Norton Antivirus Review: Advanced Antivirus Protection

Best advanced protection
Norton Antivirus
Our rating:
4.3 out of 5.0
4.3 out of 5 stars4.3
4.3 out of 5 stars4.3
Compatibility & coverage
4 out of 5 stars4.0
Extra features
4 out of 5 stars4.0
Plans start at 
    *Standard retail prices as of 12/16/2019. Prices and availability are subject to change and may vary by retailer. **Promotional pricing for first year.
    The bottom line

    With comprehensive coverage and standout features—from unlimited VPN access to a firewall—there’s a reason Norton is one of the most recognizable names in antivirus protection.

    Norton’s antivirus software offers exhaustive coverage with antispyware, antivirus, ransomware, and malware protection. It’s a little more expensive than the competition, and you won’t be able to cover as many devices, but Norton is still a solid choice. And while Norton does protect PCs, Macs, smartphones, and tablets, Windows users have access to the most features, like cloud backup and SafeCam.

    Ahead, we’re comparing Norton’s antivirus plans and prices.

    What is Norton?

    Norton is an antivirus software that has been developed by Symantec Corporation since 1991. It works by performing constant scans on your devices to keep you protected from malware while you watch Netflix, shop online, and download email attachments.

    Does Norton have a free antivirus program?

    Norton doesn’t offer any free antivirus products. But if you want to try out Norton’s software, you can get a free 30-day trial of Norton Mobile Security for Android or iOS, or a 30-day trial of Norton Family Premier, Norton’s parental control software.

    Norton also offers a few tools for free, including Norton Security Scan, which scans your PC to let you know if it’s infected with any malware or viruses; Norton Power Eraser, a basic virus and malware tool for PCs; and Norton Password Manager, a no-frills password tool.

    Norton Antivirus products comparison

    *Standard retail prices as of 12/16/2019. Prices and availability are subject to change and may vary by retailer.
    **Promotional pricing for first year.

    Pros and cons of Norton Antivirus suites

    • Pro BulletComprehensive coverage at lowest tier
    • Pro BulletUnlimited VPN access at highest tiers
    • Pro BulletCloud backup for storing important documents
    • Pro BulletCoverage for PC, Mac, Android, and iOS
    • Con BulletNo free antivirus programs
    • Con BulletLimited device coverage at lowest tiers
    • Con BulletIncreased pricing after first year

    Norton Antivirus Plus review

    Norton Antivirus Plus
    • Password manager
    • 2GB cloud backup
    • Firewall
    **Promotional pricing for first year; $59.99/yr. for subsequent years.

    Norton Antivirus Plus price

    Norton Antivirus Plus covers one PC or Mac for $19.99 per year. After the first year, the price jumps to $59.99 a year. It’s a decent value, but brands like Bitdefender cover up to three devices for the same price.

    If you’re looking for mobile security, you’ll have to purchase it separately. Norton Mobile Security for Android or iOS devices protects against malware and ransomware, keeping your phone safe from malicious Wi-Fi networks and websites.

    But at an additional $14.99 a year for the first year, then $29.99 a year, it’s not worth it. If you want coverage for both your PC and Mac, try Bitdefender Total Security. You’ll get the same antivirus protection, plus coverage for up to five devices, starting at $44.99 per month.

    Why we recommend Norton Antivirus Plus

    Norton Antivirus Plus offers exhaustive coverage for your PC or Mac. You’ll get all the antivirus must-haves, including real-time protection against malware threats. Plus, you’ll get a couple of bonus features, like password protection and a firewall. That’s pretty big: brands like AVG only offer those features at their higher tiers.

    Standout features

    Password manager

    Norton Antivirus Plus offers a password manager feature that creates complex, unique passwords and stores them in an encrypted online vault. That way, you won’t have to remember all of your passwords (or worse, keep them on sticky notes attached to your computer).

    Cloud backup

    Antivirus Plus also gives you up to 2GB of automatic cloud backup, so your important files are safe if your hard drive fails or your device is stolen. Though 2GB isn’t a ton—it’s equivalent to about 600 high resolution photos—it’ll be enough for your most important documents. Unfortunately, cloud backup is only available for PCs.


    Norton’s firewall keeps tabs on communication between your computer and others by warning you of connection attempts from other devices and monitoring inactive ports on your computer. It also blocks unauthorized traffic and online threats. So your most sensitive files, like information about your identity or finances, stay secure.

    ASecureLife’s recommendation: If you have only one device to cover, Norton Antivirus Plus offers comprehensive coverage with some great bonuses. You’ll get protection from viruses and malware, plus access to tools like a password manager. But you can protect only Macs or PCs on this plan.

    >>Comprehensive coverage. Get Norton Antivirus Plus.

    Norton 360 Standard review

    Norton 360 Standard
    • Unlimited secure VPN
    • Dark web monitoring
    **Promotional pricing for first year; $79.99/yr. for subsequent years.

    Norton 360 Standard price

    Norton 360 Standard starts at $29.99 per year and covers one PC, Mac, smartphone, or tablet. After the first twelve months, you’ll pay $79.99 a year.

    Those prices are pretty standard in the industry. Webroot has a similar package, Internet Security Plus, that covers up to three devices, starting at $44.99 per year.

    Why we recommend Norton 360 Standard

    Norton 360 Standard covers one PC, Mac, smartphone, or tablet and adds webcam protection, dark web monitoring, and up to 10GB of cloud storage. And while most antivirus software offers limited VPN access, Norton 360 Standard gives you unlimited access to a secure VPN so you can surf the web anonymously.

    Standout features

    Unlimited secure VPN

    A VPN (virtual private network) protects both your computer and your most sensitive documents. It encrypts your data and keeps your online activity private, whether you’re using your home Wi-Fi or a public network at your favorite restaurant.

    Some brands, like Kaspersky, limit VPN access to 200MB of secured browsing, which is only enough to check a few emails and do some light browsing. Norton 360 Standard stands out by making its VPN access unlimited. That means you won’t have to worry about scrolling social media or watching Netflix on a public Wi-Fi network after checking your Gmail.

    Dark web monitoring

    Norton 360 Standard also throws in some dark web monitoring, powered by LifeLock. Norton will scan the dark web for your personal information and notify you if anything is amiss—meaning you can catch identity theft before it hurts your finances. Dark web monitoring is typically included in credit monitoring or identity theft protection services, and it’s a nice bonus here.

    ASecureLife’s recommendation: Considering Norton 360 Standard covers only one device per year, it’s a bit pricey. But it’s a good get if you’re looking for a comprehensive software suite with an unlimited VPN.

    >>Secure browsing, unlimited. Get Norton 360 Standard.

    Norton 360 Deluxe review​

    Norton 360 Deluxe
    • Parental control
    • Identity theft protection with LifeLock
    **Promotional pricing for first year; $99.99/yr. for subsequent years.

    Norton 360 Deluxe price

    Norton 360 Deluxe covers up to five PCs, Macs, smartphones, or tablets at $39.99 a year for the first year. After that, you’ll pay $99.99 a year. That’s a bit more expensive than the competition: Trend Micro’s most robust antivirus suite protects up to five devices too, starting at $53.95 a year. After the first year, Trend Micro Maximum Security is $10 less at $89.95 a year.

    Why we recommend Norton 360 Deluxe

    Norton 360 Deluxe covers up to five devices, so it’s a great choice if you have multiple devices or if you want to keep your kid’s Android and iOS devices secure. It also ups its cloud backup coverage to 50GB and adds parental control.

    Standout features

    Parental control

    With parental control, Norton 360 Deluxe gives you a way to manage your childrens’ activity online. You can see what videos they’ve watched, websites they’ve visited, terms they’ve searched for, and apps they’ve downloaded. These alerts can also help you have open conversations with your kids about internet safety and online threats. But Mac users will miss out here: Norton offers parental control only for PCs and mobile devices.

    Norton 360 with LifeLock

    If you’re looking to protect your computer from malware and protect yourself from identity theft simultaneously, consider Norton 360 with LifeLock Select. You’ll get all the perks of Norton 360 Deluxe plus identity monitoring, lost wallet protection, and alerts for any suspicious activity linked to your credit or Social Security number.

    ASecureLife’s recommendation: If you’re a parent, upgrade to Norton 360 Deluxe. You’ll get parental control for your kid’s Android and iOS devices—although you won’t be able to filter content on their Mac—plus a ton of antivirus protection for up to five devices.

    >>Protect your PCs. Get Norton 360 Deluxe.

    Customer service

    Norton customer support is available via live chat and phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But it may not always be so helpful. When we tested out Norton’s chat feature, asking whether Norton’s antivirus suites included a file shredder feature, we were told to call a number for a LifeLock brand paper shredder. So if you have any queries, be patient and make sure to be very, very clear.

    Norton vs. the competition​

    *Standard retail prices as of 12/16/2019. Prices and availability are subject to change and may vary by retailer.
    **Promotional pricing for first year
    Norton vs. Avast
    Take Note

    Avast Premium Security offers a lot of the same features as Norton Antivirus Plus. And although Avast doesn’t have first-year promotional pricing, at $59.99 a year, it’s the same price as Norton after the first 12 months. But we recently learned that Avast’s not protecting customer data the way it should, so we can’t recommend it.

    Norton vs. McAfee

    McAfee Total Protection has a lot of the same must-have features as Norton Antivirus Plus, but McAfee adds a file shredder to securely delete files from your devices. However, the yearly price goes up to $79.99 after the first 12 months. And overall, McAfee’s features aren’t as powerful as the competition, and its interface isn’t as intuitive or user-friendly.

    If you want to cover more than just your own computer, McAfee offers Multi-Device Total Protection, but it can get a little pricey. If you’re looking for comprehensive coverage that won’t, well, break the bank, check out our picks for the best antivirus suites.

    Norton vs. Bitdefender

    Bitdefender Antivirus Plus’s promotional price is more expensive than Norton Antivirus Plus, although it covers three devices, versus Norton Antivirus’ one. And while Bitdefender covers PCs only, it offers a lot more features. Besides the usual, like anti-phishing tech and password protection, Bitdefender also offers a file shredder, social network protection, a Wi-Fi security advisor to guard your Wi-Fi network, and a secure web browser for safe online banking.

    Our recommendation

    Norton Antivirus can be a good choice if you’re looking for thorough, advanced software coverage, you want to protect your devices with a familiar brand name, and you don’t mind paying a little bit extra.

    If you’re only looking to protect one device, go with Norton Antivirus Plus. You’ll get the basics, like phishing protection and real-time malware detection, plus perks, like a password manager and a firewall.

    >>Play it safe. Get Norton Antivirus Plus.

    If you want to protect more than one device but don’t want to skimp on coverage, go for Bitdefender Antivirus Plus. Bitdefender offers solid ransomware protection, a password manager, a secure web browser for safe online banking, and more.

    >>Protect all of your devices. Get Bitdefender Antivirus Plus.

    Frequently asked questions​

    Does Norton scan for keyloggers?

    Norton’s antivirus suites don’t have any anti-keylogging software. But if you download a separate program (only for PCs), Norton Power Eraser, you can protect your PC from keyloggers for no extra cost. Just be careful: Norton Power Eraser takes such an aggressive approach to malware detection that it may end up deleting some of your legitimate applications—but the software can create a system restore point in case you accidentally delete something important.

    Does Norton have a file shredder?

    None of Norton’s security suites include a file shredder. If you want to securely delete files so hackers can’t recover them, you’ll have to purchase a separate subscription of Norton Utilities Premium, starting at $19.99 per year for the first year.


    Unfortunately, that can get a bit pricey. Other suites like Avast Premium Security include a file shredder for no additional charge.

    Does Norton Security Suite remove viruses?

    Yes. Each of Norton’s security suites detects multiple types of malware—viruses, spyware, ransomware, and the like—and removes them from your device. Norton’s antivirus programs do this in real time, protecting your device against both existing and emerging malware threats.

    Is Norton Antivirus free with Comcast?

    If you’re an Xfinity customer, you can access a Norton Security Online subscription for free. Norton Security Online works for up to five PCs, Macs, smartphones, or tablets.

    Is Norton good?

    Norton offers advanced antivirus products, even at its lowest tiers, to help you protect your devices against malware. From searching the internet for reviews, the main issue with Norton appears to be its automatic renewal. Some customers say it’s hard to get out of the contract, and Norton often auto-renews a month early without warning.

    How to cancel Norton Antivirus automatic renewal

    To cancel Norton Antivirus, you’ll have to turn off automatic renewal. First, sign into Norton. Then, in the “My Subscription” tab, move the slider to “Off” next to the Norton products you want to disable.

    On the “Automatic Renewal” page, select a reason from the dropdown menu, and click “Turn off.” From there, your Norton Antivirus suite shouldn’t renew again.

    Food for thought
    Our Choice

    In 2012, hackers got a hold of a segment of Norton’s source code, opening up the potential for hackers to use Norton’s own antivirus program to learn how to circumvent Norton’s software. It’s not too much cause for concern now, but it’s definitely something to consider.