Norton by Symantec antivirus and internet security products are developed by the Symantec Corporation, which was founded in 1982. In 1991, after acquiring Peter Norton Computing, the company launched Norton Antivirus as prevention for the hundreds of foreign virus strains and PC malware that were becoming more and more common. Symantec's antivirus products have further developed to include malware prevention and removal, anti-spam, anti-phishing, and PC tune-up tools, among other services offered.

 

Rank Chart
Price
Security Quality
Our Score
#1
$24.99-44.99
7.3
#2
$39.99-69.99
6.3
#3
$39.99-69.99
5.8
#9
norton antivirus logo
$29.99-149.99
5.2

The Good

Independent IT test AV-Test has found Norton antivirus to successfully protect against most viruses, worms, and Trojan horses. Norton’s coverage includes extensive web protection, frequent virus definition updates, a Facebook threat scanner, and a community reputation database. Whereas some antivirus products idle when the PC isn’t in use, Norton is continually on guard with updates. Norton’s app remediation removes threats from Windows 8 apps and the Power Eraser download can find and remove infections on your PC. Another perk is an automatic backup feature, which automatically backs up important files to disc, USB device, or online. Finally, Norton 360 users have full access to Norton Family—one of the most comprehensive parental control products on the market.

The Bad

Unfortunately, even a PC protected by an antivirus can be infected by malware. Some Norton users have complained about viruses that somehow infected their computer despite having stayed on top of their antivirus subscriptions. Only a few of Norton’s listed product prices include virus removal and premium technical support. Norton One is worth a look, even though it costs a little more than the average in the industry, it protects multiple devices and comes with a 100% virus removal guarantee.

The Bottom Line

Symantec offers a variety of virus protection options for PCs, Macs, tablets, and smartphones. Even though some of its IT test performance results have been inconsistent at times, the Norton product line has substantial security features and a loyal customer base. We think Norton could be a great fit for several customers.

Price (*subject to change)

  • Basic Norton Security $59.99 (1 year, 1 device)
  • Deluxe Norton Security $49.99 – TBC discount (1 year, 1 device)
  • Premium Norton Security with Backup *89.99 (1 year, 1 device)

Other Prices include:

  • Mobile Security $29.99 (1 year, 1 device)
  • Antivirus 12 for Mac $39.99 (1 year, 1 Mac)
  • Internet Security 5 for Mac $49.99 (1 year, 1 Mac)
  • Antivirus $49.99 (1 year, 1 PC)
  • Internet Security $79.99 (1 year, 3 PCs)
  • Norton 360 $89.99 (1 year, 3 PCs)
  • Norton 360 Multi-Device $99.99 (1 year, 5 devices)
  • Norton One $149.99 (1 year, 5 devices—virus removal guarantee)

Free trial offer

Symantec offers a 30-day free trial for several Norton antivirus products, but not all of them.

Mobile protection

  • Privacy Protection – Users can remotely lock lost or stolen smartphones and tablets and erase information they want deleted. Norton’s mobile protection blocks phishing websites designed to steal your identity and money.
  • Anti-malware – Scans memory cards, apps, and websites for digital threats to your device
  • Anti-theft – Shows you the location of your missing device and lets you remotely take a photo of anyone using it. You can also set off a “scream” alarm to find your device quickly if you’ve misplaced it.

Users can block unwanted calls or texts, as well as back up phone contacts in case they get a new phone or accidently delete that information.

Security

  • Community Watch – Tracks internet files to monitor threats globally and identify which files and applications are safe
  • Anti-Spam – Keeps your inbox free of unwanted mail, including dangerous files and scams
  • Anti-Phishing/Anti-Scam – Blocks fraudulent sites meant to steal personal information; reviews a website’s reputation to let you know if it’s safe to enter personal information
  • Identity Protection – Remembers and secures usernames and passwords to prevent loss or theft
  • Parental Control – Allows full access to Norton Family, which allows parents to track their kids’ activities on the computer, tablet, or smartphone. Parents can set limits to how much time kids can spend on the computer, what kinds of apps or sites should be blocked, and receive email alerts and a detailed history of online activities. Additionally, Norton Family tracks the search phrases used online, YouTube and Hulu videos watched, and text messages sent so parents are always in the loop.
  • Facebook Scanner – Scans your Facebook wall and newsfeed for threatening URLs, such as phishing sites and malware; identifies the latest social networking scams
  • 2-Way Firewall – Blocks suspicious traffic from accessing your home network
  • Network Monitoring – Shows all devices connected to your wireless network so you can spot eavesdroppers and other uninvited guests
  • Continuous Updates – Virus definitions are updated every 5-15 minutes without interrupting the user

AV-Comparative/AV-Test

In AV-Test’s two-month 2013 testing, Norton protected against malware attacks, including web and email, above the industry average for real-world protection. It was also judged to have excellent usability, with few false positives. Norton’s PC performance score was a bit lower, as it slowed down the computer’s downloading and program running times.  The AV-Comparatives’ file detection test results are somewhat at odds with AV-Test’s analysis, as Norton scored poorly on detecting threats and had several false positive alerts.

Tune-up & Speed                 

The Norton 360 product includes a PC tune-up feature that removes unnecessary files to improve computer speed, power, and reliability, along with clearing up storage space. This feature includes a startup manager, which fine-tunes the computer’s settings to help it start up faster.

Time in Business

32+ years.  1982 (Symantec Corporation); 1991 (Norton AntiVirus launched)

Foreign

Symantec’s headquarters is in Mountain View, CA.

Customer Service

A subscription to a Norton antivirus product includes free phone and chat technical support—24/7—from Symantec.

 

Microsoft Operating Systems Supported

  • Windows XP (32-bit)
  • Windows Vista (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro (32-bit and 64-bit)

Microsoft System Requirements

  • 300 MHz for Windows XP, 1 GHz for Windows Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8
  • 256 MB of RAM
  • 300 MB of available hard disk space

Requirements for Mac

  • Mac OS X 10.7, 10.8, 10.9
  • Intel Core 2 Duo processor
  • 1.5 B of available hard disk space

Requirements for Mobile

  • Android 2.2 or later (Android multi-user mode not supported)
  • iOS 5.0 or later
  • 15 MB of storage
  • Works with Android devices with the Google Play app installed
  • Works with iPad or iPhone

Are there any inaccuracies in this review? We take our accuracy very seriously and would love your feedback. Give feedback here.

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