Symantec Norton 360 Review

Symantec's Norton 360 software is something of a household name, promising users easy-to-configure features and strong protection. How do these claims stand up?

Verdict

If you’re going to pay for an anti-malware suite, this is the one to go for right now, as it packs in tons of features and excellent virus protection at a low price – just watch out for renewal costs.

Pros

  • Perfect malware protection
  • Wide range of features
  • Includes full VPN
  • 50GB of online backup storage

Cons

  • High renewal price

Key Specifications

  • Clients for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
  • 5 devices
  • Firewall
  • Browser link checking
  • 50GB cloud backup
  • Norton Secure VPN full
  • Webcam protection
  • Password manager
  • Silent detection mode

What is Symantec Norton 360 Deluxe?

Symantec’s antivirus engine is among the most widely tested, which means that we have plenty of solid evidence of its outstanding performance. It performed nearly perfectly in the latest tests by three of the most rigorous anti-malware testing labs: AV-TEST, AV Comparatives and SELabs, making Symantec’s Norton range our top paid-for antivirus suites for home users.

It’s surprisingly cheap, too, assuming you buy either a retail copy – currently less than £20 from Amazon – or get a £29.99 introductory subscription from the Norton’s UK website. However, if you opt for the latter, note that the price goes up to £79.99 in the second year.

You’ll definitely want to disable automatic renewals, and the best way to buy most antivirus software is still to simply buy keys at retail stores and activate them in the client or on your account. When you activate a product key, you’re prompted to enable automatic renewal by default, but it’s possible to cancel this.

Norton Security

Symantec Norton 360 Deluxe

Norton 360 Deluxe includes both antivirus and vpn software protection on up to 5 devices. Sign up for a year and save 62%.

Features, set-up and usability

At install time, you’re prompted to join Norton CommunityWatch, which sends back data for analysis. This is generally beneficial, but should be avoided if you work with confidential or privileged documents. We appreciated how clearly it was signposted and presented as an opt-in, rather than opt-out, choice.

Norton 360 has a particularly aggressive set of firewall rules which activate as soon as installation is complete, which can lock down your PC’s network connections, depending on how you have it configured. If you’re connected to a public network, protocols such as RDP, file sharing and printer sharing will be disabled by default.

Norton’s firewall controls are clear and highly granular, with a few smart options to help protect against man-in-the-middle attacks and the ability to set per-interface trust levels. It can be disabled if you prefer working with the more familiar Windows Defender firewall.

While Norton’s core real-time system security features are enabled by default, including real-time browser protection, you’ll have to set up some features manually, such as the Safe Web browser plugin that warns against potentially malicious search results and phishing sites, and Norton’s own unnecessarily intrusive Safe Search and default home page options – we suggest avoiding the latter two.

Norton 360 Deluxe comes with plenty of extra security features, including a subscription to Norton Secure VPN, parental controls, system clean-up and optimisation tools, a password manager, 50GB of cloud storage for your backups and a webcam protection feature that alerts you when anything unexpected attempts to enable your camera. There’s a silent mode, too, so you don’t have to be bothered by alert pop-ups, but you can only enable it for a maximum of one day at a time.

There’s no integrated rescue disk creator, but a bootable recovery tool is available to download for free in case a catastrophic malware attack prevents you from getting into Windows.

When uninstalling the software, you’ll have to remember to uncheck the box offering layered protection, which will continue to periodically scan your computer for malware unless you opt out.

Related: Best Antivirus 2019

Norton – Performance

Testing facility AV-TEST AV Comparatives SE Labs
Real-World Threat Protection 100% 100% 100

In the latest SELabs real-world malware exposure tests, it protected against 100% of infections, with no false positives. Two months of testing by AV-TEST found the same, and rated its impact on system performance as minimal. It also detected 100% of malware in the most recent AV Comparatives real-world test, with just four false positives.

Norton 360 has repeatedly been shown to be extremely effective, but may require more configuration than some rivals, particularly if you have an unconventional networking set-up. If you avoid its auto-renewal options, it’s competitively priced and comes with an excellent range of bonus features, including an acceptably decent VPN.

Buy Symantec Norton 360 Deluxe here

Should I buy Symantec Norton 360 Deluxe?

If staying safe online is your priority, it’s hard to argue with those scores. It’s also great to see that such protection doesn’t come at a cost to system performance, with Norton 360 having a low impact on PC processes.

Throw in the fact that you can protect MacOS, iOS and Android devices as well as Windows machines, covering up to ten devices (with Norton 360 Premium) in your home in total makes Symantec’s offering a solid choice for families and busy homes.

Verdict

Independent testing proves that Norton 360’s antivirus protection claims are impeccable. Add low system impact, generous first year prices and multi-platform support, as well as extra features like the password manager, parental controls and a VPN, means that Symantec’s Norton 360 stands out from the pack.

Best Paid Antivirus

Symantec Norton 360 Deluxe

Norton 360 Deluxe includes both antivirus and vpn software protection on up to 5 devices. Sign up for a year and save 62%.

Kaspersky Total Security

This multi-award winning cyber security product will protect you at all angles - from hackers, to malware and viruses. Sign up to Kaspersky Total Security for a year and save 30% off plus free installation.

Bitdefender Total Security 2020

Bitdefender Total Security 2020 - Rated 3rd top antivirus software on the market. Sign up now for a year and receive a near 60% off. This allows you to stay secure on the internet on up to 5 of your personal devices.

Trusted Score


Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.