Norton Antivirus is one of the oldest and best-known antivirus vendors in the cybersecurity business. They have been operating since 1991 and have since racked up a steady reputation for delivering products that have been consistent and reliable. In this review, we will assess the various aspects of Norton Antivirus, like its wide range of features, security tools, strengths and weaknesses, and try to figure out just how well their latest products stack up in this competitive market.
Norton Antivirus Review ― Benefits & Features
In this section, we take a look at Norton’s important features like its Firewall and basic virus scanning, online protection capabilities.
Norton sports its Classic interface containing the familiar icons with green, yellow or red indicators. It also has a smart new Launch interface that has a calming image of a mountain climber on the left and key-security tasks (like Device Security, Dark Web Monitoring, Secure VPN, Cloud Backup, Password Manager etc.) on the right-side column.
In the Settings tab, Norton lets you adjust and control just about every aspect of the software. Below the surface, it has scores of individual settings that can be turned on or off according to your needs. Norton’s interface is intuitive and bright and contains all the necessary links for easy management for even the average consumer.
2. Virus Scanning
Quick Scans are only a click away in Norton, regardless of which interface you’re using. There’s an option for a Full System Scan at hand, if necessary. You can also create and save multiple custom scan types, like automatically scanning any particular folder every few hours but (for example) only when your PC is idle.
There’s an option to run Norton’s Power Eraser that can get you more aggressive detection and repair techniques, which can remove more difficult threats while using greater system resources. You might be unsure if you’re infected and just want to find out more. For such scenarios, there’s the Norton Insight tool that reports on the reputation of various files stored in your system. You also have options for scanning of rootkits and stealth items, compressed files and even cookies.
3. Malware Protection
Norton offers three layers of malware protection, like most other leading antivirus vendors, including traditional signature matching (which matches scanned software to a database of known malware packages). This protection is boosted by Norton’s heuristic analysis, by which it controls the behaviour of software and thereby prevents new programs from affecting your devices by checking their code.
This method is bolstered by Norton releasing new virus definition updates several times a day, after analyzing samples from users’ machines repeatedly every day. There is no Game Mode with Norton’s malware protection suite, but there is an option to put it in Silent Mode and reduce the number of updates and user notifications when running full-screen applications with 3D graphics are running.
Norton boasts of a very intelligent firewall that informs you if suspicious programs try to make a network connection. This can seem like a potential hassle for the user but, in reality, it only happens in the most extreme circumstances and Norton provides plenty of information to help reach a decision.
The firewall warns you if your program isn’t digitally signed, how soon it was released and if it has very few users, and also shows the URL it was trying to reach. With only a couple of clicks, you are able to block the connection and also have the firewall remember your choice so that you are not asked again later.
5. Browsing Protection
Norton’s security suite also does an excellent job of blocking malicious websites. First, it detects requests on the network level, then filters dangerous links with a high degree of accuracy and finally raises thorough and detailed alerts. And the entire process is amazingly fast as well. For example, when trying to access any malicious domain through Google Chrome, Norton’s alert appears even before Chrome’s own ‘the site ahead contains malware’ warning.
Norton also supports installing Symantec’s free browser extensions if you need to. Norton Home Page will prompt your home and new tab page to use Norton’s Safe Search while a separate Safe Search add-on can enable using it from Chrome’s address bar itself.
Norton Antivirus Pricing
Unlike most other antivirus products, Norton does not offer a free version. But they do offer a 60-day satisfaction guarantee on their paid products, which are somewhat higher priced than other competing vendors.
The entry-level Norton Antivirus Plus costs $60 per year and protects a single PC or Mac, with support for Windows 7 through 10. The good news is that even this starter pack offers features that are typically reserved for premium brackets, like a two-way firewall, a neat password manager and backup software with 2GB of cloud storage space.
Then you have Norton 360 Standard, costing $80 per year, which boosts online storage to 10GB and includes online banking and webcam protection for Windows. It also offers unlimited access to Norton’s Secure VPN and LifeLock monitoring of personal information on the dark web.
Norton 360 Deluxe lists for $100 a year and covers five devices, and adds parental controls with up to 50GB of cloud storage and five simultaneous VPN connections. You can also opt for Norton 360 Premium, for $115 per year, which expandS VPN coverage up to 10 devices and gets you 75GB online storage. If you need, even more, there is Norton 360 Platinum for $140/year, covering 20 devices and offering 100GB cloud storage.
Pros Of Norton Antivirus
- Above-average detection accuracy
- Lightweight software
- Accurately blocks malicious URLs
- Smart firewall
- Easy and intuitive interface
- SONAR technology provides airtight defence against malware
- Reliable file storage and backup options
Cons Of Norton Antivirus
- Some files get lost during ransomware test
- No free version
- Paid versions get expensive quickly
- VPN service is slower than competitors
- Lack of secure web browser
Conclusion ― Should You Buy Norton Antivirus?
There’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to Norton’s latest offerings. If the steep price curve doesn’t bother you too much, Norton’s line-up is easily one of the best in the business right now. It may not come out on top when it comes to flaunting a ton of nifty features, but what it does promise it delivers triumphantly.
Norton is accurate, lightweight, fast and extremely reliable and executes the core antivirus functions with tremendous efficiency. It also bundles in a host of useful tertiary features that also live up to expectation, and then some. It is safe to say then, that investing in Norton would be a very smart choice for the modern internet user, and also an essential one.