Features and services
All Norton 360 suites work with two primary apps. The first is
My Norton, a launcher for the actual antivirus program known as
Device Security. My Norton is home to other features that come with
360 Deluxe such as Dark Web Monitoring, aka Privacy Monitor, a
secure VPN, 75GB of cloud backup, a password manager, and a link to
the Norton website for parental controls. The company also recently
introduced an anti-tracking service for web browsing called
AntiTrack that's available for US$40 a year. AntiTrack blocks cookies
and also prevents device fingerprinting.
The Device Security app in Norton 360 Deluxe. Image: IDG
Device Security has five sections: Security,
Internet Security, Backup, Performance,
and My Norton. The latter is just a way to get back to the
My Norton launcher.
Security is where most of the action happens. Here you
can initiate a scan from a wide number of options, including a
quick scan (the default), full system scan, a custom scan, and a
The custom scan can check for protection updates, remove
temporary files in the system, run disk optimization, and erase
Internet Explorer temporary files.
The Scans section can also run Norton Power Eraser for
eliminating threats that regular scans can't deal with, as well
diagnostics, and Norton Insightâ€”the program that determines which
files should be scanned during a quick scan.
While most people will just need the quick scan and full system
scan options, it's great that all these tools are easily accessible
by the user. Beyond scans, the Security section also
houses the SafeCam settings for keeping rogue programs away from
your webcam. There isn't much to do with SafeCam, but if it's ever
giving you issues, this is where you can turn it off.
The Internet Security section of Norton 360 Deluxe. Image: IDG
Internet Security features access to the password
manager, password generator, and Norton's free browser extensions.
As we've noted before, Norton doesn't bother you too much with
notifications about its features; however, it does love to notify
you from time to time if you don't have all of the Norton browser
The essential extension is Norton Safe Web, which warns you
about malicious sites, and puts a green checkmark next to safe
sites in your Google results and a red x next to bad ones.
In my opinion, the other extensions are less important. Norton
Home Page and Norton Safe Search are particularly unimpressive and
essentially do the work that one extension could. Safe Search makes
Norton Safe Search your default browser search engine, and Home
Page redirects your browser's new tab pages and the Home button to
Norton Safe Search. In our experience, these two extensions just
get in your way. There's also a Norton Password Manager extension,
which is essential if you use this program for storing all your
Backup is pretty straightforward. Setting it up allows
you to keep copies of essential files in Norton's Secure Cloud
Storage. If you don't want your files in Norton's cloud there's
also an option for saving to local storage.
The parental School Time controls for Norton 360 Deluxe. Image: IDG
Norton 360 Deluxe also includes some system optimization
features such as disk optimization, file cleanup, a startup
manager, and a graph showing performance history. You can find a
lot of these features in Windows itself or in free third-party
programs, but if you're getting Norton 360 anyway it's nice to have
all these features there.
The Dark Web Monitoring tool runs off Norton's website and lets
you add key information such as a bank account or credit card
number, phone number, address, insurance policies, and email
accounts. If any of this data shows up in a hacked database on the
so-called Dark Web, Norton LifeLock will alert you to it.
I tried testing out Norton 360's parental controls and they were
very good. I added a child profile, and then followed the
instructions to install the Norton Family App on the test PC to
monitor the child user account for Windows 10.
Norton's defaults will monitor the child's account quite
aggressively for younger children. All searches are filtered, video
and web activities are monitored, and School Time feeds the parent
reports about how devices are being used during school hours.
Norton has also added device location features, including a new
geofencing setting that alerts you if the child's device,
presumably with the child, leaves a predefined area.
The My Norton app on Windows 10. Image: IDG
To combat the latest threats, Norton has some new anti-malware
features. Over the past year, the company has improved its
anti-malware scripting interface (AMSI) to improve detection and
help restore compromised files; it optimized detection for process
hollowing, where malware dumps the code for a legitimate process in
memory and inserts malicious code; and it has malicious browser
extension removal that observes the behavior of your browser's
various add-ons to make sure they behave.
In practical terms, we can see how well Norton is doing with
protection by turning to third parties. In AV-Test's round of
testing from September and October 2021, Norton 360 scored
100 percent in both months on the zero-day malware attack test, as
well as the widespread and prevalent malware test.
Over at AV-Comparatives, Norton blocked 100 percent of samples
in the real-world protection test between July and
October 2021, with 37 false positives. In the malware protection test for September 2021,
Norton also scored 100 percent, with 14 false positives. All in
all, the protection results are excellent.
For our in-house performance tests, we saw some noticeable
changes with Norton 360 installed. The PCMark 10 Creative test
dropped by 42 points after averaging the scores of three different
runs both before and after Norton was installed. The large file
transfer test was about 90 seconds slower with Norton installed;
the large archive test was 14 minutes slower (one hour and four
minutes versus one hour and eighteen), and extracting all of that
archived data took an extra four minutes. The only test that didn't
show any significant difference with Norton installed was the
That tells me that you may see some performance loss while using
Norton on a mid-range or lower PC.
Norton 360 Deluxe is a very good suite with a good price. If
you're looking for excellent antivirus protection that won't get in
your way, and which offers a good number of features, then this is
the suite to buy.
Editor's note: Because online services are
often iterative, gaining new features and performance improvements
over time, this review is subject to change in order to accurately
reflect the current state of the service. Any changes to text or
our final review verdict will be noted at the top of this