In our Symantec VPN Norton Secure VPN review, we look at the latest offering from one of the biggest names in PC security.
The virtual private network on offer went by the name of Norton Wi-Fi Privacy. Since then, there was a name change to the vpn, Norton Secure VPN.
One of the primary focuses was to be sure that users were safe using Norton Wi-Fi in public areas. However, a few things have changed, and now it aims to stand against other better VPN’s in an oversaturated market.
Our Norton VPN review looks to see if it has what it takes to hold its own. Alternatively, it is, just something to use that comes as part of a Norton antivirus VPN combination.
By the end, you will find out all the answers to many questions asked in countless other VPN reviews.
- Users on a budget
- Security minded users
- New users
Plans and Pricing
The way Norton VPN cost works out isn’t like most other VPN’s as they charge by the device. Here are the prices for one device.
Joemar add tablepress tables for the below
|Yearly||$39.99||Billed as $49.99 after first 12 months|
|1 Month||$4.99||Billed Monthly|
|Yearly||$39.99||Billed as $79.99 after first 12 months|
|1 Month||$7.99||Billed Monthly|
|Yearly||$59.99||Billed as $99.99 after first 12 months|
|1 Month||$9.99||Billed Monthly|
Once you look at this, it does seem clear enough until you glance at the price for the Norton 360 Deluxe package.
The annual charge for this is $99.99 per year after the first 12-months. Currently, this is $39.99.
You may not think much of this until you see what is on offer, as the 360 Deluxe comes with
- Secure VPN
- A Password Manager
- Antivirus Software
- 50Gb Cloud backup
- Smart Firewall and others.
Besides, you find Dark Web Monitoring (powered by LifeLock), so if your personal information ends up on the dark web, they will inform you. In addition, this isn’t per device, and it does cover online activities for up to 5-devices.
Purchasing the VPN Norton offers a 14-day money-back guarantee on monthly subscriptions, and on the annual, you get a 60-day money-back guarantee. Payment methods for the Norton Secure VPN are either cards or PayPal.
Norton LifeLock Inc. is the owner of Norton Wi-Fi Privacy, which we saw changed the name to Secure VPN. LifeLock is one of the world’s largest cybersecurity software companies, which is an excellent start for privacy on their VPN offering.
The first failing being they are located inside the USA that is a founder of the 5-eyes coalition.
When you look to see how secure they are, they are halfway to doing a decent job with online privacy.
On most devices, the OpenVPN protocol is in use, although on iOS devices, they use the IPSec protocol.
Still, this is most often the case with other providers as well. Although they don’t talk too much of their encryption, the best you can come up with is AES 256-bit encryption, and they are offering more like bank-grade security than being military-grade.
Aside from the USA headquarters, the VPN service does a great job with their logging policy. While they do collect some necessary information, they don’t store a user’s IP address or connection timestamps, and with this, there is no storing of websites visited.
The info they do collect is the aggregate bandwidth used which they use for network operations, support, and billing.
The other info being subscriber information and mobile device data. You will find this is comprised of device name and type, OS version and language. The collection of this is for performance optimization, understanding how products are used and improve their customer satisfaction.
There is also a minor collection of data (temporary), to allow the service to connect users to the appropriate server, as well as for R&D.
With some other snippets among this temporary data, users are assured none of this is stored once the session finishes.
Ease of Use
To understand the number of devices the VPN app supports, you need to look at the pricing. The service can support a single device, 5 devices, or 10 simultaneous connections.
If you have the 360 Security software, you automatically cover five devices.
Any user considering this VPN for anything more than the four major platforms will be disappointed.
Features don’t change much, and there are apps for Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS. There is no Linux or router support, unlike best VPN’s you can choose, which offer more devices.
When you begin the sign-up process, you first head to the websites main page. You start here rather than heading to another page to select your plan.
- Select the device number
- Select the drop-down at the side for Monthly or Annual
- Select the subscribe button
- It takes you to a shopping cart checkout page
- Click checkout to complete your payment
- After adding the necessary details, you will receive a product key.
You will need to create an account with NortonLifeLock to access any products or services. All you need is your email address (and enter again to confirm), first and last name, create a password, mobile number and country.
Your Norton VPN login will be the same email address and password.
Installation is straightforward and ideal for a new user who understands nothing of VPN’s. In our VPN review, we couldn’t believe how easy it was to set up and then it was clear why.
You have an interface comprising a partial map and half this is covered with Secured connection, or not. It details your virtual location and your public IP address.
At the bottom of the screen, you have a toggle button for on and off.
You have a few basic settings you can change such as auto-connect, but back on the main screen, you have your server list (virtual locations) and ad-tracking tabs.
Ad tracking shows details of the block history and an on-off toggle switch.
Besides this, there isn’t much else you can do. Therefore, if you have any experience, there is a severe lack of customization available.
In this section, you can see why other Norton VPN reviews are a little vague. The VPN comes with no additional features, and there isn’t even a kill switch. The most stand out feature has to be the inclusion of ad tracking, although you wouldn’t purchase for that alone.
One of the things many VPN companies tout, as selling points are the number of servers they have scattered around the globe.
Norton has 31 locations, yet they don’t disclose the number of servers they have inside this network.
With this limited number of server locations, any potential users may wonder, ‘does Norton VPN slow down internet speed?’
It is the nature of VPN’s everywhere to slow down connections a little. It is the amount they slow, which is the key.
One redeeming feature for Norton is they have high speeds across their network. Even long-haul connections didn’t drop off too much. In testing, the upload speeds took a bigger hit than downloads, so this isn’t too much of an issue.
Perhaps the size of the company helps in this area. Customer support is decent and better than many. They offer live chat if you have quick questions; however, they ask you to complete a form that contains personal data, and if you wish to remain anonymous, it can all be ruined by this act.
Response time was only a few minutes, which was impressive, yet not nearly as responsive as some VPN’s near-instant live chat.
The website contains plenty of useful information, yet it can be lost among help pages for other products.
Streaming is a mixed bag, and accessing Netflix was as close to No as you can get. On occasions, there were times it was accessible, yet not anywhere near as reliable as you would like.
The same goes for BBC iPlayer, as well as a few other streaming platforms. Norton doesn’t claim they enable access, so they can’t be held accountable.
Norton doesn’t encourage or allow torrenting on any part of its network.
Norton VPN is well designed and simple to use for beginners. With the inclusion of ad tracking protection, it can be ideal for anyone who just wants to cover the basics.
However, it is possible to find VPN’s on the market that comes with far more features and cost much less. Add into this that you only get to cover one device for this.
If you were on a trip and needed a quick solution, you can take on a monthly hit for a one-off just make help keep a phone secure, or make use of the 60-day money-back guarantee. You can get the most from the service this way, but the best VPN for long-term use, it isn’t.
What’s the Bottom Line?
A well thought out design, although, not offering sufficient privacy, and security features to make it worthwhile.