PROS / This anti-malware software excels at catching suspicious elements.
CONS / A license for this software only allows you to protect a single computer.
VERDICT / Norton Security is one of the best malware removers you can buy. It has every tool we look for to provide the maximum protection possible.
Editor’s Note: Top Ten Reviews uses test results from the independent laboratory AV-Test as part of our review process for the best anti-malware software. AV-Test looks specifically at protection, performance and usability on multiple versions of Windows operating systems, and it performs these evaluations several times throughout the year. We use the most current AV-Test scores available at the time of our review. It is possible that new AV-Test scores will be released after our review goes live on the site. We will consider these scores during our next review of the best anti-malware software.
Norton is one of the most recognizable brands in the anti-malware business, so it's no surprise that Norton Security has claimed a spot in the top tier of our review of the best malware removers. It scored highly on AV-Test's protection, performance and usability tests. It also has every detection and removal tool we look for in this category. And if you need customer or technical support, you can contact Norton for help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For these reasons and more, this anti-malware program earned the Top Ten Reviews Silver Award.
AV-Test is an independent and impartial institute that tests anti-malware software every few months. At the time of this writing, Norton Security had one of the top scores in our lineup of the best malware removal software. This software provides excellent protection while using computer resources efficiently and yielding very few false positives.
The protection tests put Norton Security up against more than 14,000 known malware threats, including common viruses, spyware, Trojans, worms and ransomware. This malware remover scored 100 percent in these tests – no malware slipped through the cracks. While this is excellent, about half the anti-malware software we reviewed also earned this score. The average score for the programs on our lineup is 92 percent.
AV-Test's performance test measured how well anti-malware software utilizes your computer's resources. Malware removers that hog processing power can slow down other things you're doing on your computer such as browsing, video games, downloads and other applications. Norton Security scored 92 percent on this test; the average score in our review is 83 percent. If you do experience any lag, it should be minimal.
The final score we take into consideration is for usability. AV-Test tests how often anti-malware software flags a safe element as a threat. False positives can interrupt your computer experience and stop you from downloading something harmless. Norton Security yielded no such problems.
Detection & Removal
Norton Security has every malware detection and removal tool we look for in the best anti-malware software. It protects you from viruses that can harm your computer, spyware that tracks your activity, ransomware that seizes control of your computer and the Trojans that deliver them to your computer. It scans every USB device that you connect to your computer and all incoming email for threats before they can infect your computer. No matter what threat you face online, this program can identify and eliminate it.
There are times when a new virus hits your computer before anti-malware software can detect it. To minimize this type of damage, Norton Security allows you to create a rescue CD that can restore your computer if it experiences a catastrophic malware attack. So even if you face a worst-case scenario, you can recover your data.
It also offers a browser plugin called Norton Identity Safe Toolbar, which protects you from multiple threats when you surf the web. It warns you when a website is potentially dangerous, protects you from phishing scams and provides an encrypted vault for sensitive documents. It also manages your password and credit card numbers and autofills your information when necessary. This not only saves you time while shopping online, but it also provides an additional level of protection against identity theft.
When you buy Norton Security, you can only protect a single computer with it. If you have multiple computers, you'll have to buy a license for each one. In a world where many people own more than one computer, this can get expensive. The other award winners in our lineup allow you to protect up to three computers with one license.
Help & Support
Norton is one of only two anti-malware companies that offer telephone support for their customers 24/7. It also offers a live chat room on its website where you can log in and connect with a customer service representative almost immediately. We found Norton's customer support staff both polite and knowledgeable. If you ever do have an issue, you should be able to resolve it in short order.
Norton Security is an outstanding anti-malware solution. It protects you against almost all known threats. It also provides all the detection and removal tools we look for – scans of emails and USBs, browser plugins, and rescue discs, to name a few. However, unlike the other award winners, it only protects a single machine. Otherwise, Norton Security has it all.