Norton by Symantec is one of the most famous names in the antivirus industry. You’ll find it among our pick of the best antivirus 2018. We’ve been using the latest version of Norton Security Deluxe to bring you a full review of the latest security software.
After a few weeks of use, it’s clear that Norton Security Deluxe is a discreet product, with few pop-ups appearing at all. Occasionally, you’ll see a message about the background scan completing, but as it was running because you’re not using the computer, it’s hardly intrusive. In fact, one of the only times you’re guaranteed to see a pop-up is when Norton analyses downloaded files for you, which is a good thing.
Norton benefits from technology and cloud support provided by parent company Symantec, including SONAR Protection, which detects malware by examining the behaviour of running applications. The dedicated Intrusion Prevention module also blocks attacks from infected computers connected to your network.
This is particularly welcome given last year’s NotPetya attack, which not only infected systems with ransomware but also spread to other computers. Norton also makes a “100% virus promise” that an expert will help keep your devices virus-free or your money back if you run into trouble. Backing all this, the new Norton Studio app allows you to control all protected devices from a single Windows machine.
The price of this protection weighs in at £69.99/US$97.95 for 5 devices, though hefty discounts are available throughout the year from the Norton website so it’s worth a check even if the RRP is out of your budget.
With drive-by web attacks, including crypto-mining, becoming ever-more prevalent, good web protection is essential, and Norton provides plenty of cover.
There’s Browser Protection, for example, which prevents web-based malware exploiting known browser vulnerabilities as you surf, and sites are flagged by reputation in search results. As mentioned above, web downloads are analysed, and after scanning, a report on their safety pops up.
Passwords are protected by the integrated Identity Safe password manager, which helps secure your ID with one click. This saves login details in a secure cloud-based vault, which in turn means that if you download the Identity Safe app for iOS or Android, you can securely access your accounts on your mobile devices.
Another nice feature is Scam Insight, which uses reputation data to identify potentially dodgy sites that ask for personal information, such as your Social Security Number or payment card details.
Performance tools include a disk optimiser, which defragments data on the disk to make access more efficient. This is something Windows already does, but apparently not consistently.
Likewise, the File Cleanup facility will free up space from forgotten temporary files, which is a problem particularly for older computers where disk space is at a premium.
Topping off the performance features are the startup manager, which enables you to delay some services so that you can log in and get going faster, and a useful graph showing all major events by month, including malware detections, scans and security alerts.
In terms of configuration, plenty of options usually means plenty of confusion, but here everything is laid out in a logical manner, and help is available for every setting.
The report card facility gives you a summary of what the product did for you in the previous 30 days. This includes the number of WiFi networks protected, file cleanups performed, analysed downloads and the amount of disk space cleared of temporary files.
The app version (Norton Mobile Security) runs on iOS and Android, also contains a plethora of useful modules. Along with antivirus and anti-theft, there are also modules for web protection, privacy and wifi security. This latter module will automatically scan your wireless network to check for encryption and password strength.