Norton VPN Review 2023
- Multi-Hop VPN Technology
- Chat support in 14 languages
- 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans
- No browser extensions
Norton is a leading antivirus and security software company based in the United States. Norton Secure VPN is one of its many product offerings, along with antivirus protection, identity theft protection, and more.
Norton Secure VPN has over 3,000 servers across 73 cities in 31 countries and allows up to 10 simultaneous connections. Most of its servers are concentrated in Europe. Norton recently updated its offerings under its flagship VPN product. Let’s take a closer look at all it provides users now.
Norton VPN review – Speed
Norton’s server speeds in the United States are pretty reliable and fast. They’re better than some of the most well-reviewed products on the market. But while it provides excellent speeds over long-distance connections, the short-distance connections were simply average in our test.
One drawback of this VPN is the lack of city-level server locations. This means you can’t cycle between servers and will have to wait until it restores functionality.
Norton VPN review – Features
Norton has all the essential features for a VPN provider, but their performance is average in comparison to products like NordVPN or ExpressVPN. Here are some of the offerings from Norton VPN:
- Kill switch
- Split tunneling
- Ad and tracker blocking
Norton Secure VPN only provides partial torrenting services from a server in the Netherlands. It also logs your IP address, so the privacy isn’t full-proof.
The P2P download speeds are pretty fast, though. And the closer you are to the Netherlands server, the faster the torrenting speeds.
Norton’s VPN allows secure access to streaming content from Netflix and Hulu’s U.S. content libraries and UK’s BBC iPlayer, ALL 4, and ITV Hub. It also works with streaming platforms like Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, and YouTube.
However, we experienced some errors when we tried streaming content from platforms like Disney+, Apple TV Plus, and some smaller companies. It turns out Norton VPN doesn’t stream content from these providers and international Netflix regions either.
Norton just added a kill switch feature with its latest update. The switch works as intended and shuts down your internet access when reconnecting to the internet or switching servers. However, this feature is only available for Android and Windows devices.
With split tunneling, you can easily anonymize sensitive data while still accessing local networks.
At the moment, Norton only provides split tunneling for Windows and Android devices.
Multi-hop is another new feature from Norton. It makes it harder for trackers to trace your connection by routing it through multiple servers.
The only drawback here is accessing certain routers, as it depends on your location and distance from said routers.
Ad and Tracker Blocking
The ad and tracker blocking feature partially prevents websites from monitoring your activity and following you as you browse the web. It is included in all of Norton’s VPN apps.
Dynamic IP addresses
Norton changes your IP address every time you log on, making it harder for third parties to track your online activities.
Norton protects your information and masks your activities from mobile carriers, ISPs, and hackers when you’re on unsecured or compromised Wi-Fi networks.
This feature allows you to connect to your favorite apps and websites safely from home and outdoors.
Norton Secure VPN review – Pricing
Norton only has one package with three different device capacities available as monthly or yearly subscriptions. You can also get the same features of the Secure VPN plan with all of Norton’s 360 subscriptions.
The annual Secure VPN plan is currently available for a 40% to 66% discount for the first year.
Norton’s starting plan supports VPN coverage for a single device. This plan is priced at $29.99 for the first year and $49.99 for the following year. A shorter monthly subscription is also available at $4.99 per month.
With coverage for up to five devices, the mid-tier Norton VPN plan is $7.99 for the monthly subscription. The annual plan costs $39.99 per year with the discount and $79.99 thereon. For the purpose of our pricing comparison, as most VPN products offer at least 5 simultaneous connections, we chose to compare the pricing of this package @ $2.49/m. For comparison, UltraVPN offers 10 simultaneous to their VPN product @ $1.99/m for their 2 year package.
For a premium ten-device coverage, users pay $9.99 for the monthly plan. The discounted yearly plan costs $59.99 for the first year and $99.99 from the second year onward.
You can pay for your Norton VPN subscription using your debit, credit card, or Paypal. Some users may find this limiting, as some VPN providers now accept crypto payments.
Note: The monthly payment option isn’t available in the UK. Those in the area can only sign up with annual membership subscriptions.
Norton also offers a quick and easy refund service and a 60-day money-back guarantee on its annual plans. If you’re fine with a short but free trial offer, you can get it from their Android or iOS app.
Norton Secure VPN review – Ease of use
Norton Secure VPN has a very simple and easy-to-use interface with few frills or fancy designs that distract from its functionality. All apps are easy to navigate for all kinds of users and experience levels.
The number of features and functionalities is relatively limited, so configuring the app’s settings is easy.
However, we did find the iOS app to have more tabs than necessary.
Norton Secure VPN review – Supported OS and devices
Norton’s VPN service is available on iOS, Windows, macOS, and Android devices. Note that it has limited functionality (no split tunneling) on iOS and macOS.
Norton VPN cannot be installed on routers and cannot be used on Fire TV or Linux.
And because Norton doesn’t provide Smart DNS functionality, you won’t be able to stream geo-blocked content on devices that don’t support VPNs (such as Smart TVs). Norton does not have browser extensions for Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.
Norton Secure VPN review – Security and encryption
Norton has improved its security and encryption features. It no longer suffers from DNS or IP address leaks. The new kill switch function is a fantastic addition and works adequately for added protection.
Norton VPN uses the WireGuard protocol for desktop connections and IKEv2/IPSec protocol for mobile connections. There’s no option to choose what your device will use, which is a considerable disadvantage.
It uses AES-256 and ChaCha20 encryption, which are the bank-grade encryption for most VPNs now. Norton’s offerings may be problematic for users looking for complete privacy. It still logs information such as IP addresses, geolocation, aggregate bandwidth usage, and device type.
And because Norton is based in the US, it has to comply with the Five Eyes surveillance and data collection laws. It requires Norton to hand over user data in compliance with jurisdiction laws.
However, Norton doesn’t store connection timestamps or browsing history. This may give you peace of mind that your activity won’t be easy to link to your IP address on record.
Norton Secure VPN review – Customer support
Norton’s customer support includes a 24/7 virtual assistant, a community forum, and a help center that covers all major topics in blog articles.
While Norton does not offer email support, the live chat option is perfectly adequate. A nice bonus is that users can chat in 14 languages. Norton also provides a telephone support option so you can talk to a real agent around the clock.
Norton Secure VPN review – Verdict
Norton Secure VPN is a reliable product from a trustworthy name in the industry. Norton’s recent update has certainly put it on the global map of VPN providers. Unfortunately, it’s still lacking in a lot of areas.
Norton is one of the best VPN for fast speeds across long-distance connections. The streaming coverage is pretty good if you’re mainly looking to access Netflix or Hulu’s U.S. library or HBO Max and some popular media platforms in the UK. Ad and tracker blocking functionality is relatively average. Overall, it’s a decent VPN provider without too many extra perks.
Considering its pricing, we found Norton’s ten-device plan to be more expensive than competitors. The monthly one-device plan is competitively priced but very limiting.
If you’re intent on Norton as a brand, we suggest you look at its 360 plans that include VPN and additional offerings, such as antivirus and cloud storage. These will cost you only slightly more, given these valuable features.