Norton is the leading vendor of security software. Their antivirus probably needs no introduction, but users also respect them for their VPN service. Or, well, a portion does – a loyal userbase that loves them for great features things that are few and far between. The number of users would be greater if the company cared to improve their service in a few crucial areas we’ll point out shortly. But do the pros outweigh the cons, or is the scale tipped to the wrong side? That’s what we’ll tally up at the end and decide. For now, let’s begin our Norton Secure VPN review.
Norton Secure VPN Features
These are some of the key features of Norton Secure VPN:
Headquarters and Log Policy
Norton Secure VPN is based in the United States, member of the Five, Nine, and Fourteen-Eyes Alliances. To make the matter worse, the VPN provider also collects 7 types of data from users:
- Member Information
- Security Data
- Administrative Data
- Provisioning Data
- Diagnostic Information
- Usage and Preference Information
- Third-Party Data
Number of Servers
Norton Secure VPN has 3000+ servers in 30 countries, which is average in terms of sheer numbers. Other VPN providers offer servers in 60-90 countries while HideMyAss VPN has servers in 210+ countries.
Using the auto-connect feature established a connection with a VPN server in our country (Europe), reducing our download speed by 70%. Connecting to their fastest United Kingdom server saw it shrink by about 60%. Finally, we tried their US-based VPN server and saw our download speed decrease by 75%. Needless to say, Norton Secure VPN is among the slowest VPN services. So, look at VPN services with top speed for streaming, gaming, or torrenting.
Does Norton Secure VPN have any leaks?
When we tested our VPN connection with test sites to check a VPN, we found no IPv4, IPv6, DNS, or WebRTC leaks. This is great news for casual users who only need basic privacy and security online.
Data Usage, Bandwidth, and Encryption
Norton Secure VPN offers unlimited bandwidth and unmetered data usage on their servers. Moreover, they encrypt the Internet traffic with a “bank-grade” AES-256-bit encryption.
Unblocking Streaming Services
When we connected to the VPN service, we could only bypass the Netflix block (US) as well as that of UKTV (UK). We couldn’t unblock:
- HBO Max
- BBC iPlayer
- Amazon Prime Video
Security Protocols and Servers in China
Norton Secure VPN supports L2TP/IPsec on iOS devices and OpenVPN (TCP/UDP) on Windows, Android, and macOS. As for, “does Norton Secure VPN work in China?” No, Norton Secure VPN doesn’t work in China.
Additional Features of Norton Secure VPN
To continue our review of Norton Secure VPN, we’ll highlight a few extra features:
Wi-Fi Security and Ad Tracker
Wi-Fi Security warns you whenever you connect to a public Wi-Fi network, ensuring you don’t accidentally leak any data. Ad Tracker is limited to blocking websites from tracking your browsing, not ads themselves.
Kill Switch and Split Tunneling
Norton Secure VPN has Kill Switch, which will block your Internet traffic if your VPN connection fails, and reinstate it when it returns. But it only works on Android smartphones. Likewise, their Split Tunnel feature allows selecting which apps or websites remain connected to the VPN and which use your regular Internet connection but only works on Windows.
Lack of P2P support
The VPN provider is strictly against torrent use, regardless of the server you connect to. Opening a torrent client or detecting P2P traffic results in a warning message.
Norton Secure VPN Installation and User Interface
The installation and setup process of Norton Secure VPN took about 30 minutes, largely because it’s not a standalone app. Instead, it’s part of a 5-software security package, Norton 360, which took 10 minutes to install. Then, we had to restart our computer manually, then spend 5 minutes granting app permissions. Finally, we had to run a full system scan before we could start using a VPN, took us 15 minutes, but could stretch into hours. After the apps and software are up and running, they are user-friendly and easy to navigate. The only downside is that you can’t choose a VPN server to connect to, only the country.
Norton Secure VPN is only compatible with Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS. There’s no Linux app, nor can you use the VPN service on routers, consoles, or mobile streaming devices. Also, there are no browser extensions available.
Norton Secure VPN Pricing
Norton Secure VPN offers a 7-day free trial, which is standard nowadays, as well as a 60-day money refund guarantee, albeit with annual memberships only. This beat CyberGhost VPN‘s 45-day money-back guarantee, renowned for being among the longest. Wit, the price of Norton Secure VPN is based on the number of simultaneous VPN connections:
- 1 device – $4.99 monthly, $39.99 annually with a $10 coupon ($49.99 regularly)
- 5 devices – $7.99 monthly, $39.99 annually with a $40 coupon ($79.99 regularly)
- 10 devices – $9.99 monthly, $59.99 annually with $40 off ($99.99 regularly)
How does Norton Secure VPN price compare?
The short-term plans are a tad more expensive than affordable VPN providers such as NordVPN and Private Internet Access. In contrast, this VPN service is much cheaper than those on the expensive side, such as ExpressVPN. However, all 3 VPN providers are a couple of notches above in every aspect.
- 3000+ servers in 30 VPN locations
- User-friendly apps
- 60-day money-back guarantee on an annual plan
- 7-day free trial
- Built-in Ad Tracker blocker feature
- “Bank-grade” 256-bit AES encryption
- Flexible plans – 1, 5, or 10 concurrent VPN connections
- Extremely slow speed
- Bad for streaming, only unblocks UKTV and Netflix
- Doesn’t permit torrenting
- Based in the US, part of the 5, 9, and 14-Eyes Alliances
- Collects 7 types of user information
- Doesn’t work in China
- Doesn’t support cryptocurrency
- Only works on Windows, iOS, Mac, and Android
- Kill Switch only works on Android
- Split Tunnel only works on Windows
- Limited security protocol selection
- Not standalone – part of Norton 360 package
- Slow, non-specialized Customer Support
To conclude our review of Norton Secure VPN, we can only say that, if we weren’t testing it, we would have moved on in minutes, even seconds. The installation is unnecessarily complicated, long, and acts as bloatware. The service excels in almost nothing except server base and a 60-day money-return policy. We guess you’ll end up using the latter too. The only other positive feature is phone-based Norton Customer Support. However, it’s exclusive to the United States and for all Norton products. So, you’ll hear from sales agents, not technical support agents.
Norton Secure VPN Review
Norton Secure VPN is a mediocre VPN service for those who just want to secure their internet connection.