Price (RRP): $from 94.99 single user per year
Manufacturer: Norton (Symantec)
Norton 360 is NortonLifeLock’s latest premium consumer security product. It is also one of the most expensive comprehensive security suites.
The new Norton 360 was released late last year and is essentially an all-in-one version using Norton Antivirus Plus*, Norton VPN, Cloud backup. PC/Mac Firewall, Password Manager, Parental control and more.
While Norton 360 does it all, you may have lesser needs more suited to a basic and cheaper AV package. Perhaps the first thing you need to ask is what level of protection do you need?
We put Norton 360 Premium through its paces on Windows and Android devices. How does it fair? Very well!
Price: (RRP for 1/2 years but there are deals to encourage take-up). A single device is a Windows, macOS, Android or iOS smartphone or Android/iOS tablet
- Standard (1 device) $94.99/189.99
- Deluxe (3 devices) $144.99/289.99
- Premium (3 devices) 189.99/379.99
- You can buy multiple subscriptions
What does Norton 360 give you over basic AV?
*Anti-spyware, Antivirus, Malware and Ransomware protection
Norton is one of the better performers in this field. You can read more here but suffice to say users trust Norton to catch more.
It also plugs into most email clients to monitor phishing, and browsers to identify unsafe sites. A lot of this intelligence comes from its global user network.
Windows only cloud Backup
Standard 10/Deluxe 50 and Premium 250GB of secure cloud backup. You can put almost anything there and backup your PC to recover if you caught ransomware. It is like iCloud, OneDrive etc. Remember that backup uses data, so you need to have the right internet plan.
There is an easy to use On/Off switch interface to select what want to backup.
Firewall for Windows and macOS
A firewall monitors network traffic between the computer to the router and can stop suspicious traffic like advanced persistent threats or external hacks.
If you have not used a password manager, it is time you did. All you need to remember is the master password and it does the rest by auto-filling login details. It can import current passwords from Chrome, Firefox, Dashlane, 1Password and Lastpass.
It can export passwords to a Password Manager Backup Format – DAT File or plain text .CSV file. This should allow you to get data back into another program.
Norton Password manager works on all devices it is installed on.
Parental Control (Deluxe and Premium on Windows only)
A set of tools to control children use of internet-connected devices. It includes content filtering. You set up a profile for each child (not tested) and set up varying permissions.
Handy for anonymous browsing, removing ad tracking and for secure financial transactions, especially over public Wi-Fi. Great country coverage, no data limit and Norton has a no-logs policy and does not track anything you do online.
But like many VPNs, it has speed overheads (depending on the country server you log into). In a brief test out 95Mbps DL dropped by an average of 50% using an Australian server and 90% using a USA server. Ping times were 9ms, 30ms and 160ms respectively.
Note: It does not support P2P torrents and won’t stop geo-blocking (you can’t access Netflix USA catalogue), so streamers need to look elsewhere.
SafeCam for Windows
It helps protect your Windows webcam from unauthorised app access.
Setup – Windows or Mac
This is not the same version as sold internationally. That has Dark Web Monitoring powered by LifeLock not available here. Nor is it the one with mandatory auto-renewal being flogged via Amazon etc., cheaply to get you to try it – you must agree to automatic renewal and provide a valid credit card to activate it.
You can buy online or purchase from retailers like JB Hi-Fi, but a warning – any discounts you receive are for the first year only. Then if you allow automatic subscription, it reverts to full price. Canny Norton users look for retail deals and just add the new digital download serial number each year.
Either way, you create an account, enter a lengthy serial number and then download to the device you are using. The subscription starts from the first account activation. You can then email an install link to other devices or log in to your account from them.
Setup Android (iOS not tested)
All tests were on a Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ and S10+. You install Norton 360 Mobile App from Google Play. After installation, you log into your account to activate it.
- Malware scanning and real-time malware protection (Android only)
- Anti-Theft (Android only)
- Wi-Fi Scan
- Web Protection
- Link Guard
- Safe Search
- App Advisor — checks apps for privacy and battery-use issues
The following features are also available on mobile, but via separate apps:
- Password Manager
- Parental Control
- Secure VPN
Given Android’s perhaps undeserved reputation for low security, I consider it an investment in peace of mind.
We tested on modern equipment – Surface Pro 6 and 7, Surface Go, Surface Laptop, HP X360 Spectre, Samsung Galaxy Note10+, Samsung Galaxy S10, Samsung Android tablet and Intel NUCS – all with processors under two years old. The speed difference was negligible, even during scans.
GadgetGuy’s take – Norton 360 is certainly premium
First, we generally do not review software, especially antivirus, but I have been using Norton’s for years, and I trust it to do its job.
Sometimes I curse it. It can nag incessantly to renew and install things I elect not to use. For example, I have a perfectly good PIA VPN and LastPass password manager that I am not about to give up. But I must remember that it is trying to provide 360° protection.
I also refuse to provide a credit card for any recurring payment – be it Norton or anyone else. I want a bill, and I want time to review if I want to renew. Over the years I have often found Xmas or Cyber specials on software like Office 365, Norton’s etc. and buy a hard copy to enter the licence when I need it saving renewal at a higher price. Strong Warning – online versions may have mandatory auto-renewal!
So, it gets full marks for doing everything on Windows (limited on macOS and iOS), but I issue the caveat that if you do not need all of that, buy Norton Antivirus Plus.
Competitors – Full security suites
Kaspersky, Bitdefender and McAfee all offer comprehensive all-in-one suites, and it would be a hard call to select one over the other. There are dozens of other brands that provide Antivirus and add-ons.
New technology like Kaspersky’s Security Cloud is particularly interesting (not reviewed, but I would like to) and protects your devices via its Cloud.
You can read more about Norton here.