Friday, January 27, 2023

Is Norton Secure VPN Worth It

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Server Count And Location

Norton Secure VPN Review

The number of servers and the spread of those servers across countries creates the conditions for a VPN to be successful. When were evaluating VPNs, we tend to favor those with the largest footprints, because it typically means that there are multiple servers in our general region which can help increase speeds as were surfing the web. For a good example, check out our NordVPN review, which features more than 5,000 servers in more than 60 countries.

Norton Secure VPN has 1,500 servers spread across 31 countries, with 200 server locations in 73 cities. This footprint is modest, but its not a noticeably paltry number. Another point to note is that of their 1,500 servers, 1,200 are virtual servers. Virtual servers are essentially a way to use software to mimic the presence of physical servers, and its a more cost-effective way for VPNs and other web hosts to increase their server count without having additional, dedicated physical servers.2

Virtual servers can also be configured to give the appearance of a larger footprint. For example, Norton could set up a virtual server in New York City but have it configured to display its location in London. To Nortons credit, they claim that all of the virtual servers they use are in the countries they display.

Quick Facts: Nortonlike many VPNsdoesnt work and doesnt offer server locations in China due to the countrys aggressive censorship and Internet monitoring policies.

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.

Fast Speeds On Nearby VPN Servers

Speed & Reliability

Speed & Reliability Rating: 8.3/10

Norton Secure VPN is a very fast VPN on local connections just be sure to connect to nearby servers for the best speeds.

Some popular review websites like TechRadar claim they measured poor speeds when testing Norton, with download speeds dropping to as little as 10-15Mbps. Our regularly-updated results are much more promising, with speed losses of just 8% on nearby servers.

Longer-distance connections are also fairly fast, but not as reliable as other VPNs such as those listed in our fastest VPNs list.

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Norton Secure VPN Bundling

NortonLifeLock sells a few other security and privacy products. With various Norton products at your disposal, you can add other tools to your existing Norton subscription to form a custom bundle.

There are three standard bundles. With the Norton 360 Standard, you get a VPN for one device. On the other hand, Norton 360 With LifeLock Select and Norton 360 Deluxe increases the number of devices to five.

The bundling has its pros and cons. Its cheaper, especially if you intend to use all the other tools in the bundle. The bundling raises its security stature, as well, because Norton Secure VPN is only a little more than a rudimentary VPN on its own.

On the flip side, if you get Secure VPN through one of the bundles, you wont get a stand-alone VPN client. We tried this with the Norton 360 Standard, and what we got was a VPN baked into the Norton Security solution. As a result, we were unable to access, let alone activate, features such as the and split tunneling.

Ip And Dns Leak Protection

Norton Secure VPN  SofGro

As with most VPNs these days, Norton Secure VPN uses IPv4 and IPv6 leak protection, as well as DNS leak protection. This helps to protect your data from cybercriminals on the prowl, especially when connected to public WiFi networks.

This has become common among many VPNs, so it should come as no surprise that Norton Secure VPN employs it as well.

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Jurisdiction Is Norton VPN Located In A 5

This VPN is located in a 5 Eyes country, as I found in this review.

All of Norton operation is headquartered in Mountain View, California. While the US may be a safe place for an Antivirus company to run its operations, but VPN is a different business.

Since VPNs are used to perform privacy-sensitive tasks, it is extremely important that they retain no information about your online activities. Because the US is a key member of the Five Eyes surveillance alliance, it can be difficult for VPN providers to guarantee user privacy and protect them from state surveillance.

Nonetheless, there are no mandatory data retention laws enforced on VPNs in the US and if the VPN itself isnt storing your logs, then it doesnt matter even if the provider is based in a country with a lot of surveillance.

Therefore, Norton VPN softwares jurisdiction isnt ideal, but your privacy depends on the providers logging policy, as discussed later.

Packages And Prices: How Much Does Norton Antivirus Cost

Norton offers four packages that cater to different user needs. The best option for most users is the Norton 360 Deluxe package, which can be installed on five devices and which comes with lots of additional features. This includes 50 GB of cloud storage, a secure VPN service, dark web monitoring, parental controls, a password manager, and more.

An overview of the four Norton Antivirus plans is given below.

While Norton is advertised at relatively low annual prices, you should note that prices increases after the first year of usage. This places Norton on the pricier end of antivirus software, especially when compared to other antivirus programs like Kaspersky or AVG.

Norton 360 prices after the first year of subscription are as follows:

  • Norton Antivirus Plus: $59.99/year
  • Norton 360 with LifeLock Select: $149.99/year
  • Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate Plus: $349.99/year

All packages include some basic features, namely: real-time protection against viruses and malware a smart firewall and a password manager.

The pricier packages have extra functionality, such as access to cloud storage the Norton Secure VPN service dark web monitoring and more.

The table below summarizes all the Norton antivirus packages.

Features

If you want to get Norton 360 for free, the company offers a 7-day or 14-day free trial, depending on your region. Your credit card will not be charged until after the trial period.

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Nortons Pc Cloud Backup

Nortons Cloud Backup feature provides you with secure remote storage for all your important documents.

Youll get a different amount of cloud backup space depending on what plan you sign up for. Well explain this in more detail a bit further down. But whichever plan you choose, youll get a very generous amount, particularly compared to the competition.

Nortons cloud backup is incredibly convenient. It makes it really easy to access your files on your computer, phone, or on any other device you use to access the internet. So you wont ever lose your data if your machine packs up or gets lost or stolen.

But of course, as with all Norton products, the main reason to use it is to keep your machine safe. And in the case of its PC cloud backup, this will keep your sensitive files and data safe from ransomware.

Hackers can use ransomware to encrypt your files, forcing you to pay for the encryption key in order to restore your data. And so using cloud backup is a very helpful way to defend against this threat. Because your files are safely backed up on Nortons servers, even if anyone does manage to access them, youll still have copies safely stored.

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

Fix problem accessing specific websites when connected to Norton Secure 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.

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Setting The Ad Tracker Blocking And Split Tunnelling

The ad tracker blocking isnt customizable, either. You only get one slider button to enable it. However, the blocker does show the number of ad trackers the app has blocked in the last seven and 30 days. If you want a configurable ad tracker blocking, check out the TunnelBear Blocker browser plug-in, which lets you specify what the app can block.

The story is the same for the split tunnel feature you only have an option to enable the feature and select the app you want to exclude from Norton Secure VPN traffic. When you enable split tunneling, the add an application option appears automatically. You can add apps such as PayPal and other banking applications.

Another thing to note is that Norton VPN Secure app is buggy. During our testing, the app kept returning an 809 error, which occurs when the network traffic on IPsec ports is blocked.

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.

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Our Review Of Lifelock Features

We initiated a trial subscription as part of our LifeLock review so we could test how the service fared. Our LifeLock review is divided into three categories: ease of use, customer service, and effectiveness. We rated each category on a scale of 1 to 10 for the purposes of our LifeLock review, with 10 being the highest.

Does A VPN Slow Down Internet Speed

Norton Secure VPN Review

Yes, a VPN will always slightly decrease your internet speed, as it adds a number of steps that were not present in your connection before. Namely, the encryption process and connection to a remote server. However, premium VPNs are designed to mitigate the impact of latency until it becomes barely noticeable.

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Will Norton Secure VPN Protect Me Online

Norton Secure VPN has basic security features that will keep you safe online. However, it only has limited encryption protocols and logs some user data. These are necessary security features that protect you from getting hacked, stop IP and DNS leaks, and prevent your personal information from being sold to third-parties.

Lifelock Services You Can Perform On Your Own

Things like freezing your credit can easily be done for free at all of the three major US-based credit reporting agencies, including Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. For many people, freezing their credit , is enough to deter the most common types of identity theft.

A simple thing that you can do is to practice good online habits and monitor your financial accounts regularly to identify unusual activity.

These are free strategies you can use to protect yourself and detect identity theft quickly if it happens to you. However, this strategy requires you to stay vigilant day in and day out.

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Norton Secure VPN Servers & Ip Addresses

Norton Secure VPN has 2,000+ servers in 30+ countries. It doesnt publicly publish the number of servers it has, but a Norton Secure VPN support rep confirmed the server count is over 2,000, which is pretty good. Top competitors have larger server networks, including ExpressVPN and CyberGhost VPN , but Norton Secure VPN still has servers spread out all over the world to help you find a nearby server thats not overcrowded. The majority of Norton Secure VPNs servers are located in Europe, but theyre also present in North, Central, and South America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Australia.

Norton Secure VPN only lets you connect to a country, and not a city . This prevents you from connecting to a specific city that is closer to your location to get faster speeds. For example, I get faster speeds in Romania when Im connected to a server in New York than in Los Angeles. Norton Secure VPN also doesnt display the server load percentage, which shows you how many active users are connected to a server.

One of my biggest complaints with Norton Secure VPN is it doesnt support P2P traffic on any VPN server. If youre looking for a good torrenting VPN, my favorites are ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access.

Norton Secure VPN doesnt have dedicated IP addresses. Dedicated IP addresses are IP addresses that are only assigned to you. If you need a dedicated IP, PrivateVPN offers free dedicated IPs, and Private Internet Access charges a small fee for one.

Norton 360 Customer Support

Getting Started | Norton Secure VPN

Norton offers customer support via telephone, live chat, and email. I really like that Nortons support is available in dozens of different languages, including English, German, Dutch, Turkish, Mandarin, and Arabic. Some of these languages are only available for phone chat during regional business hours, but I was able to live chat with a surprisingly large number of agents in different countries 24 hours a day. By comparison, competitors like BullGuard and Malwarebytes only offer support in a few languages.

My customer service experience with Norton was both good and not good. First, I spoke with a support rep in Bogota, Colombia who was able to access my Norton subscription and add LifeLock to my account when I encountered a bug on the Norton website. The rep was patient, knowledgeable, and helpful this was honestly one of the more positive phone support experiences Ive ever had with an antivirus provider.

However, I also had one of my most annoying customer service experiences a few days later. I was waiting for a live chat operator to help me with my mobile protections, and Nortons chat window issued a loud alert to me every 20-40 seconds, informing me that the ETA of my support person was moving up or down by a couple of minutes. After nearly 20 minutes of this obnoxious ping-ing, Norton closed the chat.

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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.

Reasons To Choose Norton VPN In 2020

Norton VPN is a company that provides you with virtual private connection services. It is popular for its great protection against viruses that can violate your privacy, but in the realm of virtual private networks, Norton has a lot to offer.

This is a great solution for those who want a low cost VPN and also available in several languages. It is very easy to use and has a nice interface.

It guarantees quite viable security features for all of you. They have DNS data theft protection and an automatic disconnection system.

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