Monday, January 23, 2023

How Good Is Norton VPN

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Server Locations & Network

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

It is difficult to find Norton Secure VPNs server locations and overall network range, as their website lacks full transparency on this unless youre a registered customer. However, weve gathered that Norton Secure VPN supports at least 1,500 servers located in 29 countries. Norton does not offer city-connection options, just by country.

Here is a list of all locations:

Norton Keeps Data Logs

Lets just get this out of the way: Norton Secure VPN is not a no logs VPN service. Instead, they log quite a bit of data.

This service describes itself as a no-log VPN provider. But their privacy policies give us some cause for concern. The VPN-specific privacy policy is admirable for its brevity, but it also comes with some drawbacks.

This privacy policy describes how the company collects an unusual amount of user information, including:

  • Device name
  • URLs of websites visited that the Software deems potentially fraudulent,
  • malware files that might include personally-identifiable information
  • other information that is used for purposes of analyzing and improving the functionality of Norton products.

Not looking good. But on the bright side, none of this information is supposed to be correlated with any personally identifiable information.

This is still a lot more information than we are used to seeing being logged.

As is usual, NortonLifeLock may disclose the information they have on you if requested by law enforcement, a subpoena, or other legal process. They may also with researchers and other security software vendors, to promote awareness, detection, and prevention of internet security risks.

Then there is the NortonLifeLock Product and Services Privacy Notices document, which in the Norton Secure VPN section states that they may log diagnostic data, including,

Temporary Usage Data to assist with debugging a problem with the service

This data is,

Norton Secure VPN Ease Of Use: Mobile & Desktop Apps

Norton Secure VPN has intuitive apps for Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS. It doesnt have a Linux app I really like ExpressVPNs and Mullvad VPNs Linux apps.

I installed Norton Secure VPNs apps on my iOS and Android smartphones in 1 minute, and the process took a swift 1-2 minutes on my Windows 10 PC and MacBook Pro.

Android

Norton Secure VPNs Android app is feature-rich and very easy to use. The quick-connect feature automatically connects you to the fastest server based on your location. For example, I was connected to a server in the UK even though Im located in Romania I tested the speed of a server in Romania, but the UK server was a bit faster.

And I like how simple it is to manually connect to a server the list of countries appears when you click on the location icon at the bottom of the page. My only complaint with connecting to a server is that there is no option to filter servers by speed.

The Android app only has OpenVPN, but I like that you get all of Norton Secure VPNs features, including split-tunneling, a kill switch, an ad blocker, and the Wi-Fi Secure feature and Norton Secure VPNs intuitive design makes it easy to find each feature. If youre new to VPNs, youll like how Norton Secure VPN provides a brief explanation for all of its features.

Overall, I really like Norton Secure VPNs Android app. Its feature-rich, secure, and has a very user-friendly design.

iOS

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Norton Secure VPN Review: Why We Don’t Recommend This Familiar Brand’s VPN

Norton has hurdles to overcome before its VPN is strong enough to match its competitors.

There are few more familiar names in information security than Norton and LifeLock. Long known for their competitive antivirus protection and ability to adapt to an ever-changing security industry, a virtual private network from NortonLifeLock sounds promising at the outset. But with limited server options and a few dealbreaker security issues, it’s clear that the Norton Secure VPN still has some work to do before it can meet the high standards set by its sibling security products.

No VPN Leaks Detected In Our VPN Tests

Norton Secure VPN Review [2020] Should you buy it?

The Secure VPN desktop and mobile clients made it through our usual VPN tests without a problem.

Unlike most other leading VPN services, Norton VPN does not offer very many configuration options in terms of encryption or a kill switch. Nonetheless, everything seemed to work well in testing.

For this Norton VPN review, I ran the Windows and Android clients through leak testing. Here are Windows VPN leak testing results:

There is one possible problem here. Our ISP doesnt support IPv6 at this time, which is why you see the IPv6 test not reachable message in the image above. We have heard reports from users stating that they have seen IPv6 leaks. While this isnt a problem today for most people it could become an issue in the future.

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Norton Secure VPN Advanced Features

On the bright side, the app has two standout features: ad tracker blocking and split tunneling. The ad tracker blocking tool intercepts cookies, preventing these trackers from monitoring the websites you visit.

The split tunneling tool is the newest addition to Norton Secure VPNs features suite. This feature allows you to securely direct and encrypt the traffic of certain apps through Secure VPN while letting others access the internet directly.

Even though the split tunneling gets the job done, its simple and doesnt offer options for advanced customization. If you want advanced options to configure the split tunneling, check out our NordVPN review orExpressVPN review.

Norton Secure VPN Speeds

Unfortunately, it is inevitable that using a VPN server will slow your connection down. No additional technology or workaround can prevent this from happening. But there are differences between VPN speeds for each company, so your best bet to avoiding headache-inducing lags is by choosing the fastest VPN you can find.

Here are several reasons why you should consider Norton Secure VPN if youre worried about speed:

If you wish to compare this Norton Secure VPN with others, test your base connection by using the speed tests of Ookla. From there, youll be given three results: download speed, upload speed and ping/latency, all of which are important for continuously-fast connection speeds.

Once you have your base connection, you can now test it with your Norton Secure VPN and see how much the speed decreases. Spoiler alert, it will decrease no matter what anybody tells you. But by how much is the important thing here and hopefully, it shouldnt go lower than 10% in both the download speeds and upload speeds.

The bigger the difference from your base connection to the one youre connected to a VPN server, the slower youll be able to download a file, the longer you have to wait a web page load, and the more low-quality of videos from streaming services will look.

If the speed isnt enough, you can always switch between Nortons VPN servers, test the speed and pick the one with the best speeds.

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Norton Secure VPN On Other Platforms

In addition to the Windows app reviewed here, Norton has Secure VPN apps available for Android, iOS, and macOS. That should cover just about all your devices. Notably, Norton does not offer browser plug-ins, which let you spoof your location for just your browser traffic. The company also does not provide client software for streaming devices, nor does it have instructions on how to configure your router to use a VPN. Those are fringe scenarios, but they could be deal breakers for some consumers.

Unblocked: Netflix And Uktv

Norton Secure VPN Review – HONEST REVIEW!

Norton Secure VPN could only unblock UKTV and Netflix, which is a little disappointing. The good part is that my connection was fast enough to stream shows on these platforms without lag or buffering. I tested Norton Secure VPN with Criminal Minds which is only available on Netflix US. However, my speeds experienced a significant decrease while I was connected to the VPN if I didnt have a fast connection in the first place, I would have experienced a lot of buffering.

Even though Netflix has strong geo-restrictions, Norton Secure VPN managed to get around them. I was impressed by this because this VPN is only intended to protect you from hackers and data leaks, not streaming content.

UKTV was very easy to unblock too. I connected to a UK server, and I had full, unlimited access to the platform. On top of that, the connection was great. I didnt experience slowdowns or changes in quality.

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Norton Secure VPN Full Review

I spent a few weeks testing and researching Norton Secure VPN to see how it compares to other top VPNs.

And I can safely say Norton Secure VPN is a user-friendly VPN that has good speeds and is good for basic uses like online browsing, hiding your activity from your internet service provider , and unblocking some geo-restricted content.

Norton Secure VPNs easy-to-use apps have an intuitive design that make it simple to navigate for someone who has never used a VPN. You can connect to a server with 1 or 2 clicks, the features are easy to find and use, and most of the functions in the Settings tab include brief explanations. However, experienced users will find Norton Secure VPN also has a few cool features like Tor support, Wi-Fi security, and split-tunneling.

Norton 360 Plans And Pricing

Norton provides 5 different plans for users around the globe, and adds 3 different LifeLock plans for users in the US. Nortons basic AntiVirus Plus plan is about the same price as Norton 360 Standard, without some of the web protections that make Norton 360 a comprehensive security suite. Users that want a super basic antivirus scanner can try Norton AntiVirus Plus, but Ive focused on Nortons 360 plans for this review.

Note: Theres a 60-day money-back guarantee on all of Nortons plans.

Norton 360 Standard Basic Norton 360 Plan

Nortons basic 360 plan provides an impressive amount of features, but for 1 device only. Heres what you get with Norton 360 Standard:

  • Real-time malware scanning.
  • Webcam protection .
  • Dark web monitoring .

A lot of antiviruses put limits on the VPNs, password managers, and other tools in their lower-tier programs, but Norton 360 Standard provides full access to almost all of Nortons features.

The biggest problem with Nortons basic plan is that it doesnt offer multi-device coverage. However, Norton 360 Standard is an excellent choice for users that need protection for a single device.

Norton 360 Deluxe Best-Value Norton Plan

Norton 360 Deluxe is Nortons best-value plan, and the one I recommend for most users looking for good cybersecurity protections on a budget. It includes all of the same features as Norton 360 Standard, plus:

  • Coverage for up to 5 devices.
  • 50 GB of cloud storage.
  • Parental controls.
  • Dark web monitoring
  • Privacy monitor.

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Norton 360 With Lifelock Ultimate

Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate offers everything of LifeLock Select but expands upon the identity theft protection features:

  • Data Breach Notifications: Norton will let you know about data breaches at large organizations that might store your personal information.
  • Identity Lock: Norton will let you lock your TransUnion credit file with a single click so that criminals cannot open accounts in your name.
  • Bank & Credit Card Activity Alerts: Norton will centralize your bank and credit card alerts and notify you of large withdrawals, transfers, or purchases.
  • Court Records Scanning: Norton will scan court records to check whether a criminal has used your name instead of their own.
  • 401 & Investment Activity Alerts: Norton will scan your 401 balance and notify you when withdrawals or balance transfers take place.

Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate is for those who want the best possible protection against identity theft.

Note: At the time of writing, Nortons LifeLock products are only available for customers in the US.

US Price: first year $ 299.88. Afterward $ 349.99 per year.

Speeds Very Slow On Local And International Servers

Norton Secure VPN Review

Norton Secure VPN is one of the slowest VPNs I have ever tested. Its normal to experience a loss in speed when you connect to a VPN, but not more than 20%. However, the difference was huge with Norton. If my connection was just a little slower, it would have been impossible to stream any movies or access interactive websites.

To test Norton Secure VPNs speeds, I used Ooklas speed test tool and measured my:

  • Ping measures the time to get a response from the website or app youre connecting to
  • measures the time you need to download files and information from the internet
  • Upload speed measures the time you need to send files, such as messages and videos

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Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

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Privacy Enough Features To Keep Your Traffic Private

Norton Secure VPN keeps as little information about its users as possible, but there are a few security policy gaps. I read the documentation from top to bottom to see what kind of information it collects, and it got me a little confused. Since it shares the same privacy policy with all of Nortons services, you cant be sure that it doesnt collect sensitive information. My biggest problem is that Nortons headquarters are in the US, so it may be required to keep and share data about its users with the government. On top of that, I couldnt find any concrete information about the disclosure of this data.

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Torrenting No P2p Support Whatsoever

Norton made it very clear that it doesnt support any type of torrenting. Even more, the VPN wont work at all if it detects torrent traffic. The moment I opened Transmission, Norton Secure VPN gave me an error and cut the connection.

If youre looking for a VPN you can torrent with, Norton Secure VPN is not it. But no worries, there are many other VPNs that support torrenting, some of which even offer specialized servers for it.

Norton Secure VPN: Flexible Pricing Plan

Norton Secure VPN Review

An unusual way to pay for the connections you need.

Norton Secure VPN is different from other VPN clients in that you can select the number of device connections you want from one, five, or up to ten.

Some VPN clients provide a flexible payment model, usually based on how long you set up the annual payment plan. For example, CyberGhost lets you choose a low-cost 18-month plan that works out to only $3.15 per month on average. Windscribe also lets you add server and country connections and pay only for the ones you need.

We like that Norton Secure VPN mixes it up and lets you pay according to your device needs rather than enticing you with the longer you stay, the less you pay angle of other VPN clients. That said Norton Secure VPN only offers one-year and five-year plans, so keep in mind that youre on the hook for at least a year no matter which option you choose.

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Is Norton Secure VPN Worth Trying Out In 2021

Norton Secure VPN is secure, fast, easy to use, and an overall good choice for browsing, streaming Netflix, and gaming.

Norton Secure VPN has industry-standard security features like 256-bit AES encryption, a no-logs policy, a kill switch, and secure protocols. It also has extra features like split-tunneling, an ad blocker, and Tor support. In my speed tests, Norton Secure VPN maintained very good speeds on local servers , but I experienced slower speeds for streaming, gaming, and browsing on distant servers in the US and Japan.

That said, Norton Secure VPN has a lot of room for improvement. Norton Secure VPN keeps logs of IP addresses, it doesnt have DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leak protection, its unable to unblock top streaming sites like Disney+, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer, it doesnt allow P2P traffic, and it doesnt work in restrictive countries like China.

Norton Secure VPN has monthly and yearly plans for 1, 5, and 10 devices. It has a generous 60-day money-back guarantee for the annual plans and a 14-day money-back guarantee for the monthly plans. You can also get Norton Secure VPN for free when you purchase Norton 360, our #1 choice for best antivirus in 2021.

Streaming Does Norton VPN Work With Netflix

Testing Norton VPN for Netflix, I found that it cant unblock the popular streaming platform. Netflix detected that I was using a VPN and denied access with the following error screen:

Unblocking Netflix is a challenge for any VPN service, and the service is only getting stricter with time. Unfortunately, you wont have much luck using Norton for your Netflix streaming.

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Norton Secure VPN Privacy & Security

Norton Secure VPN has a no-logs policy, but in my opinion its not strict enough. While Norton Secure VPN doesnt log the sites you visit or the files that you download, it logs your IP address.

Norton Secure VPN says it keeps records of your IP address to determine appropriate language settings and to deliver content to your device, but this explanation on the website is too vague and the customer support representatives were unable to provide me with a clear answer as to why the provider stores IP addresses. I cant fully trust a VPN that logs users IP addresses because it puts their privacy at risk Norton Secure VPN can turn this information over to authorities if requested.

In addition to IP addresses, Norton Secure VPN also logs your email address and your bandwidth .

The logging of IP addresses is even worse because Norton Secure VPN is headquartered in the US, which is part of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances . If the US government were to request user data, Norton Secure VPN would have to share user information with law enforcement. Private Internet Access is also based in the US, but Private Internet Access has proven in court many times that it doesnt store user data.

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