PROS / A single Norton Security license protects up to five devices: any combination of PCs, Macs, Android smartphones and tablets, as well as iPhones and iPads.
CONS / In independent tests, Norton slowed host computers one second longer than the industry average.
VERDICT / Norton Security with Backup provides excellent protection and many useful security features.
Editor's note: The manufacturer has informed us that Norton Security with Backup 2015 is now Norton Security Premium. We will address any changes when we next update the Premium Security Suites reviews.
Norton Security with Backup consolidates nine previous products into one premium internet security suite, while its competitors continue to market complicated product family architectures. Even though Norton Security with Backup consolidates all of Symantec’s previous consumer internet security software product features, protection against malware and phishing is perhaps more important than many other features, and Norton is a strong protector.
When the independent test lab AV-Test subjected Norton to a series of tests alongside 24 competitors, in March and April of 2014, Norton demonstrated strong results on the Windows 8.1 platform. Although visiting websites and downloading software took Norton a second longer than the industry average, it had perfect scores for protection and usability tests, a reasonable tradeoff. Competitors with faster performance could not match Norton’s perfect protection scores.
Out of two malware protection tests, one exposed Norton to 20,646 samples of known malware, and another involved 138 samples of brand-new, zero-day malware. The software made no errors whatsoever during the first malware protection test, compared with an industry average of 98 percent effectiveness. Norton also scored perfectly in the second test, compared with an industry average score of 94 percent. Please realize, however, that although Norton had perfect scores for malware protection, that does not mean it will always stop every threat. Even the best internet security software sometimes slips, which is why Norton provides a 100 percent virus protection guarantee. In a market where many publishers charge for malware removal, Norton provides the service for free. In fact, Norton will refund what you paid for the software if it cannot clear your PC or Mac from infection.
Most security software publishers market many products with only slight differences. There are entry-level antivirus products with basic antimalware and antispyware capabilities. However for antispam or antiphishing you pay a few more dollars for an internet security suite. The premium internet security suites that we include in our review contain a few more features. Furthermore there are Mac-specific versions, PC versions and all-in-one versions that protect PCs, Macs, Androids and iOS devices with a single license. Norton Security with Backup replaces all previous Norton consumer internet security products and incorporates their features. By consolidating all features into one product, Norton improves safety for its customers.
It is possible to manage all of the devices under Norton protection from an online account that lets you add new devices. If you misplace a device running Norton, you will be able to locate it, wipe it or lock it by sending commands that take effect the second someone connects your device to the internet. The Norton subscription gives you 24/7 customer support by telephone or online chat, which is yet another reason that it is included among our top 10 internet security reviews.
Norton Security with Backup protects as many as five devices with one license that you can manage from an online account. At tests conducted by respected software labs, Norton accomplished perfect protection and usability scores, which is why it is in our review of best internet security software products. By replacing multiple products that contain only slight feature list variations, Norton Security with Backup arms its users with many more protections than they would have enjoyed if they had been tempted to get away with a basic antivirus product. Norton is among the best total security software subscriptions available.