Norton 360 Antivirus Review 2023: Still One of the Best

Norton 360 is one of the most recognizable antivirus programs in existence. Is it secure enough to protect your devices? We take a deep dive into this well-known software to find out.
Patti Croft, Author
Catherine McNally, Editor
Last updated Jan 27, 2023
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On Norton 360 Antivirus's website

  • Secure VPN and password manager included
  • Parental control features
  • Multi-tab navigation may be overwhelming at first

Norton is a popular name when it comes to antivirus and malware protection. We believe that reputation comes with good reason. Norton’s security suite has fantastic malware detection rates and offers excellent real-time protection.

You also have plenty of features with this software. If options such as identity theft protection, parental controls, and secure VPN are items you can get on board with, Norton may be the antivirus for you.

We’ll look at what you’ll get with the Norton 360 antivirus suite to let you decide whether the options are right for your needs.

In this article
Norton 360 overview
Who is Norton 360 antivirus best for?
Norton 360 antivirus features
Norton 360 test results
Our Norton 360 antivirus experience
Norton customer support
Norton antivirus cost
Norton 360 antivirus FAQs
Bottom line: Is Norton antivirus good?

Norton 360 antivirus overview

Price $39.99–$99.99/first yr
Free plan No
# of devices protected Up to 10
Malware scans Manual and scheduled
Firewall Yes
Phishing protection Yes
Parental controls Yes
Prices as of 1/27/2023.

All About Cookies Rating
"With all the benefits you get with Norton, such as parental controls, dark web monitoring, and webcam protection, there’s no doubt Norton is a superior antivirus. The only drawback to using this software are found if you use a macOS, as some features won’t be available to you."

Who is Norton 360 antivirus best for?

  • Norton 360 is best for those who want additional cybersecurity features to go with its antivirus program. Norton has no shortage of features such as identity theft protection, parental controls, and a VPN.

For our Norton 360 review, we looked into the different features and pricing you can get. Norton ranges in price from $39.99 to $99.99 for your first year at the time of writing. The more budget-friendly options include Norton 360 Standard, which protects up to three Windows or Mac devices as well as iPhones and Android smartphones.

Of course, you can opt for the Select edition and get even more coverage for ten devices and extra cloud backup. There’s also the middle-ground Norton 360 Deluxe plan for people who want something in between.

Norton 360 is frequently mentioned with other popular suites such as McAfee antivirus. When you compare prices, McAfee covers five devices for $39.99 to $89.99 for the first year, so you may come out a bit cheaper with Norton 360, depending on your plan.

Another popular antivirus is Bitdefender, which comes in at $24.99 to $99.98 for your first year if you don’t opt for the free plan. You can get coverage for five to 10 devices and you have the option to subscribe to a two- or three-year plan.

AV-Comparatives reported Bitdefender detecting fewer false positives than Norton, with Bitdefender picking up only two, whereas Norton showed 32.[1] This report makes us lean toward Bitdefender if only using the AV-Comparatives findings. Otherwise, these are pretty comparable antivirus products.

If you have Windows Defender, you should know that it’ll be disabled automatically when you install Norton 360 on your device. That helps with more efficient protection while not slowing down your computer with numerous processes using the same functions.

Norton 360 pros and cons

Pros
  • Protection against all malware forms
  • Secure VPN and password manager included
  • Parental control features
  • Various prices for different suites
Cons
  • No free version
  • Multi-tab navigation may be overwhelming at first when using the portal

Norton 360 antivirus features

One of the standout features noted in our Norton 360 review is the Secure VPN included with the plan. Any time you can get more security while browsing online, that’s an automatic win for cyber safety.

If you use a PC, you also have access to the Power Eraser tool. The tool removes malware threats from your device, but it’s only compatible with computers running Windows OS.

If you have a Mac, there are still plenty of features available, such as parental controls, phishing protection, and the silent firewall. We’ll cover those in depth so you can see how each one works to protect your information.

Malware and antivirus scan

In reviewing how Norton 360 antivirus prevents viruses, it’s interesting to note that along with a database of known malware, the antivirus also uses advanced machine learning.

Norton 360 uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze all files entering your device and then blocks the ones deemed to be malicious. Advanced machine learning gives the software a better chance at catching those stealthy viruses.

We used Norton 360 to scan our MacBook for viruses and security risks.

You’ll also get behavioral protection when installing new applications. Your Norton software classifies the apps that access your network connection. If one of those apps behaves suspiciously, Norton reports it to you.

Norton’s products come with a Virus Protection Promise, which means you’re entitled to a refund if the antivirus or Norton experts can’t remove a virus from your device.

Power Eraser

Although Norton 360 doesn’t offer a free antivirus suite, you can get a free standalone malware removal tool. Norton Power Eraser is an app specifically designed to remove even the sketchiest computer viruses. These include malware such as fake security software and scareware.

You don’t have to install this app for it to work. Just note it’s a free download for Windows only, so this option is not yet available for Mac users. You can simply download it and run the program to remove threats from your device.

Phishing protection: Norton Safe Web

Norton 360 offers the Norton Safe Web feature, which analyzes the websites you browse and helps detect spyware, viruses, malware, and other online threats.

You’ll get website safety ratings based on the Norton Safe Web analysis. The best part is that you’ll have a rating before you visit the websites, so it offers more protection by helping you avoid malicious content.

The Norton Safe Web browser extension helps guard your information while you’re online. With this extension, you may see a red warning in your Norton desktop app when visiting unsafe websites. Safe Web alerts include:

  • Green OK: This site is safe
  • Orange exclamation point: Be cautious, this site may not be safe
  • Red X: This site isn’t safe

The Norton Safe Web extension is compatible with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.

With the Norton Safe Web feature, you’ll also have the Link Guard protection that looks for URL reputations when links appear in your emails and social media pages. If a URL is suspicious, Link Guard gives you a warning before you click the link or share it with others.

Firewall

We were pleasantly surprised to find the Norton Smart Firewall feature for more advanced online threat protection. The firewall monitors your network traffic and keeps unwanted apps and users from accessing your device and information.

The Smart Firewall is also designed to detect cryptojacking attempts and prevent them from running in your web browser.

It also checks for potential data leaks with its Intrusion Prevention System. If a leak gets discovered, it stops the network traffic to keep further damage from happening. You can also adjust your firewall settings based on your preferences.

We were happy to see Norton's Smart Firewall feature worked for our Mac. It monitors network traffic to keep unwanted apps and hackers away from your devices.

Real-time protection

Norton 360 offers two layers of security protection to block threats before they have a chance to compromise your device: the Intrusion Prevention System and Proactive Exploit Protection.

Having both of these security layers helps to protect your device against a range of online threats. Norton recommends that you keep these settings turned on for the best security protection.

Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)

The Norton Intrusion Prevention System scans all network traffic for security vulnerabilities. The system analyzes your home network to detect security threats that try to gain unauthorized access to your device. The IPS works with your firewall to detect malware and prevent it from accessing your network. Norton makes using this function easy as it’s integrated into the Safe Web Feature, and it also works on Windows and Mac devices.

Proactive Exploit Protection (PEP)

This feature works by recognizing a range of malicious behaviors and then blocking only the software that mimics those behaviors.

This zero-day protection feature guards against attacks that can happen when new software is released, so there’s no waiting to discover and remove the threat in the future. PEP works with Windows devices but is not available for Mac OS.

Bonus features

Some of the notable bonus features you’ll find with Norton 360 antivirus are parental controls and the Norton Secure virtual private network (VPN). You also get dark web monitoring and SafeCam, which both protect against unique threats to your data and privacy. We’ll cover these in more detail below.

SafeCam

SafeCam is a feature that helps protect your webcam from being hacked. SafeCam alerts you if there are attempts to access your webcam and blocks unauthorized access. Unfortunately, it’s only offered for Windows at this time.

Parental controls

With the Norton Parental controls, you get security protection for the whole family. Parents can see their children’s online searches and video views. There’s also age-appropriate monitoring and settings to control screen time limits during school time. This feature is only offered for Windows OS.

Password manager

You need a unique password for each of your online accounts to keep your information safe. But with numerous accounts, that can become a hassle, to say the least.

Having Norton’s password manager gives you the ability to use complex passwords that are harder to hack while storing them securely in your online encrypted vault. This feature is available across platforms so you can enjoy it whether using Windows or Mac OS.

Norton Secure VPN

Norton Secure VPN is included with Norton 360 and helps keep your devices secure when using public Wi-Fi, as many of these networks aren’t safe. The VPN hides the internet data going to and from your device, so your personal information won’t get picked up easily by hackers.

We tried out Norton Secure VPN and found it was easy to use.

Dark web monitoring

Cybercriminals use the dark web to buy and sell your personal information. With Norton dark web monitoring, you get a notification if your information is found floating around the forums of the dark web. The service regularly searches places where information is frequently traded to make sure your data stays secure.

Norton offers dark web monitoring, which checks the dark web for info like your email, address, credit card numbers, and more.

Lifelock identity theft protection

With Lifelock identity theft protection, Norton scans for the use of your personal information and looks for threats. You’ll get an alert to all possible threats by phone, email, text, or mobile app.

There’s also a live, U.S.-based Identity Restoration Specialist available to resolve identity theft issues. With this plan, you have $1 million worth of coverage to access the help of lawyers and other experts to help work through identity theft problems.

Cloud storage

Norton Cloud Backup stores and protects your files and documents to prevent data loss in case of hard drive crashes, stolen devices, and possible ransomware. You can create a cloud backup for specific files and even copy files from your computer to the cloud. At this time, Norton Cloud Backup only works with Windows OS.

Norton 360 test results

Norton 360 was scrutinized by AV-TEST to determine its effectiveness when detecting malware and protecting devices.

AV-TEST gave Norton 360’s Windows, Mac, and Android products near-perfect scores for protection, performance, and usability.[2, 3, 4] It wasn’t a completely perfect score due to things such as slower installation of frequently used applications when using macOS Monterey and Windows 10.

Still, when all things were calculated, Norton had fantastic results, including no false positives on Windows or Mac.

Norton 360 AV-TEST results

Test type Windows 10 score macOS Monterey 12.4 score Android 11 score
Protection 6.0 6.0 6.0
Performance 6.0 6.0 6.0
Usability 6.0 6.0 6.0
Windows 10 test results from September–October 2022.
macOS Monterey 12.4 test results from September 2022.
Android 11 test results from November 2022.

Our Norton 360 antivirus experience

We installed Norton 360 Standard on a MacBook Air running Big Sur version 11.3. Everything available for the macOS worked exceptionally well. There were no hiccups when we had multiple browser tabs open and we saw no performance issues while running virus scans.

We performed a quick scan and a full scan to test Norton 360. With the full scan, it analyzed over 600,000 files in less than 10 minutes. Our only complaint is that as soon as it finishes the scan, the screen shows you it’s done and the number of files disappears. Fortunately, no malware was detected.

The Norton full scan took less than 10 minutes to analyze more than 600,000 files on our MacBook.

The Quick Scan took less than one minute and flew through 1,030 files. No threats were found with that scan, either.

We also tried the junk file cleaner, which only took several minutes to run. We didn’t have many files to move but can see where this feature could be extremely beneficial when you want to get rid of files and documents you no longer need.

We tried Norton's junk file cleaner, which took a few minutes to identify files we could safely remove to improve our device's performance.

None of the features we used were difficult or had a steep learning curve. But because we use a MacBook, there were features we didn’t have access to that Windows users get to enjoy. We would’ve liked to have as many options for macOS, but this isn’t out of the ordinary for most antivirus programs.

Norton 360 compatibility

When you decide to purchase Norton 360, be sure it’s compatible with your device and browsers. Some devices aren’t supported and certain parts of the software may not work on your operating system. Norton 360 is compatible with:

  • Windows 7 Service Pack 1
  • Windows 8 and Windows 8.1
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 11
  • Android 8.0 or later
  • macOS current version and two previous versions
  • iOS current version and two previous versions
  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Microsoft Edge

Norton customer support

We didn’t have to contact support for anything during our review, but Norton’s Help Center features trending topics and a community forum to help get you the support you need.

Outside of using the Norton website, you can also message its support team on Facebook or Twitter. There’s also a chatbot support feature, which is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

Phone support is also offered seven days per week, 24 hours a day. You fill out a brief form and get a case number to give to the agent. There’s also a dropdown box to select your country and get a toll-free phone number to call.

Norton antivirus cost

Norton products come in three main flavors: Standard, Deluxe, and Select.

The Standard plan starts at $39.99, the Deluxe plan starts at $49.99, and the Select plan, which includes Lifelock Select, starts at $99.99 — all for the first year. There's also a more basic version, Norton AntiVirus, which costs $19.99 for your first year and coverage on one device.

Prices for Norton 360 seem to be on par with other antivirus software costs. For example, you can get Malwarebytes for $44.99 to $99.99 a year with coverage for up to five devices.

McAfee offers some similar features with price points that are close to Norton, but you may find a few more options with Norton 360, such as webcam protection and the Secure VPN.

Norton antivirus plans and prices

Norton AntiVirus Plus Norton 360 Standard Norton 360 Deluxe Norton 360 with LifeLock Select
Price for first year $19.99/first yr $39.99/first yr $49.99/first yr $99.99/first yr
# devices supported 1–5 3 5 10
Compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, iOS Windows, macOS, Android, iOS Windows, macOS, Android, iOS Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
Manual and auto scan
Phishing protection
Firewall
Real-time protection
VPN
Password manager
Dark web monitoring
Parental controls
LifeLock identity theft protection
Cloud backup 2 GB 2 GB 50 GB 250 GB
Details Learn More Learn More Learn More Learn More
Prices as of 1/20/2022.

Don’t forget Norton 360 offers a seven-day free trial so you can try it before you buy it.

Norton 360 antivirus FAQs


+

Is Norton LifeLock worth it?

Norton 360 with Lifelock Select is worth it for anyone who wants a feature-rich antivirus and around-the-clock customer service for identity theft issues. The Select plan comes with LifeLock identity theft protection as well as a VPN, parental controls, and antivirus protection that’s highly rated by third-party testers.


+

What’s better, Norton or McAfee?

McAfee is better than Norton if you want to cover more devices with a cheaper subscription plan. But Norton is better than McAfee if you want real-time dark web monitoring and 24/7 phone support.


+

How much does Norton cost per month?

Norton’s cost varies depending on the plan you get, but the cheapest option, Norton AntiVirus Plus, is $19.99 for the first year, which amounts to around $1.67 per month. The most expensive plan, Norton 360 with LifeLock Select, is $9.99 a month for your first year.


+

Is Norton antivirus a Chinese company?

Norton is not a Chinese company but is instead part of a company called Gen Digital. It is based in Tempe, Arizona, in the U.S.


+

Does Norton own Avast?

In 2022, NortonLifeLock purchased Avast, which makes it the fourth antivirus brand acquisition the company has made. Other antivirus brands acquired by Norton’s parent company Gen include Avira, AVG, and CCleaner.

Bottom line: Is Norton antivirus good?

With all the benefits you get with Norton, such as parental controls, dark web monitoring, and webcam protection, there’s no doubt Norton is a superior antivirus. 

The only drawbacks to using this software are found if you use a macOS, as some features won’t be available to you. If you want tons of options with a premium product offering incredible security, Norton is still at the top of its game with all of the available plan options.

Learn More
On Norton 360 Antivirus's website

  • Secure VPN and password manager included
  • Parental control features
  • Multi-tab navigation may be overwhelming at first

Of course, the best antivirus software is the one that meets your needs and budget. So if Norton 360 antivirus doesn’t check off all the boxes, other antivirus software such as AVG and TotalAV might be worth a look instead.

Author Details
Patti Croft has a B.S. in Computer Information Systems and an MBA. She also worked in Information Technology for 16 years and loves everything tech and gadgets!

Citations

[1] Real-World Protection Test July–October 2022

[2] AV-TEST Product Review and Certification Report — Sep–Oct/2022

[3] AV-TEST Product Review and Certification Report — Sep/2022

[4] AV-TEST Product Review and Certification Report — Nov/2022