Symantec Norton Security with Backup full review

Symantec Norton Security with Backup review: best-known antivirus vendor proves it's still one of the best

One of the best-known companies in the anti-virus software market, Symantec Norton has still got it. Norton Security with Backup offers 10 licences, covering all your devices, be they PCs or Macs, laptops, smartphones or tablets. Read our Symantec Norton Security with Backup review. (See also: Best antivirus software in the UK.)

The best known and one of the earliest companies in the AV market, Norton is still a very strong player and Norton Security with Backup presents a different value proposition from most of the other products in this group. Although it’s £10 more than most of the rival offerings, this is for up to 10 personal devices, including PCs and Macs, and mobile gear running iOS or Android. You should be able to cover all your desktops, laptops, tablets and phones on the same licence.

The suite also includes extras in its make-up. As well as AV, anti-spam, a two-way firewall and identity protection, it includes PC tune-up and the backup of its product name.

Symantec Norton Security with Backup review: Installation and features

Installation is straightforward and the interface is clean and modern. Five panels take up the bottom of the window, with a reassuring status message above. Select the section you’re interested in and the arrow at the end slides the panel down to reveal further icons. Use these to adjust aspects of the Security, Identity, Backup or Performance of your machine.

It’s a great idea to build backup software into an IS suite and Symantec has done well with this product to include 25GB of online storage, which can be shared between all the PCs in your licence. This is enough to store photos and music, even some video, as well as documents, emails etc. (See also: 2015's best antivirus for PC and laptop UK.)

The key words, though, are ‘between all the PCs’. It doesn’t extend to the Mac, iOS or Android devices covered by the product, so you can’t use it to share data between them. You still have to use a service like Dropbox for that kind of functionality.

The PC tune-up module includes disk optimisation, file cleanup and a startup manager, while the identity protection includes an identity safe and a password generator.

Symantec Norton Security with Backup review: Performance

Under test, the 50GB basket of files were scanned in 26 minutes 51 seconds, with 175,311 files examined, giving a scan rate of 108.8 files/s. This is an above-average scan rate and, when the test was repeated, the scanner checked 23,761 in 2 min 41s, so a good degree of fingerprinting. The copy test showed an increase of only 11 percent when a scan was running in parallel, so a light footprint on the host PC.

AV-Test scored Norton Security at 16.5/18.0, dropping just 0.5 in each of the Protection, Performance and Usability categories.  This is a very good score, third best in this group, implying a high level of security, without annoying false notifications.

Under Protection, it scored 100 percent at detecting widespread threats, and only dropped to an average of 98 percent on zero-day attacks, losing it that half point.

The Performance results reflected what we found, that the software only puts a light load on a PC, with a total of just 1s slow-down under test, against AV-Test’s group average of 4s.

Under Usability, it produced only two false positives when running legitimate software, against a group average of 9s. This was with a test sample of over 425,000 samples. (See also: 13 best backup software 2015 UK.)


Symantec Norton Security with Backup: Specs

  • Windows XP SP3 Vista 32 bit SP1/7 SP1/8 32/64 bit, 800MHz CPU, 1GB (32-bit)/2GB (64-bit) memory, 700MB HD

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