Norton Secure VPN: The complete guide with pictures

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All of us know that NordVPN and IPVanish are good. But what about these little players?

Pros

  • An integrated and working ad-tracker feature
  • very subtle presence on the user’s machine.
  • Pricing is flexible.
  • The diversity in its VPN server offering in terms of geography is good.
  • The overall VPN server network is robust.

Cons

  • Speed tests results are anything but to brag about.
  • Lack of support for common features such as BitTorrent and/or P2P.

Summary

Our research shows that Norton Secure VPN service provides users with a fairly trusted product when it comes to security of all things.

It also has a flexible price structure.

Moreover, it backs that up with a robust VPN network of various VPN servers.

Users who are looking to make use of their VPN service in order to access features such as P2P sharing or BitTorrent should stay away from Norton Secure VPN because it is pretty useless at that.

Full Norton Secure VPN review

Price

Even when Norton Secure VPN did not have any kind of experience in the VPN market, the sticking point was always the service’s big price tag.

Fortunately though, Norton Secure VPN recognized the problem and took steps to take care of it.

The situation has improved a lot since then.

Norton Secure VPN now allows users to select a subscription package that either refreshes every month or on an annual basis.

There are also some discounts for users who commit to the service for longer periods.

Norton Secure VPN offers plans that cover either 10, 5 or 1 device(s).

Our research shows that at the moment the industry average is around 5.

As a consumer such offerings are deeply useful.

The flexibility Norton Secure VPN provides now is truly helpful.

Currently, the monthly plan costs,

  • $9.99 for ten devices
  • $7.99 for five devices
  • $4.99 for one device.

As for the annual plan, the prices vary like this,

  • $49.99 to protect 10 devices.
  • $39.99 for five or one device(s)

and yes, both the plans for one and five devices cost the same.

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Some may think that they are getting a good deal with these Norton Secure VPN packages.

However, if you inspect closely enough, you would find that the price of the annual plan actually changes after the initial first year.

In other words, once 12 months have passed on your plan, Norton changes the rate to a whopping $99.99 per 12 months to cover 10 devices.

As for the monthly plans, they do not change.

At the time of writing this report, our research shows that the industry average is around $10.68.

Compare to that, the rates that Norton Secure VPN is offering are acceptable and reasonable.

The king of VPN services, NordVPN, at the moment costs around $11.95 per month to use.

But NordVPN balances that with a heavy set of features.

On the other hand, there is Private Internet Access that costs just $6.95 per month.

As for payment methods, Norton does not provide any other payment methods other than major credit cards and PayPal.

Servers

As for servers, Norton does a good job of offering a decent mix of VPN server locations.

Currently, it is offering servers in over 29 countries and 73 locations.

With that said, it is also true that Norton does not have a single server either in China or Russia.

However, it does cover rare countries such as South Africa and Turkey.

A lot of VPN service providers simply ignore these regions.

As for the number of VPN servers, Norton is currently offering 1500 in various regions of the world.

You do not need us to tell you that is an excellent number.

More specifically, it is actually beyond what most of the other VPN services offer.

You should note here that the likes of NordVPN and PIA offer more.

The other problem with Norton Secure VPN is that it makes use of virtualization a bit too much.

Virtual servers are bad because they do not provide adequate privacy.

Currently, out of the 1500 servers that the company offers, about 1200 are virtual ones.

Norton does try to make up for this shortcoming by mentioning that all of its virtual servers are actually located in exactly the same country as they have mentioned on the list.

Norton Secure VPN also offers ad trackers and ad blocks.

But keep in mind that these features are not advanced enough to offer wholesale blocking.

Moreover, there is no way for you to configure this tool in even the smallest way.

What about torrenting?

As mentioned at the top as well, if you are one of those users who wants to sign up for a VPN service because you want to share files or download a ton of torrents then Norton Secure VPN is not for you.

It has actually banned such activities for all its users.

Norton Secure VPN: hands-on

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Our research shows that you should not have problems in installing Norton Secure VPN.

And that holds true even if you have an old-ish laptop running the latest Windows 10 edition.

In fact, if everything goes normal, you should be done with the process in a couple of minutes.

The service is ready to work pretty much out of the box.

Users will also find that Norton Secure VPN offers dedicated applications for platforms such as

  • iOS
  • macOS
  • Android
  • Windows

Dedicated VPN apps are great especially for beginner VPN users because they make the task of configuring the VPN service much easier.

Our research shows that Norton Secure VPN app on the Windows platform pretty much tries to anchor itself to the user’s System Tray.

This is not something that all VPN services do.

In any case, the application window is actually large enough.

And also easy to understand.

These are just some of the major improvements that Norton Secure VPN has made over the past couple of months or so.

One strange thing that we have found via our research is that Norton Secure VPN tends to become a bit too enthusiastic to keep the user’s VPN connection ON and active.

In other words, our research shows that some users may find it hard to find the switch that actually turns off the service.

But worry not.

Via our research, we know where it is.

The toggle switch is actually right at the bottom of the main screen.

Some users will definitely mistake that button for the settings menu button.

There is no doubt about the fact that any service that tries to nudge users into having an active VPN connection is doing something good.

However, modern online consumers tend to not care for such types of apps that do not make an effort to become easily understandable and immediately as well.

Some online consumers might buy Norton Secure VPN for the simple reason that Norton has a great pedigree when it comes to offering good security.

Some might even look forward to all the advanced security features that this service would provide to them given what it has done in the antivirus industry.

However, that is simply not the case here.

There are no advanced options.

The only somewhat advanced options that we have seen here are the launch app automatically on startup and connect automatically option.

Apart from these two options, the official Norton Secure VPN does not have anything to offer.

Norton Secure VPN will also frustrate those users who want to be flexible when it comes to using different VPN protocols.

However, we believe that the majority of online consumers would not even make the effort to notice such a difference.

It is true that Norton Secure VPN does a good job of offering users the open source and very secure OpenVPN protocol on not just its Windows app but also on the Android and macOS app.

As for the iOS platforms, it only offers the IPSec protocol.

But that isn’t a bad thing since there is hardly a VPN service out there that offers OpenVPN protocol for iOS because Apple makes developers jump through a ton of hoops before they are able to get their applications approved with the OpenVPN option.

Our research shows that if you ask a Norton representative about specialized servers, the representative would tell you that the company indeed offers special servers for unblocking content and video streaming.

However, our research shows that you will have to waste a lot of time before finding out that there is no way to connect to such servers.

In fact, our research shows that Norton Secure VPN does not even allow users to drill down and choose their own specific servers.

This is unacceptable in a market where a lot of other good VPN services are offering this feature.

Does Norton Secure VPN work with US Netflix?

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Yes, it does.

Our research shows that it should not have a problem in streaming content from Netflix.

Of course, there is no guarantee that Norton Secure VPN or any other VPN service would continue to work with US Netflix in the future as well.

For the uninitiated, even though Netflix is a great streaming service, the US Netflix streaming service is not really the same as the UK Netflix service.

In fact, our research shows that no two countries are the same when it comes to Netflix.

The majority of the content that Netflix makes available is dictated primarily by the deals that Netflix cuts.

Because of that, it is not always possible for Netflix to offer the same content in each and every country of the world.

And since these ‘deals’ are so complex, different countries end up having different content libraries.

To take an example, there is Star Trek: Discovery.

The show is available in the US but only to those of you who have access to CBS All Access.

If you live in any country that is not named the United States of America, then you can watch Star Trek on Netflix.

Because of such a situation, it stands to reason that Netflix would not like any action which would make it appear like the user, you, is coming from a different country.

As a result of that tendency, Netflix has implemented a large-scale VPN ban.

For those of you who want to know the reasoning behind such a policy, click here and read section 4.3 of the official document called Netflix terms and conditions of service.

The document makes it abundantly clear that online customers do not have any kind of right to Netflix content that is outside their original country.

So which is your original country?

It turns out, according to Netflix, your original country is the one in which you created your account.

Leaving that aside, the direct consequence of the Netflix VPN ban is that VPN companies and Netflix itself are locked in a constant and never-ending cat-and-mouse game.

Netflix keeps on blocking VPN users only to find that VPN companies keep circumventing their measures against them.

Privacy

Official sources indicate that Norton Secure VPN actually does not take part in logging any kind of information about where the user goes and what does the user do on the internet.

Moreover, the service makes sure that it only takes a look at the aggregated bandwidth usage.

Even though Norton Secure VPN offers so many other services, it has a separate document for its Vpn product.

The privacy policy document is not only easy to read but more importantly is also short.

Our research shows that the policy is pretty comprehensible and clear.

In the end, you can rest assured that Norton Secure VPN collects as little information about its users as possible.

The company clearly mentions that while users have connected to the official Norton Secure VPN service, it routes all of the user’s online traffic via Symantec’s own Vpn network.

Norton also mentions that the network is actually a No Log network.

What does that mean for the end user?

It means that Norton does not engage in storing the user’s real IP address when the user finally connects to the Norton Secure VPN service.

Because of that, there is no way for Symantec to identify individual users.

Symantec, as a company, also happens to have an automated rule-based traffic management system.

And it does require a kind of real-time analysis of online traffic data.

The data includes information such as the IP addresses and original IP address or various different destination websites.

Perhaps we should mention here that the company does not maintain any log on such information.

Moreover, Symantec does not engage in storing information regarding the websites, services, and/or applications which a given online consumer visits, uses or downloads.

So what would Norton do if law enforcement agencies approached it asking for information?

Well, even if it wanted to it would not be able to help them since it does not have anything to help them with.

With that out of the way, you should know that the company makes absolutely no money from any other source apart from its subscriptions.

Our research shows that this is good.

There are many other less scrupulous VPN services that sometimes sell their customers’ information to generate revenue.

Perhaps this is also a good time to mention, if you already did not know it, that Symantec is the company that owns Norton.

The company is based in Mountain View, California.

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Currently, the United States of America does not really have any kind of law which requires any VPN company to maintain or collect user information.

Hence, users can breathe a sigh of relief more than anything else.

We can’t say anything about the CIA, NSA and all other other intelligence agencies doing their work behind the scenes though.

Norton has also officially confirmed that the company has indeed gone under various third-party evaluations.

However, it also mentions that it does not plan on releasing the results of those evaluations.

Norton has utilized tools such as Rapid7 Nexpose, Synopsys Blackduck Hub, and Synopsys Coverity.

Our research shows that some other companies, when they undergo evaluations, tend to involve auditing or accounting firms.

Needless to say, it is preferable that all such companies should share the results of such audits among other things with the public.

There is no reason for anyone to NOT question why a company like Norton would want to keep such reports secret.

Of course, at the same time, one should also appreciate the fact that at least VPN companies are moving in the right direction.

Speed

Previously, Norton Secure VPN increased latency rates by a total of 84 percent.

It also reduced download speeds by around 15 percent.

Moreover, it reduced upload speeds by 12 percent.

On international servers, it increased latency rates by a mammoth 390 percent.

Our research also shows that the old Norton Secure VPN reduced download speeds on international servers by a total of 21 percent and reduced upload speeds by 6 percent.

The improved Norton Secure VPN results are about to come in the following months.

We will update this review once our research has given us some conclusive data.

Compatibility

As mentioned before, currently Norton Secure VPN offers dedicated applications for platforms such as,

  • macOS
  • iOS
  • Android

Norton follows a pretty smart path when it comes to making its VPN service available on various other platforms.

In other words, it doesn’t try to offer its services on each and every platform that is available in the market today.

Instead, it only takes the major ones which we have mentioned above.

As for the Android app, our research shows that it is the service that Norton Secure VPN provides to users is affordable.

More importantly, it blocks ads.

However, we also have to mention that the app has less than impressive requirements.

They are quirky to some extent.

Why do we use the word quirky?

Well, we do so because the Android app does allow you to change your location unless and until you connect to a server first.

Apart from that, there is nothing inspiring about the overall app design.

Moreover, our research shows that if there is one area where Norton Secure VPN needs to improve a lot before it can climb up the rankings then that area is of speed.

It needs to speed up.

Conclusion

There is little doubt that Norton Secure VPN has managed to improve by leaps and bounds since its beginning.

Initial evaluations of this service were anything but good.

But the service has improved, as mentioned just now.

It is true that Norton Secure VPN has not really changed the service in terms of functionality and/or design, but it has made its subscription packages more flexible.

Add to that the fact that there are bundling options available for those users who want to purchase some of the other services that Norton offers.

That, we think, makes Norton Secure VPN a pretty strong choice especially for those of you who are already Norton antivirus customers.

With that said, Norton Secure VPN customers should not expect any bells and whistles that they may get with other top VPN services such as IPVanish and NordVPN.

Let’s not forget, TunnelBear and Private Internet Access are also fairly good.

Overall though, we think that Norton Secure VPN offers a good service and that too at a reasonable cost assuming that the potential customer, like yourself, is not looking out for features such as P2P file sharing and BitTorrent.

Norton Secure VPN
5.6 Overall Rating
0 Users (0 votes)
Highlighted Pros
  • trustworthy because of the parent company
  • economical
  • works with US Netflix
  • Highlighted Cons
  • no advanced features
  • user interface is not modern
  • average speeds
  • Review Summary
    Norton Secure VPN is a VPN service that offers a reasonable amount of features for a reasonable amount of money. It has a trustworthy parent company and offers good security. However, do not expect any advanced features or water-tight security with this one.
    Price6
    Features5
    Security5
    Help & Support5
    Trustworthiness7
    What people say... 0 Leave your rating

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    Zohair

    Zohair is currently a content crafter at Security Gladiators and has been involved in the technology industry for more than a decade. He is an engineer by training and, naturally, likes to help people solve their tech related problems. When he is not writing, he can usually be found practicing his free-kicks in the ground beside his house.
    Zohair

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