Norton Security Review- Mac

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Score 9.6

Threat Protection

  • 24/7 Full Cyber-Protection
  • Smart Firewall Protection
  • Dark Web Monitoring
  • Advanced Parental Control
  • Gaming Compatibility
  • Identity Protection
  • SafeCam Protection
  • Device Tune-up
Plans & Prices:
  • 360 STANDARD:
    $39.99 per year per device
  • 360 DELUXE:
    $49.99 per year for five device
    $99.48 per year for five device

Payment Methods


Mac computers are often mistaken for ones that are completely immune to viruses and malware. Some people even still believe there are no Mac viruses in existence.

What was true once, nowadays is far from the truth, and in a recent decade that Apple computers are booming the market, viruses, malware, and spyware have become as diverse and advanced as it comes.

A lot of reports going back to 2017 claimed that Macs are now more vulnerable to viruses and attack and that there is some Mac malware that can completely freeze Apple computers.
Compared to Windows and Android, there are still less MacOS malware samples, yet it is continually growing, and native Mac malware is no less dangerous. So having your Mac device protected by a solid antivirus system is essential in our digital world.

Norton, aka Norton by The Symantec Corporation, is without a doubt one of the most widely known and used antivirus and security software distributors.

Norton released its first product, Norton AntiVirus 1.0 for PC and compatible computers, back in 1991 and now offers a range of options, including its patented SONAR protection that proactively detects unknown security risks on both Mac and Microsoft computers in real-time, based on the behavior of applications.

Norton has been a reputable player in the security software market for a long time and has won several awards over the years, including the 2018 PCMag Editors’ Choice Award for cross-platform multi-device security with its Premium version of Norton Security. An award that proves Norton is as strong as ever and continues to be a major player on the market.

During our research on antivirus software, we’ve identified five key criteria for you to consider when choosing an antivirus software: 1. Threat Protection 2. Resource consumption 3. 24/7 protection/real-time scanning 4. Extra must-have features 5. Platforms/Devices accessibility. Our reviews will examine each antivirus software in accordance with how well it delivers on these five criteria.

How Norton Security meets the 5 criteria?

1. Threat Protection

Boot Time Protection
Boot Time Protection increases security when starting your Mac computer. A boot-time scan is a virus scan that runs before the operating system fully loads. This allows Norton to scan files before they are used by another program or the operating system.

Real-Time Protection
Real-Time Protection is the name for a bundle of options that control the scanning and monitoring of your macOS system. You can use these options to determine what is being scanned and the purpose of a specific scan. You can also choose what will be the course of action when you encounter a security risk or risk-like activity. Real-Time Protection provides ongoing protection for your computer by checking for viruses and other security risks.

SONAR Protection
Symantec Online Network for Advanced Response (SONAR) is Norton Security’s most unique feature, providing real-time protection against threats and proactively detecting unknown security risks on your Apple computer by monitoring the behavior of applications and identifying emerging threats. SONAR Advanced Mode settings assist with the removal of a potential threat.

Spyware Protection
Spyware finds its way onto Mac computers and laptops without permission. It runs in the background, collecting information or monitoring your activities. It usually also affects the performance of your computer, so a good reason to make sure your computer is free from spyware. Norton Security includes the tools to detect, block and/or remove spyware.

Phishing Websites Protection
Norton Security is an all-in-one security solution that protects you against all kinds of threats, including phishing attacks that try to persuade you to share personal info, passwords, bank info, et cetera. Norton Security protects you from this type of attack by blocking phishing content, both emails, and websites.

Adware Protection
Adware’s goal is to display advertising content on your computer, usually in the form of pop-up windows with flash ads offering links to other sites. Although commonly regarded as relatively harmless, Norton Security constantly scans your system to keep it adware free.

Network Drive Protection (NDP)
The Network Drive Protection feature scans all the network drives connected to your computer. The scan is automatically scheduled as part of a Full System Scan and/or a Custom Scan. The Network Drive Protection is active by default; turning it off means the network drives will not be scanned.

The Auto-Protect option is working in the background all the time, constantly scanning your Mac for viruses and other threats.

2. Resource Consumption

Norton Security comes with a feature to make sure your computer keeps running smoothly without any performance issues. The so-called Background Task feature postpones certain tasks and only performs them when you are not using your computer or when the computer is running on external power. This extends the battery life and improves the performance of your computer. The Power Saving Mode is on by default and makes sure no background tasks are performed while the computer runs on battery power. As soon as the computer runs on external power again, the suspended background processes will resume.

Norton Security also checks the system resource usage of other programs and notifies you when a program uses more than the configured profile threshold.

Norton Security offers several tools to improve your computer’s performance: a Disk Optimizer, a File Cleanup tool, and a Startup Manager. Not what you would call groundbreaking, but comfortable to have at hand and easy to use.

In general, Norton doesn’t use a lot of the available CPU power.

3. 24/7 Real-time Scanning

Norton Security’s Auto-Protect feature is constantly scanning your computer, working in the background. It is complemented by the SONAR Protection feature that provides real-time protection against threats and proactively detects unknown security risks, and the Download Intelligence feature that protects you from unsafe files that you download from your browser. Turning off Auto-Protect automatically turns off the other two options as well, which is not a good idea if you value real-time scanning (which you really should). Norton Security’s Auto-Protect feature is constantly scanning your computer, working in the background. It is complemented by the SONAR Protection feature that provides real-time protection against threats and proactively detects unknown security risks, and the Download Intelligence feature that protects you from unsafe files that you download from your browser. Turning off Auto-Protect automatically turns off the other two options as well, which is not a good idea if you value real-time scanning (which you really should).

4. Extra Protection Features

Advanced protection for Mac

Norton DeepSight Community Download. Lets you configure your Norton product to automatically obtain the updated list of IP addresses of the computers that Symantec identifies as attackers.

Vulnerability Protection. Lets you configure your Norton product to scan all of the network traffic that enters and exits your Mac and compare this information against a set of attack signatures.

Removable Media Scan. Removable Media Scan checks for viruses upon insertion of any type of removable media. This scan only takes a few seconds to complete.

Smart Firewall. Smart Firewall monitors network activities between other computers and yours and blocks unauthorized traffic. Firewall settings contain the access settings for the applications, services, and ports on your Mac. They also contain access settings for connections to or from the other computers in the network to which your Mac is connected and decides whether to allow or deny an application, such as a web browser or iTunes, from connecting to the Internet.

Intrusion Prevention. Certain viruses and malware are designed to look for vulnerabilities in the macOS operating system or in programs you installed. The Intrusion Prevention functionality scans network traffic to detect and neutralize this kind of attacks.

Email Protection. Threats sent to you in the shape of an email attachment will be blocked by the Email Protection feature. Norton Security automatically configures your email so it is protected against viruses and other security threats

Browser Protection. Malware attempting to exploit vulnerabilities in your web browser is blocked by the Browser Protection feature. This option also safeguards your personal info and prevents anyone from accessing your system. The Connection Blocking settings that you configure are specific to the selected network location. The settings apply only when your Mac connects to the specified network location.

Download Intelligence. This feature protects you from downloading harmful files. It tells you if it is safe to open/ install a file.

Norton Product Tamper Protection. This feature enables you to password-protect your Norton Security product settings so that it is safe from an attack or unauthorized access. It does mean you can only view or change the settings by entering the password.

Norton Identity Safe. You want your sensitive information (address, login information, passwords, and credit card details) to be safe at all times. Norton Identity Safe offers multi-layered protection for your personal data by encrypting and storing it a cloud-based vault. To access Norton Identity Safe, you must first use your Norton account credential that is associated with your Norton Internet Security.

Norton WiFi/VPN. Connecting a MacBook to a public WiFi connection involves a risk. Norton WiFi Privacy encrypts the data you send and receive when using public WiFi. You can mask your online activities and location with Norton’s no-log VPN that encrypts your personal information and doesn’t track or store your online activities or location. With Norton WiFi Privacy you can pay bills, check your mail and interact on social media channels wherever you are, without having to wonder if your WiFi connection is safe or not.

Norton Family. Norton Family is Norton’s answer to the much-debated issue of how to make sure children can safely enjoy the internet. It monitors and manages the online activities of children up to the age of 16.

Norton 100% guarantee. All Norton Security packages come with Norton 100% guarantee – Norton’s quality assurance stamp. If you run into any problems during your subscription, Norton experts will work with you to diagnose and remove viruses. It could even result in a refund, in case Symantec is unable to remove a virus from your Apple device.

5. Platforms/Devices Accessibility

Norton Security is a so-called multi-device cross-platform solution: it secures any device, regardless of the platform or operating system. Depending on the package you purchase, Norton Security offers the option to protect from one (Standard package) up to ten devices (Premium package). The Premium option, to give you an example, is good for protecting a family of five: everyone’s smartphone, the Android tablet, the iPad, the desktop computer, the laptop, and the MacBook Pro.
Regarding the Mac systems, Norton is supported only on Mac OS X 10.7.5 (Lion) or later. If your Mac runs on OS X 10.6 or earlier, upgrade your Mac operating system to the supported version.

To install Norton product version 8.x or later, you need to have Mac OS X 10.10.x or later.

Windows OS

Mac OS



User Experience

Norton has extensive experience in developing security software, and they use that experience in a very sensible way. Their current Security suites are very easy to use and surprisingly simple in setup. There’s a reason for this: most users don’t go into the settings and the advanced sections, they merely use the sections displayed on the main page. All the advanced sections have default settings that are sensible for most users anyway, the same goes for the settings page. There are plenty of variables to change there, but if you don’t know what they do, then it doesn’t make sense to start making changes. Most users will love the setup of the Norton Security packages.


Norton Security Standard

$37.99 / Year

  • Protects 1 PC, 1 Mac or 1 mobile device
  • Defends against viruses, spyware, malware and other online threats
  • Safeguards your personal info and online transactions
  • Includes Norton’s 100% guarantee

Norton Security Deluxe

$49.99 / Year

  • Secures multiple PCs, Macs, smartphones, and tablets
  • Helps you manage protection for up to 5 devices
  • Safeguards your personal info and online transactions
  • Includes Norton’s 100% guarantee

Norton Security Premium

$64.99 / Year

  • Includes 25 GB of secure online PC storage
  • Provides premium family safety features
  • Secures up to 10 PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets
  • Includes Norton’s 100% guarantee

A nice touch is that all of the three options include a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee trial version, giving you the opportunity to try the software in action, before deciding how much you are ready to invest.

Support and Customer Service

When you need assistance, you go to the Help center in the Norton Security tool. The Help Center in turn links to the website – the Support section on the website is extensive and covers a lot of ground. There is a large FAQ section, and every FAQ offers a list of related FAQs so people can find specific subject relatively easy. There are video tutorials that show in detail how Norton products work. The Norton Community is also a valuable source of info with its forum, its announcement blog, the ‘Connect to Norton’ section that shows the Norton Support social media accounts. It’s understandable that Norton, like most other companies, wants to try and fix issues with canned responses as much as possible as to not overload the physical Support team on duty. But it can be annoying looking for a way to get in touch with a Support representative. You think it is easy at Norton, but both a chat request and a phone request require you to fill out a form for them to get back to you, which seems overly complicated.

Pros & Cons

  • Functional and easy-to-use interface
  • An extensive number of protection tools
  • Great additional features
  • 30-day free trial
  • An unnecessary long process to chat or talk to Support
  • Product portfolio too large (“what should I choose?”)
  • Only partly cloud-based

Bottom Line

While Macs are generally known for being fairly secure in the Mac ecosystem, your browsing activity on a network can still be at risk. Faulty Mac configurations or security settings also create vulnerabilities. Active desktop monitoring, keylogging, and hacking – those are just a few examples of those risks. Such attacks can slow down your Mac computer’s performance, cause program failure, or let cybercriminals get access to your personal data and confidential information.

With the Norton Security packs, Norton released a very solid product, which is emphasized by the PC Mag 2018 award for the best multi-device cross-platform security pack on the market.

While there is definitely still room for improvement, we are definitely impressed by the versatility of the product, the ease of use and the stability of the tool. Norton proves that, even after more than 25 years, it can still roll with the best. Norton Security is a very pleasant product and it does the Norton legacy justice. Highly recommended!