Pros / Norton provides a 100 percent virus protection guarantee.
Cons / Parental controls are not available for Mac or iOS devices.
Verdict / Norton Security is one of the best computer protection programs, with solid security features, including 25GB of online backup.
While testing Norton Security Premium, we saw it was quick to block malicious Trojan and rootkit downloads before they could infect our test computers. Norton even interrupted hidden downloads from sites that showed 404 or account-suspended messages. It displayed clear messages if we attempted to visit a website that was known for harboring viruses or phishing schemes.
This computer protection program went the extra mile and gave in-browser reports that detailed exactly what threat was stopped, where on your computer the virus was attempting to download, how many other Norton users the virus had attempted to attack, and any other sites that may harbor the same threat. It blocked over 200 live malware programs in our tests. Our findings mirror those of other independent test laboratories, including AV-Test and AV-Comparatives, and confirm that Norton Security Premium is a good choice for protecting all your personal devices.
Norton Security has protection tools that scan email and USB drives for malware, so any threats are stopped before they can download to your computer. It has a gamer mode – also called silent mode – that suspends some scans and pop-up notifications so you can watch movies and play games without interruptions. You must, however, manually enable this feature. Norton Security Premium also includes some of the best parental controls that quickly block dangerous content by enabling filter categories. You also control when your kids can be online and for how long.
This program has a secure vault and a password manager, which safely stores your passwords in one convenient location to keep hackers from accessing them. A personal firewall also comes with Norton Security and works well right alongside Windows Defender to offer a double layer of protection from any threats attempting to sneak in through your internet connection.
One drawback is that Norton Security Premium uses excessive computer resources compared to other programs. We noticed a little lag when we uploaded files and images to outgoing email messages during virus scans. And there was some slight buffering while playing games online. While it was noticeable, it didn’t last long enough to cause significant delays.
Norton Security ranked well in independent tests performed on Mac computers. AV-Test and AV-Comparatives gave it top marks for malware protection, and they found it doesn’t slow down the computers it’s installed on. Norton scans your entire system for viruses or does a quick check of the most critical files and folders on your computer. You also have the choice to schedule virus scans or manually start them on your own.
While the same program is used on all your devices, when installed on Mac machines, Norton Security Premium doesn’t give access to the same tools that are available on Windows machines. The biggest tool missing is parental controls. Mac’s browser, Safari, has some decent ones built into its program, but they aren’t as easy to set or offer as much protection as many third-party applications. If you need stronger parental controls for your Mac computer, consider using Kaspersky Total Security, another computer protection program, or ContentBarrier, a standalone parental program designed specifically for Mac computers and mobile devices.
Norton Security Premium scans your Mac computer for weak points in your system and recommends ways to strengthen them. This typically includes updating software to the most recent version and uninstalling or deleting applications and files that haven’t been used for a while to clear up space and help your computer run faster.
This computer protection program is compatible with both Android and iOS devices. The software can track misplaced or stolen devices as well as blocking someone from accessing sensitive information on your cell phone or tablet if it is lost or stolen. You can also block calls and protect your login credentials with the Norton password manager. As with the computer components, Norton’s parental controls work on Android cell phones and tablets but aren’t compatible with iOS devices.
Norton Security Premium is one of only two computer protection programs we tested that protect a minimum of 10 devices with a single license, the other being Trend Micro Maximum Security. It comes with 25GB of online storage that can be used to help reboot and restore files if your computer is attacked by malware. Norton comes with a protection guarantee, so if you are attacked while using this program, Norton will work with you to get your computer cleaned and reset to its pre-attack condition.
Live telephone support is available 24/7. Only a few of Norton’s competitors match this availability. When we contacted Norton for some help, we found the customer service reps to be very helpful and knowledgeable. We didn’t feel pressured to purchase a program we didn’t want or need.
- Windows Malware Detection
- Mac Malware Detection Rate
Norton Security Premium protects a variety of devices against malware and viruses, and it does so very well. It protects up to 10 devices on one license. It also includes security features on multiple devices – such as vulnerability scans, password protection and antiphishing tools – and it is backed by excellent customer support. The only real drawbacks are that parental controls are not available for Mac laptops and devices, and the Windows program may cause some slowdown during virus scans.