Security for everyone - Reviewing Norton Security Premium

3 out of 5 stars

Norton is a brand with a very long history and a strong reputation on the security market. As 2017 is getting nearer, we wanted to see what their latest complete security suite looks like, as well as to check how efficient it is in protecting its users from modern day cyber threats. Over the last week, we used and tested Norton Security Premium , and now we’d like to share with you everything we liked and didn’t like about it. If you want to have a better idea and a clearer understanding of just how good Norton Security Premium is, read this review:

The download and installation experience

In order to get Norton Security Premium on your Windows computer, you will start by downloading it from Norton’s website. You will download a small executable file called NSPremiumDownloader.exe , with a size of just 1.04MB.

The install wizard will then download 157.29MB of files needed to install the security suite on your computer. Once the download is done, you must choose whether you want to join Norton Community Watch , so that the security suite will be able to automatically send security threat information to Symantec. This is something we recommend you enable because it will help Norton react faster and better to cyberthreats.

The installation should take its course and it should be done in a minute or two. Unfortunately, that is not what happened on our test laptop. We were stuck with the error message you can see in the screenshot below. What’s even worse is that the message we got from Norton didn’t help us understand why the installation had halted. It just said “Try again later”.

After more than a few reboots and several tries, we managed to get rid of this error. Then, in order to activate the trial version of Norton Security Premium , we had to provide them with an email address, a password, a name, a phone number, and the country we live in.

Once we managed to activate a trial license, the installation was done and the user interface was loaded. And we were in a bit of surprise: the virus definitions database was more than a month old.

Seeing that the security suite doesn’t trigger an automatic update of its virus database, after 10 minutes or so, we started a manual update. Which meant that we had to download another 77.44MB of files from Norton .

Downloading Norton Security Premium is simple, but installing the security suite might be a challenge because of the unknown errors that you may encounter. We, at least, seem to have started on the wrong foot here.

Integration with Windows, web browsers and universal Windows platform apps

Norton Security Premium is a security product that integrates nicely with Windows 10 and its features. For starters, the security suite automatically disables Windows Firewall and Windows Defender during its installation. This is a positive because it eliminates the possible conflicts and performance issues that could arise when running two similar security products at the same time. Norton is also working very well when it comes to the networking features offered by Windows. We could create and join a Homegroup without any problems, we could share stuff over the local network, and we were able to download, install and use universal Windows platform apps without being negatively affected by Norton Security Premium.

We appreciated that Norton is able to automatically detect the profile you set in Windows for the network connections that you are using and adjust its firewall protection accordingly.

In terms of web protection, Norton Security Premium doesn’t filter all the internet traffic like other similar security products do. Instead, it offers a web browser extension that monitors the websites you visit and alerts you when malicious code is detected. Unfortunately, the Norton Security Toolbar works only in Google Chrome and in Mozilla Firefox. If you’re using Microsoft Edge, Opera or any other web browser, you won’t get any web protection from Norton Security Premium , which is bad.

One other important thing to consider in terms of integration with Windows is the amount of RAM memory that’s required by the security suite to run all its processes. Fortunately, Norton Security Premium seems to be a lightweight product - on our test laptop, it consumed only 160MB on average, even when antivirus scans were running. Another positive is that all the processes are protected against unwanted termination, so nasty viruses will have a hard time disabling this security suite.

If speed is your concern, you should know that Norton Security Premium doesn’t negatively affect your computer’s performance. We used BootRacer to measure the boot times of our test laptop, and we also used PCMark 8 to run its Home accelerated series of benchmarks, before and after installing Norton Security Premium on our test computer. The results we got were almost the same both for the boot times we measured and for the overall performance benchmarks.

Norton Security Premium is a security product that integrates well with Windows 10 and its features. We like the fact that it does not seem to have any negative effect on our computer’s performance, but we don’t like that it only protects you when browsing the web if you use Chrome or Firefox. Other browsers are not protected.

Ease of use & configuration

The user interface offered by Norton Security Premium has the same design we’ve seen in the past: nice colors, a good structure and lots of switches and large buttons, so that it’s easy to use on touch screens too. The main console is split into two large sections. The one below is made of large tiles that give you access to the most important sections/features of the security suite, while the top of the window shows you a few details related to the section you selected on the bottom. The default section/feature is Security and it shows you if You Are Protected or not.

If you’ll dive into the settings offered by the suite for a certain section, you’ll see the switches we mentioned above. They are very easy to use and it’s obvious that Norton has hired some very good user interface designers to be able to do that.

Norton Security Premium’s settings generally use a common language that any user, experienced or beginner, can understand. However, if you can’t grasp what some settings do, look for a small question mark on their right side. Clicking or tapping on that icon will open a web browser and give you all the information you need. And, if you need even more help and/or support, there’s also a Help Center that you can access anytime you want.

Norton Security Premium also lets you know when something important is taking place on your computer. However, the notifications you get seem to be related mostly to the antivirus engine - we didn’t get any alert from the firewall for instance.

If you like statistics and reports, you’ll be happy to know that Norton Security Premium is also providing you with logs that are both detailed and easy to understand. Plus, you also get a really nice looking 30-day report of what Norton did to protect you.

Norton Security Premium is a security product that looks good and is also very easy to use and understand. We especially appreciate the way its user interface is structured and the fact that it’s easy to use on touchscreens too.

Go to the next page of this review and learn how effective Norton is in protecting your computer from network attacks and malware. You will also see our final verdict for this product.