Norton WiFi Privacy Review – Does Norton Offer a Reliable VPN?
You know Norton.
It is a well-known antivirus brand owned by the Symantec security conglomerate. They also have a VPN (and a free proxy) that we reviewed recently – SurfEasy.
But you may not know a VPN service called Norton WiFi Privacy.
They are not one of the biggest known VPN names. They don’t even have the name “VPN”. You will have to do a lot of searching to find it on the Norton home page. (Hint: somewhere at the bottom of the footer.)
This is not an encouraging sign. It shouldn’t be who – which Hard to find product information. But this has become a recurring topic, unfortunately.
Before dismissing them completely, let’s complete our Norton WiFi privacy review so you can make a decision for yourself.
Norton WiFi Privacy Overview
|Ease of use:||Server speed is too slow|
|Log files:||Some registration policy|
|the support:||Email, knowledge base, chat|
|Netflix:||Netflix USA . Unlocks|
|Encoder/Protocol:||AES 256-bit encryption; OpenVPN|
|cost:||$4.99/month – $59/year|
Norton WiFi Privacy Pros
Being an offshoot of a major brand, Norton Wifi Privacy has some good features.
Their software is legit, protecting you from data leaks and malware. Their basic infrastructure is solid as well, and they post solid performance.
You can say that they have some dedicated experts on the staff, who can provide a reliable technical infrastructure.
Here’s an in-depth look.
1. No DNS leaks, malware or virus warnings found
Good VPNs create a secure tunnel around your Internet connection.
This way, all your referral data is forwarded to the VPN servers.
As a result, all your data – including the pages you visit or things you download – is hidden with the data of thousands of other users.
Except for one thing.
Bad VPNs tell you there is a secure tunnel…
… just to “leak” your personal information for the world to see. They are inadvertently revealing your location, even though a small green “connected” check mark appears on your app.
But do not worry.
We run every single VPN connection through a series of six different tests. Norton WiFi Privacy got the same treatment. The results of each test came back negative. (In a good way. A positive way. You know what I mean.)
- https://ipleak.net/ (nothing found)
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/check-ip/ (nothing found)
- https://ipx.ac/run (nothing found)
- https://browserleaks.com/webrtc (nothing found)
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/dns-leaktest/ (nothing found)
- http://dnsleak.com/ (nothing found)
No IP leak…
WebRTC does not leak…
No DNS leak…
Before letting you go ahead and install everything, we do one final check.
We also run the installation files of each VPN through VirusTotal.com to make sure there are no hidden surprises. A leak-free VPN connection is useless if your device is infected with malware in the process.
good news! These tests came back clean too!
So far it seems like a great VPN for data protection…but let’s move on.
2. User-friendly application
Norton WiFi Privacy gets the basics right.
VPNs are very important. Technically, there is a lot going on behind the scenes.
But that doesn’t mean it has to be too complex for users. In fact, they should be the opposite.
Every VPN client should have as few features as possible. You don’t have to dig, hunt, or read a manual to see how it works.
Users just have to point and click.
Fortunately, that’s what we get from Norton WiFi privacy.
Run the app and it will automatically connect you to the nearest server it finds in their system.
Head over to the “Virtual Location” tab to switch between server locations.
The only downside here is that it shows countries, rather than individual cities or server locations.
Usually, this is not a big problem. However, if country servers are limited, they may be. (Read in the negatives section below to find out why this is relevant.)
Other than that, you can also click on the Track Ads option to see how many instances of malware has been blocked.
There isn’t really anything to do or click on this offer. It’s just a nice little feature to check and make sure it’s running properly in the background. These little green numbers should keep going up, protecting you from all the schematic spots out there.
Overall, the app experience was quick and painless.
The only other hiccup is the installation file. I mean, it worked really well. But it was huge at over 80MB. So it took a few extra minutes to get started.
Those with newer hardware and tons of storage won’t mind. Those who do not have the strength.
3. The 16th overall speed ranking
Norton Wifi Privacy provided better speeds than usual, taking 17th place (out of 78).
We put every VPN through the same rigorous testing process to come up with this number.
First, we run some speed tests without a VPN connection. This way, we can finally measure the difference to determine how slow we are.
Next, we connect to a famous server. Here’s what the EU looked like:
- Ping: 36 ms
- Download: 85.77 Mbps (12% slower than the standard 97 Mbps)
- Download: 44.36Mbps (16% slower than the standard 53Mbps)
not bad! Each was only slowed down by about 15%, which in most cases may become unnoticeable.
Before the ceremony, let’s double check another server to be sure.
This time we connected to the US server. This is what we saw:
- Ping: 118 ms
- Download: 41.47 Mbps (57% slower than the standard 97 Mbps)
- Download: 29.71 Mbps (44% slower than the standard 53 Mbps)
Not nearly as good, unfortunately.
The combined download speed is 127.24Mbps.
4. Netflix runs on three out of four servers
Streaming content on Netflix succeeded three out of four times.
Here’s why this big deal.
Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon have taken a tough stance on most VPNs these days.
In fact, most of what we’ve reviewed either don’t work (although they say they do). Or they literally tell you not to care. They won’t even try to avoid Netflix anymore.
So getting three out of four servers to work successfully is important. These are the kinds of numbers we only saw earlier from the best VPNs for Netflix.
And to be honest, we didn’t expect that from Norton.
Usually big companies avoid risk. Most of the major entities or public conglomerates we reviewed will not attempt to thwart Netflix or encourage illegal torrenting or P2P content etc.
These activities are “forbidden”, because they really don’t want trouble, legal fights, or bad PR.
Norton is currently unblocking Netflix (or Hulu) for you. So bypassing geo-restrictions should be a good thing with this VPN.
5. Relatively secondary registration
Norton says it has a no-logs policy. Big surprise. So does everyone else.
- subscriber information and mobile device data, including device name, type, operating system version and language;
- total bandwidth usage;
- Temporary usage data to help correct a service issue.
Most of the things that have been recorded are for the usual reasons. he is called:
- Product performance improvement
- “Improving customer satisfaction”
- “research and development”
They will collect basic data in aggregate (like your bandwidth usage), but not any personal stuff that could come back to haunt you (like your original IP address).
Very good in general!
Norton WiFi Privacy Cons
Norton WiFi Privacy has introduced some powerful infrastructure that is able to provide a fast and secure connection.
What could you have asked for more?
How about no-logging, better hardware compatibility, and helpful customer support for beginners?
take a look.
1. An anti-privacy jurisdiction
Norton Wifi Privacy’s parent company, Symantec Ltd., is headquartered. , in Mountain View, California.
This places them firmly within the Five Eyes of Watching Alliance.
This is bad for several reasons.
You already remember that Snowden guy. You know, that’s all “the CIA can hack your cell phone browsing and messaging sessions even when you’re 30,000 feet above the ground” bit.
The problem is what happens to that data after the CIA collects it.
It goes into a database of some kind. Nice level.
Every intelligence agent from Canada, the UK, New Zealand and Australia can access it.
But wait there is more!
The creation of this Five Eyes Agreement dates back several decades. Since then, it has expanded to 14 countries, including:
Yikes. That’s a lot. Hands had to be used to calculate this height.
Unfortunately for your data and mine, you need more fingers to count all the people who can reach you right now.
2. Devices limited by obscure protocols and data encryption
Norton Wifi Privacy can be used on anywhere from one to ten devices, depending on your subscription level.
But let’s break that down before you get too excited.
They work on major platforms, such as Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows. OpenVPN and AES-256 encryption are used as per the industry standards. But you can’t switch either.
Unfortunately, these devices do not work with Linux, smart TVs, and game consoles. It is conceivable that they work with routers, but they only work with their own routers. So this is another recovery.
Torrenting is not allowed. Nor Tor.
Not such a big deal now, is it?
The name of the program is “WiFi Privacy” and there is no “VPN” to see (or read). This guides you to the customer segment. They go after users of their other products, who are not necessarily advanced VPN professionals.
It still feels too simple and limited. Especially when comparing plan features and pricing with the best VPNs in the space.
3. Useless customer support
Norton WiFi Privacy talks about a big game.
They talk about “bank crypto” on their site. But you can’t find anywhere how this is defined.
Go ahead – Command + F your heart.
This leaves only one option to find your answer:
Customer Support. Except we had to cycle through several support reps to get an answer.
The first time took a full five minutes of waiting before anyone called:
Pro tip: “Experiment with too many contacts” is a business word that means “we don’t have enough people.”
When the rep showed up, they weren’t able to answer any of our questions. It turns out right away that they have no idea what “protocols” or “encryption” mean.
They are the source of support for a VPN product in a cybersecurity company.
The second experience was almost worse than the first.
I tried to explain it in ten different ways. Homeboy wasn’t getting it. Then he killed the chat session because I didn’t reply within a minute of his last message.
It was around that time that I began questioning humanity.
4. Not enough country servers available
Norton WiFi Privacy server data is almost as precious as its protocols and encryptions, it seems.
Good luck finding them transparently on their site.
We were able to reveal that they only have servers in 28 countries. This is a problem for us.
Here is the harsh truth about VPN servers:
Most companies lie. They lie about the total number. They lie about the countries they are in. They even lie about the saved data.
For example, if a VPN “doesn’t log you in”, but actually rents servers from other third parties… do these third parties log in?
It is a slippery slope.
But overall, you want to go with a VPN provider that has a strong global server network.
This should result in better performance across the board, for the following reasons:
- You will have more servers available near you, and
- You will have better odds of finding servers that are not crowded
Both factors increase your odds of seeing consistently higher speeds. So 28 countries don’t really cut it, to be honest.