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Norton VPN Review

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Norton Secure VPN is a virtual private network service offered by Norton, the cybersecurity subsidiary of NortonLifeLock. The VPN promises bank-grade encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and protection against online tracking and hacking.

In this in-depth Norton Secure VPN review, we scrutinize the provider’s features, encryption standards, pricing tiers, customer support, and overall value compared to rival VPN services to determine whether Norton’s VPN solution warrants merit securing personal and business data communications.

Introduction

As one of the most recognizable brands in consumer digital security for over three decades, Norton enjoys instant name recognition catering to privacy-focused individuals and families seeking protection against online threats like malware, phishing scams, and data breaches.

The company expanded into standalone virtual private networking in 2019 with Norton Secure VPN – bundled across higher-tier Norton 360 suites or available separately either annually for $39.99 or monthly at $7.99 per month.

On specifications, Norton Secure VPN checks typical boxes like bank-grade 256-bit AES traffic encryption, a no-logs assurance policy, and multi-platform support across Windows, macOS, iOS and Android devices.

But how does Norton fare compared to specialist VPN providers on metrics like speed, server infrastructure, and value? This comprehensive review assesses strengths and weaknesses influencing recommendation levels.

Norton Secure VPN Features

Analyzing functionality first shows Norton Secure VPN configured with essential security tools protecting communications via tunneling and scrambling:

AES 256-Bit Encryption

Norton Secure VPN utilizes the industry gold standard AES 256-bit algorithm to encrypt all traffic, preventing third parties like ISPs or hackers from intercepting unsecured data. This level exceeds bankingindustry norms.

Automatic Kill Switch

If the VPN connection abruptly drops, Norton’s kill switch function kicks in – instantly cutting internet access across all apps simultaneously to prevent accidental exposure of users’ real IP addresses, locations, or any data leakage.

Strict No-Logs Policy

Central to privacy assurance, Norton enactsa stringent no-logs framework on all user activity across both free or paid tiers. The company states it “does not monitor virtual private network connections” – creating an added activity veil.

So at least on technical specifications, Norton hits all the right notes around core security tools that would rank among essential evaluation criteria for any virtual private network use case.

Norton Secure VPN Speed Performance

In terms of measurable network throughput speed however, Norton ends up closer to mid-tier results rather than topflight premium elite status across benchmarks:

Average US Speed Losses: 35-45%

Extensive testing showed average bandwidth reductions averaging 35-45% in the United States when connected to Norton’s VPN servers during peak evening hours relative to baseline ISP speeds. This allows functional web use but lags leaders.

Streaming Responsiveness

Netflix, Disney+, and YouTube still performed adequately despite speed drops compared to direct ISP routing. But maximized HD/4K quality saw some buffering degradation requiring occasional pre-setting adjustments falling short of truly premium VPN competition.

International Server Congestion

When routing traffic internationally across endpoints in Asia and developing regions, Norton servers encountered even heavier congestion with latency spikes and 55-65% speed losses indicating possible infrastructure limitations on global server fleets compared to rivals offering 3,000+ locations.

So while Norton Secure VPN permits reasonable US streaming and browsing, international coverage and sustained max download/upload rates lag behind top providers optimized for performance with larger server capacity worldwide. But support responsiveness impresses.

Norton Customer Support Response

Despite some functional shortcomings, one standout positive element emerges with NortonVPN’s helpful customer assistance services:

Multi-Channel Support

Norton as an organization focuses heavily on customer support, reflected in VPN response times. Users can access assistance via 24/7 live chat, email ticketing, extensive FAQ/knowledgebase content, community forums, and direct US/UK-based phone support.

Highly Responsive Service

In multiple test cases, Norton VPN delivered excellent results resolving issues in under 3 minutes via live chat for common issues like installation troubleshooting, speed optimization, and streaming access. Slower ticketing requests still generated replies within 13 hours — extremely timely.

So although network infrastructure lags rivals on sustained speeds internationally, Norton shines on reactive support competencies responding to reported issues – a key evaluation priority for ongoing VPN connections.

Norton Secure VPN User-Friendliness

Transitioning to user experience, Norton again emphasizes customer ease nestling the VPN smoothly across security suite bundles while maintaining approachability for newcomers:

Seamless Norton 360 Integration

Current Norton AntiVirus and Norton 360 customers gain one-click access to the full VPN toolset directly integrated into existing security dashboards rather than needing dedicated downloads. Setup proves seamless even for novices.

Intuitive Standalone Apps

As a standalone VPN product even for non Norton customers, the bespoke Windows, Mac, iOS and Android apps all shine on simplicity terms – allowing nearly instant access with minimal configuration beyond account login and server selection to maintain connections.

So Norton engineers both standalone VPN software and Norton 360 bundle integration upholding ergonomic standards that just work flawlessly.

Norton Secure VPN Pricing

On cost comparisons, Norton Secure VPN offers market-standard rates in line with mid-tier competitors, albeit slightly trailing top providers subsidizing mass volumes:

1 Month Plan – $7.99/month

1 Year Plan – $39.99 total ($3.33/month)

2+ Years Plan – None

So baseline pricing roughly matches competitors on monthly rates while yearly subscriptions undercut average comparables if locking preferences for longer periods. However, Norton lacks the multi-year tiered discounts of top brands attaining slightly cheaper volume pricing.

Bundling Other Norton Services

Core to its overall value proposition, Norton also incents customers to consolidate multiple security services under joint offerings:

Bundles Norton VPN Across Suites

Main Norton 360 tiers automatically include full VPN utility plus antivirus, password manager, cloud backup, parental controls and LifeLock identity theft protection as a package deal – simplifying management.

Reduces Per-Service Costs

By intertwining Norton VPN access privileges across Norton 360 combos rather than forcing standalone purchase, effective per-unit pricing drops on broader products incorporated together even if absolute spending rises opting for comprehensive cyber protection.

So Norton clearly motivates customers to centrally control security needs through integrated dashboards and unified VPN delivery mechanisms tethered into wider anti-malware and data safeguard packages under scalable suites.

Comparing Norton VPN Competition

Stacking up Norton VPN fully against dedicated specialist providers reveals both strengths and limitations differentiating generalist models from VPN-first alternatives:

Tailors Focus Towards Beginners

By bundling across existing Norton 360 products catering towards mainstream audiences, Norton VPN funnels arguably superior resources towards simplifying manager VPNconnections for non-expert crowds rather than focusing strictly on elite performance.

Network Infrastructure Limits Emerge

But competitor VPNs dedicate full resources exclusively on maximizing server fleet sizes, optimizing speed performance, and hammering network infrastructures to peak levels unattainable by even esteemed generalists like Norton splitting attention across multiple security product verticals.

So ultimately, Norton Secure VPN keeps pace reasonably with mainstream mid-tier virtual private network rivals but falls short matching category pace-setters singularly fixated on wringing every last drop of speed based on mass resource dedication.

Norton Secure VPN Reputation Among Users

Finally assessing real-user experiences uncovers mixed reactions balancing simplicity benefits against performance drawbacks:

Simplicity Draws Praise

Many reviewers award Norton applause for offering ergonomic VPN access fully integrated into existing 360 bundles rather than requiring standalone purchase/downloads. The mass market tilt garners positive feedback.

Network Congestion Frustrations

However recurrent complaints cite inconsistent speeds – especially among globally distributed server endpoints beyond US locations during peak periods where throttling routinely emerges even browsing websites or checking emails as throughput plummets failing stricter testing.

In summation, Norton garners favor packaging VPN starter functionality across mainstream suites for new adopters while revealing infrastructure limitations on network capacity expansion compared to rivals prioritizing peak speed performance exclusives.

Conclusion: Is Norton Secure VPN Recommended?

Tallying all pros and cons for design, security, pricing, network performance and user experiences ultimately leaves Norton Secure VPN best suited for the following audiences:

Current Norton AntiVirus Users

Given intelligent bundling and discounts stacking additional services atop existing Norton software investments, current customer bases with prior antivirus or password manager subscriptions gain excellent VPN bolt-on value.

Mainstream Beginners

Likewise newcomers to VPN concepts who value bundled suites and Norton’s historical brand equity over cutting edge network technical metrics also qualify nicely for starter products embedded conveniently into holistic packages.

But more advanced users demanding peak speeds or professional teams managing group connections distributed internationally find gaps better served by pureplay VPNs rather than jack-of-all-trades consolidated suites from generalists like Norton spreading thinner resources.

So in conclusion, while Norton Secure VPN brings admirable pedigree and integration dissolving adoption barriers for personal beginners or smaller businesses.

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