PROS / Norton Security Deluxe offers additional features not normally available in entry-level antivirus software.
CONS / In independent tests, Norton mistakenly identified legitimate software as malware four times, one more time than the average.
VERDICT / Norton Security's excellent protection and extensive security features help it compete with higher-ranked antivirus software.
Norton Security goes beyond antivirus protection by combining many previous products into one antivirus protection subscription. While Norton’s competitors often pursue a complicated product family architecture, Norton Security brings all of its consumer antivirus software products into one unit, jam-packed with features. More importantly, Norton Security backs up these features with solid performance.
When AV-Test ran a series of tests along with 21 antivirus products during July and August of 2015, Norton produced terrific results on Windows 7. While visiting websites and downloading software, Norton delayed the host computer by two seconds, one second less than the industry average. Furthermore, it produced perfect scores in the protection test section. Competitors with faster performance did not match Norton’s perfect scores against malware attacks.
This software achieved perfect scores for both of AV-Test's evaluations: widespread malware and zero-day malware. In comparison, the industry average for the zero-day malware protection score was 98 percent. Norton’s vigilance against malware had a small effect on usability. It mistakenly identified legitimate software as malware four times during a system scan, compared with an industry average of three mistakes.
Although Norton achieved perfect protection scores during the test period, that doesn’t mean it always stops every threat. Even the best antivirus software occasionally lets a threat slip through. Whereas many of the top antivirus software publishers charge extra for malware removal by a technical support agent, Norton provides the service for free.
To start a full scan, you click four times from the home screen while quick scans require three clicks. This is the most steps to start a full scan in our review, above the average of two clicks for other products on both scan types.
Norton Security Deluxe is an all-in-one security suite that includes the traditional antimalware and antispyware capabilities, but also antispam, antiphishing, a password manager and a secure online vault you normally see in complete internet security suites. By rolling these features into one product, Norton raises the bar and competes with the best antivirus software. Additionally, the software helps maintain your privacy and protect you from unsafe websites and downloads.
In our installation testing, the software installed and uninstalled very quickly, less than five minutes for the two tasks combined. This was much faster than most other antivirus applications in our reviews. The software only requires a computer restart when you uninstall, which means your computer gets protection without interrupting workflow while installing.
Norton Security lets you protect up to three devices with a single license and manage the installations from a convenient online account. You can manage your devices from your online account, which lets you add new devices or move protection from one device to another. The Norton Security subscription includes 24/7 customer support by telephone or online chat, making it one of the best antivirus software products in our review.
At tests conducted by respected independent software labs, Norton Security Deluxe accomplished a perfect protection score, which it achieved at the expense of only a barely perceptible impact on system performance. By eliminating the tiered ladder approach to consumer-grade antivirus, Norton Security provides you with complete protection far above typical entry-level antivirus software.