Sunday, June 4, 2023

How Does Norton Secure VPN Work

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Amazon Prime Video: Blocked

Norton VPN Review: Is Norton Secure VPN Really That Good? (2021)

I wasnt able to access Amazon Prime Video with Norton Secure VPN. After I connected to a UK server and opened the Prime Video homepage, I was shown this error message when I hovered over a show or movie thumbnail:

Your device is connected to the Internet using a VPN or proxy service. Please disable it and try again. For more help, go to

The problem is , Norton Secure VPN frequently reuses many of the same IP addresses, which are likely already blocked. Instead, you can try ExpressVPN to get easy access to unblock Prime Video.

Streaming Norton Secure VPN Unblocks Netflix And Uktv

Norton Secure VPN only unblocks a couple of streaming platforms, so its not a good choice if you want to watch international movies and shows. Before I started testing, I looked at Nortons policies to see what I should expect. My conclusion is that Norton did not put any effort into a VPN that unblocks streaming platforms.

I could unblock UKTV and Netflix from its UK and US servers but no other platforms. The other platforms I tested recognized the VPN and completely blocked my access.

Norton Secure VPN Features

Norton Secure VPN has industry-standard VPN security features:

  • 256-bit AES encryption Norton Secure VPN protects your data with end-to-end, bank-grade encryption.
  • No-logs policy Norton Secure VPN doesnt log online traffic and files that you download, but it logs your IP address.
  • Kill switch This feature shuts down your internet access if the VPN connection drops .

There are VPNs that have much better kill switches than Norton Secure VPN. For example, PrivateVPN allows you to choose which apps are forced offline if the VPN disconnects, and Mullvad VPN and VyprVPN let you configure the kill switch to shut down internet access when youre not connected to a VPN server this protects you from accidental traffic leaks if you forget to connect to the VPN before going online. But Norton Secure VPNs kill switch is still ok and works as intended.

Norton Secure VPN has 2 protocols, but each app only has one of the protocols. For example, OpenVPN is only available on Android and iOS, while IPSec is included on Windows and macOS. OpenVPN and IPSec are secure and good protocols, but theyre not as fast as WireGuard, which is offered by many other top competitors like Private Internet Access and CyberGhost VPN. I hope Norton Secure VPN adds WireGuard and also provides more protocol choices for each app in the future.

Besides those features, Norton Secure VPN also offers a couple of extra features, including split-tunneling, an ad blocker, and a Wi-Fi security tool.


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What Servers Does Norton VPN Offer

Norton VPN does not offer a very extensive network of servers. However, it has good VPN connection capabilities with 30 dedicated servers in 25 different countries.

This allows you to get great geographic content unlocking capabilities. In addition, it does not keep records of information. The downside is that it only allows one device per purchased license.

Try Norton Secure VPN For Free For 60 Days With Its Money

Norton Secure VPN vs ExpressVPN

Norton Secure VPN offers a 60-day money-back guarantee with its annual plan and a 14-day money-back guarantee with its monthly plan. If you change your mind, you can simply contact Norton through live chat to request your money back.

To check this guarantee to see if it actually works, I signed up for an annual plan and used the service for a couple of weeks. Then I contacted customer support through the live chat and requested a refund. The agent tried to get me to stay by offering me 3 months for free then immediately approved the refund after I turned the offer down. I had the money returned to my account 5 days later.

If youre searching for a free VPN, you can also take a look at this list of the best free VPNs currently available.

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Recapping Norton Secure VPN

As a standalone VPN, Norton Secure doesnt have a whole lot to offer beyond basic privacy protection. But the truth is, this VPN isnt necessarily intended to be a standalone service. When thought of as an add-on to a more robust antivirus system, Norton Secure makes a whole lot more sense. We were provided basic protection with minimal maintenance, and there was little customization or advanced features that required our attention. But along with this basic protection, we found some holes in the service, like a lack of a kill switch, some problematic privacy issues in logging our anonymized IP address, and issues with streaming services and BitTorrent support. Norton Secure is fine as a set-and-forget service, but for those interested in a serious, dedicated VPN, wed recommend looking elsewhere.

How Norton Secure VPN Works

Public Wi-Fi is one of the common things that hackers can track your IP address and steal your personal and financial information.

We usually go to coffee shops, MacDonalds, Airpot, etc, and use public wifi without even thinking twice and knowing that we could be hacked.

That is why Norton VPN masks/hides your IP address and secure your online traffic. It uses bank-grade encryption to protect you from hackers.

It blocks all the ads and cookies that track you all around the web. You must have noticed the same ads on the various websites you visit and they are pretty annoying.

You can browse and stream the web anonymously with Norton Secure VPN. Explore unlimited movies, TV shows, and content beyond boundaries.

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Limited Number Of Countries And No City Server Selection

When you activate Norton VPN, you can let the service handle the connection for you, or you can manually select the country for your VPN server. As of this review, the server network is limited, with locations in 31 countries. This selection of locations is on the low side when you consider that other large VPNs give you more than 50 countries to choose from, as you can see with NordVPN and IPVanish.

Note also that we said you can choose the country. Unlike most services, you can select the country you want, but not a specific city within that country. In some cases, that is just fine. In others, it can be a real problem.

The problem is further exacerbated by the fact that we dont know exactly how many locations Secure VPN has in the United States, nor how we get assigned to one of these spaces when we connect. Heres an example of the kinds of problems this can cause.

My bank gets twitchy when I log in from a different location than I did the time before. I have to go through various steps to confirm my identity every time this happens. With Norton Secure VPN, I dont know where I will connect within the United States. This time when I connected, it was to a New York IP address. Last time it was to a California IP address. This would make my banks security system go crazy which would drive me crazy.

The inability to control what city you log into is a major drawback of this VPN.

Choosing A VPN Provider You Can Trust

Getting Started | Norton Secure VPN

With so many VPN services on the market, how will you decide which one to use? A big part of the decision is selecting a VPN provider you trust. You want a VPN for online privacy, so you want to ask a few questions when selecting your VPN service:

  • Do they respect your online privacy? The point of using a VPN is to protect your online privacy, so its crucial that your VPN provider respects your online privacy, too. They should have a no-log policy, which means that they never track or log your online activities.
  • Is this a Free VPN service that has in-app ads? Will they send your personal information to their advertisers as “payment” in exchange for your using their technology to pay for their “free VPN service”? A reputable VPN service has significant technology costs to ensure service levels and provide support for their users. Remember this, companies need to collect payment from someone to support their VPN service. The question is, what are they collecting and how.
  • Where are the server locations? Multiple server locations are important. The ability to choose your region allows you a personalized browsing experience.
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    Hands On With Norton Secure VPN

    I had no trouble setting up Norton Secure VPN on an Intel NUC Kit NUC8i7BEH desktop running the latest version of Windows 10. It took just a few minutes to install and was ready to work immediately.

    Most VPN companies have opted to create an app that stands apart from the operating system, as any other app would. The Norton Secure VPN app, however, is anchored to the System Tray. That’s a little annoying for me, as someone who needs to fiddle with every possible setting, but most people will probably leave their VPN out of sight and out of mind.

    The UI is a bit small and dated to my eyes, but its still functional. When you open the app it immediately connects to what it thinks is the best network. A large circle shows your current location on a map, flanked on either side by your true IP and your public IP address from the VPN. The map is just chrome, unfortunately. I prefer designs like TunnelBear VPN, which is friendly and bright.

    Norton Secure VPN wants to keep your VPN protection activeso much so that I had trouble finding how to switch it off. It turns out you toggle the switch at the bottom of the screen, which I had mistaken for a connection setting. Nudging users towards better security is a good thing, but I don’t care for apps whose tools aren’t immediately understandable.

    What Is The Best VPN For A Windows Pc

    There are several points to consider when selecting the best VPN for your needs. As you are making your selection, consider the following features:

    • Encryption: Strong encryption technology
    • Bandwidth: Enough bandwidth for your use, especially for simultaneous use on multiple devices. Some providers will offer plans with unlimited data usage.
    • Non-logging: A provider who does not keep logs of your browsing or downloading activity
    • Ad tracker blocking: Some VPN services will include the ability to block tracking cookies used by advertisers
    • Server locations: Multiple server locations globally
    • Operating system: A VPN that works on your Windows PC as well as on other devices and operating systems you use.
    • Support: Support from the provider when you need it, via various channels such as phone, email and chat

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    Norton Secure VPN Unblocks Netflix Hbo Max And Hbo Now But Cant Access Disney+ Hulu Amazon Prime Video Or Bbc Iplayer

    If you need a VPN to watch shows and movies, Norton Secure VPN isnt the best choice. During testing, I was only able to access Netflix , HBO Max, HBO NOW, and UKTV. Unfortunately, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and the BBC iPlayer had errors or didnt load at all. If you need access to multiple streaming services, Norton Secure VPN limits your choices. Instead, I highly recommend that you check out ExpressVPN to unblock any popular platform.

    Dont Have Time Heres A Short Summary

    What does Norton Secure VPN do?

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    Norton Secure VPN Review: Final Verdict

    If your VPN needs are simple, or you’re looking for a VPN and a security suite, then Norton Secure VPN’s back-to-basics approach might appeal. Experts will be frustrated by the lack of features, though, the Windows kill switch is a concern, and there are many more capable, faster and cheaper VPNs around.

    Check The Root Certificates Of Norton Secure VPN

  • Press the Start button, type certificates, and select Manage computer certificates
  • Open the Personal folder on the left side
  • Look for SurfEasy in the Issued By column
  • If there are multiple SurfEasy entries, delete the old ones by taking into account the Expiration Date
  • Do the same in the Trusted Root Certification Authorities and Intermediate Certification Authorities folders
  • Old and expired certificates could be the reason why Norton Secure VPN suddenly stopped working on your computer. You just have to find and delete them.

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    Norton Secure VPN Streaming

    Given the disappointing speed results from above, I wasnt expecting a lot from Norton Secure VPN in terms of its streaming potentially. It does, after all, present as a bare-bolts VPN service. For those who dont mind running the risk of violating the terms and conditions of streaming services, certain VPNs can be used to stream geoblocked content from abroad or to access Australian content when youre not in Australia.

    The table below breaks down how well Norton Secure works with popular US and Australian streaming services that typically do a good job of sniffing out VPNs and blocking a connection.

    Yes Fast

    Despite the 46% hit to download speeds when connecting to a US server, Norton Secure still provided snappy playback of content from the Netflix US library. HBO Max and Peacock also worked but werent as quick at buffering and streaming content. Despite being one of the US streaming services that works with most big-name VPNs Ive thrown at it, Hulu blocked playback while using Norton Secure VPN.

    Using an Australian server to connect to Kayo came up with a common VPN error that wouldnt even let me browse content, which means Norton Secure shouldnt be used by people hoping to access Kayo from around the world. That said, Stan had no issues playing content.

    Netflix Works On Three Out Of Four Servers

    Norton Secure VPN Installation Walk-through & Review | by @SolutionsReview

    Streaming content on Netflix worked three out of four times.

    Heres why thats such a big deal.

    Streaming services, like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, have taken a hard stance on most VPNs these days.

    In fact, most weve reviewed either dont work . Or, they literally tell you not to bother. Theyre not going to even try sidestepping Netflix anymore.

    So getting three out of four servers to work successfully is a big deal. Those are the kinds of numbers that weve only previously seen from the best VPNs for Netflix.

    And to be honest, we didnt expect it from Norton.


    Big companies are usually risk-averse. Most of the big entities or public conglomerates weve reviewed wont try to thwart Netflix, encourage illegally torrenting content, P2P etc.

    Those activities are off limits, because they really dont want the hassle, legal battles, or bad PR.

    Currently, Norton unblocks Netflix for you. So bypassing geo-restrictions should be OK with this VPN.

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    Norton Secure VPN Review: Plans And Pricing

    Norton Secure VPN is available as a stand-alone product, but it also comes bundled with some editions of the Norton 360 security suite, and the pricing structure makes it clear that’s what NortonLifeLock wants you to buy.

    Secure VPN’s monthly plan is reasonably priced at $7.99 to cover up to five devices , for instance, and its annual plan looks cheap at an equivalent $3.33 a month. At least, until you realize that’s only because you get a 50% introductory discount, and the price rises to a steep $6.66 on renewal.

    To put that into perspective, Norton Secure VPN asks you to pay $40 for the first year of service, $80 every year after that pay the far more powerful Ivacy $80 and you’ll get five years of coverage instantly.

    But wait: there’s another way. Buy Norton Secure VPN as a bundle with Norton 360 Deluxe and you’ll get antivirus for up to 5 PCs, Macs, mobiles and tablets a firewall for PC and Mac parental controls, a password manager, 50GB cloud backup space and more. But it’s the same $3.33 a month for the first year of the annual plan, and only fractionally more expensive at $8.75 on renewal

    Compare that with Bitdefender’s similar Total Security 2021, for instance, and Bitdefender is very fractionally cheaper , but only includes a limited 200Mb per day per device VPN. Getting the full VPN requires an upgrade to Bitdefender Premium Security at a chunky $6.25 a month in year one, $12.50 on renewal, making the Norton bundle look like a very good deal.

    How To Use Norton Secure VPN With Netflix

    To stream American Netflix with Norton Secure VPN:

  • Sign up for a Norton Secure VPN subscription.
  • Complete the installation process, and log in.
  • Launch the app and select the United States as your virtual location. On mobile, you can do this by tapping the Location icon at the top of the screen and navigating to the Regions page. On desktop, youll find the setting in the Virtual Location tab on the app.
  • Once connected, open the Netflix app or website. If your chosen VPN server isnt blocked, you should be able to start watching US Netflix.
  • If you encounter any issues, such as the Netflix error m7111-5059, check our troubleshooting tips below.

    EXPERT TIP:Visit to see which Netflix library features the show you want to watch.

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