norton secure vpn review
Norton VPN by Symantec

Norton Secure VPN comes from a well-known cyber-security giant Symantec

The Symantec enterprise has developed numerous products but the most popular is undoubtedly Norton Anti-Virus software. This antivirus has been out there since 1991. Since 1991!

And just recently Norton product line got the newest addition – Secure VPN. Expectations for this VPN are high.

Symantec has huge development teams and cybersecurity expertise. Well, they are in the business for almost 30 years!

Is Norton VPN secure & private? Should you buy it? Let’s get to the review.

For the busy ones, here are the features & benefits summarized:

FeatureAnswer
Logging policySome logging
LocationUnited States
Encryption protocolsAES 256-bit encryption; OpenVPN
TorrentingNot Allowed
Customer supportEmail, Chat, FAQ
Unblocks US Netflix?Yes
Money-back guarantee?Yes, 30 days
Option to pay in cryptocurrencies?No
Cost$3.99/mo
Websitenorton.com

What is Norton VPN?

At the initial launch, the product was called Norton WiFi Privacy by Symantec. The way this VPN is marketed is basically saying it will secure your connection using public Wi-Fi. 

Again, Norton VPN works the same principle as other VPN products.

To be honest, it even has a lower level of security since even an automatic kill switch does not exist. This can be explained since VPN is not the focus for Norton – it was and still is their main home product – Norton Anti Virus. 

Norton VPN is available on most platforms: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS – no surprise here.

Norton VPN servers & features

A quick history of Norton Secure VPN infrastructure. So Symantec, back in 2017, bought Canada-based VPN company SurfEasy. SurfEasy was developed by Opera – better know by its browser than VPN. 

There is no surprise that Norton Secure VPN uses the same infrastructure as SurfEasy. Meaning that Norton has the same amount of servers & countries available – 29. 

Privacy, security & jurisdiction

Symantec is based in the United States, SurfEasy is from Canda. So you better assume that Norton VPN falls into both jurisdictions. 

Both of them are members of the 5-eye alliance. And this is not good if you are concerned about your privacy. 

This allows governments and other alliance members to access your browsing history and logs. Not funny! 

So if you prefer to have a completely private connection – you should skip this VPN.

As for logging policy, Norton claims to store no logs of your browsing. But there are no external confirmation from audit firms or courts of this claim. 

Norton Secure VPN uses industry-standard OpenVPN protocol to make requests. It also uses the best in the game AES 256-bit encryption. This is actually great, you should no longer worry when connecting to public Wi-Fi.

Just once again, Norton did not implement automatic kill-switch. Lack of this feature makes you vulnerable in case the internet connection suddenly drops!

App & ease of use

To be honest, it was a bit difficult to find Norton Secure VPN download link. Even on Google, at first, there were Anti Virus results and links. Not VPN. It’s clear that Norton VPN is just an addition to the cybersecurity suite rather than the main player. 

After the download, installation if straightforward – no issues here. App itself is easy to use, it connects to the server right after the app is turned on. Great! Even though VPNs are very complex technically, this should not make life hard for the user!

norton vpn app

And there are no problems here. Norton has a great application, the country selection is smooth. Worth to note that you can’t choose a particular city or server. This is not a big deal, yet some advanced users will miss that. 

How fast if Norton Secure VPN?

ServerUKUSNetherlands
No VPN174.2 Mbps38.1 Mbps201.2 Mbps
Norton Secure VPN97.8 Mbps2.4 Mbps88.6 Mbps

Norton Secure VPN performs great in Europe. Not so good in the United States.

Let’s get into more details.

So we’ve run multiple speed tests using speedtest.net. Without a VPN, we got 174.2 Mbps in London, UK. Once Norton was turned on, download speed dropped to 97.8 Mbps which is a 44% drop.

The difference with the Netherlands server was also similar – we averaged 201.2 Mbps download speed w/o the VPN. With a secure connection, we got 88.6 Mbps. Speed drop is equal to 56%. 

It’s a big drop but in the real world – you barely notice the difference. For casual browsing, Norton speeds in Europe are just fine.

But not in the United States.

When connected to the US server, we only got 2.4 Mbps download speed. Without Norton, we got 38.1 Mbps. Quick math shows us speed drop of 162%. Not good. Even when browsing, you can clearly see the speed decrease.

Netflix & Torrenting

We all love Netflix. But if you are not in the United States – your library is limited. That’s where VPNs bring extra benefits. When connected to the US server, you are able to access American Netflix.

But not every VPN is capable of tackling this. The good news is that Norton Secure VPN unlocks US Netflix. 

When we did our tests, we were able to stream American Netflix with Norton. But sometimes, speeds were not high enough to stream HD. Buffering often takes too much time. 

If unlocking Netflix is essential for you – you might look at alternative VPNs like NordVPN instead.

But of course, streaming is just one way to watch content. VPN users also download content by using torrents. 

Unfortunately, Norton Secure VPN does not allow torrenting. 

torrents do not work with norton

Again, this VPN is more of a beginner level product and lacks many premium features.

How much Norton VPN costs? 

Simply put, Norton Secure VPN is cheap. Or at least, cheaper than premium VPN apps. Price is one of the main factors when choosing a solution to secure your connection. 

Single connection, one-year subscription of Norton VPN is priced at 39.99 USD. But this is the price just for the first year. Keep this in mind.

If you want 5 connections, this will cost you 39.99 USD. Pricing on their website is a bit complex. Because they are showing just the pricing for the first year. After one year, the price for 5 connections jumps to 79.99 USD. 

Very cheap VPN provider but pricing is not transparent.

Verdict

Norton Secure VPN by Symantec should not be compared to leading VPNs. At least not today.

It lacks features like automatic kill-switch, the country selection is very poor – only 29 locations. 

Despite this, Norton is not available on routers or Linux systems. This makes this VPN suitable only for amateur users. 

Yes, your connection is secured with AES-256 bit encryption. But you are looking at a company which is a member of the 5-eyes alliance. Again, most advanced users do not appreciate this.

Performance in Europe is great – thumbs up here! The US speeds are rather low making it not useable with streaming services like Netflix. Even though it passes the geo-restriction.

The greatest selling point of Norton Secure VPN is that it comes from very well-know Anti-Virus software. I’m sure that most of the Norton VPN users are their Anti-Virus users who got VPN as the addition to their cybersecurity package.

Another selling point of Norton VPN is price – it is cheap indeed. 

Our suggestion is to invest in a more reliable solution and avoid Norton Secure VPN. For now, at least. 

Norton’s VPN is just too basic.

If you have a tight budget and do not want to invest heavily in a VPN – it’s fine. Much better options for the buck are SurfShark or CyberGhost VPN. They both are priced reasonably at 1.99 & 3.29 USD

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