Norton Secure VPN review: Why we don’t recommend this familiar brand’s VPN

There are several more familiar names in information protection than Norton and LifeLock. Extensive known for their competitive antivirus protection and skill to adapt to an ever-transforming protection marketplace, a virtual private community from NortonLifeLock appears promising at the outset. But with constrained server choices and a several dealbreaker protection troubles, it is really obvious that the Norton Secure VPN still has some get the job done to do before it can meet up with the substantial criteria set by its sibling protection products and solutions.  

Norton Secure VPN still has to to acquire its protection and server community. I’d endorse holding out before signing up to this provider. In the meantime, check out our record of the best VPN services of 2020.

Norton Secure VPN

Linus Strandholm/EyeEm/Getty Illustrations or photos

Pace

  • Common pace reduction: fifty seven{394cb916d3e8c50723a7ff83328825b5c7d74cb046532de54bc18278d633572f}
  • Amount of servers: one,five hundred (one,two hundred virtual)
  • Amount of server areas: 29 countries, seventy three towns
  • Amount of IP addresses: one,800-additionally

Norton does not publicly publish its server count on its site, but at past count there had been one,five hundred servers.

I ran my pace exams in excess of the training course of 3 days, in two areas, utilizing the two wi-fi and Ethernet connections — a person area supplied slower broadband speeds, and the other supplied better speeds through fiber-optic online. Net speeds in the US vary commonly by state and supplier. And with any pace examination, results are heading to depend on your regional infrastructure, with hyperfast online provider yielding better examination pace results. 

That is a person rationale I’m more interested in tests the total of pace missing (which for most VPNs is normally 50 {394cb916d3e8c50723a7ff83328825b5c7d74cb046532de54bc18278d633572f} or more) throughout the two substantial-pace and slower connection styles, and in utilizing tools like speedtest.net to even out the participating in subject. General, Norton’s speeds are on par with other midtier VPNs, accomplishing only about 43{394cb916d3e8c50723a7ff83328825b5c7d74cb046532de54bc18278d633572f} of the regular 187Mbps pace reached on a 1Gbps-able fiber connection throughout tests, although still keeping an regular of all-around 81Mbps globally. 

Unlike many other VPNs, Norton does not let you to select the metropolis you connect to — only the country. Norton’s Hong Kong servers dragged down overall pace scores, averaging just 6Mbps. So if you might be seeking for a VPN to use although touring in China, you may well want to look at a distinctive alternative. Australian servers carried out marginally superior, averaging all-around 50Mbps. 

Mainland European scores could have been superior, crossing the end line with a 78Mbps regular, as French servers outperformed German ones. And although US servers landed a disappointing 92Mbps regular, Uk servers shone with a 181Mbps regular. The inconsistency in connection speeds and load occasions could be starkly enhanced by allowing you to select the metropolis you connect to. US speeds, in particular, could be enhanced if you could select which coastline to connect to. 

Browse more: ExpressVPN evaluate: A VPN pace chief with a secure status

Stability and privacy

  • Jurisdiction: US 
  • Encryption: AES-256
  • Leaks: IPv6, DNS
  • No destroy switch 

Along with metropolis-precise server selection, publicly disclosing more information about its servers would also considerably make improvements to Norton’s protection choices. To that stop, a Norton spokesperson told CNET again in September 2019 (before Symantec bought Norton that November) that new protection assessments had been on the way.

“Symantec worked with (intercontinental auditing organization) RSM to carry out a third-occasion privacy evaluation of Norton Secure VPN that is in the method of becoming finalized,” the spokesperson said. 

Norton delivers what it calls bank-quality encryption, normal AES-256. The business delivers no destroy swap, which would protect against community details from leaking exterior of their secure VPN tunnel in the occasion the VPN connection fails. A lack of destroy swap I’d usually look at a deal breaker. 

Norton did not mask my IPv6 address, and I observed numerous DNS leaks throughout tests with IPLeak.net. These leaks disclose person-determining details, which compromise your area privacy. Whilst Norton describes itself as a no-log VPN supplier, it does depth its about collection of utilization details in its privacy plan, which incorporates “short term Utilization Information to aid with debugging a issue with the provider.” Norton told CNET it has no designs to cease logging this details. 

“NortonLifeLock is fully commited to assisting consumers defend their on the internet privacy. On studying of the problem flagged throughout the evaluate, we vigorously analyzed Norton Secure VPN on all major working programs and had been not able to replicate the alleged details leakage. Norton Secure VPN seems to be performing effectively to enable defend our customers’ on the internet privacy as made,” a Norton spokesperson said in an email to CNET. 

Norton Secure VPN does supply a streamlined advertisement-tracking blocker element inside the app. While you cannot customise it, it worked like a attraction with each tests gadget I tried using. 

Browse more: The best VPN services for 2020

Cost 

  • Usability: Incredibly very simple
  • Platforms: Home windows, Android, Mac, iOS 
  • Cost: ten-gadget annual approach for $60
  • Amount of simultaneous connections: Strategies readily available for one, 5 or ten devices

Norton’s inability to defeat geoblocking as described higher than is also the possible rationale we had difficulty accessing country-precise catalogues for streaming services these kinds of as Netflix. Norton also does not help torrenting or peer-to-peer networks. If you might be seeking for a VPN that will let you to obtain your standard media subscriptions although travelling, we endorse trying to find a distinctive VPN for now. 

Norton Secure VPN is only readily available on the four major platforms — Home windows, Android, Mac and iOS. The quantity of devices you can use concurrently — possibly a person, five or ten — is dependent on which approach you decide for. The least pricey approach is the $5 regular approach, which allows only a person gadget at a time. The most pricey is the ten-gadget annual approach for $60. 

These price ranges are better than predicted, offered the VPN’s constrained abilities. Meanwhile, major gamers in the VPN sphere are receiving more aggressive with pricing. IPVanish delivers comparable speeds and endless simultaneous connections for $seventy eight yearly, and NordVPN is featuring a sixty eight{394cb916d3e8c50723a7ff83328825b5c7d74cb046532de54bc18278d633572f} off deal that places its two-calendar year approach at $89.

You can spend Norton by possibly credit rating card or PayPal, but not through cryptocurrency at this time. Norton does supply a 60-day funds-again ensure, but that supply is solely reserved for annual subscribers and not regular subscribers. Norton also delivers a 7-day trial. 

Browse more: NordVPN evaluate: Nevertheless the best value for protection and pace

Norton Secure VPN.

Correction, one:08 p.m.: This post has been updated to reflect that Norton has partnered with LifeLock.

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