The modern-day Norton isn’t the same as the one you may have had on your Windows XP computer. Norton has repeatedly rebranded the antivirus program, which is now under a regurgitated version of Norton 360. Does the antivirus software still live up to its popular perception as a broad-spectrum malware protection program? We’ll examine that in this review.
Norton Antivirus at a Glance
Norton Antivirus was first released by Symantec corporation in 1991. It became popular as internet use increased. From the beginning, Norton was promoted as an antivirus and malware protection tool for computers. These days you can install a version of Norton antivirus on mobile phones too. (This review is primarily concerned with the desktop package.)
Norton has gone through so many reiterations in the past that it’s hard to keep track of all the editions. In 2016, Symantec introduced Norton Basic, which was based on Norton 360. In 2019, Norton Basic was revamped as Norton Pro. Despite the brandings, the core software remains largely the same with some updates.
Here are the main features Norton antivirus offers users:
- Block potential threats coming through internet connections
- Detect and remove malware using machine learning algorithms
- Use data from Symantec to keep harmful software off your devices
- Use AI to automatically block suspicious activity on apps
- Protect Windows operating systems against zero-day attacks
- Detect and remove risky apps already residing in PCs
- Protect devices against online attacks such as phishing, browser hijacking, pharming, etc.
What Norton antivirus offers is pretty broad. However, it covers most concerns modern-day internet users have.
All-Around Antivirus Protection
The cheapest Norton package comes with browser extensions and a two-way firewall. The program can scan incoming and outbound traffic for suspicious activity that might indicate malware. The browser extensions—available for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Internet Explorer—will protect you wholly when browsing online.
Worried that someone might spy on you by hijacking your webcam? One of the newest features included in Norton packages (excluding the cheapest Pro version), is protection against webcam hacking. This is a dedicated service that’s very useful when you want to give your computer well-rounded protection.
Norton recently acquired a Canadian company called SurfEasy VPN. Thanks to that purchase, antivirus customers can now get access to VPN with malware protection. The VPN is available with all packages except Norton Antivirus Plus.
The Norton VPN offers unlimited amounts of data and servers in 29 countries. It’s not the most impressive compared to other VPNs, but the advantage is that you are getting the service in addition to malware protection.
Password managers are available as browser extensions, apps, and PC software. Norton offers a cloud-based password manager that you can get access to via My Norton web portal. You can get this account when you purchase any Norton software.
You can create a master password for all your accounts here. However, the account password would be different from the master password. Just on it’s own, a password manager is nothing to write home about. However, when this comes bundled with antivirus software, cloud backup, and a VPN, it definitely becomes something special.
Backup and Storage
All the new Norton packages come with both backup software and cloud storage. You can get 2GB of cloud storage with the cheapest Pro package. It’s quite measly, but enough to keep backups of your passwords, bookmarks, and similar files. More importantly, you can keep backup files stored on a secure cloud to get access later. If you want more storage, you can subscribe to a more expensive plan.
Norton is certainly not without its downsides. These are what you should be aware of:
High System Impact
One of the biggest complaints about Norton has always been that the software makes computers lag. When Norton runs its malware scan, it can slow down everything else on a PC to a standstill. The company made some strides in reducing such performance issues. Despite that, Norton antivirus software can still make your computer run slower.
Basic Protection Only
While Norton protects devices against a vast array of threats, it’s still missing some crucial features that give users more than basic protection. The newest line of Norton software noticeably lacks keylogger protection or permanent file shredders. While Norton purports to protect against ransomware, there are no specific features to protect laptops against system hijackings.
No Encryption Software
Norton quite notably lacks an encryption tool in the malware bundle. When you have cloud backup and a password manager, it would have been nice to encrypt all this sensitive information.
Complete Protection is Expensive
The features you can enjoy with Norton really depend on the package you buy. The basic, cheapest package doesn’t offer features like webcam protection, VPNs, or even parental controls. If you want everything, then you would have to purchase one of the more expensive packages. Considering that users also have to pay for a subscription, the cost is not particularly appealing.
Is Norton Antivirus Still Worth It?
Norton Antivirus is highly adequate if all around basic protection is what you are looking for. The 2019 anti-malware bundles offer several interesting new features like a VPN and webcam protection, but also lacks essential features that competing anti-malware programs offer. You can get keylogger protection and encryption with several other brands, but not with Norton.
Norton continues to slow down the system and its price is on the expensive end. You can get reliable protection, but only as long as you are willing to pay a hefty amount. All in all, these packages are still worth it if you are a personal user with multiple devices to protect. You can get access to convenient tools like password managers and a VPN in one place.
While Norton may lack key individual features, it offers great bundling of features. You won’t have to pay for separate password managers or cloud backup with a mid-range Norton antivirus package. The strength is in the pack for this one.
Norton is one of the best-known brand names in malware protection for computers. The company has been around for decades. Once upon a time, a Norton trial version even came pre-installed on PCs.
- All-Around Antivirus Protection
- Webcam Protection
- Offers VPN
- Password Manager
- Backup and Storage
- High System Impact
- Basic Protection Only
- No Encryption Software
- Complete Protection is Expensive
- Price 0%
- Security 0%
- Support 0%