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

Nancy J. Delong

There are couple extra familiar names in details protection than Norton and LifeLock. Extended identified for their competitive antivirus protection and skill to adapt to an at any time-shifting protection market, a digital private network from NortonLifeLock sounds promising at the outset. But with limited server selections and a couple dealbreaker protection […]

There are couple extra familiar names in details protection than Norton and LifeLock. Extended identified for their competitive antivirus protection and skill to adapt to an at any time-shifting protection market, a digital private network from NortonLifeLock sounds promising at the outset. But with limited server selections and a couple dealbreaker protection issues, it’s distinct that the Norton Protected VPN nonetheless has some get the job done to do ahead of it can meet the high expectations set by its sibling protection products.  

Norton Protected VPN nonetheless has to to create its protection and server network. I might advise keeping out ahead of signing up to this services. In the meantime, test out our checklist of the best VPN expert services of 2020.

Norton Protected VPN

Linus Strandholm/EyeEm/Getty Visuals

Speed

  • Common velocity reduction: 57%
  • Variety of servers: one,five hundred (one,two hundred digital)
  • Variety of server places: 29 international locations, seventy three metropolitan areas
  • Variety of IP addresses: one,800-additionally

Norton does not publicly publish its server rely on its web page, but at past rely there were one,five hundred servers.

I ran my velocity tests about the program of 3 times, in two places, making use of both equally wi-fi and Ethernet connections — a single spot offered slower broadband speeds, and the other offered bigger speeds by way of fiber-optic web. Internet speeds in the US range broadly by point out and company. And with any velocity check, success are going to count on your community infrastructure, with hyperfast web services yielding bigger check velocity success. 

That’s a single rationale I’m extra intrigued in testing the total of velocity dropped (which for most VPNs is typically half or extra) across both equally high-velocity and slower relationship kinds, and in making use of applications like speedtest.web to even out the playing subject. Over-all, Norton’s speeds are on par with other midtier VPNs, reaching only about forty three% of the ordinary 187Mbps velocity obtained on a 1Gbps-capable fiber relationship all through testing, even though nonetheless sustaining an ordinary of all over 81Mbps globally. 

Contrary to several other VPNs, Norton does not allow for you to select the city you link to — only the region. Norton’s Hong Kong servers dragged down all round velocity scores, averaging just 6Mbps. So if you are hunting for a VPN to use even though traveling in China, you may possibly want to consider a various possibility. Australian servers executed marginally improved, averaging all over 50Mbps. 

Mainland European scores could have been improved, crossing the finish line with a 78Mbps ordinary, as French servers outperformed German kinds. And even though US servers landed a disappointing 92Mbps ordinary, British isles servers shone with a 181Mbps ordinary. The inconsistency in relationship speeds and load times could be starkly improved by permitting you to select the city you link to. US speeds, in certain, could be improved if you could select which coast to link to. 

Study extra: ExpressVPN overview: A VPN velocity chief with a safe status

Stability and privateness

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

Along with city-specific server collection, publicly disclosing extra details about its servers would also drastically make improvements to Norton’s protection offerings. To that conclusion, a Norton spokesperson instructed CNET back in September 2019 (ahead of Symantec marketed Norton that November) that new protection assessments were on the way.

“Symantec labored with (international auditing firm) RSM to carry out a 3rd-bash privateness assessment of Norton Protected VPN that is in the procedure of staying finalized,” the spokesperson reported. 

Norton delivers what it phone calls bank-grade encryption, regular AES-256. The corporation delivers no destroy switch, which would avert network info from leaking outside of their safe VPN tunnel in the celebration the VPN relationship fails. A absence of destroy switch I might usually consider a deal breaker. 

Norton didn’t mask my IPv6 address, and I noticed several DNS leaks all through testing with IPLeak.web. These leaks disclose consumer-figuring out info, which compromise your spot privateness. When Norton describes itself as a no-log VPN company, it does detail its relating to collection of usage info in its privateness policy, which incorporates “momentary Usage Information to aid with debugging a difficulty with the services.” Norton instructed CNET it has no strategies to end logging this info. 

“NortonLifeLock is committed to serving to people guard their on the net privateness. On discovering of the difficulty flagged all through the overview, we vigorously tested Norton Protected VPN on all main operating units and were unable to replicate the alleged info leakage. Norton Protected VPN seems to be functioning correctly to assist guard our customers’ on the net privateness as created,” a Norton spokesperson reported in an e mail to CNET. 

Norton Protected VPN does provide a streamlined advert-monitoring blocker characteristic inside the application. Whilst you are unable to personalize it, it labored like a allure with each individual testing system I attempted. 

Study extra: The best VPN expert services for 2020

Cost 

  • Usability: Particularly basic
  • Platforms: Home windows, Android, Mac, iOS 
  • Selling price: ten-system yearly system for $sixty
  • Variety of simultaneous connections: Programs accessible for one, 5 or ten products

Norton’s inability to defeat geoblocking as described above is also the very likely rationale we experienced problem accessing region-specific catalogues for streaming expert services this kind of as Netflix. Norton also does not help torrenting or peer-to-peer networks. If you are hunting for a VPN that will allow for you to entry your typical media subscriptions even though travelling, we advise searching for a various VPN for now. 

Norton Protected VPN is only accessible on the four main platforms — Home windows, Android, Mac and iOS. The selection of products you can use concurrently — either a single, 5 or ten — is dependent on which system you choose for. The minimum high priced system is the $5 regular monthly system, which makes it possible for only a single system at a time. The most high priced is the ten-system yearly system for $sixty. 

These charges are bigger than predicted, provided the VPN’s limited skills. Meanwhile, main players in the VPN sphere are obtaining extra aggressive with pricing. IPVanish delivers comparable speeds and endless simultaneous connections for $78 annually, and NordVPN is featuring a 68% off deal that puts its two-12 months system at $89.

You can shell out Norton by either credit rating card or PayPal, but not by way of cryptocurrency at this time. Norton does provide a sixty-working day cash-back assurance, but that provide is solely reserved for yearly subscribers and not regular monthly subscribers. Norton also delivers a seven-working day trial. 

Study extra: NordVPN overview: Continue to the best value for protection and velocity

Norton Protected VPN.

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

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