Norton Antivirus Review 2024

Our Verdict

Norton is an excellent antivirus solution with a huge range of security features

Norton is a robust antivirus solution that makes protecting your devices simple. The service offers excellent detection rates for malware, zero-day threats, and phishing attacks with a very limited impact on system performance.

In addition, it offers a variety of parental controls and makes online identity protection a breeze with features like dark web monitoring, privacy monitoring, and a VPN. Although it lacks a free-forever plan, Norton offers a 60-day money-back guarantee and 30-day trials so you can test out the software. Is Norton worth it? Absolutely.

Pros

  • 100% malware detection rates
  • Powerful firewall
  • Intuitive mobile apps
  • Numerous performance optimization tools
  • Unlimited VPN
  • Great online privacy tools

Cons

  • No free version
  • More expensive after renewal
  • Online backups only on Windows

In this Norton Antivirus review, we’ll thoroughly explore the provider’s ability to protect users from cyber threats. We’ve thoroughly tested the product, and we’ll cover its pricing, plans, and full feature set.

Besides its traditional antivirus tools, we’ll also break down its extra features and help you determine whether it suits your budget and requirements, as well as looking at how it compares to the best antiviruses.

What is Norton Antivirus?

Norton is a well-established name in the cybersecurity industry, with an excellent track record built up over 30 years. Founded in the U.S., Norton is the first choice of more than 80 million users worldwide, thanks to its all-in-one approach to cyber security.

To combat modern cyber threats, Norton employs AI and machine learning. Norton’s cutting-edge technology and features ensure flawless detection rates, but it remains affordable, and its plans are competitively priced.

Is Norton Antivirus Safe?

Yes, Norton is a reliable antivirus provider that will keep your devices safe from cyber threats and won’t exploit your privacy.

It has undergone rigorous third-party testing and is rated as being excellent at blocking malware, stopping 100% of zero-day threats.

Its in-depth scanning features, meanwhile, will help you identify and fix vulnerabilities on your devices and network to ensure your safety, and higher-tier plans come with numerous identity protection tools.

Norton Antivirus Plans & Pricing

Norton offers a range of plans for users. From its core antivirus protection service to its identity theft protection suite, it isn’t easy to find a provider with more comprehensive plans.

Here’s a list of Norton’s plans and what they offer:

Plans Starting Price Features
Norton AntiVirus Plus $29.99/yr Antivirus protection, 2GB Cloud Backup, Password Manager, 100% Virus Protection Promise
Norton 360 Standard $39.99/yr + VPN, Dark Web Monitoring
Norton 360 Deluxe $49.99/year + 50GB Cloud Backup, Privacy Monitor, Parental Controls
Norton 360 With LifeLock Select $99.99/year + 250GB Cloud Backup, Stolen Wallet Protection, SSN and Credit Alerts, $25k Stolen Funds Cover
Norton 360 With LifeLock Advantage $191.88/year + Fraud Monitoring, Identity Lock, Bank and Credit Activity Alerts, $100k Stolen Funds Cover
Norton 360 With LifeLock Ultimate Plus $299.88/year + 500GB Cloud Backup, 401(k) and Investment Alerts, Home Title Monitoring, $1m Stolen Funds Cover
AntiVirus Plus360 Standard360 Deluxe360 With LifeLock Select360 With LifeLock Advantage360 With LifeLock Ultimate Plus

Norton AntiVirus Plus — $29.99/yr (renews at $59.99)

Norton’s cheapest plan, AntiVirus Plus, protects one device and comes with Norton’s 100% Virus Protection Promise. This plan is a great option for keeping a single device secure without breaking the bank.

The plan also lets you store up to 2GB of sensitive files on its secure cloud storage servers. This feature is rare among antivirus providers and makes Norton an excellent pick for ransomware protection.

Another feature other providers don’t typically offer on cheaper plans is Norton’s password manager. This will help you create strong, unique passwords to safeguard your accounts from brute-force attacks. You can also auto-fill your credentials online.

Norton 360 Standard — $39.99/yr (renews at $94.99)

The Norton 360 Standard plan adds internet protection to AntiVirus Plus’ offering. With its virtual private network (VPN) feature, you can encrypt your internet traffic and block third-party trackers while you browse the web.

Norton 360 Standard is usable on three devices simultaneously, meaning you can protect your computers and phones with a single subscription.

It also offers dark web monitoring, which will alert you if your credentials have been exposed in a data breach – giving you time to take action.

Norton 360 Deluxe — $49.99/yr (renews at $119.99)

Norton’s Privacy Monitor scans the web to check if data brokering databases are collecting and storing your information. You can then request to have your details removed.

The Norton 360 Deluxe plan also adds parental controls. These allow you to set limits for your children’s screen time, prevent them from accessing inappropriate websites, and track their location.

In addition, the software will deliver detailed reports on your children’s online behavior and interests, making Norton one of the best parental control apps you can buy.

Norton 360 Deluxe can protect up to five devices, and upgrading to this plan lets you use up to 50 GB of cloud storage.

Norton 360 With LifeLock Select — $99.99/yr (renews at $179.99)

Norton’s LifeLock plans include a selection of identity theft protection features. The first of the plans includes stolen wallet protection, Social Security Number and Credit alerts, and coverage for up to $25,000 of stolen funds.

Trusting Norton with your financial security allows you to cancel and replace your credit card, driver’s license, insurance cards, and other documentation with a single click.

Your cloud backup facility is also extended to 250GB, giving you a huge amount of room for storage, and you can protect ten devices.

Norton 360 With LifeLock Advantage — $191.88/yr (renews at $249.99)

The next LifeLock plan includes Buy Now Pay Later Fraud Monitoring, an Identity Lock feature, and alerts on bank and credit card activity. The stolen funds cover is also increased to $100,000.

Norton 360 With LifeLock Ultimate Plus — $299.88/yr (renews at $349.99)

As Norton’s top-tier plan, this package offers all-in-one cyber protection for unlimited devices.

It includes all the features from the previous plans, 500 GB of cloud backup, and the complete LifeLock identity theft protection toolset, which includes 401(k), investment, and home title monitoring at this level.

If all else fails, Norton offers up to $1m coverage for personal expenses and money stolen from the first day you subscribe.

Can I Get Norton Antivirus for Free?

Norton doesn’t offer a free plan, but each of its plans has a 30-day trial to test its services. It also offers free scans for email leaks and trackers and to check your privacy, and the password manager is available for free.

All of Norton’s plans also feature a generous 60-day money-back guarantee in case the product isn’t a fit.

Norton Antivirus Security Features

Norton has one of the most comprehensive sets of features we’ve tested, running from basic virus scanning to robust identity theft protection features. In this section of our Norton review, we’ll cover what each of its features can do for you.

Virus Scans

Norton Smart Scan
Norton’s Smart Scan

Norton offers four types of scans to help you detect, quarantine, and eliminate malicious files threatening your devices.

  • Smart Scan — Scans for threats to your device’s protection, performance, and network to provide actionable insights on improving security.
  • Quick Scan — Checks vulnerable areas for common malware.
  • Full Scan — Searches your entire device for malware, including its boot records, files, and processes.
  • Custom Scan — Scans the folders, files, and drives you specify.

Real-Time Antivirus Protection

Norton’s real-time antivirus protection continuously scans your device for viruses. It looks out for unusual activity and will address spyware, malware, and similar cyber threats before they can harm your devices. As it tracks program behavior, it can also catch previously unidentified zero-day threats.

In testing, we found Norton’s real-time antivirus processes to be lightweight with minimal system impact, so it won’t slow your devices down if you’re running resource-heavy programs.

Firewall

Norton Firewall
Norton’s Firewall

Norton’s Smart Firewall is your device’s first line of defense against malicious traffic and data extraction exploits. It acts as a gatekeeper between your computer and the internet and prevents hackers from accessing your data.

Configuring its settings is a breeze, and advanced users will appreciate its easy customization features, which most built-in solutions lack.

Norton pairs its Smart Firewall with its Intrusion Prevention System. This double-checks every data packet before it reaches your device, even after it passes the Smart Firewall. Together, these two features effectively block internet attacks before they can damage your device.

100% Virus Protection Promise

Impressively, Norton guarantees it will remove every virus on your device, or you’ll get your money back. Norton will refund the money you paid for your subscription, however long that has been – but this guarantee doesn’t extend to Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Cloud Backup

Norton offers secure cloud backups to create duplicates of your sensitive files, which it then stores on its remote servers in the cloud.

This serves as a last layer of protection against ransomware attacks, but it may also prove valuable if your device is lost, stolen, or damaged. Storing your data in Norton’s cloud lets you retrieve it anywhere, on any Windows device, whenever you need it.

Data Protector

In ransomware attacks, malicious actors encrypt the files on your devices before demanding payment. Norton offers the highly effective Data Protector feature to prevent this.

The Data Protector prevents malicious programs from modifying your system’s most important files and folders. You can also adjust its settings to protect any files and folders you want.

Password Manager

Norton Password Manager
Norton’s Password Manager

Norton is one of the only antiviruses to offer a password manager with its cheapest plan, so you’ll have this feature no matter what.

With the password manager, you only need to remember the master password, which unlocks your password vault. You can use the vault to safely store usernames, passwords, documents, and other information.

It uses zero-trust architecture, so even if hackers extracted your password vault from Norton’s servers, they wouldn’t be able to get in without your master password.

The manager will also highlight weak or duplicated passwords on your accounts and can help you replace them by generating robust, unique alternatives.

The password manager can also auto-fill your details online, and the stored passwords sync with your connected devices, meaning you won’t need to re-enter them. We found the auto-fill worked in testing, making it competitive with some of the best password managers around.

Norton Safe Email

Norton can protect up to five email addresses from phishing attacks, malware-infected attachments, and dangerous links, thanks to its Safe Email feature.

This lets you connect one of your email addresses to its cloud-based database, which will scan any email you receive before you open it.

VPN

This feature can help you stay anonymous online by securing your internet traffic with the robust AES-256 encryption algorithm. VPN protection masks your activities from your ISP provider, hackers, and even the government.

You can connect to Norton’s servers to anonymize your traffic and to log in from 29+ different countries. This enables you to watch foreign streaming libraries on platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video as if you were in that country.

The VPN includes a kill switch, which prevents leaks if your VPN connection drops. We saw great performance from the product, and it certainly qualifies as one of the best antiviruses with a VPN.

Dark Web Monitoring and the Privacy Monitor

Norton Dark Web Monitoring
Norton’s Dark Web Monitoring

With its dark web-monitoring feature, Norton will continuously scan the internet for any of your details that have been released in data breaches, including passwords, identification documents, and your name.

Norton will immediately alert you if it detects your data, allowing you to react swiftly. Combining this tool with Norton’s other features, such as its password manager and wallet protection, means you’ll always be a step ahead of hackers and ready to change your credentials with a click.

Norton’s Privacy Monitor, meanwhile, scans for your information on data brokering sites, which can hold everything from your name, address, and social media links to logs of your web browsing activity.

The feature will help you to request to opt out of databases and get your information removed. It also serves as a central hub where you can see lists of data brokers, the progress of your opt-out requests, and your exposed information.

Parental Control

Norton offers various parental control features to help you monitor your children’s online activity. These include:

  • Time Supervision — Lets you schedule how much time your children can spend on their devices daily or weekly and delivers reports on screen time.
  • Video Supervision — Access to a gallery of videos your kids have recently watched on YouTube, including snippets from the videos to make supervision easier.
  • Mobile App Supervision — Provides a list of apps your children have installed on their phones and allows you to block inappropriate apps.
  • Web Supervision — Lets you track which websites your children frequently visit and block access to potentially dangerous websites.
  • Search Supervision — Helps you protect children from inappropriate content by activating filters on popular search engines like Google and Bing and platforms like YouTube.
  • Location Supervision — Track your children using GPS, complete with a 30-day history of their movements.
  • School Time — Helps you prevent your children from accessing distracting websites while studying without completely stopping their internet connection.

SafeCam

Webcams are notoriously easy to hack with hard-to-detect remote access trojans. Norton’s SafeCam is an additional layer of protection against these sophisticated threats.

SafeCam will alert you each time a new application or user tries to access your webcam, letting you approve or reject the connection. It’s worth mentioning that this feature is only available to Windows users with a Norton 360 plan.

Safe Web

Norton Safe Web's warning
Norton Safe Web’s warning

Norton’s Safe Web feature keeps you safe as you browse the web, shop online, and visit websites. It analyzes every website and link and provides safety ratings.

If a website or link has signs of malware or is linked to cryptojacking or phishing, Norton will add an “Unsafe” tag to it to alert you to the potential danger. In addition, it can protect you from malicious pop-ups that are often hard to avoid on malware-infected sites.

In testing, we found Safe Web to be a lightweight extension that works well on Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari while remaining discreet.

Device Optimization Tools

Norton Disk Optimization
Norton’s Disk Optimization tool

Norton can help you speed up your computer, improve its lifespan, and keep it clean by eliminating unwanted programs and background processes with a single click. Here are the performance tools Norton offers:

  • Process Scanner — Stop unnecessary processes to help improve device response time.
  • Network Scanner — Scan your network for devices using bandwidth and causing network-wide slowdowns.
  • NetBooster — Enhance internet and network speed by fine-tuning hidden Windows internet settings.
  • Disk Defragmenter and Application Accelerator — Organize file fragments on your device to optimize file access and boost the system’s speed.
  • RAM Reclaimer — Free up unused system memory held by programs and increase overall system speed.
  • Startup Optimizer — Identify which programs are slowing down your system during startup and optimize the list.

LifeLock Identity Theft Protection Features

Picking Norton’s LifeLock plans grants you access to its comprehensive identity theft protection feature set, which flags suspicious activity and helps you prevent financial fraud.

Here’s how each of its identity theft protection features can help you:

  • Stolen Wallet Protection — LifeLock helps you cancel and replace stolen credit cards, driver’s licenses, and other essential documents.
  • SSN & Credit Alerts — Norton will deliver alerts of suspicious activity relating to your Social Security Number (SSN) and credit information.
  • Buy Now Pay Later Fraud Monitoring — LifeLock will detect unauthorized transactions and alert you of potential fraud attempts.
  • Identity Lock — Proactively prevent unauthorized access to your credit by locking your credit file.
  • Bank & Credit Card Activity Alerts — LifeLock will notify you of significant transactions on your bank accounts and credit cards to help keep you safe.
  • 401(k) & Investment Activity Alerts — Norton will also monitor your investment accounts and alert you to suspicious activity.
  • Home Title Monitoring — Prevents fraudulent property transfers by reporting changes to your home title.
  • $1m in Stolen Funds Reimbursement — If you are the victim of fraud, Norton will reimburse you for stolen funds and identity restoration costs of up to $1m.

Norton Antivirus Performance

We’ve thoroughly tested Norton, including all its apps, features, and tools, and have seen Norton consistently block malware without significant system impact. We did see a slight slowdown when running a full system scan, but this can be addressed by scheduling scans for when the machine isn’t being used.

In independent testing by AV-Test, a research lab that assesses antiviruses, Norton also performed well. When reviewing over 12,000 samples, Norton blocked 100% of zero-day threats and widespread malware attacks.

Norton has consistently excellent results for protection and has had full marks in this category in every assessment conducted by AV-Test in the last five years.

AV-Test gave Norton scores of 5.5/6 in performance, with a slight processing impact, and 5.5/6 in usability, incorrectly flagging a small number of programs as malware. Nevertheless, 17/18 is a strong result and reflects the high quality of Norton’s delivery.

Norton Antivirus Compatibility and Ease of Use

Norton is compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS operating systems, and we found it easy to use in each case. While very slightly outdated, its apps are easy to master and ideal for both first-time and experienced antivirus users.

WindowsmacOSAndroidiOS

Norton for Windows

Norton works with Windows 7 or later versions and offers all of its advanced antivirus features for Windows users. We found it easy to use and navigate, and the only instance in which we noticed slower performance was while running a full scan.

The layout of its Windows app makes all its features easy to find, as it separates malware protection from its other solutions. In addition, we had no issues installing its browser extensions, and we weren’t bothered by any pop-ups or ads.

Norton for macOS

Norton’s Mac client looks slightly different, but it’s easy to use and navigate. It works with the current and previous two versions of macOS.

Macs can get viruses, and Norton includes its top malware-removing features in its Mac app to help you stay safe. You’ll also find the firewall, VPN, performance tools, and other extra features.

Norton for Android

Norton works with Android 8.0 or later and has an intuitive interface that makes tackling threats a breeze. The app will inform you of vulnerabilities on your device or WiFi network and protect you from malware, ransomware, and adware.

One of our favorite Android features is SMS filtering, which warns of potential phishing attacks sent via text message. In testing, Norton’s Android app was quick and lightweight, meaning it won’t drain your device’s battery or slow it down.

Norton for iOS

Although you can’t use third-party security apps like Norton to scan an iOS device, Norton will keep you safe from threats while browsing and using apps, SMS, MMS, email, and social networking sites on your iOS devices.

Although SMS filtering isn’t compatible with iMessage, it will protect you from fraudulent links leading to malicious websites, and, as on the Android app, we didn’t notice any battery drain or slowdowns.

How Does Norton Antivirus Compare Against Other Antiviruses?

Norton is a robust, powerful antivirus, but it faces tough competition. Here’s a quick overview of its features and the features of its closest competitors to help you compare them.

Antivirus Starting Price Max Devices Real-time Protection Firewall Scans
Norton Antivirus $29.99/yr Unlimited Smart, Quick, Full, Custom
McAfee $35.99/yr Unlimited Scheduled, Quick, Full, On-Demand, Individual Files
Bitdefender $29.99/yr 15 Quick, Full, Custom, Vulnerability
Malwarebytes $44.99/yr 20  ❌ Threat, Custom, Quick

Norton vs McAfee

Norton and McAfee both focus on keeping their users safe from identity theft, malware, and online threats.

In testing, we found McAfee’s interface more user-friendly on Mac, and its Protection Score feature impressed us. However, Norton offers better parental control features and a faster Quick Scan if you need better performance. Check out our full Norton vs McAfee comparison for further analysis.

Bitdefender vs Norton

Unlike Norton, Bitdefender offers VPN protection with its cheapest plan. However, unlocking unlimited VPN use and password manager protection requires you to subscribe to one of its more expensive plans, which makes Norton 360 Deluxe better value for money.

In addition, we found Norton’s firewall more user-friendly than Bitdefender’s offering. For further analysis, see our full Bitdefender vs Norton comparison guide.

Malwarebytes vs Norton

Malwarebytes is relatively expensive when compared like-for-like with Norton. Norton also offers far more features with its plans, including a firewall, parental control tools, and webcam protection, all of which Malwarebytes lacks. See our full Malwarebytes vs Norton guide for more details.

Microsoft Defender Antivirus aka Windows Defender vs Norton

Microsoft Defender Antivirus is a built-in solution to keep your PC safe from malware. While it can prevent common malware and viruses from infecting your devices, Norton is better able to detect and eliminate zero-day threats.

It also comes with additional security features and system optimization tools and can protect smartphones and other devices. This makes Norton a better choice overall.

How to Set Up Norton Antivirus

It takes just a few minutes to install Norton and run your first system scan. In this section of our Norton review, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide to help you get Norton up and running on Windows.

  1. Subscribe to Norton

    Head to Norton’s website and subscribe to one of its plans. Provide a valid email address and enter your payment details to finalize the transaction. You can also opt for a free trial to test its services.

    <strong>Subscribe to Norton</strong>
  2. Install Norton on Your Computer

    You can download Norton’s Windows client after you subscribe, and running the program will initialize the installation process. Once you launch the installer, follow the on-screen instructions until the process is complete, which should take just a few minutes.

    <strong>Install Norton on Your Computer</strong>
  3. Scan Your Computer for Malware

    Launching Norton will automatically enable its real-time malware protection. You can also launch a full system scan to detect even the most persistent malware on your computer by going to the “Scans” tab and selecting “Full Scan.”

    <strong>Scan Your Computer for Malware</strong>

Norton Antivirus Customer Support And User Reviews

Norton offers some of the best customer support in the industry, with 24/7 phone and live chat support channels. Its customer support teams are professional and knowledgeable and will answer questions regarding any aspect of the software.

It also offers a comprehensive knowledge base and a blog packed with helpful material, from tips on preventing phishing attacks to in-depth analyses of malware threats and their possible effects on your devices.

Norton Blog
Norton’s cybersecurity blog

Norton has a very positive score of 4.2 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, with more than 22,000 unique reviews. Of these, 55% of reviewers gave it five stars, while another 18% awarded it four stars.

Norton Review TrustPilot
A Norton review on Trustpilot

Most reviews on the site praise the service for delivering robust malware protection on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices. Users also describe the service’s identity theft protection features as being particularly reliable.

Norton Trustpilot Review
Trustpilot users praise Norton

Besides its malware and identity theft protection tools, users also spoke highly of Norton’s other additional security solutions, such as its password manager and performance tools.

Not every aspect of Norton’s services is praised, though. Negative reviews we read complained about its low VPN server count and performance issues on budget PCs when running a full system scan.

Our Other Antivirus Guides

Norton offers excellent features, budget-friendly plans, and some of the best customer service in the industry. However, its competition isn’t far behind. Here’s a list of some of our antivirus guides to help you compare it to similar providers.

FAQs

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Ilijia Miljkovac
Technology Writer

Ilija Miljkovac is a Techopedia writer with seven years of experience covering all things tech. He writes about cybersecurity topics, spanning VPNs, antiviruses, and hosting, helping to inform B2B and B2C audiences about the latest products and services. He's written for publications such as Business2Community, TheTechReport, Comparitech, and more. When he's not working, Ilija spends his time hiking in nature or holed up in his apartment gaming.