Norton Security aims to fight and protect your devices from malware. It has been around for more than 25 years, dating back to 1991 when Symantec Corporation’s Norton Group released its first version for PC. With the virtual world taking over and threats increasing by the day, Norton security claims to help resist any risk to your PC, Mac, Smartphone and tablet with its five-layer protection and award-winning security.
Costs and What’s Covered
Norton Virus Protection allows you to choose between four plans depending on your needs. The four program services offered by Norton use essentially the same software but differ mainly in pricing, features, and devices being covered them. All the prices mentioned are only for the first year of subscription and if we are honest, the features are not very cost efficient.
Norton Antivirus Basic
As suggested by the name, the Basic version of Norton Antivirus only provides a certain level of protection to the system, and does not cover a lot of important basis. One of the biggest downsides is that this suite only supports one device, and it is also limited to Windows – which automatically eliminates it from the list of choices in case you use any other operating system.
- Good malware detection
- Detects corrupted URLs
- No tech support
- No web portal
- No back-up (anti-theft)
- Single device
- Only supports PC
This suite is not one of the most frequent choices made by the users. It does come with a few upsides. Despite being a basic suite, Norton Antivirus features elements that are usually included in the higher tier, and more expensive suites, such as tune-up utility and Identity Safe password manager.
It is user-friendly in terms of installation and scanning. Since it’s not loaded with features, it does not cause a lag in the general performance of the PC.
Despite the fact that it offers sufficient protection against suspicious URLs, it also ends up blocking healthy websites, hence making it difficult for the user. To make it even worse, the customer support is limited to acquiring billing information, and no money-back guarantee.
Norton Security Standard
This suite takes the security a few levels up and provides its users with the option to pick between PC, Mac, iOs, or Android – but, it can still be functional on one device.
- Supports Mac, Android, as well as Windows
- Two-way firewall
- Full refund guarantee
- 2/7 tech support
- You have to choose a single device
- No additional storage for sensitive files
- No parental controls
- No web portal
Reasonably priced, the Standard package offers the famous money-back guarantee in case the software fails to protect the system from all the threats it is supposed to. It is, obviously a step-up from the free version since it takes full guarantee of the claims it makes regarding malware protection, and 24/7 customer support is available as soon as you install the suite – but there is no web portal. It is fast at detecting malicious malware, efficient at protecting the system against the viruses, and causes little to no effect on the system’s general performance.
Whereas it features many benefits, it also comes with the lack of back-up in case a virus does get through and you lose important data, no additional storage option to protect a few crucial files, as well as no parental controls.
Norton Security Deluxe
This suite goes above and beyond its predecessor, and provides multi-device protection in one package – you can protect as many as five devices all at once with Norton Security Deluxe.
- Five device support
- Web portal
- Advanced security options
- Home network protection
- Excellent malware detection and protection
- No parental control
The Deluxe version is perfectly suited for people who do not have children or do not let children use the devices yet since this suite still lacks a parental control option.
One of the most appealing features of this suite is the five-device usage since it deems it perfect for couples to make use of on their various devices. Its malware detection and security is top-notch and near perfect, since during many tests performed to review it, the Deluxe suite successfully bounced almost all of them off.
- Individuals with multi-device usage
- Students living with roommates
- Older individuals with no children in the house
Due to its feature rich nature, Deluxe is a safe choice for the malware protection needs of for a couple of individuals who are living without children at the moment. The only downside is the lack of parental control.
Norton Security Premium
Not only does the Premium suite support ten devices, it also features the missing option: parental control. If you are looking for malware protection that gives you control over the content your kids are exposed to, Norton Security Premium is the way to go. With its anti-phishing, suspicious emails are blocked in order to prevent identity theft.
- Ten device coverage
- Perfect malware detection and protection
- Supports Windows, Mac, Android, as well as iOs
- Parental control
- Extra 25GB online storage
- Back-up (anti-theft)
- Advance features on parental control panel
- No file encryption
- No file-shredder
One of the most appealing factors about this suite is that it does not only offer the otherwise missing parental control but also features automatic online back up for all your financial files, documents, pictures and other media, which solves the no-back up the situation from all the previous versions. It comes with an additional 25GB online storage that you can utilize in order to save your all your important files such as sensitive documents etc. Apart from a basic parental control feature, it also offers a premium panel to add the extra layer of protection for your kids and provide them with a more wholesome experience.
Operating Systems Supported
- Microsoft Windows XP
- Microsoft Windows Vista
- Microsoft Windows 7
- Microsoft Windows 8/8.1
- Microsoft Windows 10
- Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite
- Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan
- Mac OS 10.12 Sierra or newer
- Android Version 4 or newer
- iOS 9.0 or newer
Norton AntiVirus Protection
Norton Internet Security provides excellent protection from not only viruses but other online scams such as keyloggers and tracking cookies as well. If we were to give you a basic understanding of how it works, it basically has its own database of known threats and malware against which software is checked and subsequently removed before they can damage your device in any way.
In case of unknown malware, their activity is closely monitored and scrutinized. Having said that, there are also some downsides involved that we noticed. The first one being false alarms which can be pretty annoying if it ends up blocking an important file that you need to access. Moreover, it lacks some useful features that you can find in other antivirus software such as USB drive protection, webcam protection, secured online banking and shopping and protection of important files in case of ransomware.
If Norton detects any suspicious behavior, it is immediately reported to Symantec Online Network for Advanced Response Lab for examination (SONAR) where it is recognized in the form of a signature and distributed to all of Norton users worldwide.
Other than that, it has been closely examined by other laboratories such as AV-Test and AV-Comparatives and found to be outstanding at detecting and removing both known and unknown malware hence proving it trustworthy. While AV-Test’s 2017 reports established that Norton successfully detected 100% of test scams, it also confirmed the fact that false alarms were found to be more than usual. Moreover, according to SE Labs Home Anti-Malware Protection report, Norton bagged 100% accuracy rating.
Security and Privacy Features
If you take a look at the four security plans provided by Norton namely Norton Antivirus Basic, Norton Security Standard, Norton Security Deluxe and Norton Security Premium, you will notice that there are privacy features added as you go higher up the level.
It comes with a versatile and highly configurable two-way firewall for Windows with the exception of trusted and secure network printing and data transfers.
Priciest of all, Norton Security Premium provides you with 25GB of encrypted space for you to backup your most significant and precious files. This space can also be altered later according to your needs.
This feature, which is only accessible through the Premium plan, helps you keep your family’s privacy intact and limit your children’s online access. The downside to this feature is that it is only available on windows and you cannot make use of these features on Mac, iOS and Android devices.
Apart from these tools, another great feature is the password manager that lets you log in to all your online accounts through Norton download and hence anyone else trying to hack your accounts will never be able to bypass the manager tool’s password.
Norton Security Deluxe Premium comes with a web portal that lets you manage all the devices connected to it.
Priced at $249.99, Norton Security has recently introduced a powerful wireless WiFi router to protect all the devices connected to it and provide defense against viruses and other hacks.
Bootable Recovery Tool
This feature needs to be downloaded separately to initiate an extensive scan in a reliable Linux environment mostly for DVDs and other drives with the exception of those systems which have enabled Microsoft Secure Boot.
This feature detects and blocks scam contained in emails and websites that tends to deceive users by asking for their personal information and later exploiting it.
Other features such as file shredder and file encryption are lacking even in the most premium security plan.
Performance and System Impact
One of the main concerns with antivirus softwares is whether or not it will slow your system with a considerable percentage. Symantec’s Norton displayed some pretty impressive results after extensive tests were run to evaluate system impact. Testers concluded that there was no significant lagging or slowing down of most devices while they surfed the web, played online games and videos and downloaded programs.
Installation and Support
The installation and setup are easy where you can simply download the software from Norton’s website. The first step involves agreeing to its license and policy. In the next, you will need to create an account and enter basic information. It will automatically renew your plan when the subscription expires and that is not entirely advantageous as you may or may not want to continue using their services. So, it is better if you uncheck it in the settings option.
As for the customer support, Norton Security Standard and onwards comes with 24/7 customer service and professional help via phone calls, emails and live chat. The availability of video tutorials makes things easier and you can also opt for customized support depending on the products you have subscribed to. You will be in touch However, this feature is not for Norton Antivirus Basic, so in that case, you will not have any help in case of crisis.
The interface is user-friendly and highly organized, allowing beginners to proceed without any complications or difficulty. The interface has not changed much over the years. A large green checkmark ensures the user that their system is well protected. A red X mark notifies users of alarming activity and subsequently, necessary action should be taken. There are also options that help you schedule daily, weekly or monthly scans.
Norton Security Review: Final Thoughts
Its shielding abilities against viruses and malware can be completely trusted, but be prepared to pay a heavy amount in order to avail the essential features and even with that amount you may still miss out on some of your desired features.