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Norton Antivirus Review

March 2020 Norton Antivirus Review & Deals

Norton’s security products, including Norton Antivirus Basic and Norton Security Standard, are industry leaders in anti-virus protection. They offer robust protection against malware, balancing smart features with ease of use.

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Features & Compatibility

  • Spyware
  • Malware
  • Phishing
  • Ransomware
  • Identity
  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Android
  • iOS

Recommended For

  • Easy Setup
  • Malware Detection
  • Mutli Device Safety
  • Power Eraser Tool
Basic Visit Site
$19.99 /Yr
  • 60% OFF
  • Defends Against Viruses, Spyware, Malware and Other Online Threats
  • Safeguards Your Identity and Online Transactions
  • 1 Device
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Editor's Choice Best Value
Standard Visit Site
$39.99 /Yr
  • 43% OFF
  • Defends Against Viruses, Spyware, Malware and Other Online Threats
  • Safeguards Your Identity and Online Transactions
  • 1 PC, 1 Mac or 1 Mobile Device
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Premium Visit Site
$49.99 /Yr
  • $40 OFF
  • All DELUXE Features
  • Premium Family Safety Features
  • Protect up to 10 Devices
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Norton Antivirus is one of the best-known and most-long running pieces of Antivirus software on the market. Its coverage of the fundamentals of Antivirus protection is unmatched, and it’s the only security company to have won PCMag’s Editor’s Choice Award 39 times.

Things We Like

Hundreds of ways to customize your Antivirus protection, while at the same time providing excellent default settings for ordinary users.

30-day money-back guarantee, and lifetime guarantee for Norton Security Standard and Norton Security Deluxe if they can’t protect you against any virus.

Scans run in the background - no need to set them manually each time.

Easily scheduling of more comprehensive scans.

Anti-spam protection for your email.

Things We Didn't Like

Extra features like the firewall don’t come with Norton Antivirus Basic.

Antivirus Basic doesn’t support MacOS.

Setup and User Interface

The Norton download is fast and relatively self-explanatory. After you have bought the package of your choice, the easiest way to download the software is to go to Norton’s website and register your product key. You can either install on your current device, or send an email to install the software on a different device.

Once you have launched the browser, Norton gives you the option to download a number of different extensions. The extension installation is very easy, with a wizard that takes you through the process step-by-step.

Norton manages to balance an extremely rich features list with ease of use. Instead of trying to wade through pages and pages of settings, you can now find the one you want via the application’s search bar. When you start typing, a list of matching topics with pop-up explanations will appear. You can even turn off and on some of the features within the search box. Overall, the user interface is clean and uncluttered, despite the multitude of features.

Most users, however, don’t really need to get involved with all of these settings. The default settings on all of the Norton software packages are robust enough for the vast majority of users. Software updates happen automatically behind the scenes, so you don’t need to worry or think about when the software needs to be updated.

Detection and Removal Tools

Norton Antivirus offers four different types of virus scan. The full scan checks everything on your computer, a time-consuming process that can take up to two hours and 45 minutes. The quick scan targets malware only where it is most commonly found, and you can also run a custom scan to check for malware in specific areas. These features are pretty common to all Antivirus software providers, but where Norton differs is its Power Eraser tool. This tool is particularly aggressive against malware, and there is a very small likelihood that it will cause damage to legitimate programs, but Norton warns you of this possibility before you start the scan.

Norton’s quick scan happens in the background, so there is no need for you to run it manually – the software automatically detects when your computer is idle, and then runs the scan. Full system scans are far more processor-intensive, but you can set these to run on specific dates and at specific times – when you are asleep or away from your computer, for example. You can also specify how often your Norton software should run a full scan, so you don’t need to set it manually each time.

Norton tackles known Windows malware through the normal process of malware signature matching, checking your software against their database of malware culprits. In addition, Norton’s heuristic monitoring, which uses various weighing methods to determine the susceptibility of your system to threats, analyses the code of new programs downloaded to your computer, and monitors their behavior, to make sure that they are safe. Suspicious items are uploaded to the Symantec Online Network for Advanced Response (SONAR) lab, where they are examined. If the lab detects a new piece of malware, it creates a signature for the malware and shares it with all Norton users. If privacy is a concern, you can opt out of the file collection program.

Norton Antivirus also protects your computer against hackers’ attempts to exploit security weaknesses in Windows and popular software to gain access to your system. This means that Norton can stop malware at the network level, before it is even planted on your computer. While it is normally a firewall that handles these tasks, even Norton Antivirus Basic, which does not come with a firewall, includes the full Intrusion Prevention capabilities found in Norton’s more advanced security products. Tests with the CORE Impact penetration tool have shown that Norton blocks 100 percent of this type of attack.

Additional Protection

The extra features you will have access to will depend on which Norton product you have purchased. In general, Norton’s selling point is the strength of its basic features, not a long feature list of extras. That being said, there are some interesting extra features that are worth paying attention to.

All Norton downloads include anti-spam features, including Norton Antivirus Basic. Norton will filter out all spam from POP3 email accounts. It integrates with Microsoft Outlook, automatically moving spam to a special folder. Other email clients need to be configured manually. This feature is particularly useful if you email provider doesn’t filter out spam before it gets to your inbox.

Norton Security Standard and Norton Security Deluxe with a strong firewall. The firewall is highly customizable: you can change everything from general settings to traffic rules, browser and intrusion protection, open ports, and blocked programs. That being said, if you’re not a computer specialist and don’t need to play with these extra settings, the standard settings will work excellently: just enable the firewall and you will be protected.

Other features, depending on the level of software you’ve chosen, include:

  • File cleanup tool: cleans up all traces of web browsing, most importantly the cookies that slow down your system.
  • Startup manager: monitors all of the programs that launch automatically when you turn on your computer, and delays some of them to improve your computer start time.
  • Disk optimization: defragments your data to speed up your computer.
  • 25GB of online backup storage: protects your critical files from attack by storing a copy on the cloud.
  • Norton Family parental controls: cloud based tool that allows you to monitor and manage your kids’ internet use.

Customer Support

While Norton Antivirus Basic includes the most important features of Norton’s more expensive security options, it offers rather limited customer support. That said, there is a new Help Center, which has an impressive database of resources, including video tutorials and community forums. There’s also a diagnostic tool that can fix some problems on the spot.

Norton Security Standard and Norton Security Deluxe offer an upgrade on this feature set. Customer support is available via the phone and online, and these packages come with a guarantee that a Norton expert will keep your device virus free or give you a refund – you can’t get much better than that.


Norton Antivirus Basic is now only $19.99 a year, a significant saving of 60% on the regular price, and one of the most affordable top-line Antiviruses out there. Aside from its other limitations, Basic is for one PC only – Macs are not supported. Upgrading to Norton Security Standard will cost you $39.99 a year. Aside from all of the extra features we’ve described above, this software is compatible with Mac, as well as iOS and Android, but works on only one device. If you need Antivirus protection for multiple devices, Norton Security Deluxe is only $49.99 for five devices – enough to cover most families.

Bottom Line

Norton is the veteran in Antivirus protection, and it shows. Its various security software offerings have been proven to protect computers against malware threats, both known and unknown. Limited customer support for the Basic package is mitigated by a very intuitive user interface and comprehensive Help Center.

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