Most password managers may have a limited free product or a free trial, but you’ll eventually have to pay to get to the best features – but that’s not the case with Norton Password Manager (opens in new tab), which is a totally free security product.
It might not cost you a cent, but you’ll still find biometric login, robust security protocols and cross-platform functionality here from the company best known for its antivirus software (opens in new tab). On paper the Norton app could be a top-notch, affordable alternative to many of the big-brand paid password manager options.
After we’ve deduced whether or not Norton Password Manager is worth the free download, check out our conclusions about the best password managers (opens in new tab).
Norton Password Manager: Plans and pricing
Norton Password Manager is a free tool, but when you log in, the site lists your subscription status as Trial. This could concern those looking for a free-for-life product, as Norton software such as Norton AntiVirus Basic and Norton Security were initially available as trials only to be removed later.
Though Norton Password Manager is free, the Norton website gently pushes you to purchase it as part of a security suite (opens in new tab) package with a subscription. A bewildering number of options are presented, as Norton offers at least 20 unique products and just as many ways to pay for them.
The flagship product is Norton 360, a subscription-based security suite that includes antivirus protection, a firewall (opens in new tab), cloud backup (opens in new tab), a VPN (opens in new tab), and password management. The Standard plan costs $39.99 / £35 / AUD$60 for the first year and $89.99 / £80 / AUD$140 for subsequent years. Moving up, the Deluxe plan can be used on up to five devices and has 50GB cloud backup storage.
You can pay an extra $50 / £50 / AUD$ 75 a year for 50GB more of cloud storage (opens in new tab) and identity theft monitoring (opens in new tab), or choose the Ultimate Plus plan (an eye-watering $349.99 / £300 / AUD$500 annually after the first year) for 500GB of cloud storage, credit card activity alerts, and court record scanning.
Norton Password Manager: Setup
Getting started with Norton Password Manager is simple, as the product is largely web-based. You create a Norton user account and set a unique password for your password vault – an extra-secure area for your most important data.
Most users will also install the browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Internet Explorer. These extensions offer to save and fill in website passwords automatically. Norton Password Manager apps for iOS (opens in new tab) and Android (opens in new tab) are available from the respective app stores.
There’s a downloadable Norton Password Manager application specifically for importing passwords from Chrome and Firefox. You can also import passwords from Dashlane (opens in new tab), LastPass, and 1Password (opens in new tab) files, making transferring everything to Norton Password Manager easy.
Norton Password Manager: Interface and performance
We liked Norton Password Manager’s interface, which runs locally in a browser extension. It’s organized cleanly, with sites itemized in a grid or list format. Separate sections for logins, wallet, addresses, and notes keep all your personal details organized. A safety dashboard feature gives you an overview of your passwords and their relative strengths. There’s a password generator (opens in new tab) to help create unique passwords. It’s one of the easiest password managers to use and its interface is straightforward, so it’s an ideal option for people who aren’t particularly tech-savvy.
When you enter user credentials on a new website, Norton Password Manager will ask whether to store the details in the vault or in its usual password database. It’s also possible to generate a new, secure password when you’re creating a new entry in Norton Password Manager.
Besides storing your passwords, Norton Password Manager gives you some basic metrics on them, listing weak, duplicate, and old passwords that you should change. However, there’s no information available on whether the email addresses (opens in new tab) and passwords you’ve used have been a part of a data breach.
Autochange is an interesting feature that lets you update the password stored on a site with just one click. It automatically goes through all the steps you’d normally have to perform to change the password. Unfortunately, it only worked about half of the time in our testing, returning an error for the rest.
This app is easy to use and has good core features, but there’s no denying that Norton Password Manager’s free status means it’s lacking some more advanced capabilities. If you pay for apps elsewhere you’ll find dark web monitoring, more support for different browsers and operating systems and dedicated apps rather than browser extensions. Other apps have more options for organizing and categorizing your passwords and more robust search functionality.
Norton Password Manager: Security
Norton Password Manager has robust security features that put it on par with the best password managers. Your data is stored in the cloud using 256-bit AES encryption.
All connections from the browser to the cloud vault are made through TLS secure connections. The only way to unlock your vault data is with the vault password, which is never stored or sent anywhere. Even better, two-factor authentication is available if you install the Norton Password Manager app on your mobile device.
This is a robust set of security features, but if you look at paid apps you’ll find software with more versatile cloud options, a broader array of authentication options and custom encryption algorithms.
Norton Password Manager: Support
Norton has an extensive support site, but very little of it is dedicated to Norton Password Manager. There are a basic FAQ and some documents that take you through some features, but these mostly lack screenshots and only occasionally have videos. Searching for help on topics often returns results about other products.
There is a support forum with a few posts per day, but Norton Password Manager shares this forum with Norton Safe Web and Norton Safe Search, making finding solutions for problems difficult. Most user problems go unsolved.
We tested the 24/7 live chat by asking the support agent a few simple questions about the product. Although the live chat was responsive, the agent didn’t seem trained on the product and couldn’t answer our basic queries.
Norton Password Manager: The competition
LastPass (opens in new tab) offers a free account with more features than Norton Password Manager, such as one-to-one sharing of passwords, audit reports, and a better password generator. If you’re willing to pay for a premium account, LastPass adds features like priority tech support, advanced multi-factor options, and one-to-many sharing of passwords.
Norton Password Manager: Final verdict
Norton Password Manager works quite well as a basic password manager, but it doesn’t feel that the free software is a priority to Norton. The Autochange feature is neat when it works, and we have little doubt our passwords are secure with Norton, but there’s nothing here that other free password managers don’t do better.