Norton Security Standard Review

UPDATE:Symantec revamped its lineup of consumer antivirus products in April 2019, introducing six new products under the Norton 360 brand. Norton 360 Standard replaces Norton Security Standard, which has now been discontinued.

Our Verdict

Norton Security Standard is a top program for blocking Mac malware, going beyond basic antivirus to include tools that protect you online. However, it does struggle a bit when identifying Windows threats on Mac computers.


  • Norton is excellent at detecting Mac malware.


  • You have to purchase licenses for mobile devices separately.
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UPDATE:Symantec revamped its lineup of consumer antivirus products in April 2019, introducing six new products under the Norton 360 brand. Norton 360 Standard replaces Norton Security Standard, which has now been discontinued. Both products have the same core security features, so the review below remains relevant. However, Norton 360 Standard also comes with unlimited VPN service, webcam protection and Dark Web monitoring. We’re testing Norton 360 Standard, and will be updating this review in the coming weeks.

Norton Security Standard is a key player in the antivirus software industry. It's one of the best pieces of antivirus software for Mac and Windows computers, as well as both Android and iOS mobile devices, making it a great choice if you have several devices that need protecting. When we tested Norton, it identified and blocked all 165 malware samples. Eleven of these threats, all Trojans, were sent to the quarantine folder before being permanently deleted. The others were automatically scrubbed from our computer.

During our Windows malware detection tests, Norton did a better job recognizing threats coming through Safari than it did through Chrome. In fact, we noticed Norton did a better job stopping Windows threats when it worked alongside Chrome instead of on its own with Chrome’s security settings disabled. Overall, Norton correctly identified and stopped 75 percent of the Windows threats exposed to our Mac test computer.

Norton has secure browsing extensions that must be enabled before they work, and it takes several steps to do so. First, we needed to let Norton Standard know that we wanted to enable safe browsing by selecting this option from the dashboard. This sent us to our online portal where we then downloaded and installed each extension individually. When we opened the program, Norton warned us with in-browser messages if a site we wanted to visit had a malicious link or download on it. And it let us know if there was a phishing scheme on the site as well. Search results after using a search engine, like Google, were clearly marked by Norton Security so we knew which sites were safe to visit.

This program includes advanced protection features to help keep your family safe while working, banking, shopping and playing online. This includes a password manager that shields your login information from keyloggers and other spyware programs. And its safe banking tools protect sensitive information, including account numbers, Social Security numbers and your name, from identity thieves.

Norton Security Standard includes a personal firewall. While your Mac comes with one already installed, Norton’s firewall works alongside it to give you a second layer of protection – catching hackers, ransomware and other threats that try to come in through your internet connection.

The only advanced program not included with Norton Security Standard are parental controls. Norton has some of the best parental controls, but even their standalone program, Norton Family, isn’t compatible with Mac computers. If you need parental controls that include web filtering and time controls, we suggest exploring Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac that includes these tools. Or you could look at one of the several standalone programs we tested as part of our Best Parental Software comparison.

All of Norton Security Standards tools work on mobile devices, too. That includes cellphones and tablets. The only downfall is you must purchase a user license for each device, and Norton isn’t the cheapest choice. It does give discounts for multiple licenses purchased at one time, but this, too, may be a little pricey.

You can use Norton Security Standard on your Macs, PCs and mobile devices, though you must pay extra for each additional license. The program protects your computer against malware, phishing sites and ransomware. Norton did very well in our in-house lab tests, correctly identifying and blocking every Mac threat, though it did struggle a bit with detecting Windows malware on our Mac computer. Its extra features, such as a password manager, safe banking tools and personal firewall, are useful and make Norton Security Standard one of the best antivirus programs for Mac.

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