Norton Antivirus is an easily recognizable name in antivirus, and has been for years. Similar to McAfee, Norton often comes pre-installed on new PCs and laptops, so many people's first exposure to Norton was after booting up a new computer for the first time. Years ago, Norton was notoriously intrusive and resource intense, leading many people to just uninstall it once the trial period ended. Antivirus software has come a long way in the last 10 years though, and Norton is a great example of its progress. No longer does antivirus bog down your computer's resources, or constantly pester you with pop-ups. To see where it stands in 2017 I tested its basic "Norton Security" package, which covers one device (PC, Mac, or mobile) for one year for $69.99 or £24.99 in the UK, though at press time it was on sale for $34.99. It's a mid-range offering that protects against viruses, malware, and identity theft.
Norton's tucks its many useful feature into a simple, attractive design. Navigation happens in a row at the bottom of the app, and when everything is protected and running as it should, all the icons are green. Checking on a setting is as easy as glancing at its icon, and adjusting it begins with a click.
The advanced settings menu has more of a "classic" norton look, with deep grey and yellow icons. Clicking on them brings up simple binary choices for settings. You can switch things like its firewall on and off with ease, and the depth at which you can make adjustments is entirely up to you.
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There's enormous room for ensuring Norton is behaving exactly how you want it to. Norton also includes a feature called Power Eraser that seeks out the sneakier and more pervasive malware a typical scan might miss.
Norton isn't entirely pop-up free, but it doesn't hold your computer hostage until you acknowledge it like some apps tend to do. I had a brief moment of panic when Norton warned me about the Petya ransomware attack, a particularly nasty bit of malware that's been in the news. The pop-up was just letting me know Norton already had my computer protected against Petya. On the one hand it was nice to know I don't need to worry, but I could have done without the 2-second heart attack the pop-up initially caused.
Norton includes a lot of ways to keep your PC protected. Naturally, there's the antivirus and malware scans, which can be scheduled and tweaked to your liking. It also keeps a really detailed history of your scans and updates, putting them into a searchable format in the app itself. It's likely you'll never need to seek out your past antivirus habits, but it could be helpful tracking down problems in a more advanced situation.
There's also a rich feature set of identity protection built into Norton. Like McAfee, Norton has a password manager to both simplify and protect your increasingly large password collection. It can be downloaded for free on Norton's website, so you don't even need to have Norton antivirus to take advantage of it. Given the nature of the web, where it seems like every site now requires a log-in, a password manager is a good way to keep yourself from getting complacent and using repeated or easily guessable passwords.
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On top of that, there's an icon that takes you to the Norton site to let you generate passwords if you don't want to fuss with it. The randomly generated results are all but impossible to guess, and are extremely secure against brute-force attempts at logging into your accounts. It only takes a second to open up a browser tab, but it would have been nice if the password generator were built-in to the software itself.
There's also a browser extension that's available for all the popular browsers except Opera that adds a little bar below the address bar that tells you if the site is safe or not, and offers to let you share it via Facebook which… is odd? There's also a "Norton OK" icon that shows up next to safe links. Both the bar and the icons are an eye-sore, and the bar takes a second or two to load.Test Results
For real world test results we're republishing PCMag's thorough testing, which involves examining industry rankings as well as real-world testing. Norton is a solid performer, so much so that in some tests, it's the standard against which others are measured. For example, the AV-Test Institute gives Norton a 17.5 out of a possible 18 in its testing, with perfect scores in both protection and false positives, but it lost a half-point in the performance ranking. That's slightly behind Kaspersky, which scored a perfect 18, but still impressive. It also earned a classification of AAA from Simon Edwards Labs, which is the highest of five levels of certification it hands out.
In malware protection, where a folder of malware is opened then an attempt is made to run the programs, Norton blocked 97 percent of the files, and was one of just four programs able to pass PCMag's banking malware test as well. Norton did similarly well blocking downloads, giving the cold-shoulder to 98 percent of attempted malicious software downloads. For anti-phishing, Norton is the standard bearer, with other antivirus being compared against it. It beat out the built-in anti-phishing measures in Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox by 35-percent, 23-percent, and 53-percent, respectively. However, Kaspersky beat Norton by 4 points.
The initial scan on a clean computer took almost 75 minutes, much higher than the average of 44 minutes. A follow-up scan took much less time, coming in at 10 minutes. This makes Norton one of the slower utilities I tested.Purchasing Guide
Norton Security has three pricing options - Standard, Deluxe, and Premium. The main difference is how many devices are covered (1, 5, and 10 respectively), but there are also a few other minor bells and whistles included in the higher end packages. None of the extra perks are particularly notable except the 25GB of cloud storage included in the Premium option, which is a nice extra if you already have a bunch of devices you want to keep protected anyway. But otherwise it probably isn't worth the extra cost. Norton's 2 year packages cost more per year than the 1 year packages since the 1 year packages are all offered at an introductory rate:
- Norton Security Standard - 1 Year: $35.99
- Norton Security Standard - 2 Year: $89.99
- Norton Security Deluxe - 1 Year: $39.99
- Norton Security Deluxe - 1 Year: $99.99
- Norton Security Premium - 1 Year: $49.99
- Norton Security Premium - 1 Year: $129.99
- (UK) Norton Security Standard - 1 Year: £24,99
- (UK) Norton Security Standard - 2 Year: £69.99
- (UK) Norton Security Deluxe - 1 Year: £29.99
- (UK) Norton Security Deluxe - 1 Year: £89.99
- (UK) Norton Security Premium - 1 Year: £39.99
- (UK) Norton Security Premium - 1 Year: £99.99
Clean, easy to use, and powerful, Norton Antivirus is an excellent choice to keep your PC or mobile device protected. While the first scan is on the slow side of things, and the weird self-congratulatory pop-up caused me a brief but terrifying moment of panic, most of the time Norton does its thing quietly and without so much as a peep. For just $39.99 it's a great choice.
Source : http://www.ign.com/articles/2017/08/31/norton-security-standard-review