivirus using the button below.
Norton Antivirus Specifications and Subscriptions
Norton offers a fairly wide selection of packages at different price points. Norton Antivirus Plus is the most basic of the bunch and offers only bare minimum security features.
On the other hand, Norton 360 Deluxe packs in some useful additional apps that create a fairly comprehensive security suite. At $29.99 for the first year, it represents good value and would be our recommendation for most users.
Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate Plus is a good option for those who require additional privacy, data protection, and investment-related features. While it’s very expensive, it offers some incredible features such as bank & credit card alerts as well as fictitious identity monitoring.
|Features||Norton Antivirus Plus||Norton 360 Deluxe||Norton 360 with LifeLock Select||Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate Plus|
|Price||$9.99 (first year)||$29.99 (first year)||$69.99 (first year)||$299.88 (first year)|
|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||✖||✖||✖||✔|
|Data Breach Notifications||✖||✖||✖||✔|
|Home Title Monitoring||✖||✖||✖||✔|
|Download Link||Get Norton Antivirus Plus||Get Norton 360 Deluxe||Get Norton 360 + LifeLock Select||Get Norton 360 + LifeLock Ultimate Plus|
Note: Prices may vary depending upon several factors, including your country of access and cookie tracking.
Security: Can Norton 360 Be Trusted?
Norton 360 comes with a ton of security features that are designed to protect your devices from all sorts of threats. Norton also backs up its security claims with impressive results:
- It secured 100% virus detection in tests from SeaLabs and tests from AV-TEST.
- It won the prestigious Advanced+ Malware Protection Award from AV-Comparatives in March and the Advanced+ Performance Award in April 2022.
- It comes replete with a huge array of security options, ranging from real-time threat protection to identity theft monitoring.
Security testing: How does Norton 360 measure up?
Norton has a long history of offering robust protection against viruses, malware, phishing, and other threats. It achieved a perfect score on the Jan-Feb 2022 AV Tests, emerging as the top antivirus software for Windows.
Impressively, it is the only antivirus to achieve 100% virus detection across tests, such as AV-TEST and SeaLabs as well. This compares favorably even to market leaders such as Kaspersky Labs.
Our tests revealed that Norton 360 works equally well on macOS, which puts it a notch above its competitor, McAfee. Let’s have a closer look at some of Norton 360’s key security features:
Real-time threat protection
Real-time protection is perhaps the most vital aspect of any antivirus — and Norton 360 delivers well. Along with a massive 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 that aren’t found in malware directories.
Norton 360 virus scans
Like most antivirus solutions, Norton 360 offers three scan options:
- Quick scan to quickly check the most commonly infected folders in 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 ensure that Norton 360 checks your system at regular intervals. Compared with other providers, like Surfshark Antivirus, Norton’s in a different league altogether.
Norton Safe Web Extension
You can get the optional Norton Safe Web extension for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari. 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. Here are the color codes for each:
- 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 antivirus 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 Smart Firewall
Norton 360 offers a Smart Firewall that 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:
Norton 360’s 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 Windows, 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.
Norton’s Secure VPN does not require any additional downloads and is easy to access from within the Norton 360 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 360 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, and address, 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 accounts 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 Antivirus 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.
Privacy: How Does Norton Antivirus Handle Your Data?
The privacy features Norton 360 offers help set it apart from other competitors. Collectively the different apps provide robust privacy protection. Some highlights are:
- Apps such as a VPN and dark web monitor help secure information and data
- Though Norton antivirus does collect user information, it is not shared with third parties without consent
- Robust VPN no-logging policy
Norton’s privacy protection features
As we covered in the previous section, the Norton 360 security suite features some stellar privacy features. These include:
- Norton SecureVPN encrypts your internet traffic and keeps you safe online
- SafeCam for PC which prevents snooping by hackers and other malicious elements using your webcam
- Privacy Monitor that searches for any user personal information that may have been leaked on the web
- Dark Web Monitor that scans leaks that have occurred on the dark web
- Identity Theft Protection
Some of the types of data collected include:
- Name and contact information
- Credit card and payment data
- Social security number and other government-issued documents (to verify your identity and protect it)
- 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.
Usability: How User-Friendly Is Norton Antivirus?
Norton 360 is very easy to use due to the following key features:
- Well-designed and intuitive website
- Most apps can be accessed using the My Norton interface
- Live chat functionality is available 24//7
- Customer support is knowledgeable
How do I install Norton 360 antivirus?
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.
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.
Once you’ve decided on your plan, follow the step-by-step guide provided below to install Norton 360 on your device.
- Create an account on the Norton website and provide payment information to purchase your subscription.
- You will then be given directions on how to download the Norton 360 app via on-screen instructions.
- Once the download is complete, double click on the downloaded file. This is usually saved in your downloads folder.
- Norton’s installer is well designed and easy to use. Click on the large install button to start the process.
- The installation is pretty straightforward and took us a few minutes to complete.
- You will be required to grant Norton 360 permissions to access certain system settings and network controls, which are needed for the antivirus and VPN to work.
- After completing the installation, you’ll need to sign in using the account you used to purchase your subscription on the Norton website.
- Once logged in, Norton should display a message saying your device is secure. You have successfully installed Norton 360 on your device.
Installing Norton 360 on mobile devices is even easier. You just need to go to the Play Store/App Store, find the Norton 360 app, and install it. You’ll have to log in to the app before you start using its security features.
Norton antivirus software
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.
Clicking on the “Open” button next to device security brings up the Norton Security dashboard. You can use the dashboard to start scans, configure your firewall and set up the Safe Web extension.
How easy is it to cancel Norton Antivirus?
Canceling a Norton 360 subscription is a breeze and only takes a few steps, as shown below:
- Open the My Norton app
- Click on the icon next to your email ID on the screen
- Select Subscriptions from the drop-down menu
- You will be redirected to the Norton website and asked to log in.
- Click on the cancel subscription renewal button. You may be asked to confirm your cancellation on the next page.
- You have successfully canceled your subscription with Norton 360.
Norton 360’s customer support
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. We were able to reach Norton customer care using the chat 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.
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.
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.
Speed and Performance: Will Norton Antivirus Slow Down My System?
Norton’s performance is decent but not great. Some key stats are:
- A full scan takes about 40 minutes to an hour, which is more than competitors
- Runs smoothly in the background
- Moderate to low load on the CPU during scans
How long does a scan take?
We tried out both quick and full scans on our MacBook Pro with a 16GB M1 Pro processor. The quick scan took only a couple of minutes. The full scan, however, took well over 40 minutes even on a device as fast as the MacBook. However, the full scan is a very thorough scan of each file on your device and is expected to take time.
That said, the time taken for scans is higher than some of its competitors. For example, Kaspersky took only 12.5 minutes for a thorough scan. This is much lesser than the 40 minutes Norton takes for a full scan. Hence, Norton isn’t the fastest antivirus scanner on the market by any means.
How does Norton Antivirus impact my CPU?
Norton 360 consumes minimal system resources when running in the background, but this goes up drastically during active scans.
A full scan 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. 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.
Final Verdict: Is Norton Antivirus a Good Virus Scanner?
To sum up our Norton antivirus review, Norton 360 is one of the best antivirus software for both Windows and Mac. It’s also an excellent gaming antivirus. 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.
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!
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 works perfectly.
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, and cloud storage.
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.