Norton Security Standard review

A packed security suite with guaranteed virus protection that won't hurt system performance

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Our Verdict

A comprehensive security suite to protect your from viruses, malware, spyware, ransomware, phishing and hacking. Norton even puts its money where its mouth is with a money-back virus-detection guarantee.

For

  • Excellent virus detection rate
  • Daily updates
  • Easy to use

Against

  • Lack of fine control
  • Full scans are resource-intensive

The Standard edition of Norton Security offers a multi-pronged approach to security that brings together several Norton products into one handy tool.

Download Norton SecurityNorton is a name long associated with virus protection, and antivirus is a key component of this package, but there's much more besides. The suite also offers a firewall, protection against identity theft and phishing websites, and online shopping security. As an added bonus, there are also a number of performance-enhancing tools on hand to help you to eke a little extra speed from your PC by optimizing and tweaking settings.

User experience

All antivirus and other security software depends on a database of current threats, so it's no surprise that once installed, Norton Security begins downloading a hefty database update - larger than the original software download itself - which can take a long time depending on your connection speed.

Once up and running, the security side of the suite essentially takes care of itself. Should any rogue files be encountered, a warning will appear and they will be moved into quarantine (a sandbox separate from your operating system and files). Here you can review them and decide whether they should be deleted, restored, ignored or fixed.

Database updates are released on a very frequent basis. In fact, Norton (and its parent company Symantec) has its finger so firmly on the pulse that you might be offered several updates in a single day. As all of this can take place in the background; it doesn't interfere with anything and gives you the peace of mind that you're protected against the very latest threats.

With protection extending not just to the files stored on your hard drive, but also those attached to emails you receive, you might not feel the need to perform manual scans very often, but when you want to, all it takes is a right-click.

Norton security scans
Norton Security runs regular scans to keep your PC protected, and performs automatic updates to its database of current threats

We liked

We particularly liked Norton Security's interface, which is clear and easy to get around, despite the sheer number of tools included.

Unlike some security suites, including older versions of Norton's own software, there doesn't seem to be a negative impact on performance in regular use (with one caveat - more on that in a moment).

Most importantly, its threat detection is superb. In fact, Norton is so confident that if you get a virus while you have the software installed and running, you'll get your money back. It's hard to argue with that!

Norton Security tools
Norton Security is much more than just an antivirus program - it's a whole suite of tools to protect your data and privacy

We disliked

While Norton Security supports Windows 10, it doesn't yet support Microsoft Edge. This is something that may change now that Microsoft has opened up the possibility of installing extensions in the Internet Explorer replacement.

Although the suite doesn't put a dent in system speed in regular use, an intensive full system scan can really slow down Windows. Background scanning is less taxing, and full sweeps are probably best scheduled for times when you don't need your computer for anything else.

Finally, although many people will appreciate Norton Security's fuss-free hands-off approach, more advantage users may bemoan the lack of granular control.

Norton Security extra optimization tools
Norton Security includes some additional tools to improve PC performance. The suite itself won't slow down your PC, except during deep scans

Final verdict

Download Norton SecurityAn incredibly competent and comprehensive suite to keep your data and your privacy safe from the newest threats. If you have multiple devices, the Premium version will give them all the same level of protection and only costs a little more.

Specifications

Developer: Symantec

Licence: Subscription

System requirements:

  • Operating system: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10
  • Processor: 1GHz (Windows Vista 7, 8, 10); 300MHz (Windows XP)
  • RAM: 2GB (Windows 7, 8, 10); 512MB (Windows Vista); 256MB (Windows XP)
  • Disk space: 300MB

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