If most of your time is spent in front of a screen working on the internet, then you should seriously consider signing up for a virtual private network in order to protect your data and guard your privacy.
The one thing you must understand about data security is that whenever any amount of data is in transit, it is vulnerable to attacks from hackers and other cyber criminals.
Norton Wifi Privacy is a VPN service specifically made for Android smartphones and tablets. Products like Norton WiFI Privacy are made with one purpose in mind, that is, to secure you and your internet traffic when you are traveling or at home.
Truth be told, Norton Wifi Privacy has some exceptional security features such as ad blocking feature and automatic VPN connection feature.
On the downside though, the service requires new users to pay a hefty amount of money up-front. Moreover, for each subscription it only protects a single device.
It could be worth its salt, but there are a lot of Android VPN services out there who offer similar features for much less money. In other words, they give you more bang for your buck.
But does Norton Wifi Privacy hold up well against the likes of other premier VPN services such as NordVPN and Private Internet Access VPN?
Well, you’re going to have to read the full review to find out.
So let’s get to it.
Note: According to our tests, this VPN provider is not at the same standard as the industry leader IPVanish.
Unlike many other VPN service providers who offer different packages based on the amount of time a user is willing to commit, Norton Wifi Privacy costs new users around $29.99 per year.
Not only that, it also comes with a risk-free seven-day money back guarantee.
Again, unlike most VPN service providers, there aren’t a hell lot of payment options available for purchasing Norton Wifi Privacy services.
At the time of writing, the only way to subscribe and then pay for Norton Wifi Privacy was through the company’s app which can be downloaded from Google Play Store.
That also mean that a new user can pay for Norton Wifi Privacy the same way as one would pay for any other in-app purchase.
This does come in quite handy for new users since they don’t have to go through the, sometimes, tedious job of downloading and installing VPN software application.
Of course, if you are an experienced VPN user then you might find the whole process a bit counter-intuitive.
Do take note that because of the way Google Play Store works, new users might get the impression that they’re going to have to pay for the software application immediately.
The reality is that, the Norton Wifi Privacy app is first going to put you on a seven-day trial.
You will have the option of canceling the VPN service subscription at any time of your choosing through your Google Account related to the Google Play app.
As mentioned before, Norton Wifi Privacy does not accept payments from any other method and that puts it at a considerable disadvantage over the rest of the premier VPN service providers.
Most of the VPN service providers offer at least four or five types of payment options. Most VPN service providers also allow users to get charged on a monthly basis or annual basis. There is no such option with Norton Wifi Privacy.
When compared to other VPN services such as Keep Solid VPN Unlimited that offers billing options which span just the duration of a single day, then Norton Wifi Privacy looks even more ordinary.
You might think that the $29.99 upfront price tag is a bit menacing but take into account the fact that on a monthly basis, this comes to just $2.50 a month.
Now when you compare the monthly price of Norton Wifi Privacy to some of the other VPN services, it starts to look much more affordable.
But that doesn’t mean it is the cheapest VPN service of them all. VPN services like SpotFlux VPN and KeepSolid VPN offer plans that cost new users just $4.99 a month on a monthly package and just $25 on an annual package.
There are also some free VPN services out there and you can investigate for yourself if you want to sign up for one of those. But if you don’t have a price issue then there is really no reason for you or anyone else to sign up for a free VPN service.
By now it should be clear to you that Norton Wifi Privacy is pretty competitive as far as pricing is concerned.
With that said, being competitive isn’t something we can say for sure when it comes to the rest of the VPN package.
The company’s VPN app is available on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. In other words, it is available both for Android devices and the ones running on MacOS.
Did we say that Norton Wifi Privacy comes short on offering features that are basically standard ones on other VPN service provider packages?
Apparently, you can only use Norton Wifi Privacy for a single device. Right now, the VPN industry standard number is around five if not more.
Moreover, Norton Wifi Privacy only supports mobile devices. This may not be an issue, except that every other VPN service out there in the market offers apps for both desktop and mobile devices.
Other premier VPN service providers such as TorGuard go beyond the call of duty and offer protection for devices such as routers and also offer pre-configured routers which come with VPN software preinstalled and hence users can just buy that VPN protected router to protect any number of devices on a single subscription.
Norton Wifi Privacy also offers an Ad-blocking feature on its official software application. Unfortunately, this feature is not available in the official Google Play Store version of Norton Wifi Privacy App.
You know what that means right?
That means, there will be no respite for those who want to avoid the misery (or necessity if you’re one of those who likes to sympathize with marketing companies) of constantly having to close ads. In other words, you will see some web advertisement on your Android smartphone device.
Other smartphone VPN services such as 1 Blocker, available for iPhone, do offer an ad-blocking feature which can actually block ads a user sees in Safari browser.
VPN services such as Norton Wifi Privacy, do block ads and hence users rarely get to see an ad head on. This is probably one of the handful of features which can push customers towards Norton Wifi Privacy.
The only VPN services other than Norton Wifi Privacy that offers ad-blocking features are Spotflux VPN and Private Internet Access. Both are available for Android.
Also, Norton Wifi Privacy doesn’t work with Netflix. But that is also the case with almost all other VPN services since the engineers at Netflix have been hard at work in ensuring that none of the VPN services are able to connect to their servers.
Compared to other VPN service providers, Norton Wifi Privacy doesn’t offer much in terms of number of servers and their individual locations. According to official sources, Norton currently only offers 25 server locations. It also offers at least two VPN servers in each of its offered locations.
Credit should always be given where it is due and Norton should be given credit for having a decent diversity in terms of geographic locations. Right now, Norton Wifi Privacy is offering VPN servers that are located in regions such as,
- South Pacific
- Middle East
- The Americas
In other words, it doesn’t matter where you are or if you’re traveling through a plane. Chances are you are likely to find at least one or two Norton Wifi Privacy VPN servers within the continent on which you’re currently residing.
Of course, for experienced users who are international travelers and want to spoof their real location to specific regions rather than random ones, Norton Wifi Privacy doesn’t offer anything spectacular.
If we compare Norton Wifi Privacy with Private Internet Access VPN that offers thousands of VPN servers located in hundreds of locations across the globe, then Norton Wifi Privacy, again, looks mediocre.
Make no mistake. The number and the location of VPN servers matters a lot when it comes to choosing a VPN service provider.
If you are using a VPN service then in an ideal situation you would want to connect to a VPN server that is closest to your physical location so that you can reduce latency rates and have a smooth overall experience.
If you are one of those people who like to change their VPN server locations a lot just because you can or have to, then a greater number of servers and locations gives you an immense advantage over those people who don’t use a VPN or use the ones that don’t offer much variety.
Some VPN service providers also have specialized servers for different activities such as downloading torrents or streaming YouTube videos.
Take the example of NordVPN. NordVPN offers specific VPN servers for activities such as watching videos, engaging the internet through the Tor network and sharing files over the BitTorrent network. NordVPN offers all of these services for the Android version of its VPN app as well.
On the other hand, Norton Wifi Privacy does not allow users to engage in file sharing and it does not have specialized servers for different kinds of activities.
Installation And Interface
Hats off to Norton Wifi Privacy for coming up with an Android VPN app that is clean and intuitive to use.
When you open up the app for the first time, you’ll be surprised to see a large circle that is centered on the screen and shows the location of your web traffic.
The other pleasing aspect of the design is that page elements are colored. In other words, if the VPN is active, then these page elements turn green and when the VPN is turned off, they change colors to red.
The color changes in the VPN app stand out because of the sparse design. The overall design is clever and distinctive.
A standard Android power button is located in the lower right corner of the screen with a standard material design style.
There are also buttons on the top of the screen. These buttons give users quick access to the VPN app’s settings, ad-blocking features and other information regarding location.
Perhaps the best feature that Norton Wifi Privacy has to offer to its users is the ability of its VPN to automatically connect users to a VPN server whenever it detects that the phone has been connected to an unsecured Wifi network.
However, not all users are crazy about an automatic on/off switch. Guess what? Norton Wifi Privacy offers users the option of turning this feature on or off. There are also other options available which, if turned on, give users warning messages whenever they connect to an insecure network.
When you run Norton Wifi Privacy VPN app, it selects the closest VPN server for you with respect to your current location. That is the default behavior of the app.
Why does it do what you may ask?
Well, let’s just say that proximity to a VPN server can play a big role on the performance of the VPN app on your mobile device. If a VPN server is close to your physical location then that usually translates to a better user experience.
However, most users who use a VPN service, use to it gain access to a specific location as far as their IP address is concerned. That is, they want to make it look like as if their internet traffic is coming from a place other than their real location.
If you want to achieve that objective, you’re going to have to do some manual work. To put it another way, you can select a VPN server of your choice from the list of servers and the Norton Wifi Privacy VPN app will connect to it within minutes.
As we have already mentioned before, many other VPN services offer a greater number of servers and locations. But more importantly, they also offer more in the way of search functions, specialized VPN servers and speed tests.
Norton Wifi Privacy does pretty well as far as the latter three functions are concerned but we think that if Norton Wifi Privacy wants to challenge the big guns of the VPN industry then it will have to improve and bring in more extra features as far as its VPN app is concerned.
Speed is always an important factor whenever one is trying to subscribe to a good VPN service. All VPN services negatively affect your internet connection. And it makes sense too.
A VPN service has to constantly send data to a remote VPN server and then send it back again to its final destination and then to the user’s device.
This process increases latency rates and decreases download and upload speeds.
But it is true that in very rare cases a VPN service may actually increase internet performance. A VPN service may be able to achieve that effect by connecting a user to a higher and faster bandwidth infrastructure.
The only VPN service that has this effect is PureVPN. If there are more VPN services that do the same then we have yet to come across them.
One can always use apps such as those developed by Ookla to gauge whether a VPN service can provide reasonable speed but these tests are always subjective since so much can change during the course of a speed test.
On average, some publications such as PCMag found out that Norton Wifi Privacy increased latency rates by a whopping 340 percent when connected to the nearest VPN server. Compare that to another VPN service by the name of NordVPN which increases the latency rate by just 32 percent and you can understand why you haven’t heard much about Norton Wifi Privacy.
As far as download and upload speeds were concerned, the speed tests showed that Norton Wifi Privacy VPN app decreased download speeds by 50 percent and upload speeds by 58 percent.
Other VPN apps such as Private Internet Access only decrease download speeds by 10 percent.
But numbers should never be taken as the ultimate factor in your buying decision. As far as real world performance goes, reviewers have indicated that Norton Wifi Privacy performed very well while navigating through media heavy pages and loaded other text based web pages quickly.
Other pages which were optimized, like Google AMP pages, loaded instantly when connected to the internet through Norton Wifi Privacy.
Some Problems With Norton Wifi Privacy That Don’t Involve The Actual VPN Service
This part is a bit strange one since all other VPN services offer pretty standard features. The one thing that is extremely poorly done by Norton Wifi Privacy is the layout of its official website.
The official Norton Wifi Privacy lacks anything that could be remotely related to a good VPN service website.
It doesn’t tell you the pricing nor the packages upfront. You’ll have to click around for a bit before you get a hang of its awkward design.
Then there is little information about the way Norton Wifi Privacy works. You will not be able to find any content on things such as encryption methods, the location of servers displayed on a map, anything apart from basic customer support info.
All of this makes it rather difficult to get a sense of what’s on offer as far as Norton Wifi Privacy VPN service is concerned. There is no information about VPN Protocols either.
Should You Go For It?
In short, Norton Wifi Privacy is a decent option as a VPN service and it has a solid foundation. Nevertheless, Norton Wifi Privacy needs to improve and grow in terms of extra features and app interface.
The company’s VPN app has an exceptional design and a friendly user interface. It has an intuitive sign-up process and hence users new to the VPN industry will have very little problems in setting the app up on their smartphones.
Features such as ad blocking and automatic connection to a VPN server in the case of an unsecured Wifi network are all commendable.
The biggest disappointment is Norton Wifi Privacy’s high price and lack of payment options. A restricted number of servers and a license of just one device per account also holds it back in its quest to attract more customers.
But for what it’s worth, Norton Wifi Privacy has a strong foundation to become one of the best VPN services in the industry if it can offer more compelling packages and increase the number of simultaneously connected devices per subscription.
If you are serious about getting the best value for money VPN then you should check out IPVanish. They are our top ranked VPN provider. Read the IPVanish Review here.
- Very easy to setup
- Ad blocking feature
- Automatically connects when on unsecured Wifi networks
- Google Play subcription
- decent speed
- Slightly expensive
- Only supports mobile devices
- No support for computers
- low number of servers
- lack of variety in servers
- useless official website