Norton Secure VPN offers good security, very fast speeds, good features, and has a very intuitive interface. It comes with industry-standard security features like 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, a no-logs policy, and secure protocols. In speed tests conducted in the US, Norton Secure VPN only decreased speeds by an average of 40%, which is comparable to some of the very best VPNs in 2022.
It’s also good for streaming, as it can access top sites like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime. And it’s also one of the most beginner-friendly VPNs on the market, with well-designed and user-friendly apps for Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS.
- Average speed loss: 57%
- Number of servers: 1,500 (1,200 virtual)
- Number of server locations: 29 countries, 73 cities
- Number of IP addresses: 1,800-plus
Norton doesn’t publicly post its server count on its website, but at last count there were 1,500 servers.
I ran my speed tests over the course of three days, in two locations, using both wireless and Ethernet connections — one location offered slower broadband speeds, and the other offered higher speeds via fiber-optic internet. Internet speeds in the US vary widely by state and provider. And with any speed test, results are going to rely on your local infrastructure, with hyperfast internet service yielding higher test speed results.
That’s one reason I’m more interested in testing the amount of speed lost (which for most VPNs is typically half or more) across both high-speed and slower connection types, and in using tools like speedtest.net to even out the playing field. Overall, Norton’s speeds are on par with other midtier VPNs, achieving only about 43% of the average 187Mbps speed achieved on a 1Gbps-capable fiber connection during testing, while still maintaining an average of around 81Mbps globally.
Unlike many other VPNs, Norton doesn’t allow you to choose the city you connect to — only the country. Norton’s Hong Kong servers dragged down overall speed scores, averaging just 6Mbps. So if you’re looking for a VPN to use while traveling in China, you may want to consider a different option. Australian servers performed marginally better, averaging around 50Mbps.
Mainland European scores could have been better, crossing the finish line with a 78Mbps average, as French servers outperformed German ones. And while US servers landed a disappointing 92Mbps average, UK servers shone with a 181Mbps average. The inconsistency in connection speeds and load times could be starkly improved by allowing you to choose the city you connect to. US speeds, in particular, could be improved if you could choose which coast to connect to.
Support for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android
Norton provides VPNs for the four major operating systems: Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. You’ve already seen what the desktop app looks like above in the review. Here’s the Android version of the Norton Secure VPN app:
As we have already noted, the VPN clients are very basic, and also lacking in some features and preferences. Norton is probably not the best Android VPN, but it’s also not the worst.
Note that Norton Secure VPN doesn’t offer any browser extensions.
Privacy and logging
The Secure VPN website claims that “unlike some other VPNs, we don’t track, log, or save your browsing activities.” Sounds promising, but there’s no more detail on the front page.
A ‘What is a no-log VPN?’ blog post(opens in new tab) vaguely states that although “Norton Secure VPN does not log information about where you browse on the Internet”, it does collect “other limited data in accordance with the NortonLifeLock Global Privacy Statement and the Product Privacy Notice.”
There’s not a lot of detail about what this could mean. Which IP addresses are collected, for instance: your device IP, the server you’re allocated, or both? How long is this data kept? It’s not clear.
While we’ve no reason to assume Norton is doing anything dubious, we’d like a little more clarity on how it’s handling your data. Even better, we would urge the firm to join the likes of ExpressVPN, NordVPN and TunnelBear in putting itself through a public audit, to give potential customers real information on how it’s looking after their privacy.