|Company Location||California, USA|
|Integrated Network Kill Switch||No|
|Number of Servers||3,000 in 30 countries|
|Platforms||Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android|
|Number of Devices||10|
|Refund Policy||60 days|
|Minimum Term||1 Month|
Strengths of Norton Secure VPN
- Norton Secure VPN has a low monthly premium, especially with long-term plans
- Supports up to 10 devices simultaneously
- Integrated with other Norton Security products
- Includes ad-tracker blocking
- 60-day, money-back guarantee
- Straightforward UI
Weaknesses of Norton Secure VPN
- Limited server locations
- Slow connection speeds
- No kill switch
- Limited access to streaming services
Norton is a brand that is synonymous with security. As part of its suite of online security products, Norton has added a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Currently, Norton Secure VPN is one of the most cost-effective and user-friendly VPN’s on the market. Today, we will take a hands-on look at the five-device Norton Secure VPN with Lifelock Account, which currently costs $7.99 per month.
Norton Secure VPN’s Essential Features
Norton Secure VPN works with the majority of computer and mobile platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices. However, you cannot currently install the Norton Secure VPN on your router to have whole-home VPN security. Fortunately, Norton gives you the ability to use its VPN on up to 10 devices simultaneously, which is more than enough for most households.
Norton Secure VPN has servers in 30 countries on six different continents. So, even if you live in a rural area, there’s a good chance that you can make use of Norton’s VPN and maintain a stable connection. In addition to the standard security features like AES-256 encryption and IP masking, Norton Secure VPN offers a built-in blocker for ad trackers. This means that companies cannot track your web browsing habits to serve you targeted ads while you’re using the VPN.
Norton Secure VPN’s Pricing
One of the biggest advantages of Norton Secure VPN is its affordable, easy-to-understand pricing structure. You can opt for either monthly or yearly plans on one, five, or 10 devices:
|VPN Term Length||Number of Devices||Price Per Month||Total Price||Refund Policy|
|1 Year||1||$3.33||$39.99||60-day, money- back guarantee|
|1 Year||5||$3.33||$39.99||60-day, money-back guarantee|
|1 Year||10||$4.99||$59.99||60-day, money-back guarantee|
Norton Secure VPN has affordable pricing, especially if you’re willing to sign up for a year in advance. Not only do annual plans give you a discount from the standard monthly price, but they also come with a 60-day, money-back guarantee. So, even if you sign up for a yearlong plan and later decide that you don’t want it, you can still get your money back within the first 60 days.
It’s also important to note that there is no price difference between the annual plan with one device and the annual plan with five devices. This means that you might as well upgrade to the plan that allows for more devices. However, keep in mind that the annual prices shown above are only applicable for the first year. If you want to continue using the Norton Secure VPN for more than one year, your premiums will go up to $49.99 (one device), $79.99 (five devices), or $99.99 (10 devices) per year, respectively.
If you want other products offered by Norton, you could potentially save money by getting your VPN as part of the Norton 360 suite. There are many different versions of Norton 360 with varied pricing, but the most affordable plan is Norton 360 Standard, which costs $7.99 per month or $84.99 per year. This plan comes with malware protection for one device, 10 GB of cloud backup storage, and the Norton Secure VPN.
Norton Secure VPN’s Encryption Protocols
Norton Secure VPN uses the OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec protocols. Unlike some VPNs that allow users to control the types of encryption protocols, Norton Secure VPN keeps things simple. When the VPN is off, you don’t have any kind of encryption protection; when it’s on, you get industry-standard AES-256 encryption.
As a result, Norton Secure VPN may not be the best option for users who want to manage their own security and privacy. You can rest assured that your location and browsing remain private while using Norton Secure VPN. However, you don’t have control over the kind of protocols used to encrypt data or protect your privacy.
Norton Secure VPN’s User Experience
Once you sign up for a Norton Secure VPN subscription, you can get it up and running on a Mac (or PC) computer within minutes. The setup is straightforward and the interface is very easy to use, albeit somewhat sparse. When you open up the VPN, you’ll see three tabs: Secure VPN, Virtual Location, and Ad Tracking.
The Secure VPN tab shows your current location (approximately) when the VPN is turned off, as well as your virtual location when the VPN is turned on. This tab is the primary way for you to see if and when the VPN is functioning properly.
The Virtual Location tab also shows your virtual location (obviously) and all of the locations that you can select from. To secure the fastest connection, you can enable the auto-select feature.
Finally, the Ad Tracking tab allows you to manually enable or disable the built-in ad-tracking blocker. Additionally, you can see how many ad trackers the software has blocked over the last week, the last 30 days, or since the beginning of your subscription.
As previously mentioned, Norton Secure VPN is pretty sparse in its features. However, this may be a bonus for users who just want a simple VPN for privacy and security.
Norton Secure VPN’s User Privacy
Fortunately, Norton Secure VPN has a strict no-log policy. This means that Norton will not save or store any of your private browsing data for internal use. In other words, Norton Secure VPN keeps you safe from everyone — including Norton.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that Norton is the best option on the market for privacy. The lack of a kill switch means that, if your connection suddenly drops and the VPN is unable to connect, your network is no longer protected. Most VPNs use a kill switch to make sure that your connection is completely cut off until the VPN is restored, but Norton Secure VPN does not give users this option.
Norton is generally a reliable brand when it comes to online safety, but it is not without fault. In 2012, Norton admitted to a security breach that involved the theft of the software’s source code. It took Norton six years to admit to the incident, leaving many consumers in doubt about their trustworthiness. That said, Norton has not had any major security breaches since then.
Norton Secure VPN Review for the Android
Once you download Norton Secure, it will ask for permission to connect to the VPN. After confirmation, it will take you directly to the screen to turn Norton Secure on.
While exploring the app, it was nice to see that the drop-down menu included support and help tabs. I could also add a device and reach settings from the drop-down menu.
Norton Secure’s settings were straight to the point. I could turn the kill switch and split tunneling on and off. I also appreciated the ad tracker feature, which blocks ads, trackers, and other malicious content.
The server locations didn’t have a search tool, but there weren’t many to scroll through, anyway. You can either choose which server you want to connect to or pick the auto-select option, which will connect you to the server with optimum performance.
My download and upload speeds decreased between 18-49 percent, but it didn’t affect my regular internet browsing or my ability to watch clips on YouTube.
|Download Speed||Upload Speed|
|No VPN||82.19 Mbps||34.01 Mbps|
|With Norton Secure||41.66 Mbps||27.78 Mbps|
I also tried Amazon Prime, but was unsuccessful even with split tunneling. When trying to play videos on Prime, I repeatedly received a VPN error message.
Norton Secure has a simple-to-use app that’s best for those who don’t want a complex layout and want their VPN to work with as few changes as necessary. However, if you plan on using your phone to stream videos from Hulu, Amazon Prime, or other subscription services, be sure to check which services work.
Norton Secure VPN Review for the iPhone and iPad
Norton Secure VPN for iOS is largely underwhelming when it comes to the design and feel of the app; thankfully, the performance is more than satisfying. Before we analyze the performance, let’s take a look at how Norton Secure VPN looks on an iPhone or iPad.
After downloading and logging into your app, this is the screen you will see:
As you can see, the app interface is plain and lacks any kind of design. While it might not be very attractive, connecting to Norton’s VPN is as simple as clicking “turn on VPN.”
Once you do so, you will automatically be connected to a nearby server.
If you want to manually change your location, you can do so by going to the next tab and choosing a different country. Unfortunately, Norton Secure VPN on iOS does not allow you to choose a specific city; instead, it cycles through servers in the country of your choice, seemingly at random.
Below, you can see the location tab.
While the app lacks a modern design and is a little overly simple, the performance was extremely satisfying when it came to the app’s effect on your internet speeds. While most VPNs slow your internet speeds dramatically, Norton Secure VPN hardly affected my speeds at all. In fact, my download speeds were faster while connected to Norton’s VPN for iOS every time I tested my speeds.
|Download Speed||Upload Speed|
|No VPN||119.25 Mbps||30.20 Mbps|
|With Norton Secure VPN||120.54 Mbps||22.67 Mbps|
As you can see in the speed test above, my upload speed was slowed a little bit, but my download speed was largely unaffected.
Another awesome feature that Norton Secure VPN offers on iPhone and iPad is an ad tracker blocker. Not only does it block ad tracking while you surf the web, it actually tells you how many ad trackers are blocked on a weekly basis. After using Norton’s VPN on my iPhone for just a couple of hours, it blocked 13 ad trackers for me.
Overall, Norton Secure VPN was very easy to use, lightweight, and extremely fast on iOS. However, the lack of modern design and lack of ability to change my location by city was disappointing.
Norton Secure VPN’s Streaming Test
When it comes to streaming content from anywhere in the world, Norton Secure VPN is hit and miss. Norton’s VPN utilizes shared servers, which means that when you connect to a given location, you are using the same IP address as others connecting to the same location. Many streaming platforms block these kinds of IP addresses from accessing their platforms.
Norton Secure VPN worked with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video for me, but it did not work with Hulu or Disney Plus. This means that if you want to use a VPN to stream content from anywhere in the world, you may get mixed results with Norton Secure VPN.
Norton Secure VPN Speed Tests
Norton does not compete well with other VPNs when it comes to speed. For example, here is a speed test using ExpressVPN on a home network:
Alternatively, here is a speed test conducted while using Norton Secure VPN on the same network:
Finally, here is a speed test from the same network without any VPN:
Let’s look at this data more closely to see what it actually means:
|VPN Type||Download Difference||Upload Difference||Latency|
|No VPN||30.2 Mbps||2.74 Mbps||249 ms|
|ExpressVPN||29.14% decrease||56.9% decrease||0 ms|
|Norton VPN||50.7% decrease||94.5% decrease||165 ms|
When you look at the numbers side by side, it’s clear that VPNs can reduce connection speeds. ExpressVPN resulted in approximately 30 percent slower download speeds and 57 percent slower upload speeds. Conversely, Norton VPN slowed down the connection much more — roughly 50 percent (download) and 94 percent (upload).
Surprisingly, both VPNs resulted in better latency, with ExpressVPN recording latency of 0 ms. This means that these VPNs could be a good choice for gamers, as low latency can help reduce lagging. In any case, while speeds were significantly slower with both VPNs, ExpressVPN performed much better than Norton Secure VPN.
Summing Up: Is Norton Secure VPN for You?
Norton Secure VPN is not the fastest VPN on the market, nor does it offer the most features. However, it’s simple interface and worldwide server locations makes it a solid option for people who just want an easy-to-use VPN service. Moreover, if you’re looking to bundle your VPN with other products, the Norton 360 suite offers you the ability to protect your network on multiple fronts with a VPN, cloud backup storage, and antivirus software.
Since Norton VPN is priced competitively, it’s also a great option for budget-conscious shoppers. Even if you just want to go with a short-term plan, you can get Norton Secure VPN for as little as $4.99 per month. So, while Norton Secure VPN may not be the best VPN for streamers or those who need a fast connection, it’s a reliable, cost-effective, and secure VPN that is easy to get up and running.