Is Norton Antivirus good?
Our final verdict? Overall, Norton Antivirus scores high on features, performance and ease of use. Despite the absence of some important features, such as file encryption and a secure web browser, the software is packed with options for excellent protection, and PC and mobile combinations are present (with Android and iOS support).
If you don't expose your computer to particularly dangerous threats (don't visit suspicious websites and don't shop online), this solution will be enough to keep your devices safe and secure, and is especially recommended for those who focus on file security.
Although you can't download Norton Security for free, and the bundles are not cheap, you can get some services with a discount, for example, they have great bundles for antivirus and Norton Wi-Fi Privacy VPN, so this solution would be perfect for small business and professional users, as well as for personal use. It's a good solution for businesses and probably the best antivirus for home use.
The list of advantages and disadvantages
Although Norton Security is not the cheapest software option, it outperforms the vast majority of other antivirus products, and false positives are rare.
- Simple and intuitive dashboard
- Multi-platform support
- 24-hour hotline support
- Reliable file storage and backup options
- Norton Power Eraser blocks suspicious software
- 30-day free trial
- The software has an impact on performance
- Lack of a secure web browser
Norton Antivirus is one of the most popular products on the market. But is it a great solution to protect you in 2019, and moreover, is it good value for money? We're here to help you find the answer.
In short, Norton provides excellent protection against malware without compromising system performance during scans. Although relatively expensive, the Premium plan is packed with features, backup solution and 25GB of online storage. What all Norton plans lack is file shredding, a secure web browser and file encryption.
In this review of Norton Antivirus, we will check the features provided and evaluate the reliability of the software. Read this entire review to find out if the program is right for you.
Reliability and safety
According to the results of the real-world protection test conducted by AV-comparatives, Norton Antivirus detected and blocked approximately 99.3 % of threats, which is an excellent result; however, 30 is higher than the industry average.
AV-Test Lab awarded the latest version of Norton Antivirus the maximum of 18 points (6 for protection, performance and ease of use), however it should be noted that historically, Norton scores an average of 5.5 points for usability.
If you try to access a web site that contains malicious software, Norton blocks access by displaying a danger warning. When you try to download an infected file, Norton also warns you and stops the download process.
Viruses are moved to the quarantine folder to prevent them from damaging the computer. Each time an infected file is stopped, Norton informs you where the threat will be installed on the computer.
The only problem is that sometimes the antivirus did not block the detected viruses, which means that you sometimes have to check that each detected threat has been blocked and moved to the quarantine folder.
One of the main drawbacks of Norton is that it slows down computers during malware scans, and the company claims that it has solved this problem, not that the impact of crashes has become less significant.
To verify how Norton Security Premium affects performance under Windows, we use an Asus laptop with a Windows 10 operating system and an Intel Core i3-5005U processor. Our team conducted a standard benchmark test based on OpenOffice: during the process, we matched 20,000 addresses on a spreadsheet. Before installing the antivirus, it took us 7 minutes to complete this task. After installing and activating Norton, the time dropped to 11 seconds. Although this level of performance impact seems to be serious, you probably won't notice it.
During the full system scan, performance dropped by 30 %, putting Norton Antivirus somewhere in the middle of the ranking of antivirus solutions in terms of system impact.
In terms of scanning speed, Norton Security displays the average result: it takes more than an hour to scan a hard drive, while a fast scan takes 3 minutes and 20 seconds. You can speed up the process by using the white list: add reliable files to the white list, and you will limit the scan time to only potentially dangerous files. Then you can reduce the total scan time to only 20 minutes.
Let's take a closer look at the possibilities for protection against malware.
Like other anti-virus software, Norton offers three layers of protection, including signature matching (the software is compared against a database of known malware). Protection is enhanced by heuristic analysis - it monitors software behavior and checks new program code for unknown malware before it affects your devices.
To top it all off, Norton publishes new signatures with updates several times a day - samples from users' machines are scanned on proprietary cloud servers. If something is found to be dangerous, the Norton team fixes the vulnerabilities and sends signature updates. Norton offers browser extensions for Mozilla Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. The extension checks the destination headers of web packets for connections to known malicious web sites.
What about game mode? Although there is no game mode per se, you can put the Norton Security application in silent mode and reduce the number of updates and notifications to users when full-screen and 3D graphics are running. The same applies when you turn on your computer after a long period of inactivity and perform updates later to avoid slowdowns.
With Norton's leading antivirus product you get :
- A defense against spyware.
- System registry protection to block the installation of unauthorized applications.
- Protection against ransom software and phishing.
Ransom software detection
Ransom protection is available on every version of Norton Antivirus. This means that you can shop online without fear of malware or credit card identification data being stolen. In addition, your computer files will be protected against encryption. However, with Norton Antivirus, some files are lost during redemption.
Phishing protection is included in all Norton packages. It is essential to stay away from dangerous e-mails and websites: the software detects suspicious links and files before they infect the user's computer and compromise personal information.
Ease of use
The program is ergonomic, and the vast majority of users have no problems using it. The installation process is not complicated: you download a 1 MB patch that turns into a 175 MB installation, enter the activation code, and everything else is done for you. The program will offer you to participate in data collection (Community Watch) - you can ignore it.
Launching a quick scan is just one click away - it takes about 7 minutes to have your entire system checked. If the level of protection is optimal and everything is safe, the first page will be colored green. If not, you will see a red X next to the threatened software and components. In addition, you can launch silent mode and find the taskbar to do anything from updating signatures to looking for a new version.
The antivirus interface is intuitive and clear, and contains all the links you need for easy management. When you open the program, you will see four major security options offered by Norton: Security, Backup, Performance, and Identity. If you need more information, you must click More Norton. A reminder tells you when your subscription ends and provides the link for renewal.
Norton Antivirus offers the following scanning options :
- Quick scan of local files and disks.
- Complete hard drive scan (detection of all known vulnerabilities).
- Analysis and repair of compressed files.
- Rootkit and stealth analysis.
- Network scan during full scan and custom scan. This option is enabled by default.
- Heuristic protection (detection of unknown threats) If the software detects a suspicious file, it is classified as infected and blocked.
- Cookie analysis: The software detects small files that may have been placed on the computer to track user activity.