Norton by Symantec is a well-known security company that has been around since 1990. Norton has always dealt with digital security and is considered top tier. Starting in 2014 they branched out to include a personal firewall, email spam filtering, and phishing protection.
Norton Security Deluxe is Compatible with PCs, Macs, Androids, and iOS Smartphones and Tablets. One subscription allows you to secure up to 5 devices. If you need more than that you need the Premium version which protects up to 10 devices.
Norton Security Deluxe Features
Norton Security Deluxe is a very feature-rich application suite. It pretty much does everything that you could possibly want in a cyber secuirty package.
- Protection against viruses, spyware, malware, ransomware, phishing, Trojan horses, and other online threats
- Safeguards your identity, personal information, and online transactions with Identity Safe
- Ensures emails and links actually came from trusted sources
- Constantly analyzing new threats and devising new ways to protect your devices from them
- Frequent updates with the latest features and performance improvements
There aren't many features missing here.
Pros of Norton Security Deluxe
- Norton is known for its excellent antivirus protection. This excellent protection continues to hold true with Norton Security Deluxe.
- Covers up to 5 devices, including PC, Mac, Andriod, and iOS Smartphones and Tablets.
- Uses Identity Safe to store an unlimited number of encrypted passwords in what they call the Vault.
If you are willing to pay for it you'll have a hard time finding a more complete package than this. It seems that Norton is targeting the higher-end market with this suite of tools.
Cons of Norton Security Deluxe
- This firewall is expensive. There is no free version. The closest you get is a free 30 day trial but after that, you need to come up with $50 for the first year and $90 for every year after that.
- Scans slow down your computer significantly.
The speed issue is something that you are going to encounter with any software firewall and it is the price you pay for such complete protection. A hardware firewall will be able to replace many of these features but not all of them.
Installing Norton Security Deluxe
The best way to try out software is with a free trial. Norton Security has the option of a 30-day free download or a 60-day free subscription. I went with the 30 day free download because I would rather not give them my information before I made a decision. I have never been good at canceling a subscription once it begins (which is what they are counting on).
The initial download is fast because Norton utilizes a download manager to do the bulk of the download outside of your browser.
It was very easy to download the free version. I clicked the deluxe option under 30 day free download and it pretty much did the rest. It took several minutes to download onto my computer. Then it asked if I wanted to join the Norton Community Watch to fight against cybercrime. All that this means is that Norton Security will automatically forward any security threat that your computer receives to Norton's headquarters where they can keep everything up to date.
Click the Agree and Install button and it begins the installation process on the computer.
You will need to set up an account with Norton before you can continue.
Norton Security Deluxe has an interface that is very user-friendly. Green is good, red is bad. If the text is green then you are protected. If the text is red, there is a problem that needs your attention.
Exploring the Options
The home page has four main categories marked Security, Identity, Performance, and More Norton.
Clicking on Security you are given four more options: Scans, LiveUpdate, History, and Advanced.
In the Scans section you have the ability to customize your scans. You can run a quick scan or a full system scan and everything in between. If you are not sure what to scan you can ask. Simply click on the Norton Insight option and Norton gives you a recommendation on which files are trusted and which ones you need to scan.
When you click on the LiveUpdate option Norton immediately checks for updates. Selecting the History option shows you what Norton has been doing and the severity of the action taken.
Everything is turned on by default in this section. Looking through this list, SONAR Protection caught my eye. This is Symantec Online Network for Advanced Response. Pretty much what it does is detect unknown risks based on the way an app is behaving. Applications normally all behave very much the same. So when one starts to wig out, SONAR jumps on it, proactively stopping it before damage is done.
At first glance, you can see if you are protected online according to Norton. You can see whether Safe Web, Identity Safe, Anti-Phishing, and the Norton Toolbar are activated. The only complaint I have is that the Norton Toolbar still says Configure in red when I have definitely already "configured" it online with Microsoft Edge like it recommends.
When you click the main option of Identity you are given four additional options: Identity Safe, ID Settings, Statistics, and Password Generator.
It appears that you need to have Windows 10 and newer and using Microsoft Edge in order to use Identity Safe. Identity Safe is a password and identity manager. Norton calls it the "Vault". Here you are able to store all your passwords, personal information, notes, and anything else you want kept secret. The Identity Safe application has you create a master password that only you know. If you lose this password, Norton cannot get it back for you. This may seem like a downside but it also means thieves cannot steal your password from Norton.
In addition to Identity Safe you can change your ID Settings, check out your personal Statistics, and use Norton's Password Generator.
The Performance icon will show when the last Optimization and Cleanup took place. You can also see cool nerdy stuff like the CPU and System Usage.
Opening the Performance menu there are an additional four options of Optimize Disk, File Cleanup, Startup Manager, and Graphs.
The Optimize Disk and File Cleanup options begin as soon as you click the link. The Startup Manager shows you what programs start automatically when the computer is turned on and give you the option to turn them off as a way to speed up your system startup time. Only use this if you are sure of what you are turning off. Some programs need to start when the computer is turned on.
I enjoyed checking out the Performance Graphs. This is an excellent and easy-to-read graph that shows you when stuff happens. Looking at my graph I can see that Norton detected a threat on Nov. 1st. I can see the number of downloads and installs that have taken place. It also shows me the last time I did a Quick Scan or Optimized on my computer.
The last option on the homepage is More Norton. Opening this menu there are links for Identity Safe, Add Devices, Family, Manage, and Norton Studio.
Identity Safe under the More Norton category allows you to download an app so you can take the Vault on the road using an iOS or Android device.
The Add Devices link walks you through the installation of more devices using your Norton Subscription.
Family is Norton's version of parental controls. What it does is monitor your child's Internet activity based on specific "House Rules" which in turn is based on the child's age. To do this you need to click the Family button under More Norton. This takes you to the Norton Family website. In order to use the "parental controls," you need to download Norton Family on the child's device.
*The parental controls and reporting available in Norton Security Deluxe are quite impressive and not found in many other tools. This is a great feature for parents who are looking to protect their kids on the internet.*
Once installed and rebooted Norton Family will keep track of what websites the child visits and blocks them from continuing if they try to access a restricted one. If the child feels this is unfair they are given the option of asking you to permit that website. This does not give them access but sends you an email with their excuse attached.
Finally, there's the Manage and the Norton Studio links. The Manage option allows you to manage your subscription and account details. The Norton Studio allows you to manage all your devices on a free Windows app.
Problems with Norton Security Deluxe
The biggest problem I see with Norton Security Deluxe is the cost, a whopping $90 a year after the initial $50 to get you hooked. There are several free software firewalls that might have the protection you need without the budget-breaking cost. If you are buying Norton Security Deluxe for its parental controls make sure to take a look at our link to Free Ways to Protect Your Kids on the Internet guide.
This software firewall will slow down the computer a lot, especially during scans. If speed is a necessity you really should consider a hardware firewall instead.
The Norton Security Deluxe is a fairly quiet software firewall. For less than $90 a year it will help you keep your kids safe while web surfing, it can store your identity information in what they call a Vault. This firewall will even help you optimize and clean up your computer files. It really just depends on what you are looking for in a software firewall. A great way to try the Norton Security Deluxe Firewall is to use their ** 30-day free trial**.