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Moving through the Antivirus software category, the time has come for Norton antivirus review. It is one of the most popular antivirus and antimalware products, protecting millions of computers globally and used by corporate entities, so clearly we couldn’t skip it.
Norton Security is owned by the public company NortonLifeLock Inc. (formerly known as Symantec, HQ in California, USA). As one of the biggest independent software producers, with thousands of employees in 40 countries, they spend a great chunk of revenue on R&D, cybersecurity, etc.
So, as usual, we begin with Norton specifications:
And let’s follow it up with a few basic Norton antivirus plans to compare.
|Norton Antivirus Plus||Norton 360 Standard||Norton 360 Deluxe||Norton 360 LifeLock Select|
|Number of devices||1||1||5||5|
|Online threat protection|
|Secure VPN||1 device||Up to 5 devices||Up to 5 devices|
|Dark web monitoring|
|LifeLock identity alert||--|
|Lost wallet protection|
|SSN & credit alerts|
|Data breach notifications|
This list of subscriptions is incomplete and may have several more variations, for example, you can separately purchase Norton Secure VPN or Norton Security + Norton Secure VPN at a discount. Visit norton.com for more information.
Norton Security options:
As with all our in-house testing, for Norton antivirus review we used the same test stand. It was a PC with 16 GB RAM (Kingston HyperX), Intel Core i5-9400 (4.1 GHz), MSI B360M motherboard, Microsoft Windows 10 Pro x64.
The goal of the first test was detection capability. So we utilized EICAR files of different formats (com, txt, zip, zip inside another zip). We are glad to report that all types were detected and blocked by Norton.
|Eicar testing for Norton Security antivirus|
Part 2 of this test was to try Norton out on real virus files. The same ZIP pack with 3,700 infected files, as in all previous reviews was used for fair and same conditions. We scanned the archive with Norton antivirus and got the following results:
2,460 viruses out of 3,732 total found (65.94%)
Sadly, during the scan Norton crashed twice and we were forced to start over. Also, Norton couldn’t delete certain files and suggested to download Norton Power Eraser (NPE). Overall, in order to achieve this simple test result it took us 30 minutes and a bunch of manual manipulations, while CPU peaked frequently.
As for the archive with malicious files, after the scan Norton simply deleted the entire ZIP not allowing any options otherwise. In case of Eicar tests, only the infected files were deleted.
To test the speed of performance and PC resource consumption, we ran 2 common types of scanning - fast and full. As we can see, the load on the CPU is quite big during a full scan via Norton. Find figures in the table.
|Norton scan results|
|Scanning type||Time||Scanned files||CPU load (avg)|
|Full||2 min 47 sec||194,232||~48%|
* Scan time without taking into account the report generation, which requires several extra seconds.
Finally, we ran PCMark 10 test twice: with Norton Security on and off. With antivirus enabled we got the 4341 score, and when disabled we had the 4403 score. This means (though is not an ultimate figure for all setups) the loss of overall PC productivity because of Norton is only -1.4%.
|Tech support channels|
|Phone||Web chat||App form||Web form|
Tech support is available in these following languages: Português, English, Canada Français, Español (LAM), العربية ,עברית, Türkçe, Čeština, Dansk, Nederlands, Suomi, Français, Deutsch, Ελληνικά, Magyar, Italiano, Norsk, Polski, Română, Русский, Español (EMEA), Svenska, Slovenčina, 简体中文, 日本語, 한국어.
In general, Norton pays a lot of attention to customer support. There are a number of additional resources that assist users, e.g. technical documentation, forum, video tutorials, etc.
|Minimum (Windows)||Minimum (Mac)|
|RAM||1-2 GB||2 GB|
|HDD space||300 MB||300 MB|
|CPU||1 GHz||Core 2 Duo, i3, i5, i7, or Xeon|
|OS||Windows 7/8/10||Mac OS X 10.7.5 or newer|
Support for Windows XP is also available, but there is no support for new protection components. Also, a minimum of 512 Mb RAM is required for Recovery Tool. There is also Norton Mobile Security antivirus both for Android and iOS devices.
Norton is an interesting product to consider when looking for comprehensive protection. The company cares about customers and their needs. In addition to protecting your data from theft and damage, you can purchase software to monitor children (Norton Family Premier) or a VPN (Norton Secure VPN) to bypass locks and/or to obtain anonymity.
In terms of protection, Norton provides defense at all necessary levels, also providing multiple and flexible settings for configuration. Yet at the same time the virus protection could be better. Performance instability, constant crashes and inability to fully remove detected threats, as experienced in our own tests, would rather make us look for other antivirus than use this one. Good or bad, let’s finish this Norton antivirus review with pros/cons and FAQ.