Using the App Advisor
The App Advisor module from Norton Security and Antivirus is one of the best app auditing modules we've seen in security apps for Android. It is designed to offer information about the apps you have installed, as well as about the ones you intend to install. For instance, if you open the module, you get lists with the apps you have installed on your Android smartphone or tablet, organized in various categories depending on their level of safety.
Then, a tap on an app will make Norton load a new screen in which you get quite a lot of details about that app's Privacy Risk, Unusual Behaviour and even the Ads Displayed by it.
One other very useful feature offered by the App Advisor is called App Advisor for Google Play. This one checks for possible security or privacy risks in apps, before you download and install them on your Android smartphone or tablet. If enabled, when you are on an app's page from the Play Store , Norton will show a message on the bottom of the screen, letting you know if that app is safe for you to download and install, or not.
One of the things we like most at Norton Security and Antivirus for Android is its App Advisor feature. It's very easy to use and it helps you know if an app is safe before you actually put it on your device.
Using the Call Blocking
If there are people or companies to whom you don't want to talk over the phone, Norton Security and Antivirus makes it easy for you to block their calls. That's the job of a protection module called Call Blocking. What we like most about it is that it lets you see your Call Log directly from the app, so you can have a look at all the phone calls you had recently, and select the people or the phone numbers you want to block.
Of course, you can also automatically block all unknown callers, enter a phone number manually and block calls from it, or select a contact individually if that's what you want. Once phone calls are starting to get blocked, you will be able to see all of them in the Block History section of the Call Blocking module.
We liked how the Call Blocking module from Norton Security and Antivirus works and how easy it was to set up. However, we didn't find any way to block SMS text messages .
Using the Contact Backup
One interesting module included in Norton Security and Antivirus is called Contact Backup. This module lets you backup and restore your contacts details from and on all your mobile device s, whether they're Android smartphones or tablets, iPhones or iPads. It's very easy to use - all it takes is a tap on the upload button and then Norton handles the backup by itself. Plus, you can also schedule automatic backups if you want to, on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
The Contact Backup is certainly an interesting addition to Norton Security and Antivirus. However, if you are using Android devices exclusively, and you have enabled Google's own backup services, this feature won't add much value.
Efficiency, speed and performance impact
The first thing we checked for Norton Security and Antivirus was the toll it took on our smartphone's boot speed. Before installing the security app, our smartphone booted in approximately 38 seconds. Then, after we installed and configured Norton Security and Antivirus , the smartphone increased its boot times by a second, to 39 seconds, which is very little.
Then, we also ran a few tests with the popular benchmarking app Vellamo. We ran these tests before and after installing the Norton Security and Antivirus app, so that we could get a better idea of how much it affects the overall performance of our Nexus 6 smartphone.
In the Multicore tests, which measure the performances of the processor when it uses two or more of its cores, our Nexus 6 saw a decrease of performance of only 1%. That's a very good result.
Then we ran the Metal tests, which measure the performance of the processor when using only one of its cores. This is important for older apps that don't know how to use more cores, and for games which performances depend a lot on single core speed. Fortunately, our Nexus 6 saw almost no negative effect when installing Norton Security and Antivirus on it.
Finally, we also ran Vellamo's Browser tests. These show just how fast your web browsing experience is on a certain device. Our Nexus 6 was about 5% slower after installing Norton Security and Antivirus.
It's always worth to get a look at what others had to say about a security app, so that's why we also checked AV-Test's analysis of Norton Security and Antivirus. They gave Norton's Android app their highest score of 6 points out of 6 both for Protection and Usability.
We also checked AV-Comparatives, but unfortunately, Norton's apps are not found in their testing list.
The benchmarks we ran and the results we measured show that Norton Security and Antivirus has a very small negative impact on your Android device's performance.
Pros and cons
We'd like to mention a few of the things we consider as pros for Norton Security and Antivirus :
- The user interface looks very good and it is also very easy to use and understand;
- The antimalware protection you get is top notch;
- It does a very good job of protecting you while surfing the web;
- It lets you know if an app is safe or not, before you download and install it on your Android smartphone or tablet;
- The anti-theft features are working very well;
- You get a very good app auditing module, that gives you a good insight on the security risks your apps pose;
There are also a few negative aspects about Norton Security and Antivirus :
- It cannot filter the text messages you receive;
- The Safe Search module is good in theory, but we really don't like the fact that it relies on Ask.com to give you search results. Ask.com is a search provider with a bad reputation;
- We couldn't find a setting for controlling the real-time anti-malware engine;
- It doesn't include an app locking feature, although Norton offers a standalone Android app for this purpose.
Norton Security and Antivirus is one of the best security apps for Android that we've tested so far. It does a great job at securing your smartphone or tablet against malware, malicious apps and dangerous websites. The user interface looks very good and it's also very easy to use, so you'll have no problems in configuring everything the way you want it. We also like the implementation of the anti-theft features and although we hope you won't need to use them, it's good to know that they will do their job just like they promised. On the other hand, we feel that Norton Security and Antivirus has sacrificed advanced settings for maximum usability. For instance, you cannot control the real-time scanning engine, and you cannot run custom scans of specific folders. Plus, we don't like that Norton works with Ask.com in order to power its Safe Search module. All things considered, Norton Security and Antivirus is a solid product that does a very good job at protecting your Android devices. It's definitely one of the best choices you can make.