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Norton 360 Security Bundle Review 2024: Is it worth it?

If you're considering signing up for the Norton 360 bundle, this post can help. We tested all the software included to see if we could recommend it.
Writer: Marc Dahan
Specialist in Online Privacy

Many antivirus vendors have branched into more general security bundles alongside their antivirus in recent years. In this review, we’re looking at Norton’s 360 security bundle, which includes:

  • An antivirus
  • A VPN
  • An ads and tracker blocker (when the VPN is enabled)
  • Cloud Storage
  • A password manager
  • Dark Web monitoring
  • A privacy monitor
  • Parental controls
  • A private web browser

That’s a lot. But is it worth it?

If you have the time, I recommend reading the full review. If not, you can look at my summary below.

Norton 360 Security summary

I’ve reviewed a few of these security bundles from antivirus vendors. They all tend to provide an excellent antivirus engine, a pretty good but very basic VPN, and a bunch of other software most people will either never use or for which there are many better alternatives (sometimes free ones).

So, despite including a significant number of “extra features and services,” it’s difficult to recommend the bundle. Many of the extra bundled programs feel like fluff added to the offering to make it appear to be a better deal than it actually is.

Norton’s app is somewhat confusing to use, with many new windows popping up as you navigate and interact with it. So, the experience isn’t great in that regard—even if you just stick to using the antivirus.

Given that Norton 360 provides real-time antivirus scanning, malware protection, and dark web monitoring (privacy monitoring), it’s going to need to collect a lot of data from your online activities—including when using its VPN. So, if you’re focused on privacy, you may want to look elsewhere (actually, you may want to avoid security bundles from antivirus vendors altogether).

Nonetheless, Norton’s antivirus engine is excellent and performed exceptionally well in our testing. Its VPN, while basic, is fast and isn’t subject to IP leaks of any kind. So, while I wouldn’t recommend the bundle, I can recommend its very good antivirus. I would just get that—without the extras—and enjoy top-notch antivirus protection without fiddling with the rest.

Norton 360 Security pros and cons


  • Excellent antivirus engine
  • Fast VPN
  • VPN is not prone to IP leaks
  • Antivirus supports many user customizations


  • VPN is extremely basic
  • Collects massive amounts of user data – even when on VPN
  • App navigation is extremely convoluted
  • Extra software is of questionable usefulness
  • Some extra software requires additional installs
  • Support could be better
  • Prices are rather high

The antivirus

The antivirus component of Norton’s 360 security bundle is, unsurprisingly, the piece with the best performance and the most functionality and options. As mentioned above, it performed brilliantly in our testing. It also scored very high on AVTests and AVComparatives.

This section will provide a breakdown of Norton’s app while focusing on the antivirus functionality. Unfortunately, navigating the app isn’t all that intuitive.

The app looks like this (you need to scroll the right side of the UI to see all the options):

Norton 360 - Main UI

On the right-hand side of the UI, various features are listed. You can access those services by clicking the button on the right of each one. But when you do that, another page with a group of services will appear, some of which might be unexpected.

For example, clicking Open next to Device Security (the first category), this page pops up (I say “pops up” because this is displayed in a new window as if I had just opened a second app):

Norton 360 - Device Security - Main

OK, I want to configure my antivirus… Where do I go?
It turns out you need to click Security to display the antivirus options. Doing so displays this page:

Norton 360 - Security Options

OK, we’re getting closer… It looks like I should click on Scans to finally do what I want to do. Great. But I can’t help wondering why I’m seeing SafeCam here.

Clicking the Scans icon, we end up here:

Norton 360 - Device Security - Scans

OK, finally, we get some antivirus scanning options. But it turns out that this page will only allow me to run scans on the fly. These are not the settings that will enable me to configure the behavior of my antivirus, like scheduled scans and update frequency.

It turns out that to get to the full antivirus options, you need to click on the gear icon in the middle of the main app’s UI to get those.

Norton 360 - Main UI - Gear Menu

Clicking the gear icon brings up this page (again as a pop-up “app”).

Norton 360 - Device Security - Settings

We’re getting there…

Clicking Antivirus displays the settings menu for the antivirus engine.

Norton 360 - Antivirus Settings

It was a long ride, but we’re provided with a comprehensive set of customization options. I just wish Norton had invested a bit more in UX design. This is convoluted.

Now that we know how to configure the antivirus, let’s move on to its performance.

Antivirus tests

The first tests I ran on Norton’s antivirus were done using malware samples from the European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research (EICAR). EICAR provides files that simulate a virus infection without damaging your system. It detected EICAR in its three scanning modes (Quick, Full, and Custom).

No valueNorton 360 Security bundle
Eicar Sample 1Blocked
Eicar Sample 2Blocked
Eicar Sample 3Blocked
Eicar Sample 4Blocked
Best deal (per month)$4.17
Save 58% off the annual deluxe plan

When I tested Norton against three malware samples: zipped executable files (2 trojans, one adware), it detected all of them in all three modes.

No valueNorton 360 Security bundle
Live Sample 1 (Adware)Blocked
Live Sample 2 (Trojan)Blocked
Live Sample 3 (Trojan)Blocked
Best deal (per month)$4.17
Save 58% off the annual deluxe plan

Impact on system resources

Turning to system resources, here’s what Norton 360’s impact on system resources for quick and full scans looks like.

Quick scan

No valueNorton 360 Security bundle
Control CPU Utliization % (no scan)14
Control Memory Utilization % (no scan)72
Control Disk Utilization (seconds) (no scan)13
Quick Scan Time (seconds)171
Quick Scan Memory Utilization %76
Quick Scan Disk Utilization (seconds)41
Best deal (per month)$4.17
Save 58% off the annual deluxe plan

Full scan

No valueNorton 360 Security bundle
Control CPU Utliization % (no scan)14
Control Memory Utilization % (no scan)72
Control Disk Utilization (seconds) (no scan)13
Full Scan CPU Utilization %84
Full Scan Memory Utilization %75
Full Scan Disk Utilization (seconds)381
Best deal (per month)$4.17
Save 58% off the annual deluxe plan

Full antivirus scans typically use up a lot of system resources, and Norton is no different in that regard. Still, I was able to use my computer without any issues during the scans.

Antivirus testing methodology

We’ve structured our antivirus testing methodology to provide reliable data on the software’s effectiveness at malware protection and performance.

Our testing process includes:

  • Using malware test samples from EICAR
  • Testing live malware samples, including Adware and Trojans
  • Comparing our own tests with independent antivirus lab test results

In addition, we measure several PC performance metrics and analyze pricing, ease of use, compatibility, and additional features.

We have a dedicated post on our antivirus research and testing methodology if you want to know more about how we analyze antivirus software.


As is often the case with these bundles, the antivirus is the star of the show, and the VPN comes in second place in terms of usefulness.

The VPN can be accessed from the app’s main page by clicking the downward arrow next to Secure VPN. From there, you can:

  • Select your VPN Server’s location
  • Access the VPN settings
  • Access online support resources on the VPN

Norton 360 - VPN

Clicking on VPN Region brings up a menu from which you can choose the specific region of the VPN server you will connect to.

Norton 360 - VPN Region Selection

And selecting Settings displays the VPN’s limited Settings page.

Norton 360 - VPN Settings

There isn’t much, but the essentials are there:

  • Auto-Connect
  • Selecting a default server to connect to
  • Kill switch
  • Ad and tracker blocking
  • Split tunneling

I’d even say that Norton’s bundled VPN is a bit more advanced than what you get from other antivirus vendors’ security bundles.

Split tunneling allows you to selectively route your traffic through the VPN tunnel or your ISP’s gateway on a URL or an app-by-app basis. So you could, for example, send all of your streaming traffic through your regular ISP connection while tunneling the rest of your traffic through the VPN. Or, you could only send your P2P traffic through the VPN while sending everything else through your ISP connection. You just need to configure it for your particular scenario.

With Norton, you simply select the apps you want to exclude from the tunnel. They will automatically use your ISP connection, while all other apps will go through the VPN.

Norton 360 - VPN - Split Tunneling

It’s basic, but it works. The downside is that there’s pretty much no technical information about Norton’s VPN service. Which protocol does it use? Which encryption algorithms does it use? No clue.

I conducted some speed and IP leak tests on the VPN and it fared very well.

Here are the speed test results:

Norton 360 - Speed Test

  • North America: 478 Mbps
  • Europe: 351 Mbps
  • Asia: 212 Mbps

Global: 347 Mbps

Great speeds. Here are the IP leak test results:

Without VPN

Norton 360 - IP Test - No VPN

With VPN

Norton 360 - IP Test - With VPN

No leaks here, though we were unable to test on IPv6. Let’s move onto Norton’s privacy policy.

The first thing we find, when digging through its privacy policy, is its policy relative to the data users provide.

Norton 360 - Privacy Policy 1

We then get into what Norton collects directly (spoiler alert: it’s a lot).

Norton 360 - Privacy Policy 2

Websites visited and associated metadata for the past 36 months? Ouch.

Finally, it discloses the data it collects from third-parties.

Norton 360 - Privacy Policy 3

That’s a lot of collected data. Of course, given the nature of Norton’s services (real-time scanning, malware blocking, dark web monitoring services, etc.), it will need to know a lot about you.

Personally, I’m not comfortable having that level of intimacy with a corporation, but that’s the tradeoff if you want to use Norton’s products. One can wonder what that implies when you use its VPN—more on that later.

Let’s now look at the “extra” software that Norton includes in its security bundle.

Cloud backup

Norton’s 360 Security bundle includes between 50 and 500 GB of cloud storage based on your subscription tier. Norton’s Cloud Backup is accessed from the app’s main page.

When you click Set Up, a new “app” pops-up displaying the cloud backup options. Clicking Run Backup prompts you  to select “what,” “when,” and “where.”

Norton 360 - Main UI - Cloud Backup


Norton 360 - Backup - What


Norton 360 - Backup - When


Norton 360 - Backup - Where

Clicking Summary at the top left unsurprisingly displays a summary of your backup options. Once you’ve configured the backup settings to your liking, you can save your settings and run a backup.

Note: If you want additional backup settings, you (confusingly) need to click on the gear icon on the app’s main page and select Backup Settings in the pop-up window that appears. This is true for all the services listed on the Settings page (displayed below).

Norton 360 - Device Security - Settings
That will take you to this page:

Norton 360 - Backup Settings

Password Manager

Norton 360 - Main UI - Cloud Backup
Norton’s password manager can be accessed from the main app’s main page. Clicking Access Vault, next to Password Manager, takes you to an external web page that prompts you to create your password vault.

Norton 360 - Password Manager - Create Vault

Clicking Create creates your password vault. You’re prompted to create a password and to download your recovery key. After that, you’re taken to your newly created password vault.

Norton 360 - Password Vault Created

Now that your vault is created, you’ll want to install the browser extension(s) for your device(s). It would have been nice if Norton had placed all the password manager options in one place, but alas we have to deal with a very convoluted app.

To install the extensions, from the main app’s main UI, click Open, next to Security.

Norton 360 - Main UI 2

This opens up a pop-up app. Select Internet Security. The Password Manager options are displayed.

Norton 360 - Internet Security
From here, clicking Password Manager will take you back to your password vault. Clicking Password Generator takes you to Norton’s password generator web page. You can also install the browser extensions from this page).

Norton 360 - Password Generator
Clicking Browser Extensions takes you to Norton’s official browser extension installation web page.

Norton 360 - Password Manager Web Page

Again, this is clunky app navigation and a convoluted setup process. Other than that, the password manager works quite well.

Dark Web Monitoring

When you enable Dark Web Monitoring (from the main UI), it is set up to automatically monitor the email address you used for your Norton account.

Norton 360 - Main UI 2

After that, you can choose to add additional pieces of personal information to monitor.

Norton 360 - Dark Web Monitor

Privacy Monitoring

Privacy monitoring seems to be a feature but it actually isn’t. It’s just a summary of your active / inactive Norton security services.

Norton 360 - Privacy Monitor Web Page

Parental Controls

Parental Controls is a feature that enables parents to have more control over their kids’ online activities by installing an app on the child’s device that can filter and limit internet usage.

From the app’s main UI, select Manage next to Parental Controls. This takes you to Norton’s Parental Controls web page.

Norton 360 - Parental Controls - Setup
Clicking Agree & Continue begins the setup process. You first need to add a child.

Norton 360 - Parental Controls - Add Child You then choose a device for the added child and a restriction level.

Norton 360 - Parental Controls - Add Device 1 If you’re not currently on the child device, choose the second option.

Norton 360 - Parental Controls - Add Device 2 You’re provided with different options regarding the device type to install the software on the child device.

Norton 360 - Parental Controls - Installation

Once you’ve chosen the device type, you’re provided with instructions for installation.


Private Browser

Included with Norton’s 360 Security bundle, as a separate download, is Norton’s private browser. It’s based on Chrome and customized by Norton for enhanced privacy.

From the main UI page, click Install next to Private Browser to begin its installation.

Norton 360 - Private Browser 1

Once installed, it launches automatically. It looks like this:

Norton 360 - Private Browser 2

To get an idea of its privacy features, you can click on the blue shield at the top right of the UI. This displays the Privacy Center.

Norton 360 - Private Browser 3

The browser works well and blocks most ads and trackers. One thing to note, however, is that once installed, it will automatically become your default browser. That may not be what you want, and you can set it back to your browser of choice.


Norton 360 - Pricing
Norton offers four subscription tiers:

  • Deluxe: $49.99/year
  • Select: $99.99/year
  • Advantage: $191.88/year
  • Ultimate Plus: $299.88/year

Aside from the Deluxe plan, these prices are pretty high compared to the competition. And listing additional pieces of PII (personally identifiable information) to protect doesn’t really justify the proposed price hikes.

I’m not sure how many people would turn to Norton for “401(k) & Investment Activity Alerts.” I sure wouldn’t.


Support with Norton comes in two forms:

  • Online knowledge bases
  • Online chat

I opted for the latter, and the process is (again) rather convoluted. To get support, you first click on the “?” icon in the “middle” bar on the app’s main UI.

Norton 360 - Main UI 2
That takes you to Norton’s Support web page.

Norton 360 - Support Site
You then need to go through Norton’s process, which is displayed at the top of the window. But you’re doing this with its AI assistant, which doesn’t understand much and forces you to repeat and rephrase multiple times. Luckily, after a few (failed) tries, it gives up and transfers you to a live rep.

The support rep I chatted with was polite, but I’m unsure how knowledgeable they were. And the answers they provided weren’t really satisfactory.

I inquired about how Norton’s data collection practices apply when using the VPN.

Norton 360 - Support Chat 1 Norton 360 - Support Chat 2 Norton 360 - Support Chat 3
So, according to what the rep wrote back, I’m supposed to believe that Norton collects browsing activities but doesn’t save them anywhere. How could that work? How could Norton make use of them if the logs it collects are never saved?

It just doesn’t make any sense. I assume Norton collects those logs and saves them somewhere for a limited period. That also makes its VPN unsuitable for those who use VPNs for privacy.

Do I recommend Norton 360 Security?

I recently reviewed a similar software bundle by McAfee. And I pretty much feel the same way about Norton’s bundle as I did McAfee’s. It comes down to this:  its antivirus engine is excellent, and the rest is average to mediocre.

Norton collects large amounts of user data to provide all of its services—even when using its VPN. So, if you’re looking for a VPN that provides extra privacy, you should probably look elsewhere.

And again, as was the case with McAfee, I can find no compelling reasons to trust Norton to store my passwords or my files (cloud storage) or to monitor my PII on the dark web. Perhaps it could make a case for itself regarding real-time file-scanning and malware blocking, but for the rest, not so much.

Antivirus companies appear to be trying to capitalize on the fact that antivirus software is considered “security” software. But just bundling an antivirus engine with a bunch of other “off-the-shelf” security products and jacking up the prices isn’t going to be enough.

While I could easily recommend Norton’s antivirus engine, I can’t recommend its 360 Security bundle. You can easily find a better private browser, password manager, PII protection, cloud storage, etc. – some better alternatives are even free.

So, if you really want Norton’s antivirus, my advice is to get the antivirus, not the security bundle.