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N360 VPN network vulnerable on laptop but secure on Android phone?

Laptop is running Windows 10.  Android phone is Samsung S20 (Android).  Both using Norton 360 with VPN, same account.  Both are set to launch the VPN service automatically for questionable networks.  Home internet is provided by CenturyLink.

On my laptop, N360 always automatically starts VPN service, the pop-up notification says the network password is weak.

On my Android phone, N360 says the network is secure and does not automatically launch the VPN service.  I must manually start the VPN service.  This becomes problematic and a little concerning as the VPN will turn itself off every so often.  No notification of any kind, I just happen to see the key icon on the status bar is no longer present and I have to open N360 and manually turn it back on.  I do many things on my phone that use an internet connection so I do want the VPN service running.  Information from my phone may be vulnerable when the VPN quietly turns itself off and I don't notice for a while.  (Just for comparison, when I was in a McDonald's and used the Wifi there, N360 on my phone did automatically launch the VPN, so I know it works on my phone.)

N360's contrary safety assessments for the same network (my home network) on different devices doesn't make sense.  Why does N360 consider the network password weak for my laptop but perfectly safe for my phone?  I also don't fully understand why the VPN turns itself off on my phone when I manually turn it on, I would think that by having it set to manual, turning it off would also be required manually.

Any advice?



Re: N360 VPN network vulnerable on laptop but secure on Android phone?

The only thing I can suggest is that the difference in the code between the mobile and Windows versions may be causing what you are seeing. The two versions are not always in sync as far as features and probably other back end issues.

Does the detection in Windows of the weak password specifically note it is the VPN detecting this? Have you checked your router's password to ensure that it is a strong combination of upper/lower case letters, numbers, and special characters?


Re: N360 VPN network vulnerable on laptop but secure on Android phone?

Thank you for your reply.

I believe that the Windows detection is from the VPN as it automatically launches the VPN and N360 gives that specific notification.  I'm not a super knowledgeable tech person so that's what it appears to be to me. 

Unfortunately my internet provider does not allow special characters to be included in my password (ridiculous!!!), so it is upper and lowercase letters and numbers.  I would have to agree with the Windows N360 VPN assessment that it isn't a strong password.  I live in a rural area so I don't have other provider options, when I lived in a large city my password was much stronger.  Yes I could improve my password, but I'm surprised that the phone VPN doesn't give the same "weak password" assessment as Windows.

It would make sense that the difference is something within the programming of PC vs mobile.  I've found similar types of differences to be present for web browsers (more advanced security and privacy options on PC).  It seems more secure to do everything on my laptop.  However I would think that programmers would know that these days most people use their phone for a lot of internet activities, for recreation, work, shopping, banking.  I do, it's just more convenient.  I would hope that programmers would consider protecting our phones just as important as protecting our laptops.

I also have an observation about my phone's manual VPN shutting itself off.  I noticed it was off just last night.  When I opened Norton, the VPN said "No network detected."  I don't understand this as I checked my phone's Wifi and it was connected to my home network.  I could not turn on the VPN again (option was greyed out) until I turned off my phone's Wifi and then reconnected.  I don't know why it loses it's detection of the network, I assume it's a momentary loss off connectivity due to my router or service provider, I didn't leave the house so it wouldn't have been an issue of leaving the Wifi area of my router.  If that is the case, if N360 can't detect a network, it ought to be periodically checking for a network connection so it can reconnect.  Maybe this topic should be a separate thread...  Also there must be a notification option that I must have disabled to tell me if N360 loses network connection or VPN.

Sometimes I think I'd be better off going back to the "good old" flip-phone days and just using a computer for internet...  Not likely!  T9 texting is tedious.

Thanks again for your insights!  Sadie


Re: N360 VPN network vulnerable on laptop but secure on Android phone?

Woops, I replied to my own thread instead of your post.  See my reply in the thread!  Thanks!


Re: N360 VPN network vulnerable on laptop but secure on Android phone?

Sorry I was not more help with the detections between PC and mobile. I am just a user like you who tries to help users with issues from my experience with the Norton products.

Maybe someone else has some insight here.

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