Aside from their well-known antivirus software called Norton, NortonLifeLock (previously Symantec) also has Norton Secure VPN. This standalone VPN or Virtual Private Network is formerly known as the Norton WiFi Privacy.
This really got me curious. If the Norton brand can provide us with top-notch performance from their antivirus software, does this mean that their VPN service can deliver their customers’ needs as well?
We will find out all about that in this Norton Secure VPN review. But let’s talk a bit about what a Virtual Private Network is.
What Is VPN?
VPN helps you surf online safely and anonymously so you can keep your pertinent data safe and secured.
VPN services can give you the freedom to “go” anywhere you want to go online without being restricted. But this kind of security with freedom is not free.
You will need to create an account to subscribe to VPN services for a monthly fee. You will get the following perks for subscribing:
- Confidentiality – your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will not know about the sites that you visited. Your “location” online will not be associated with your IP address and you.
- Safety – the VPN servers are unhackable. In addition to that, your transactions and activities are indecipherable and coded. They cannot be traced back to you.
- Unlimited access – familiar with geoblocks? They are restrictions that keep you from accessing sites or web content depending on your area or country. A VPN can unblock the restriction for you.
- Anonymity – to surf safely, your IP address assigned to you by your ISP will be hidden. The VPN service will frequently supply you different IP addresses while concealing yours. It will seem like you are in different areas of the globe.
If you are lucky enough to have a good VPN, your browsing experience will still be the same. You won’t even know that a VPN service such as Norton Secure VPN is already working its magic.
Now that you know what a VPN is and what it can do, let us now go to the Norton Secure VPN review.
What is Norton Secure VPN?
The Norton Secure VPN is the brainchild of an outstanding cybersecurity services company called NortonLifeLock. You can buy this alone or as part of their software bundle.
The company markets this VPN as a way of securing that your traffic is not peeped when you go online through an unsafe public WiFi network. But no matter how you look at it, it pretty much serves just like any other VPN service with fewer features compared to its competitors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now, let’s see how good Norton Secure VPN is by digging deeper. Let’s see if this VPN is worth spending your money on.
1. How many servers do they have?
They have servers in 29 countries, but no exact number. This can probably mean that their network of servers is smaller in comparison with other premium VPNs. The fact that they are not transparent about the numbers makes me think that they are hiding something.
2. Can it unblock Netflix and other streaming sites?
Unfortunately, no. Several testers encountered issues upon testing Norton Secure VPN. Upon connecting to the VPN and loading Netflix, there were no problems as the tester was successful in streaming content. However, there were problems after changing to a different country server. As it turned out, Netflix did not update and show the new chosen country.
The reason is that the VPN service did not mask the public IPv6 address. What does this mean for you? This means that Netflix can still see your true location even if you change the country server to connect to. As a result, you still won’t have access to Netflix content that are restricted in your country.
Apart from Netflix, you also cannot go around the restrictions in Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, HBO GO, and Hulu. It looks like the Norton Secure VPN is not meant for bypassing geoblocks.
If your reason for purchasing this VPN service is for unblocking restrictions for streaming sites, then you should look somewhere else.
3. Is it fast?
VPNs usually cause lagging. Therefore, this changes a person’s overall surfing experience. For this reason, it is important that you get a super-fast or premium service so your online experience remains the same.
In addition to that, physical distance of a server is a factor that should be considered. You will get the best connection if you choose a server that is physically closest to your area.
Upon testing on a neighboring server, the speeds were decreased a bit but, slightly only. When tested on different and farther servers, the download and upload speeds were significantly reduced. This is a common trend, but other premium VPN servers can manage better.
Let me tell you that it is not fun to wait for pages to load. So, if you want better speed, pick a virtual location that is near to you.
4. Is it good for torrenting?
5. Is it safe?
Considering that their company is well known in the cybersecurity industry, I had high expectations of the Norton Secure VPN.
They use AES 256-bit encryption which is robust and unhackable. This encryption type is commonly used by banks and governments. As for the protocol, they use OpenVPN and L2PT/IPSec protocol.
Sadly, they have issues that need to be addressed. For instance, they can mask your IP address but still exposes your true IPv6 address (which is a newer IP address variant instead of the IPv4 connections).
Additionally, it does not have an automatic kill switch. While it is true that they have security measures in place to protect your data, this will all be useless if the VPN connection abruptly drops.
6. Do they keep logs?
This is quite weird for me.
Second, they are based in the USA which is a member of 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance, and which is NOT a privacy-friendly country.
7. Can they block ads?
Yes, they block ads and keep the ad trackers from collecting your data. However, the ad blocker does not block all the ads.
8. Does it work in China?
9. Will it work on my device?
It supports Android, iOS, Windows, and MacOS. Those who are operating using other platforms such as Linux cannot use Norton Secure VPN.
10. How is their customer support?
You can use their form to report a problem. However, the form asks for a substantial amount of personal details which is odd considering that you are using a VPN service to protect your privacy.
You only need to wait for a short time to get a response from a helpful customer representative though. But if you want, phone lines and live chat support are available 24 hours a day to help you answer your queries right away.
Additionally, they have guides, FAQs, tutorials, and forum made available for their clients. There are lots of resources to choose from.
11. How is the software/app?
Their app is user-friendly. You can find all that you are looking for in one place. Just toggle the button to turn the VPN on or off. If you don’t want to automatically turn on the service, you can change this in the settings area.
You can only choose a country, and not a specific city or server. This might pose an issue if the server you selected is having problems.
The app also shows the number of ads it blocked. All in all, it is a good and easy-to-use app.
Norton Secure VPN is an app that is simple to use. It provides unhackable and bank-grade protection to secure your data. Plus, the connection is stable when you use neighboring VPN virtual locations.
Their customer service is impeccable as well as they have a rich database of knowledge plus reliable support team… and they have a 60-day money-back guarantee if you purchase their annual subscription.
Their service does not conceal your true location and IP address which is a major obstacle that you simply cannot ignore if you put a higher worth on privacy. And, you can’t bypass blocks in streaming sites or use it for torrenting.
Those huge drawbacks are understandable since the company is mainly marketing it as protection for using unsafe public WiFi. To be fair, they did not promise all those above.
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